Last post on Jun 19, 2002 at 12:14 PM
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#90 of 99 I almost bought a '92 SE-R last year ...
Jun 12, 2002 (7:42 am)
It was a pretty sweet ride, for an econobox. The one I looked at was in really nice shape, with about 85k miles. Great seats, handled very nicely, nice high revving engine, and I like the looks, too. Only reason I didn't spring was the guy was stuck on it being worth over $4k - for a 10 year old car that sold for 11-12k MSRP!
Jun 12, 2002 (3:48 pm)
I took an SE-R out for a test drive when they were new and the ace salesman who went with me kept getting on my back every time I gave it some revs--unbelievable. How not to sell a high-performance sedan that only makes power at high revs.
It's not like I was a kid either. Needless to say the SE-R didn't get to show its stuff and failed to impress. But I really liked the cheaper XE version with five speed and 1600(?). A sprightly car with a sporty feel.
Jun 14, 2002 (8:56 am)
In the long term, I think the Falcon ended up the "winner", since the platform was used up until 1980 (Granada) and was used in the classic Mustangs.
It was so successful in Australia, the brand name continues to this day. The I6 used down under is a modernized version of the original 6!
The early 70's Aussie Falcons looked like shrunken 1970 Torinos (like in the 'Mad Max' movies), and kept the basic 1960 chassis until 1978.
#93 of 99 That's an interesting way to look it...
Jun 14, 2002 (9:32 am)
Aussie Falcons now resemble Tauruses and duke it out with Holden Commodores in the V8 Sedan Championships Down Under.
Those original Falcons were simple sturdy cars that withstood a lot of abuse. My best bud had a '61 wagon that we used to go everywhere in, especially surfing at Gilgo Beach, NY. I don't think I've ever seen an American car that had less "stuff" on it....imagine boys and girls, no PS/PB/PL, no a/c, no tinted glass, no floor shift (3 on tree), no woody siding, no whitewalls, no buckets. Just an AM radio
small hubcaps (no wheel covers)and front seatbelts(no rears).
So equipped I doubt it cost more than a new Beetle (about $2k).
#94 of 99 I know that the Granada...
Jun 14, 2002 (10:23 am)
...was based on the Maverick, but I don't think the Maverick was based on the old Falcon platform. The Falcon gave up having its own distinctive body after around 1965, becoming a truncated version of the intermediate Comet and Fairlane. You can really see it in the wagon variants, which share the same wheelbase.
One thing I've noticed about Granadas and Mavericks, as well as the Fox-bodied models to follow, is that they're very narrow inside. They also have huge transmission/driveshaft humps, and not a lot of foot room. I don't remember the Falcon and Fairlane Torino as having an overly huge tunnel...probably just average for the time. The later Falcons though, were very wide inside, probably a result of having to share most of their structure with a midsize car.
I could be wrong, but I don't think the Granada/Maverick really share much with the Falcon, except the engine and tranny, and easy-swap stuff in the suspensions.
#95 of 99 the Granada
Jun 14, 2002 (2:23 pm)
I pretty much learned to drive on one that belonged to my aunt (it was a '78 coupe, for the record). Several things I remember about it: yes, big trans hump front and rear, not much room in the back seat, huge hood, the car felt heavy for its size and it was a DOG (no offense to my canine friends).
#96 of 99 Mr. Shiftright:
Jun 17, 2002 (5:15 am)
Would like what I am going to comment on. We're all talking about American and Japanese compact cars from the '60s here, but nobody's mentioned one of the quintessential European compacts of the era: the famous Volvo 544 and 120 Series. Those Swedish vehicles seem to have roomy interiors for their small size, great build quality, decent reliability, and peppy performance. My only beef with the cars is this: Weren't they on a level with American compacts in drivetrain technology back in those days? (Ex: old-fashioned B16 and B18 engines)
Jun 19, 2002 (7:08 am)
Yes, the 544 and 120 were built to be tough, fixable and pretty reliable cars. There was nothing hi-tech about them that I can remember, other than that the 120 Amazon was built much better than any American car of the time, and ran as well too.
But the 544 is the most fun, probably the most fun Volvo ever built until the recent ones. I'd like to own another someday.
Jun 19, 2002 (11:17 am)
However, the B16 was a weak 3-main-bearing engine, correct?
Jun 19, 2002 (12:14 pm)
Well it pulled pretty well but the cranks could break, yes.