I think the 1970s cars got so big because of safety regulations and other things that necessitated the increase in size and weight. After all, automakers didn't know much about how to make cars safer other than to simply increase size and weight.
If someone really wants to own a big car, I recommend buying a modern Town Car, Grand Marquis, or Crown Victoria. Or maybe trying out GM's full-sized offerings from the mid-90s. They're far more practical, but are still plentiful and retain most of the unique style, comfort, and ride that we admire from the 1970s models.
It really cracks me up when I read comments like "the gigantic Ford Taurus". How quickly some people forget, just 20 short years ago there were several cars well over a foot longer than the Taurus on the market. And 40 years ago, all full-size cars would have been about a foot longer than them!
Being about 203 inches in length, the modern Ford Taurus is hardly a full-size car, more like mid-size. However, it probably has plenty of interior and trunk room to compensate due to modern engineering. Back in the late-1960s and all throughout the 1970s, a full-size car usually measured in from 224 to 235 inches in length. However, also remember that back then, automakers weren't very efficient in space usage. The early-1980s downsized models all featured similar interior dimensions and even more trunk space.
Unfortunately, the downsized 1980s models lacked powerful engines and were usually slow off the line due to CAFE and emissions standards. It wasn't until the early-1990s when automakers learned of different techniques to make cars cleaner and more efficient, other than just cutting performance.
Now if only Ford's early Panther platform vehicles used a fuel-injected version of the 351 Windsor during the '80s instead of that seriously detuned 302, they just might have had a much better car.
"All my cars are and always will be made by American manufacturers. I don't believe in supporting foreign industry at the expense of our own economy."
Interesting, because this brings up a question: The two most American made cars in the US, as in the cars that actually contain the most American made components and parts, are both Japanese cars. So in that case, if one were to support only the most American made cars - as in if we're going to get literal here and discuss the merits of wholly American-made stuff, then does that mean that a person who might buy an American brand car that's actually more foreign in construction... are they "less patriotic" as a result? An interesting dilemma.
As far as the Cimmaron comment. Clearly some failed to look up the definition of sarcasm, so all is lost on that one.
No one ever seems to get it. Buying products made by foreign manufacturers hurts American industry, regardless of where the products are actually assembled. Why this fact is apparently so confusing is amazing. American industry is the backbone of our economy. To destroy it is to destroy our future.
The Cadillac Cimarron and '82 Continental are relatively small models. The Cimarron is compact based on the Cavalier and has absolutely nothing to do with this thread, just like all of the posters who go on and on about how great the modern tiny bland mobiles are. Do all of us a favor and go over to a thread related to the cars you actually like!
What's really creepy is that in the mid-1990s, the CEO of Ford stated that "Ford is no longer an American company at heart". Oh what Globalization has wrought onto us.
All is lost? I didn't know that this was a game of winning and losing, and if you were being sarcastic, why didn't you just say so?
Exactly. No great power in history ever became great through importing more than they exported at the expense of their manufacturing base. All great powers grew and will grow great through the nurturing of their manufacturing. Outsourcing, "free trade", and globalization has never made a nation great before, and it never will.
Of course, today America no longer cares about being great or even powerful because it's against our leaders' political and economic interests to have this country returned to its former glory.
I would say that a good definition of sarcasm is a '22 foot long 1955 Mercury.
Also I love these other comments that claim a new Caddy XTS or Ford Taurus are huge full size cars.
This is a thread about a car from the late 70's, and the two so-called full size sedans listed above are about the size of a Ford Maverick (a compact car of the 70's).
The Ford Maverick was a tiny compact car. We had one. The new Taurus, Impala and similar full-size cars are enormous inside. I could care less how much useless sheet metal is hanging out on each end. Older cars were basically large because of massive front and rear overhang, which served no purpose whatsoever. The interiors were about the same size as a modern Taurus or Impala.
Haha, nowadays "the massive front and rear overhang, which served no purpose whatsoever" are on the people, not the cars!
Our cars got tiny with our shrinking standard of living, but our waistlines have expanded under the lifestyle and diet, dictated by our corporate masters.
The interiors and trunks back then did pack more space, but it was gained through less efficient means. Plus, cars back then had such large engines that large front ends were necessary.
Yeah, useless overhangs. Those cars had huge V8 engines that were easily serviced and trunks larger than a 21 cubic foot deep freeze, but those spaces had absolutely no purpose. Plus in a head on collision, those 6 foot hoods were of no use too!
The young generation will never truly know what it is like to ride in a car with "road hugging" weight and a suspension tuned for comfort over handling. Nothing on the market today even comes close.
I have to agree that "nothing on the market today comes close" to the old gas guzzlers of the 70's... and I'm glad. And no, I am not a kid. I'm a senior citizen who grew up with those bloated 6-mile-per-gallon barges that needed a calendar to measure their 0-60 times. A modern Chevy Sonic would blow the doors off any of those old cars and run rings around them on a road course. My current 4-cylinder mid-size car is faster in both acceleration and top speed than any of the monster V-8s I owned.
And the lack of modern safety equipment made those older cars far more dangerous than modern compacts. I had an accident a few years back in a modern vehicle that without a doubt would have killed me in one of my older, larger cars. Due to my airbags, I walked away without a scratch.
It's true that older cars were easier to work on, but back then ALL cars were easier to work on. Size doesn't make modern cars harder to work on, the complex technology does. My old VW Bug was just as easy to work on (more so actually) than our big Buicks or Fords.
It's true that the old barges did ride more smoothly. They should have. They weighed two and a half tons and had marshmallow springs. In their day I enjoyed wallowing along at a leisurely pace and rolling like a boat in rough water on curves. Today, however I prefer to enjoy the older cars as show pieces and parade vehicles, and do my actually daily commuting in a fast, safe and much more fuel efficient vehicle. There was a certain charm about stage coaches as well in their day, but I wouldn't care to do my daily driving on one.
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