By on July 4, 2016

2017 Shelby GT350

Make America Great Again! It’s a dynamite slogan, simultaneously implying that America has fallen a little short of greatness lately and that a return to said greatness can absolutely be accomplished in short order. It’s a winner’s slogan, and it did wonders for that noted repeat winner, Ronald Reagan. By contrast, “I’m With Her,” the current slogan of choice for Mrs. Clinton, sounds like something a henpecked live-in boyfriend would tell a too-inquisitive salesperson at the Pottery Barn.

Whether or not Mr. Reagan truly made America great again is a discussion for another time. I will say, for the record, that I am on a particular side of that discussion, and the quasi-musician known as “Jello Biafra” is on the other.

What cannot be denied, however, is that the Reagan era saw the arrival of some truly great American cars. The C4 Corvette and its third-gen F-body cousin. The 225-horsepower Mustang GT. The Dodge Rampage 2.2. The list goes on and on, although you wouldn’t think that it does from the fact that I got to the Rampage 2.2 so quickly. I would also definitely include the Plymouth Turismo 2.2 in the list, although it would be after the Rampage because the Rampage had more cargo capacity.

Could a Trump presidency spur another era of great American cars? Or would Mrs. Clinton be the right choice to unleash a new generation of “superpredator” sports cars on the American public? While we wait for the American motor-voter to decide, let’s take a look at some of the current lows, and highs, in the domestic-brand arsenal of democracy.

Some American cars are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them, and some of them are not great at all. Many of the vehicles in the latter category are made by Cadillac. Put the V-Series cars aside for a moment; most of them have been great factory hot rods in the best American tradition, even if they weren’t particularly good at delivering what the public expected from an automobile that bore the wreath and crest.

1979 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

What was the last new Cadillac that truly delivered what the customer wanted without excuses or compromise? I’m thinking it was probably the 1979 Eldorado, which set the sales charts on fire and was completely unashamed about being a razor-edged front-wheel-drive personal luxury coupe. That fine vehicle made its debut 38 years ago around this time, which means that slightly more than half of the Americans who are alive today cannot remember a time when Cadillac fielded a competitive luxury car.

Surely this can be fixed. My suggestion: Take the “Art & Science” F-117 Nighthawk styling out back and shoot it in the head. Make Cadillacs long, low, wide, and unapologetically flashy. Give the cars names, and the more dangerous or titillating the name the better. How about a 210-inch-long sleek sedan called the “Cadillac Indulgence Brougham”? Some people would laugh, but they’re already laughing at “CT6”, and at least they’d remember the Indulgence Brougham.

2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum and 300S, Image: FCA

Truth be told, the Chrysler 300C HEMI is a better Cadillac than any of the actual Cadillacs on the market. Perhaps that’s because FCA has neglected their small cars for so long. Compass. Patriot. Dart. Even the Chrysler 200, as much as I personally like it, isn’t winning the hearts and minds of anyone. In order to buy a compelling product from Chrysler or Dodge, you need to step up to the rear-wheel-drive sedans or the new Pacifica. This is all well and good as long as gasoline is $2/gallon. Since we all know that won’t continue forever, it’s absolutely disgraceful for FCA to have such lackluster small-and-medium-vehicle offerings.

At least FCA has the excuse of not trying very hard. Ford took a very good car — the incomparable Flex — and turned it into the loathsome Explorer. It’s probably fair to say that no nameplate currently on the market has quite the uninterrupted history of cynical crappiness that the Explorer has maintained since 1992 or so. First it was a Ranger four-door. Then it was a Ranger four-door that rolled over and killed people. Then it was a bland box that seemed to be made entirely of plastic. Finally, it was a fat-assed Flex with a cavern-dark interior that seems to specialize in having interior space without any corresponding notion of spaciousness. The current customers for the Explorer? Police, idiots, and idiotic police. Meanwhile, the Flex has gone eight years without a significant upgrade. Inexcusable.

Alright. Enough sour grapes. Not all American cars are bad. Some are brilliant. Take, for example, the Toyota Camry. No, it’s not a domestic brand, but it’s chock-full of American content and it has set the standard in the mid-sized sedan segment since 1986 or thereabouts. The 1995 Camry was one of the finest cars in history. The new one is also very good. Try the XSE trim.

There is, however, no escaping the fact that the Camry is an immigrant. If you want a good American sedan with traditional American roots, why not consider the aforementioned Chrysler 300C? It’s the most American of cars, being a vague relative of both the Eagle (Renault) Premier and the W210 Mercedes-Benz, built in a Commonwealth country by a firm under Italian control. It’s all very melting-pot, and the funny thing is that it absolutely works. The first two generations of the car had the right attitude but it took the most recent revision to get the interior correct and to give you the option of matching the most luxurious equipment levels with the perfectly satisfactory Pentastar V6. The only way the car could be substantially better would be if you could get a 300C Hellcat. Call it America’s answer to the E63 AMG.

The Ford Mustang is a vehicle to which Europe has no answer, which might be why it’s lighting up sales charts in both the EU and Britain. It could stand to be a few hundred pounds lighter, but as a supple GT or manic GT350 there’s enough power to make the weight almost irrelevant. The chassis stands up to comparison with the very best from overseas, the interior is decent, and the price is right. It might be the best American car in history, combining the traditional virtues of the rear-wheel-drive ponycar with a modern approach to refinement and quality.

Unless, of course, the Corvette, in naturally-aspirated C7 Stingray guise, is the best American car in history. Like the Mustang, it keeps all of its predecessors’ virtues while significantly ameliorating their faults. It’s effortlessly fast and taut like the original C4 Z51, but it also has tolerable interior noise levels. You can get it with a tinted transparent roof in the best Boogie Nights tradition, but you can also choose a solid top, a restrained color combination, and a set of Competition seats that match the best from Porsche. It will do a 100 racetrack laps in an afternoon at a pace to break the heart of every BMW ever made, without boiling over; it will also carry you from New York to San Diego nearly as well as a Jaguar XF would. It can be serviced anywhere in the country and, if you don’t go crazy with the options, it is eventually affordable for a disciplined saver earning slightly above the median American income. It’s so good that it makes you wonder why GM can’t make all of its cars to the same standard.

Last but not least, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the American car with the largest heart, the one that most truly approaches greatness in the classical sense of being exemplary but not without flaws. This is the last year for the Dodge Viper, at least for now. Since its introduction 28 years ago, the Viper has been outrageous and restrained by turns. It has failings that any child or moron could point out, and it has dynamic qualities that only the most subtle and capable of drivers can dream of touching. There is nothing like it for sale from any other manufacturer anywhere in the world. It is unique, solitary, exceptional. Quintessentially American. So if your favorite candidate wins the election this year, you could do worse than to celebrate by placing a last-call order for a Viper. It’s the greatest American car of all.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

346 Comments on “Let’s Make American Cars Great Again, While Remembering That Some American Cars Are Already Great...”


  • avatar

    OK, as someone who was there, the cars of 1979 basically sucked compared to today.

    The 300 hp coming out of my V6 would shame most “musclecars” back in the day. While I have a generational soft spot for the puking chicken T/A, my brother’s 72 Bird with 455 would crap all over one. 403 Old engines….really ?

    We put turbos on Sciroccos to make them wake up.

    Yugos were sold in stores.

    I have two cars in the driveway that 0-60 under 7 seconds, and neither of them is an exotic or out of the price range of a middle class person. Hell, minivans can do this. When the Dodge GLH did this 7.5 sec from the showroom, the enthusiast press thought it was running 12 second quarter miles.

    Agreed on Caddy. Wimping out, NOT building the Ciel, or Elmiraj, was a crucial clutch during a big play. The naming system, or lack thereof, shows a big conference room problem at GM. Names, please….

    Drive a few Olds Cutlass Supreme from the era, (enjoy the factory cross phased speakers) toss in a Toyota Corolla, (crank those windows up), and for giggles, find a 300 ZX 2+2 with full luxury.

    No, today is “the good old days”, provided you aren’t fighting with a check engine light.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      I celebrated by hitching a ride in a friend’s 1974 Delta 88 Royale – almost everything factory original but the tires and the belts and gaskets. Sub 30k miles – was in a nice heated barn.

      It was sublime. Everyone who talks about engine note these days is just trying to pretend that anything today can reproduce the rumble of a Rocket 455 V8. Nothing today comes close.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “as someone who was there, the cars of 1979 basically sucked compared to today”

      Well time and technology has a way of doing that. 40 years hence speed law III will say the same ” I was there, the cars of 2016 sucked! My 1000 hp ( 250 hp at each electric motor at the wheel ) EV commuter with its super grippy gimbol mounted wheels can literally climb walls around that junk from 40 years ago”.

    • 0 avatar
      Shinoda is my middle name

      The lack of vehicle names don’t seem to be hurting sales of the C-Class, 3-Series or ES350 one bit.

      If you build a better mouse-trap….er…..sedan, the world will still beat a path to your door.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Oh, please.

    I come to this site to *escape* politics, not to be trolled by it.

    One of the things I like about this community is that I have something in common with people who I don’t see eye to eye with on political matters. And that’s a good thing. Please don’t trade in the things that make this community great for a short term bump in clicks.

    But the intro to this post is literally asking for a polorizing showdown.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      I don’t think that the car industry will be front of mind for either Trump or Clinton

      • 0 avatar

        The auto Industry is one of America’s best exports.

        I would personally open up trade with Cuba and Iran- selling them American built products to put my country back to work while spreading my benevolence and good will to the people we wanted to nuke not less than 60 years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The only president in the last 40 years with the guts to open relations with Cuba and Iraq is currently in office.

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            You meant to say Iran. He’s being played every step of the way. May he enjoy playing golf and a peaceful retirement.

            And we are living in the Golden Age of the automobile. The trick is to look past the numbers in search of cars that fully engage the driver.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ” He’s being played every step of the way.”

            However, you- some guy on the internet- you have your finger on the pulse of international politics.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatist

            Google Ben Rhodes

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          BigTrucks,
          “The auto Industry is one of America’s best exports.”

          WTF?

          So, what vehicles are exported that are from a US manufacturer?

          BMW SUVs/CUVs, some Toyota Highlanders/Klugers?

          Those piece of sh!t FCA/Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge products?

          So far I’d expect the new Mustang to be the best vehicle out of the US. How many of them are exported?

          America’s greatest exports is tech products, aerospace products, food products and a few minerals, service industry products, etc.

          You really live in a different world. Why don’t you look at reality Big Trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @Big Al: We’ve exported a few auto plants to Mexico

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Surely media is a top US export. Media coverage of the insane US political system garners worldwide attention regularly.

            Also the Kardashians!

          • 0 avatar
            Eyeflyistheeye

            Since you’ve reverted to BAFO, let me just say this. Australia could never make a car without another country’s help, whether it be the United States, Japan or England.

            All of your beloved Holdens and FPV products couldn’t have existed without the United States and its auto industry.

            But I’ll let you have your fun, after all, it must be heartbreaking that aside from Ford and GM, Toyota and Mitsubishi pulled out of Australian engineering and production when they had the chance. When it comes to automobiles, Australia was second-class at best at engineering and barely acceptable at manufacturing.

            The only truly world-class cars Australia ever made were the VE and VF Commodore and the seventh-generation Falcons, in which its best versions were powered by American-designed engines.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        Agreed. The one hasn’t driven a car for twenty-some years, and I’ll bet the other also spends more of his time in the back seat too. I am not even sure if any reporter in the coming campaign will ask either of them any questions about the auto industry.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      Not trying to be churlish but Autoweek has pretty pictures of cars. It’s a fee site so you get what you pay for & the post was identified as an editorial.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe you should lay off TTAC till November?

      TRUMP IS GOING TO WIN.

      Between personal scandals, Bill’s alleged misconduct, Sander’s disaffected supporters and islamic terrorist activities between now and November- Trump is going to tear Hillary apart like warm bread.

      When he’s done it will have been a crime just to know her.

      • 0 avatar
        360joules

        Happy 4th of July to you BTSR. My county on the Left Coast is one of the last to allow nearly unrestricted fireworks. Unless it’s a tactical nuke your firework is legal. Taped a a HELLCAT sign on my biggest mortar.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @BTSR:

        “Maybe you should lay off TTAC till November?”

        Yes, maybe I should.

        “TRUMP IS GOING TO WIN.”

        If the election were held today, there’s a 78.1% chance that Hillary Clinton would win:
        http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast
        (The chance comes mostly from carrying margin of error through all of the calculations in their computer model of the US electoral system.)

        Of course, many things could happen between now and November – but, if Tue election were held today, Trump probably would not win.

        I’m not going to go out and buy a Hellcat, either. A minivan suits my taste way better.

        Anyway, I can talk politics in great detail. I just don’t want to on this board.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          So you’re saying there’s a chance…

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Even if that poll is completely unbiased, that is still better odds of Trump winning than the Cavaliers had when they were down three games to one.

            If you are for Hillary I hope you believe she will win by a landslide, and stay home and watch TV Nov 8.

            But if you are a Trump supporter, get out there no matter what, and take as many of your friends to the polls with you as you can.

            What was that line from the movie Network:: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it!”.

      • 0 avatar
        philipwitak

        re: “…Trump is going to tear Hillary apart like warm bread.”

        DONALD T RUMP IS AN ASS.

        hillary rodham clinton’s gonna kick ass!

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        Not for nothing, but there are also some things that could happen to Trump between now and then. I’ll offer you but one example:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/why-the-new-child-rape-ca_b_10619944.html

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        We don’t have to wait for November to know the outcome of the election. From NYT: “The FBI director James B Comey on Tuesday said “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information as secretary of state.”

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Maybe, but I’ve seen many careers end over it versus getting a big promotion.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          The old “no true Scotsman” fallacy reappears, just in time for Clinton.

          Do you think that the FBI would let me go through my house, throw out everthing that I deemed personal, and only then search my house if they had a warrant?

          Because that is completely analogous to what Hillary did with her emails.

          And a career senior exec dismisses the work of his staff, and hands Hillary a pass, in order to protect his job and his reputation as a trustworthy inside-the-Beltway player.

          When this kind of thing happens in the developing world, we call it evidence of total corruption.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Supposedly they went through both present and past servers as well as looked at all deleted emails. How much weight that bears depends on how much one trusts the FBI, I suppose.

            The thing that bothers me most about yesterday’s speech was how often terms such as “grossly negligent” and “extremely careless” and “reckless” were used to describe Clintons actions.

            If she can’t be trusted with top secret information, intentional or not, she has no business serving as an elected official much less the POTUS.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      You weren’t forced to read it. To paraphrase Steve Harvey- Yo’ mouse wheel go up, and it go down. So please get to using it when you see something you don’t want to read.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You could just have scrolled by his complaint.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “You weren’t forced to read it. To paraphrase Steve Harvey- Yo’ mouse wheel go up, and it go down. So please get to using it when you see something you don’t want to read.”

        True.

        But I like this community enough that I’d rather speak up in an attempt to make it better.

        And, to that end, I think it should be a politics-free zone, at last as far as partisan identity politics goes.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m pretty much in agreement about making this a politics-free zone. As a lefty, I truly enjoy being able to converse amicably on cars with people with different politics from my own.

          However, I can’t help saying that while I will probably vote–very reluctantly–for Clinton (would have voted much more enthusiastically for Sanders) I absolutely loath the “I’m with her” crap. Every time some friend of mine posts that stuff on fb, I want to toss my cookies.

          I also think the presidency is overrated in the conventional wisdom in terms of what it can accomplish. The Green Party would do much better to run people for state offices than to run my friend and neighbor, Jill Stein, for president.

          • 0 avatar

            The automotive industry isn’t a politics-free zone.

            What makes you think automotive website should be?

            “Politics free” is a status the Sanders supporters who finally figured out he has already been passed over for Hillary want – simply because they don’t win with either existing candidate and if Trump gets in the level of butthurt will be so great it will be like an infinite gravitational collapse of event-horizon-level butthurt to the 1 billionth power.

            Baruth and Stevenson know exactly what they are doing.

            Frankly, I could take Stevenson, Baruth, Dykes and myself and pretty much recreate the American TOP GEAR and actually make it work.

            Stevenson gets to be “the Stig” – but we are going to do STREET RACING rather than track racing.

            Tracks are BORING.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “making this a politics-free zone.”

            David C. Holzman, that would be impossible to do since politics is such an integral part of the auto-universe.

            Politics is what controls, governs and steers the automakers in America.

        • 0 avatar
          statikboy

          +1 Luke42

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “But I like this community enough that I’d rather speak up in an attempt to make it better.”

          it’s a bit presumptuous to assume that “what you want” is the same as “better.”

          • 0 avatar

            Ya got that right JimZ.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @Jim Z:

            My sentiment when it comes to keeping the politics to a minimum is pretty common. You’ll see it on just about every post like this — I just wrote faster than most.

            There are lots of places to have a political argument when you’re in the mood. There are fewer refuges which offer thought provoking discourse without a lot of political BS.

            It’s very easy to lose respect for people when they say something foolish about politics or wedge issues (like gun control).

  • avatar
    omer333

    Third-gen Camaros were absolute garbage.

    But I am in agreement that Cadillac needs actual names fir their cars and FCA should have some sort of small car offering that doesn’t suck.

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      The IROC Z was a long way from “garbage”.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        I hate to rain on your Fourth of July Parade, but GM in the Eighties made AWFUL cars. Me and my family had many examples of these crapboxes; I mean, the HVAC controls in the Cavalier, Camaro, Century T-Type, S10, Blazer, Seville, Sedan DeVille, El Camino, and Monte Carlo were all the same. Not to mention the shoddy build quality in every car, and weak-sauce engines like the early attempts at cylinder-deactivation that was used in the Seville, and those stupid electric carbs that were on the 305, 307, and 350; it seemed like GM couldn’t figure out modern fuel-injection until they had the tuned-port-injection cars of around circa 1988, and even then they screwed up the 454.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I distinctly remember someone here commenting once on…some article (Junkyard Find maybe?) that 3rd gen F-bodies were literally glued together and the glue failing is what sends them on a downward spiral. But I could always be wrong.

          I’ve never liked the look of the 87-93 Mustang so I’d rather have an IROC-Z and an aftermarket catalog.

        • 0 avatar

          I’ll never forget all the body trim flying off the passenger side of my brand new 1985 Suburban the first time I drove it through an automatic car wash. I almost had a stroke.

          If I’d known all the other problems I was about to have I’d have just considered that the omen it was.

          You would think that a company with the number of engineers GM had back then could design a damned door handle mechanism for the back door that didn’t require the dealer to take it apart and replace the whole thing every 60 days.

          I could go on but that’s just a couple of the more obvious poor design and cheap material decisions GM was making back then.

        • 0 avatar
          Chicanery

          1985 Corvettes had TPI, just sayin…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Indeed you are correct, I didn’t know this. I would have thought it was MY86 and TBI.

            “Beginning in 1985, the 230 bhp (170 kW) L98 engine with tuned port fuel injection became the standard engine.[4]”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette

          • 0 avatar
            j3studio

            That would be correct. Drove my 1985 on Saturday.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            And 88 Vettes had analog dashes…which a former project manager I used to work for crowed about as being so much more modern than the analog dash in my 88 Thunderbird SportCoupe.

            Until his analog dash went out within a year after his warranty expired, setting him back over $2000 worth of those relatively pre-inflationary dollars.

            Then it was “blankety-blank GM electronics” instead.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      They really were. The Mustang was built A LOT better than the Camaro in that era.

      What I hated about those Camaros and any 2 door GM car of that era is that the doors were 8 feet long, weighed 400 lbs, and the hinges couldn’t support them so they dropped down when you opened the door and you had to SLAM the hell out of them to close them.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        +1. I love the Iroc, but had a fox body 5.0. It was screwed together so much better than the Camaro or Bird’.

        • 0 avatar
          nels0300

          The other thing that sucked about the 3rd gen F bodies was that you couldn’t get a manual transmission with the 350, only the 305 and the 305 was a turd.

          Might not have been the prettiest, but the Mustang LX 5.0L notchback with a manual transmission was the best pony car of the 80s / early 90s. Light, stiffer body than hatchbacks, and sweet looking stainless steel dual exhausts.

          • 0 avatar
            Shipwright

            This is exactly why I, as die hard GM fan, in 1988 walked away from GM when it was time to buy my first new car. I couldn’t understand why GM would saddle its top of the line IROC Z Camaro with the350 CID engine with an automatic transmission only. I ended up buying an ’88 Mustang GT (manual transmission of course) and never looked back. Looking back it seems I made the right choice.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Possibly the worst offense EVER by any manufacturer was the passenger side floor board hump on the F body.

            Like they couldn’t figure out how to route the exhaust any freakin better.

            I still remember the first shotgun ride I ever had (was actually a Firehawk). I was so appalled I couldn’t even enjoy the ride my friend was so proudly giving me.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If a Fox body was better built than your car, you know your car must be total garbage.

          The third-gen Camaros are gorgeous. They are also complete crap. Those things are not mutually exclusive.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      that’s just it. the Dart *doesn’t* suck. it suffers from three things:

      1) Dodge had been w/o a credible C-segment car for so long everyone forgot about them. 6 years of the Caliber will do that.

      2) the launch was absolutely fumbled by building too many nonsensically-equipped cars.

      3) marketing-wise, FCA practically denied its existence.

      then, the useless auto-journos see that it’s foundering, so to get their wobble on they pick on it as a safe whipping boy, so they can appear “unbiased” because they can hold up a car as one they *don’t* praise effusively.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        Exactly right, JimZ. And, frankly, unless one needs gobs of rear-seat room, the 200 ain’t bad, either. Just put a different automatic in it.

      • 0 avatar

        While waiting for the insurance settlement on the totaled Fit, I rented a Dart recently and the worst thing you can say about it is that it’s not the best car in its class. When I reviewed it I found the 2 liter to be a dog but the 2.4 GT I drove was fine, a bit stiffly riding for American tastes perhaps, but nothing terribly wrong. There are some very talented people working in Auburn Hills, but while the Dart isn’t a bad car, they botched the launch and marketing badly.

        Then, Marchionne shot himself in the foot (or, to use a continental analogy, made an own goal) when he publicly slagged the 200 designers and then announced they were going to kill the 200 and Dart. Yeah, let’s make sure current owners experience more depreciation, that’s the ticket. In an industry where “we don’t discuss future product plans” is a mantra, I can’t understand Sergio’s actions vis a vis the Dart and 200.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          Ronnie, the Italians have never been able to figure out the American market. Even when we give them the money to try. The analogy would be Bark’s self-anointed “dealer plate”, along side the other brothers’ bombast. Who says you can’t print your own reviews?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Have you driven a 2016 Civic? That would show you just how far behind the Dart is in class.

          Even the new Cruze feels 20 years newer.

          I’d include the Focus as well if it weren’t for the horrible dual-clutch.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        My view of the Dart is slanted since I’m a former Dart owner.

        One of my co-workers told me that when he sees a Dart on a tow truck he thinks of me.

  • avatar
    focaltac

    Not to start a political pissing match on a car forum….

    I don’t side with Jello Biafra either, but Rancid Ronnie was an empty suit who got voters to back him because, like someone running today with the same party, he told them what they wanted to hear. He was only a front man for a shameless cadre of smash-and-grab trickle-down supply-siders and we’ll never stop paying for it.

    As Dale Bumpers replied when somebody asked him what he thought of the Reagan ‘economic miracle’ “let me pass 200 billion in hot checks and I’ll show you a good time too”.

    Happy Independence Day, my paisanos.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Without getting into JB’s growing Trumpian habit of saying inflammatory things just because (at least he’s more interesting and skilled with language than Mr. “I have the best words”), was the ’79 Eldorado really some great, no compromise car? Is it just because it just predates the Cadillac Diesel/V8-6-4/4100 Axis of Awful that would end up in that car in a year or two? Because in that case, I feel like the 90s STS at least deserves a minor pass. It seemed pretty well liked until we realized that the Northstar was designed with the express intent of keeping Caddy service departments profitable and busy for a decade.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      I think the 79 El Dorado was Cadillac’s last attempt at Baroque 60’s & 70’s proportions. Subsequent Eldorado’s and Sevilles had either shorter snouts or more balanced front & back proportions whether FWD or RWD. Lincoln developed the big luxury personal coupe idea longer into the Mark VIII but it was more balanced in hood/trunk proportions throughout its run.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “I think the 79 El Dorado was Cadillac’s last attempt at Baroque 60’s & 70’s proportions.”

        Cadillac Brougham (built until ’92) or the Fleetwood Brougham (’96)?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          ’93 to ’96 was just Fleetwood. “Fleetwood Brougham” was what the Brougham was called before 1987.

          1977-86: Fleetwood Brougham
          1987-92: Brougham
          1993-96: Fleetwood

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            Actually there was also a 1993-96 Fleetwood Brougham in addition to the standard Fleetwood. It was basically a 1993-96 Fleetwood with a vinyl roof on it. The Fleetwood Broughams of the 1960s were also just Fleetwood Sixty Specials with vinyl roofs and various other extras. At some point in the early 1970s they all became Fleetwood Broughams and the basic Fleetwood Sixty Special was discontinued.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        Eh, the next two generations of Eldorado still kept similar proportions (especially the direct follow-up, which just carried on the downsizing trend the ’79 started). And if we’re honest, the great Cadillacs of the 50s and 60s had both hoods and trunks you could land a Cessna on,so I’m not even sure I buy it being a matter of proportions.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “..a Viper. It’s the greatest American car of all.”

    You don’t have to like either Vipers or America to agree with that. And the Viper certainly is just as obsolete.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Maybe I am missing the point of this article but all this talk about American cars and no mention of Tesla? Seems strange…

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Elio got the E1a prototype out. They’ve now surpassed a range of vaporware makers by producing something that has working windshield wipers. In three months, they’ll be more tangible than Tucker when they do their limited run for Pep Boys.

      • 0 avatar

        I was at the Elio E1A reveal and have a report on it in the pipeline. More significant than working windshield wipers is that fact that they’re building the E series prototypes with what appears to be an almost production ready unibody, not tube space frames like with their earlier prototypes.

        At this point it’s all a question of money. If they can raise the $200 million or so they need, I don’t see any reason why they won’t start production. Then the market will decide. In a new passenger vehicle market of 15 to 17 million units a year, the target that Elio is aiming for, 250,000/year, is almost a niche.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “..no mention of Tesla?”

      Heh… the fanboy Minutemen are always on duty!

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The Model 3 is the most interesting American car (to me) in decades.

        So interesting that we actually plan to buy one, and have put $1k down for a place in line.

        There’s nothing the big 2.5 makes that is as close to getting my actual new-car money.

        • 0 avatar
          TonyJZX

          I think Tesla the company, Elon the CEO are infinitely more interesting than the car itself.

          Tesla is the great American fairy tale company.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Tesla is the great American fairy tale company.”

            Couldn’t agree more.

          • 0 avatar

            Tesla just proves that when government subsidizes something you get more of it.

            Electric vehicles
            Drugs
            Illegitimate children…

            It also proves that “subsidy capture is real”.

            I invested in Tesla and the return was YUUUUUGE.

            Tesla is making my monthly statement great again!

            Imagine if the government invested in an All Wheel Drive HELLCAT with 2000 HP using NASA-grade materials to reduce weight to 3000 pounds.

            It can be done.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “I invested in Tesla and the return was YUUUUUGE.

            Tesla is making my monthly statement great again!”

            Have you thought of selling? If you got in at 30, you have obviously made an outstanding return, but you have made nothing in 2.5 years, will likely never receive a dividend, and are continually having your shares diluted by Elon so he can do things like divert your capital to keep his failing enterprises afloat.

      • 0 avatar
        John

        The DKs or The Minutemen – you decide!!!

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The problem with Tesla is that they are doing the kind of stuff that made America great in the first place. This clashes with the dominant narrative telling us that America isn’t great.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Tesla… are doing the kind of stuff that made America great in the first place”

        Again, an ambiguous statement adaptable by all.

        Respect Flim-Flam Man!

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Science, technology, enterprise, doing stuff that most think can’t be done, taking a gamble instead of playing it safe, embracing new ideas, not being paralyzed by the fear of failure.

          That’s all stuff you need to contain if you want an electorate with low self-esteem.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The problem with Tesla is that they are doing the kind of stuff that made America great in the first place.”

        Are you trying to say that the marketing is better than the product and that it doesn’t work quite as well as it should?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      because Tesla fans (by and large) aren’t interested in cars, they’re interested in Tesla. anecdotally I’ve noticed that a Venn diagram of “Tesla Fans” and “SpaceX Fans” is very nearly a single circle.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        How does the Venn diagram correspond to that of current or former Apple fans?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          some intersection, but I won’t venture a guess at how much.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            I won’t either, but I will say that the same sort of unthinking, credulous enthusiasm infects a significant portion of both fanbases.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Teslas are bought as a total fashion accessory. They’re for the guy with all the latest Apple gadgets who needs something to spend his money on. They’re $80k iPhones on wheels.

            They are the Hummers of this decade. Someone who actually wants to “Save the Planet” or have low running costs will buy a Prius, just like how someone who actually wanted the utility/space of a large vehicle would buy a Suburban or HD pickup instead of a Hummer.

        • 0 avatar
          Chicanery

          I dunno — I’ve been an Apple user since the late 80s but can’t get into the Tesla. Then again, I grew up in an era of throaty V-8s and will never love the sound of an electric car going by, no matter how quick or fast it is.

          Hail to the hydrocarbon burner! *bowing*

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    As Sammy said, ’79 will be the end of the road if you want horsepower overload.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Chrysler would not have been making cars during the Reagan administration had it not been been bailed out by the Carter administration.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I love that Jack loves Camrys.

    To be an auto journalist and like the Camry is almost trolling, and to declare it one of the best American autos on the 4th of July is extra double trolling! (to certain people)

    Curious why the 1995 Camry out of all Camrys?

    I thought the 1992-1994 baby Lexus LS Camrys were the best Camrys.

    I have a 2014.4 Camry, which is certainly NOT the best Camry, but I love pointing out and find it hilarious that it runs 14 second quarter miles at over 100 mph. :)

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      The real disconnect is that most *serious* automotive journalists are enthusiasts, and their readers are as well. what we care about in a car is almost completely disconnected from the average car buyer. At least we here at TTAC try to acknowledge that and look for some of the qualities of a mainstream car, unlike the skinny-jeans-and-horn-rimmed-glasses crowd at Jalopnik who don’t understand that “I’d totally buy one*” isn’t enough to convince the car makers to build your brown diesel Miata station wagon with a manual trans.

      * used, in 3 or 4 years, if I can get my parents to co-sign the loan.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I’m not going to answer for Jack but my guess is 1995 was the 1st year of the facelifted ’92-’96 peak Camry. The Camry XSE is a great blend of luxury and less-numb handling….

  • avatar

    CHRYSLER 300 SRT
    Dodge CHARGER
    Dodge Challenger
    Jeep SRT

    AMERICA WILL ALWAYS BE #1 because this country gives people FREEDOM .

    Though liberals try to restrict America to make it lame like the bottom-rest-of-the-world, This great nation WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT DOWN.

    U.S. Vs. Them

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      BTSR: According to most international standards the citizens of the USA no longer live in the ‘society with the most freedom’. With National Security monitoring calls and e-mails, incessant screening at airports, restrictions at the borders, citizens being denied the opportunity to vote, etc the USA since 9-11 has fallen behind a number of other nations.

      Being able to carry around a concealed handgun does not equate with freedom.

      Sorry to my American cousins but the increased fear brought on by media and certain politicians has forced the citizens of the U.S. into accepting a quasi-fortress mentality. Check out how many terrorist acts have been conducted by foreign born people, and how many Americans have died in the USA from terrorist attacks conducted by foreign groups. The actual threat is negligible. The government has once again taken to using a cannon to try and kill a fly.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        ” According to most international standards the citizens of the USA no longer live in the ‘society with the most freedom’. With National Security monitoring calls and e-mails, incessant screening at airports, restrictions at the borders, citizens being denied the opportunity to vote, etc the USA since 9-11 has fallen behind a number of other nations.”

        Just ask Will McAvoy about that…

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “The actual threat is negligible.”

        And that’s not by accident. Let’s keep it that way.

      • 0 avatar

        ” According to most international standards ”

        I DON’T CARE WHAT “they” THINK.

        People vote WITH THEIR FEET.

        Tell them to STOP COMING HERE and make THEIR OWN COUNTRY GREAT AGAIN.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          if we want them to “make their countries great,” maybe we should take our f***king boots off of their necks.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Agreed. Then the first thing they’ll do is go back to slaughtering each other and solve the problem themselves.

            Pst.. don’t shop during ramadan.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          And with one exception their feet are taking them to Northern Europe, Canada and Australia rather than the USA.

          Do agree that our immigration policies often rob emerging nations of their most capable people, exacerbating their problems.

          Also agree that American Top Gear might just work with BTSR, the Baruth Brothers and 28Cars (to preach old school American iron).

          And even agree that the auto industry owes as much to politics as it does to engineering. Just look at how much different governments have invested in car companies.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      BTSR,
      If you are going to mention cars as reasons America is #1, please mention American cars built by American companies. None of these imports qualifies.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The future of American vehicles is stuff like the Buick Encore, twin-charged hybrid trucks, and 120 month auto loans.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “Art and Science” was the worst thing to ever happen to Cadillac.

    Why? Because folks in HQ figured new styling meant they could compete with BMW.

    News flash GM; Cadillac ain’t a premium brand anymore. They haven’t been for decades.To younger shoppers of European iron, Cadillac is a rich man’s Buick. No one cares about CTS Nurburgring times because why buy a domestic copy of the real thing , when you can buy the Real Thing ?

    Get back to basics. Discontinue everything that even looks remotely like it came from Europe, and make RWD Old People coupes and sedans again. Cadillac should be the poor man’s Bentley, instead of a Xerox’d BMW with a crappier engine.

    FCA just needs to start over. Discontinue BTSRs precious Hellcat and the Mopar lineup, and make what they haven’t built for years as well: solid and reliable cars. Only Ze Germans can get away with making end of lease repair time bomb cars. At this point a used Yugo is an equal risk with a used Chrysler 200.

    Given the Italian management and lack of capital for product improvements plus entrenched UAW staffing costs, I won’t be holding my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      GM should let the trucks guys run the truck division (if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it); the Escalade guys should make Cadillac brash, bold, and unapologetically American; put the Corvette guys in charge of the rest of GM’s vehicles. Share as much of the Corvettes goodness and engineering across the GM car line; instead of being ass-backwards about it. FCA is on cruise control until Elkann can sell Jeep to someone and shut down what is left of Mopar. The Agnellis control Fiat and it’s associated brands. Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa,Chyrsler; I’d say Mopar would be teh 1st to go?

  • avatar
    KevinB

    Plymouth Turismo 2.2? I owned one. It was a POS. Two broken clutch cables, two broken shift linkages, and after 10K miles it rattled like a car with 150K miles. No thanks. The worst car purchase I ever made.

  • avatar

    If Trump’s presidency beats back these godammmned communists and liberal loons and creates a new breed of 1000 HP SUPERPREDATOR SRT vehicles with Black, Red and GOLD KEYS…

    …I will personally fight to repeal the 22nd Amendment and keep him President till he dies in office.

    • 0 avatar

      The ice on which you skate is very, very thin.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Since so many of Trump’s followers seek a father figure to guide them and tell them what to think; they have no concept that there are people who DO NOT think like them and in fact, are quite capable of thinking for themselves. Trump’s rabid followers are also quite unaware of the almost palpable homoerotic masochism they exude.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        NOW the ice is thin? When is the management of this website going to once and for all take away the bully’s pulpit?

        • 0 avatar
          John

          If it wasn’t for BTSR, this story would have about 11 comments – he is the best thing to happen to TTAC – ever!!! You really expect them to kill the goose that lays golden eggs?

          • 0 avatar

            “If it wasn’t for BTSR, this story would have about 11 comments – he is the best thing to happen to TTAC – ever!!! You really expect them to kill the goose that lays golden eggs?”

            Your comment truly made me let out a belly aching laugh. I’m sitting here watching “The Godfather epic” whilst checking commentary for updates.

            TTAC – hand in hand with me – would be the most viewed automotive website on all the internet.

            Our Youtube presence would be a thing of global shock & awe.

            Car & Driver…Motor Trend… Road & track…

            I would bring them ALL to their KNEES.

          • 0 avatar
            Jimal

            Except that the comments are rarely about the topic at hand. Just because people are cheering on the the guy who runs on the field during the game doesn’t mean he made the game better.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “Except that the comments are rarely about the topic at hand. Just because people are cheering on the the guy who runs on the field during the game doesn’t mean he made the game better.”

            Exceptionally well-put.

          • 0 avatar

            Orenwolf

            ATTENTION = MONEY

            Whether you’re Bach or Kim Kardashian

            ATTENTION = MONEY.

            Under my leadership TTAC would have so much money coming in they’d be like:

            O NO BIGTRUCKSERIESREVIEW – NO MORE MONEY – We’ve got NO PLACE to store ALL THIS MONEY!!!

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf
    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      BTSR…you and Trump are two peas in a pod…loud, obnoxious, clueless, New Yorkers…..LOCNYERS, you guys even have new acronym

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Disagree with Jack re: the ’79 Eldorado. The Lincoln LSC which appeared later was a much better vehicle. As for the Eldorado, The Old Man who had driven Lincolns and Caddy PLC’s (Marks or Eldorados) throughout the 70’s and changed his car every year, hated the ’79 and went with a Fleetwood instead. His only 4 door car for nearly 30 years.

    Do agree that Cadillacs should be long, low, V-8 powered, menacing, rear or AWD. So yes the Chrysler 300 is the best Cadillac currently being made.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Meanwhile, the Flex has gone eight years without a significant upgrade. Inexcusable.”

    Maybe if you people would actually *buy* them…

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “Us people” buy just enough to stave off execution for one more model year.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      That is the reality of the Flex situation, not enough people have bought them to enable Ford to spend money on updating or upgrading them. So the mid cycle refresh was done on the cheap with only minor detail changes instead of new front clip that it should have and would have received if it would have met sales goals. The Flex also isn’t helped by the fact that it is a “large” wagon.

      Meanwhile the Explorer is the best selling mid size wagon in the land, but no longer the best selling wagon, as it was for most of its life, since the market has moved to compacts.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        My interpretation is that the Flex was “so last century”, being a station wagon and all. People who buy cars put that whole station-wagon thing behind them.

        It’s SUVs and CUVs now.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    At some point, someone will have to explain to me how a 300 is American, but a Camry is not. The 300 is not made in America. The underlying design is German, at least in part. The company that builds it is Dutch, has a British HQ in the UK, and has mostly Italian ownership.

    The Camry is designed for Americans, built by Americans, and has more American content.

    When will this site start being about the the TRUTH about cars?

    • 0 avatar

      I think Jack made the point that the Camry is American. What’s your issue?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        My issue is that FCA is as American as Budweiser. Let’s stop treating it as anything different from any other import car company.

        • 0 avatar
          Ihatejalops

          That actually isn’t the case; any car made by a manufacturer by a foreign company in the US, is actually considered an “import” and the plant is often cited as a “port”. Thus when I picked up my Nissan when working for them in Smyrna, it was “imported” to the “port”. According to the government, a lot of Chrysler plants are not actually “ports” and imports and the Toyota ones are.

          But yes, Toyota’s are fundamentally American cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Apparently, Asians are less American than Europeans.

      To be fair, we do tend to focus on habit…er, I mean heritage. Chrysler was founded in the United States, even if it has gone through some significant acquisitions since then.

      Along those lines, we tend to think of Land Rover as British even though it is owned by Indians, Volvo as Swedish even though it is owned by the Chinese, and Lamborghini as Italian even though it is owned by Germans.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think its a human quality, the inability or unwillingness to update memory neurons with more pertinent information (or simply dislodge them in some way).

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      no, the underlying design of the 300 is not German.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “at least in part”

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The underlying design of the LX is not German some parts are however German.

          The LX started off by the engineers going to their old files for the AWD and RWD versions of the LH that were penned so long ago but never brought to market because Chrysler couldn’t afford it at that time.

          So they dusted off those drawings draped some new sheet metal over it and called it ready to go to tooling.

          In the mean time Mercedes took over and quickly canceled a lot of those tooling orders. They then told the engineers to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to use Mercedes parts instead of spending money on tooling for mechanical parts.

          If Mercedes had not taken over the LX cars would have made it to market sooner.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    The 300 is the official car of People With Bad Credit And Worse Taste, and regarding Cadillac, it seems that the main problem there is a lack of snob appeal.

    Cadillacs are objectively better AUTOMOBILES than Mercedes, BMW and Audi, but it could be that they appeal to an overly-decent and respectable demographic.

    Cadillac used to be, and still is to large degree, desired by people who spent a lifetime becoming successful by being a net positive for society, instead of the criminals and sociopaths who covet the three-pointed star.

    GM has to find some way to make Cadillac popular with the world’s mob bosses, colonelissimos, presidents-for-life, celebrities, Chardonnay Socialists, Dear Leaders, professional athletes, rap stars and the rest of the best and brightest of the bottom of mankind’s barrel.

    Then all they have to do is jack up the price, engineer the car to execute a financially-crippling cascade failure as soon as the warranty runs out and dismissively tell any and all complainers (in a thick German accent, of course), “Vat do you mean ‘repair?’ Just buy ze new car, you peasant!\'”

    At that point, all Cadillac has to do is kick back, let the automotive press shower them with accolades for finally “getting it right and watch the order books fill up.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      If I write “moderator” 3 times, will one appear?

    • 0 avatar

      “The 300 is the official car of People With Bad Credit And Worse Taste,”

      Mark Stevenson

      How you gonna just let this one go?

      • 0 avatar

        Considering you’re still here, this easily flies under the radar.

        • 0 avatar

          How long till you let me be Editor in Chief?

          The waiting and anticipation is the part that hurts me the most.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            FIGURE BAFO WILL BE EDITOR IN CHIEF *TWICE* BEFORE YOUR TURN COMES AROUND.

          • 0 avatar

            My first official act will be forcing all viewers to register.

            Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are OK.

            Next we are going to disable the profanity censors. EVERYTHING IS SAFE FOR WORK.

            Then we’re gonna have a set schedule of new car reviews and drag races.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “My first official act will be forcing all viewers to register.”

            So your first official act will be to drop ad revenue on the site by somewhere on the order of 95%.

            “Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are OK.”

            I assume you mean to register, so your second official act will be to relinquish control of your reader’s accounts to large, mostly unaccountable groups.

            “Next we are going to disable the profanity censors. EVERYTHING IS SAFE FOR WORK.”

            Your third act is to reduce viewership by making it difficult or unwise for people at work to view the site.

            “Then we’re gonna have a set schedule of new car reviews and drag races.”

            Lets see. 95% revenue drop, further exacerbated by less work views, then somehow find a way to pay for all these cars to review, and tracks to reserve. Got it.

            Based on the above, I do believe your final outcome would be to turn TTAC into a subscription site. Not in and of itself a bad idea, but I wonder what it would look like afterwards? :)

          • 0 avatar

            Orenwolf.

            I’ll get rid of the non-desirables and replace them with a newer, better crowd.

            Once the content starts flowing, NO ONE will be able to stay away.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            I’m curious – who would be your top pics and why? Also, who would you like to see doing the reviews? What would the staff of TTAC look like to you? What about commenters?

            Would you seek an echo chamber of similar views, or would you try and go “Fair and Balanced”, Fox news style?

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            There it is. They’ll always get around to their hated Fox News. They aren’t content with having 99% of the media operating as Democrats with bylines.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “There it is. They’ll always get around to their hated Fox News. They aren’t content with having 99% of the media operating as Democrats with bylines.”

            I didn’t speak for or against Fox news, I asked if “Undesirables” meant getting rid of opposing views, or attempting “Fair and Balanced” ones. I think you’re projecting your own bias into my comments at this point.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            “Get rid of the undesirables”… so who decides who is desirable or not?

          • 0 avatar

            Orenwolf

            I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but it was “the flying vagina” that attracted me to TTAC in the first place.

            Before me you had Dead Weight, Farago and Schmidt.

            TTAC’s been in need of fresh blood for a long time and quite frankly, I think I’m perfect to take TTAC to the stars.

            I’ve contributed many, many times. Even going out of my way to MAKE CONTENT for the site.

            Maybe I care about TTAC more than others and many of you don’t see or understand that.

            I operate under a completely different set of rules than the standard operative.

            I operate beyond borders.

            In between words.

            I’m on an entirely different level than normal man.

            At least let me prove myself by managing TTAC’s Youtube channel?

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            “I operate under a completely different set of rules than the standard operative.”

            That’s a pretty weird way to say you have no morals or shame.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      You’re about 5 years late with your 300 view. With the premium interior it’s a pretty impressive car.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    mmmmm. The Mustang. Love it. I would’ve been fine with this just being about how great the Mustang is honestly.

    What about Jeep’s? Those are pretty American.

    What about trucks? An F-150, Silverado, or Ram are all incredible vehicles, with V8’s, fairly soft rides, big presence, lot’s of utility. What more could you want in a great American vehicle?

    Now if you’ll excuse me, instead of talking about cars all day I have a ton of Bud Light to drink, and fireworks to shoot off. Happy 4th.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Don’t set that corn on fire!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Now if you’ll excuse me, instead of talking about cars all day I have a ton of Bud Light to drink, and fireworks to shoot off. Happy 4th.”

      AB InBev is Belgian ;)

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      IAhawkeye, there are over 4000 American breweries and you celebrate Independence Day with Bud Light from a Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate? https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics/number-of-breweries/ Good American beer is available in every imaginable style.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        I would recommend celebrating with something truly American like a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA or a Long Trail Double Bag.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          The Long Trail Limbo is pretty good too! Coincidentally, I just go back from having lunch there. Brought back some Silo Distillery Whiskey from Windsor Vermont for tonight.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            Almost forgot, to complete the made in USA/Vermont experience, we’re serving everything up in US made Simon Pearce glassware.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            One of the things I miss about moving away from Vermont is that I can’t find Long Trail anymore. I had to settle for Lagunitas IPA today.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      Don’t worry, no corn was hurt in the process of the 4th, haha.

      I actually love craft beer, we even have a little brewery in town that makes some really fine beer. However, the 4th is a long day, and had a lot planned. Anything stronger then the pee-water Bud Lights would probably not have sat as well w/the food, swimming, bags, sitting and watching the parade, beer pong, fireworks, etc, etc. on what normally is a 90 or so degree day out.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Don’t worry, no corn was hurt in the process of the 4th, haha.”

        Good! They need that corn for Everclear!

        I can’t believe I survived the ’70s.

  • avatar
    Ihatejalops

    I think his issue is that he’s all butt hurt that Tesla didn’t make the list. Not that it’s actually a good (long term reliability) car.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Wrangler

  • avatar
    stuki

    Making America Cars Great Again, bifurcates pretty cleanly along a what is greatness divide. Many, perhaps most, will point to the Mighty 3 German (+P since we’re talking German calibers, eh, cars) brands as epitomes of Greatness.

    To get there, first we need to make American driving conditions hospitable for great cars. Speed limits replaced by kinetic energy limits would go a long way. As would, in the land where one of the last remaining bastions of anything still resembling greatness in apps running on electronic networks, making said kinetic energy limits traffic density sensitive with live signage.

    If figuring out how to operate modern vehicles at speeds above what our great grandparents managed with horses and buggies are too much for the current lineup of overweight undercompetents; plan B for Greatness in American Cars, at least cars of the Cadillac class, begins and ends with simply limiting them to 100mph. Then thoroughly beating the Germans at these speeds, who are stuck making compromises at those, on account of having to retain competence at 100+. Cadillac’s only currently successful car, the Escalade, is, in a back handed way, doing just that.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Stuki, there are some great German luxury cars, but they’re not American and they’re not sold at mass-market price points.

      Maximum speed limits are 75 or 80 mph in the Great Plains and Mountain West and you have to exceed the speed limit by 10 mph or more in the presence of a cop to actually get a ticket.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States_by_jurisdiction
      Rather lax enforcement allows people to drive at Autobahn speeds for many hours at a time.

  • avatar
    Joh

    This article: Ugh…….

  • avatar
    jerseydevil200

    HAHA Meet the Trumpmobile! Says its been everywhere, Makes alot of noise! But dont look too close! It has no engine!! Has never actually been anywhere!!!! Made in America with facist underpinnings!!! Guaranteed to go absolutely nowhere fast while complaining its the fault of others!

    • 0 avatar

      The “BEAST”, Cadillac One, needs to be replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yes, it does. Not to say anything on the Trump commentary, but I’m interested to see what the next Presidential Limousine entails. The current one is the bastard love-child of the Escalade, STS and DTS, built on a GM medium-duty truck frame.

        • 0 avatar
          LS1Fan

          In all fairness, the modern Presidental Limo only superficially resembles one. In practice it’s a badge engineered M1 Tank with bigger windows less a main gun.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Kyree, rather than try to make a truck look like a car, I’d armor up a Cadillac Escalade ESV. Several different companies make bulletproof versions of the Escalade and related GM SUVs.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            The presidential limo, as I understand it, has more than some light bulletproof armor. I believe MB makes a variant or two with what I consider the ‘South American Drug Kingpin’ option package.

            The ‘beast’ has to be on the frame it sits as it would be too heavy for a conventional 1 ton chassis.

            the next step will be for it to rest on a frame sourced from Pacar in the NW. (peterbilt)

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Instead of blowing up Iraq and Afghanistan and rebuild it again only to blow it up once more, we had used that money to repair and build up OUR country, we would have been much better off, thank you Mr Bush and Mr Cheney

  • avatar
    Jimmy7

    What about the Volt?
    (I look forward to [email protected] shouting at me.)

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I drove a 2016 Volt, and it’s a great car.

      Its not a perfect match for my needs (minivan) or my wife’s needs (100-mile commute), but its a great car and I loved driving it.

      I wholeheartedly recommend it, for anyone who finds it is a.match for their needs.

      We decided to just keep our current cars until the Model 3 comes out.

  • avatar

    From about 1984 on, the 80s were terrific. I bought new an 84 CRX, an 85 CRX, an 88 Mustang LX 5.0, and an 89 Firebird Formula 5.0 TPI. All manuals, all autocrossed. I’d give the Mustang an A for reliability, the others a solid B. Loved ’em all, but ultimately kept the the ‘bird for 13 years (the doors never sagged). Would not not have sold it then except it was my last chance to get a new F-bod before they ran out. Bought a new 02 Z28 manual, now 14 years old, still my daily driver. It gets an A+ for reliability.

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    “IAhawkeye
    July 4th, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Now if you’ll excuse me, instead of talking about cars all day I have a ton of Bud Light to drink, and fireworks to shoot off. Happy 4th.”

    Good idea, but why not have some beer, too? #Jever

    :-]

  • avatar
    George B

    Jack, I would argue that the cars of today and the cars of the 80s were both frustrating in that the ingredients for greatness are and were available in the manufacturers parts bins, but the cars available for sale fall short. Your Honda Accord Coupe would have been better if Honda had simply allowed red paint to be ordered with a manual transmission. Back in the 80s the Fox platform Thunderbird would have been better with the Mustang V8. The Cadillac ATS and CTS would be better cars with a Gen IV aluminum LS V8 under the hood. Americans love V8 engines and most cars are significantly better with the V8 option. It’s up to manufacturers to find easily reversible ways to get the V8 version to score good numbers on the EPA test cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      LS1Fan

      Right!
      RWD, V8 cars are totally sales blockbusters.

      That’s why the Chevrolet SS beat the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic for overall sales……hang on, ill finish my thoughts after I refill this shot glass.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        The Chevrolet SS sold poorly because it was simply too expensive and it was too expensive because it was built in Australia. The Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 sell relatively well because they’re not excessively expensive compared to their competitors. Same with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Full size pickup trucks seem to sell well too.

        • 0 avatar

          The Chevrolet SS failed because:

          #1 It looks like a big Malibu

          #2 CHARGER SRT

          #3 CHALLENGER SRT

          If you build a performance car that doesn’t look “menacing” no one will want it.

          Say what you want about handling and interior quality but the Mopars look TERRIFYING.

          It’s easy for these losers online to claim the Cadillac CTS-V is “better” than the “Hellcat” but sales figures say differently.

          the Free Market is ALWAYS RIGHT.

          There’s nothing more democratic than voting with your dollar or your feet.

          • 0 avatar
            dartman

            …But mainly the SS failed because it never had a chance to be “The Official Car of People With Bad Credit And Worse Taste,” (B.C.W.T.C.C.)

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Are we all afraid to tell this guy that the free market killed Chrysler and that only a government bailout kept it on life support? Or that it isn’t American. Maybe if we keep repeating it, some truth will sink in.

        • 0 avatar
          SkyNet

          Also not the best looking car on the road. Styling is quite important to people looking for something more than a washing machine that gets from point A to point B.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Maybe it’s the whole smaller cars in Canada thing (Camry vs Carolla, Civic vs Accord, Focus instead of fusion etc)., but I didn’t grow up around many of these big US cars. My family members had a Chevette, K car, and a Mercury Topaz. We also had a firebird for awhile that had rusted through the fuel tank and could only hold $5 in gas. Those cars represented the Detroit “big three” for me, and when it was time to get my own car, I was much more interested in the likes of the Celica or Tiburon or the like than the boxy mustang (or sunfire) the era.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I believe what is more important is whether or not those car ownership experiences were good ones, more so than the size of the cars you grew up with.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        Fair point.

        The chevette, I don’t recall any issues with. The k car had the drivers seat back essentially fall apart, and rust d through in a few years.

        The Topaz suffered endless engine issues, but we also drove the crap out of that thing. Even my mom complained about the absolute lack of power in it, however.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          We didn’t enjoy a great ownership experience until we bought our first brand-new Japanese-built car, a 2008 Highlander.

          Prior to that, all we drove was Detroit iron.

          And to this day, that 2008 Highlander soldiers on as my grand daughter’s daily driver in El Paso, TX.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    The ever increasing cost of petroleum did the US auto industry in, were not able to adapt to smaller engines and cars, like the Japanese did and the rest is history.

    • 0 avatar

      The Japanese import just about everything. They were forced to be efficient, smaller and technologically sophisticated.

      America wasn’t. Nor should it have been artificially.

      Beautiful thing about the FREE MARKET is watching speed limits artificially decreased, watching gas prices artificially increased to hurt I.C.E vehicles and watching a congress that was bought and paid for by foreign interests trying to weaken American manufacturing with ridiculous CAFE requirements…

      …yet a select few of us will still go out and buy a RACE CAR instead of a prius (I won’t even use a capital for its first letter because of it’s substandard driver experience).

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Yes, those CAFE requirements! I want to get 12 mpg dammit! The oil belongs to us!

        Please. Cars today are much safer and efficient because of regulations. Thank God.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Corollaman, the successful Japanese car manufacturers changed their entire product lines to match American car preferences. It’s not like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are forcing us to buy JDM Kei cars. The Japanese manufacturers did continuously improve the power output and refinement of their 4 cylinder engines, but they also offered V6 engines. The US auto industry has also adapted to changes in American customer preferences. Too bad much of the distinctly American styling has been lost.

      • 0 avatar
        Corollaman

        When oil stopped being the cheap fuel it was for so many decades, US auto makers were not prepared and they made a lot of crappy small cars. almost like they were forced to do so. This went on for decades until they realized that price alone was not enough to bring in customers. Now the gap has almost been eliminated.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          My experience was that after WWII the Germans, and later the Japanese, were building the more ergonomically sophisticated and finely engineered cars, where the Big 3 of Detroit were cranking out rolling piles of planned obsolescence.

          It wasn’t until 2009/2010 that we saw major improvements in American-brand cars.

  • avatar
    NickS

    This is a typical speculative and ridiculous piece that appears on TTAC all too often now. There is virtually zero correlation between a president and specific cars and models. And now, you are officially going into all the sloganeering of the presidential candidates.

    In another recent article many expressed dismay at the off-topic political commentary. I don’t see the point of this piece, other than to encourage people to talk politics here.

    Did someone hand the TTAC keys over to btsr? WTF?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The ’79 Eldo was the last great Cadillac, Jack?

    I’d say you should ask the man who owned one, but unfortunately he’s dead. However, since I got to drive that thing around, I can speak for him: it was shit. It was good looking shit, and it was good for my first trip to second base with a real live girl (power recliner!), but it was shit nonetheless. And this is coming from the guy whose other ride at the time was a ’75 Olds wagon.

    Why did it sell? Because it was good looking, and back then, that’s pretty much what the upscale car buyer was looking for. Unfortunately, in the process of selling boatloads of these pieces of garbage, Cadillac also earned eternal hatred from every single person who bought one. My old man was no exception. The ’80 Eldo was his last Caddy. In the subsequent 28 years he remained on the Earth, he subsequently bought all the anti-Cadillac iron he could: one BMW, one Audi, one Infiniti, one Lexus and five Benzes.

    Seriously…if you’re harking back to the good old days when Cadillac was “great,” do some research on how bad they really were.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      My grandfather had two of them: a ’79 Biarritz and an ’81 Biarritz.

      Never a problem. They were great for him.

      So in this case, I think our anecdotes average out to zero.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, yeah, an old guy probably would like this car, assuming it ran (which my dad’s didn’t, and that was not an uncommmon problem with Cadillacs of the era). But keep in mind I actually drove this thing, and around the same time we had any number of imported Cadillac competitors in our driveway, all of which were radically better.

        For me, that Eldo isn’t a success story – it sold, yes, but the only buyers who were satisfied by that kind of car were likely your grandfather’s age. Once you got past the styling, and the power toys, there wasn’t much difference between driving that Eldorado and, say, a Caprice. But I can tell you there was a massive difference between that Eldo and the ’75 Mercedes 450SE that was sitting next to it in our driveway. The quality differential was striking, and the Benz’s driving experience was vastly superior. And my folks had that 450 until 1987 – how many folks kept Caddies that long in the ’80s? You’d have to be crazy…or really old.

        That Eldo may have been a sales success, but it was also emblematic of a company that had no idea how to compete with buyers who weren’t on their way to the retirement home.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jack,
    An interesting piece. I don’t know if this article is meant to solicit true heartfelt or trolling responses.

    Great cars of today will not be known until sometime in the future. I believe that it will be hard to know which vehicles will be “Great”. One that comes to mind is the new Mustang.

    The American Great Car of the past were easier to produce and sell as less constraints were placed on them from a regulatory and even societal/cultural perspective. In other words the world has changed.

    I suppose you can do an article on the “Great British Draught Horses of Yesteryear” as well. It would be as relevant. What happened to them, where are they?

    Your comment in attempting to relate a Euro/UK “Great Car” to the US version is quite interesting as well. I believe the EU has produced more “Great Cars” than the US. I also believe the EU are currently building more great cars than the States.

    Remember “Great Cars” must be relevant within the time period they are manufactured and sold. The Viper as you used as an example does not have as much relevance as it did when released.

    All “Great Cars” exist in a certain space in history. I think most of your so called “American Great Cars” are only great to you. Great Cars are a personal issue.

    Great Cars have a tendency to be lower volume vehicles. This leads me to believe they are more a niche product. As such the people who buy them and love them are prepared to tolerate their imperfections.

    I think you should sit down and assess how many “Great American Cars” there really is. I don’t see many here. A few older Mustangs and Camaros. It the other cars were “Great American Cars” don’t you think they would be more widely known globally like Porsche products? Ferrari? Jag? Rolls? Bently? Even most BMWs.

    If you look at my list above you will note all the “Great Cars” are from the EU. Why? Because Japanese and American cars are just disposable appliances.

    This is why Mercedes, BMW, etc will not be producing as many “Great Cars” in the future. They also are targeting the buyer of appliance vehicles.

    The world is and has changed. Maybe you should also look at changing.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Good job at matching Jack’s opinion with your own opinion. Both are equally relevant.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Drzhivago138,
        I believe a great vehicle must be not just in one country. I mean, really even the Japanese have built some good vehicles, which to me are far better than most of the US vehicles in Jacks’s list.

        Take the Datsun 1600 or the 240Z from the Japanese. Even here in Australia the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III. This vehicle could not be matched by any American muscle car. Except, it was only available in Australia and NZ, so how relevant is that to a great car?

        Great cars are vehicles like the Model T, the VW Bug, the Morris Mini, orignal Jeep. These vehicles were found in most any nation around the world.

        A “Great Car” is a vehicle that will be in the history books as shaping our world, not some fluffy vehicle like the Viper. How great is the Viper? It’s a piece of poor handling sh!t. How many are sold externally to the US? How many better Porsches are there, or BMWs, AMGs. I’d even prefer a WRX over a Viper. How can a Viper compare to a Godzilla? Let’s be real here.

        What vehicle does the US produce now that had an impact on society, globally as the Model T? Not a one.

        American great cars are really few and far between. Why? Because most are only great to an American, not the world.

        The world really has been global for a long time. To me a “Great Car” must be a global “Great Car”.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Where are the Great Cars of Australia?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            GeneralMalaise,
            Australia has not really produced a Great Car.

            I think the use of “Great” is misleading. I think Jack is over reaching with his use of emotion in his tone and language.

            If one want’s to know what are some Great Australian cars, use google.

            Start with the E49 Valiant Charger. Like I’ve already posted the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III. The GTHO were compared to Ferrari’s of the time. The E49 was the world’s quickest six until Porsche came out with the turbo flat six.

            Holden had the Torana, based on a little Vauxhall with a triple carby straight six, that could do quarter mile runs in 13.5.

            But, these vehicles are only iconic in Australia, as many of the vehicles Jack mentioned are great in the US and are as recognisable to those outside of the US as our so called Great Cars.

            To me a great vehicle will be in the history books one thousand years from now as a transforming vehicle in our culture. The reality is no Mustang or GTHO Falcon is worthy of that.

          • 0 avatar
            Carzzi

            “Where are the Great Cars of Australia?”
            Here. Chevy SS 6-speed stick.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Please explain what about my original 14-word comment necessitated yet another multi-paragraph reply.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Drzhivago138,
            First up because I can.

            Secondly to expand further on my comment as it appears you are not quite able to comprehend the written word.

            I do hope you can understand my position a little better.

            Thank you for your compliment, I’ll try and expand further if you want.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Your position is sound; I won’t argue with that. I just don’t see why my original 14 words needed another tome in reply, or a personal insult.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Drzhivago138,
            I do not mean to be offensive in my response, it’s how I write. I don’t write as if I’m writing to a dear friend or relative.

            I reason for my tone and language in my writing is I’m genuinely basing my comments on research and facts. I try to separate emotional feelings (nationalism), ie, subjectiveness from my comment. This is sometime taken as trolling or poor manners at best.

            I do make comments to the trolling types differently than I have ever responded to you.

            DenverMike is a classsic example of a poor debater with little substance or intelligence in his responses.

            Again, if you take my comments as poor manners, they are not intended to be so. But, for me to change my style will make them more subjective.

            I’m attempting to produce objectivity, this can and will be quite dry.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      You’re neglecting two important points.

      The first is that from 1945 until recently, the United States maintained one-sided trade agreements with a variety of counties around the globe that allowed those countries to simultaneously export freely to us while heavily restricting what they would accept from America. From the UK’s “Export or die” to Japan’s notorious soft barriers to importation, it has often been the case that American cars were simply unobtainable elsewhere.

      The second is that the United States has always had a laissez-faire attitude towards things like fuel taxation and cylinder capacity and curb weight and width. Even a Pinto would have had too much motor for an average Italian to pay the taxes. The Mustang 5.0 is always going to be a rare item in a land of one-Euro-per-liter fuel. And Britain’s company-car regulations made the ownership of a Honda Accord V6 a taxable luxury on par with a 7-Series BMW.

      So for the last fifty years, there’s been no trouble bringing ROW cars to the US but there’s been plenty of problem with the reverse. No wonder people think there are more great European cars — most of the globe’s citizens have no idea what an American car looks like, thanks to taxation and tariffs.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        One sided trade agreements??

        You are correct, but I do think the bias is not as you’ve shown. The problem the US manufacturers have had is a lack of US exports. US manufacturers did perform quite well until the 60s and 70s. After that the US policy was to support auto manufacturing within the US. There is nothing wrong with this. Except US manufactured vehicle protection is for larger vehicles more so than smaller vehicles that are appealing to potential customers.

        I think you are failing to see how the US manufacturers shot themselves in the foot with the model in which they attempted to produce vehicles for the global market after WWII.

        The EU, Japan, most markets external to the US had already created a network of global trading of globally accepted vehicles. This is why the Energy Crisis was quite a blow to the US. The US more or less only built vehicles for the US market, huge vehicles. The US relied on the US branded foreign manufacturers to produce for their regional markets. A classic example of this is Vauxhall, Opel, Holden, etc. Ford was similar.

        American Motors and to a degree Chrysler had no real external or foreign markets. Chrysler did have Valiant in Australia and Simca in France.

        US vehicles were not acceptable in many countries after the War.

        The only countries that really could afford US vehicles after the war up until the 70s was Australia, Canada and NZ. After the Energy Crisis which also impacted countries outside of the US is when the Japanese and EU (to a degree) really got a foothold in the global market.

        The US government had to allow “imported” vehicle manufacturing in the US because of a number of reasons. Poor quality vehicles, poor FE, poor technology, etc. The US manufacturers globally only had poor quality vehicles from the UK, Australia, etc. The quality of these vehicles were on par with their US produced cousins. These regional US manufacturers actually started producing better quality vehicles than the US. The US continued to not be able to match it’s competition for quality.

        Even the US vehicles started to rely more on external technology transfer to keep the Big Three alive, ie, platforms.

        Now the protectionist measures by the US to artificially support large platform vehicle production is going to hurt the US industry. Read the article here the other day here on TTAC regarding the ability for US manufacturers to meet more stringent FE standards.

        Vehicles external to the US can already meet these more stringent standards. So, why can’t the US manufacturers meet this?

        The US is unable to meet the future demands of smaller sized vehicle production because US policy is to support large vehicle production through a raft of tariffs, regulations and other protective barriers. The US now must come up with either more productive plants or increase barriers on vehicles to support large platform vehicle production.

        Look at the Korean manufacturers. They are recent newcomers to the global market and their expansion has been stellar. Why can’t US manufacturers achieve this? They don’t produce what the world wants. If you can’t do this then you will not have a strong auto industry.

        Even the foreign manufacturers in the US tend to build their larger platform products,, ie, what you guys define as “Trucks”, SUVs/CUVs, pickups. Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc.

        Have a closer look at how the US has managed it’s own protection of it’s market position. All is not as simple as you state. The US has made trillions of dollars out of WWII as did Australia, Canada and NZ. That’s why we still have the worlds highest standards of living.

        The lens you are viewing the US from is not as you think. The US didn’t bend over hand and foot to the world around it. Not one country has ever done that, throughout history.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You’re being Chicken BAFO’d. Just ignore. He knows very well, the US is the most open market to imports, of any meaningful, car market in the world.

          And with consumers, the most accepting of imports cars, than consumers of any market with a large domestic base.

          He knows this inside out and backwards, and it just kills him.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike,
            This is from 1987. Even then they realised the direction of protection on the US auto industry was incorrect. The quota system allowed the Japanese to set up factories in the US. This impacted on what the Big Three could produce.

            The US auto industry has not been globally competitive since the 1970s, similar to Australia. In the mid 80s Australia changed it’s tact in how to manage our uncompetitive auto sector. The out come is our great free vehicle market we have today. If we had chosen to follow the US’es lead and have a form of “Chicken Tax” on imported vehicles to protect our large family sedan segment our market would be different today. But we would be paying much more for our vehicles.

            Read the link below from the Brookings Institute and actually learn how the world functions economically.

            ………………………………………..

            Lessons for Policy

            Concern over the ability of U.S. industries to compete in unrestrained international markets has once again raised protectionist sentiment
            among U.S. lawmakers.

            In the past, the stated objectives of import quotas or voluntary import restraints was to provide temporary insulation from international competition.

            286 Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, :1987 tries the opportunity to regain market shares. The experience with the auto and steel industries raises serious questions about the effectiveness of quotas as a means to revitalize an industry.

            Perhaps the greatest error in the protection of U.S. automobiles has been the choice of instrument. The rigid quotas on Japanese imports have allowed a very concentrated industry to restrain output and raise price. The resulting U.S. economic welfare losses are unlikely to be recouped through productivity and quality improvements by U.S. producers,
            but the benefits of accelerating the Japanese investment in U.S. automobile production facilities may prove to be substantial.

            ………………………………………..

            This paragraph illustrates where I’m coming from;

            In the end, it is new competition, not the restriction of competition, that will revitalize the U.S. automobile industry.

            ………………………………………..

            http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Projects/BPEA/1987-1/1987a_bpea_crandall.PDF

            ………………………………………..

            This article only focuses on import quotas, it doesn’t even touch on the effect of the Chicken Tax, differing design regs, and on and on protection large vehicle production in the US. Like I stated the US has made some poor decisions on how to manage it’s motor vehicle manufacturing. If it were different, the US for the size of it’s economy would be exporting far more vehicles globally ……. and importing far more vehicles, giving greater choice, better quality and cheaper vehicles to the US consumer, whilst profiting.

            Being insular as you are is a negative for the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Jaeger

        “The first is that from 1945 until recently, the United States maintained one-sided trade agreements with a variety of counties around the globe that allowed those countries to simultaneously export freely to us while heavily restricting what they would accept from America.”

        It is Americans who benefit from this type of trade agreement. It would be even better if the free trade were bi-directional, but if one country is being denied choice it is better to be the free one. However, the economic fallacy that Americans lose and foreigners are taking advantage of them is so widely believed I won’t even try to refute it here.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Kevin,
          I do think you guys are forgetting that after WWII the US represented just over 50% of the global economy.

          If you added in Canada, which at the time I think was around the world’s fifth largest economy and Australia which was the 7th you can see how we “ruled” the world. The US, Canada, Australia and NZ represented 2/3s of the world economy after WWII.

          This is why we have had large vehicles. It’s just how we managed our vehicle markets was different. The Canadian’s were reliant on the US big gorilla influence.

          Australia still had a lot of UK influence, but Australia realised that the UK and EU were not our future, so we moved over in the direction of the US and the region, ie, Japan to build and expand our economies.

          The reality is, even in the mid fifties the average GDP per capita in France was around 1/4 to 1/3 of the average Amercian or Australian.

          They could not afford a US or Australian vehicle. Most every country was the same that were devastated by WWII.

          I do think you guys really need to leave your homes and look at how and why the world is where it is today.

          Other countries wanted our money to rebuild their countries. We gave it to them and we prospered.

          Now, many of these countries, plus more have been rising since the 70s and competition in all industries has become more intense.

          You can also see since the 70s the US’es reaction to the protection of its vehicle manufacturing sector. Bias is placed on large vehicle production through overt and covert barriers.

          Our influence that we had for over three decades is waning. We must be more competitive and building barriers will only reduce our ability to expand further.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            We’re talking furious anger here. BAFO can’t sit back and watch us throw hamburgers on the grill, on this the 4th of July while reminiscing about some the greatest American cars in history, on top of setting off some impressive fireworks, hand cannons, M80s and whatnot.. Hell no!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DenverMike,
            Hamburgers are actually not an American food. Hamburger originated in St Peterburg region.

            Like Australia we have adapted the best most countries offer.

            That’s why our countries are great.

            Our greatness is our ability to accept most things, except in your case anything from outside the county you live in is alien and unacceptable.

            Vote for that goose Trump, he seems to fit right into our persona.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Hamburgers are actually not…”

            I rest my case.

            Happy 4th of July all!!!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “However, the economic fallacy that Americans lose and foreigners are taking advantage of them is so widely believed I won’t even try to refute it here.”

          Translation: “I can’t refute it, so I’ll just sit here and sneer at you instead.”

      • 0 avatar

        Well said, @JackBaruth

        In France, they charge by displacement. You can get a GTi with different engine sizes….
        In England, carbon tax is all.
        Germans ? I’m pretty sure it is by HP, which is why every german car has 180 hp or 225 hp. (Fun Fact-all German cars have the top speed of the car on the registration…so if a cop pulls you over for not letting a faster car by, he knows which IS the faster car)

        That does not even touch the economics…VAT taxes…and the many games played to favor the home team.

        I went to Bermuda once. ALL the cars were small. They tax by size. There were a lot of fully kitted B Class, and if you were rich, a 3 series. We saw ONE fully blinged out Ridgeline. It was explained that he was a contractor so it was registered as a “work truck”. OK, it is a tiny island, but amazingly rich, so you’d have thought there’d be more toys…the houses are 5 million plus, so you can visit your money parked “offshore”.

        Dropping a US car, where taxes are low, engine size is not relevant, and car size is “super size me”, into any of these environs, is a very large square peg for a small round hole. There is a reason Yakuza favored big American rides….

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          speedlaw,
          It is not as simple as you are stating. What are the ramifications of poorly executed protectionism?

          1. less incentive for progress,
          2. Inefficiencies within an industry,
          3. more expensive product, both hidden costs (tax funding) and market cost,
          4. reduction in production,
          5. downstream impacts on other industries and the consumer, ie, a simple tax, technical barrier, import quota, etc

          The US is not the only country that has poor and misguided beliefs in how to manage competition.

          Read this link on the unseen impacts of protectionism. You’ll be amazed at the cost to the US taxpayer just over the Chinese vs US manufactured tyre (tire) industry. To retain each tyre job is costing the US taxpayer $900 000.

          Read also the cost to downstream producers with the US steel making protection racket. Each and every form of protection has a costly impact.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-07-01/u-s-protectionism-kills-jobs-and-competitiveness

          What you are stating might make you feel warm and fuzzy, but the impacts are detrimental to the development of the US. What is really very short term gain is why the US is hitting a glass ceiling.

          The Japanese hit a glass ceiling in the 80s, the EU a little later on, the US is stumbling along. Why?

          Look at the amount of government involvement in industry. Japan, has had more government involvement and incentives for large industries since WWII. The EU is in a similar boat, but to a slightly less degree. The US government has even had a smaller involvement.

          Now, people want to be like Japanese and EU more so now, using the same idealogical reasons to protect industry. If the US and other countries continue down this road, the global economy will stagnate even further.

          Protectionism has never worked. Protectionism is only good for a very short term fix. If an industry can’t restructure in the short term and the protectionist barriers remain in place the industries become totally reliant on these.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “So for the last fifty years, there’s been no trouble bringing ROW cars to the US but there’s been plenty of problem with the reverse. No wonder people think there are more great European cars — most of the globe’s citizens have no idea what an American car looks like, thanks to taxation and tariffs.”

        Europeans aren’t keen on floaty suspensions and automatic transmissions, either. There are bona fide differences in tastes, only some of which were driven by fuel and displacement taxes.

        At this point, Ford has little choice but to export the Mustang now that it sits on a low-volume unique platform instead of a high-volume family car platform. The alternatives are to either change to a widely shared platform (which would probably entail switching to FWD) or else cancel it altogether.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Europeans aren’t keen on floaty suspensions and automatic transmissions, ”

          this is nonsense. I’m tired of American tryhards claiming everyone in Europe loves manual transmissions because they take the Nordschleife every day on their way to work.

          manual transmissions are *more common* in Europe because the average car has a much smaller engine than what you’ll find in the US. I mean, in Europe you can get a Mondeo Estate (a Fusion station wagon) with a 1.0 liter EcoBoost. That would be unacceptably poky even by European standards. I don’t think Ford would even *dare* try sell that in the U.S.

          *That* is why manuals are more popular over there. Smaller cars with tiny engines which have no power to spare.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you use an automatic for your license test, then you will be issued an automatic-only license.

            Europeans learn how to drive with manuals. They get accustomed to them and think of them as normal, unlike the US where the sight of one induces quizzical looks.

  • avatar

    It actually have been original Ford Taurus that set the new standard for American midsize sedan, not Camry. Camry though made better Taurus in 1992 and since then no other company could make better Camry. I recently drove new rental Altima for more than month and right after I returned it back my buddy picked my up at airport in his 2001 Toyota Camry. Almost 25 years old Camry felt after new Altima like Mercedes or Lexus – well made, refined, quiet, comfortable, powerful without drama.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, I drive a Japan-built 1989 Camry V6 and it continues to be well-made, refined, quiet, comfortable, and powerful without drama.

      All this with >185K miles on it.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Jack..please leave your politics over at Riverside Green. This site is supposed to be all about cars. Over at the Baruth brothers site, obviously anything goes.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    They’re okay with the First Amendment as long as you agree with ’em. What they mean when they call for a frank and candid discussion is they’ll tell you how it’s going to be.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    An article mentioning Cadillac and not one DeadWeight comment.

    That and I think the usual slugs spewing politics are outweighing the comments of people who give a sh1t about cars.

    I am seeing less and less of commentators that I actually look forward to and see more horse sh1t from the usual suspects.

    Come on, Jack. Use your prose to troll us about cars.

    Make TTAC great again.

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      Jack Baruth’s remarks on tariffs omit facts, such as: In the U.S.A. the 1963 protectionist chicken tax distorted the light truck market in favour of American manufacturers. The US government’s 1973 Corporate Average Fuel Economy policy sets higher fuel economy requirements for cars than pickups. CAFE led to the replacement of the station wagon by the minivan, the latter being in the truck category which allowed it compliance with less-strict emissions standards. Eventually, this same idea led to the promotion of the SUV…. And from there the current state of affairs where the “lifestyle statement vehicle” (aka SUV and pickup truck) are the most popular style of car on the continent. No wonder they don’t compete in places where people care about driving in a smaller world.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Thanks, I’d never heard of this “Chicken tax” you speak of.. But there’s been almost a billion imported light trucks since 1963, or so it seems. So how good is it working? Must be all the “loopholes”. And the ’80s Mini-Truck craze happened. There’s still millions of mini-trucks out west, especially Isuzu, Mitsu, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan/Datsun, Subaru, to name a few.

        US pickups are kept out of Europe by the 22% tariff and from Australia by RHD. Plus Europe has a 10% tariff on import cars.

        So who’s really the victims here?

        Pickups, including mini-trucks, were simply exempt from CAFE at first, then later on the “footprint” rule was (and is) for all light cars and pickups under HD, 3/4 tons.

        The Gas Guzzler tax was (and is) just for cars only, obviously targeting big US cars (Furys/5th Avenues, Fleetwoods, LTDs, Caprice/Impalas, Crown Vics/Towncars, etc) and thirsty European luxury and supercars.

        I’m not saying “trucks”, (which encompass minivans, SUVs, CUVs, etc,) should be allowed to burn lots more gas, but they’re much heavier, have plenty more drag/wind resistance, and geared for moving medium to heavy loads, therefor should have much higher limits than Corollas and such. Or you tell me… One rule for everything?? How much sense does that make??

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “CAFE led to the replacement of the station wagon by the minivan”

        Station wagon market share peaked during the Eisenhower administration. The segment was declining for a long time.

        You might to do some research prior to posting.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        God damn you, cornellier. This wasn’t an invitation to analyze politics. Christ of a f*cking stick.

        By the way, you’re wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “CAFE led to the replacement of the station wagon by the minivan…”

        The minivan succeeded because it was a better family car than the station wagon. Manufacturers can certainly build cars to satisfy CAFE, but people have to buy them.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Look, a lot of people have an aversion to buying a “mom-mobile.” My parents generation was raised being carted around in station wagons. So they hated station wagons enough to avoid buying them when they could. My generation was shuffled around in minivans, and now minivans have that stigma. Today’s kids (those who care, at least) are probably going to look back with sneering derision at CUVs. It might circle back around to station wagons again, given the automotive hipsterdom’s whining about how they can’t buy any wagons.

        • 0 avatar
          cornellier

          Setting aside the nitty-gritty of the station wagon’s going out fashion, the point is that North American-style cars don’t find much of a market outside their home geo because they are built not to global standards, but rather according to local taste and policy. And that policy is very different from other countries’ where taxes on fuel, vehicle weight, and engine displacement are used to regulate car design, instead of CAFE. Google “effect of CAFE standards” to find out.

          The chicken tax, a 25 per cent tariff on light trucks that Detroit lobbies to maintain, also distorts the market. Mercedes/Dodge Sprinters were shipped from Germany as knocked-down kits for assembly in the US. First generation Ford Transit Connects were imported as passenger vehicles and had the rear seats removed stateside. RAM does something similar with the ProMaster City. Mostly auto makers have set up assembly plants in the NAFTA zone as a workaround.

          So from a global perspective, North America has a rather unique car ecosystem to which its vehicles have specialized, making some of them unsuitable for export.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What do you expect? Euro cars are also very unique, built for their tax rules, especially the mainstream. Manual, diesel, subcompacts, (or similar) which are typical Euro cars, would be sales losers in the US.

            We only have a small fraction of what’s for sale in Europe, despite tariffs favoring their importing to the US, vs the other way around.

            So this creates a lack of demand for normal US cars, not built specifically to go “global”. Even then, they can’t be redundant to what’s already there. What would be the point, especially when there’s a 10% import tariff to overcome, for cars. 22% for pickups.

            It’s hard to tell why Detroit auto makers lobby for the Chicken tax to stay (if they actually do lobby for it). It makes zero sense since they’re all trying to import vans.

            Import midsize pickups would hardly be cross shopped against fullsize pickups anyway, and laughably, vs 3/4 tons and up.

            So just repeat after me: The US is the most open car market to imports, of any meaningful market in the world, with the most accepting, open to imports, consumers of anywhere with a large domestic car market.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    The 1988 Thunderbird Sportcoupe, with the 5.0 V-8 and the good for its time AOD tranny, (in my case, Titanium Silver metallic clearcoat, Midnight Blue leather interior, moonroof), and for all, 143 mph top end, room for 4 adults for long trips, a cavernous trunk for golf clubs or camping gear, and if you made the dealer pull the Boyd Coddington-like billet aluminum wheels and mount them on the Sportcoupe, it was a right batmobile.

    A very overshadowed car, due to Ford pushing the allegedly (and many times proven false) faster TurboCoupe, due to CAFE.

    Mine ran for about 250K miles before a new son, and a new wife back in college, led me to buy something new rather than to invest in the vehicle. Often wish I hadn’t let it go.

    THAT was a good 80’s American car. Besides the TBird TC’s, it trounced more than a few puking chickens, etc., and once outran a Porsche at top end by about 15mph. (Forget which one it was that had a 128 mph top end, but I should have gone for pink slips.) All for about $16K list.

    But the best Cadillacs of all time, IMNERHO, were the big black boxy lead sleds that the made guys all cruised in, in The Godfather series. Around ’75, IIRC.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    PS My two cents on politics, presidents and polls…

    All the polls in 1980 showed either a landslide for Carter, as the incumbent, or at most, a too close to call situation.

    In November, Reagan beat Carter 51% to something like 43% for Carter. Plus Reagan won the electoral votes of over forty states.

    And before the election, the rap against Reagan was that he had no foreign policy experience, that he was an actor running against a nuclear physicist Navy officer, and that Reagan would harm America internationally.

    Considering the collapse of the Soviet Union on Reagan’s watch, I’d say the campaign crap that was spewed in an attempt to keep him out of the White House proved to be nothing more than political gamesmanship.

    Which is likely what will be the case this time, with Hillary supposedly winning by a landslide. Damn, I wish I could bet a boatload on that one…

    BTW, what did Jello Biafra ever accomplish that helped the average American? Not including his music, in case you believe that that was a contribution to American life, which I do not.

    As to the “I’m with her” slogan of The Hillary, I say a better T-shirt I’d like to wear to a rally of hers would be “I’m NOT with the liar…”

    I, for one, intend to show her what difference it makes now, come November.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      I’m so p1ssed off at Hillary. I was going to order an “I’m With Her” t-shirt but they’re 30 bucks a pop! And they’re only 50% cotton!!

      So I ordered a couple Trump “Liberty” shirts for only $20 each. 100% COTTON, BAYBEE!!

      Making Prices Great Again!

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Welcome to the bandwagon, Kenmore. There is plenty of room for everyone.

        You may not agree with everything he says, but you know he won’t be saying one thing and thinking and doing another, behind you back, like Hillary and the Machine.

        Just saw a youtube video of Michael Moore yesterday, in which he said that there were only a handful of terrorist assaults, but that there is NO terrorist movement.

        Just like for Prez O there is no radical Islam, and no ISIS…it is ISIL, the Levant, because after all, Syria became a hot spot on his watch, so we can’t have anything problematic called Syrian.

        It is a sad thing that we have to depend on the Russian president to fight ISIS. Think about that and what it means…just one more reason why millions of people who usually don’t vote will turn out this year.

        Hey, Prez O, we can’t eliminate highway deaths just by saying highway deaths, either, but that doesn’t mean that highway deaths don’t exist.

        But not calling a thing by its correct name is just a way to try to distract the audience. Only this time, most voters now know how the trick is done, so it won’t be so easy to razzle-dazzle them, I suspect and hope.

        $150 million dollars in speaking fees, and Hillary won’t release the text of her speeches…must be some powerful mojo in those words.

        And $3 billion in the Clinton Foundation, controlled by the Clintons, and under their direct control.

        Question: where did all that money come from? And why was it given? And who were the donors? And what did the donors want? And did they get it on her watch?

        And most of all, with all of that, how could I, or anyone with a brain instead of an agenda, think for a moment that she is working for the average American, and not for her hidden benefactors?

        What amazes me is that supposedly half of all voting age Americans either don’t see these facts, or don’t care…but I hope and believe that it will turn out to be the smaller half of Americans who think Hillary’s words don’t stink.

        I think I’ll get some of those shirts, too…the Trump ones, one for each of my loved ones.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Oops

        • 0 avatar
          TOTitan

          VolandoBajo…what cave have you been living in? Trump has flip flopped on virtually every issue and until less than two years ago he was the Clintons best friend. Wake up and join reality.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Make America Stupid Again” would be a good slogan, but for the fact that some folks never stopped being that way.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            When Trump disagrees with someone, he is accused of being a bully. When he agrees, at least in general terms, with someone, but without openly endorsing their entire platform, and then later speaks out against that person’s platforms, he is accused of being a flip-flopper.

            If flip-flopping is a political sin to you, what can you say about Hillary’s “always supported the traditional definition of marriage/always supported gay marriage” flip-flop. There are many other examples of her changing her mind but adamantly insisting that she had “always” supported X, Y or Z.

            One of her flipflops that most endeared me to her two-faced show was her statement before she moved to NY that she had “always been a Cubs fan”. Then when she ran for Senate from NY she sat in a press conference declaring she was a lifelong Mets fan. What makes that moment so precious to me is that someone had given her a Yankees hat to wear while she was saying that.

            I have never heard any evidence that Donald Trump ever stated that he was in total agreement with any of Hillary’s supposed political achievements. And even if he did play nice with her, or Bill, at one time, certainly her flipflop lying about the video causing Benghazi should have been enough to sicken any patriotic American.

            So the fact that Trump may not have been adamantly opposed to Hillary in the past neither means that he supports any or all of her positions, nor does it mean that I should be concerned that he didn’t feel that it was the opportune time in the past to address her lack of character.

            But it certainly is now, and weak arguments like yours neither offer a reason to support Hillary nor to reject Trump.

            But keep grasping at those straws…you’ll need them to keep from falling off the cliff of election results when Trump repeats Reagan’s landslide over Carter in spite of the fabricated polls showing he was almost certain to lose.

            If the best reasons Hillary can come up with for voting for her are that she is a female and that she will continue Obama’s failed international and economic policies, even she must realize what dire straits she is in.

            Which is precisely why they are trying so hard to smear Trump and talk about their future plans, while ignoring their past record.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “All the polls in 1980 showed either a landslide for Carter, as the incumbent, or at most, a too close to call situation.”

      Disagree. Carter was vulnerable as hell, and as the hostage crisis dragged on he became far more vulnerable, to the point that he actually had to defeat a primary challenger (Ted Kennedy). If I’m not mistaken, he was actually the last incumbent president to face a primary challenge.

      And comparing Trump to Reagan is just plain silly.

      “You may not agree with everything he says, but you know he won’t be saying one thing and thinking and doing another, behind you back…”

      True, Trump says exactly what the voices in his head tell him to day. Problem is, the voices don’t all make sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “All the polls in 1980 showed either a landslide for Carter, as the incumbent, or at most, a too close to call situation.”

        Just a thought: Instead of writing 5,000 word posts that are riddled with inaccuracies, just spend a couple of minutes doing some research.

        Easy to read chart in the link below disproves your point.

        http://themonkeycage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/trialheats1980.png

        That was found after a whopping 15 seconds of research. Type less, read more.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Sniff fewer thrones, listen more.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Gee, pch101, one poll that claims to incorporate (some) other polls. That’s REAL strong support for your counterpoint, at least to you and two or three other people.

          Some of the polls showed them too close to call. I believe I said that. ANd that monkeycage (good descriptive site name) poll was one of those.

          Even it showed that Carter was way ahead early in the game, thought this ONE poll showed the gap closing earlier in the cycle than it is closing this cycle.

          But I am adding you to my list of alleged B&B’s who will be taunting me in December if Hillary wins, and who I will get to remind them what they refused to believe that I said, should Trump wins.

          I’d say that your single poll is squarely centered in the realm of “the plural of anecdote IS data to me”-land.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Jesus, you’re stupid.

            There was no “monkey cage poll.” That is a graph of all of the polls that were taken at the time. The blog is written by political scientists and they compiled the polling data from the period.

            You use a lot of words, it’s just a shame that virtually all of them are worthless. (And when I say “virtually all”, I’m being kind.)

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        That’s rich. It seems to me that Benghazi and the terrorist movement originating in Syria (NOT the Levant, as the Dems would like to distract us with) are a fairly parallel situation to the hostage crisis…weakness in the face of a lawless international enemy.

        So I will wait until after the election to see how silly that comparison proves to be. Though of course, when and if Trump wins, the Dems will say that democracy failed because the electorate was too stupid to see the truth. Though, of course, they will be diametrically wrong.

        But let’s wait and see what the electorate thinks of the last eight years of pretending that there is no such thing as radical Islam will do to the people’s sentiments.

        Atrociously written sentence, but I am tired, and I’m sure you can see the point anyway, that people are fed up with the direction this country has been led in for the last eight years, and they don’t want four or eight more, or even worse, a Constitution-rejecting Supreme Court ignoring the law of the land for decades, based on their own theories of how the Constitution is incorrect.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “BTW, what did Jello Biafra ever accomplish that helped the average American? Not including his music, in case you believe that that was a contribution to American life, which I do not.”

      yeah well the music you like sucks too.

      “You may not agree with everything he says, but you know he won’t be saying one thing and thinking and doing another, behind you back, ”

      that is EXACTLY what he is doing, and he’s doing it constantly. It saddens me that you can’t see it.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        We’ll see about that.

        But you must be one butthurt Jello Biafra fan to snap back like that…you don’t even know what type (types, actually) of music that I like.

        But to me, political speeches played through amplifiers, with instrumental accompaniment, do not fall into the category of music.

        They say that when you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit. Wasn’t aiming at you personally, you just happened to be standing squarely on that spot, apparently.

        And speaking of not being able to see things, how is it that you can’t see that Hillary has amassed over a hundred million (along with Mr. Wannabe First Lady) giving speeches to financial institutions, speeches she doesn’t want voters to see. And then there is the three billion dollar slush fund charity…all that talk about how little Trump gives to charity…where is the list of charities helped by the Clinton Foundation?

        And who gave all that money, and why, and what did they get for it?

        None are so blind as those who will not see…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There’s nothing stopping you from betting all you want on Trump.

      I wouldn’t advise it, but you can do it.

      Trump is not going to win Florida, because he’s intentionally put his ratings with Hispanic voters in the cellar, and the swing voters in Florida are disproportionately Hispanic. He’s also very unlikely to win Virginia, because a substantial portion of the Republicans there are DC types living in the suburbs who universally hate Trump and will mostly stay home. Without those two states, it’s almost impossible to build an electoral vote majority, even if he wins the Rust Belt states he’s been talking up. The math is really hard for him, and it’s his own fault for pandering to the racists and alienating so many potential voters.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Rest easy. Trump isn’t going to win anything.

        Hillary just got her walking papers from the FBI, after Bill met with Loretta and reminded her who appointed her to the Federal Bench.

        For all you gullible wanna-be politicos, this is a done deal. Just like Ob*m*’s run was a done deal. After the first negro in the White House it is now time for the first woman POTUS.

        Get over it!

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You’re right that Hillary is well positioned. But Bill Clinton meeting with Loretta Lynch, stupid as it was, had nothing to do with the FBI’s report.

          Let’s keep in mind that FBI Director James Comey is a highly respected Republican who was #2 at DOJ in the previous Republican administration.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I realize that TTAC is a very popular site and we have voices from all of the world, however I find it rather interesting that we have so many “new” or “one off” commentators when the articles are either, political, religious, environmental or socioeconomic. I for one go through every comment to see relevance as well as interesting knowledge of something that I did not know or understand at the moment. However IMO the some of the “one offs” are folks already that are part of the BandB but dont want to get scolded for having a to far left or right view of anything. Just my 2 cents and observations.

    • 0 avatar
      warrant242

      As a one-off, I can say two things:

      1) I understand that a single mention of politics in any article these days means guaranteed cash-register sounds at VS.

      2) I come here to read intelligent things about cars. I’m not seeing much of that lately.

      A little bit of trolling or troll-baiting is just good entertainment. So is a little bit of tequila. But at this rate I’m afraid TTAC will come down to death by either too much policing or by not enough.

  • avatar
    SkyNet

    Lord Baruth,

    Why the dislike of Cadillac? I agree the styling is polarizing, I agree the naming system sucks, however, the cars do have their redeeming features:

    1) Chassis dynamics – particularly the ATS
    2) No fear of financially debilating repairs due to ordinary wear and tear items. A lot of the reasons why you rightfully respect the base C7 Corvette apply to Cadillac’s lineup, particularly the ATS. The ATS is a car that is fun to drive, has explorable limits, an adequate power plant, and can be repaired in most places around the country and won’t cost an arm and a leg to repair or maintain.

    Disclaimer: I own an ATS but I’m certainly not a fanboy and I spend most of my days wishing I had bought a 3 Series, except at the autocross course and when looking at my bank account come maintenance/repair time.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Talking about its chassis dynamics and lower ownership costs, but then admitting you spend most of your days wishing you bought a 3-series, is damning the ATS with faint praise.

      The ATS may be the better driver’s car, but it is not the better car. Which, unfortunately for GM, is obvious for most when comparing competitors in the dealerships.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think you missed “adequate power plant”. A Corolla or its ilk should have an adequate power plant, a “luxury” car should offer much more.

        • 0 avatar
          SkyNet

          I don’t disagree but I also don’t think it’s as horrible as Mr. Baruth makes it out to be.

          I mean, pining for other cars is part of being a “car guy” is it not? I’m sure if I had bought a comparably priced 3-Series or used E90 I would be wishing I had bought an ATS for a number of reasons.

          The point I was trying to make is that the ATS is better than its rivals in some ways, and worse in others but part of the praise for the C7 also applies to the ATS.

        • 0 avatar
          SkyNet

          So is a 320 or 328 not a luxury car? I would describe those power plants as adequate.

  • avatar
    operagost

    300C Hellcat? So crazy, it just might work.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Let’s have a dose of obvious reality.

    If Clinton is elected, not much is going to change. We’ll still have CAFE, we’ll still have state-level alternative fuel mandates, and the forces shaping the current auto market will keep doing what they’re doing. We’ll get a slowly increasing number of EVs and PHEVs (and they’ll slowly get better). ICEs will continue to shrink and become ever more complex in pursuit of an extra MPG or two. We’ll be moving toward a future of electrified transport for typical urban and suburban travel, with fossil fuels being reserved for missions where their strengths are especially important.

    If Trump is elected, there will be a short-term recession as consumers and investors alike wait to see what the fallout of electing such an unpredictable maniac will be.

    If he stays within the constitutional system, then things will slowly return to normal, but with some added trade wars (shrinking economic growth) and more conservative environmental policies (likely making CAFE a bit more lenient). The trade-affected economy will reduce demand everywhere but especially at the high end of the market. State-level alternative fuel standards still won’t change, and EVs/PHEVs will still be big business, just not quite as big.

    If he tries to circumvent the constitution as he occasionally suggests in his off-the-cuff speeches, then all bets are off. Instability in the US political system would be the worst thing to happen to the world economy since World War II, and it’s hard to predict what the fallout would be.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      A recession is inevitable no matter which candidate is selected.

      http://awealthofcommonsense.com/2015/02/when-will-the-u-s-have-its-next-recession/

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Of course. There’s always going to be a next recession.

        The difference is that if Clinton is elected it will be part of the normal business cycle and if Trump is elected it will happen immediately, as business largely gets put on hold until it becomes clearer what is going to happen with him in office.

        Businesspeople really, really, really don’t like uncertainty and unknowns. Trump is literally the biggest unknown in the history of American presidential politics, because of his combination of unpredictability and a complete lack of relevant knowledge or experience. (If he took office, he’d be the only president in American history without high-level government or military experience.)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree business prefers predictability but I disagree on the exact timing. Personally I see it more likely in 2017-18. I also don’t think Trump is unknown as some think, he’s already started back-peddling on some things much to my chagrin. We also must remember the current President had no real qualifications to assume the post to which many rightists criticized, yet we are still here.

          Unless President Trump truly went batsh*t crazy, things wouldn’t change as radically as some think. Deport some illegals? Wow enforcing existing statutes, shocker. Tariffs? Wow attempting to fight cheap foreign goods and maybe create jobs. I don’t think he’d get a wall because its not realistic. I can’t think of too much else he’s demanded of the top of my head.

          Here’s another tidbit from my own experience. In 2012 my then g/f, who was an IT contractor for Thermo Fisher, was cut along with all other contractors on her project the Friday after the election. I don’t recall the stated BS reason, however it was implied to her “We lost the election and needed to cut back” (which I realize is hearsay but was probably true). I expect the same this time around no matter who is selected because there will be no real winners.

          I only hope my company isn’t suddenly sold between now and November as rumors here suggest, as then I’ll be set to ride through the turmoil through to next year and possibly start looking.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The whole problem is that what he proposes changes from one day to the next, and there’s no way to predict which scenario happens, or even if he stays within the system.

            “Deport some illegals?” Depends on whether it’s the same record number of “some illegals” that the current administration has been deporting, or 3% of the US population. Deport 3% of the population, unequally distributed, and a whole lot of businesses will need to defer investment (if they can stay alive at all).

            Tariffs? Now we’re talking. Depending on what tariffs were imposed, that could cause substantial bits of our export economy to disappear overnight. For example, impose a tariff on Chinese consumer goods and watch the Chinese government cancel all of our aerospace business there and hand it to Europe. In my area, that alone would cause a substantial loss of well-paying union blue-collar jobs and a real hit to the local economy.

            And then there’s his incoherent and wildly self-contradictory talk on finance. If I were a banker, I’d be petrified of his election. With Clinton, you know what you’re getting: most likely no change, but with a Democratic congress maybe higher capital requirements and a few more regulations governing risky trades. With Trump, you wouldn’t have any idea. There would be no way to make a coherent business plan, and the most likely response would be to curtail all but the bluest-chip lending until the picture was a little clearer.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            28CL, business people I know are already in the process of adapting or adjusting to whichever candidate gets elected in Nov, although most anticipate Hillary to be the one.

            The same happened when O got elected. Before he was sworn in, many had already made major adjustments to their business, finances, and lifestyle to offset the disastrous effects his “spreading America’s wealth around” would have on their assets.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I see what you’re saying, but I seem to recall Obamacare changing somewhat frequently in the run up to its passing. Now perhaps it wasn’t a near daily change, but the ideas of it were not the original ones discussed. Flip flopping is nothing new, but perhaps in Trump’s case it is too frequent.

            I am not an attorney as you are, but my basic understanding is if Federal statute called for a deportation of 10% of the entire US population should they be illegal aliens, then not doing so would be a violation of the law, correct? The fact X% of the population is already illegal has already demonstrated the failure of branches of state and federal government to comply with the written law. Complying with already written law is not rocket science. Now if this was actually achieved and Trump went further, I see the concern.

            The trade deficit stood at $531.5 billion in 2015. This number will continue to grow until the cart is tipped over unless something is done about it. I do not doubt it will require a wholesale approach as opposed to just something as simple as a few tariffs, but I do know the GATT treaty (later WTO) has eviscerated the US economy. From a consumer products standpoint, US buyers may be better off with more expensive but better made goods than cheap Chinese throwaways.

            I assume you’re referring to Boeing vs Airbus, I don’t know enough about the situation to effectively comment. I do wonder however those few thousand existing jobs fare against the hundreds of thousands of US jobs not being created as the result of globalism. I also have no doubt the Pentagon or some other “ally” would automagically place an order for military aircraft should Boeing legitimately fall into dire straits.

            Here’s where we may diverge, bankers are a big part of the problems we face as a society. They should be afraid, and many of them should already be in jail for actions in 2008. They own HRC, and with respect to them nothing will change. We the peons need something to change for the better which the Obama administration has not wrought. We need the necessary evil of banking to scale things back a bit. We need to get out of ZIRP. We need jobs beyond server-level. We need a Justice department to enforce the law. We also need our government to level off its spending problems and scale back the psychopathy a tad. I don’t know if any of those things could occur with Trump, but I do know none of them will occur with a career criminal such as HRC.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            When a statute as written cannot practically be put into practice 100 percent of the time, the law has ways of adapting. That is a pretty common situation with regulatory statutes, which include the immigration statutes and lots of others from food safety to traffic rules to consumer protection. One common way the law adapts is to acknowledge that the executive branch has to pick and choose where to focus its enforcement resources, and recognize as valid those types of executive decisions.

            Just think as an analogy about what it would take to enforce every traffic law, every time. You’d need a video camera covering every foot of roadway, a software system that could detect every little misstep shown on the camera, and the manpower to review each thing the camera flagged and handle the monumental volume of violations. Signal 98 feet in advance instead of 100? Get a ticket. Drift over the double yellow slightly to safely pass a bicyclist rather than staying behind him for miles? Get a ticket. Turn into the far lane? Get a ticket. Stop two feet over the stop line? Get a ticket. Obviously that’s never going to happen. You’d be wasting monumental amounts of public money and employing huge numbers of people for fairly minimal public benefit.

            Deporting every person who entered the country illegally would require an effort of similar intrusiveness, for a similar lack of benefit. There is literally no way to find them all except to conduct a simultaneous, nationwide house to house search while enforcing checkpoints on the street. The logistics and cost of that are obviously impossible to handle. And beyond the logistics, just imagine how that would make American citizens feel about their country, and how badly it would betray American ideals. All this so that otherwise law-abiding people who mostly pay taxes and contribute to the economy can be kicked out (we already do a decent job of kicking out the non-law-abiding ones).

            So instead we have court decisions that say the executive has the discretion to forbear deportation in individual cases. Whether he can do so for entire classes of immigrants is the question at issue in the litigation over Obama’s executive orders, but no one disputes he can do it in individual cases. And, practically, that means he chooses to ignore millions of cases completely. Not doing so anymore would be a seismic policy shift and create overnight the largest project the United States government has ever undertaken.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Also, “career criminal” is an awfully strange way to describe someone who has never been charged with a crime despite being the subject of one government investigation or another for pretty much her entire adult life, mostly by investigators who had strong political or career incentives to find some way to charge her.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Deport 10 million, and you’ve got a vacuum for 10 million others. Never mind the logistical nightmare, but won’t we have to stop hiring them, somewhere along the line? Why not start there in the first place? They’d deport themselves, like millions did when the economy and housing boom, hit the skids.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If we stop hiring migrant workers, and no citizens are willing to fill the gap, then our food will rot on the vine, our houses will be a mess, and diapers will go unchanged. Yuk.

            Also, you’re assuming that undocumented workers come to the US for the jobs. Maybe they just like raping.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The raping is just part of the deal. A signing bonus? But illegal immigrants get raped too, especially the women. Or do you really think the immigrant groups/races that came before the current Hispanics didn’t have a similar share of rapists, just because they happen to be in the US legally? They probably had a higher rate of raping before it was a real crime with hard time. It probably wasn’t reported as much, if at all.

  • avatar
    ihbase

    Jack Baruth, BTSR, Mustang assembly quality, and “Trump.”

    There is some real synergy in this group. Totally on par with TRUMP steak and Trump wine.

    -Michael

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ravenuer: Can’t imagine anyone “liking” stop-start. If you think it saves gas, remember the savings...
  • Peter Gazis: Luke42 Considering most of the Prius Cs I’ve seen were used for Pizza delivery, what you think are love...
  • quaquaqua: Why older Subarus hold their value despite the head gasket problems is bonkers to me. My friend’s...
  • MRF 95 T-Bird: About a decade ago there was a survey of folks who purchased the Prius. The results showed that most...
  • dukeisduke: I thought the Prius V was a good idea, but I don’t know whether they sold many. I used to see them...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber