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Madman Of The People

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About Madman Of The People

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  1. Brownnova's 1992 GT has the famously indestructible Buick 3800 V6. Torquey, reliable and not too thirsty, the Buick 3800 endeared itself to legions of mostly elderly motorists who valued longevity and durability over technological sophistication. Rumour has it you can perform a full service on a Buick 3800 with only a hammer and a rock, such is this engine's simplicity!
  2. Contours were indeed built in the USA and Mexico. In addition to the reasons for the Contour's underwhelming sales performance I mentioned in a previous post, The Contour faced plenty of in-house competition from the Taurus. When the Contour was introduced in 1995, the Mk II Taurus was on it's way out and dealers were heavily discounting the outgoing Taurus in anticipation of the new 1996 Mk III Taurus. This meant the bigger, plusher Taurus could often be bought for less than the relatively cramped and expensive Contour. Then, when the 1996 Mk III Taurus arrived, it's controversial
  3. A Pontiac Trans Sport? Now there's something I never expected to see on AutoShite! I knew GM tried selling these in a few European countries and this is definitely a Euro-spec model. The square lights flanking the rear number plate, the side repeaters, and the headlamp washers are all tell-tale giveaways to this car's Euro-spec provenance, not to mention the KmPH speedo. For the life of me I can't imagine what sort of weirdo would have purchased this when new, over a Renault Espace. Yes, these were popular here in the US but I certainly can't remember the last time I saw one. The
  4. Yes, it is. Funny thing is I don't remember it riding that high. Maybe this was the prototype for a never-released 4X4 version?
  5. Early Mondeo Man's American cousin drove a Ford Contour and it's slightly upmarket doppelganger, the Mercury Mystique. The car's styling was visibly different to that of the European Mondeo but, beneath the sheet metal, was mostly the same. The Mark I Contour/Mystique struggled in the US, however. This was due to the car's cramped rear quarters and relatively high price, especially when compared to the fairly crude Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz it replaced. Contour/Mystique offered barely more room inside than the US-market Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer but was saddled with a price tag dan
  6. Evidently, Ford dropped their plans of bringing the Lincoln LS to Europe once they saw how badly the Cadillac Seville bombed in Ye Olde Worlde.
  7. When visiting the UK back in 2004, I went to a village fete in Pangbourne. As I was leaving, I spotted a Holden Apollo that I presume some Aussie expat brought with him from Kangarooland. Evidently, rebadging Toyotas as various GM products wasn't only limited to North America.... (Photo from Wikipedia)
  8. https://www.streetsideclassics.com/vehicles/5486-atl/1979-pontiac-lemans-wagon apart from the glass doesnt slide into the tailgate WANT Arrowhead badges on the rear wings are not original to this car. It's also interesting to note the rear windows on the GM A-Body cars do not roll down. Seriously, look at the photos of the rear door cards. Notice anything missing? Yep, no window winders and no electric window switches, either. You will notice, however, that the little vent window at the rear of the rear door can be tilted open. This was the only source of
  9. In the 1970s, AMC offered a Levi's Edition Gremlin. It featured nylon seat upholstery made to resemble denim. Evidently, real denim was deemed to be too flammable to be used as car upholstery!
  10. Very interesting. I never knew there was such a difference in tyres between the UK and the US. One thing I find curious. Why ship replacement tyres from the UK? Wouldn't they also fail in the same manner the originals had done? Seems to me it would make more sense to fit US-sourced tyres which were designed for American road conditions.
  11. I one test drove a 3 door 1986 Escort that looked like this one, but in white... It took me less than the length of a football pitch for me to fully appreciate how bad it was, so I turned round in the middle of the road and drove it straight back to the dealer! As I handed back the keys to the salesman, I just shook my head and said "No."
  12. Yes, this is yet another contributing reason as to why used cars in the US are so expensive and one which I neglected to mention. Although this is more of a factor in the southern border states than it is in the rest of the country. Old, rust-free (but otherwise beaten to death) bangers in places like Texas, Arizona and New Mexico will often get sent south of the border to Mexico and Central America, further depleting the supply of cheap used cars in the US. And yes, stolen cars are often part of this cross-border trade. This is very similar to Continental Europe, where distressed cars
  13. Reminds me of Bill Cosby's stand-up routine "The $75 Car."
  14. Acceleration matters to Americans more than top speed. "Performance" means quickly pulling away from a traffic light or merging onto the highway. Hardly anyone drives above 80 MPH, so top speed is irrelevant. Unlike British car magazines, American car reviews seldom ever mention top speed. It's all about 0-60 MPH.
  15. Mazda USA briefly offered a diesel engine in the CX-5 in 2019 but hardly anyone bought it. Why was the diesel CX-5 such a hard-sell in America? Allow me to explain... The diesel engine was only available in the range-topping "Signature" trim, which was a $10,000 upgrade over the standard CX-5. You then had to add an additional $4,100 to the price tag to spec the diesel. The worst part is the $14,100 premium you paid got you an engine that was only rated at ONE mile-per-gallon better than Mazda's excellent SkyActive petrol unit. It didn't help that reviewers of the CX-5 diesel compla
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