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I had to tell my offspring he was deprived.


F_in Ray Of Sunshine

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I was thinking the other day there's a whole generation that doesn't know what it's like to drive a car with a 283, 327, or a 383 V8 engine.  

Include me in that demographic, then. In the last 35 years, I've never owned or driven anything but 4 cylinders. (Except motorcycles). The truck I have now -V6- is the first.

Today's young people have never known the glory that was the Gremlin, the Pinto, the Vega, the Pacer, the Chevette, the Yugo, the Omni, the Hornet, the Matador......

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Include me in that demographic, then. In the last 35 years, I've never owned or driven anything but 4 cylinders. (Except motorcycles). The truck I have now -V6- is the first.

Today's young people have never known the glory that was the Gremlin, the Pinto, the Vega, the Pacer, the Chevette, the Yugo, the Omni, the Hornet, the Matador......

I owned a couple of those in your list.

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I owned a couple of those in your list.

Nope. Closest I came was when my dad had a Vega. It had elves that lived under the dash who'd throw random pieces of plastic on the floor. You'd go to get in and see some mystery piece, lying there. "WTF is this and where did it come from?"

After about the tenth time it vapor locked on him, he got rid of it.

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I loved working on my car as a kid.  Could crawl under the dash and change the stereo by removing two nuts.  Could drill a hole and mount a switch for fog lights, etc, 

Simple machines up until the 80s then plastic began to rule.

There is a great joy to be had in washing and waxing a metal car, polishing the chrome bits and cruising around on a hot summer night that is slowly being lost.

 

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Include me in that demographic, then. In the last 35 years, I've never owned or driven anything but 4 cylinders. (Except motorcycles). The truck I have now -V6- is the first.

Today's young people have never known the glory that was the Gremlin, the Pinto, the Vega, the Pacer, the Chevette, the Yugo, the Omni, the Hornet, the Matador......

​What a total joy American Motors was.  My wife borrowed an AMC Spirit while her Fuego (another story!) was in the shop, and the damn thing could barely make it over a steep bridge :D

At work, we tried to take an AMC Matador to a meeting.  It smelled of gas, and every time we tried to drive away from work, it sputtered and coughed so bad we turned around to go back before it died.  On the way back, it ran great!  So we turned around, back to sputtering...

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​What a total joy American Motors was. 

Windshield wipers that ran off manifold vacuum was perhaps my favorite "feature".

Ex had a Hornet where there was a pretty good sized hole rotted in the floor, on the driver's side. She put the floor mat over it and that worked well, until the day she went through a deep puddle and the water came through so fast, and so hard it blew her foot off the gas pedal....

Not quite as good as the "bargain" Omni her dad found for her though. He proudly drove it home after purchasing it and the shifter fell out in the driveway. She got in to take it for a spin and the shift knob was into the boot. I think the body on that one started rusting in the showroom.

Or the time I was driving along and saw a Yugo on the opposite shoulder with the 4-ways on. As I drove further, I came across a guy walking back toward the car...carrying a wiper arm.

​See? My kid missed all this!

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I loved working on my car as a kid.  Could crawl under the dash and change the stereo by removing two nuts.  Could drill a hole and mount a switch for fog lights, etc, 

Simple machines up until the 80s then plastic began to rule.

There is a great joy to be had in washing and waxing a metal car, polishing the chrome bits and cruising around on a hot summer night that is slowly being lost.

 

​Once the kids are grown you can get back into it.  No shortage of impromptu show-n-shines here.  

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Include me in that demographic, then. In the last 35 years, I've never owned or driven anything but 4 cylinders. (Except motorcycles). The truck I have now -V6- is the first.

Today's young people have never known the glory that was the Gremlin, the Pinto, the Vega, the Pacer, the Chevette, the Yugo, the Omni, the Hornet, the Matador......

​Every car I've owned myself except the first has been 4-cylinder as well.  However, I have only once had to know the lousiness that was pre-90's American four-cylinders (`86 Ford 1.9L 2-barrel carb, 90hp).  I really think it took decades for US automakers to care about smaller engines; they were too interested in the muscle arms race, and through the 80's and at least some of the 90's, they let Honda and Toyota eat their lunch, either with a mediocre engine, or pairing a four-cylinder with an anemic three-sped automatic (read: Dodge Neon), or just crapping out on the rest of the car and making it cheap (Chevy Cavalier).

By the way, you also forgot the 80's uber-awesomeness of the first-gen Chevy Cavalier, Ford Tempo, and the pre-Mazda Ford Escort.

 

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By the way, you also forgot the 80's uber-awesomeness of the first-gen Chevy Cavalier, Ford Tempo, and the pre-Mazda Ford Escort.

I was was going back a bit further than that, but we can also throw in the Citation and the Celebrity....or the parts-bin Fiero; half Citation, half Chevette.

My sister had an Escort that used to grenade itself fairly regularly, but she swore by it. Dunno why.

I did have a '69 Lemans for a "winter rat" one year - the trunk was so rusted out you couldn't carry anything smaller than a basketball - but the transmission linkage ate itself and I got rid of it.

 

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I am happy to have started with a V8 - a good old Olds Rocket 88 350.  It was a severely rusted car with V8, but I still loved it. :)

​The year after I gratuated from HS (1974) I found a Rocket 88 in an old barn.  The widow that owned it had it pulled in there and put up on blocks when her husband died.  It was in mint condition.  Your could bounce a quarter off the convertible top.  It had been sitting for years and would need a bunch of work and I had no place to do the work and to be honest I was not a motorhead and I was into other stuff.  I didn't have the skills to do it myself.  The interior was pristine leather and the body was dusty but otherwise perfect. 

She wanted $25 for it.  I have kicked myself a few times since then.  Chalk that up to bad decisions made by a 19 YO.

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I owned a 66 Rambler American, 232, 3 speed manual.  Great car.  I would just flick the ignition and it would start immediately.  After the starter noise faded it would run so quietly you could hardly hear it. 

After that I got a 76 Gremlin, 258, 3 speed manual.  Bought as junk from a dealer, supposedly with 77K on the odometer.  Right...  Put a wheel bearing and a muffler on it and it was good to go.  It was pretty quick too.  I think, for whatever reason I don't know, the roof had been cut off and then pasted back on.  Maybe somebody made it into a flowerbox for a while.  But the thing ran great too, and I put about 50K on it before the timing chain jumped.

Next car was a 81 Spirit, also with 258, but with a 4 speed.  It was a bit heavier than the Gremlin, and not quite as quick but rode a bit better.  No mechanical problems whatsoever.  Sold it to a college kid who drove it for another two years.

I know people have many tales of bad experiences with AMC's but I really liked these cars and wouldn't mind having any one of them back again.

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I owned a 66 Rambler American, 232, 3 speed manual.  Great car.  I would just flick the ignition and it would start immediately.  After the starter noise faded it would run so quietly you could hardly hear it. 

After that I got a 76 Gremlin, 258, 3 speed manual.  Bought as junk from a dealer, supposedly with 77K on the odometer.  Right...  Put a wheel bearing and a muffler on it and it was good to go.  It was pretty quick too.  I think, for whatever reason I don't know, the roof had been cut off and then pasted back on.  Maybe somebody made it into a flowerbox for a while.  But the thing ran great too, and I put about 50K on it before the timing chain jumped.

Next car was a 81 Spirit, also with 258, but with a 4 speed.  It was a bit heavier than the Gremlin, and not quite as quick but rode a bit better.  No mechanical problems whatsoever.  Sold it to a college kid who drove it for another two years.

I know people have many tales of bad experiences with AMC's but I really liked these cars and wouldn't mind having any one of them back again.

​Well who would expect a 18th century guy to know anything aboot good cars? :D

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