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10 hours ago, padgett said:

errr wasn't the Omni/Horizon a smaller "L" body and not a "K" car ?

Beats me, they were all mostly junk from what I remember. The omni, horizon, aries and reliant were called ''K cars'' by the casual observer. They were Iacocca's Chrysler Hail Mary pass and it was successful. The German 1.7 engine was great, the following year they came out with their own 2.2 which was not so great. About that same time they cheapened the H out of the veritable old slant 6 and 318/360, crankshafts were snapping and a myriad of other new issues. That 60's 70's Era slant 6 in my opining is one of the best engines that was ever produced. Pre-Iacocca no one had a better drive train than Chrysler.

 

Ron

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46 minutes ago, Larry Schramm said:

The Chevette was an Opel modified to be able to be sold in the US.  We had one and did not have any problems with it.  It was just an inexpensive grocery getter.

 

I agree, my wife inherited a very low mileage Chevette when her grandmother passed away . It gave several years of quite reliable service. Nothing fancy at all ,  just basic good service.

She eventually sold it to a young guy who intended a V8 swap.

Greg

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9 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

 

I agree, my wife inherited a very low mileage Chevette when her grandmother passed away . It gave several years of quite reliable service. Nothing fancy at all ,  just basic good service.

She eventually sold it to a young guy who intended a V8 swap.

Greg

 

Why does every "improvement" mean stuffing a SBC into the engine compartment?

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On 6/16/2004 at 7:58 PM, ex98thdrill said:

That Monza that got smashed at Hershey many moons ago was a notchback. Speaking of Monzas, how many people remember the ones with the 305 V8 in them??

The 305 cu in cars:  I had an acquaintance, that had one of those cars; so I never actually drove it; but I can attest that being a passenger, riding shot-gun, the ride was terrible.  The floorboard, where your feet should go, was raised up about a inch and a half, to make room for a part of the exhaust underneath.  Maybe the catalytic converter.  Anyhow that hot exhaust part was right below your feet; in addition to your knees pushed up toward your chin.

 

intimeold 

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On 6/9/2004 at 1:51 PM, Stephen Lyons said:

I was thinking today about the worst modern (post-WWII) cars - ill-conceived, poorly engineered, shabbily made, mechanically suspect, blatantly unsafe, or any combination of such issues that tend to render the automobile in question a monstrosity more or less disposable to their unfortunate owners, whether this be either by necessity or choice. Actually, this last factor is key - that the car in question remains undesirable today, & has few defenders or enthusiasts (which is why cars like the Chevrolet Corvair, the AMC Pacer, & the Porsche 914 did not get put on the list - each, despite the quirkiness of their appeal, sold well when new & have solid collector organizations preserving them today). I came up with a list in this regard of my personal Top (Bottom?) Ten, ranked by the very worst first:

1. Trabant

2. Yugo

3. Chevrolet Vega

4. Triumph TR7

5. Renault LeCar

6. Austin America

7. Maserati Biturbo

8. Ford Pinto

9. Cadillac Cimarron

10. Fiat Strada

Dishonorable Mentions:

Renault Dauphine, Chevrolet Chevette, Lincoln Versailles, Oldsmobile diesels, Subaru 360

Apologies in advance for any feathers ruffled!

Sorry to ruffle any feathers, but I'd like to add Lincoln Continental 1964 up to near the end of the run, last few years were good. Ford had no business trying to build a cheap high-end luxury car while ultra minimizing production cost. Thats not how expensive luxury cars are built, they're expensive because high cost and close attention goes in to them. Pretty much all of their mid-60's up to late 70's when Iacocca left, all of their cars were not so great. Radiators, starters were junk, automatics jumping into reverse from park, poor paint process causing rust issues in as little as one year, hoods flying open, all the big 8's burned an excessive amount of oil right out of the factory. That 390 Windsor was a boat anchor, great big oil burning V-8 with the power of an in line 6. All the Cleveland engines were very good and thats about all they had that was good through those years.

 

Ron

 

 

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1 hour ago, Larry Schramm said:

 

Why does every "improvement" mean stuffing a SBC into the engine compartment?

 

 

For a long time the dream was a cheap, fast " Saturday night " car. I fell into it myself as a young person in the late 1970's and early 1980's. These days the dream has shifted. I often see comments on a couple of other forums I look at along the lines of " that would make a cool EV conversion ".  All the performance of a Tesla at 1 / 4 of the price is the new dream,  Just the flavor of the month.

 

Greg

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Am I the only one who was there ?

"Pre-Iacocca" Chrysler was about to go bankrupt.

Chevette was not an Opel. It was the GM "T" body "world automobile" which included the Opel Kadett. Might as well call it an Isuzu. Friend had a T1000 Pontiac that was quite reliable. Same naming scheme that gave us the "G000LE"

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I owned a couple of Plymouth Horizons in the 80s.  The second one (known as the bent mobile) was a 2.2 5 speed.  Traded it in with almost 150K on it.  Scruffy as all get out,  but still ran fine and had the original clutch.   Useful little ride for the 8 years i had it.  Don't recall it breaking odd stuff.  

 

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On 6/9/2004 at 3:46 PM, Stephen Lyons said:

No Fiats on your list?? Oh you meant real cars!

**********************************************

Look again, the Fiat Strada ekes out a spot at #10.

     Put ALL Fiats in that list.  i shudder to think what they'll do

     to Chrysler.

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Prior to 1973, FIATs barely had a niche market in the US, mostly with 850s (and smaller) and 124 Spyders. I recall looking at a FIAT 124 sedan around 1972 and found that over 60 mph it would buzz you to death. Most small furrin cars were the same. Then along came the NMSL and at 55 they didn't buzz but got great MPG.

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 In 1980, for my wife’s 40th birthday (she doesn’t know this forum exists) I bought her a 1979 Fiat Pininfarina fuel injected convertible. She picked it out. Had about 5000 miles on it.

  Fun car. Totally unreliable. Kept a glove box full of relays and fuses, and sometimes she could get herself going by swapping parts. Usually not.

  When someone asked her how she liked the car, she would say she loved it, but wished she could carry a passenger. When they pointed out the passenger seat, she would reply “ Oh, that’s for the mechanic.”

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47 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

     Put ALL Fiats in that list.  i shudder to think what they'll do

     to Chrysler.

 

Actually, our 1980 Fiat Strada, called "Ritmo" in Italy, was a pretty decent 5-door hatchback, and served as a fun little driver for a couple of "circumnavigate the USA" drives for our then-young, growing family. The kids could streatch out in the back when the rear seats were folded, and they had a great view of our upcoming visits to the Snake River Canyon, Jackson Hole, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Bryce, Zion, Pikes Peak, etc - all while handling better than the Omni-Horizon, Rabbit -- at least in my opinion, and making excellent fuel mileage. The kids even got to sit on the roof when we opened the sliding metal sunroof and held onto their legs, driving in pitch darkness in the dead of night between Needles, California to Searchlight, Nevada - so they could experience the desert nightlife.

 

The Fiat 124 was a pretty snazzy looking roadster. Oil leaks are part of the experience?

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3 hours ago, padgett said:

Am I the only one who was there ?

"Pre-Iacocca" Chrysler was about to go bankrupt.

Oh that guy was an encyclopedia of how to's for efficiency and profits. Unfortunately that results in speeding production, cutting corners and cheaper materials. end result is lower quality product, but it's better than going out of business. There is an old saying that runs through the old big three but applies to any manufacturing business "Cheaper, better, faster, pick two of those, you cannot have all three".

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"1979 Fiat Pininfarina fuel injected convertible" 124 Spyder by any other name. Options included an automagic and a turbo.

 

I had a 1968 124 Spyder that was a really fun car, no AC but more vents than seen. Paid about $700 & had from about 120k miles to 170k miles with almost no trouble (but knew the secret: FIAT engines has an oil slinger on the front of the crank - when filled with sludge, oil pressure goes bye-bye. Keep clean and is happy. On long trips (took through the Rockies) fifth would sing to me. Sold to buy Sunbird. If had room would not mind another.

 

flat.jpg

 

 

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1 hour ago, Locomobile said:

Oh that guy was an encyclopedia of how to's for efficiency and profits. Unfortunately that results in speeding production, cutting corners and cheaper materials. end result is lower quality product, but it's better than going out of business. There is an old saying that runs through the old big three but applies to any manufacturing business "Cheaper, better, faster, pick two of those, you cannot have all three".

"Cheaper and better" and "cheaper and faster" would seem to be oxymorons.  ;)

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I'm really surprised the Chevrolet Vega made this list. I had a 1971 Vega wagon that was the furthest from the worst  car. Of course, this was in 1977 and  I had just got thru putting a 300 HP 327 with a 350 turbo. This was still several years from being a normal thing with Vegas. Anyway it was arrest me red with the biggest doghouse scoop on the hood. I couldn't even see if there was anything in the right lane around my front passenger side fender. Got pulled several times ( I believe so the local cops could see if it was for real). Never got any tickets with this car tho. Messed up putting a shift kit in the trans as it would bark every time it shifted. Dang thing would fly. Sold it and recovered all my money plus !

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"several years from being a normal thing with Vegas" - Grumpy's Toy, 1972

Grumpys_Vega1972-vi.jpg

 

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Worst car I ever owned was a 1973 Chevelle SS.  Bought it new in August 1973.  It must have started to rust as soon as it went down the assembly line.  Weirdest problem was the time the inner wall of the exhaust pipe collapsed after going though a cold water puddle on the road.  Car made a weird whistling sound and would barely run.  Lucky for me my local garage guy had just recently had the same problem with his sisters 1973 Chevelle.  He had it back to normal in a short time.  Besides this problem there were numerous problems with small things failing and the trunk filling with water when it rained.  It went to a new home in 1977.  That is not my personal car in the picture but mine looked just like it.

 

A19B0709-8267-42CE-BB75-C9E8B29B11A1.jpeg

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

"several years from being a normal thing with Vegas" - Grumpy's Toy, 1972

Grumpys_Vega1972-vi.jpg

 

Nobody could make a Chevy move like Bill Jenkins.  AKA "Grumpy".

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On 1/22/2021 at 8:20 AM, Billy Kingsley said:

Although improbable, my lifelong love of all things automobile began with a Chevette.

 

Two or three years ago I encountered an older woman at a grocery store who had a 4 door Chevette, so I asked her about it. She said younger men were always coming up to her and asking her about the car. I'm guessing that's really true: if she'd been driving a '32 Ford hot rod, or '57 Chevy in standard street machine garb, a lot of people would look, but not bother with anything beyond that. Those cars are so common at car shows the "cruise" events that sometimes invade a city or town. But a worn Chevette daily driver is something you don't see every day. And for some reason you feel their owners might be more approachable. I actually felt sorry for the owner of a highly customized '57 Chevy at a car show who had the humbling misfortune of being parked next to a stock BMW Isetta. The BMW owner was swamped by people with questions about his car.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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Fiat's and Alfa's would both would be great cars for someone who lived in Arizona...  or the Sahara desert. I owned a couple of each , but they started composting almost as soon as the paint dried at the factory. 1960's and 70's Alfa's have shot up in price over the last 15 or 20 years, but Fiat's are still largely shunned by old car guy's.  If you can find a good 124 , they have a lot of merit. But strictly as a nice day car.

Greg

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1 hour ago, JamesR said:

I actually felt sorry for the owner of a highly customized '57 Chevy owner at a car show who had the humbling misfortune of being parked next to a stock BMW Isetta. 

 

Just like looking at Corvettes at a car show.  After the first 20 or so, they all look the same.  And we own one.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, padgett said:

Am I the only one who was there ?

"Pre-Iacocca" Chrysler was about to go bankrupt.

Chevette was not an Opel. It was the GM "T" body "world automobile" which included the Opel Kadett. Might as well call it an Isuzu. Friend had a T1000 Pontiac that was quite reliable. Same naming scheme that gave us the "G000LE"

Correct, a world automobile. Engineering from G.M. U.S.A., Isuzu, Holden, Opel, and last but maybe least Vauxhall no less.  

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6 hours ago, padgett said:

"1979 Fiat Pininfarina fuel injected convertible" 124 Spyder by any other name. Options included an automagic and a turbo.

 

I had a 1968 124 Spyder that was a really fun car, no AC but more vents than seen. Paid about $700 & had from about 120k miles to 170k miles with almost no trouble (but knew the secret: FIAT engines has an oil slinger on the front of the crank - when filled with sludge, oil pressure goes bye-bye. Keep clean and is happy. On long trips (took through the Rockies) fifth would sing to me. Sold to buy Sunbird. If had room would not mind another.

 

flat.jpg

 

 

So the moral to the story; change the oil and filter at a reasonable "mileage" or "time" ( whichever comes first) and you don't have to worry about sludge.

" Automobile" News and reviews May 2020 said this about the car and engine;

Lampredi Engine

While the 124 Sedan came standard with a pushrod inline-four, Fiat hired ex-Ferrari four-cylinder engine designer Aurelio Lampredi to create a new dual-overhead cam cylinder head to fit on a slightly modified 124 block. The belt-driven Fiat twin-cam engine that resulted was highly praised and went on to become a Fiat group staple, doing duty in Fiats, Lancias and even some Alfa Romeos into the 1990s. The engine also became the winningest engine of all time in the World Rally Championship.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

 

Just like looking at Corvettes at a car show.  After the first 20 or so, they all look the same.  And we own one.

LOL. You should know the feeling at an all Corvette show. I did however, win a 3rd place at an all Corvette show. 1st place to a 59 that was completely totaled, then restored to new, 2nd to a brand new 2018 with 4 miles on it. Then mine.  There were more than 120 cars there tho.

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100 black Buick GNs  all with automatics at Dennis' was worse.

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16 hours ago, TerryB said:

Worst car I ever owned was a 1973 Chevelle SS.  Bought it new in August 1973.  It must have started to rust as soon as it went down the assembly line.  Weirdest problem was the time the inner wall of the exhaust pipe collapsed after going though a cold water puddle on the road.  Car made a weird whistling sound and would barely run.  Lucky for me my local garage guy had just recently had the same problem with his sisters 1973 Chevelle.  He had it back to normal in a short time.  Besides this problem there were numerous problems with small things failing and the trunk filling with water when it rained.  It went to a new home in 1977.  That is not my personal car in the picture but mine looked just like it.

 

A19B0709-8267-42CE-BB75-C9E8B29B11A1.jpeg

Those are rather unusual issues. overall in the early 70's, GM full sized cars had it together and were producing some very good vehicles, early 70's Oldsmobile's were like tanks, unstoppable ones. Buicks too rolling 200k without a major repair. Yeah the chintzy plastic parts failed, but use of plastics on cars was still in it's infancy. Overall GM was building very good full size cars and trucks.

 

Everyone's cars rusted back then especially in salty roads areas, Ziebart was the only defense and it was only as good as the guy applying it.  Unfortunately many cars only received a bunch of holes in their bodies with yellow plugs and very little or no rustproofing.  A good indicator of the quality of the job was overspray all over everything meant they did it right.

 

-Ron

 

 

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My 1977 Nova Rally was everything the 1973 Chevelle was not.  Very little rust, better running and a much more simple under the hood layout.  It was replaced by a 1983 Camaro Z-28 that had its share of annoyances, like opening the rear hatch in rain or snow that dumped the moisture right in to the cargo area. Not a bad car but just full of little reminders things could have been done better.  At the time I bought the Z they were hard to find and were selling well.  It was the start of giving less attention to the fuel shortage issues of the 1970s.  V8s were cool to own again!

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Always really liked the Buick Centurion particularly the 72, great looking car. Rust and Disintegrating plastic affected everyone, just had to take steps to prevent.

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1973 was the year of rust you just didn’t know it yet. Very disappointing to own a new car that rusted out faster than it could be fixed.  Same for 1973 emissions choked cars, you didn’t know you were buying an experiment.  When you were considering buying the car the dealer said it was “the best”, when you went to trade it in in 1977, the dealer now said it was a bad year.  The mid 1970 Chevelles were better than the 1973s, but that was not much of a poor quality level to overcome.

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54 minutes ago, padgett said:

Always really liked the Buick Centurion particularly the 72, great looking car. Rust and Disintegrating plastic affected everyone, just had to take steps to prevent.

That was a real good car

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1 hour ago, TerryB said:

1973 was the year of rust

I remember it well, Ford and others were giving rebates for people to get their rust issues repaired. Wasn't it determined that cheap Chinese steel was the culprit, too much iron, not enough carbon, vanadium, manganese etc.?

 

That's about the same time some guy drove his new car up on the apron at world headquarters and burned it, right in front of Ford management. Those early 70's LTD's were grenades.

 

-Ron

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On 1/24/2021 at 9:24 AM, TerryB said:

My 1977 Nova Rally was everything the 1973 Chevelle was not.  Very little rust, better running and a much more simple under the hood layout.  It was replaced by a 1983 Camaro Z-28 that had its share of annoyances, like opening the rear hatch in rain or snow that dumped the moisture right in to the cargo area. Not a bad car but just full of little reminders things could have been done better.  At the time I bought the Z they were hard to find and were selling well.  It was the start of giving less attention to the fuel shortage issues of the 1970s.  V8s were cool to own again!

Of all the Novas and sisters ( Ventura-Phoenix, Omega, Apollo -Skylark made, from a engineering point of view the 75-79's were the best.

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" 75-79's were the best" - naaaw, none are better than the '74 GTO Camper Special with shaker hood.

donmckayWWaFirebirds.jpg

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5 hours ago, intimeold said:

 

OH MY GAWD,

 

I never knew this car was made!

Option on Nova/Vega, Omega too;

image.jpeg.d9f8f8ad30caf49108e720adcc019c8d.jpegOmega

image.jpeg.4568fd535507b2095b85a13b6b9dd400.jpegVega

 

73/74 Nova tent | Chevy Nova ForumOld Nova

 

Pin on Trucks, cars and other things75-79 nova

 

Hatchback Camper! 1975 Oldsmobile Omega1975 olds

 

 

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