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General Motors Fans

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  • If memory serves me, what the domestics did to make a car "euro" was stiffen it up, and this worked (somewhat) on flat level roads and turns--but pushing these cars quickly fried the brakes and exhausted the suspension, and on irregular roads you started to pogo-stick all over the place. I don't think domestic cars got even remotely "euro" in handling until the 1990s.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,320

    And like them or not, the Monte Carlo and Cutlass Salon came with radials standard and thick sway bars for good handling, particularly in that time. Both came out in '73 with the handling features.

  • Well "good" relative to what came before, point taken, but as this video shows, the thing wallows like a whale and nose dives likes a submarine. And yeah, it has the handling package.

    http://testdrivejunkie.com/1973-oldsmobile-cutlass-test-drive/

    But you know, American drivers interpreted the word "handling" differently than they do today I think. They heard "handling" but they thought "nice smooth ride". I think GM was giving buyers what they wanted at that time, not what European drivers wanted. It would take more Americans driving Mercedes and BMW sedans for another decade before they figured out what "handling" really meant.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    edited February 14

    Well, Road & Track stated that-given a wide enough road-the 1973 Monte Carlo could keep up with a contemporary Bavaria or XJ6. I actually owned a new 1974 Monte Carlo(my father wouldn't co-sign for anything too exotic) and that R&T article played a major part in my decision. I went with stiffer shocks after a year or so and the handling became more than acceptable. The Monte was my first and last GM car(not counting the 1984 Skylark T-Type my wife owned when we married) but I have to say that it wasn't a bad car for it's time- and I ended up keeping it for fifteen years.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,320
    edited February 15

    That Cutlass S is a base model, and may have had the sports suspension package, but I am nearly certain it doesn't have radials--much as the Chevelle SS that year did not, even though it had stiffer suspension. Only the Monte Carlo, Cutlass Salon, and Grand Am of the midsize cars had it that year. Even the basic GM intermediates were far-better in terms of handling compared to their similarly-priced competition--any of the mag road test reviews of the day will confirm this.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,320
    edited February 15

    Another "Euro"-style option introduced on the Cutlass Salon and Grand Am that year were four-door sedans with bucket seats and console. Prior to that at GM, only coupes and convertibles could be had with bucket seats and console. The seats in the Salon reclined; not sure about the Grand Am.

  • Neither a Bavaria or an XJ6 would be anything to brag about---try a 2002 and see that Cutlass fly into a ditch. You can add tons of stuff to 70s domestics and make them handle, but you wouldn't actually want to drive it on the street. I mean, that's what NASCAR did. From the factory, stock, American cars from the 70s handle like your mom's couch.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,320

    Well, you couldn't put six into a 2002, either, and get it routinely serviced as cheaply. It's all relative. I don't think Olds was marketing a Cutlass Salon against a BMW, merely providing an attractive 'hybrid' of the two.

  • The demands of the American driver for braking and handling weren't very enthusiastic, so yeah, the D3 gave most people what they wanted. Things like nose-diving, unsprung weight, massive overhang, and fuel economy were hardly thought of, and in fact lots of oversteer was considered, quite correctly, to be safer for big cars. The cars were built for our roads and our drivers, not Italians.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Neither a Bavaria or an XJ6 would be anything to brag about---try a 2002 and see that Cutlass fly into a ditch. You can add tons of stuff to 70s domestics and make them handle, but you wouldn't actually want to drive it on the street. I mean, that's what NASCAR did. From the factory, stock, American cars from the 70s handle like your mom's couch.

    Sorry, but I have owned a Bavaria and currently own a 2002(both with stock suspensions save Bilstein HDs); while a Bavaria gave up a bit of agility to the '02, at an HPDE the ability of the driver dictated who gave the point-by.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,626
    edited February 16

    I also owned a Bavaria. Not a car GM would have had to worry about in the 1970s in terms of competition, and GM products in the 70s were way more reliable than a Bavaria or an XJ6. It's the 3 series that defined BMW in America and the 5 and 7 series that gave Americans their first real taste of a mid-size and full-size sedan that was fun to drive. Early 7 series BMWs used to be wonderful cars. Now I'd recommend a Cadillac over any 7 series.

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011

    I wouldn't want either- the exception being an Alpina B7

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,885

    New S-class knocks the socks off the 7er. Silly to pretend to be sporty at that size , so you have to be posh. E23 was definitely sportier than a W126, E38 sportier than a W140 - but the distinction blurred over time.

    It'd be something to see Caddy make something for that segment.

  • GM just gave away the luxury market in the 1980s--just handed it over. Too bad. It's always easier to quit than to get back in.

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    edited March 12

    Happy 9th Anniversary to my wife's 2005 Buick LaCrosse purchased new on Saturday, March 12, 2005!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682

    @lemko said: Happy 9th Anniversary to my wife's 2005 Buick LaCrosse purchased new on Saturday, March 12, 2005!

    Looks good. And that's a good color. The laCrosse is still a nice design.

    This message has been approved.

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067

    @imidazol97 said:

    That color is called Deep Sapphire Metallic. She wants her new car to be a similar color.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682

    Cadillac cancels rear wheel drive flagship due in a couple of years.

    http://www.worldcarfans.com/113070159552/cadillac-flagship-rear-wheel-drive-sedan-not-happening

    This message has been approved.

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067

    @imidazol97 said: Cadillac cancels rear wheel drive flagship due in a couple of years.

    http://www.worldcarfans.com/113070159552/cadillac-flagship-rear-wheel-drive-sedan-not-happening

    Looks like my 2007 DTS and I will be growing old together!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575

    Either Motor Trend, or C&D, did a road test of a 1973 Cutlass Salon, which was supposed to have the improved "Euro" handling, and they pitted it up against a Benz, but I forget which model.

    I forget the details, but they really weren't impressed with either car. Even more interesting, they posted test results from equivalent 1972 models, and the '73 versions scored worse in just about every regard!

    I could see a '73 Cutlass accelerating more slowly than a '72, as they were cutting power and adding emissions controls. But I would think it would handle better? Still, their '72 scored better in slalom testing and such.

    To show how performance was dropping, Consumer Reports tested a full-sized 1972 Impala with a 350-4bbl, 165 hp, and got 0-60 in 12 seconds. But for '73 they tested a Chevelle with a 350, and 0-60 was 13 seconds, even though it was a lighter car. However, I think the test Chevelle used a 2-bbl version, and it was down to around 145 hp or so. They might have also messed around with the axle ratios, too.

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