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Oof, pricey fuel. Right now we are running along about $4.25-4.50/gallon for premium here in the Seattle area. East coast is lower by ~$0.50 where we were visiting in New England (always depending of course), and in California they seem to be running about $5/6 per gallon I guess, according to the news.

Turns out the prices are very high because the worldwide oil companies reduced their production because of the pandemic and the expected lower demand; and now that demand is up, they have jacked the prices clear out of sight. Why? Because they can. They control the market and prices.

Not really into big engines as well, but got this car in a fantastic sweetheart deal, and wanted to try something a little different than our Alfas. Very different for sure. Doesn't get driven much, though.

Pushrods work very well, just not "modern", lol.
My intention is not to make this political, so please, let's keep politics out. Now that we're clear on my intentions, I'll speak from a simple supply/demand aspect. We as a country are heavy users of energy. Much of our electricity is generated with fossil fuels (coal and nat gas). Less than a year ago, we sent a very clear message to the world - we are willing to pay a high price for fossil fuels. We're told everyone that we're doing this, because we need a way to justify the high cost of switching to electricity. When we shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, we knew what would happen to the price of oil. I just think the expectation was that it would take a little longer than it did. Our EV infrastructure (charging stations or the grid) can't handle huge numbers of EV cars and trucks, so we need to build it out. Again, the price of oil wasn't suppose to go up this fast, so we're in panic mode.

Think of this for a moment. The oil companies can drill if they want; there's plenty of land and there are many unused platform permits. The cost of oil is high enough, where the capital expenditure will be recouped by the oil pumped. The problem is that the oil company stocks are too low. The price of oil has doubled in the last year, but the stock price of XOM hasn't doubled. How about CVX? No double there either. PSX isn't even close to a double. Same for RDSA too. A large amount of a CEO's bonus is based on the performance of the stock. Knowing that spending cash (or using debt) to drill is going to be a hit to profits and stock price is based on p/e ratios, so why would a CEO spend capital to drill? It'll take a long time for the capital investment to break even (profits), so unless there's an incentive to take that risk, the big oil companies will be hesitant to drill. Now, if the stock prices would go up based on expected future income from the new wells, then we'd have drilling. That's not the case now.
 

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No politics involved. Just the effects from business transactions and the pandemic.

Keystone has done nothing to the price of oil. The Keystone XL pipeline project wouldn’t have been completed for years. The loss of the Keystone XL volume may impact gasoline prices a decade from now.

Anyway, U.S. oil production has fallen by more than 2 million BPD over the past year — a result of oil prices that crashed due to the pandemic. Demand is starting to rise, and that dynamic does have a short-term impact on gasoline prices.

We don't drive our cars enough for this to make a difference to us, so we just do our thing, and live with it. Eventually, prices will stabilize at a price the industry wants, regardless of what we would want. So be it.
Thanks for no politics - it's greatly appreciated.

Looking at things from a business standpoint, I have some interesting facts - you can check the numbers, because they don't make sense. In the US, 2020 was a very depressed year for oil, but somehow, we produced more oil in 2020 (11.7M bpd) than in 2021 (10.9M bpd). The numbers are from the EIA, so we'll have to say they're accurate. We have higher demand in 2021, as the economy has opened up, so why are we producing less oil? Refineries are running at only 7% below pre-Covid levels, but crude production is 10% lower. Here's a recent update from the EIA: EIA oil supply and demand

You're absolutely correct that the Keystone XL wouldn't be producing oil for years. So there's no change in supply, with the pipeline being cancelled. What did change is how we as a country look at oil. The shift has been pretty swift and we now view oil as a dirty business that is ruining the planet. Not everyone, but the shift to that side has been substantial. Investors don't want to touch non ESG industries, so even though oil has doubled (and looks like it'll continue to $120/bbl), oil stocks haven't moved in step. Remember that our view of oil is that it's destroying the future for our kids. Global Warming (not saying it's real or not, but it's on the forefront of our minds here) and the recent COP26 meeting have pushed us toward electrification of our vehicles. California has a mandate that in 2035, auto manufacturers cannot sell a gasoline powered vehicle in the state (used is okay, but not brand new). We have new national laws on methane escaping and federal land leases to oil companies. The momentum is toward reducing our usage of oil, yet this year, we'll still use a lot and next year we'll use more. As shrewd businessmen, OPEC+ sees this as an opportunity to push prices over $100/bbl. The US is in the mode of reducing future capacity, but the demand will remain high for many years. When the US finally reaches a point where demand starts on the decline, it'll still be okay for oil consumption, because the rest of the world is growing and needs inexpensive energy.

Here in the Los Angeles area, there are so many Tesla cars running around. A couple months ago, I was coming back from Fresno and I stopped at the base of the Grapevine (Interstate 5 on the Bakersfield side of the mountain) to grab a quick bite. The Tesla supercharging station (it's a large one) was full and cars were lined up waiting to charge. People were running to the food court to eat, while waiting in line.

This last weekend (a long holiday weekend for us), many people lost power due to the high winds and risk of wildfire. I heard a number of 120,000 people without power. So, if they have an EV, what do they do? If the car has enough charge, they can drive out of the area and charge it up. For those who don't have enough charge, they're stranded.

And here in our area, we have these super long delays, where traffic is halted for hours and hours. One day in Feb 2017, I was driving home from my office (back when I had a 45 mile commute). It was raining super hard and many of the freeways were flooded. I had to sit in traffic, a lot of the time not moving, and wait and wait and wait. It was cold out and I had the heat on in my car - no worry about running out of gas, since I had some in my tank. The drive took 6 hours! If I had an EV, I would be out of electricity (heating takes are lot of electricity in an EV) or I'd have to shut the heater off to conserve power. Granted, it's something that doesn't happen too often, but here in LA, you have to be prepared. I've lived in So Cal since 1987 and I can remember a number of times I was stuck in traffic for hours and hours.

My point is that EV's at first were considered cool, because they were rare (special), but now that there are so many running around, there's nothing special about them. Why would someone endure the hassles of an EV? They want to be green? They think it saves money? They like the car???? Or maybe it's because we're being shown that fuel prices are so volatile and that dirty, nasty oil is destroying our kid's future. The base price of a Tesla Model 3 is just under $48K, which isn't too much more than $45,031, which is the average price of a car sold in Sept 2021.

I hope the rest of the world isn't being pushed into buying an EV. I foresee a lot of problems when the average Joe owns one.
 

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This is certainly true. A year ago, I finally gave up and dumped some shares in an energy sector fund after I lost about 80% of its value. At the time, industry analysts were telling investors that the oversupply was resulting in a shortage of places to store the oil being pumped. In fact, there was "so much" oil that the glut would take years to clear from the market. What those analysts and investors like me forgot to take into account was that we were still dealing with an oil cartel. Fast forward to today, and we magically have an "oil shortage". It makes me wonder how many other industries are taking advantage of consumers during this pandemic, and whether there are unknown forces intentionally disrupting the supply chain and driving this inflation.



I'll bite, since I've owned a Model 3 Performance for close to 2 years now. It replaced a '19 Porsche Cayenne S after I test drove the Tesla on a lark. If you haven't had the opportunity, I would recommend you try it out, just so you can experience it. That test drive, which was mind opening, and some research on EV ownership and charging options, caused me to dump the year-old Porsche, and I haven't looked back since. This past year, I installed Tesla's solar roof on my house, so I generate most of the energy that goes to charging the Tesla. Unless I'm going on a driving vacation, the 300 mile range (in reality, closer to 260 miles) is plenty. Range anxiety is overblown with the extensive Tesla charging network, which is set to double in number over the next few years. With the infrastructure bill having been passed, third party charging stations should also proliferate and hopefully keep up with the demand surge.

So why did I do it? Certainly not for the attention (I have my Duetto for that ;~}). Will it save money? It already is, and if I subtract the maintenance cost of an ICE vehicle, I'm way ahead after a decade that I hope to own the Tesla. Is it green? Not quite. The pollution involved in mining minerals and mfg batteries means I'm a net polluter in the first few years of ownership, but over the long term, I hope to reduce my carbon footprint. Do I like it? It's a different driving experience, and I would never go back to an ICE for my daily driver. To use an analogy, the transition has reminded me of going from a flip phone to an iPhone. You don't realize you need it until you've gotten spoiled using it. I'm still going to keep my S2000 and Duetto for pleasure driving in canyon country or along PCH, so I'm not abandoning ICE vehicles entirely. As they say, horses for courses, variety is the spice of life, etc.
I see cars differently than others do. I've brokered thousands upon thousands of vehicles and there are things that I feel are very important for a daily driver. I'm also an engineer by education, so I appreciate excellence in engineering. Here's my take on the Tesla Model 3:

Pros: When they were $35K, it was a decent price. When there were tax credits, it made more sense financially. Great acceleration. Pretty good handling for such a heavy car. Cool technology. Saves on gas. Good for people who want to be good to the environment. Made in the US by a US company. Great on crash tests. Low center of gravity. Low cost to maintain. Most software updates done wireless. Cool autopilot. Seems pretty theftproof. Should run for a long time. Range is good for an EV. Electronics are very well made - probably the best in the auto industry. Holding value very well.

Cons: Fit an finish are poor. Creaks and rattles. Ride quality - makes me a bit queasy every time I drive one or am a passenger too long. Paint is inconsistent. Less torsional rigidity than a Camry or Accord (not even close). Much of the engineering (vehicle, not electronics) is old technology. Repair costs are very high. Body shops can't get parts. Long lead time to get repaired whether in an accident or mechanical repair. When the car gets old, who can work on it? Tight back seat. Interior is so-so for a $50K car. Odd single screen vs dashboard. There will be a time when you run out of electricity. Can't be jumped - must be towed or a generator be brought to the car. Makes a cross country trip a lot longer and more stressful. What do you do when there's a rolling blackout? Known to catch on fire and when it does, it's very, very hard to put out. Battery becomes less efficient as it ages. Huge cost when the battery goes bad. Becomes outdated very fast (technology moving quickly). Odd seat material.

To me, the cons are unacceptable for a modern vehicle, but again, I see things different than others do. When I see a $50K sedan, I expect it to be an entry level luxury vehicle. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Alfa, Lexus, Infiniti - they all have good fit and finish, good performance, consistent and high quality paint, nice interior materials and are very safe. For Tesla buyers, I believe they sacrifice on some things to get the technology - or some have lengthy commutes (time wise) and they can save a bunch on fuel costs ... or some are doing it for the green aspect. Either way, everyone has the right to choose what they like and how they spend their money. As long as it doesn't affect me, I'm okay with it.
 

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This is certainly true. A year ago, I finally gave up and dumped some shares in an energy sector fund after I lost about 80% of its value. At the time, industry analysts were telling investors that the oversupply was resulting in a shortage of places to store the oil being pumped. In fact, there was "so much" oil that the glut would take years to clear from the market. What those analysts and investors like me forgot to take into account was that we were still dealing with an oil cartel. Fast forward to today, and we magically have an "oil shortage". It makes me wonder how many other industries are taking advantage of consumers during this pandemic, and whether there are unknown forces intentionally disrupting the supply chain and driving this inflation.



I'll bite, since I've owned a Model 3 Performance for close to 2 years now. It replaced a '19 Porsche Cayenne S after I test drove the Tesla on a lark. If you haven't had the opportunity, I would recommend you try it out, just so you can experience it. That test drive, which was mind opening, and some research on EV ownership and charging options, caused me to dump the year-old Porsche, and I haven't looked back since. This past year, I installed Tesla's solar roof on my house, so I generate most of the energy that goes to charging the Tesla. Unless I'm going on a driving vacation, the 300 mile range (in reality, closer to 260 miles) is plenty. Range anxiety is overblown with the extensive Tesla charging network, which is set to double in number over the next few years. With the infrastructure bill having been passed, third party charging stations should also proliferate and hopefully keep up with the demand surge.

So why did I do it? Certainly not for the attention (I have my Duetto for that ;~}). Will it save money? It already is, and if I subtract the maintenance cost of an ICE vehicle, I'm way ahead after a decade that I hope to own the Tesla. Is it green? Not quite. The pollution involved in mining minerals and mfg batteries means I'm a net polluter in the first few years of ownership, but over the long term, I hope to reduce my carbon footprint. Do I like it? It's a different driving experience, and I would never go back to an ICE for my daily driver. To use an analogy, the transition has reminded me of going from a flip phone to an iPhone. You don't realize you need it until you've gotten spoiled using it. I'm still going to keep my S2000 and Duetto for pleasure driving in canyon country or along PCH, so I'm not abandoning ICE vehicles entirely. As they say, horses for courses, variety is the spice of life, etc.
Shoot, I just re-read your post. Sorry to hear you had to get our of your Cayenne so soon - depreciation is brutal for Porsche SUV's. A while back, I was trying to get a client out of his Cayenne Platinum - like you, he owned it for about a year. His car had a GPS problem that started right after he took it to the dealer for service. They loaded new software and his GPS would show that he was in the middle of the mountain (where there aren't any roads). The dealer couldn't get it to work properly and my client decided to get rid of the car. It's a shame, because the Platinum model is a really nicely optioned Cayenne.
 

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We stay with our Alfas, except for the garage queen Chevy SS (did just take it on a nice drive out of state for the holidays though, drove well, easily pacing pretty much anything else on the road, 414 hp making passing pretty easy.

In this area around Seattle and Bellevue, we see a ton of Teslas, mostly because of all the tech workers here. I have driven the old roadster, and ridden in a brand new S, but do not ever plan on buying any of the Tesla models because of the really screwy dash arrangement, with just a big tv screen in the middle which controls pretty much everything. Esp the model 3. Do not like that arrangement at all. And, they say the new big Teslas are even worse, with zero knobs and buttons for even the simplest tasks and functions. Sorry, does not work for me, too distracting and techy.

And, regardless of what our Aussie friends and others think of the Brera (returning to the subject of these postings), I kinda like the looks, having seen one in real life. Maybe the engine is not Alfa based, but really, these days, the engines in the new Giulias are nothing to look at, or hear, or appreciate as an "Alfa" engine. Those days are gone, and within a very few years, they will be electric anyway.

Lol, one nephew does have an electric Fiat 500e. they really llike it for messing around town. Works just fine for going shopping, etc. They are pretty inexpensive now, picking theirs up for $8000, used with several k miles on it.
A few months ago, I was at the auction and a bunch of Fiat 500e's ran down the lane. Many without a bid and the ones that sold were in the $5K range for a low mileage 2-3 year old car. I was tempted to buy one, but knowing me, I'd be in a hurry one day and the night before, I would've forgot to charge it.
 

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This is 100% untrue. Holden designed this engine from scratch. Has nothing to do with the Busso Alfa engine. Heck it would all over GM and Holden advertisements if even remotely true

The things people will invent to make themselves feel better
Pete
I thought it sounded like a made up story. I know the older Chevy V-6 was actually a small block V-8 with two cylinders chopped off (229 CI V-6). By the way, that motor was a turd!

I did have a 4.1L V-6 in my 2007 GMC Sierra 1500. Gutless motor that drank gas! I think it's a punched out version of the 229 CI motor.
 

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I have posted this before but its worth another shot because its just so good. Wait for the guest appearance from Peter Griffin.

Fantastic! Those guys are awesome drivers and very brave to be driving those tiny cars like that! Thanks for sharing!
 

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They handled in a way that their simple design and suspension layout had no right to do. Just sublime, loved to rev and could go round the outside of many supposedly more exotic and more powerful cars. The Angeles Crest Highway is made for them...if only!
I took a completely stock 2001 Honda Civic EX sedan through Angeles Crest, then Angeles Forest about a year ago. Front wheel drive - check. 1.7L 127 hp motor - check. Automatic transmission - check. 185 width all season tires - check. You'd think it was the wrong car for those twisties, but that car amazed me. Pick the right line and the front wheels pull you through the corner. Gotta keep momentum up, because that motor doesn't have a lot of power until the VTEC kicks in. It had me laughing as I ripped through to Palmdale! I let the motor and entire car cool down a bit, then had a fantastic drive back. And yes, this was done at night, so there wasn't much traffic.

True story, I owned a 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible with a 2.4L 4 banger and automatic. I would drive Angles Crest/Angeles Forest as my cut through to get to Lancaster. I'd work until late at night, then come back home - my choice was to take Angeles Forest/Angeles Crest. That little Sebring surprised me! I'd have the top down and a bunch or tools and supplies in the trunk and rear seat. I'd rip through the canyon in that big Chrysler. I think having a 4 banger helped (lower weight in front) and I learned to keep momentum as I flew around the corners. I've caught Corvettes, Porsches and BMWs on that run. My Chrsler was a junker - dents all over and cracked lights both front and back. I can only imagine what those drivers thought when they pulled to the side to let me pass, then saw the piece of junk I was driving! Anyway, I had a lot of fun on that road!
 

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Lol, the first 164S had shocking front tire wear until Alfa finally backed off the massive toe out in their specs.

"Its just that they are, well like your Chevy"

Lol, nothing wrong with our own Chevy. Body is still tight after 6 years, 52k miles, nicely built/finished, handles most roads basically as well as (and blows the door handles off of) any Alfa except the Giulia Quad. Granted, it is somewhat of a gas hog (best seems to be ~24 mpg but can be much worse if one jumps on it), and I dislike the automatic tranny, and all the overly complicated infotainment electronics. Of course, it was a low production higher tech version, I'll give you that. We use it for high speed long distance touring, something most Alfas are generally not used for.

And, BTW, Chevy does produce the Corvette, an excellent and much more affordable super performing uber sports car. Have to give them that.

So, still, I tend to contend that you all are not that familiar with many of the newer cars coming out of the American manufacturers; but again, I wander in our discussion on the Brera, evidently a fake Alfa, lol. Someone will buy it I'm sure.
Many years ago, I had a 5.7L and 6.0L Pontiac GTO at my office. Of course, I had to take the cars around the block! The 5.7 was fun, but the 6.0 was a monster. The 5.7 was an auto, but the 6.0 was a manual, which I really liked! The funny thing is at less than 1/2 throttle, the back end would go sideways - I didn't dare push it more than that. If I owned one, I wouldn't have a drivers license! They're just too much fun!
 

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I like the looks of some GM cars too (some Camaros, Corvettes), and then I remember why GM make cars ... and look at my refrigerator, and remember life is too short
Pete
Do you mean cars like the Chevy Citation, Cavalier, Celebrity, 80s Caprice Classic or Malibu, Pontiac T 6000, J2000, Sunbird, Pariesienne, 80's Bonneville, Catalina or Le Mans, Oldsmobile Omega, Cutalss Ciera, Cutlass Calais, 1980's Delta 88, 98 or Firenza, Buick Skylark, Apollo, Century, 1980's Le Sabre, Electra and my favorite, the Cadillac Cimarron!
 

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The so-called Malaise Era of the automobile; what a dreary period that was to be an auto enthusiast. Design, quality and performance hit rock bottom, and occupying the basement were the domestic brands. The Corvette, circa '80, could only manage 180hp (California spec) out of a 5.7 liter engine. Compare that to the same year Alfa GTV with an engine half that size still generating 158hp. The younger generation have no idea how good they have it today.
The term turd is appropriate! I think the 1982 Corvette came with a 5.0L V-8 (CA spec). The rest of the country got a 5.7L 350CI small block with "Cross Fire Fuel Injection". Funny thing, I still remember the firing order of a small block Chevy 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Not sure why it sticks in my head.
 

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"Do you mean cars like the Chevy Citation, Cavalier, Celebrity, 80s Caprice Classic or Malibu, Pontiac T 6000, J2000, Sunbird, Pariesienne, 80's Bonneville, Catalina or Le Mans, Oldsmobile Omega, Cutalss Ciera, Cutlass Calais, 1980's Delta 88, 98 or Firenza, Buick Skylark, Apollo, Century, 1980's Le Sabre, Electra and my favorite, the Cadillac Cimarron!"

Agreed! GM and the rest of Detroit pumped out a lot of crap during the '70s and '80s. During the '90s they seem to spend their time trying to catch up to the Japanese on reliability, but still seldom offered much that could be seen as really desirable for for a true driver. The exception might be the later Cadillac CTS (and even ATS) series. The first introduction was an Opel based RWD that opened a few eyes. Then they went the extra mile to create the next generation of CTSs. Which led to the CTS-V models. Before the CTS's emerged, I had asked a friend at GM if Cadillac was targeting Mitsubishi or Nissan with its FWD models as their direct competition. Certainly not BMW or Mercedes, as those both were exclusively RWD with performance models like the M-series. A couple of years later the CTS and CTS-Vs were in the showrooms. I have no allusions that my remark had anything to do with that. But Cadillac did offer, for a while, a RWD V-8 with 500+ and 600+ HP, and could be had with a manual transmission, and enhanced suspensions. The CTS-V Coupe was drop-dead gorgeous and could easily embarrass a BMW-M or M-B AGM for a fraction of the price. Finally, the US could claim an affordable world beater. No longer an object of desire now, tho. They scraped the option of the manual shift and the styling has deteriorated to a shape that might be mistaken for a Toyota from across the street.

I think the poor Cimarron might have been based on a Chevy Cavalier. That in itself does not bode well for a happy ending. The Olds Cutlass of the '80s was actually the best selling model in the US over its production span. But GM dropped the ball on that when they replaced it with lesser model updates.

Much of the GM line-up today seems to be cookie cutter models designed by the bean-counters. One basic layout multiplied by several size options. I presently have a 1999 Chevy S-10 Blazer as my work vehicle. It's treated me well, but may need replaced before too long. In researching my options on replacing it, I find that GM only offers 4 doors, zero with manual shift, based on a car chassis, and only FWD or AWD. I'd prefer a 2 door 4X4 with a 6 speed manual resting on a frame-chassis. The new Ford Bronco seems to meet my want there. As its sales have a long waiting list now, I have a feeling that GM may be forced itoto creating their own version of the Bronco soon.
Remember the Cadillac Catera - the car that zigs! I think that car was based on the Opel RWD sedan. A friend of mine was in Germany and they gave him an Omega rental car - he took it on the Autobahn and of course couldn't keep up with the other fast cars. He was very disappointed!
 

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Peter, I also recall the 70s and 80s lineups from the Big 3 here, and I agree there were few standouts. Maybe the Mustang SVO, Pontiac Fiero and a handful of other select models that were original, broke new ground and were technically interesting.
But overall it was a pretty boring time in the American market. I bought a new Mustang GT 5 liter in 1986 that was a very attractive car, sounded great and was a hoot to drive, and thereafter a 1989 Ford Probe turbo that handled like a hog on ice and lost 50 horsepower if the ambient temperature was above 83 F.
Neither one was as reliable as my Alfa S4 spider has been over the years.
The year was 1988 and I was in my first year of my first real job. I was making good money (so I thought - $29K/yr) and I wanted a new car. My friend just bought a Grand Prix SE and I went with him to go pick up his car. While I was there, I saw a Fiero GT with a stick. I almost gave the salesman a yes, when he made the ultimate mistake. He gave me a huge line of BS about the new Fiero GT being faster than my Camaro. At the time, I had a 1980 Camaro that my buddies and I made completely illegal - we put bigger valved heads, an Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 650 carb, headers and "turbo" mufflers - and of course we pulled all the smog stuff off! A rear axle from a Trans Am 3.31:1 posi vs the 2.56 that was stock. The car was a beast and pretty quick, but it wouldn't pass a smog test.

The salesman was such an idiot, he didn't see that I no longer trusted him and I wanted nothing to do with him or the dealership.
 

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The year was 1988 and I was in my first year of my first real job. I was making good money (so I thought - $29K/yr) and I wanted a new car. My friend just bought a Grand Prix SE and I went with him to go pick up his car. While I was there, I saw a Fiero GT with a stick. I almost gave the salesman a yes, when he made the ultimate mistake. He gave me a huge line of BS about the new Fiero GT being faster than my Camaro. At the time, I had a 1980 Camaro that my buddies and I made completely illegal - we put bigger valved heads, an Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley 650 carb, headers and "turbo" mufflers - and of course we pulled all the smog stuff off! A rear axle from a Trans Am 3.31:1 posi vs the 2.56 that was stock. The car was a beast and pretty quick, but it wouldn't pass a smog test.

The salesman was such an idiot, he didn't see that I no longer trusted him and I wanted nothing to do with him or the dealership.
I just pulled down the specs for a Fiero GT. Fiero GT specs
My Camaro had 230 ish HP, top speed 135 mph (I got it there a number of times), 235-60-15 tires all around and big anti roll bars with urethane bushings - it made the car squeak (I think it was the roll bar squeaking as it rotated in the bushing).
 

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I'm with you Loco. The Fiero came to my mind too, on there being a few that didn't fall into the 'crap' column. My understanding on the Fiero was that GM had assigned Pontiac to proposing a tiny utility city car to develop. The engineers and designers saw what they felt as a better plan, and quietly used their development budget and time to tweak it more toward a small sporty Pontiac. When they finally revealed their results to upper management, it became a headline over the more pedestrian version they had been assigned to. Probably more to the story than that tho.

The slick plastic body and mid-engine placement made it worth all the trickery on getting it into production, IMHO. They later offered a V6 as well as the inline 4. Both roof options were quite stunning. I had heard that they had some issues on overheating from the positioning of the engine. But maybe Pontiac worked to improve that problem over the production years.. not sure.

I felt a personal loss when they killed Oldsmobile and Pontiac. Both marques had some great cars over their histories. I actually wrote a letter to GM on the plug being pulled on Olds. Probably as a way to vent more than anything. As Olds had been around for over a century, and had survived the Great Depression and two World Wars... I mentioned that there should be a plaque in Detroit with their names on it, since they were at the helm when Olds took its last breath.
A bit of worthless trivia. The reason GM kept Buick is that Buicks are considered luxury cars in China.

My though on the subject. I think GM should've kept the Pontiac name and made special low production cars. A real high performance GTO, Can Am, Trans Am, Formula and GTA. They could've used these cars to fight Dodge with the Scat Pack, Hellcat and Demon.
 

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Spiders: 1971 red, 1971 white, 1973 yellow, 1974 Silver, 1980 Brown, 1982 Blue, 1992 and 93 Green
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I actually like the styling of 50's and 60's domestic cars. It showed the world that we were world leaders. Excess ... Yeah, we didn't have to be efficient, because we had so much! Seas of chrome ... the shinier the better! Big land yachts with a super smooth ride - we were cruising on our newly built interstate system - back in the late 80's to early 90's, I did a study on the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Until I looked into it, I didn't know we had an Act to complete and interconnect our highways - I always assumed there was one. I just took it for granted!

As a nation, we were doing incredible things. From building our interstate highway system to putting a man on the moon, we were something! The style of consumer products showed our confidence. Hey, we just won the war!

Fast forward to today and our autos have no personality. My better half is great source for me to get a feel for a design of a car. She can't tell a Honda from a Chevy, but she knows what looks good and what looks plain Jane. Most cars look like a Toyota or Honda to her. Not bad, but not interesting to look at. She loves our Alfa's and thinks the Fiat 850 is cute. She really likes our Boxster, but isn't a fan of our MR2 Spyder. She doesn't like any of our Volvos and thinks it doesn't show my personality - to her, a Volvo is the ultimate appliance ... dull with zero personality! Even if one of our cars is a Volvo 850R wagon! When I bring a trade in home, most times her response is of no interest. However, when I brought a Lexus CT200h home, she fell in love - it's now her daily driver! She once told me that the Porsche 944/968 looks like a Toyota! Being in the business, I become blind to vehicles and when I see something I think is gorgeous, most times it's because it's aesthetically appealing, but also different - every day, it's a sea of Camry, Corolla, Civic, Accord, Prius, RAV4, CRV, Tacoma, Highlander, Pilot, RX350, ES350, NX300, 330i, 530i, X1, X3, X5, C Class, GLC, GLE, E Class, A4, Q3, Q5, Q7, Silverado, F150, Ram 1500, etc. All the same! I actually do like the Toyota 4Runner - it's unique looking, quality built (all made in Japan), looks rugged, drives great, comfortable, roomy and has nice technology. But it's thirsty! And you have to climb in, so on Monday after a long hike on Sunday, I sometimes don't want to climb up and in!

Too much ranting - thanks for reading.
 
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