13th May 2009, 17:30
Frankly, I don't think many cars large or small from the '80's were very stylish. They were very boxy and quite plain. Personally I prefer the cars of the '70's. Much larger and with much more style. I will agree that most '80's cars are nicer looking than the bland cars being produced today. It's no wonder nobody is buying new cars. Who wants to spend 30 thousand on a car that has all of the appeal of your refrigerator? The automobile was meant to be more than a basic appliance. When and if Detroit figures that out again, they will start to make money.
14th May 2009, 12:24
Agreed, but alas Detroit is past tense. It's not only that the cars today lack any appeal, it's also that the standard of living of the American worker has fallen so enormously since the 1970s that all they can afford is the little tinny front-wheel drive crape that is made today.
16th May 2009, 13:57
I don't think our standard of living is lower than it was in the '70's. One of the main reasons is credit, millions of people are living above their means and up to their eyeballs in debt. Wages are also higher and there are a lot more higher paying jobs. That is why you can't hardly get a job without a degree. 30 years ago you were the exception if you got a degree. Just take the price of cars. Thanks to the workers unions a loaded up compact costs about the same as a full-size car from the '70's inflation adjusted. I enjoy watching old episodes of "Let's Make A Deal" on GSN and it is hard to believe some of the prices of older cars. For example a '75 Buick Electra for under $8,000! Now a full-size Buick is over $40,000 and a lot less car.
17th May 2009, 11:50
No, wages have fallen enormously. The median household income has increased slightly, but nowadays it takes two workers (husband and wife) to earn what the husband alone used to be paid.
19th May 2009, 11:14
Why would a new Buick be a lot less car than its predecessor from the 70's or 80's? Over style and presence we tend to forget that cars have improved dramatically. Cars today are a lot saver than those 30 or 40 years ago. They pollute less and need less maintenance, are more fuel efficient and go for more miles than ever. Some of it has to do with laws: safety standards, emission standards and a mandated 80K miles warranty on catalytic converters, CAFE standards and cleaner, lead- free fuels.
On the styling issue I see similar things happen today as they were back then. Car manufacturers borrow styling cues from each other making cars look all to similar. Look at the rear end of a new Camry and compare it to the Bangle trunk lid of recent BMW models. I have a hard time telling a 90's Honda from a 90's Audi looking at their backs. The 90's Mazda Protege looks like 7/8 copy of the 90's Mercedes Benz 190. You can go on and on.
19th May 2009, 16:49
Uh oh, a voice of reason to counter all those "older is better" types who like to come here.
They won't listen, though, having already decided that the last year that cars were any good was 1975, or 1983, or 1967, or whatever year beater they happen to own. Yep, it all went downhill after they made the model they have, and they got the last good one. Everything made after that was junk as far as they are concerned.
That is, until they replace it with something else.
20th May 2009, 18:41
16:49, I currently drive a 2005 Buick Park Avenue and have never even owned a car from the 1970's. However, I personally feel that the epitome of the automobile was in the late 1960's to the mid 1970's whether you are talking about performance, comfort, or style. Of course that is just my opinion.
I picked the Park Avenue because I feel it is a modern interpretation of the 1970's American luxury car. There are still some of us that prefer their cars to have some distinctive styling, comfort oriented ride, and even things like column mounted gear selectors, and split front bench seats. Soon there won't be any new cars left for us to buy so we will be forced to either keep our old cars or conform.
Personally I will probably move to an SUV. Most modern cars do absolutely nothing for me. More power to all of you Camry and Accord owners that think your cars are state of the art. Frankly, you couldn't pay me to drive a car like that.
20th May 2009, 18:49
11:14 I was speaking literally. A '75 Electra was about 3 feet longer, 5 inches wider and well over 1,000 pounds heavier than the modern comparison the Lucerne. Obviously the new models are better in every respect when it comes to things like efficiency and reliability. However on things like styling and comfort that is all up to personal taste.
21st May 2009, 06:06
To the poster who suggests that fondness for one's current car is the cause for 'older is better' advocacy, I say: I drive both post 2000 cars (belonging to my elderly parents), and my old 80s and early 90s cars, so I have the opportunity for direct comparison. Unfortunately I haven't had a 70s car in about ten years, but I think I remember them well enough. In direct comparison the full size American sedans of the 80s were more comfortable and pleasant to drive around in than the newer cars, and besides which, I prefer their style.
21st May 2009, 18:02
Yes, cars of the 1960's through mid-1970's really did have style and class that has never been matched.
It all depends on perspective, though, and what you find important. The old cars have styling, feel, special little touches, and a real emotional appeal. They just make you feel good to look at and drive.
At the other end of the spectrum, new cars are more efficient, handle better, are quieter, and require less maintenance. That's fine, provided that you don't care about having a car that looks like an egg, and you don't mind a bland interior that is either all tan or gray, and has all the appeal of a toaster. If you just want something to get to work and back, that's great. If you want something that you would really enjoy driving, keep an old Charger or Buick Electra in the shed out back for the weekends.
10th Dec 2009, 20:13
I love my Grand Marquis. I just bought it from my great grandpa a week ago almost. It's a great car and runs with no problems, the only thing wrong is the power steering pump has a leak. I am in love with the velour seats in it. Even when it's freezing out, my seats warm me up even without the heater.