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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I've been rooting for Cadillac but I have to confess I went public a few years back with pretty stiff skepticism about the XLR. It has indeed become not the "competition" for the Mercedes SL or the Lexus SC430 but rather an "obscure" car that surprises us when we see one.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,734
    Hey.. they are trying, at least..

    RWD... Now, a wagon.. Moving the SRX from a RWD based sedan to the Equinox platform is a move in the wrong direction, I think..

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  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    You mean the GM that decided its money was better spent trying to smear Ralph Nader than, say, offer free rear swaybar upgrades to first-gen Corvair buyers? ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,546
    Nice article.

    Those cars were the last carb MBs to hit this continent IIRC - that might be part of their downfall. When carbs get finicky, I think some people give up on other things, especially when parts and maintenance are so dear. They also can rust pretty handily, the seating can get a little odd if exposed to harsh climates - collapsed cushions and wrinkled upholstery, and they are guzzlers. I think the 280S was also sold in smaller numbers than the 450 series cars, and the late diesels.

    Europe would have the 280S in W126 form through 1984 or 85.
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    Weird.

    I saw a 1954 Kaiser Darrin Convertible on Saturday in Irvine. The doors actually slide into pockets in the front fenders, no hinges!

    Bizarre car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,487
    Maybe it's a more common thing up north? Still, I imagine that the Chicago area can get just as hot in the summer months as it does down here in the DC area! I remember a friend of mine back in college, who moved from Washington state, who had a 1990 or so Civic sedan without air. We thought it was weird, but I guess the climate up there was cool enough that it wasn't as essential.

    The newest car I can think of without air, that anybody in my family has had, was my Mom's 1966 Catalina convertible that she bought new. It was gone before my time, so I don't remember it, but have seen pictures. I remember asking her if it had air conditioning and she was like "Why would it have air conditioning? It was a CONVERTIBLE!!" FWIW, my '67 has it, but it doesn't work.

    Those older cars from the 60's and earlier, including the 60's designs that held over into the 70's, seemed to have better fresh air ventilation than their replacements, so I don't think a/c was nearly as necessary. 70's cars also seem sealed tighter. I know with my '76 LeMans, '85 Silverado (dates back to 1973) and '79 New Yorkers are all pretty tight, to where, if the windows are all rolled up, you have to really slam the door to make sure it shuts right. Just don't do that with the window down though, or something will break!

    Having rear windows that roll down definitely helps, too. My '76 LeMans can get pretty stifling in hot weather, with its stationary opera windows. My two NYers though, being 4-door, seem to air out much better.

    A '77 Caprice coupe, though, especially as well-equipped as your neighbors was otherwise, seems a real oddity in not having a/c! And I bet with that big wraparound rear window, it was perfect for baking the back seat passengers!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,285
    >have better fresh air ventilation than their replacements,

    Indeed they did. You bring up a very good point. I recall my 67 Mustang had vents on the underdash C-pillar that could be opened with a little pull knob that were great, as long as the car was moving. Air from outside blew on your legs and up over the seat. Even in urban stoplight traffic enough air came through that I didn't need AC.

    But things changed and on my 70 Mustang I had AC and the vents were gone.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    When I lived in California, many of the cars I owned didn't have A/C ... of course, I was only a few miles from the ocean, so a day where the temp got to 90 was considered hot.

    When I moved to Denver, the car I had at the time ('91 Nissan Sentra SE) didn't have A/C. I traded that in for a '93 Accord DX, also w/o air. Never again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not a great car, the 1975 280S. It had a very bad reputation and proved highly troublesome. Balky carbs, anemic AC, poor gas mileage, middling acceleration. Not a car I'd recommend to anyone, and certainly not anything Detroit was afraid of.

    Get yourself either a 60s/early 70s Benz for the styling, minimal emissions controls, and rugged dependability, or an 80s Benz and get all the improvements of better technology top to bottom.

    You don't see the 75 280S because they are all in the wrecking yard, to be blunt about it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,546
    I don't disagree with that. Build quality was excellent, but driveability was not the highest, and with the horrible DOT bumpers they look pretty silly too. If one wants a W116, seek a very early small bumper car, or that elusive genuinely nice Euro model.

    5 grand will still buy a decent W108 or even an acceptable fintail. These aren't expensive toys. Or for a driver, a well kept W126 or W124 can't be beat - the same high build quality, but they can drive in modern traffic every day.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Speaking of older Benz series, for a driver, I would also go for a well-kept R107, but it would likely have to be any 560SL from 1986-89. I always loved the stock looks of the last models - and I especially hate it when I see an example 'pimped' out with tacky-looking wheels, fender trim and what-not.

    Fintail, you'd know this better than me - by 1988 and '89, the final two years of the 560, were all the bugs worked out of the car? (Those concerning emissions systems, bad timing chains, etc.) I will see an occasional example pop up on Ebay with 150k+ miles on it and it will still look amazing. I'd imagine the a/c is still bad on them, though, as the R107 wasn't really designed for it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,546
    I think all 560s are good - I am unaware of any major mechanical differences from 1986-89. The emissions problems hit 450SLs from the mid 70s (surprise surprise) and the timing chain issues were on early 80s 380SLs - and I believe most of those have been remedied now.

    Those chrome fender trim pieces are either rust concealers, or rust nests. Seeing wheels from a R129 etc on an old car just looks poserfied. The cars need to be pretty stock. Factory chrome wheels are about as much as they can take.

    560SL is easily the superior R107 and I can't really say anything bad about them. HVAC will be iffy...but it's an old MB, most of them are that way.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    .....they use a ton of gas, but you probably knew that already.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,556
    back in the 70's, the big concern was 'global cooling'. :P
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,556
    my wife and i used to work for the CT motor vehicle dept.
    we got letter stating we had to get our mustang emissons tested by 7/20 before we could renew the registration.
    i called our insurance guy and put the coverage back on, so i could burn off the old gas and put some fresh stuff in it. still working on it.
    in the mean time, my wife sent in the renewal paperwork with a check, and we got a new registration in the mail today.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,734
    I didn't get my first car with air until I was age 32.. And, that didn't really count, because it was a 911 Targa.. which only puts out A/C through the two center vents.. Each of them about the size of... hmmm.. something really, really small.. :surprise:

    Didn't get a car with any real A/C, until I married my wife... That was in 1993.. and was a 1990 Nissan. (her car, not mine).

    Even now, I'm a windows down kind of driver..

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,546
    It still makes me laugh that my E55 gets only slightly worse mileage in town than my old 6cyl W126, and it gets decently better mileage on the highway.

    A V8 R107 will be a pig, but I bet a 560 is better than the older cars.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 47,546
    I don't turn on the air until it is 80 or so (warm for these parts).

    MB AC won't win any awards.
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,019
    My dad bought a '76 Cutlass Supreme brand new, ordered it, and specified "no air conditioning". He had never had it in a car, figured it to be another thing to break, and wanted nothing of it. Back when you could order options one at a time, you could get some wierd combos. That car also had a AM radio with a fader and rear speakers. :confuse:
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,285
    >Back when you could order options one at a time,

    I ordered a Mustang. V8 but with air conditioning yet with a manual instead of automatic. Worse was no 4-speed, just a three-speed. Dealer thought it was a real poor combination. It was a fancy coupe model.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ....I know it's far cheaper and easier to offer models with specific equipment and 'packages', but some are quite irritating (like when you must order a spoiler to get a sunroof, you can't have leather if you want a manual transmission, etc.). GM's were particularly random; my '71 Buick had power windows and seat, AM/FM, tilt but no power locks and no cruise; my '77 Chevy was the exact opposite (power locks and cruise, AM/FM 8-track, F41 suspension, air, nothing else). Kinda fun to see the combos now on eBay.

    As for cars with no air, in general it doesn't bother me, since even in the cars I've had with factory air, it's worked intermittently or not at all. Now our only vehicle is no a/c, so it's always a luxury to ride in one that has it. Problem is, I think people get too used to it and use it when not necessary, so then it becomes mandatory.

    Back to those W116s...I'm pretty sure the 280S was only sold here for a year or two (not after 1975); the 280SE was a whole lot better, but I've never been crazy about that body style (they haven't aged well aesthetically or physically) and their seat foam in particular tended to rot away. Now that others are so cheap (190Es, W124s and 126s), I can't see why anyone would bother.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 20,288
    I got my first air-conditioned car the same year I turned 40. Working in Manhattan I had no need to use a car for work (I commuted by rail) and owned convertible sports cars until I got a Honda hatchback.

    I remember one memorable leg of a cross country tour in our Fiat 124 Spider. It was about 100 degrees out driving across Missouri. The sun was too intense to leave the top down so we had the top up, windows down and little vent windows taped open cuz they wouldn't stay open at highway speeds. :sick:

    It wasn't til I started working outside sales in Boston and New England that I felt a need for air con so I got an '83 VW GTI with factory air which worked much better than the marginal system in our later Honda Prelude despite having a larger space to cool.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,996
    My first air-conditioned car was a '79 Scirocco with add-on air (I think VW offered factory air but the dealer didn't have any). However, the interesting one was my '81 Rabbit diesel. It had air, but you could choose a) air conditioning or b) acceleration (such as it was) but not both. Once you got it up to speed you could turn the air on without the car slowing down, at least on the flat. Hills were another story. Also, if for any reason you needed to increase your speed, like if a light turned yellow, you had to cut the A/C until you had reached your new speed. Anyway, I got really good at turning it on and off without looking.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 1,019
    I don't know which is the ugliest. The "Studmino", the donk Cutlass, or the 4X4 '57 Dodge. I like that the Volvo was owned by Janis Joplin's parents. That should be worth $20 or so.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Why would anyone want to restore a Volvo 164E? That is so perverse. To drive one is to never want to again. And to boot we have a fuel injection system that runs on phantom electrons and a transmission that shifts like a UPS truck and a suspension that makes Mom's sofa feel like a Ferrari.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    One of the main benefits of A/C is the removal of humidity. Regardless of how good the ventilation and sealing are, if the humidity is high in hot weather, the comfort level will be low. Same goes for wind and wind noise. Good ventilation doesn't substitute for the serenity of keeping the windows closed.

    In the '60 and '70s people tended to be more tolerant, in terms of comfort, and although excellent A/C systems were available on all domestic cars, many, especially in northern climates, considered A/C a luxury. Among those who considered A/C a luxury, there was a sub group who felt it was only appropriate on luxury cars and high end medium priced ones.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Yes, people have definitely become less tolerant of ANY discomfort....let's face it, how many of our grandparents had A/C in their cars OR their homes (my grandparents lived in Marion, IL....it was hot as hell there, I would BEG to go to my uncle's house during weeks I stayed there)? We didn't have A/C in any of our cars til the late '70s, and of course after that it was mandatory that it be utilized if over 70F, I swear.

    Fintail, where DO you find these things? The other monstosities aside, I can't decide if the Datsun truck or the Fiat Brava would be a stupider (I know that's not a word, but it applies) move at almost $8k. My mom and stepdad had an '80 (non F.I., I think) Brava for about four years (half of which were spent in a shop, while they drove our super-reliable '72 Econoline)....at least ours was a four-door with a 5 speed. It was replaced with a Camry, fortunately. I think I'd take the truck, if given a choice of spending 4x as much as either vehicle is worth in this case. Really like both Lemko-mobiles, those are quite up my alley, garish colors aside, though probably wouldn't be so happy in my garage.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The real reason, I think, is VENT WINDOWS. These were marvelous little devices...you could direct a blast of air on your face, you could discreetly discard various items, and they made great defrosters. I really miss 'em. :cry:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 119,734
    In our neck of the woods, we called them "cozy wings".. :)

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