Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think the guy is absolutely spot on, save the list's omission of the 1981 Chevy Citation. My sister had one. It was a rolling garbage can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,166 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
I was wondering if any Alfa's would be on there, good to see none made it.
I would have been very surprised, for better or worse Alfa has always made a pretty **** good car.

The De Lorean I slightly disagree with, (although admittedly I've never driven one) only because it was a Giugiaro design, all cars should be so lucky.. :p and well, they go back in time... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Lotus

absolutely spot on with a list that contains the brilliant and beautiful Lotus Elite but omits the excremental Subaru 360?
True, the inclusion of the lotus was a "move". It is lovely,, light and a joy to drive, evidently. But it was notriously fragile to the point of being considered unsafe. They were constructed with all the integrity of, say, a triumph, but were much more expensive. For the most part, those that exist today are all replicas, as nearly everything about them has been replaced. That said, it should never be in a garage, no less a list, with a Gremlin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,166 Posts
True, the inclusion of the lotus was a "move". It is lovely,, light and a joy to drive, evidently. But it was notriously fragile to the point of being considered unsafe. They were constructed with all the integrity of, say, a triumph, but were much more expensive. For the most part, those that exist today are all replicas, as nearly everything about them has been replaced. That said, it should never be in a garage, no less a list, with a Gremlin.
For those that don't know - LOTUS

Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,881 Posts
The Triumph Stag was a good concept ruined by unions ...

... one day I might buy one as they are great to drive, but ofcourse I would have to pull it apart and rebuild it removing the lazy worker issues.

Unions killed the British car industry and have now practically killed the US one also ... brilliant :mad: !!
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,964 Posts
True, the inclusion of the lotus was a "move". It is lovely,, light and a joy to drive, evidently. But it was notriously fragile to the point of being considered unsafe. They were constructed with all the integrity of, say, a triumph, but were much more expensive. For the most part, those that exist today are all replicas, as nearly everything about them has been replaced. That said, it should never be in a garage, no less a list, with a Gremlin.
Any car with Lucas electrics is suspect in my book, but I think that the Elite's fragility may be a little overstated. My understanding is that the biggest issue with Elites is that they're fiberglass monocoques, with the same issues as any old structural plastic. And you have to be careful with the steel embeds that hold the suspension components; if those rust out or the 'glass has too much stress cracking there, the embeds must be cut out and new ones glassed in.

But because it would mean creating the entire fiberglass body/monocoque, I doubt that there are very many Elites around that could be called 'replicas'. And as far as replacement of major components, that's pretty much true of any 50 year-old car. Let us know how your '74 Spider's doing in 2025 (second resto, maybe?).

In any case, the fact that the Elite is on that list at all (as is the Ford Model T!) says a lot more about the list than it says about the Elite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The Elites "fragility" was and is notrious, indeed it was in large part to fiberglass being a relatively a new technology at the time. However, it is my understaning that cracking was a problem from new, not just half a century on. Hence the reputation. As for the 74, in 2025, it will probably will be doing just what it's doing now, giving me agita. Issue du jour; a whining LSD. Here's hoping a dose of Redline will shut it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,964 Posts
Well, it's true--I wouldn't want to bet a lot of money on late-'50s British fiberglass technology, and Colin Chapman always had a reputation for making fragile cars--weight reduction is a virtue for handling but not for longevity. So I'm certain that stress cracking was an issue early on for the Elites that were highly stressed (i.e., raced), as it is for all lightweight monocoques. Until the F1 teams learned to to properly reinforce for it, the Cosworth DFV used to routinely crack or tear out the engine mounts on F1 monocoques.

But a fair amount of Elites seems to have survived; if nothing else, testament to fiberglass' ability to be patched. The December issue of Octane magazine will have an article on the 50th anniversary if the Elite. I'll be interested to get their take on all this.

Oh, and good luck with that LSD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
The Elite's stress cracking was apparently the direct result of the resonance that made it less than a restful touring car - lots of drumming and humming. That this might be a problem was simply not understood at the time the car was developed. Using that damned rattlecan of a Coventry-Climax FW as a road-car engine didn't help, either, though there are purists who would (will?) regard that as blasphemy. Just to outrage them further, let me say that a longtime pipe-dream of mine has been to find a decent Elite and put a Fiat single-cam 1300 or 1500 into it...

Which reminds me that Neil was uncharacteristically mistaken about the Crosley engine - it was a single-cam, not double, and the COBRA (copper-brazed) version was replaced by a cast-iron version well before production stopped. Both versions of that engine were popular in smallbore racers of the time, and lots of hop-up gear was available for it.

I must say that I disagreed, sometimes strongly, with about a third of this list, but as someone said it's all opinion, right? Though what made the Stag's V8 so disaster-prone had nothing to do with the unions, and everything to do with management's bog-stupid insistence on designing the engine so that the left and right banks were IDENTICAL instead of mirror-image. This required the coolant to flow from one bank into the next and then back to the radiator, instead of providing cooled water to each bank equally, thus ensuring regular overheating. After getting stuck in one over several miles of slow traffic one hot night going through Asheville, NC, we pulled into a gas station and parked under the canopy. Just as I raised the hood, the overflow bottle sent forth a geyser that splashed green coolant all over the canopy's ceiling, a good fifteen feet overhead. As Dan said, it was a great car to drive when it was running, but a total pig to try to keep in that category.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
This is not a serious list of the worlds 50 worst cars. Rather it is a demnonstration of the authors political position or his automotive prejudices. It also demonstrates his total ignorance of anything automotive.

Some of the car he mentions belong on the list, but some are just fuzzy thinking. As near as I could tell from reading what he said about the Model T, it is on the list only because it put America on wheels which resulted in all of the problems currently facing the world today as we know it.

The Chevette is on the list in spite of him saying it had made three coast to coast trips and was still running when he last saw it. The Vega did not make the list! The Citation did not make the list!

The Jag X-type made the list, but not the mid 1970's Xj-6 that had an engine life expectancy of less than 2000 miles before throwing a rod through the side of the block, and resulted in most surviving Xj's of that era being powered by small block Chevys.

He lists a couple of suvs because they are gas guzlers, but doesn't realize that congressional meddling in the form of wrong headed cafe standards virtually outlawed the traditional station wagon, but exempted the gas guzzling suv because it was on a truck chassis.

I don't see the point in taking more space to further pick apart his choices other than to say that this author shows more ignorance about the automobile than any automotive expert I've ever read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Now Russ, tell us how you really feel.

True, it's an incomplete list for sure, and by definition totally subjective. The omission of the Citation is indeed glaring; my sister's shed parts like a stripper sheds clothes, and the car had all the braking power of a toboggan. It was an act of desperation by GM that ended what loyalty our family had to the brand forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,724 Posts
Roger Smith just died a few days ago! Yikes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
I must say that I disagreed, sometimes strongly, with about a third of this list, but as someone said it's all opinion, right?
I disagree too but figure the article is more for entertainment purposes than anything else. After all, it's in Time magazine as apposed to a more automotive-specific magazine. Pretty witty writing either way; lots of entertaining little jabs like, "'Biturbo' is, of course, Italian for 'expensive junk.'"

I tent to like odd-duck cars and sadly, there are a few cars on the list (such as the Biturbo) that I find pretty desirable!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top