And the reason they chose that particular Bel Air is because of the weak X frame. They knew a perimeter frame car would have torn that fat Malibu a new one.
I'm confused as to your comment stating that "The Volkswagen was a terrible car". Which Volkswagen?
In my 40 years of driving, I've owned 10 VWs, and most of them were very nice cars. I owned 3 Beetles (air-cooled ones), 4 Cabriolets & 3 Jettas.
The best were a 1967 Bug, a 1974 Super Beetle, a 2002 Jetta GLX Wagon, & my favorite - a 1993 Cabriolet.
The 73 and 74 Beetles were outstanding prior to fuel injection. We owned 63 to 79. The 73-74 engines just never quit. I drove mine cross country, and North and South. No A/C, just a great basic design and a 4 speed. Great in the snow belt. With its rear engine, it never got stuck and didn't overheat on Alligator Alley across Florida. My first one cost 3 dollars to fill the tank in high school. We even had a Rabbit Pickup Diesel. Incredible MPG, and we're sorry we sold it. I wouldn't however own a new Beetle or a new Toyota!
Full-size SUVs are nice, but they are very different from cars. They have frames and suspensions based on trucks, and thus ride as such. Even the so called crossovers don't ride as smoothly as a traditional large car. I have a Buick Enclave, and while it rides nicely, it is nowhere near as smooth as my Park Avenues. At least they look a lot better than any of the modern sedans!
Uh... yes, they in fact did make a 1959 Chevy Malibu. But that wasn't the purpose of mentioning that car anyway. The point was that if you were to get into a wreck with most any car from the 50's or 70's for that matter, you're going to be far more likely to have serious injuries as a result compared to a modern equivalent. Now - to be fair, we're talking about cars from different eras when not only the technology and know-how in the past was less, but there were also far fewer safety requirements. So in a way, it's a more accurate comparison to compare like vintages with like vintages. But if the argument is that old cars are safer, then that's not true in the least. Not by a long shot.
As far as weight comparisons - again - take a look at the numbers. There's an awful lot of modern cars that weigh more than their older counterparts. Quite a few. But furthermore, the cars mentioned as a response are basically almost the same weight anyway - which more or less proves the point made: Despite the fact that the older car likely has a heavy frame, heavier sheet metal, and so on, its modern equivalent weighs about the same, which given its unibody construction makes sense, seeing as how that frame is more structurally enhanced and rigid.
Lastly - again - I'm sure there are those - just like those who only listen to the music of their youths - who will only like the cars of their youths as well. That's not really much of a point. Want to know why some of those muscle cars bring big bucks? It's because those who owned them when they were in high school are now in their prime and want to "re-live" that experience, and hence will shell out the dough. Meanwhile the market for 50's cars has gotten a LOT cheaper. Why? Because that generation is no longer in its prime. Yet 20 years ago, those were the cars everyone wanted, while the muscle cars could be had for a song (wish I had bought a lot of them back then).
And as far as companies making cars strictly for profit, well I hope they are, because otherwise they'd be out of business.
I wouldn't exactly call the Cadillac of today very competitive, as their sales figures today don't correlate to the pre-1985 sales figures. They are the definition of unreliable pieces of junk. The new V8 engines they use last maybe 160,000 miles before they meet their maker. Besides, what's the point of making high performance and great handling "luxury" sedans that only drive in a straight line on our highways? Not like these cars are popular in Europe or anything. Plus FWD is not luxury, it's a novelty for cheap cars.
And the reason why the Big 3 were doing badly in the 1990s and early-2000s was due to the government's often draconian fuel economy and safety standards designed to make a fast buck in fines. Believe me, the Cadillacs, Buicks, and Lincolns of today aren't luxury. Rolls-Royce is pretty much the last true luxury vehicle manufacturer left, and their lineup starts at $250,000. Basically the standard of living in the US had collapsed for all but the very rich. Oh well, I guess it's off to a 1996 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur for me, the last real cruiser with a respectable big block V8.
If you grew up in the '70s or the '80s, you would know how much better things really were. Even the '90s had some charm and goods to be had. The 21st Century sucks, there's nothing good about it, and I really can't see any means of deliverance (unless you know a way to magically reduce heavy commercialization of everything, which is impossible at this point). Look at the music, entertainment (can you imagine Bieber being cool in the '70s or '80s?), politics, and, of course cars.
Today's luxury cars command no respect and all look the same. The US automakers have no distinct image anymore, it's all about being like the Japanese. And it's not that Americans didn't want the full size cars, it's that they can't afford to drive them like they used to. Whoever said the stuff about the falling standards of living is 100% correct, and that's why the American full size car is now virtually extinct. And no offense, but today's Cadillacs and other luxury cars aren't exactly the paragon of build quality or reliability. They're just cheap thrills for the stupid parents' kids to push to the limits and wreck by hitting a tree.
I apologize for the hyperbole and inexactness of my statement 'VWs are terrible cars'. I suppose it is partly a matter of taste - they seem horribly uncomfortable to me. But then, I'm the kind of guy who prefers a 70s or 80s full sized, full framed, V8 car with loads of room and a smooth, quiet ride. VWs - whether the newer front wheel drive ones or the old classic - seem almost unbelievable harsh, buzzy, loud, and jittery to me.
So, as I said, that's just a matter of taste. However, even viewed objectively, I would say that the VW company's products are significantly less reliable than similar products (Japanese cars), and significantly more expensive to operate than better products (larger American cars), so I find it a very unappealing make for practical reasons, as well as preference.