By on March 1, 2017

1984 Volkswagen GTI

Earlier this week, our Matthew Guy inquired about your favorite automotive “oops” moment — a time when it all went wrong for a manufacturer’s model or idea. Today, we’re going to flip it around, switch it up, and reverse it.

There are times when everything comes together at the right place and time in the automotive world. Whether by complete accident or cunning planning (often years in advance), a manufacturer hits an idea out of the park. It might be a single model in a new style, a superb entry into a crowded marketplace, or something that fills a void hitherto left empty in the lives of hungry consumers. No case of schadenfreude here — just success, dollars, happy children, puppies, and smiling regulators and accountants.

So which tale of automotive success is your favorite? While the GTI shown above is interesting and is credited with creating the new hot hatch segment, it’s not my pick today.

 

1993 Lexus LS400, Image: Toyota

This is. When Toyota’s luxury brand came to market for model year 1990, the brand had only two models: the Lexus ES250, which was a lightly modified Camry, and the Lexus LS400, an all new luxury sedan. The success of the brand was no happy accident; Toyota had begun LS development all the way back in 1983. Chairman Eiji Toyoda challenged his company to build the world’s best car, and the F1 project (“Flagship One”) began. F1 development was spurred on by the debut of Acura in 1986, and the announcement of Infiniti in 1987.

Toyota implemented exhaustive research and development, spent millions of dollars, and even sent designers to Laguna Beach, California, to study the taste and lifestyle of upper class Americans. And it paid off in spades.

1993 Lexus LS400, Image: Toyota

In the last four months of 1989, when the Lexus brand first went on sale, it racked up 16,392 sales, exceeding the 16,000 goal set by Lexus internally. The first full year of sales in 1990 found 63,594 Lexus vehicles in American driveways, and Lexus held the sales trophy for premium imported cars in the United States by the end of 1991. The same year, J.D. Power ranked the marque highest for initial vehicle quality, customer satisfaction, and sales satisfaction.

Lexus later released the RX300, effectively beginning the crossover SUV segment we all love and cherish talk about today. But I’ll stop myself now, so you can share your favorite success story.

[Detail from Wikipedia]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

153 Comments on “QOTD: What’s Your Favorite Automotive Success Story?...”


  • avatar
    kosmo

    The original Saab 900 turbo hatchback.

    We’re still running around in “hot” hatchbacks with 4-pot turbos.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang. Evolved through the smogger motor era into the roaring 80’s with FI in 85′. It was model of cheap, easily modified HP and performance.

    For the 80’s, they were even screwed together **reasonably** well.

  • avatar
    AVT

    Holden UTE. Even if it didn’t make it to the USA, the fact it was produced for consumer production is incredible, and for the relatively small (scale wise) Australian market. Why they don’t make one for US consumption still baffles me. By every metric, it should be a runaway success given our current buying habits.

    • 0 avatar
      Holden-SSV

      The ute, along with the wagon, was slated to come over in the VE chassis era badged as a Pontiac.

      Too bad they killed Pontiac after giving us the sedan for just two (?) years.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        ^agreed. I would have loved for the G8 to have been a launching pad for Pontiac to be the true American BMW.

        Imagine if G8 sales had taken off, GM might have continued to develop it and eventually we could have had a RWD replacement for the G6 and G5.

        The Solstice and G8 were great IMO. I wish we could be staring at an entire RWD, tastefully styled Pontiac lineup in between those two (in their 2nd or 3rd gens) today.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          GM killed Pontiac ages before the G8 came to these shores.

          The Solstice, while good in concept, suffered in execution. Kinda like the Fiero in that way.

          But I do agree. It would have been great for Pontiac to actually have product in line with a performance division but the suits an the RenCen snuffed that ideal long ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I really don’t see the Ute being any more than a blip in the North American market- it doesn’t sit up high, and has no back seat, two major requirements for success here.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The original Mustang. By a WIDE margin.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Nissan’s turnaround under Ghosn. Once the bubble popped, they went into full crisis mode, and the US Nissan/Infiniti lineup was pretty effing awful. Bit by bit they leveraged the awesome VQ to completely reverse the company’s fortunes and crank out some awesome cars. I still remember the surprise and excitement that came with the debut of the G35, the return of the Z, and the highway blasts in my friends’ various modded VQ35 equipped family sedans. It was a great time for the company.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I’m gonna vote for Hyundai. If anyone remembers the Excel…. yuck.

    That car alone could’ve sank a company. But they have really gotten their stuff together in the past decade.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Favorite? The original SE-R. The ’80s Sentras were unremarkable econoboxes (unless you bought the Sport Coupe), whomping out 70-90hp on a good day. Smooth off the sharp corners, tighten up the suspension, and drop in the 7500-rpm redline SR20DE VLSD drivetrain from the NX2000. Boom, instant classic.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Didn’t the final years of the boxy B12 generation get the port fuel injected G16DE? That’s a pretty advanced and sprightly dual overhead cam motor for the era IMO. A B13 Sentra with the G16 and a bit of a suspension redo could serve as a poor man’s SE-R.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        No, the late B12s got the TBI single-cam GA16i. You could swap the “Euro” cam into those to bump the horsepower up to 100 or so.

        The GA16DE in the B13 was definitely a revelation for the segment. The Sentra SE got you the rear discs and a nicer interior than the standard model. Back in the late ’90s and ’00s, there was a minor trend of people hopping up the GA B13/14 Sentras to get them within spitting distance of a stock SE-R.

    • 0 avatar
      mshenzi

      I’d go a generation earlier, (maybe I am a generation earlier…?) and light a candle for the original 240Z. It was inexpensive, powerful, fun, and had an iconic design (yeah, borrowing from a Ferrari that most people never saw). It had some cache, too– it was a bargain halo car for Datsun when everything else they sold was some sort of bare-bones econobox. And of course it got porkier and costlier within not too many years. The first RX-7 filled the old niche for a while til it went up-market, too. You could argue that the BRZ/86 are the most recent attempts to capture some of the old Z magic.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    The Ford Taurus in particular, but Ford Motor Company in general starting in 1982. By 1980 they had lost half their sales from two years ago to imports, and was in financial trouble. Their entire product line had roots in the 1960s.

    They gambled big on the Taurus, and won big. But at the same time, they turned the company around, and along with the Audi 5000s ushered in the aero revolution. The Probe series of concept cars was Ford’s research into aerodynamics going back to the Probe I of 1979. The “square bird” Eighth generation (1980–1982) Thunderbird had lots of minor tweaks; but it was in 1982 with the Ford Sierra in Europe and the Tempo/Topaz in North America, followed by the “aero bird” Thunderbird and Cougar, Aerostar van, and the Taurus/Sable that Ford went all out aero. They also got the government to loosen up on headlight standards, and introduced flush/composite headlights with the Lincoln Continental Mark VII in 1983.

    It so caught GM and Chrysler off-guard that they were forced to slap new nosecaps with composite headlights on their existing squared off product lines while rushing to the drawing board to develop their own aero cars. (And when they did come out, everybody shrugged and said “looks like a Taurus.”) Like it or hate it, the “jellybean era” was here to stay, and was largely ushered in by Ford in North America.

    There were still lots of issues with their new FWD offerings; but between 1982-1985 they had revamped their entire product line, without any assistance from the government. Some of the older platforms such as the Panther and Fox platforms did linger around for much longer; though both were developed in the late 1970s, so they were not ancient. The Ford logo also returned to their cars during this time after disappearing in 1949.

    The jellybean era replaced the 1950s as my favorite period in automotive history, and is the reason why I started my Ford timeline with 1982:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/12228030774/in/dateposted/

  • avatar
    AVT

    I will also credit Subaru’s sales turn around in the 90’s and 2000’s from their suprisingly impressive advertising campaign.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Coming out with the Outback and Forester was a big part of that. You couldn’t sneeze in the PNW without getting your germs on an Outback.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Coming out” with the Forester?

        Are you making a funny, John?

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          LMAO unintentional I assure you!

          The ladies coach at my high school had an Outback and a Jamie Lee Curtis hair cut.
          The rumors were off the scale but seeing as to how I was dealing with my own sexuality inside, I didn’t participate. If anything, I wanted to ask her how to deal with it. I wish I had.

          • 0 avatar
            brawnychicken333

            @John-that’s really touching (I’m completely serious). High school kids are dicks. All of them. Especially me.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Having company cars most of my working life really spoiled me from a young age, and that of my extended family, too. However, when I ventured out to my sister’s wedding in 1983, everyone at the reception wanted to drive the Dodge Caravan five speed 7 passenger that I drove to haul the wedding party. All others were politely asked about, but every person there went out to sit and drive that little Hal Sperlich special. I think most of today’s consumers have forgotten what a splash it made. I believe we sold almost 400k the first year, which doesn’t touch the 600k Ford sold of Mustangs in its first 18 months. The Taurus was the only thing close in the ensuing 20 years of my tenure.

    • 0 avatar

      ^While it’s not a “favorite” story, the Dodge Caravan seemed much like the original Mustang in that it started a new way to look at transporting people from point A to B. Quite successful and influential – similar to both the Mustang and the Taurus.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Porsche 911. Driven a few, never owned one, probably never will. I love them for their racing history, and ever since I first heard one hammering around the high bamks of Daytona in 1973, that flat six sound has been permanently tattooed in my brain.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    XJ Cherokee for its innovative layout and basically capturing a niche and blowing it up (compact/midsize 4 door SUV), even if it did ultimately get overshadowed by the larger, more comfortable Explorer and its own Grand Cherokee progeny. 4Runner’s story is similar, except they didn’t figure out the 4 door formula until somewhat later. Sadly, looking at what the Cherokee nameplate is now (generic CUV blob) I have to give the 4Runner credit for maintaining and reinforcing its original strengths (tough BOF 4wd truck). Then again if you want a modern XJ, Jeep will gladly sell you a Wrangler Unlimited.

    • 0 avatar
      emcourtney

      Don’t forget unitbody. It’s the key to that segment as it allows car-ish ride and fuel economy. The 4Runner and Wrangler are body on frame, ie. trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I was actually minimizing the unibody angle, and more-so emphasizing the 4 door SUV that suburban families and yuppies bought as every-day transport. Have you ever driven an XJ? The ride/handling/steering are very NON-car like owing to the solid axles front and rear, with leaf springs out back. Now what you could argue is that the Cherokee’s unibody allows for a lower overall center of gravity and lower weight, thus improving handling and dynamics inherently. But the suspension setup still spoils most/all of that IMO. Id’ argue my 4Runner’s 5 link solid rear axle on coils and double wishbone independent front suspension with rack and pinion steering is much more refined (if not for the somewhat stiff off-road-centric springs) than the fairly primitive XJ setup which likewise is strong offroad.

        Likewise fuel economy is wholly unremarkable relative to BOF competitors. As I recall it was actually the BOF S10 Blazer with the Vortec that always raised eyebrows somewhat in terms of impressive highway MPG (rated at 24 IIRC).

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Yeah, once GM got around to adding port injection to the 4.3, it could ring up mid-20s on the highway. BUT you had to egg-foot it to do so. Leaning into the gas pedal would drop the mileage in a hurry.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I was going to add, I don’t think 20-anything is a realistic figure for a 4.3L GM SUV.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Believe it Corey! Especially a 5spd RWD S10 with the 4.3, they can knock down surprisingly decent numbers on the highway. Mindful driving is implied of course.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Oh okay, manual S10 maybe. I was thinking automatic two-tone Jimmy. You know my mind goes to the gingerbread.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            My experience is occasional highway runs in my dad’s ’97 S10 (longbed!) automatic. 24 is about right, and I imagine it has some loafy rear end to help out. 4WD Blazers are probably closer to 20.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buick V6.

    Started out as a way for GM to save money on their expensive, aluminum V8 headliner. Wasn’t especially popular and got dumped off on Jeep.

    Then the oil crisis happened and GM’s legendary ability to cheap out led them to buy the tooling back and the V6 enjoyed life as a wheezy odd-fire economy option.

    But then two things happened: 1.Buick made an intercooled turbo version that produced some of the fastest vehicles of the era. 2. The 3800 came out in 1988 and provided the only reliable FWD things GM ever built.

    It has been in Indy racecars, muscle cars, sports cars, economy cars, utes, Jeeps, compact Chevys, and giant Cadillacs. It has been supercharged, turbocharged, offered in displacements from 3.0L to 4.1L and existed for 47 years. It made me care about Buick.

    Other than the SBC it is the most prolific engine GM ever made. But the V8 was always destined for greatness, the V6 had to earn it.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Two:
    Ford Explorer – all they did was add two more doors to the Bronco II and created a class of vehicle that has completely taken over the world.

    Volkswagen Beetle – Though its origins are controversial to say the least, they took Ford’s (non-exclusive) idea of simple transportation affordable to the masses and created the (at the time) longest continuously selling car of all time. It also helped usher in a true economy car segment.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I take issue with the Explorer call there, because the XJ Cherokee came years before.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Ford Explorer – all they did was add two more doors to the Bronco II and created a class of vehicle that has completely taken over the world.”

      See my post above. I’d argue the XJ Cherokee was the real trail blazer there (no pun intended). Ford waited until 1990 to jump on the bandwagon, same time as many others (4Runner, s10 Blazer, Trooper, Montero, etc). You’re right though, Ford refined the concept and nailed the execution in terms of size, features, comfort, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Trooper and Trooper II were earlier than 1990! I want to say the Trooper was around since ’86. Montero too. And the Blazer had been around since ’82.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Yeah I remember seeing a retro-Motorweek where John Davis breathlessly describes the exciting addition of 2 rear doors to the Trooper.

          Would love to have either one of those boxy beasts, preferably in a warm/tropical locale where rust is a non-issue. Many gen 1 Monteros in Costa Rica, I was quite smitten.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Trooper was around before 1986. Mine was an ’86 and I researched them while looking for parts for it. The 1984-5 models had like a 1.9L I-4 or a diesel, for 1986 only there was a 2.3L gas I-4, and for 1987 another I-4 and an optional V-6 came along. 1986 and older had round headlamps.

          The 2.3L from the 1986 was used in the Isuzu Faster/P’Up and the 2wd Amigo. I got my fuel tank and sending unit from a 1993 2wd Amigo for my Trooper.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            You know, Wikipedia says it was called Trooper II from 83-89, and Trooper from 90-02. But I think I’ve seen mid 80s ones badged just as Trooper.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Mine said “II” but I just called it a Trooper. I mean, there was no “big” corresponding Trooper, I dont know why the “II” was added to early models.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      I think what made the Explorer such a runaway success was not just the four doors, but it was luxurious; unlike the previous SUV offerings. Ford would repeat the magic with the “Taurus truck” of 1997; converting both vehicles from rugged vehicles favored only by off-roaders and construction workers to luxury/status rides. The Jeep Wagoner was the only offering before then to do that.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        It was also very roomy.

        The Bronco II was narrow and tall, which was better off road but worse on road. The Explorer was the opposite. And it had the standard 4.0L instead of the II’s awful 2.9L.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Like you said, it wasn’t so much what they did, but how they did it.
        The Blazer and the XJ did well, but the Explorer absolutely blew everyone else away and set a new standard.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Two spring to mind…the Honda CRX (either series) and the Toyota Camry, vintage 1992-1996. Both are still desired today. Honda and Toyota got it *right* with both of these.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d list the entire mid-’80s Civic line (which included the CRX) as one of the most significant designs of modern times. Brilliant cars.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        True. I still see a 1988/89 Civic four door-LX here in my parking lot every day at work and I marvel at the airy openness of the wee-beastie. My cousin bought one new in 1988 and kept it for something like 12 years. I really kind of wanted to buy it from her when she sold it off…the cockpit was a thing of simplistic beauty and the 5-speed a joy to use (as was my sister’s 1989 CRX Si, but she mistakenly traded the CRX in four years later for a Prelude Si. And regretted it).

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          There is a 1991 Civic sedan near me for $500, needs a head. I have this insatiable desire to buy and fix it. Maroon, 5 speed, bone stock down to the “disk” wheel covers.

          I would love to make it my 2nd/extra car. Something to keep around for whenever the need arises.

          I would honestly rather have an Accord coupe with a manual, but I love those boxy Civic sedans. I love the CRX, too. The 3 door Civic hatchback was my least favorite look.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          I really think ’88-92 were peak Honda design. You’re exactly right about simplistic dashboards, low cowl, airy cockpit, purposeful style. If only the ’97 CR-V and Odyssey were in that 88-92 subgroup….

  • avatar
    AVT

    The American truck market. Completely dominated by 3 brands, billions in profit, and no one else can even compete. The competition has had decades to come up with a decent competitor and it still hasn’t materialized. Rationally, probably 60-70% will actually utilize the capabilites of their vehicle, but that still leaves a massive chunk of the market who doesn’t need these vehicles and buys them anyways. From a business standpoint, the fact that the market has been dominated by the same 3 brands for so long is not just remarkable, it’s astonishing.

    • 0 avatar
      AVT

      Even more incredible was in the 90’s and 2k’s, ford wasn’t even making a profit on the f150, it was being sold at cost or at loss. They had to have the HD trucks make up the difference. Now, modern trucks are providing about 60-70 percent of their profits.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’ll agree with Corey – Lexus.

    Taking on the Germans head first and coming out on top. When I was a teen I lusted after the flagship MB sedans, by the time I was in college, I lusted after the LS.

    By the time I have that kind of money – we’ll see what I desire.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Your Lexus AutonoPod awaits you.

    • 0 avatar
      AVT

      I still lust for a white ls460. Amazing automobile. Somewhat concerning since I’m only in my early 20’s.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @AVT – Ain’t anything wrong with that. I always loved big dang sedans. Even when I was in my formative years.

        Dad would take me to car shows and I would look at the Camaros, Mustangs, etc. but I was always more interested in a late 60s Oldsmobile 98, a Lincoln Continental, the occasional Imperial, 1965 Cadillac Sedan de Ville…

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Mazda Miata – I’ve owned two and am currently considering taking the plunge for a third. How many small, light, two-seaters are currently sold?

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I agree with this entirely, and almost picked it as my favorite. Lexus won out because it was an entire brand success rather than one model, since Mazda as a company has been sort of struggling since 1996.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      And how many have tried to compete, just to see them trail off in sales? The S2000 and MR2 are gone. The Z3/Z4 and SLK still exist, but have basically zero sales comparatively – I could see them disappear without anybody noticing. The Boxster is the only other roadster that sells with any frequency, but the entry price will buy you two miatas.

      There really is no substitute.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    1984 Jeep Cherokee

  • avatar
    Joebaldheadedgranny

    LOVE this string. As a long-time rent-a-car guy, some of my favorites:
    – The LS400 was unlike any other luxury car in 1990- I remember staring at the 3D instrument cluster and marveling at the refinement of the drive-train.
    – Nissan had some great entries in the early 90’s including 4DSC Maxima and 240SX.
    – Miata was and still is a ton of fun for the money
    – Mid 80’s Cherokee Chief SUV
    -Mid 90’s CRV
    -3800 series GM V6

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    GOOD: The first 5 generations of Honda Accord.

    Each generation on raised the bar, though the increase was less with each iteration.

    The first 3 for sure.

    BAD: Next up…1992 Ford Explorer. Started the SUV craze. So now, our roads are clogged with tall, boring, overly thirsty vehicles those of us with nice cars can’t see around….

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Why the ’92 in particular? That’s halfway through the 1st gen.

      I’ll take a fun 4wd vehicle with clearance that can take me and family/friends/dogs/gear to some awesome locales over your “nice car,” whatever it may be.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        If it hadn’t been the Explorer, it would be some other utility.

        Ford came in with a family-friendly SUV that was less crude, more roomy, better to drive (than, say, a Bronco II or early Trooper) and looked the part. It was handsomely rugged and it was a phenomenal success.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        One of each please. I’d prefer not to drive a 4×4 everyday but they can go places other vehicles can’t.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          hubcap, that’s been my exact strategy the last 4 years: commuter sedan (was a newer Civic, now an old ES300) and the 4Runner for weekends and road trips.

          That said I’m considering selling the ES and picking up a cheap used 4cyl truck for commuting and yard/garden/house hauling. Yes I could simply rent a trailer, but I want to try pickup ownership for once!

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            You sir, have RCS.

            Restless Car Syndrome.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            It’s true! The ES ideally needs new struts all around (starting to make a bit of noise) and some fresh all seasons (Michelins with tread remaining, but they’re pretty darn old). So it’s either committing to spending about $1k in parts to refresh the ES and continue driving it for a few more years, or sell it right now for close to what I paid for it (having used it for 5 months of commuting which it did fabulously) without further investments. I do feel a bit stupid for ponying up $600ish parts and labor for a fresh t-belt/WP, the 100k one I took off still had life in it, and it is a non-interference motor). So I’ve already sank a bit of money into fool-proofing it mechanically for quite some time.

            How about an impromptu session of Ask Bark/ Piston slap right here? LOL

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Piston Slap: Exchanging Cars with the RCS King

            Ha.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            If I do go to the ‘dark side’ and go truck shopping, the question is: Ranger or S10? Or do I shoot for a half-ton to be more-comfortably able to haul a bed of top soil/mulch/gravel? Something like a mid-90s reg-cab Chevy C1500 with the 4.3L Vortec and a 5spd.

            I test drove an 81k-mile Hombre (read: s10) with the 2.2L+stick shift, a bit more used than the mileage would suggest, but a decent enough little rig.

            Budget is $2k-ish. The number of 200k+ mile rangers I see listed in decent running condition is encouraging from the perspective of longevity. But the S10s have a certain aesthetic that makes me like them more for some reason.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            DARK SIDE

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            https://youtu.be/0oGMbAIcXCQ

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/6024869398.html

            A challenger appears. This is from a very wealthy enclave to boot, looks incredibly well taken care of and totally rot-free.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “cheap used 4cyl truck”

            IMO you can get a cheap broken truck, or a used truck, but there are no cheap runners any more. T100 hit the sweet spot for me: light and low enough to drive around the yard, big enough bed to do truck work.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Just be aware that the S10 is notorious for having the passenger cabin turn into an accordion in even medium-strength crashes. The last Rangers certainly weren’t the safest vehicles on the road but they do a bit better.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            bumpy there seem to be quite a few options here locally in the $1500-2500 range (no Toyotas though). That Nissan I posted is particularly fetching. Believe me I’m going into this with very realistic expectations, have already priced out what most common wear items and failure points on many of the models are. Parts for all of them are dirt cheap. The Nissan for example has $60 radiators, $33 Moog lower control arms, $30 shocks (with hardware). I think I’d install adjustable rear air shocks on whatever I got, they are really nice for hauling loads without totally ruining the ride when the back is empty, and cheap and easy to install.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        My nice car is an ’86 GTI. But it could be an old 3-series, or a Probe GT or a Cobalt SS.

        I think the Explorer was a game changer, no doubt. I did mention it, after the Accord.

        But for those of us who like cars, all these SUVs detract from our driving experience.

        The automotive equivalent of second-hand smoke.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I don’t know what was in the air but it seems people who wouldn’t have wanted a truck bought an Explorer.

      Back in the day, a friend of mine, a muscle car aficionado especially attuned to Camaros, bought an Explorer. I was shocked because he never mentioned wanting one. In fact. he really didn’t mention them at all.

      I guess the “thrill” of having it wore off because he traded it after 6 months of ownership for a Camaro SS.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Well, despite being BOF, the Explorer was roomier and a far better drive than, say, an XJ or 4Runner. So, while you (theoretical 1990s car shopper) normally wouldn’t consider a truck-like vehicle, the comfortable and easy-to-drive Explorer bridged the gap between car and truck.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          You’re right there. While nobody ever said the XJ rode nicely, most liked the Explorer’s ride.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I will say that my 4Runner (a third generation, with a redesigned front suspension compared to 2nd gen’s torsion bars), has a substantially less “jiggly” ride than the 2nd gen Explorer USDA fleet vehicle I spent quite a bit of time in back in college. Credit the 4Runner’s coil sprung 5-link rear axle, versus the Explorer’s more primitive leaf-sprung rear end. Now, the Explorer is probably more softly sprung front and rear so perhaps it is smoother riding on the whole, but all the lateral body motion over even smaller bumps always unsettled me. I had a similar experience with a brand new Xterra (they also use rear leaf springs): that same lateral wobble over bumps that is not present in the 4Runner.

          Roominess-wise, yes all 1990s 4Runners have narrow cabins and high floors. 2nd row in mine is actually pretty comfy and has ample legroom, but your thighs are not fully in contact with the seat cushion due to the high floor, and sitting three across in the back seat is a squeeze. Explorer is definitely both wide and more chair-like. The two trucks are about even in terms of cargo capacity, I think the 4Runner has a slight edge with seats up, the Explorer with seats down.

          Overall the Explorer was definitely the more family friendly vehicle and an easier adjustment from a sedan of some kind.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          John, I got rid of a ’95 Explorer after a few months of ownership after breaking a finger trying to get the darned seat belt done up. With a winter coat on trying to buckle and unbuckle became a nightmare. Breaking the finger was the final straw.

          Dumped the Explorer and got a brand new Caravan ‘Sport’. Only after taking delivery of it, did I realize that I could not put a rear facing baby seat on the captain’s chair, behind the front driver’s seat when it was in my driving position.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The Chrysler K-Car.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good point.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Not for me. There is a reason I’ve owned a dozen Tempos and only one Reliant.

      The early K cars drove terribly, were hideously ugly and not very reliable. In context, the Tempo and GM’s J body were far superior cars.

      The later K-based cars were better, a lot better. Even the Shadow/Sundance with their stolen Escort tail lights were nice to drive compared to the Reliant/Aries.

      The minivan saved Chrysler, the only thing the K car did aside from providing the basis of the first minivans, was give Chrysler dealers something to sell to the faithful and fleets.

      Anyone who also drove an Accord, Tempo or Cavalier would have laughed at Lee’s infamous ultimatum. “I did find a better car and I did buy it, thanks!”

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Our family had previously owned a ’74 Plymouth Fury and a couple of Volare’s when Dad bought my sister an early Reliant K. Coming from the previous Chrysler products it was an eye-opener in terms of mileage and handling, while still carrying six people. The 2.2L four was a great engine as was the bored out 2.6L version; and Chrysler did not have the trans-axle problems that many Ford products of the time did; especially the AXOE.

        Dad went on to buy my other sister and myself Reliant wagons as well. It was an 84 that no longer had the hood ornament. I was very proud of it, though it looked dated the minute I saw an Audi 5000s for the first time, followed by the aero Ford products. Like the “square bird”, Chrysler had tweaked the exterior a little for aerodynamics; but was too timid to go all out until the 1990s.

        I remember the fun I had tooling around in it. But I do also remember how tin can like it felt; and constantly going around the interior with a Philips screwdriver tightening up the trim. If the Tempo/Topaz and the first generation Taurus felt anything like my ’95 Taurus, then yes, they were head and shoulders above the K cars in terms of build quality and overall feel; though I think the Chrysler powerplants (at least the trans-axles) were more reliable. And the whole K-Car platform did give Chrysler a whole new lineup of cars; including their infamous minivans; so they certainly were a big success.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          But, man, the first AXOD wasn’t even introduced until 1986. Chrysler’s later FWD Overdrive automatics were as bad as Ford’s, or worse.

          Tempo used the 3 speed ATX, it never got an overdrive automatic, which is why it seemed (and was) so dated by 1994 when even the Escort had a 4spd auto.

          The 3 speed ATX in the Tempo may have a leg down on reliability (though I’ve had them with extremely high mileage) compared to the K’s 3 speed overall, but the rest of the car was better. No 6 passenger capability, but the suspension, the interior, the old Inline 6-based I-4 that was very tolerant to overheating situations (generally took a lot to, say, crack the head or even blow the gasket), was better IMO and it is/was my choice from the era.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Did you mean bored-out 2.5? The 2.6 was a separate engine sourced from Mitsubishi and was notoriously terrible.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        The early-K’s were remarkable for their room and pace; yes there were some issues with the early carbed 2.2’s and the Mitsu 2.6 was it’s own story. The K’s spawned a whole line of cars that lasted well beyond the original design concept. Virtually all of the product in the 1980’s was related to the K somehow. While that has it’s advantages/disadvantages, it still speaks volumes to the original engineering.

        I had a Topaz for about six years until I could stand it no longer (I’m cheap, what can I say). I get that you had a good experience with yours, mine was crap. Nickel and dimed me to death. The cramped, stretched early Escort chassis was not up to the challenge of midwestern roads, the engine was just plain weak and the handling (even with decent tires) was awful. After a couple of years, we got another car and I stopped taking the family in the Topaz because I never knew what was going to break next.

        Like many Mopars, you either get a good one or a bad one, very little in between the two extremes. My Dodges were great to me. And, the Tempo/Topaz seems to have the same issue and I got a bad one. But the T/T doesn’t have the far reaching effect that the K’s have; they were another car in the line up and an evolutionary dead end. The K’s spawned a whole new type of car and kept Chrysler alive to see another day…

  • avatar
    JMII

    The Honda Civic. Small gas sipper but actually sporty and fun to drive. It basically put Honda on the map in the US and continues to be successful to this day. It is pretty much their bread and butter car.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I ultimately bought a (heavily-depreciated) Ford product, but since I was out shopping cars, I got to see just how many improvements General Motors has made since bankruptcy. Once the new Terrain, Equinox, Regal and Enclave debut, the company will have revamped its entire consumer lineup, with none of its cars older than MY2013.

    I think they definitely try. I particularly like the Cruze (both generations), which has finally showcased GM’s ability to make a competitive, compelling and well-styled small car, and ended a series of horribly-engineered Chevrolet compacts also starting with the letter C (Citation, Corsica, Cavalier, Cobalt…)

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      The Prizm started with a P!

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        True, but the Prizm wasn’t among “horribly-engineered Chevrolet compacts” as it wasn’t engineered by Chevrolet at all; under the hood of our new NUMMI-produced ’99 5-speed were Toyota labels. (That car is still in service, although two states away.)

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          When I said that, I was thinking of the later Metro sedan.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo_Metro#/media/File:Chevrolet_Metro_sedan.jpg

          Yucky.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          And the Prizm was a good car, too, since it was a lightly-modified Corolla. I recommend it to people looking for an extremely inexpensive runabout or commuter, since it’s still reliable, but avoids the “Toyota tax.” Ditto for the Vibe versus the Matrix.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            In JDM terms it was a Sprinter body (the first Prizm, anyway).

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I didn’t know that about the Sprinter. Thanks! Toyota’s whole JDM distribution setup (Vista, Corolla, Netz, Toyopet, etc…) is strange to an outsider.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “The Prizm started with a P!”

        And it was hands down the best GM-branded compact of that era, perhaps unsurprisingly.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      You bought a Ford I’m unaware of?

      Kyree, I thought we were friends…

      I’d argue that the J body and the derived Corsica were okay, in context, at certain times. A Civic or Accord they were not, including in price, maintenance, insurance or repair costs.

      You know it makes me realize, we need some cheap American outdated cars again. Stuff that’s old in design, if not in actual model years. Corsica, Spirit, Tempo.

      Tell me this, would you take a Suzuki Verona or a same-year W body Impala? Exactly. Now you may be smelling what I’m stepping in.

      Lets try some others: Ford Tempo or Hyundai Excel?
      Slightly used Plymouth Sundance or new Yugo?

      American cheap cars of the era were really decent transportation. The all iron OHV I-4 may be low in technology compared to OHC imports, but it also didn’t self destruct a the time like the “World” engine and others.

      The interior was usually sub-par, but its not like you paid the same for a Spirit that you did a Camry. Like I said, in context.

      I have told stories before about how I have seen/owned many Toyota and Honda engines of the 80s-90s (their “prime”) die an early death that wouldn’t have killed a 2.3L HSC (Ford Tempo engine).

      Something like a minor overheating event due to a blown hose, failed water pump or radiator puncture while driving at speed (stuff that happens to any car) leads to a warped head, cracked block, all kinds of crap. I had a new head put on a 1984 CRX’s 112k block to fix it after a stuck thermostat blew the head gasket and warped the head.

      It ran for a few weeks to a month before developing a lower end knock. It was not driven hot. Once it began getting hot, it was towed, they didn’t go for broke in a mad dash, ruining the engine. The owner was a Boeing engineer. It was his commuter. He’s smarter than that.

      I said to hell with it and sold it to a kid in High School who wanted a project gas-saver so he could stop driving his Mavrick eventually and build it, too (he loved it).

      Korean engines of similar design (aluminum, OHC) were all the worse. Some of the fringe Japanese manufacturers like Mitsubishi and Subaru have had major engine problems, some to this day.

      I know for a fact you can get an all-iron OHV engine pretty damn hot before major damage (usually, obviously I can’t speak to every engine on either side) occurs.

      When they do blow a head gasket, there is far less chance of a crack or warped surface. The absolute worst was the Ford 3.8L Essex that combined aluminum head and a cast iron block.

      This has been done with varying degrees of success elsewhere but it was perhaps at its worst on this engine due to the extremely high failure rate and the number of units produced, being in damn near everything including some half tons way back in the 80s as the 3.8L (very short lived) and again as the 4.2L in 1997-mid 00s, Mustang, Taurus, LTD, Thunderbird, Windstar, Continental, and as slightly enlarged but still similar in the Freestar and all their Mercury equivalents.

      Those were the kinda engines (etc) that earned the Americans a black eye.

      Now of course, these “new fangled” OHC, all-aluminum engines are not as fragile as they once were, but still prone to failure from neglect/abuse/random overheating more the their low-tech American predecessors like the HSC and the Pontiac Iron Duke.

      If I was GM, I’d have sold the Cruze Limited as the Chevy Classic, sell it cheap in fleets *and* as a loss leader in some fashion. Keep people out of Nissan Versas and Hyundai Accents. I know I’d rather have a discontented 1st gen Cruze over either of those.

      Ford could bring the Chinese Escort here if Trump doesn’t put a terrif on it. Sell it for the price of a Versa sedan.

      People would give a *genuinely cheap* (as in price) car more of a chance than they will an expensive China-built Buick or Volvo. Just like they accepted Datsun B-210s that were VERY cheap because (?) they were imports from a “lesser” (perceived quality) country.

      Take into account the customer’s belief that the car, made in China, will suck. If you expect a Chinese car to have less quality, you’d be pleasantly surprised that your brand new $10,500 Ford Escort feels kinda okay scewed together and has 50k on it before you realize you haven’t broken down or been burned alive.

      Then after the genuinely cheap China-built cars are found acceptable, you move up. Lexus would not have been successful in 1980 as it was in 1990. Few knew the Japanese to be capable of high quality and good design until boatloads of cheap but well-built Hondas, Nissan/Datsuns and Toyotas in the 1980s proved it.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        These are all good points, John.

        The car in question is a 2014 Lincoln MKS with a Tuxedo Black Metallic exterior and a Light Dune interior. It’s just the standard 3.7 / FWD combo, but it’s got option group 101A (Elite Package, which includes BLIS, navigation, powered pedal adjustment, THX audio and other stuff)…as well as some add-ons, like the pano sunroof, the cold weather package, and the 20″ wheels. In fact, here’s the window sticker:

        http://www.windowsticker.forddirect.com/windowsticker.pdf?vin=1LNHL9DKXEG612095

        I’m pleased with it, especially since it cost less than a mildly-optioned new Cruze. It’s the first Ford purchase in my immediate family that comes to recent memory. Well…actually my stepdad has a 2004 F-150 XLT extended-cab with the 8 ft bed, but he bought that new, well before he met and married my mother. And I think my grandmother had an old Mercury Topaz that she traded for an Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight when the Topaz became too small. So, yeah, we don’t have many Ford cars. Most of my family buys GM or foreign cars…and there’s my uncle that’s had a slew of Grand Cherokees, Wranglers, Sebring convertibles, Durangos, and as of recently, a first-gen Pacifica.

        Add me on Facebook, BTW :P

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Why does the Cobalt get a bum rap?

      The Cobalt SS Supercharged was a terrific car to drive. The Turbos are even better according to the car magazines.

      Do any of GM’s current small cars drive as well? NO

      Ford? Maybe the Focus SVT…at over $35,000.

      The VW GTI and Subaru WRX are all that’s left.

      It’s sad that the old GM could take a mundane Cobalt and for a little more money create a terrific Cobalt SS, but now it offers nothing like that, even though underneath, the Cruze is an improved Cobalt.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Right, the car that regularly tried to kill its owner, successful several times.

        I drove a Cobalt and also a Cruze, and while not back to back, the Cobalt was a rickety ox cart compared to the Cruze. It might be an improved version of the old platform, but its not the same car. Its a lot better.

        The first gen Focus, in non SVT trim, always handled extremely well, and the Zetec was a sweet, willing partner to the chassis and steering. The old “SPI 2000” hunk of junk in the lower trim sedans was on par with the Cobalt, but a ZX3 or 5 was a very fun, Euro-flavored car. I would take one over a GM compact if the era any day.

        “Ford? Maybe the Focus SVT…at over $35,000.”

        Was the SVT that much more or less than a Cobalt SS? Unless you’re just excusing the Cobalt’s price because its the most wonderfulest car in the world.

        I checked Google, the Cobalt SS started at $22k, Focus SVT started at $17k. Exact year comparison may differ but clearly not every Focus worth driving is $35k+

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          “…It might be an improved version of the old platform, but its not the same car. Its a lot better.”

          I can’t tell whether Delta II (Cruze, Verano, Astra J, etc) was an improved form of Delta I (Cobalt, G5, Astra H, etc) or a clean-sheet platform. I know the new D2XX is all-new.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The previous Cruze was the successor to the old Daewoo Lacetti, which washed up on these shores as the Suzuki Forenza and Reno (and Chevy Optra in Canada).

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Oh, I remember it. At one point, it was Top Gear’s “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.”

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            “We got ourselves a Chevy!”

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The SS (both in supercharged and turbocharged versions) was a cool car, albeit crude. And it definitely didn’t make up for the fact that the Cobalt line as a whole was pretty crappy. The Cobalt was subpar without costing all that much less than a contemporary Corolla. I could respect it if it were more-honestly-barebones, like the Cavalier—which I *still* wouldn’t drive—but it wasn’t. It pretended to be competitive.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    Looks like some people beat me to the punch already, but I’ll offer up my nominations anyway:

    1. The Subaru Outback. I suppose its status as the “first” utility station wagon is debatable, but it’s impossible to argue against the sales success it’s been. My family had a ’96 at one point, and it never let us down in terms of usefulness. Personally, I liked it better when it was a real wagon, but hey, if it helps bankroll the fun stuff like the WRX and BRZ, you won’t hear me complaining.

    2. The GM 3800 engine. The one in my family’s Grand Prix has proven pretty much bulletproof, and is a large part of the reason we still have the car today. It also offers a reasonably entertaining driving experience, which certainly was important to my 16-year-old self when I was learning to drive, and it’s given me a lifelong appreciation for what it does.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      One amazing thing about the Outback story is that it was repeated almost exactly by Subaru 20 years later, with the same kind of success: The Crosstrek (or XV in other markets) is simply a raised special-appearance version of the Impreza 5-door, just as the Outback was basically a Legacy wagon. Both eclipsed their plainer counterparts, and eventually the Legacy wagon was dropped (a shameful decision) – I hope the same doesn’t happen to the current Impreza 5-door when the new-body Crosstrek appears. Not every car should be raised up.

      I also agree about the 3800 V6. I used to drive a friend’s aged parents’ 2005 LeSabre up and down to Florida twice a year while they flew, and the motor was surely the best thing about that rolling Barcalounger.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    The original VW Bug for me, it had everything from racing to war to peace to star glamour and still influenced car design throughout the 60s.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    I may be “breaking the rules” by submitting two answers, but the Ford Model T deserves mention. It was too long ago for any of us to remember; but it succeeded in a big way in bringing the automobile to the masses; before then, they were just toys for the rich.

    Ford went on to offer several body styles; including the woody and delivery truck. There were even kits offered to convert them to a primitive tractor. It would be several decades before it’s 16.5 million total built was surpassed; and it is still #8 on the list today.

    The Taurus and Ford of the 1980s is my favorite; but the Model T has to go down as the biggest success story of all.

    P.S. The Model T engine itself also went on to lead second lives doing everything from powering water pumps and fans on farms to airplanes (the Pietenpol Scout.)

    http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80759.html?1257174775

    • 0 avatar

      You beat me to it. Second place goes to the VW Type I. One could argue that since more Beetles than Model Ts were made and sold that the VW should be in first place, but the Type I’s success took a while. The Model T was an immediate success, with 15,000 orders within days of its announcement.

      One facet of the Model T’s success was the fact that it more or less introduced the notion of democratization of luxury. Henry Ford’s idea that the automobile was too important to just be a rich person’s toy was one of the modern world’s great ideas.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    How about one from the two wheeled world.

    The 1969 Honda CB750.

    The CB showed up and you either had to up your game or fold (which some manufacturers did).

    Reliability and performance all in a comfortable package with electrics that wouldn’t cause you to curse the day.

    Honorable mention to the New York Steak. No silly, not the beef but the 1973 Kawasaki Z1.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Honda Accord. The Accord, not the Civic, really put Honda on the map. And each of the first four generations just embarrassed the competition at launch. It took Toyota until the 1992 Camry and the domestics until the mid-’90s before they were able to offer anything remotely competitive. The car singlehandedly forced everyone else in the compact class to sell on price for almost 15 years.

    Then in the mid-’90s the domestics actually got much better; all the Japanese makers, including Honda, went through the Strong Yen Troubles; and Honda decided to grow the Accord into a midsize, a class with tougher competition. No Accord from 1998 on dominated its segment the way the earlier ones did, although I think the 2003 and 2013 versions were clearly the top choice at launch.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      I haven’t been a Camry fan for a while. I think the Accord has been “more car” for quite a while. Since 04 era-ish.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The ’16 refresh was the most desirable Camry for some time IMO. Worse interior than the Accord, but competitive in other ways, and available DIRT CHEAP. The new ’18 looks even more promising.

        The ’03 generation of Accord was very good (if ugly). It had the best J30 — what a sweet engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      dal: Civics arrived in Canada in 1973, Accords a few years after. At least in Canada I believe that the Accord arrived first as a hatch. The sedan style came later.

      It was the Civic that made Honda a ‘mainstream’ car company. People bought so many and liked them so much that moving up to an Accord became an acceptable option when they made more money or had a family.

      It was really the 3rd generation Accord that broke through and became a game changer.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Aztek! The Great Primogenitor!

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Was that a success though?

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        It sired millions.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          The Lexus RX300 was around three years earlier, if you want CUV inception.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Well, the Aztec introduced us to the mid size CUV that isn’t a luxury model unavailable to the unwashed masses (not quite upper middle class enough for an L)

            It did sell well as the Buick Rendezvous, more expensive but still obtainable compared to the Lexus.

            The styling obviously killed it before it was realized, but as Rodney Dangerfield’s twin and less talented brother pointed out above, it was the beginning of the mainstream midsize CUV segment, even if the car itself stumbled so hard it killed its mother in the process.

            Once a 3rd row was added, boom: the defacto replacement for the minivan (no matter who says otherwise).

  • avatar
    7402

    I’m going to give this to the Mercedes-Benz W123 series.

    Honorable mention to the VW Type III square back.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    BMW 2002 – “turn your hymnal to 2002”

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/1968-bmw-2002-review

  • avatar
    deanst

    Lexus sc300 – with manual transmission.

    http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/lexus-sc-coupe/

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    The K Car.

    If you can find a better car, buy it!

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I was pleased by the 1993-97 Cadillac Seville STS with the Northstar V-8. It was very good for its time, but didn’t seem to have much of an influence on Cadillac in the long term.

    The Mazda MX-5 Miata. It just seemed so obvious and I can’t imagine why no one else did it before Mazda and no one has been able to mount a credible challenger to it.

  • avatar
    DearS

    The Corolla for me, or Civic, Camry, Accord etc. The affordable reliable family car. When you need to get to work or are on a budget, reliability is as emotional as anything.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Putting the Cummins turbo-diesel in Dodge pickups.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    First year of NSX and S2000. Both lost some shine when the competition responded and HMC did not, but in the first year there was nothing like either.

    A80 Supra Turbo. At the time I thought it was overpriced… Oops.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    How about Harlow Curtice and the 1934 Buicks? Without the Series 40, would there be a Church of the 3800?

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Corey Lewis: Fair enough – I’m not knowledgeable on that topic and I can’t find further information...
  • Corey Lewis: I kind of like it from a JDM fancy 300ZX sort of perspective. It was not competitive at all.
  • FreedMike: Any truth to the rumor that the lead designer on this went on to pen the latest Camaro? Lord, I love a car...
  • Varezhka: Actually the separate tax rate for 3 number vehicles (any cars over 4700l x 1700w x 2000h mm or engine...
  • theflyersfan: As I recall, aren’t you a fan of the M30? I just thought it was WAAAAY too mid-1980’s...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

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