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    1. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 05:18 PM #1
      This is an excellent classic article I first read back in 2005 during the 50th anniversary editions, and not that long ago rediscovered it after over a decade. I don't have the patience to copy 8 pages from C/D's poorly designed website, so I just posted a summary from one page.


      https://www.caranddriver.com/archive...omparison-test






      Audi 5000S

      Obviously a car de*signed by hard drivers for hard drivers. Audi and Saab seem to have been meant for this kind of abuse. Audi won on comfort and aesthetics, fell behind Saab and Volvo on utility. Center of dash was too busy; radio, window, heater-A/C controls generally disliked. Important controls such as steering, brakes, clutch above reproach. Superior rear seat, good trunk. Loved by one and all.

      Saab 900 Turbo

      Like meeting an old friend in the middle of nowhere. Ex*cellent chair-height seats, visibility, in*struments. Five-speed shifter rubbery and imprecise, especially when trying to find reverse (mandatory for removing ignition key from console). Window and mirror controls on dash okay for long*time owner but hard to find for occa*sional driver. On balance, a superb car for long, hard drives over bad roads.

      Pontiac 6000STE

      Generally regard*ed as best-looking interior of group. Suede upholstery was comfortable and provided lateral support through Velcro effect up to a point, but seats tended to go limp in really hard cornering. Most drivers wished STE had five-speed transmission, but manual would proba*bly have pointed up engine's nonsport*ing power curve, masked by automatic. Excellent dash, but no tachometer.

      Volvo 760GLE

      Interior as nice as exteri*or kitschy. Roomy, comfortable, well finished, with handsome leather uphol*stery. Very much in keeping with legend of Volvo sensibility. Well thought out, with excellent automatic-transmission control and good layout of switches and instruments. Lacks oil-pressure gauge; radio controls low and hard to use. At its best when cruising at 60 to 70 mph.

      Volkswagen Quantum

      A sleeper. Superficially unimpressive, but grew on drivers as miles piled up. Slowest car of group. Low performance, and automat*ic gearbox, forced drivers to press hard all the time to keep up. Interior simple and reasonably comfortable, though confined. Instrument panel refreshingly free of "Tokyo by Night" gimcracks. A nice car that inspires no superlatives.

      Dodge 600ES

      Not liked for its driv*ing environment, despite excellent seats, control relationships, and visibili*ty. Very poor shifting, universally dis*liked instrument panel and interior de*cor, buzzing vibrations prejudiced all drivers against this otherwise promising upgrade of the K-car. Comfortable back seat, commodious trunk, but seems to lack tight fit and finish essential for quality "feel."

      Toyota Cressida

      Nicest engine and driveline of entire group. Otherwise, strange feeling of déjà vu—Japan redis*covers the Sixties. Interior cramped, shoulder belts gimmicky, radio overly complicated. Good, legible instruments, supportive seats, nice combination of vi*nyl and cloth. As Datsun was spooky on straights, Toyota was imprecise, wob*bly, in corners. Our friends in Japan not yet comfortable at this end of market.

      Datsun Maxima

      Optional Star Wars instrument panel and synthesized voice wowed local cops but irked test drivers. Cramped interior, too many colors, too many plastic pieces, numb steering. Least sure-footed (with Toyota) of all eight, required more attention to go fast and stay between ditches. Seats com*fortable, transmission worked well, but lacked feeling of well-integrated, "whole" car. —David E. Davis, Jr
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
      Quote Originally Posted by Burnette View Post
      Gear Patrol, which has as much cred as Paw Patrol
      Quote Originally Posted by l88m22vette View Post
      88c900t wins again, you really ****ing crush it at listing a ton of cheap options
      Quote Originally Posted by volvohutter View Post
      You'll always get a pass due to your history of owning classy and sophisticated automobiles

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    3. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 06:33 PM #2
      This was the one that afterward, basically made every manufacturer demand the loaner/test cars stay in the country they are given, right?

    4. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 06:56 PM #3
      ...
      Second, the electronic revolution may have given us better control of things like fuel injection and automatic trans*missions, but it turns to silliness and gimmickry inside the driver environ*ment. From talking Dodges and Dat*suns to nagging chimes and the moni*toring of systems that nobody needs monitored, the electronic wizards are becoming a pain in the neck. We pray that the car companies get over their childish fascination with the bells-and*-whistles potential of automotive elec*tronics and simply confine themselves to making cars work better. Well-lit round dials with numbers and needles still convey useful information more efficiently than red-orange starbursts, bar graphs, winking indigo digits, or mellif*luous humanoid voices.
      ...
      If they only knew what was to come...
      Leonardo - Team Post-Killing Ninja
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      #FREEPATRIKMAN
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      If I could do one thing with a DeLorean it would be to give Vad's parents a condom.
      Quote Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
      Do you want to be known as the guy who makes worse automotive decisions than VadGTI?

    5. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 07:04 PM #4
      Also, best part:

      What to See and What to Do in Sunny Mexico

      So you're going to the Baja? You're buzzing with happy anticipation, boning up on the Berlitz, learning "Buenas noches" and “Excuse me, but I think this sandwich is made of dog." What to pack? Take lots of cheerful resort clothes (handy for spreading on the desert floor to signal airborne rescue parties). Take plenty of American mon*ey. Take a Valium. Take Interstate 15 back north, and stay in Palm Springs.

      ¿No, gracias? Then cross the border into Tijuana—adventure, here comes you! Total immersion in a different cul*ture, different values... Don't be an ugly American and throw up. In Tijua*na, garbage collection means displaying your collection of garbage in the street. But this is no excuse for forgetting the "good neighbor" policy the way some Americans did in 1846 when we stole half the country (the half with all the money and jobs).


      Moving right along, let's zip down the beautiful four-lane, sometimes two-lane, occasionally no-lane highway to Ensenada with its breathtaking view of where the ocean would be if a lot of American recreational vehicles weren't parked in the way. On the road we see the quaint Mexican toll booths where they'll accept anything—yes, a button, an Oreo, a child's gym sneaker. This is the result of Mexico's interesting new cur*rency system: each peso is worth 100 centavos, and the centavo is worth noth*ing at all. We gringos, we'll probably never "get it" how this works. But it's fun galore when you're bargaining for colorful hats in the shape of onyx ash*trays or blankets made out of old hats.

      Don't miss the Museum of Third World Toilets (on display in Ensenada and everywhere else). Cheerful, fun-lov*ing tour member Brock Yates did miss it and piddled in the parking lot of Hussong's Cantina. Considering the hy*gienic state of Hussong's, some cheerful fellow tour members saw this as an in*ternational gesture of good will and a cleanup attempt to boot, but the fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, very well-armed local police were not amused. "You have made the violation of a laws," they said (Spanish for "Give me ten dol*lars"). The Mexicans have an interest*ing method of paying their police: they don't. Just "free guns and all you can eat." Maybe some of our stateside big-city budget balancers should take a tip from this useful idea.

      By the way, don't forget to stop at the checkpoint south of Ensenada and get your tourist permit stamped. Otherwise, it's illegal to go more than 100 kilome*ters south of the border. The check*point is closed weekends, holidays, nights, mornings, and siestas. Also, it isn't there at all. And remember, Mexi*co's traffic laws are different from ours. They're made up on the spot. Mexican roads are different, too. The Mexican Highway Department is known as the "Miracle of the Sierra Madre" because the entire national road system was built without surveyors' instruments, rulers, T-squares, or any of the sticky Stuff that holds asphalt together. The roads are a little narrow by U.S. standards—just room enough for a large truck in the oncoming lane and a large accident in yours.

      Sun's down, ready for some fun? Night life is muy bueno in little desert towns like San Ignacio. Wade to your car. Drive a half-mile through water up to the doorsills, then a couple more miles to the little restaurant by the air*port. Your genial hosts will try to trick you into eating the hottest salsa ever contained in a bowl and will fill your heart and mind with memories of home by playing their one American country-and-western tape over and over again. Yes, when night falls in old Mexico, any*thing goes. And everything was gone by the time we reached San Ignacio.

      The Baja has plenty of beautiful scen*ery. Or maybe it doesn't. Who can tell? Cheerful (well, sort of) tour guide Don Sherman loves to go hippity-hop quick as a bunny down Mexico's amusing roads—terrific view of white knuckles clenching sweat-drenched steering wheel. And for extra fun at 100-plus, be sure you have a front-wheel-drive car that doesn't give any tedious old ad*vance warning when it goes for a closer look at the Baja's flora and fauna. Speaking of flora and fauna, everything that's more than three feet from the highway is poisonous, has thorns, or is armed with a .45—a naturalist's para*dise! (Keep car doors locked, and beep horn until marines arrive.)

      Some stick-in-the-muds say you shouldn't drive at night south of the border. You might hit a cow or some*thing. A lot of malarkey, say we. (Write care of this magazine for good deals on genuine Mexican beefsteak and a Dodge 600ES front end, used hard only once.)

      The rest of the food in Mexico is fab*ulous, too—broiled langostino, succulent yellow-fin tuna, tasty carne asada, beauti*ful salads, and fresh vegetables. And here's a sure-fire hint for avoiding tummy troubles: don't eat any of it. Fun-imbibing tour member David E. Davis, Jr., has a great method for finding all the best Mexican restaurants—stop where the flies do! Can eleven million insects be wrong? David E. likes his roadside stops double-rustic. Not just dirt floors but dirt ceilings, too!

      Did someone say sickness and dan*ger? Fun-swamped tour member Jean Lindamood discovered that ignorance of Spanish is no barrier to not making sense in Mexico. She just tacked "-o" and "-idad" onto the ends of all her reg*ular English words and chatted away like a house afire. The natives thought this was no end of fun, but then again, their national sport is teasing farm ani*mals with a red bed sheet. Mexican offi*cialdom was eager to give us a tour of the country's penal facilities—their way of saying thanks for our speeding, trav*eling in an illegal convoy, speeding again, being so fun-filled, having cow accidents, and speeding some more—but they could never resist Jean's happy patter. She'd show them our official pa*pers (proper official papers in Mexico have pictures of Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson on them), and we'd be on our way again.

      Of course, Jean was more than just a great conversationalist. She got directly involved in native life—siphoning gas from American automobiles in Santa Rosalía, stealing the federale's squad car in Loreto, and driving around town with his girlfriend. On second thought, may*be we got special treatment because the Mexicans believed if they detained us, they might have to keep Jean, too.

      Yes, you'll want to stay in Baja forev*er, the way we almost did. Ah, the sights, the smells, the vistas, the stron*ger smells, and the wonderful, beautiful weather. The weather in Baja is incom*parable, glorious the year round. Don't call it rain, call it liquid sunshine. Why, the climate is so warm and dry that the Mexicans don't even bother to build bridges. They just pave right across the bottom of the arid river beds and never have any problems at all with... WHERE'S SHERMAN?! JESUS CHRIST, GET ROPE!! GET SAND*BAGS!! Happy touring, amigos, and adios for now to the cheerful, fun-filled... BAIL, FOR GOD'S SAKE!! BAIL!!! MAY*DAY! MAY*DAY! MAY*DAY! MAY*DAY! —PJ. O'Rourke
      Leonardo - Team Post-Killing Ninja
      Fizzy - Team My Little Pony
      #FREEPATRIKMAN
      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      If I could do one thing with a DeLorean it would be to give Vad's parents a condom.
      Quote Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
      Do you want to be known as the guy who makes worse automotive decisions than VadGTI?

    6. I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!! patrikman's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 07:19 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      Also, best part:
      Something tells me he had the sniffles when this article was written.
      this signature kills fascists.

      Support Your Local Homebrewery

    7. 01-06-2019 08:41 PM #6
      Good read!

      Thanks for posting it.

      Saab 900 Turbo

      ... Five-speed shifter rubbery and imprecise, especially when trying to find reverse (mandatory for removing ignition key from console).

      On balance, a superb car for long, hard drives over bad roads.
      ✓ check on the rubbery shifter feel, but really not too awful bad once acclimated to it --- why did so many complain about R gear? Just pull the collar up and slip it over, voila. I got in the habit of shifting into 1st then reverse and that helped smooth things out.

      ✓ check on a superb car for long road trips --- like a Viking ship, comfy seats and excellent ergonomics, green glow instrumentation easier on eye fatigue, a good place to be on a long haul. Turbo lag? Yes of course, but again there's an acclimation thing where the driver becomes pre-anticipatory of where they want to be and try to stay one step ahead while maintaining momentum, with the boost tweaked up a bit they become real beasts with big whoosh (but also torque steer)

      ✓ check on excellent engineering with motor design. The APC system was pretty advanced for the time and did all the right things in all the right ways. C/D seemed highly impressed with the 135hp 8v and rightly so because it was a real time-tested solid design --- but just 3 years later came the 16v and it took it to another level, really amazing to think that the basic engine design borrowed from the Triumph slant 4 had been evolved into such a well-refined jewel. They did absolute wonders with that engine.

    8. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 10:12 PM #7
      Excellent read!
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
      The family: 1955 Customline 351C | 1970 TR6 262Olds | 1977 Capri Cologne | 1980 Rabbit AAZ | 1984 C30 350 | 1988 Scirocco 9A | 1988 Scirocco LP7Y | 1992 Pickup 22RE | 1997 D21 KA24E | 2000 Grand Marquis Modular
      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
      You're always better off with a Citroën.™

    9. Member Bicycle019's Avatar
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      01-06-2019 11:44 PM #8
      Classic. It's stuff like that that made me such a C&D devote since before I had a license. Definitely more "gonzo" than today's sterile stuff.
      DCI - Party time, excellent.

    10. 01-07-2019 12:07 AM #9
      Pontiac 6000STE

      Generally regard*ed as best-looking interior of group.
      Much crack was smoked that day. The interior of the 6000 is terrible.

    11. Member
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      01-07-2019 01:14 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by The Kilted Yaksman View Post
      Much crack was smoked that day. The interior of the 6000 is terrible.
      It might seem nice if you spent the afternoon driving a Dodge 600ES.

      In just a few short years this would enter the segment and redefine it.


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      01-07-2019 09:44 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by The Kilted Yaksman View Post
      Much crack was smoked that day. The interior of the 6000 is terrible.
      Nah. It wasn't great in the maroon velour version in my parent's 6000LE. But it looked pretty good in the STE's brown, especially with the brown pigskin suede.

      That said - better than the 5000's interior? No way. What a great car, when everything worked. (Or hell, even 90% of everything worked.)

      Tom

    13. Moderator silverspeedbuggy's Avatar
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      01-07-2019 11:23 AM #12
      I was just reading that (great) article a few weeks ago. Why? I was communicating with a guy who was selling an 84 Quantum sedan. 93,000 miles, all original, garages since new, never seen salt/snow. Needed fuel tank cleaning, new pump, and filter. Asking price: $1000.





      I missed buying it by about 4 hours. I commuted to college in the early/mid-90s in a Quantum sedan, so this would have been a sentimental purchase. Le sigh.

    14. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      01-07-2019 11:37 AM #13
      A motley crew of Brock Yates, DED Jr., a young Chubby Chedda, Jean Lindamood, PJ O'Rourke, Don Sherman, Rich Ceppos... This is probably one of the most legendary of C/D articles, sort of an OG TG road trip episode.

    15. 01-07-2019 12:12 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Sonderwunsch View Post
      It might seem nice if you spent the afternoon driving a Dodge 600ES.
      Good point. However, this:

      is only marginally better than the Dodge 600, but worse than everything else in the comparo, IMO.

    16. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      01-07-2019 02:01 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Sonderwunsch View Post
      It might seem nice if you spent the afternoon driving a Dodge 600ES.

      In just a few short years this would enter the segment and redefine it.

      Um... apples and llamas.
      The E28 M5 was more than twice the price of these cars tested.
      Maybe closer to 3 times some.

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