By on January 28, 2019

Being accused of being out of touch is one thing. Ahead of the curve, though? Sometimes that can be equally problematic.

Whether loaded with a host of unbaked tech or saddled with styling that wasn’t quite ready for primetime, what’s your pick for a vehicle that was ahead of its time?

It doesn’t have to be an example of abject failure, either. The Mitsubishi 3000GT (née GTO, née Dodge Stealth) was packed with technology like four-wheel steering, all-wheel drive, adaptive suspension, and active aero bits. It was also heavier than a collapsed sun and extremely difficult to repair.

Speaking of 4WS, that trio of characters in sequence arguably became introduced to the public consciousness via the trunk lid of Honda’s excellent 1987 Prelude. Steering either with or against the front wheels, depending on a few variables, this tech added roughly 10 percent to the car’s price and was arguably hamstrung by the analog era, compared to today’s digital interpretations of the same. I’ll lump GM’s Quadrasteer in here, too.

There’s no shortage of examples. Citroen DS, all the AMC Eagles that foreshadowed the current CUV craze, that OG Honda Insight, even the Pontiac Aztek. Which one makes your list — for better or worse — as a machine that was ahead of its time?

[Image: Murilee Martin]

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84 Comments on “QOTD: Ahead of Its Time?...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Oldsmobile Jetfire.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    “Née” means “born”.

  • avatar
    gtem

    1977 Lada Niva:

    First SUV to blend road-holding and offroad capability. Unibody, independent front suspension, coil sprung rear axle, full-time 4WD system for use on mixed traction surfaces, with an option to lock the center diff and low-range. Much more “carlike” on road compared to SUVs of that era, and a much smoother more compliant, controlled ride offroad as well compared to anything leaf-sprung.

    1989 Mazda MPV:
    Sort of a template for modern three row crossovers, although I’ll argue the Mazda was roomier and better set up to tow. Based on the 929 luxury sedan (reinforced unibody, macpherson front end, tight rack and pinion steering), with the solid rear axle out of a B-series truck, coil sprung. Available full/part time 4WD with an unlocked center diff setting for mixed traction use, locked center diff, and the unicorn 5spd manual 4wds even had a low range.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I should mention too, the most impressive thing about the Niva is that the Soviet engineers came up with this 4wd SUV using a 1970 Lada parts bin. Downright astounding what they came up with given the constraints.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Or, in this market, the original Kia Sportage – the first compact family CUV.

      And I never thought of the MPV as a CUV, but that makes sense. Good call.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        You talking about the BOF SUV one, or the 2011 Crossover one? Or the mid 2000s crossover one? The BOF one is not usefully different from a 4 door Sidekick/Vitara IMO to warrant calling it anything special (although I do like them). The first car-based ones are likewise in the thick of the compact crossover boom, their sort-of novelty was being one of the few with a V6, although the Escape beat them there.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Come to think of it, the CR-V might be a better bet. I remember the Sidekick being a bit too butch to really appeal to families.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Yeah I think the ’96 Rav4 and ’97 CRVs are rightfully the progenitors of the non-BOF, FWD-sedan based compact CUV class, I love the Rav4 for its pretty underrated offroad cred, but the gen 1 CRV was noticeably roomier and more family friendly.

            1st gen Sportage is an unloved offroader with fairly solid Mazda derived mechanicals that is finally getting some respect as first the supply of Samurais dried up, and now even the Sidekicks are either already hacked up or getting overpriced.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Also just realized I have my Sportages and Sorentos mixed up! 2011 was the Sorento moving from a midsize SUV size/construction to a FWD based compact-midsize-ish crossover.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Sidekick and XL-7 Suzuki were far more off road capable than they get credit for.

            The Off-Road magazines of the day were generally pleasantly surprised especially for the Suzuki’s price point.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Yep, my brother’s stick shift ’02 XL7 gets an offroad workout on a weekly basis, he’s had to dig mud out of the HVAC vents and all that. Not a bad trucklet, although if it weren’t for him being a capable mechanic he’d probably have gotten rid of it some time ago. The 2.7L V6 timing chain is rattling again, stretched (he did just the tensioner his first time committing 12 hours to tearing it apart), the heater core has been leaking for a few years and is finally serious enough to need doing, and the original clutch is finally just about used up. Some other odds and ends with the driveshaft, and patching the frame (salty climate, he hadn’t undercoated), but all in all for 170k not bad considering the abuse it gets. All original front end suspension components, just one set of shocks in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      Gedrven

      I thought the Niva’s front suspension and driveline were new designs?

      The Niva was not the first off-roader with reasonable road ability (Jeep Wagoneer from 1963), but the first in the personal-sized category, as opposed to family-sized.

      Along similar lines I submit the GAZ-61, the first 4WD passenger car with any kind of volume production, though I can’t find actual production numbers. If not for certain events in 1941 (and general problems starting, depending on your ideologies, in 1929, 1917, 1905, or prehistory), it would have been adopted by the civilian market on a scale enough for the West to notice, instead of fading into obscurity.

      GAZ M72 comes to mind as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Gedrven

        Actually, I retract the submission of the GAZ-61, because it was de facto a military truck that happened to have a fixed roof. Instead, I submit the M72 (aka GAZ-72).

        It was unibody and hardly a one-off, with 4677 built from 1955 to 1958. It was available at least in theory to civilians; I doubt anyone short of a mid-ranking apparatchik could actually get one, but it wasn’t for the military, who had their own vehicles by that point. It appears to be the first unibody 4WD vehicle of any size, predating the Niva, Subarus, FF Interceptor, Cherokee, Eagle, Quattro, and all the other more famous examples. I have no idea what its roadholding was like, though the M20 Pobeda it was based on apparently was good by 1950’s car standards.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Oh you’re absolutely right in that a lot of the design is still from scratch, but as I understand it a lot of the fulltime 4wd drivetrain is still made from adapted and re-purposed RWD Lada gear, the specifics escape me at the moment.

        I didn’t know the specifics of the SJ Jeep, it does sound like it was specifically engineered for road-ability. But what year did they introduce a full-time 4wd system that could be used in the dry/mixed? Wikipedia seems to indicate Selec-Trac didn’t roll around until 1983.

        • 0 avatar
          Gedrven

          True, but I’d argue that the Niva’s AWD capability doesn’t help its status as a road-going car, more than the tractor-grade refinement levels hurt it.

          Also, I’d argue that it wasn’t ahead of its time, because “its time” – that is, a wave of similar vehicles and popular demand for them – still hasn’t come. There’ve been tons of dual-purpose vehicles (Cherokee, 4Runner, Pajero…) but they’re all much bigger. There’ve been a few small off-roaders (Samurai, Wrangler) but they aren’t car-like*. But has there been a direct competitor to the Niva?

          *I’ve daily-driven my 1981 Toyota 4×4, including on 500+ mile drives where I didn’t need to shout for passengers to hear me. Never been in a Niva but based on video and written reviews, one could not say the same. Compared to my Yota, I’m sure the Niva handles better, but not sure about ride quality – Yota’s ride is “busy”, bouncy, but never harsh – and it’s definitely louder. Fuel economy is comparable, in part because mine is usually in 2WD. Which is more car-like?

          I really want someone to make a tasteful retro Niva. Same size, same shapes, quieter, nicer interior, allow 2WD, and leave the rest alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogey74

      Good call on the Lada. A joke of a car in my childhood but now I get them. They still have a lot of fans those things.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do think that the EAGLE is an obvious one. Subaru Outback before there was an Outback.

    The SX/4 model reminds me of the Crosstrek.

    I also love that AMC Competed in the SCCA ProRally Series from 81-88.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Don’t laugh, but I think the jellybean Taurus/Sables that Ford introduced for the 1996 model year were ahead of their time. Yes, their design was indeed controversial when it came out and I myself did not care for it, however, I have come to admit that they wouldn’t have looked out of place among the designs which were introduced 15-20 years later.

    • 0 avatar
      Vanillasludge

      Yes to this

    • 0 avatar
      Vanillasludge

      Yes to this

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      The wagons pulled off the the “extra oval” styling the best for these cars, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      First one to come to my mind as well.

      The 1986 Taurus was pretty far ahead of it’s time when you look at the cars it competed with, and what it replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Yeah I’d say the ’86 Taurus is the one the look at if you want to look at innovation and setting the pace for others to follow. The ’96? I agree the styling had aged better than I think anyone thought it would, but as an overall package it wasn’t as big of a depature from what preceded as the ’86.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I remember when the Taurus/Sable first came out and I saw some in front of a dealer, I actually pulled off the road to get a better look, something I normally would never do. They were that impressive

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Was the Taurus really ‘ahead of its’ time’? I’d argue it wasn’t – not even for Ford. The company had been doing aero-designs in Europe (the Sierra) for quite some time before the Taurus was introduced.

      Here in the U.S., I’d argue that the Audi 5000 was the “aero-look” trailblazer.

      The Taurus was great looking, and I’d also say it was the first domestic family sedan to offer truly chic styling and a more “European” driving experience, but it rode a trend.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Dumping the Brougham with the Taurus was definitely a huge move for an American-badged vehicle in the NA market.

        Compare the 1st gen Taurus to a mid 80s New Yorker or Delta 88.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Taurus was a brave move, especially considering it was a “make or break” moment for the company which was not in great financial shape after the early 80s recession.

          There’s been an argument that if GM had more of a “near death” experience in the early 80s it would have been healthier for the company long term.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Was the Taurus a brave move? Absolutely. Was it a radical departure from brougham family sedans? Again, absolutely. It was a great car.

          But it wasn’t really ahead of its’ time. It wasn’t even their first domestic aero-look car – the Tempo was.

          • 0 avatar
            Weltron

            “But it wasn’t really ahead of its’ time. It wasn’t even their first domestic aero-look car – the Tempo was.”

            Wouldn’t the Aero Thunderbird be considered first? I thought that was an 1982.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Aston Martin Lagonda Series II sedan?????????

    Would have to admit that the AMC Eagle is also my first choice. Much of what we see on today’s roads is nothing but an adaption of its concept.

  • avatar
    Vanillasludge

    My picks:

    1962 IH Scout…a year round mini sport utility.

    Pontiac Aztec..Everything ended up look that way after all.

    1997 Prius…we all predicted they would crap out in a year.

    The Hummer H2 and Toyota Fj. We laughed at them when gas went to 4.25 a gallon but they are going for big bucks now. I bet GM wishes they had killed Buick and kept Hummer!

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      If GM had green lighted the HX Concept (to be called the H4), they could have given the Wrangler a run for its money. It’s no guarantee, but Hummer could still be a big deal today.

      What amazes me is the number of clean H2s I still see on the road today.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogey74

      That Prius, I respected Toyota for having a crack at a new drive train and sticking with it. I never wanted one and I could tell they were probably worse for the environment than a good, simple diesel. Later on solid numbers backed that up. But Toyota made them work and there are heaps of 20 year old ex cabs getting around my city – there is the proof of the commitment.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Original Chrysler Pacifica- Crossover before anyone realized they wanted one. Didn’t drive too badly due to the Daimler underpinnings and was comfortable upfront, but fuel mileage with the Chrysler V6’s wasn’t stellar and not a ton of room in the back for the size.

    Styling was certainly odd, though not as ugly as the Aztek (subjective) and the usual hit or miss Chrysler quality doomed many of these. With cleaned-up, current FCA style and the Pentastar, it could be more than a contender in the crossover craze.

    Honorable mention to the Mercedes R-type and of course, the Pontiac Aztek. It might have been ugly, but it was versatile.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Mercedes R-Type AMG would be in my collectible car garage for the pure silliness of it.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      What was odd about the Pacifica’s styling? It certainly wasn’t ugly. They would quite attractive actually. I had two of them and the quality and reliability was excellent. I also found the rear to be quite roomy. My back seat passengers never complained. What a strange take you have on the Pacifica. It doesn’t add up.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Yeah, I never understood why the Pacifica tanked. Not butch enough to be an SUV I guess, soft utes hadn’t really caught on yet.

        • 0 avatar
          WildcatMatt

          I came here to nominate the original Pacifica as well. It suffered from two big issues, that I can see.

          1) Daimler wanted to push Chrysler upmarket, so the model mix leaned toward fully-loaded examples and a lot of people didn’t want to pay that much for a brand whose perception had fallen to roughly equivalent to Oldsmobile.

          2) Daimler forced Chrysler to use the Pacifica to beta test stuff they wanted to use in the R-Class like the multi-segmented AWD driveshaft and the original engine cradle was extremely prone to failure. And replacements for both were unobtainium.

          People talk about never seeing them on the road, I see a minimum of 6 every day here in Wilmington, Delaware. (I see almost as many Hyundai Elantra Tourings — this must be where all the weird cars go.)

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        It was odd in the same way the Sebring was before it was restyled/ turned into the 200. Kind of a mish-mash of styling cues and it looked “big” but it wasn’t.

        I didn’t say it was ugly, just kind of oddly styled. Now that many of them are ancient and on BHPH owner number 5, they are getting ugly!

        My take is based on a very brief experience with one as a rental and that was many years ago now. Maybe it’s better than I remember it being.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          OK, it wouldn’t let me edit. The Pacifica was not ugly like the Aztek, but maybe kind of anonymous in its styling? Like if you deleted the badges, you wouldn’t know what it was? It did look better in darker colors.

          I guess you had two of the good ones? But with so few on the road, it’s hard to say just how durable and reliable they were.

          • 0 avatar
            WildcatMatt

            My ’07 Pacifica was just shy of 212,000 when I sold it two months ago. The interior was still in great shape but time was catching up with the mechanicals.

  • avatar

    Citroen DS.
    It was voted the car of the 20th Century by the European car journalists. It is still perhaps the most comfortable car for ride quality ever built. Most traffic calming humps don’t ruffle the ride very much. It is unfortunate so few are on the road so today’s younger drivers and journalists could experience it. It does, however, require a Citroen expert to work on the hydraulics.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Lexus RX300, IMO set the base parameters for the CUVs we now see clogging our streets.

    My wife had one, it was a very pleasant, if uninspiring, vehicle. it’s also a bit on the compact side.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yep gen 1 RX created the mold for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Even though they were not as luxurious the Jeep XJ Cherokee set the bar for the unibody compact SUV.
      The ZJ was a luxury competitor for folks who weren’t as asperational to go for a Range Rover.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I dunno, within the context of what it competed against, I don’t remember anyone really focusing on the XJ being a unibody, aside from praising its on-road handling for not being too tippy (lower height relative to its track width moreso than BOF vs unibody there, but lower weight due to lack of frame is a non-trivial piece I suppose). It was compared to the 1st gen Explorer and S10 Blazer in the early 90s, but as soon as the ZJ came out that became the logical competitor to the Explorer based on size and price. The XJ hung around as a very nice half-way between a crude and basic Wrangler (back when they really were crude and basic) and a pricier ZJ. Nissan specifically developed the Xterra to go after the XJ and the space of younger active people who might actually go offroad.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I would say it was still one step away from the current set of crossovers in being rear drive. Also the shape still says “truck” where the RX300 say “passenger vehicle.”

  • avatar
    DanDotDan

    The Cadillac 4-6-8 engines were a complete disaster for GM, but now cylinder deactivation is fairly common and accepted.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Well, now it actually works as intended, and 4 bangers can generate adequate power. In the early 80s Caddy’s V8s were dogs, taking four cylinders away turned them into turtles.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      The idea outstripped the engine management available then. Credit to GM for being forward thinking, but there’s no way it could have worked well back then. I wonder how many customers V-8-6-4 and the Olds diesel V8 cost them alone.

  • avatar
    maestromario

    GM’s graphic touch screen control in the late 80’s. Found in the Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo, Buick Riviera and Reatta. Every car has them now.

  • avatar
    maestromario

    Chrysler Sure-Brake system on the 1971 Imperial. Electronically controlled four-wheel anti-skid system. Every car has that now.

  • avatar
    maestromario

    Electrojector electronic fuel injection on the 1958 Chrysler Desoto.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    VW Bus, a minivan long before anyone thought that would be a thing

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    1988-90 Mazda 626 Turbo 4WS. Ahead of its time in the late 80’s.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    GM’s airbag option in ’70s full size cars, a good 10-15 years before they became commonplace.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Saab spent decades building luxury hatchbacks with small turbo engines and decent winter grip (even if it only came in their last few years, AWD was a fairly natural evolution for them). Now, several of the luxury manufacturers are offering something similar (if maybe a little sleeker, at the expense of utility).

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      My choice too. When I bought my 2001 SAAB 9-5 Aero, it was a real outlier as a larger premium car with a four-cylinder turbo, but we owners immediately grasped the benefits — monstrous torque and stellar highway fuel economy. Now, every luxury marque offers four-cylinder turbos for precisely these reasons, even in larger cars like the 5 Series and Cadillac CTS.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Isuzu Vehicross:
    Odd, rounded CUV-ish shape? Check
    Lots of plastic cladding? Check
    Huge whale shark grille opening? Check
    Terrible visibility? Check

    All that is missing is a turbo engine and it could be a modern day CUV.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Studebaker Avanti? Because who would ever buy a sporty mainstream vehicle with a blunt nose and no grille?

    • 0 avatar
      forward_look

      They still look good.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        I agree that they looked good and they still look good, but that’s because what looks “good” to me has a lot to do with functionality and purpose. Some people see the styling as a funky car that they don’t recognize. I look at the body and see the details that made it 20mph faster than contemporary Corvettes (which themselves were outstanding cars). I recognize them, give a thumbs up, and then I try not to get distracted from my own driving :)

  • avatar
    conundrum

    1948 Jaguar XK120. The dour cars being churned out after WW2 all had their ears pinned well-back by this car. DOHC hemi-head 6 cylinder of 3.4 litres, a top speed of 120 not just a speedo with fantasy markings, looks to kill – the Hollywood stars trampled over themselves to have one first. There was nothing else like it before, the first quantity production full size sports car and it didn’t cost a fortune like the prewar, limited bespoke handmade cars like Delahaye or Cord. Ferrari in 1948 was a cottage industry. The Corvette of 1953 was weak sauce compared to it, and smelled like that new fangled glass fiber rowboat your neighbour had just bought – a 235 and Powerglide wasn’t going to excite anyone and the styling was god awful chunky. The Jaguar was class.

    There are some good articles and pictures of the XK120 on the internet. Handsome car. Try Hemmings, there’s many there, some for $195K. You wouldn’t be embarrassed tooling around in one today at all. You’d be at the center of the crowd. Keeping kids dirty fingerprints off it would be your main concern.

    Even the public knew about this one at the time what with Life and Look photo magazines, not just semi-wealthy dilettantes. Look at a 1949 Ford or Chrysler product and then at this car. It was hope for the future, something you could strive for right now.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    AMC Eagle = It didnt invent the CUV, but it provided the basic idea right down to a needlessly angled back end and tacky trim. Subaru sorta revitalized the idea with the Outback.

    2000-ish Pontiac Grand Prix = For making the low, fat, rear headroom compromised family sedan template seen frequently today.

    Pontiac Aztec = For modern CUV styling, including front ends where I have no clue where the real headlights are at.

    Heck, I’ll just stop and say GM in general. They gave us turbocharging, airbags, early OBD-II computer systems, Touch screens, even the basic one brake pedal and one gas pedal seen in virtually all modern cars can br traced to Cadillac.

    Honda Civic “shuttle” vans = These and similar cars of the 80’s gave us the template for modern tiny CUVs.

    Honda Accord (iirc) = Not seen here in the US, but over seas some of these cars had navigation equipment back in the 80’s.

    Volvo 240 prototype = Despite having decent glass room it used a back-up camera, a standard feature in most cars decades later. Around the 90’s some Japanese cars adopted this tech early on.

    1964 Ford Thunderbird = I dunno if earlier years or other cars had this, but these have a center arm rest that swings up to reveal a spot for your belongings. Today, this is a standard gadget on most non-compact cars.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      “2000-ish Pontiac Grand Prix = For making the low, fat, rear headroom compromised family sedan template seen frequently today.”

      (chuckle) Funny, sad, and true all at the same time.

  • avatar
    forward_look

    Chrysler Airflow, 1934. A little before your time, maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The Chrysler CA and Airstream made the same years had the independent front suspension that the Airflow was lacking. Otherwise, the Airflow was pretty much the template for the American car as sold through the end of the Panthers.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    1964 Autobianchi Primula – first combination of a transverse engine with inline gearbox and hatchback body. It was a Golf a decade before the Golf, and Renault could manage to copy its brilliant drivetrain layout eight years after its introduction when they launched the R5.

    1928 Duesenberg Model J/1932 Model SJ – These cars were so powerful that nobody rivaled their outputs until the Chrysler Hemis of twenty five years later. They combined double over head cam, four valve per cylinder engines with analog luxury features that are today being accomplished with electronics; offering driver adjustable braking for conditions and ride damping.

    1977 Honda Accord – While mechanically it was merely state of the art, Honda changed the market by making all the things standard that we came to expect to be standard over the next fifteen years. In 1977, a base model compact car from Chevy, Ford or Plymouth would have had rubber mats instead of carpets, vinyl seats, a steering wheel that cost as much as the one on a Craftsman lawn tractor, one manual outside mirror, no day-night function on the interior mirror, no rear window defroster, no remote trunk release, no extraneous instrumentation(at least Chevy and Ford anyway), prominent dummy plugs to remind you every day you were poor, bias ply tires, no gas tank anti-theft measures and pretty much nothing else the big three could charge extra for. The Accord changed all of that, and added new features like side window defrosting, monitors for open doors and failed lights, maintenance minders, and standard rear window wiper-washers. That it was the best small car was almost secondary.

    The Porsche 928 and 924 were ahead of their time. There were other front engine/rear transaxle cars, even sports-racers like Pegasos and Ferraris of the ’50s. Alfa-Romeo had also produced some Alfettas in the ’70s, although they had archaic deDion rear suspensions. Porsche was the first one to use this balanced and practical layout in a serious GT car though. Unfortunately, what they learned was that most Porsche customers don’t buy their cars because they appreciate fine engineering. They buy them because they like the idea of Porsche. Meanwhile, every Corvette since the C5, every V12 Ferrari since the 456, many an Aston Martin, and the Nissan GT-R have all picked up the front engine/rear transaxle mantel from the 928 and 924 Porsches.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I’d add in the Mitsubishi Chariot/Dodge or Plymouth Colt Vista wagons. These were CUV’s 30 years ahead of their time – three row seating, adjustable fore-and-aft center row, 4 wheel drive option w/5MT. Could carry seven fairly comfortably in a rather nice interior for the time (’82 to ’91 for 1st Gen)getting reasonable economy and typical performance for an ’80s compact. These were pretty much overlooked at the time when the mini-van rage was boiling but with modern power trains would fit right in with the CUV’s of today.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Our family friends had a 4wd Colt Vista, they then upgraded to a ’98 Mazda MPV Allsport (we followed suit with a ’98 Allsport of our own a few years later), both fantastically utilitarian vehicles.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Subscribed, this is going to be good .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Corvair
    Chrysler Turbine Car
    Fuel injected ’57 Corvette
    Tucker
    Vector
    Lotus Esprit (lasted until its time)

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    OK just shoot me.

    The final version of the manual Fiero V6; imagine what it could have been if the car started out this way instead of the 2M4 econo-box.

    Saturn Sky / Pontiac Solstice – saw a coupe on the road this past weekend; if the car had more development time it could have been intriguing.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I briefly had a Honda Civic Wagovan, the front was pure Civic econobox but the rear widened out to a remarkably large cargo area with BIG square top hinged tail gate for easy and rain proof access .

    Comfy seats, terrific AC and easy to park/drive, if was gifted to me by a Female friend who died, she was a smoker and it took me quite a while to get the ashes and stink out, SWMBO was surprised I didn’t keep it, fold down the rear seat and use it like a shop truck .

    IMO a very clever little car from Honda .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    IH Travelall – arguably more passenger-oriented than the early GM Suburbans
    ’61 Compact vans from GM & Ford – the minivans before minivans
    BMC Mini – pointed the way for modern subcompact cars
    AMC Eagle – a practical, car-like AWD people mover
    Subaru AWD – jumped headfirst into the deep end of the AWD pool
    Pontiac Aztek – crippled by hideous styling, GM had all the boxes ticked except for appearance. How did that vehicle ever pass focus groups?


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