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Lert's Talk About Cars (other people can join the discussion, I suppose)

Rubick

Well-known member
My point was that with selling Opel, GM just got rid of the design bureau that made the shall we say sane-sized cars.
It was Opel that designed the cars that other GM brands were based on.
SAAB 9-5 was a longer wheel-base Insignia. The second-gen 900 is a Vectra.
Daewoo was all Opels. Nexia was the Kadett, Espero the Ascona, Lanos is Astra, Nubira is Vectra. Matiz, I think that one currently called Chevy Spark is still based on the Tico and that thing is a Suzuki Alto.

Opel designed the lion's share of GM brands sold outside the US.

I would say based on Opel platform rather then designed. But yes a valid point and I agree.



As for the earlier cars.
Everything out of 50's and 60's cannot comment on. Last gen Kadett was nice I guess. And the first gen Kadett ended up becoming the first Moskvicz.

Never been a fan of Kadett E while it drove like for the most part kadett D. I never found the E particular good looking inside or out. That and In the 90's up until early 2000. They were a common on every street in Ze Netherlands up there with the Peugeot 205. You kinda started to hate them.


But if you ask me Ford vs GM. Ford won. Ford is still in the game, it didn't go bankrupt and still has a whole line of cars.

Sure, except their range in EU is getting smaller and smaller. And so is Ford EU's market share and name. In the States they still in the fight and good position but getting squeezed all the same.


Anyway, something for t-dugong


Ze Moskvitch 3-5-6 prototype. A beauty that with a few touches here and there should have been put into production. A larger follow-up to Moskvitch 408/4012 series that would have had 1.8 liter, 103 hp straight four (1.6 and 1.7 liter we're also planned) and optional automatic transmission (prototype had a Borg-Warner 3 speed auto ) but it was planned to have a domestic CVT transmission KP-9 (tested on 3-5-5) and then KP-10 neither of which ever went into production.


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And the model for the estate/station wagon that never managed to become in metal.

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The car itself was Inspired by Opel Rekord after chief designer Alexander Fedorovich Andronov sat in one. But in no way copy in either looks or internal wise. Just the dimensions for the most part

The new car was however to be based on the Moskvich-412 as ordered by Alexander Andronov. Which made some of the team walk out. Whom felt a more fresher approach was to be required. (As would be the case) Thus the first prototypes Moskvitch 3-5-1, Moskvitch 3-5-2, Moskvitch 3-5-3 and Moskvitch 3-5-3 estates along with Moskvitch 3-5-4 all used stretched base of Moskvich-412.

Non managed to satisfy especially in safety features mainly the crash protection. At that time 412 and modernized version of 408 had frontal crumpling zone protection added (and i believe rear also though not 100% sure) The new Moskvitch was aimed higher though failed. Ultimately though project was put on hold in 1970. And the new facility that could have been used to manufacture said new car instead began a year prior to manufacture export euro spec Moskvich 412 and modernized 408.

The following year chief designer Alexander Andronov would retire and the project would start again now on a new chassis.

And in 1972 Moskvitch 3-5-5 would show up

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Followed by 3-5-6 in 1973. Expected initial production was expected in 75-76. But ultimately it would never be as it was probably rightly concluded, that disruption, retooling and retraining, etc, would not be worth it. Since the car would be to late to the market by five to six years and would be morally and export wise obsolete by early 80's.


instead another rehash of the 408 comes to be. Ze Moskvitch 2140 And the new future project would ultimately bare Moskvitch Aleko
 
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Lerticus

Senile Old Coot
☭ Communism ☭
I was under impression in the early 90's they started to bleed money again. due to bad leadership. To many brands with subpar offerings and presided ghetto value thanks to the K-car and rest of platforms based on it prior years
No, that is actually what not only saved them a shitton of money, but made their bank accounts fate enough that Daimler wanted to raid them. It is actually related to this second point.
I also never understood why GM had to have so many car brands under one roof all basicly competing with themselves. Might @Lerticus care to enlighten us on that ?
Badge engineering was not only an American thing, but they were the ones who took it to the limits. GM was the worst, where you could literally buy a Pontiac/Chevrolet/Oldsmobile/Cadillac and the only differences were the badge on the hood and maybe a different set of seats plonked inside or a different grille.

But, you see, this happened everywhere for a reason. It took a lot to build a car on an assembly line, and each line could only do one thing. So each plant would make one car and then slap on the new badge. It was about all they could do without everything turning to chaos.

Now then, in the 80's the big hurdle came up on all manufacturers in the US. Emissions controls, most especially the first generation catalytic converters that cut fuel efficiency in half on many vehicles. They were also expensive as fuck, so everyone was having their cashflow cut to the bone.

What saved Chrysler was the advent of what is now standard manufacturing, what is called platform engineering. It was a method of getting assembly shops to build within a package (different manufacturers call things differently, but in this case a package refers to a set of dimensions). Now you can shut down less productive plants and build a number of different vehicles on one assembly line.

This saves a fuckton of money, and it is how the K-car originated. While other manufacturers were hemorrhaging cash, they were streamlining their automation and assembly. It was done very quickly, and it took years for others to catch up to this new normal. In the meantime, what looked like cheaply built cars was fast cash. That gave them their surpluses, even though in some people's eyes it made them look shoddy (and a lot of people went "oh, they shut down some assembly lines, that must mean they are dying!"). Though if you looked at other cars of the era, they were about the same or even better in many ways since the other builders had to cheap out on quality to compete.

But, yeah, GM management is fucked in the head. They have a specific corporate culture, and they just cannot stop themselves from doing the same fucking mistakes over and over again. So many of their vehicles are returning to badge engineering with a different grille levels. Ford has turned into a living joke of "failure to launch", where every new product is beset with endless delays and recalls. Stellantis is still in its infancy, so it might be stuck with the FCA problem of never finishing and delivering products for most of its marques (while still generating impressive cash flow despite, or maybe because of, a lot of vehicles sitting on old platforms; hey, it works for Toyota), or maybe the new alliance partners will use the next couple of years to push projects past the finish line.
 
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Rubick

Well-known member
Anyway, Speaking of Moscovitch.

Always thought this is what Aleko should have been and launched in 70´s. Instead of the rehashed Simca.

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Rubick

Well-known member


I see Ferrari´s are still Ferrari's.

Cough*

But otherwise besides the exotics. Especially Ferrari's. Which I can speak from personal record since i did look into acquiring a Ferrari in 2006 when the likes of Ferrari 208, 308, Mondial and even Testarossa were still cheap to buy before the generally hike up in prices for classic cars (especially Ferrari's) The build quality of said Ferrari's and the material used was frankly substandard. And top it all off. They were far from what one would call well sorted drivers cars.

And the legendary bad customer service is still Enzorific.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
I started saving money for a car.

My goal is to have 40 000zł( around 10k EUR) so I can get something nice.

And this is about the nice part.

What makes Mercedes nice?
I had one, a W124 and it was about as reliable as a Trabant(as in not at all) and my Fiat Punto is actually faster. Yet still short of buying a Rolls-Royce Mercedes are the best car out there.
It is not the fastest, certainly not the most economical to run nor is the comfort the best there is. Fords and the French drive better. The first in handling the second in comfort.
The looks are subjective, but I say Mercedes made only two good-looking cars in my lifetime. The W124 and the W212. I used to joke that the best thing about driving a Mercedes is that from the inside you don't have to look at how ugly your car is.

So why does the Mercedes has the reputation it does?
Same size same year BMW cost 1/4th of what a used Mercedes does.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
The entire Germany reliability reputation started in the mid 60's in America actually at the time when really most even the standard load out American cars had as standard, electric seats, eclectic windows. weather sensors and actual proper airco. etc, etc. While BMW and Merc where fairly fucking low tech actually. So less prone to something gone wrong. Now Mercedes did have models that we're just as well equipped and as advanced in " luxury" as the standard American cars at the time but honestly they were less of reliable cars then the American cars in general.

The fact that American car manufacturers quality control ....especially in fit and finish department went out the window in the 70's also didn't help
Add the shitty Joslin Joplin song and well hence the myth was borne.

Also 90's Mercs are indeed shit in terms reliability. Especially the late 90's up to early 2000's models.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
Also 90's Mercs are indeed shit in terms reliability. Especially the late 90's up to early 2000's models.
This is the period I heard most buyer remorse from. The people that switched from the W124 to W210 all told me they regret the decision.
I read that the costumers feed back made Mercedes stop being cheap about their product quality. At least as far as the E-Classe is concerned.
The Sprinter and Vito are still dressed up tractors that Renault van run rings around. The Deutsche Post stopping buying sprinters and switching to Renaults is only proof of that.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
W210 are indeed known to be unreliable. The W211 aren't any better until 2005 and on years. Then it's a fairly reliable car especially in lower engine trim.

When it comes to BMW's, the saying is amongst BMW fanatics is ....there is no such think as a reliable BMW.

But if you're looking at cheap fairly modern BMW's The 7 Series E65 ..forget about it. Especially the V12 models. There is a reason why especially V12's go so cheap and at such low mileages. Literally after 30000 km they self destruct. The 5 series E60 aren't great either when it comes to reliability. But at least in engine department the later post 2006 N52 straight 6 engines are solid engines. The 90's Bemmers would be better choice. And frankly better cars in terms of driving dynamic and looks. But good luck at getting this days one with decent condition, mileage and price.


Audi's are even worse then BMW's.


I would suggest post facelift late era Alfa Romeo 166. It is front-wheel drive. But it is actually fairly superb handling car and frankly doesn't feel like any front-wheel drive you'd drove and this is from personal experience. They are however slightly underpowered even in highest trim. Unless you're willing to work on the engine. And in terms of reliability it's biggest issue is the location of the heater matrix and the fact that it leaks and when that happens the car is bricked as the leak will effect the engine and electronics. You can however replace the heater matrix for another more durable one without much trouble. Other things are typical Italian. Mainly the wiring. Keep an eye on the wiring and replace it /duck tape it in time. And generally let the car warm up before driving.
 
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Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
Alfa Romeo 166.
That is a surprising recommendation. I would not be opposed to this model on principle. But in practicality, I would struggle to find replacement parts for it. Old and rare is not a recipe for a car that will last.

Currently, I have a first-gen Renault Laguna, that sits in the shop because of the idiotic torsion bar rear suspension it has given up the ghost on the rubber bits. Plus the speedo doesn't know how fast the car is going. Also the front doors do not lock and the rear doors don't open. I question my intelligence every time I look at it for owning one.
The other car I have is a second-gen Fiat Punto, that needs to go to the shop because it again blew the sealant, and is dripping oil. Again.
Did I mention it is not the first time it happened?
Other than that little annoying thing the car is basically indestructible. Then again, there is nothing really in it that can break.

*looks at discussion regarding Mercedes* Lexus aren't selling near you guys, huh?
They do but Toyota has a problem with spare parts availability. And its reliability actually works against them. If it breaks you will be hard-pressed to find a mechanic that knows what he is doing.
I was thinking about a Honda Legend, it has more recognition than a Lexus, but you get the same problem.


As a sidenote:
The other car I am contemplating buying is a factory new Fiat Tipo.
The car I want is the current Peugeot 508, but it is beyond my price range. I can afford it, but I would have to go on a diet to pay for the whole thing. For five years.
I want to buy a toy to flex in a little, I am not looking for a financial commitment. I just paid off the house I built, one installment plan is quite enough for me.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
That is a surprising recommendation. I would not be opposed to this model on principle. But in practicality, I would struggle to find replacement parts for it. Old and rare is not a recipe for a car that will last.

Alfas have their specialists tuner shops in EU (Italia, England and Spain) still making most of the parts or more precise parts that fit. But yeah, second hand parts are fairly limited.


I'd say a Volvo with a V8. But Volvo's second hand especially top trim models are fairly expensive. And frankly they are not the most reliable cars.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
Guess it's the price of Toyota's own success. That and the fact it hasn't truly penetrated Eastern Europe yet if you guys can't find spare parts easily since Toyota spare parts are everywhere.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
Nah, even in Western Europe second hand parts for Japanese manufacturers are far from abundant. And new parts are generally very expensive. Which is the reason a lot of 80's 90's and even 2000's Japanese brand car's disappeared from the streets.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
Nah, even in Western Europe second hand parts for Japanese manufacturers are far from abundant. And new parts are generally very expensive. Which is the reason a lot of 80's 90's and even 2000's Japanese brand car's disappeared from the streets.


Meh. It's not spare parts aren't abundant. That's because of EU emmisions regulations. Most of EU old Toyota's got sold, chopped up and turns into body kits and engine blocks for USDMs.

*Cough*EU's product protection for the win*cough*
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
Guess it's the price of Toyota's own success. That and the fact it hasn't truly penetrated Eastern Europe yet if you guys can't find spare parts easily since Toyota spare parts are everywhere.
It is not only about Toyota's success it is about the eastern Europe second-hand car market is over-saturated with cheap as dirt german cars. So there are scrap yards full of the things. And because of that, you can trip over spare parts for a VW or a Mercedes.
Toyota's are everywhere. Parts for them are nowhere to be found. If a Toyota ends up in a scrap heap they cannibalize it real quick, so no parts for them. The difference in price between a Fiat part and a Toyota part is about 300-500% more than one for a Fiat.
Meh. It's not spare parts aren't abundant. That's because of EU emmisions regulations. Most of EU old Toyota's got sold, chopped up and turns into body kits and engine blocks for USDMs.

*Cough*EU's product protection for the win*cough*
I did not know that...
Intersting.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
I did not know that...
Intersting.
Lucky you. And then there's also the US JDM import, which drives the prices of spare parts for Japanese stuff in Asia. Why? Because Japan sold the best stuff to US first. Then Asia's manufacturers for spare parts (not OEM, so it's not cheap for old cars) sell the rest of it to us after they sell to US and Japan.

Trust me, there's a fucking trade in old 1jz and 2jz parts going to US.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
Meh. It's not spare parts aren't abundant. That's because of EU emmisions regulations. Most of EU old Toyota's got sold, chopped up and turns into body kits and engine blocks for USDMs.

*Cough*EU's product protection for the win*cough*
Yeah, good point..

Also, the late 90's car scene and then the fast and furious movie didn't help the matters. I remember looking with a friend for spare parts for 90's Honda Civic at junk yards. I was shocked at the state of suspension and the engine blocks. I could barely find the right front seats or even the hub caps.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
I was at the shop today and as I stood in a queue, I looked at car magazines.

"Second-hand luxury sedans to look at," in bold letters was printed one of them.
The picture showed ten-year-old Audi S6, a BMW 5-series, and a Mercedes E-Class.

Is there no decency in journalism today? Even car press?
Where is the Camry or the Legend!?! I can understand French and Italian offerings not making the list, but Toyota and Honda should. Nissan and Mazda may be as well.

Then I remembered the owner of the paper is located in Germany.

There is no such thing as journalism anymore everything is propaganda.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
There is no such thing as journalism anymore everything is propaganda.


From what I remember on one of the articles and comment section on curbside classics , car mags where always up for the highest bidder and the ones that had a reasonable following we're far from bias.

Personally, I always wonder if the guys who review cars actually know how how to drive. Especially the guys who review retro stuff. That and the ridicules praise classic Citroens get. Never understood that.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
From what I remember on one of the articles and comment section on curbside classics , car mags where always up for the highest bidder and the ones that had a reasonable following we're far from bias.

Personally, I always wonder if the guys who review cars actually know how how to drive. Especially the guys who review retro stuff. That and the ridicules praise classic Citroens get. Never understood that.
You are talking about what it looked like 30 years ago. Now those magazines might as well be paid advertizement.

But I understand why the Citroen gets the love it does.
2CV is the ugliest car in the world. But it is instantly recognizable.
DS, CX, XM, Xantia, and BX all have hydropneumatic suspension and that makes you feel like you are not driving but floating. Xantia in particular offers an excellent driver experience.
The downside is that if anything on the suspension fails, god help you.
Either way, Citroens are quirky. You either love them or hate them.


In other news.
My Fiat no longer leaks oil. The oil ran out. I am not doing anything with that. I will drive the thing till the engine block cracks.
 

Rubick

Well-known member
Those quirks don't make for a good car. And hydropneumatic suspension doesn't work without modern sensors and computers and even then ...egh. Those Citroens especially CX have body roll that put Cadillac's to shame. And honestly peugeot of those era's especially top of the line ones had almost just as comforting ride without the severe body roll and actually decent to superb handling.
 

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
Author
I got myself a 1.0l 1997 Fiat Uno.
My daily is a 1.2l 2002 Fiat Punto.
God damn does the age of the design show. For those not familiar Uno was built from 1983. Punto the one I have was built from 1999, but that is a facelift the original mechanisms in punto are from 1993.
The ergonomics are questionable, I don't know how drunk or uninterested the person that designed the turn signal lever was. You actually have to reach under the wheel to operate them, and I was told by many women that I have long fingers. Donno why women notice. The ashtray is in the same place small fiats had them since the 1950's. On top of the dashboard just under the front window in the middle. I would complain but it has an unintentional benefit of allowing you to stuff your phone in it and you have a navigation unit in a good spot. The ashtray lid keeps it in place.

But those are only the initial impression. Driving it I realized the car has a quite lively engine, the handling is only ok because the car is quite tall for its length and size. I am quite certain if designed today it would have a "crossover" badge on the lid. The height gives plenty of room. The small width makes you bump shoulders with the passanger. But meh, I gave less than 1/3rd of a monthly wage for the car, and the same thing happens in a Toyota Yaris Cross a friend of mine just got himself. But unlike in the toyota you can actually see outside the fiat. The thing is a greenhouse on wheels, it has the best driver visibility of all the cars I had the fortune( or misfortune) to drive.
The brakes work well. I managed to stop in time when two drunk men carried a third drunk man over the road.* No ABS, sadly.
As for the performance. There is none.
The car has the word "FIRE" on the lid and that just means it has a fuel-injected engine. 45 HP. The base model punto I have has 60, making it a powerhouse next to the uno.
Merging into traffic requires a plan.
The suspension is high, newer cars slow down on speedbumps, and still sometimes scrape the bottom. I jump them, the Uno doesn't complain, the Punto did so I stopped doing that in it.

Ride comfort...
It has a roof, so it is better than a moped.

So...
My review of the 1997 Uno Fire, is don't buy it. It is a car you give a teenager or let a teenager keep if he/she/it got with lunch money.
It is unsafe, in the passive sense it is nimble so you get to avoid obstacles, so the driver will think of their own mortality.
It is also slow, but I would not say it is too slow to do anything stupid in it. Like jumping speed bumps. The only car that I know of that is too slow to be stupid is a W123 Mercedes 200D but that diesel drum on wheels is not nimble enough to avoid stuff.
Only reason for buying a Fiat Uno today is to have a backup car. I got it for that reason.

*that is a very Slavic thing to happen, I noticed.
 
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