In regards to the sagging Tornonados, they had a bad problem with the doors sagging because they were HUGE. This was a problem actually on a number of large American cars of that era. I believe it because my Uncle had a '69 Cadillac Eldorado 2 door. The doors were unbelievably heavy on that thing. While that model didn't have that issue, the Toronado did.
As far as Priuses and The Tundra... they aren't remotely related, so I am not sure what the comparison between them and the Tundra has to do with anything.
And in regards to the quality of some of those cars like Mavericks, Vegas, and so on, well sure - I have no doubt that some who owned them had fantastic luck with them. But that doesn't mean overall they were great cars. The quality publications of that time gave them poor marks, and also in that era there was at least one, if not two years where one of the Big Three actually had to recall more cars than they had actually sold. So yes - quality control was an issue. But like I said - improvements have been made since then.
16:36 is 100% correct, Pontiac never built a V6, they built many V8s and an inline 4.
Buick introduced the V6 in 1961, the 3.8 came out in 1975, and was used in late 70's through mid 80's full and midsized Pontiacs. Later on in the late 80's, the 3.8 was dubbed the 3800 and was used in the early 90's on the Pontiac Bonneville and Trans Port mini van, then was optional on the Grand Prix and Firebird in 1997.
There was also a Chevy 3.8 that didn't last very long, 1979-1984 I believe.
"the Big Three actually had to recall more cars than they had actually sold"
Well, times have changed, today Toyota has the pleasure of doing the same thing.
Simply replace the door hinges and you are good to go. I just changed mine in a 41 year old GM. I was in an Eldorado 2 door and noted they had a rear seat door handle as well as front on the same door. Neat idea.
OK, sagging doors I can understand, but there is a big difference between a sagging door as opposed to an entire sagging body. On a full frame car it is impossible.
Let me clarify the point I was trying to make. A vehicle like a Prius is bought for one reason. A manufacturer would have to design a lightweight aerodynamic body and fuel efficient drivetrain, and there you have it, a benchmark vehicle for people only interested in fuel mileage.
A full size truck may be bought for a variety of reasons, and producing a benchmark in this class will take far more effort than a small car. Judging by the mainly carry-over 2014 Tundra, they're not getting any closer.
Cars prior to 1980 were very easy to repair. I had a 1976 Monte Carlo with a sagging driver's door, that I fixed by installing shims under the hinge. Not a big deal. When I was 21 I owned a 1970 Mustang 302 that I decided to replace with a 351. A few buddies, tools, and rented cherry picker, along with a $250 salvage motor, and I had a nice 75 H.P. increase.
Some were very adept at repairing their own cars, and it led to a rewarding mechanical career.
I think it's unfortunate that most young people can't work on today's complicated vehicles, and can only quote knowledge from books or the internet.
YouTube is a plus, and parts with the internet have gotten better on rare vehicles vs the past. Autozone has scanners to at least point one in the right general direction. I needed a new circuit board in my car, so I went straight to a shop vs tackling that one. The 60-70s cars were piece of cake; not today.
Today's cars are not any more difficult to work on than older cars. There are good and bad things for every era. For example I one time repaired an '83 Honda Civic that was carbureted. Anyone who has worked on an early 80's car with a carb will tell you the zillions of vacuum lines that run in and out of those were a nightmare: They all had to hookup to various sensors, and the then current emission equipment. Now that carbs are gone, there are a lot fewer vac lines and an improvement in sensor durability.
On the other hand I was (no kidding) working on my Prius yesterday. It needed a new serpentine belt, the MAS airflow sensor cleaned, and the transmission fluid, spark plugs, and engine coolant changed. It's totally different from how your typical car is: There are two coolant systems - one for the inverter, the other for the engine. The coolant for the inverter actually goes through a section of the transmission/transaxle as well. The first time I did a tuneup on the car I had to read the shop manual. But now that I've done it a few time it's cake. The thing is that I'm guessing most who own Priuses never touch under the hood: The people at the parts store always are amazed that I'm actually buying spark plugs... for a Prius! Nobody else does apparently.
In addition to this car I've worked on my Grandmother's late 90's Buick, my Dad's Tundra, and a few friend's cars, like a Ford Taurus, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and my Brother's Ford Ranger. These were all fairly modern cars and all had their own ways of dealing with various systems (don't even get me started on the rear brake drum assembly on the Taurus... that requires some stupid tool to loosen them).
But I too agree that it's a shame that most people don't work on their cars. But I also think it comes from this myth that "Newer cars are harder to work on". They aren't. They - just like the old cars that came before them - require a bit of research before you jump in and do stuff to them. If more people had the confidence of knowing that the machine they are about to repair was built by humans, and thus can be REPAIRED by humans, then you wouldn't hear so many people complaining about how stuff was easier in the "good ole' days", while imagining that their modern car in the garage is a mystery under the hood.
As far as the Tundra and full size truck standards - I would say as I did before that they, more so than the long-established brands - have come a long way in a short time. The Big Three have had 100 years to make full size trucks. Toyota? About 10. They've come a long way in a short time, and just like the other products they make, I suspect they too will hit that formula. The fact that full sized trucks are still the best-selling vehicles in the US (not sure why, since they not only cost tons of money, with some more than a nice Bimmer, and also get poor fuel economy) is reason enough to imagine Toyota will keep right on improving. That is a very desirable market.
Another thing some of you might not know: Toyota makes a lot of houses too. Yes - Toyota houses. So if they can make houses, cars, and fork lifts, I fail to see why they can't eventually make a serious, one-to-one full size truck contender.