7th Jun 2013, 03:08

My sympathies to the commenter born in 1984. I was born in 1968, so during my youth and young adulthood I had a wealth of wonderful full-sized, ultra-reliable, comfortable and safe American cars to choose from used at incredibly cheap prices. With reasonably low fuel prices, I 'motored nearly for free' from the mid 1980s through about 2000 or so. Nowadays of course all is lost - and not just automotively.

9th Jun 2013, 01:36

I was born in 83, well basically a few days away from 84 if you wanna get technical LOL. I also understand where the both of you are coming from. Growing up in the late 80's and into the 90's, it was just a sad time for cars in general. I missed all the big luxury cars, the great muscle cars of the 50's-70's, since by the time the 90's rolled around, all those cars were hardly seen on the roads back then. It sucks that as a kid I never grew up around any great classic cars, but now that I am older, I have a great appreciation for them and a own a couple myself.

The old school tanks of the 50's-70's were America's best days in the automotive industry; I don't care what anybody says either (even the worst of the 70's cars, were better than what was built in the 80's). At least back then cars had a REAL sense of styling and were built so solid. Yeah, I hear about reliability issues and what not on certain models in those days, bodies rusting out, engines only lasting to 100K, etc... but if you stuck with the bigger luxury cars like the Cadillacs, Lincolns and Imperials, they were made better for a reason, and used heavy duty parts, big engines, big trannys, that lasted a very long time.

Those 90's Buicks had their positives. Their interiors were pretty crappy, but oh did they ride so smooth and had such nice comfortable seats. They were fairly big inside, even though the car wasn't so big exterior wise.

I wouldn't necessarily say that GM cars were great in the 90's, because A LOT of them weren't; the same can be said for Fords and Chrysler products too, but one thing for sure is, the larger Buicks were pretty nice and had a ton of legroom up front. Cadillac's too were good cars, but they looked far too generic compared to their 80's counterparts, and the FWD cars just weren't as reliable overall compared to the GM B-D bodies. The RWD Fleetwood, including the Chevy Impala, and the Buick Roadmaster were the best of the best of GM's offerings and IMO, was truly the end of the great Full-Sizers that looked awesome and were so dependable, at a time when American car reliability and construction wasn't at its best.

Today though, all the American car companies have stepped up big time, and are finally building cars that look good, and are just as well made as any Honda, or Toyo. The styling has gotten better too. The only thing that is missing are the true RWD, big luxury cars of the past. I love that big floaty American smooth ride that the old cars were always well known for, since personally I can care less about owning something sporty, and stiff riding even at my age! Plus I want something relaxing on a long commute home, not a car that is going to jar the heck outta of my teeth.

2nd Jun 2015, 03:02

I was born in 1953. Everything in my opinion was better from childhood to turning to adult. Strong economy, parents together, respect for people and so on. Most moms were home after school, and we went to schools where we actually lived. Not bussed all over. No cell phones or computers. You spent more quality time, especially with family and helping each other on our cars.

The 60s had some truly great domestic vehicles. Simple, and even if mileage was not great, the gas prices at 32 cents were never a issue. Every year in the 60s was one of excitement. When new car models came out, it was quite an event. Cars were hidden and then special ordered with each introduction Nothing better than ordering a new car exactly as you wanted it. My parents were very enthusiastic. They owned full size models. My memory was basic maintenance only. And maybe more trips for new tires than buying radials today. They didn't have rustproofing, but the metal was substantial. Simoniz and keeping them clean, it didn't seem an issue. People didn't keep cars for decades anyways You didn't internet every dealer in a 200 mile radius like today to trade inventory for a new car. You waited weeks.

You could tell from a couple blocks away what any given model it was. Nowadays many cars look like a potato from wind tunnel tests. Cars then coming out of the 50s now had better 12 volt systems, no more generators, disc brakes, seat belts etc. The thicker steel and chrome were far better than today. Very thin. My son once sat on my new Honda Accord hood and it was heavily dented and trashed. And he was not a big kid. Cars from the earlier era were solid. You could work on most cars with very few tools needed. Rebuild a Holley Carb with your eyes closed.

The Impala was a huge selling car in that era. A great durable car. They were built to last, especially the small block V8s. My high school had some of the coolest muscle cars ever. Styling and performance was absolutely amazing. I think after 72 it went downhill. Cars were slugs, even with a V8 like a 350 with only 190 HP. In the past several years it was started to become very promising again. The equivalent engine size close to 400 HP. But I wouldn't trade my early driving era for any since. I got my license in 1969. You could work a summer or 2 and be driving a used 65-66 389 Tri Power GTO. Gas was very cheap, and if your parents added you on their insurance, you had it made. College was even better. Rows and rows of late 60s used muscle cars under 2 to 3 grand. And they were pre emission and anti pollution garbage. And real HP.

For those that lived in the late 80s or 90s, it was pretty bleak. Unless you bought a Fox body or pre 96 5.0 Mustang GT. My son bought those as the best bang per buck since the 60s for a cool teen car. My younger kids aren't into cars like these. It's the cost of the gas now and simply affording to drive. The days of 5 or 6 dollar fill ups with leaded Sunoco 260 or Super Shell are long over. I am really glad I got to be a part of it. I liked the 80s Caprice and 90s Crown Vic V8s later.

7th Jun 2015, 03:50

Good assessment.

The early-70s full-size Chevrolets were/are excellent vehicles.

The basic GM B-Body chassis teamed up with the Small-Block-Chevy and TurboHydraMatic 350 transmission was reliable and (relatively) efficient transportation.

7th Jun 2015, 18:44

I remember many long trips and adventures a lot. And especially loved the 60s and early 70s Vista Cruiser station wagons. No seat belt laws and all the kids would stretch out with blankets. Most cars did not have air and no one cared or noticed. Our state didn't even have a main interstate yet. There was also many places to pull over with no paved shoulders under trees. With no Internet, DVR, etc you also arrived with far less exposure to new sites. So much of the fondness for old car experiences also relates to unspoiled areas. Now there's roads everywhere, shopping centers, office park buildings all over. Nowadays it seems everyone is in a big hurry to go somewhere and get back. Doing 2 or 3 other peoples' jobs today in a rush back to not get written up.