Worst automotive year ever - I agree.

OmegaWoods

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My dad had an '83 Old Cutlass Supreme with the 350 diesel. Somehow, he squawked enough to get them to replace it with a V6 which made it much more reliable but still a hunk o' crap.

I bought his 1974 Opel Manta from him before he bought the Olds. My Opel was awesome!
 

JDB2

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I was never too fond of my Grandma's 1980 Olds Omega.
Oh yeah, my grandmother had one of those too. It had a problem where it just wouldn't start sometimes. Mechanics never figured it out.
 
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Wheelhouse

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Corporate bureaucracy and union membership were both peaking in the mid-70s to mid-80s, and both were really bad for the end product. The Citation was a natural choice for a company that had already produced the Vega. I have no idea why nobody in the Big 3 were giving any attention to product quality. Beat down by middle management and the union bosses? It's a sad story.
 

trapdoor2

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Dad had a 1980 Mercury Monarch...total POS. My '66 VW Type III ran better (ok, I blew engines regularly. Remove, rebuild, replace...took a half-day...usually Sunday after a foot-down Saturday night).

I bought an Isuzu Impulse (Piazza) in '83 or '84...and really liked it. Ran well, no problems. Traded it off for a Mitsubishi mini-truck after we got married. We've never owned a car or truck by an American maker...other than antiques.
 

billy logan

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Getting a jump on the '80's ;-)

I had a '77 Plymouth Volaré with the reportedly very reliable slant-6 engine.

However. It would stall if you were going downhill slowing to make a left turn. I had the carb rebuilt but it still happened. Apparently Chrysler Corporation re-designs attempting to keep up with air pollution regulations were a big fail. idk PCV or EGR or something.

The Volaré was one of Click'n'Clack's "Top 10 Worst Cars of the 20th Century"

btw If you're playing "Volare" a/k/a "Nel Blu, Di Pinto Di Blu" in F Major, then this chord is nice and smooth right before the Bb6 chord, under the word "Let's" :

low to high B Eb A Db F (like a James Brown B9 chord except the 1st string top note is a 1/2 step lower)(B9 b5 ?)

1st string 1st fret .... F
2nd......... 2nd fret ... Db
3rd ......... 2nd fret ... A
4th ....... 1st fret ... Eb
5th ......... 2nd fret ... B
x low 6th string - do not play!

^ ?Tritone substitution?

The Volaré's long since been crushed and recycled into something useful, I'm sure :) Bye bye, nice wide curve-around windshield!

edit to add: Is it just a coincidence that the original Italian title of "Volare" contains the word "Pinto"?? the Ford Pinto?? ... also in the not-so-great-cars of yesteryear category???
 
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Recce

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I had a 1979 Pontiac Gran Prix I didn’t have problems with and enjoyed. I had a .Pontiac 6000 after that which was just okay.
 

Dan German

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I once had an early 80s V6 Citation (not mine) burst into flames when delivering it to a garage for a clutch job. I thought it was kind of emblematic of the general quality of many cars (especially US domestic) at the time.
 

GGardner

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2021 was a pretty good year. We got two new BMWs, a 330xi in March. How they keep getting better still amazes me but I’d never want my old 2018 back.

Curious--what didn't you like about the '18 3-Series?
 

JL_LI

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Curious--what didn't you like about the '18 3-Series?
The '18 was a 430 gran coupe. There was nothing not to like about it but the engine, transmission, and control upgrades in the '21 are pretty dramatic. I also like the configurable digital dash in the '21 and safety features that weren't available just three years ago. And the difference in the lease is less than $20/mo. I got mine pre inflation. I got the Z4 pre inflation too. It's a made to order roadster that sells at MSRP but I was able to get custom color brake calipers not on the price list at no additional charge. Order to delivery was 7 weeks because the dealer had a production slot reserved with a place holder build order. We changed the build order to our specs three days before the last date of change. I got a ball cap thrown in too. The Z4 is probably the last car we'll buy but I'll keep leasing sedans every three years as long as I can drive.
 

Ricky D.

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Had a 1985 Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon. Our 285000 miles on it, nothing but brakes and oil changes. Could have kept it, but I needed a pickup.
 

Stubee

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I skipped the 1980s! Sold my 1979 F-100 when I bought my first new truck, a 1990 F-150 that has to me the luxo features like cloth seats and power windows and it was my first 4X4. It did have the trusty in-line 6 and manual tranny like all my previous Fords, but it was startlingly “modern”. Very good truck, actually.

Our other cars were Japanese but my wife did have an ‘84 Buick Estate Wagon then a 1986 (?) Taurus wagon company car. I loved that big old Estate Wagon for spring break road trips.
 

Rustbucket

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I bought an Isuzu Impulse (Piazza) in '83 or '84...and really liked it. Ran well, no problems. Traded it off for a Mitsubishi mini-truck after we got married. We've never owned a car or truck by an American maker...other than antiques.
My first car was an ‘84 Impulse! My friends and I called it the Mouse-Mobile. I learned to drive standard shift in that car.
 

Rustbucket

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1980 was the death year of my beloved International Scouts, so I cannot disagree with the article. They had a good 20 year run from ‘61 up to 1980 when the last one rolled off the assembly line. Mine is half ‘78 and half ‘79.
 

rghill

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I had Toyota pickups through the first half of the '80s. No major complaints with any of those. The first had no A/C and 2 wheel drive. I found it was terrible in the snow. So I got an '83 4x4. Did great in the snow, but it rode like a bucking horse. So I got an '86 extended cab 4x4. Loved that truck and drove it all over Northern Arizona.

Worst '80s car I had was a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It had a V8 with about 145 hp. Ridiculous for what was supposed to be a performance car.
 

985plowboy

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I drove an ‘85 AMC manufactured Jeep CJ-7 Laredo that I bought used in ‘90.
258 I-6, 5 speed manual soft top.
I absolutely loved it!
I will admit it gave me many opportunities to become a better mechanic.
Speedometer cables, water pumps, rear drum brakes, valve cover gasket, 2V carb rebuilds, replacement radiator, unbelievable “smog” apparatus, gas gauge wouldn’t read below 1/4 tank so you had to guess.
It was only 8 years old when I sold it in ‘93 after graduation.
All the above failures happened in a three year period.
 

runstendt

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In high school I drove a 1984 Fiero. Granted, the car was 20 years old at the time (2005), but it had not aged well at all. I swear, no one could execute an idea more poorly or cheaply than GM in the 1980's. To save on costs, they took the front-wheel-drive drivetrain, put it in the back, and voila, a mid-engined "sports" car. While this sounds great on paper, it was horrible to work on because everything was on the wrong side of the engine. I quit driving it when the water pump started to leak since replacing it required removing the engine from the car. Plus, while it certainly looked fast, a tired inline four with shot rings and an automatic transmission was not exactly a performance machine.
 

mr natural

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My Dad bought a brand new Horizon in 1980. It blew 2 manual transmissions in 2 months. Thank goodness for the warranty. After they installed the third transmission it ran for over 200k miles though. It was cringingly badly made.
 

mexicanyella

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When I took drivers ed in high school we learned in a early 80s Citation with a throttle-body-injected 2.5L four and automatic transmission. It was basically new and ran okay, but running the AC made freeway entrances a white knuckle affair.

We were never a Ford family but did have a new 1981 Ford Fairmont station wagon from about 1981-86, and it was a pretty good car. Total base model: AM radio, 2.3L carbureted four, manual four-speed transmission, crank windows. It was less sluggish than that drivetrain and vehicle size would suggest.

Much later I bought a $75 four-cylinder 1987 Cavalier two-door as a college beater, with a trashed transaxle (pressure plate had come apart and grenaded the inside of the bell housing). I bought a junkyard transaxle and did an exhaust repair and got a few trouble-free years out of it, and about 70,000 miles, finishing up at about 175,000 with major rust and a leaking head gasket and what felt like a random variable-alignment steering system. It was fun while it lasted and was pretty easy to work on, but a far cry from cars now that sometimes run 300K without needing anything major.
 




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