The Malaise Era is often thought of as the worst time period for cars. This is generally accurate. But what car from that era is legitimately worth owning today?
If you were a time traveler trying to determine, for some reason, what car culture was like in America in any given year, you could pretty much use the contemporaneous Indy 500 pace car as your one data point and come to some pretty reasonable conclusions.
It's far from the most attractive station wagon ever made, but to us that's a large part of the malaise quirk and charm of the 1977 Chrysler Lebaron Town & Country. Just don't tell the ultra serious Chrysler spokesman also featured in this vintage commercial.
What is the best way to make a malaise machine seem like the shiny squeak-free new car you've always desired? It seems in 1979 Ford believed the answer was getting Bill Cosby to explain their "Sneaky Squeak Test"
These days President Barack Obama might travel in a heavily armored high tech limo nicknamed "The Beast", but the commander-in-chief began his driving career in a decidedly low-tech Malaise-mobile.
Modern car bumpers are, in the vast majority of cases, like famous heiresses: beautiful, and useless. They just don't work. There've been many studies and articles decrying the often insane amount it costs to repair damage from fairly minor accidents in modern cars — in many cases, thousands of dollars for a repair…
Nothing says 1980 like a car lot with almost nothing someone in the cult of the automotive obsessed can drool over. Times were dark in the automotive world in 1980—the malaise era was in full swing and there weren't many cars to get excited about.
The spokeswoman featured in this commercial had men buying cars for her entire life. From the really cool Nash Metropolitan her Dad purchased for her to the significantly less cool Malaise era GM clamshell station wagon provided by her husband, the car making decisions had been made for her by someone else.
When people think about the malaise era, great cars are not always the first things that come to mind. Although it wasn't the best automotive decade, some great cars were still produced. What is your favorite car from the 1980s?
For many, the score was Mustang II, muscle car fans zero. But time wounds all heels, and for today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe we're seeing if it's really that bad, and if this one's price is even worse.
The movie Tron must have had a profound effect on GM's marketers, who apparently decided that the semi-computerized Quadrajet on the Firebird's 305 engine was really a time machine!
The very nervous DOHC Lotus "Torqueless Wonder" 900 series engine powered all manner of crazy Lotus machinery over the years, and now here's one that will be melted into Chinese dishwasher parts any day now.
Earlier this year, we saw this '79 Datsun King Cab pickup in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard. Here's another one, in a different yard but with the same sad story: truly small pickups are just too small.
Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the City That Rust Sorta Ignored: Denver, Colorado. Yes, this car is a daily driver.
Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. What are the odds that two '79 Corvettes would live a mere two blocks apart?
Reviled as it may be nowadays, the '74 Mustang II sold very well; about 386,000 of the Pinto-derived Mustang rolled off the showroom floors that year, nearly triple the number of '73s that Ford managed to move.
Welcome to Down On The Mile High Street, where we admire vehicles found parked on the streets of the City That Rust Sorta Ignored: Denver, Colorado. Ford downsized the Thunderbird for the '77-79 models, but they didn't downsize the glitz!
The 1978 VW Rabbit sedan weighed only 1,955 pounds, or about a half-ton less than the 2010 Golf. Somehow, weighing so little, it managed to haul five normal-sized humans around... but this car's hauling days are over!