Hammer Time: Big Hair Cars and Beemers

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

A few of my friends had their tongues hanging out. The year: 1984. The car: a brand new Toyota Celica Supra. It had the words ‘SUPRA’ in big bubble letters on the rear. Just in case you missed it. Pop-up headlights. Seats that actually had bolsters on them. A sunroof, and the very best AM/FM Cassette money could buy. My brother, that lucky and overachieving bastard, got it brand new as a thank you for the 4.0’s that would eventually land him in the world of radiology. After experiencing my very first “Holy Shit!” moment as a passenger (my folks were lifelong right lane drivers), and watching a five-speed shift for the first time, I was smitten. Later on that evening I watched my first Knight Rider and then all hell broke loose.

I started seeing cars for the first time. A lustful Camaro V8 driven by a Jersey guy with more gold chains than . . . well . . . any of my friends. A Datsun 280ZX with what seemed like a headlight design straight from Mars. Before this time the automobile had been nothing more than a big pillowy yawnbox. Early 80s Cadillacs, a Buick diesel, my grandpas 1974 Chevy Impala. They were eventually replaced with two Toyota Celica GTs, a 1st gen Acura Legend, and a Lincoln Mark VII. Although the cubist proportions and big letters denoting the model would become a thing of the past, the fun and reliability of these models would stay with me well into the 90s and beyond.

Of course, time, machines and aspirations move on. For example: a 1998 BMW 540i in dark blue with a 6-speed, leather, and an excellent history with 110k miles. Two owners. The second had bought it as a certified pre-owned vehicle. First three years spent in Virginia, the last eight in rust-free metro Atlanta. Michelin tires. Garage kept. A few scratches but otherwise a cream puff. Guess how much?

Steven Lang
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  • Mia Hey there!I recently stumbled upon the Crack Eraser DIY Windshield Repair Kit (check it out here: https://crackeraser.com/collections/diy-windshield-repair-kits) and decided to give it a shot on a small chip in my windshield. I have to say, it worked like a charm! Super easy to use, and it saved me a trip to the professionals. If you're dealing with a similar issue, this kit is definitely worth considering. 😊
  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.