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    Question '70s rides, decade of disaster or delight?

    Maybe that should be Afternoon Delight, if anyone can remember that popular Starline Vocal band song? Lol. Cars from that time can get a bad wrap, but there were some worthwhile things from those days like GM's radial tuned suspension (RTS) and ESC ignition, and some interesting rides. What notable cars can you think of from those years?



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    It was mostly a dark decade for cars:. Rust, emmissions, big ugly bumpers, general low quality, nasty Japanese cars, opera windows, and by 1975 the German mark and German labor costs were skyrocketing, just about killing VW in the US.

    I'm old enough to remember those cars. The original Vega (before the big bumpers) was actually a good looking car, sort of a mini-Camaro. The original engines were good for about 40k miles of normal use.

    A fellow mechanical engineering student had previously been a tech' at GM in their engine lab. He said the Vega engine got all it's wear on cold start up. He said that one of the tests they did was durability while continiously running under load. He said that in that test (only), the orignal Vega engine was the most durable engine GM ever made.

    Vega's (even more so than other cars of that vintage) were rust buckets, too. The first step in restoring a Cosworth Vega is strip it down to the body and give it a hot zink cathode dip. Othewise, you're wasting your time.

    The RX2 had a EPA city fuel mileage of 9 MPG. Once the word got out Toyo Kogyo just about went bankrupt.

    This is the car that had the most influence on how I think about cars. It's also what saved BMW, and pretty much defined the sports sedan. My cousin-in-law had a 1972 2002 (non-tii), that he'd let me drive. Now, his son is number 9 on the waiting list for my M3 when I sell it. I'm thinking about bringing my cousin-in-law along (instead of goatgirl) if/when I pick up another BMW at Spartanburg or a 911 at Porsche's upcoming Atlanta deivery center. He got rid of his 356 before I was old enough to drive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m26S0zrEd8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj9gSHzb04Q

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhcTSF9KVMs

    This particular car is/was in Mobile Heritage's vintage rental fleet in Munich.

    BMW and American Motors were working on a deal for AM to build the E10 (1600/1800/2002) in the US under license. But, they'd still be too expensive for what (enough) Americans would pay for a small car. Too bad.

    Two flaws with E10's were the dashboard padding splitting after a few years, and the door strap (stopping the doors from opening too wide and bending against the front fender). You'd see a lot of 2002's with vertical dents in the same spot on the doors. I read somewhere that they designed the E36's door stops to fit on the E10's. It's real hard to find a restored or original 2002tii for sale.

    O.k. what did the 2002, Honda Civic CVCC, Mazda rotary RX2, and the Mercedes-Benz 240D have in common? They were the only four cars to pass early 70's smog tests without add-on hardware. The BMW engine had a "hemi" cylinder head that generated a lot of turbulence in the mixture. The CVCC had stratified charge (rich mixtue around the plug ignited first, and the first burn would spread to the lean mixture). Diesel soot wasn't regulated back then.

    Here's the vehicle that stayed in production longer than anything except the 911, 1963-1991, and you could argue that the 911 was actually several different cars, just having the same name.

    http://www.netcarshow.com/jeep/1963-...llpaper_01.htm

    I got my dad's 1969 Wagoneer. At 9 MPG, i kept it about six months before getting a 1976 VW Rabbit, conceptually the best little car at the time, but quality was horrible. The only thing that didn't break on that car was the Michelin tires and the fuel guage.
    Last edited by goatboy; 04-14-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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