With today's Engine of the Day being the AMC inline six, it seemed only good and proper that we have a Choose Your Eternity dilemma featuring a pair of vehicles powered by that fine powerplant. It's also good to have a couple of American cars, which I really can't use very often in this series because the stuff out of Detroit is too simple and parts obtainment is too easy to make for true hell. Not so with Kenosha products, though- even though the drivetrain parts are easy to find (thanks to the Jeep connection), the body and interior components are another story entirely. And today's trip into Hell isn't just about restoring an old AMC- it's about hot-rodding the six-cylinder engine so you get at least 300 reliable horsepower out of it. The road out of Hell is steep, you see, and you'll need plenty of power to climb out of the boiling sulfur! this 1979 AMC Spirit, which can be purchased for the lure-to-Hell cheap price of just $2,800. It's already got some go-fast goodies on the … [Read more...] about PCH, Six-Banger Kenosha Malaise Edition: Spirit or Gremlin?
The year is 1982. You’re a lover of domestic sports cars, but also suffer from a distinct lack of funding in this era of American Malaise. Three updated, base model, fuel sipping rides are in your purview — all of them with four-cylinder engines. Which one do you take home? Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio was suggested a long time ago by commenter JohnTaurus, who was inspired by the Dodge Challenger Rare Ride. Thank him for these glorious choices. Chevrolet Camaro Brand new for the 1982 model year, the third generation Camaro was the new hotness. Fuel injection, four-speed automatics, and four-cylinder engines — all yours! Today’s Camaro was assembled in the city of Norwood, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Initial offerings included three trim levels: Sport Coupe, Berlinetta, and Z28. Our choice is, of course, the base model. Power for the Sport Coupe came from the 2.5-liter Iron Duke inline-four, like you’d find in a contemporary and fine Chevy Celebrity. All 90 … [Read more...] about Buy/Drive/Burn: American Malaise Sports Cars of 1982
Today’s Rare Ride is a special, sporty edition of a rather mundane Malaise subcompact. It hails from a time when the American customer matched the color of their vinyl seats to their wide lapel. So let’s delude ourselves for a few minutes with the Monza Mirage. This isn’t the first time we’ve featured an H-body on Rare Rides. That honor goes to this 1978 Pontiac Sunbird Safari Wagon. Both of these vehicles were follow-up rides to the original H-body, Chevrolet’s Vega. The Vega led the pack with its introduction for the 1971 model year, soldiering on alone until 1973. That year saw the creation of the very similar Pontiac Astre. In 1975, the lineup expanded to include the Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Starfire, and today’s Monza. And in 1976, one final model found its way to the H-body — another Pontiac, the Sunbird mentioned above. Monza was available in three different body styles, all of them featuring two doors: coupe, station wagon, and a … [Read more...] about Rare Rides: A 1977 Chevrolet Monza, the Malaise Mirage
Ferrari is riding an ever-growing tsunami of success with nary a clunker among its many new offerings of late—the Motor Trend Best Drivers’ Car–winning 488 and its latest Pista variant being terrific cases in point. Who knows—at this rate, the SUV they’ve long threatened to introduce may even connect as a home run. This wasn’t always the case, however. To illustrate this let’s take a look back at what may rank as the ultimate malaise Ferrari—the 348. The car that replaced Magnum PI’s iconic Pininfarina beauty 308/328 was the first Ferrari I drove as a cub reporter, during which time the seat back broke and we experienced antsy limit handling and poor cross-wind stability. See, this was the last Ferrari developed before the Acura NSX showed the world that sexy mid-engine supercars didn’t have to be finicky, fragile, ergonomic disasters. Here’s what Motor Trend had to say about the 348. Beer-goggle Beauty “How do you … [Read more...] about Feature Flashback: Remembering the Malaise Ferrari
We introduced the new Buy/Drive/Burn series back in December via a QOTD post (read that first for the rules). Shortly afterwards, the inaugural post in the series tackled the destruction of one of a trio of new luxury coupes. Those powerful and modern coupes are at the higher end of the market, which is just about the only place one finds luxury coupes today.It wasn’t always that way — there used to be personal luxury for the masses. Coupes in the finest brougham tradition, exuding class, elegance, and sophistication. One of the best years for the personal luxury coupe (PLC) was 1980, right at the height of malaise and the downsizing trend. All are superb vehicles, surely. Which one burns, and which goes in your driveway, and which do you simply borrow from a friend?And no, the Bonneville isn’t in the running. Too easy. Ford Thunderbird Town LandauStarting off our trio from the Big Three is the Ford Thunderbird Town Landau coupe. The new for ’80 … [Read more...] about Buy/Drive/Burn: Selecting a Malaise Coupe From 1980