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yankMGnut said:
I say farewell to Buick! Thank God!

Pontiac on the other hand is rather surprising move. They just came out with the GTO and though it looks nothing like the original they are trying harder than Buick ever did.
Doesn't really constitute as trying as it's an import - but getting the car redeveloped to pass American NHTSA regulatioins in that short time is a real feat (they had a Holden engineering team in Melbourne and a Pontiac engineering team in Detroit to utilise the time difference, one team calls it a day and then passes the progress on to the other which is just starting their day and then passes it back at the end of the day...)

Rented a Buick Century years ago.... dull dull dull dull dull, I'd rather drive a Volvo 240. But then i guess it's no worse than the Ford Taurus or Oldsmobile Cutless or Chevy Lumina. But the Pontiac G4 and the new Caddys seem to show a glimmer of hope.

Ian Fleming wrote this about American cars in Live and Let Die in 1953: "They were just "vehicles" , similar in shape and in colour, and even in the tone of their horns. Designed to serve for a year and then be turned in in part exchange for the next year's model. All the fun of driving had been taken out of them with the abolition of a gear-change, with hydraulic-assisted steering and spongy suspension. All effort had been smoothed away and all of that close contact with the machine and the road that extracts skill and nerve from the European driver. To Bond, American cars were just beetle-shaped Dodgems in which you motored along with one hand on the wheel, the radio full on, and the power-operated windoes closed to keep out the draughts."

Most cars have auto transmission and power steering these days, but it's amazing things haven't really changed much in 52 years. Except for the advent of the cupholder which worsened the problem... :)
 

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I wouldn't tar 'em all with the same brush and categorically call American cars boring or poorly built - anyone who thinks a country that could send a robot to Mars doesn't have the capability to build a decent car should just be ignored.

Having said that, I'm yet to find an average American car that can impress me.

Our Chrysler Voyager did, for the first 10000km or so, with its versatility and its torque and European-tuned handlilng for a barge that size (it was built in Austria), and then the plastics started to warp under the Aussie sun, brake pads that didn't bed properly and wore out, rear drums leaked fluid and provided no means of handbrake adjustment (seems to me Americans just slam into Park and don't use their handbrakes much), the removeable rear seats' clamps rattled until we fit a 5c piece under the clamp, it's had about 4 recalls, and parts and service cost more than that for dad's Lexus.

It's now done 90000km, I was going to borrow it on a fishing trip on Monday, it had rained a few days before and after the first corner I heard something sloshing from behind the dash. I braked at an intersection and had my feet washed and rinsed by a few days' worth of rainwater that somehow made their way into the cabin.

Dad used to tell stories about his old Morris 1100 doing the same when the drains clogged up at the heater air intake/plenum just above the bulkhead, and how times have changed. Well, not really i guess, glad I could follow his (wet) footsteps!

This'll be the last time we get an American car for a while to come.
 

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Yeah well, who in his sane mind besides the government would want to buy a separate chassis dinosaur like a Crown Vic? It's not that big inside either.

Although those barges still handle (I use this word lightly) better than most SUVs. And they fishtail well enough as cop cars in Hollywood movies and no-one would feel sorry when you put 20 of them in a pile up :)
 
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