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Cars That Could Have Been Great, But Missed

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Comments

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Cadillac did so many things right, and a couple of things really really wrong.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    I think the STS was mainly rental fodder for the past few years anyway. Who would buy one new? Good used deal though.

    For new, the prices weren't that low, and other than in the V, the mechanicals were nothing special. Combined with boring interiors, hard sell.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    Sounds like a character, early adopters are interesting. A 5er back then was a very left field choice.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat Posts: 161
    Fintail:

    Dad was a character to be sure. My mother also loved the BMW - she was a closet drag racer. She also loved to drive my Grandfather's 66 Olds Cutlass. It was an unassuming looking green 4 door, but, under the hood lurked a high performance 330 4 bbl rocket engine coupled to a 2 speed automatic. In a red light Grand Prix, few cars at the time could beat it.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    I'm assuming that 5er back then cost as much as maybe a nice loaded Olds or Buick, but probably less than a lowline Caddy. How things have changed, as now a 5er costs more than anything but the highest Caddy or Corvette.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    I helped a friend's dad buy a 528i in '79, and I think it was around $15k. One reason they didn't cost as much relatively is the much lower level of options. But I'd buy that car today if I could find a clean one, great combination of performance (it was a manual), room, and quality.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat Posts: 161
    edited May 2011
    Correct. Dad indicated at the time that the BMW was the same price as a Olds 98 was. His BMW was loaded too - Leather, AC, automatic, sun roof, Blaupunt stereo, power everything, and alloy wheels. He even bought the emergency kit (Hoses, bulbs, extra sparkplugs, etc.) and the factory shop manuals with it. The BMW was a beautiful metalic bugundy red with black leather interior.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    If the BMW was so good, why didn't stay with that brand, instead of going back to domestic cars?
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    If the BMW was so good, why didn't stay with that brand, instead of going back to domestic cars?

    I never understood this brand loyalty thing so much. I try to get the best car for me at the time I need a car, independent of who makes it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    Really, maybe not such a bad deal nwhen looking at things. A nicely equipped (but not totally loaded) 5er today will be about 60K. So 4x more. Lots of things cost more than 4x today, not to mention the weakness of the dollar.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    Sounds like a lovely car. For someone who likes to drive, I can see how it would be tempting. 10 years later, the rest of the highline buying public would wake up to the same thing.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    I think he mentioned his dad wanted something softer, as he was getting older. Not many soft BMWs, other than a loaded 7er, and that can be costly.

    I know I would absolutely hate my E55 if I was 80 years old, ride is too harsh.

    For brand loyalty, some cars tend to feel the same over the years, and some people simply like a brand and its heritage. That's how it is for me anyway.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Brand loyalty is pretty much an outdated concept for 95% of american consumers. They shop price, rebates, style. We as a people aren't very loyal to other aspects of our lives (employer, town, even our mates sometimes) so brand loyalty for cars doesn't make much sense in a highly mobile society IMO.

    Besides, you could argue that cars are now much closer in style and reliability than they've ever been in history.
  • berriberri Posts: 3,997
    I don't think the manufacturer's really show much loyalty to the buyer after purchase either. Same goes for most dealers. As for brands, there are some I'll avoid, but I agree it doesn't usually make sense to just stick with one or two.
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat Posts: 161
    It was a comfort issue. After Dad had his hips replaced, the BMW caused him discomfort when he drove it. That's why he switched over to the big Chryslers - he was comforable in them. The BMW sat in his garage mostly unused for a long time. Finally he decided to sell it outright - I think he got $3K for it.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited May 2011
    Yeah, personal needs change. Your dad's choice is understandable.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    As a teenager I couldn't understand how the 50+ year old friend of my dad sold his 240Z to get a 'more comfortable' car. Now I do...
  • oldbearcatoldbearcat Posts: 161
    That's what happens when your favorite ride literally becomes a "pain in the butt" Those big Chryslers Dad started buying didn't appeal to me, but, the seats were like a big overstuffed couch.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    edited October 2011
    The Audi 5000 could arguably be the poster child for '80s cars that could have been great, but missed. It had the makings of a great car. Ground-breaking style and aerodynamics, and excellent driving dynamics made this a favorite for many, until the bogus unintended acceleration episode sunk this model, and almost ended sales of the entire brand in the U.S.

    Despite its strong attributes, though, the 5000 (and its refreshed and renamed successors, the 100 and 200), had significant counterbalacing negatives. Chief among these were that they were very high maintenance cars.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,540
    My boss at the time bought a 5000 around '85 and it is exactly as you say. It was a real maintenance nightmare although how much of that was the dealer I dunno. After that he bought a BMW 635, so he was a glutton for punishment.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

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