Saturday, November 28, 2015

when you see it, you'll wonder why anyone goes to Lexus of Orlando

the self-inflicted destruction of General Motors

1974 -75. First, GM creative designs were quickly heading south.
Second, GM executives seemed not to care about major engineering mistakes that would ultimately cost them the loyalty of their large core audience.
Finally, the arrogance of GM's executives was incredible. Anyone who gave them an honest appraisal of their products' shortcomings would have his head handed to him

It started with the 1975 Olds Starfire. The interior was cramped because the car had originally been designed to use Mazda's Wankel rotary engine and the transmission required a large center hump, but at the last minute GM realized that the engine could not be certified to meet 1975 emission standards. So GM quickly decided to use its old Odd-Fire V6, having repurchased the patent rights from Jeep.

In spite of its smaller size, the Starfire drove like a tank and gulped gasoline, and its engine was noisy and rough. Anybody who bought an Olds Starfire, Chevy Monza or Buick Skyhawk would be a motivated buyer for Japan's next offerings.

1975 also marked when GM decided to remove the conventional bucket seats from the unbelievably popular Cutlass Supreme and replace them with Monte Carlo swivel buckets. Salespeople groaned: That design never allowed easy access to the backseat. Plus the seats squeaked, and they started wobbling soon after purchase.

National strikes of tire manufacturers in early 1976 caused car companies to sell cars without including a spare tire— at a time when customers cared about safety. The promise was that once the strike was over, GM would send spare tires to the dealerships to be added to its cars.

But GM simply sent tires—not specifically the same models or tread designs on the customers' vehicles—meaning that virtually everyone got upset about getting a mismatched spare.

In 1977, GM made liars of 1/2 it's sales force when it was caught swapping engines between car divisions. Salespeople had been trained to sell their customers on why a Chevrolet engine was not a Buick engine and so on.

Next came the X-Cars, like the Citation. Suddenly GM was offering a compact front-wheel-drive, V6-powered car that not only had serious braking system issues but actually delivered far less fuel efficiency than the older V8 models GM customers were trading in.

Another serious issue started hitting GM: Its dealers' salespeople were defecting in droves to foreign manufacturers. It was not unheard-of in that period to earn a $1,000 commission selling a Mercedes (DAI) or BMW (BMWG), and many dealers paid a Honda (HMC) salesperson half that much for selling a Prelude or Accord. This was a far cry from what had become a $50 minimum commission at most GM dealerships, made worse by the fact that you had little opportunity to sell your customers a second vehicle.

Friday, November 27, 2015

California's First Police Car,

Image taken mid 1930s. Kings County was the first law enforcement agency to obtain an offical police vehicle, purchasing it in 1902. Shown here is the car participating in a local parade during the 1930s. The vehicle was owned by a local farmer for many years. It was just recently donated to the Kings County Sheriff's Department and is on display at the Kings County Jail.

Found on

might be a Rambler

it's a day late, but I'd have posted yesterday if I'd had it yesterday

1962 Aston Marton DB4 GT Zagato

A Jeepney in India

Dirk Patschkowski's marvels of miniature cars, bikes, and garages.

incredible scale model dioramas

gambled and lost that the tree would be a pushover

this might be the best magazine prices I've seen for subscribing to Muscle Car Review and Hot Rod Delux, at least, in one place

You can compare with other subscription renewals I've posted  and see that it's the same price for Hot Rod Deluxe (a very good magazine) and a bit better than 1/2 off the previous cost for Muscle Car Reveiw (another very good magazine) and Mopar Muscle is typically ridiculously priced at 30 a year, but for 15, that is a good price.