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63Stude

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Posts posted by 63Stude

  1. "At issue is whether we learn and move on in synchronicity with current reality, or do we cling to the wrongs of the past to justify our present day behavior."

    This sounds great, but I think it's a big part of our country's (hell, the world's) problems for so long. You can do terrible things, but it'll be OK shortly down the road...everyone will "move on".

    I'm a big believer in the saying that there are consequences for a person, or country, or government's, actions...and sorry if I can't put 400K American deaths in the back of my head so soon.

    Bill

  2. Dave, I don't pretend to speak for anybody but myself, but as hideous as what the Germans were and did, it was the Japanese who attacked us on our shores (even though Hawaii was not a state then), and ushered our entrance into World War II. Perhaps that's what sticks in some people's craw. Plus, V-E Day happened several months before V-J Day, so really we physically fought the Japanese for a bit longer. I see buying a car as a little tiny bit more than just what it is to me and my family, but hey, call me a fool.

    Frankly, I was always a little surprised at the VW Beetle's success in the states, as little as 20 years or less after Hitler. On top of that, my understanding was that it wasn't that great of a car! I grew up in a small rural town 25 miles away from the nearest medium-sized city, so I never saw many Bugs in the '60's. I choose not to buy German or Japanese, for the primary reason that 1) I've been comfortable with my domestics, price, styling, comfort, and service-wise, and 2) More Americans work for the domestic auto industry than any import brand...see it a little as "doing my part".

    While it's good you've "moved on" from WWII (400K+ Americans killed only a little over a dozen years before my birthdate), maybe it's time to move on from '86 Celebritys and Pintos that catch fire.

    Bill

  3. Does anyone really think that anybody who prefers to buy a domestic automobile, has no problem buying German but won't buy Japanese? I choose to buy neither....and back to WWII--I'm of German descent, but I think what happened in and around Germany as little as 64 years ago is absolutely repulsive.

    Incidentally,I did hear Battle of the Bulge veterans, including a Jewish gentleman, say only a year ago that as bad as the Germans were, they had nothing on the Japanese as far as torture of prisoners was concerned.

    Bill

  4. John, as long as we're going back 30 years (Pinto), why don't we go back 64--when Toyota was building aircraft to kill our soldiers in the war they started...but we finished? No, that's not like still fighting the Civil War...they are millions of people still alive today who were alive then and affected by their atrocities...and there are still 2.5 million veterans of WWII alive today.

    That is not my main reason at all for wanting to buy American, but I can't just completely ignore it, either. It hasn't been long enough. Like bringing up the Pinto, which was indeed a tragedy for those affected.

    Incidentally, in 2005 Toyota recalled 2.37 million vehicles...per their own spokesman, Bill Kwong.

    http://forums.motortrend.com/70/6495664/...ighe/index.html

    Bill

  5. John, all excellent points, but I think we'd all have to logically agree that if GM recalled more vehicles than it made in 2006 (as did Toyota), it would absolutely be at the top of the front page....I'm sure with Toyota it was lower on the page or maybe not on the front page. Why is that?

    My longtime experience with my GM vehicles has also been that they (the dealer, and hence, GM) have gone above and beyond, outside of warranty, as needed, without any arm-twisting. Of course, I haven't had issues up the ladder-rung like oil sludging or frame rustout. My God, Toyota should have been embarrassed about catastrophic stuff like that.

    Also, on the Camry trans issues...and I admit I haven't looked lately at this...I remember a year or so ago looking at comments on Edmunds from Camry owners about their trans issues and seeing many, many comments about the dealers refusing to admit a problem or doing the old "Could Not Duplicate" trick.

    Bill

  6. Dave, you are aware that the survey results in CR are from subscribers to the magazine only? I'm not sure how statistically correct that is. I don't fault their findings, really, other than they don't seem to take sample error into consideration. As recently as a couple years ago, they said a Pontiac Torrent was more reliable than a Chevy Equinox. There is no reason at all, whatsoever, why that should be. It's sample error. Nothing else. But they actually said, "We'd recommend the Torrent over the Equinox". Sheesh.

    Bill

  7. Oh believe me, I read about GM's slipping in that survey. You gotta admit, the Japanese makers do get more of a 'free pass' in the media. Ever look at the Honda Odyssey forum among minivans on edmunds.com? It has many more negative postings than any other minivan...trans, mostly. You'll see some surprising posts about Sienna sliding doors costing $1,800 to fix on models as new as '04 there, as well.

    I have found that in my GM cars (twelve since 1981), when I have had problems, the dealer has gone above and beyond in fixing things free or greatly reduced, out-of-warranty. I have never bought an extended warranty, and have never regretted that fact. When the car is under warranty, if I see/hear/feel something that doesn't seem right, I take it into the dealer's. I don't cross my fingers and hope for the best. I get it taken care of. This helps post-warranty expenses, I gotta believe. I have only had one GM car that had drivetrain issues...that was my new '85 Celebrity with 4-speed automatic. At 37K miles it had no third or fourth gear, but my dealer replaced the transaxle for $100 and it ran fine 'til I bought a new Beretta GT when the Celebrity had 60K miles. A classic example is my Uplander (yes, I did buy a new one in '05). There are things I don't like about it, but it has been inexpensive to maintain in its 55K miles. My friend's Tacoma pickup, bought at the same time and with the same mileage, now needs an oxygen sensor and Toyota won't fix it for free. I am almost certain that if my car did need one (it doesn't, and it's a GM! Amazing!) it would be covered under GM's emissions warranty. I constantly hear how the attitude at dealerships of Japanese brands have a 'take it or leave it' attitude, both in the sales and service departments.

    How much did you ever read about Toyota's engine sludge issues and their secret warranties on other things (Honda too)? How about frame rust on Tacomas up through '04? Sure, GM has built sh*t, but why can't anyone admit that other manufacturers have too? I am admitting it here in public...GM has built sh*t. There. Can anyone else put that in writing about Japanese makes? I've sure never seen it. Sheesh.

    Personally, I'm glad the bailout went through--and I've never worked in the industry nor had a relative or friend work for the Big Three. Yes, management salaries and union pay needs to come down. But the fact is, the foreign manufacturers who have built plants here don't have the legacy costs the Big Three have, and how many millions were offered to these companies to come build 'down south'? Sheesh, let's take care of our own first. That's one of the things I meant by my 'Stockholm Syndrome' comment last post.

    And for those who trumpet that 'not all domestic brands are built here, look at all the foreign brands that are, blah blah blah', it doesn't take a genius to check out the content sticker on a new car. It's easy to see which ones have high N.A. content and which don't (not even taking where profits go, into consideration). For example, I also have a new Cobalt XFE that has 80% N.A. content, was built thirty miles from here, cost only $11,900 to buy and gets 37 highway MPG, has 148 hp, has ABS, air, and satellite radio. I absolutely love it for the price. I'm a fussbutt, and I have never taken it back to the dealer for anything in 10K miles. I would have considered an HHR with 5-speed but the sole thing, other than being more money than a Cobalt, that nixed it for me was that it's built in Mexico. I can't complain about the lack of manufacturing jobs here, then go out and make the problem worse. I figure it doesn't matter with used cars...the damage was already done by the original owner. I want what's best for me personally, but I think it doesn't hurt to look at the bigger picture and try to do the right thing, too.

    And Dave, I say this respectfully, but if I said "I had an '86 Toyota and it was bad, it's the only Toyota I ever had", wouldn't you roll your eyes?

    Bill

  8. Last year, Consumer Reports (which many tout as "The Bible") said they could no longer flatly recommend Camry V6's or Tundras, for that matter, as their reliability has slipped to below average.

    Somehow, that kind of thing never seems to make as much front-page news as trouble in the domestic industry. Another example of "Stockholm Syndrome".

    Bill

  9. ...to get a good spot to watch the cars drive in?

    My friend, who's a former Studebaker dealer, and his son are coming to Hershey for the first time and I know they'd love most of all to get a good view of the cars driving in in the a.m. to the car show. What time does anyone suggest getting there on Sat. a.m. to put up a folding chair so that an older fellow can watch the cars driving in?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  10. Thanks for posting the pictures. What a beautiful car!

    When I was a kid, if a car had a front-seat center armrest, it was a luxury model...if it had a rear-seat center armrest as well, whoa, that was top-o'-the line luxury!

    Just IMHO, when a Centurion had an interior like this, I couldn't see why anyone would want an Electra. I like the cleaner Centurion styling better, and it was probably a tad less expensive.

    Bill

  11. I don't ever remember seeing a '73 LeSabre Custom with the Centurion interior...only a '73 Centurion with the Centurion interior. I know there was no Centurion in '74 and the LeSabre Luxus basically took its place in the lineup (including the sole convertible body style). I remember '74 Luxus models having the notchback front seat with center armrest as did '73 and earlier Centurions.

    Question: I can't remember where, but not too long ago I saw a Centurion with a rear-seat center armrest. Is that right? Never saw one before. It was a four-door hardtop, but the upholstery and design looked like I remembered for Centurions.

    Bill P.

  12. That Caprice is a beautiful, original-looking car. I typically don't like the '73 Chevys, but like that color and car.

    Interesting...either the steering wheel has been replaced (doubtful), or, as was not that unusual back then, the car didn't receive the Caprice standard steering wheel, as an assembly-line goof. The Caprice wheel had a slightly different center with a band of fake woodgrain at the top of the center of the wheel and the word "Classic" in the center of the woodgrain band. This I know from 35 years of looking at the cars, plus owning a 1973 Chevrolet Dealers' Sales Album until a few months ago. That wheel is the Bel Air and Impala wheel.

    Still, a beautiful car.

    Bill P.

  13. I believe I've seen one or two in my life, but the '68 Chevelle brochure only shows Concours Sports Sedan and Concours Estate wagon. Could the Concours Sport Coupe have been a mid-year model and thus not have been in the brochure?

    This is driving me nuts! It's been years and years since (I'm pretty sure) I've seen one. They had a notchback front seat with center armrest.

    Bill

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