MarkV

Why The Next Generation Will Be In Our Hobby- Malaise Daze L.A. Show

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21 hours ago, LINC400 said:

 

As I said, the 5ph bumpers are a personal preference. I always thought the late '60's - early '70's cars with a body color painted metal panel below the bumper looked ridiculous. Why should the body of the car extend below the bumper and rocker panels? It was even better after a few years when those panels were loose and precariously hanging or swinging.  

 

Japanese manufacturers capitalized on the ridiculous mindset of the general public that all American cars are no good, and all foreign cars are wonderful. Plus the American carmakers refused to update the larger luxury cars with features that could be found in midsize foreign sedans. However, they really don't offer anything more exclusive than the domestics. Even the Maybach looks like a 2 tone S Class at first glance despite costing 2-3 times as much. And I don't think they are doing too well.

Really?  I think a 1968 Chevrolet Impala Custom 2 door hardtop is one of the nicest, most well-integrated designs because of that well fitted bumper with the body-color valence below it.  Admittedly that '72 LTD in the photo was 'busy' ungainly for the time, and still is.  The 1971 rear is far cleaner in appearance.

 

First, in the 1960's, WE had the ridiculous mindset that anything 'Made in Japan' as all "junk", but it was also radios, TV's, children's toys, etc.  It was a hard-earned reputation they won after proving their products were dependable and reliable, and of course they capitalized on it.  They HAD to with the voluntary import restrictions on cars which naturally put a cap on how much they could earn. So they got inventive and developed a more refined and expensive product, first with the Cressida and the Maxima, which ended up being successful, and continued onward and upmarket with their standalone brands in the 1990's.  You are one hundred percent correct in your statement,  "Plus the American carmakers refused to update the larger luxury cars with features that could be found in midsize foreign sedans."  They thought they were invincible, and that is what contributed to their downfall and loss of market share.   

 

Craig

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I remember those first Honda Civic's. Everyone thought they were best suited for clowns.

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You rarely see a clown with a Honda anymore, too mainstream. They are out stalking odd stuff you don't see everyday.

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1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

Really?  I think a 1968 Chevrolet Impala Custom 2 door hardtop is one of the nicest, most well-integrated designs because of that well fitted bumper with the body-color valence below it.  Admittedly that '72 LTD in the photo was 'busy' ungainly for the time, and still is.  The 1971 rear is far cleaner in appearance.

 

First, in the 1960's, WE had the ridiculous mindset that anything 'Made in Japan' as all "junk", but it was also radios, TV's, children's toys, etc.  It was a hard-earned reputation they won after proving their products were dependable and reliable, and of course they capitalized on it.  They HAD to with the voluntary import restrictions on cars which naturally put a cap on how much they could earn. So they got inventive and developed a more refined and expensive product, first with the Cressida and the Maxima, which ended up being successful, and continued onward and upmarket with their standalone brands in the 1990's.  You are one hundred percent correct in your statement,  "Plus the American carmakers refused to update the larger luxury cars with features that could be found in midsize foreign sedans."  They thought they were invincible, and that is what contributed to their downfall and loss of market share.   

 

Craig

 

Nope, I think the 1967 Impala rear end is way better than the 1968-70 with the taillights in the bumper and valance thing below.

 

The Japanese stuff was pretty bad in the 1950's and 1960's. It wasn't until they came over here and toured American factories and tried to make their cars more American-like that they caught on. While instead the domestics made some halfway attempts to make their products seem more foreign inspired which did not work. (Eurosport editions come to mind)

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On 5/3/2018 at 8:44 AM, John_S_in_Penna said:

If you take your 1947 Packard to a show these days,

the average person might admire it as a piece of history;

but not so many people will exclaim, "I used to have one 

just like that!"  If you take your 1980 Chevrolet Citation,

or your 1985 Ford Country Squire wagon, you're much 

more likely to strike a familiar chord with the public.

The long-time AACA member might not appreciate them yet,

but onlookers may longingly admire a car that brings back

their family memories.

 

Ah, the world of old cars can be much broader than we realize---

 

If I only had a $1 for every time I have heard "I used to have one like that" when I have one of my 1980s VWs on the field at an AACA Meet. 😁

Last weekend I heard it even more than normal when my 1980 VW Rabbit was at the AGNM at Greensburg. The VW assembly plant that built the Rabbit back then was located just a few miles down the road near New Stanton, PA. Many people living in that area owned VWs and worked in the plant back then. In fact, I met two people who worked in the VW Plant back then at the AGNM. One is Mark D., an AACA member and another gentleman who lives in the area and worked at the plant.

 

BTW, some of the photos in this thread with a number 1980s and 90s Volkswagens in them are interesting. Some here might be surprised/shocked just how large the VW enthusiast water cooled community is. One of their annual events here in the USA has at least as many cars on that show field as Fall Hershey does and usually quite a bit more. If only AACA could recruit some of these enthusiasts who own 70s, 80s and 90s watercooled Volkswagens. Sadly the vast majority of these VWs have been modified so they would not meet AACA guidelines. As these owners age and become interested in stock versions of these VWs, maybe they could be recruited. Who knows.

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19 hours ago, LINC400 said:

 While instead the domestics made some halfway attempts to make their products seem more foreign inspired which did not work. (Eurosport editions come to mind)

Perfect examples of 1980's GM malaise cars that totally fit the bill of this thread!!  

 

They were The General's way of extending the 1974-81 "All show & no 'go'" up into the 1990's.  On  most of them, it was only a few years before the cheap plastic cladding and emblems started to fall off, and the stickers and paint started peel on those cars, just like the makeup on a three dollar prostitute by the end of the night.   (Neither covered by warranty.) 

 

Craig

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16 hours ago, 8E45E said:

Perfect examples of 1980's GM malaise cars that totally fit the bill of this thread

 

Yes, I totally agree with the 1980's cars being called Malaise Era, it is the 1970's with their wide array of body styles, sizes, colors, interiors, etc. that will never be seen again that I object to being called Malaise Era

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I have always had eclectic tastes in vehicles. The only thing I really haven't warmed up to is the modified 4WD trucks. And that is more sigma than taste.

 

I like the fact the the group of cars has been named: Malaise. Giving identity gives them recognition. I have a couple.

 

This 1986 Electra Park Avenue came my way in 2011. That was when gas was nudging $5.00 per gallon. I thought, what a nice car to take into the future; a Buick convertible that gets 25 MPG and looks pretty good. When I bought it I took pictures to my local Buick Club chapter meeting. I might as well have told them I bought a Toyota pickup. But it pleases me.

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After owning two 1994 Buick Roadmasters I picked up this 1994 Impala SS.

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It is another car I enjoy driving a lot. Acceptance by my age group, nada according to Hemmingway. Invisible at most gatherings it has attended. That one even got a "Those cars are a rough riding piece of crap" at a Buick event. If I was 30 I wouldn't have come back. Actually I think I may have missed an event or two since.

 

I like a lot of different cars. It is good to see a peer group that recognizes these cars. Interesting thought, I started teaching trade programs in 1982. I always felt good about keeping up the association with younger people and their interests. Maybe that is more important to me as I age. I bet they'd even let me attend with the 15 year old "old car" I just bought.

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I upgraded my daily driver(and only car :( ) to a 98 Buick Lesabre back in December. I had a 97. My family doesn't really understand why I like "old" cars, had a lot of questions at Christmas dinner on why I would buy the same car. I'm looking for a Reatta now. Mostly because it's older,cooler, and affordable. I also love pretty much the entire Buick lineup between 1990 and 1999. Especially the Roadmaster wagons. Most of those are what are generally described as "old people cars". I guess those would be part of this Malaise Era. But I like them. And there has to be someone for every type of car no matter how weird, boring or overlooked. As mentioned above people go for what they remember when they were young, one of the reasons I like them so much is the Bench seat in the front. My dad's 66 Mustang had one. Granted my mom made him get rid of it when I was about 12 and buying one when I was 16 was in no way an option. So the front bench was an option I looked for in cars. Luckily Buicks came standard with them. Although my list of cars I want stretches far and wide with model years, makes, and models. My list of what I can afford, like, and have the skill to maintain is a very short one. I don't doubt I'm alone in this thought for younger people. I know of a few car clubs by me that are mostly newer stuff Subaru's and other Imports. But even though these are younger guys with newer cars I'd like to think they'll be meeting up when them and their cars are considered old. 

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

I like the fact the the group of cars has been named: Malaise. Giving identity gives them recognition. I have a couple.

 

I like that too and I have embraced this group and enjoy their enthusiasm. 

 

The only problem is the 1972-95 timeframe is pretty broad and the participant’s interest can vary from the 1970s through the 1990s.  For example I am personally interested in 1970s cars but not really in 1990s models.  Our own Linc400 says the 1970s cars are not really malaise since they are not somber but were still marketed with bright colors and interiors with lots of variety compared to the conservative 1980s and 1990s. 

 

I see his point but would contend that they are definitely malaise; by association with the 1979 Jimmy Carter speech and also by the spirit of the automakers trying to do more with less in the face of looming gloomy times.  But the common thread is that as a group in the old car world they represent a very specific genre that I support wholeheartedly--that of preserving a bit of the post-musclecar era that has been pooh-poohed by older enthusiasts for decades.  The malaise group is picking up the mantle of buying an old car just for enjoyment and community, with little expectation of making a quick buck or just following the money like those of us that came before.  More power to them, Todd C 

 

Edited by poci1957 (see edit history)

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There were some interesting cars in that period, my 78 Sunbird won A Lot of autocrosses and have always thought the 77-78 Firebirds looked good (though a bit heavy).

sbird.jpg

Said I've never had a Ford or a pickup. OTOH have had tow cars since 1970. Current one is the best.

 

rigc.jpg

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The idea is that they are bogged down with smog equipment and 5mph bumpers culminating with obd2 in 1996

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The concept of the Malaise cars reminds me a lot of Hemmings Magazine introduction of Special Interest Cars Magazine in 1970. I don't have a copy to quote the first editor's comments, but it went something like "devoted to those overlooked cars of the 1940's and 1950's that are not recognized by mainstream collectors".

 

All of today's 70 year olds were about 25 then.

 

I remember being quite happy to see cars I could relate to featured in those early issues. Now, that made me laugh. 25 and being quite happy with articles about cars the 70 year olds abhorred (unless they had one for sale).

Bernie

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56 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

The concept of the Malaise cars reminds me a lot of Hemmings Magazine introduction of Special Interest Cars Magazine in 1970.... I remember being quite happy to see cars I could relate to featured in those early issues. Now, that made me laugh. 25 and being quite happy with articles about cars the 70 year olds abhorred (unless they had one for sale).

 

Exactly right Bernie, my equivalent was Car Exchange magazine circa 1980 featuring 1960s "special interest" cars.  For the younger reader "Special Interest" was the label then for cars with potential collector appeal but less than 25 years old and thus not yet antiques.  The 1980s car today is in a similar place except they actually ARE over 25 years old and still not widely embraced by traditional collectors.  I recall many issues where the car on the cover or in a feature was only 15 years old or less but to me they still seemed like artifacts from a distant time compared to a 1985-90 model today, Todd C 

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11 hours ago, MarkV said:

The idea is that they are bogged down with smog equipment and 5mph bumpers culminating with obd2 in 1996

 

I know and I agree that logically that timeframe is probably appropriate for those reasons. 

 

My observation was more a personal thing since to me the 1970s thru mid-1980s and the late 1980s thru mid-1990s seem like such different eras in automobiles, but I am in for the accepted 1972-95.  I look forward to meeting the Malasian contingent at the Iola Car Show next month and to personally see the soon-to-be iconic Golden Smog Pump (a genius idea IMO).  Todd C   

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" the late 1980s thru mid-1990s seem like such different eras " That was when cars changed from reworked cars of the 60s to the leading edge of the modern era.  Almost all were computer cars with FI and DIY reprogramming was common. 6 and 7 liter 200 hp engines were replaced by 3-4 liter 200 hp engines. Energy absorbing bumpers were hidden. Use of chrome declined The rebirth of the horsepower race was still a few years off but the seeds were there. I suspect that at some point in the future some cars of this era (like my 88 Reatta with a touchscreen in the dash) will be recognized for what they are. That said I still have a few tripowers and dual quads waiting for me to install on something.

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9 hours ago, padgett said:

Energy absorbing bumpers were hidden. Use of chrome declined.    I suspect that at some point in the future some cars of this era (like my 88 Reatta with a touchscreen in the dash) will be recognized for what they are.

That was a HUGE improvement, and I'll NEVER figure out why it took 15 years to hide those ugly exposed bumpers as the 1973 Grand Am, Chevelle Laguna and Corvette clearly showed it could have been done right from the start of the mandate.  Hemmings Motor News had a one-pager on the early CRT touchscreens about a year or so ago as used in the Riviera.

 

Craig

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The story of Chevy engines in 1977 Oldsmobiles is interesting. Short version, Olds had committed to sell Pontiac, Buick and, yes, Cadillac 350 and 403 engines. Those Divisions no longer had large-displacement V8 engines to haul their still-hefty products around, and Buick didn't have a V8 at all in 1977. They bought OLDSMOBILE engines to replace them as they were sturdy, easy to meet emissions and powerful for the time and,  in the case of the FI Seville 350, easy to modify. The Cad 425 was not a good fit for the X-body Seville (didn't know it was a Nova in drag, huh?), the X-body was already adapted to the small-block Olds engine, Buick and Pontiac were getting out of the V8 business (because of emissions), so the Olds was deemed best fit for the Seville. So- pretty obvious B-P-Cad liked and wanted the Olds engine enough to buy them over Chevrolet, which had more engine-building capacity than they knew what to do with.

 

With all these commitments, Olds found itself without enough V8 engines or engine building capacity to supply its own cars. To their credit, they honored those sales commitments and stooped to buy engines from Chevrolet for 88s and Cutlii. Chevy had outrageous engine building capacity that often ran at less than full capacity due to their own car-building limitations, and there were a lot of Chevy-Olds dualled dealerships and service departments. So, win-win for everyone, until that reporter saw the Chevy engine in a Delta 88 at the NY auto show.

 

Do I want a Chevy-powered Olds in my fleet? No, but the cars weren't as bad as they were made to be in spite of Chevrolet's soft cam problems in those years. I'd rather have one with the Olds Diesel in it just to be different. 

 

And as someone pointed out, all GM intermediates with inline sixes had Chevy 250s. There were a number of 1975 Oldsmobiles built with Pontiac 400 engines too, but Pontiac was esteemed as a "step-up" Division within GM so owners of Olds so equipped didn't grumble much.

 

Far as Olds engines in 80s full-size GMs, Federal emissions standards dictated that more than anything else. The Chev 305 and Olds 307 were the only V8s emissions certified for B and C body cars. So blame the Feds for a lot of GM's engine-swapping  shenanigans. It's what happens when bureaucrats get into things.

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