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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-04-2005, 12:06 PM   #21
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

To be clear, VW has not been a German car for quite some time. They may be designed in Germany, but most are assembled in Mexico and/or Brazil, with many parts locally sourced. The shift from Germany to Brazil/Mexico about 10 years ago coincided with the precipitous drop in reliability, and required VW to come out with 10 year powertrain warranties to cope. Interestingly, VW is shifting some of its production back to Germany for some models of the new Golf.

My S.I.L had a Golf and they had some many problems with it that the dealer actually agreed to take the car back after 1.5 years and let them walk away.

I strayed into the domestics once, a 1996 Ford Contour SE. Complete P.O.S. Never again. Since then, I have owned nothing but Nissans; 2000 Maxima (since returned), 2002 Maxima, 2003 350Z and a 1996 Pathfinder;all built in Japan.

The newer cars have all been completely trouble free. Even the Pathfinder has been very reliable. It has required some age related repairs (ball joints, exhaust) but has otherwise been completely reliable. The Pathfinder is my winter beater/cottage truck and starts right up even on the coldest Canadian morning.

Unfortunately, Nissan has been shifting its production to North America and many of its new models (2004 Maxima, Titan, Pathfinder, Pathfinder Armada, Quest) have seen an increase in the number of problems per car, so I probably won't be getting any more Nissan's.

Honda and Toyota have both been very successful in bringing production to North America while keeping quality very high. I believe the Honda Alliston plant here in Ontario ranks as one of the best in the world.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-04-2005, 01:43 PM   #22
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
Honda and Toyota have both been very successful in bringing production to North America while keeping quality very high.* I believe the Honda Alliston plant here in Ontario ranks as one of the best in the world.

My wife's Accord was made there and has not had a single repair in 4 years. Now is she would just stop running into things with it.....
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 09:27 AM   #23
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
I thought the old Impala's were 8 cylinders I know my '66 would smoke (literally, hehehe) the whimpy 4 cylinders.
Most were, although they did put a six in the base model. I wanna say it was a 250ci. Looked very, very lonely in that huge engine bay, but it was kinda nice to be able to climb in there with it. It was so lonely it shook while it was running

Surprisingly enough, it gave a good degree of power. Enough to haul the 8 suitcases I could have put into the trunk except that I didnt own 8 suitcases and i'm quite sure they'd have crashed through the rusty bottom of the trunk liner.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 10:04 AM   #24
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Yep, most Impalas were smallblock V-8's, usually a 283, 307, 327, 350, or 305 depending on the year. Big-block V-8's were offered as well, such as the 348/409, 396/402, 427, and 454. There was also a 400, but I think it was actually a smallblock.

An inline 6 was always offered, though, except maybe from 1971-76, when the cars just got way too big to put up with a 6-cyl. In the earlier years, it was a 230 CID unit, but around 1967-68 they went to the 250. Then in 1980 they went to a 229 V-6 standard, and in the final year for the Impala, 1985, they went to a 262 V-6. Then there was the Impala SS of 1994-1996 fame, which only came with a 350 V-8.

In addition to the Impala, there were usually a few models below it in prestige, like the Biscayne and Bel Air. These tended to be stripper cars, or fleet cars like taxis and police cars. The 6-cylinder engine was more common in these stripper cars.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 10:09 AM   #25
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Thanks for validating the 8 cylinder mystery for me. The '66 I drove was very fast. Acceleration like you wouldn't believe. It was a major gas hog though.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 10:15 AM   #26
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
Yep, most Impalas were smallblock V-8's, usually a 283, 307, 327, 350, or 305 depending on the year.* Big-block V-8's were offered as well, such as the 348/409, 396/402, 427, and 454.* There was also a 400, but I think it was actually a smallblock.

An inline 6 was always offered, though, except maybe from 1971-76, when the cars just got way too big to put up with a 6-cyl.* In the earlier years, it was a 230 CID unit, but around 1967-68 they went to the 250.* Then in 1980 they went to a 229 V-6 standard, and in the final year for the Impala, 1985, they went to a 262 V-6.* Then there was the Impala SS of 1994-1996 fame, which only came with a 350 V-8.

In addition to the Impala, there were usually a few models below it in prestige, like the Biscayne and Bel Air.* These tended to be stripper cars, or fleet cars like taxis and police cars.* The 6-cylinder engine was more common in these stripper cars.

Reading this, I am remindded of the ad I heard for the 2006 Impala not long ago. Seems they are putting a small block V8 in the thing that puts out over 300HP and they claim gets 28 MPG on the highway (I suspect it shuts off 4 cylinders when cruising). If Honda made it I might actually be interested.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 10:47 AM   #27
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Brewer,

I don't know about 300 HP with front wheel drive. Too much torque steer I would guess.
Would be cool if Honda made it though, at least it would work.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 11:07 AM   #28
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Acura (Honda) already pushes 300 with their TL type S, and it's front wheel drive. Problem is it's a V-6 with a red line at 3 million RPM's, so it's a little gutless (when compared to a comperable V-8).
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 11:42 AM   #29
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

It's not the horsepower you have to worry about with FWD, but the torque. Cadillac has been building transverse-mounted FWD V-8 cars since 1985. Prior to that, GM had been building FWD V-8 cars since the 1966 Toronado, but they had engines mounted in the conventional "north-south" configuration.

The Impala's V-8 is a 5.3 unit with 303 hp and something like 325 ft-lbs of torque. That's more than the Northstar that Cadillac puts in its cars, and the Acura 3.5 is a comparative wuss when it comes to torque, at only 260 ft-lb. The 5.3 is also available in the Grand Prix GXP model.

Also, keep in mind that while these are FWD cars, they're not lightweight little things. An Acura RL weighs about 4,000 lb. To put it in perspective, that's about what a current Crown Vic or Grand Marquis weighs! I don't know what the Impala SS weighs, but I'm sure it's around 3800 lb. Now if these were lightweight little Civics or Corollas with that much hp put to the front wheels, then I'd worry, but in something that outweighs many 70's intermediates, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 11:43 AM   #30
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Oh, and if Honda made it, it would shred the tranny! :P
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 12:50 PM   #31
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

OK, not the lotus or the Acura. It's the ugly duckling Subie WRX


24 mpg city, 30mpg highway (albeit 93 octane)
46k miles without a single issue
mid week commuter, weekend autocrosser, winter hill climber

For all you sports car buffs:
260 bhp at the wheels for 2850# (with a few minor mod's)
1.0 g skip pad with coilovers and R compound street tires
That 1200# lotus with racing slicks will smoke me but I can hold my own with the typical go-fast stuff.

Had plenty of cars from low budget clunkers to a couple of classic 911's. This ugly duckling is my favorite do-it-all vehicle.


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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 01:00 PM   #32
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

TargaDave,

I've heard some nice things about the WRX. It's a good choice if you like fun driving for cheap.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 01:15 PM   #33
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

I drive a base Legacy wagon and I like it a lot. I know that when the time comes to replace it, I will be very, very tempted by one of the turbo Legacy wagons. Of course, considering that Subaru just announced a pair-up with Toyota today, it might end up being a normally aspirated flat 4 hybrid by then...
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-05-2005, 01:26 PM   #34
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

My next car (come January) is going to be a slighly used 2005 STI.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-06-2005, 01:18 PM   #35
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Those little WRXs are pocket rockets.* I've heard the STIs are even meaner.* Lotsa fun for as small as they are.

I'll take my '94 Impy SS.* 4200# of pure pimp* .* I'll put the Subie in the trunk....
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-07-2005, 02:45 AM   #36
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
My next car (come January) is going to be a slighly used 2005 STI.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bow-tie
Those little WRXs are pocket rockets. I've heard the STIs are even meaner. Lotsa fun for as small as they are.
STI's are very impressive but over the top with the kid racer looks, at least for my tastes. My favorite would be a Lancer EVO MR with the wing taken off. I'll stick with the current little beast and save my pennies. Subaru has many loyal owners. Have one co-worker with 230k miles on his old legacy wagon.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-07-2005, 07:02 AM   #37
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Heh, my MIL had one of the tinny little subies built in the early 80s. The thing did over 250k miles before she finally got rid of it. I think they are better built now. Good thing, since I am putting better than 30k a year on mine now.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-09-2005, 11:26 AM   #38
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

slightly off-topic...

We have found our used Chev Prizms to be very reliable and very inexpensive to operate. I have to have a reliable vehicle for work travel.

Up here in the Great White North (talkin' -40 degrees in da winter, boys!), informal research indicates that an older 6-cyl Jeep Cherokee is both reliable and very economical. (Buy them in the Lower 48 for best price and selection. Then, must have them 'winterized' for life in the far north.)

Forget minivans. The trannys fail--all of them. Talk to any tow truck driver or transmission shop.

I have bought junkers when working far from home. Not very successfully. I expent that any car--even free ones--costs at least $2,000 to get in reliable running order. I used to give them to Goodwill when I left town and take the deduction. Harder to do these days, I hear.

Best advice: Try to live without a car. (Read the Terhorst book.) Save the $$ instead.

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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-11-2005, 09:02 PM   #39
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Isnt the chevy prizm a rebadged toyota corolla from when they made both at the NUMMI plant in Fremont CA? Actually I think that plant is still there, i'm just not sure who operates it.
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take
Old 10-11-2005, 09:51 PM   #40
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Re: Taking a paper loss - a different take

Not sure where it was built but it is/was a toyota.
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