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Old 11-22-2015, 08:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are malaise era cars even worth it?

Well..I want to purchase a v8 land yacht preferably from 76-84 w/ 4 doors.

I dont want a Crown Vic or Grand Marquis(because i had a 84 one and it was a disaster)

So I broke it down to this
Buick Lesabre
Chrysler Newport?
Cadillac Brougham/Fleetwood
Lincoln Town car
Pontiac Bonneville
Chevrolet Caprice Classic
Dodge Monaco /Coronet ( or St.regis/diplomat?)
Plymouth Gran Fury/Fury

Which one of these should I buy...My budget atm is $3500-4500 tops.

I heard that Chrysler had terrible quality control in the 80s(and others say they all did)....and that Pontiac had the best because they were based in Canada? Forgive me for my ignorance ..just trying to find a project car(that may also be used as a daily driver). I would perfer something from late 70s aswell like 77-79 like I dont know why...what are some advantages /disandvantages of these older cars(from late 70s like 75s vs 84) for example

I nosed around on different forums and they say that malaise era cars are all weak and really bad..this is coming from a guy who has a 2013 Nissan Frontier atm ..what can I expect from a malaise era land yacht/sedan if i buy one atm?
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seems odd you would reference a Town Car as an option after stating you don't want a crown Vic or grand marquis.

I am partial to the wagon, I think an 80's Colony Park complete with wood panel sides would be fantastic. You might consider a Chrysler 5th avenue, I think they came with a 318 which are bullet proof.
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, their big V-8 engines have similar power to V-6 engines produced only a few years later. The Oldsmobile 307 V-8 in the 1985 Delta 88 Royale Broughm Im looking at makes the same 140 hp as the 3.0L V-6 that was introduced in the 1986 Ford Taurus. While the Taurus achives at or near 30 mpg on the highway, a V-8 full size body-on-frame V-8 powered car of that era will struggle to get 20-25 mpg. This is a result of old technology (carbs) forced to comply with emissions requirements. The more emissions equipment (and tuning) that is applied, the further down power and economy figures will dip. At best, you can expect mid 20s mpg and a rate of acceleration best described as "mild". Handling from the pre-downsized cars will make that 84 Crown Vic feel like a MX-5 Miata and the Taurus like a Formula One car by comparison. Yes, the ride is soft, but a bit too soft for its own good.

Really, you must put the cars in prespective. Build quality is very important in the first, say, 5 years of a car's life. After that, assuming there are no major defects known to that particular engine/car/etc, its more about how it was cared for rather than how great it was 40 years ago when it was built. Japanese cars of the 1970s were often times far more fragile than American cars. Early Hondas would blow head gaskets and crack/warp heads at very early mileages. Datsuns, Toyotas and Hondas all rusted into nothingness in less than a decade if great care wasnt taken to preserve them. As unsafe as the infamous Ford Pinto was, it actually had a lower "death rate" than Datsun, Toyota and other similar cars produced at the same time.

Your Nissan Frontier is a fine example of modern motoring nirvana compared to a lot of 1970s cars. You can crank the truck and immidiatly throw it into gear and be off. Try that in a carburated car of the 70s and itll likelt stall. You MUST allow it to warm up before driving, its not optional. That 84 Crown Vic probably had EFI, making it far easier to live with than cars were previously.

The best 1970s cars are highly subjective. I do like Datsuns, Toyotas and Hondas of the 1970s. Not because they are better, just because they were different. Ive owned a 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 with the 3.3L Inline 6 and I loved it beyond words. I do not care for big cars of the era, except the GM B body cars late in the decade (like the 85 Delta 88 Im looking at, that bodystyle started in the late 70s). The big Ford products were hidiously ugly, Id really rather have a 1960s Galaxie/Continental/Fairlane/etc or move on to the smaller Fox platform before giving way to the far superior FWD stuff of the early 80s. Those of you laughing at that last statement need only know how well cars like the Tempo and Taurus performed compared to the dreadful cars that preceeded them. The Fox platform wasnt bad, but it was seriously outclassed by the mid 1980s.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Of the American cars of that era, I was always partial to Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac. Didn't care as much for the Pontiacs unless they were special performance editions. I never owned a Ford product of that generation - wait, I did have an '83 F250 4x4 w/ a 351 that was not remarkably good or bad.

The Buick Electra 225 in particular always seemed like a well equipped, decent big car. A good friend had one for years, equipped with, as he used to say, "A low geah reah end" for performance.

The truth is, mechanically none of them were very good when they were new and they won't be much better now - especially compared to the cars of today, but there is a style and ride "quality" that can't be matched by anything current.

Edit - I should add that I did like the styling of many of the Chrysler cars, but the reliability when brand new during that time was not good. I wouldn't consider one from that era today unless...well, I just wouldn't.

Last edited by cbrworm; 02-19-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the one thing going for Malaise-era cars is the huge untapped potential under the hood. get a '76 Deville with the 500, you know that massive lump is capable of way more than 190 hp!
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