We've had the Favorite Detroit Malaise DOTS Car and Favorite Import Malaise DOTS Car polls (won by the '78 Eldorado and '73 BMW 3.0CSi, respectively), and we've had the How Jalopnik Is Your Car? quiz. Now it's time to combine the two concepts! Got a car built during the (unscientifically selected) Malaise Era of 1973 through 1983? Once you get it out of the gas line, see how it fares on the Malaise-O-Meter!
1. Year of Manufacture
You got your Early Malaise and your Late Malaise, and not all the years inspire as much of a Crisis of Confidence.
1973: 0 points. Some Muscle Era horsepower remained in '73, and the big 5MPH bumpers hadn't taken full effect yet.
1974: 5 points. Malaise creeping in.
1975-1979: 10 points. Fall of Saigon to the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
1980-1982: 5 points.
1983: 0 points.
2. Engine Power Versus Displacement
When big-block V8s get 140 horsepower, you know something ain't right. To get your engine's Malaise-O-Meter reading, simply divide the number of cubic inches by the number of horsepower (if your engine was built by metric-system-hoodwinked commies, just multiply the number of liters by 61 to get cubic inches; you can also go and plug in the values at OnlineConversion.com). For example, you have a 1979 Ford LTD with a 351W groaning out 135 horsepower; that means your Malaise-O-Meter Ratio is a ghastly 2.6. Or say you have a 2000cc engine in your '79 Fiat Brava that boasts 86 glue-factory-bound ponies; that means you multiply 2 by 62 to get 124, then divide 124 by 86 to get a lethargic 1.44 MOM Ratio. Yes, yes, Detroit car fans, your big Malaise engines got lots of torque... but we don't care.
Oh yeah, and if you have a rotary engine, multiply the displacement by 1.5 before dividing by horsepower.
Less than 1.0 MOM Ratio: -50 points. Take your Ferrari and get it out of here!
1.0 to 1.2 MOM Ratio: -10 points. Are Porsches really Malaise enough?
1.2 to 1.5 MOM Ratio: 5 points.
1.5 to 2.0 MOM Ratio: 10 points
2.0 to 2.2 MOM Ratio: 20 points
2.2 to 2.6 MOM Ratio: 30 points
Above 2.6 MOM Ratio: 50 points.
3. Country of Origin
Some places were just more Malaise than others. If your car's country ain't on this list, you get nothing!
Germany (except VW): -20 points
Sweden: -10 points
Japan: 0 points
United States: 10 points
Italy: 15 points
France: 20 points
Germany (VW only): 25 points
England: 100 points. Two words: British Leyland.
4. Designer Editions
Automakers turned to glitzy big-name (and not-so-big-name) designer labels to add some snazz to listless automotive offerings. AMC owners should do well here. Sorry, the Versace Lincolns didn't appear until 1984.
Levis: 5 points
Pucci: 10 points
Givenchy: 15 points
Oleg Cassini: 20 points
Bill Blass: 25 points
Mark Cross: 30 points
Pierre Cardin: 35 points
Cartier: 40 points
Gucci: 50 points (AMC Hornets and Cadillac Sevilles!)
5. Landed Gentry References
Add points for the presence of any of the following words or symbols on your car. Sure, plenty of these had been around on Detroit cars since the 50s, but they took on added significance during the Malaise Era. And sure, we know Malaise imports didn't get much of this stuff.
Heraldic crests or coats of arms (e.g. this Buick emblem): 10 points
Country: 10 points
Custom: 15 points
Touring: 20 points
Brougham: 25 points
Royale: 30 points
6. Disco Inferno
Certain options are as Malaise as Quaaludes or 20% inflation- add points for each one on your car.
Tape Stripes: 10 points per color
Nonfunctional Hood Scoops: 15 points per scoop
Opera Lights: 20 points
Vinyl Top: 25 points
8-Track Player: 30 points
Landau Roof/Fake Convertible: 40 points
Opera windows: 50 points
T-Tops: 75 points
Factory CB Radio: 80 points
Red-White-and-Blue Bicentennial Theme: 100 points
7. Performance Enhancing Words
If any of these words or acronyms can be found in your car's name, you get points!
Sport: 5 points
GT: 10 points
X: 15 points
Rally: 20 points
Rallye: 25 points
Captive imports and overseas models reeking of desperation! What could be more Malaise?
Small Japanese pickup rebranded by Detroit automaker: 15 points
Mitsubishi rebranded by Chrysler: 20 points
Buick Opel: 30 points
Capri (non-Fox): 40 points
OK, let's find out which car is the King of Malaise! We're not going to offer a scoring guide, just the chance for our readers who own Malaisemobiles to see who's rolling with Jimmy C!