No doubt, the auto industry has had its cyclical ups and downs, as has the economy at large. But what year produced the most automotive suck? What's the worst model year in the history of the auto industry?
We're going with 1980. Gas crisis, recession, bad drugs, "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and, woe, the "California" Corvette. As Dan Neil once wrote, the California had a "wholly inadequate 305 V8, putting out 180 hp of pure shame." Thankfully, Chevrolet only sold the California in that state, the vehicular anemia linked with Cali's strict smog laws, which also meant the four-speed manual transmission was 86ed, leaving only a three-speed turbo-hydramatic. Not enough proof? The 1980 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel.
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