In 1978 not a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or a Rolls-Royce - NONE of these had tilt steering wheel (or telescope), Benz and BMW had no power seats, Rolls used the Cadillac transmission, none had a glass sunroof (RR had no sunroof availability at all). If a vinyl roof was terrible then buyers of the top line 1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II apparently disagreed, it had a full "everflex" (vinyl) roof - Rolls even had whitewall tires in '78. None of the three Europeans had auto dim headlamps, twilight sentinel, over the top exciting all American furniture-like interiors, power recliners, vibrant color selections inside and out, power trunk release with pull down, integrated CB radio, digital clock, electronically tuned radio, six passenger seating, fancy accent stripes, oh I am sure I'm missing ten dozen things.
Somehow we seemingly previously self assured Americans were persuaded to dump our unique large comfortable and safe cars for look alike painfully understated and restrained european (or copied) cars that totally lack confidence and distinction. It is why I got p.o.'d with car and driver and stopped my subscription. Now look what we have. Cars that, with very few exceptions, are boring appliances. Time for some baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. I hate german and english food....
In the late 60s when I first subscribed they stood for and celebrated everything I loved about the automotive industry. By the time I quit selling cars in the late 80s they championed all that was wrong with the business.
The funny thing was the auto industry loved the stripping down of cars. The whole austere no trim and no chrome look of the Audi and MB were a God send for Detriot and the short term health of the industry. It lowered cost and meant they didn't have to teach their UAW workers how to make trim line up. That, and the hopes of getting praise from a magazine who would never love them no matter what they did was all they needed to march willingly on to blandness.
Last edited by talismandave; 12-17-13 at 10:29 PM.
Thanks for posting the great read! I have a 1978 Sedan Deville and love the ride.
My 1978 Phaeton Coupe
Awesome! I do agree about the IRS, and often fantasize about fabricating mounts for a 2010+ Camaro or G8/Caprice/SS rear subframe. Of course then you'd pretty have have to do the front as well, since it would otherwise be so far outclassed by the rear.