In all fairness, the Sebring Silver C5 Vette Convertibles looked nice enough for me to buy one new.
After 72, there were very few cars til the late 90s that got my heart rate up. The Trans Am was decent before 79. I like the Mustangs and Hemi Challenger Cadillac High HP, as well as the new Corvettes.
After 72, I liked the Datsun Z cars and SLs.
There were countless late 60s models that hit all at once that were exceptional. Too bad the insurance companies and experimentation with anti pollution controls and lousy bumper designs over a 5 MPH hit, destroyed the styling for a long while 74 up. And HP that was a joke. Things have finally got better.
It isn't always evident when a car is totaled. If there is frame damage, insurance companies will almost always total a car, and sometimes you can hardly tell there is external damage. Also if the car is over 10 years old with high mileage and has low value, again the insurance company will almost certainly junk the title, because repairs will exceed the value of the car. Of course some people elect to just keep the car and fix out-of-pocket. My Grandma totaled a '73 LeSabre going over a rail road track, and the frame caught on the track and bent it. You could not hardly tell there was anything wrong with the car, but it was not drivable.
Lastly, to the gentleman who feels the Chrysler Sebring and Ford Focus are beautiful designs. That is a perfect example of how car designs are purely subjective. I think, and I suspect many others would agree with me, that both of these models are just more of the same boring slop that has been coming out of Detroit for a better part of a decade now. I agree though that there have been some nice designs in the last decade; I love the 97-05 Buick Park Avenue, and I also find the 06-11 Cadillac DTS quite attractive, as well as numerous full-size SUVs and trucks. However, I don't think I could name one car that is currently on the market that I find appealing in any way. I saw one of the new Cadillac XTS' the other night that is supposed to be the new flagship, and I just can't believe it. It's 1985 all over again, when GM introduced the new down-sized front-wheel drive flagships, but at least they still rode comfortably.
Exorbitant part and labor costs have resulted in many newer cars being written off as totalled that really had little damage. In 2006 a careless driver ran a stop sign in front of my Dodge truck. My truck still ran and drove very well, but because both airbags were deployed and one headlight was broken, the insurance company wrote it off as a total loss.
To be completely fair, horsepower doesn't mean much. Torque is what actually gives the car its get-go. Thankfully, while HP figures fell after 1972, torque figures fell at a much slower rate during that decade.
I agree completely. The 97-05 Buick Park Avenue was a great car that could give any modern import luxury car a run for its money.
The Cadillac DTS was a little too aero looking for me, but I still respect it as a luxury vehicle.
The new Cadillac XTS is a joke; I saw it too a couple days ago as well.
The problem is that GM is trying to appeal to newer buyers, but is missing the mark due to crappy styling, questionable quality control, and obviously cheap design features. Not to mention Cadillac's infamous post-1985 unreliability record. There's no way a front wheel drive is going to stand a chance against the largely rear wheel drive import luxury brands either.
I would totally disagree with the notion that GM's quality has fallen or that their styling is "Crappy". I remember just a few years ago when I got married, we rented a Pontiac Grand Prix. It was about the worst car I've ever driven. It was made out large sheets of plastic, the doors sounded like garbage cans when you shut it, there were massive gaps not only in the body panels, but the interior parts as well. The interior itself was a disaster: The whole dash was one giant piece of shiny plastic. All of the controls felt flimsy: The turn signal and wiper controls felt like I could break them off in my hands.
I also had a friend in college who drove a Chevy Cavalier. The car was barely what I'd call passable as a car. It only had about 40,000 miles on it and already it had eaten several sets of brake pads, had a leaky steering rack, and was starting to leak coolant. The car was rolling garbage. Both of these cars were typical of GM products from the 90's-early 2000's.
As mentioned previously, I rented a Chevy Cruze recently. Not only does the car look great, but the quality was above par for its class. When you shut the door it was one solid piece. No clunks or rattles. The interior was whisper quiet. The fit, finish, and level of detailing was as good as any luxury car I've driven. What's more, these are selling extremely well. In fact, most of the new GM lineup is selling very well. So well that they went from operating at huge losses to now operating at very healthy profits. I've been a lifelong Toyota owner, but I give credit where credit is due.
Had GM kept on making the crap they were making in the 90's - as in like the floaty plasticy cars my Grandmother likes to drive - they would now be totally out of business. Good for them for improving their product.
I agree about the XTS, but Cadillac hit it out of the ball park with the world class CTS-V.
For me, front wheel drive is not an issue. I live in Northern Indiana, and I personally feel that front wheel drive is much better than rear wheel drive on slick roads.
However, where I think the new XTS misses the mark by a long shot is in its styling and size, as well as ride comfort. Cadillac has made no bones about its European aspirations; just look at the new silly names! However, sadly while Cadillac is now alienating the traditional older buyers that made the brand what it is, they are not convincing the Japanese and European luxury car fans to come back to domestics in droves. I have a feeling this car will be a big flop for Cadillac.
The Chevy Cruze was a proven product; however, GM has really screwed up with Cadillac. They did good with reinvigorating their lower end brands, but just can't win over customers with their upper scale marques. The problem is that Cadillac is obviously trying to be like a European luxury sedan, it makes no effort to conceal that either. Kinda like saying "we know we suck, so we're just gonna copy the other guy's designs". Not a good marketing strategy.
The big cars from the 1980s and 1990s were hits (Lincoln Town Car, Buick Roadmaster, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victoria). The Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac Grand Prix, Ford Taurus, and Ford Focus of the 1990s and early-2000s were hardly big, floaty luxury vehicles. They were midsize vehicles at the biggest, and they came from a time when Detroit was still trying to make a smaller car that could successfully compete with Toyota. Unfortunately crappy, cheap designs and shady quality control affected those mainstream vehicles.
The full-size vehicles that sold themselves well up to the early-2000s were destined to. They were the last of their kind, coming from a time in American history when we were on top. Nowadays we're afraid to be a great country again, because God forbid, it might offend somebody.