Did you ever own a Wham! cassette? Do you remember Reaganomics? Ever watch Star Search? Watch “Back To The Future” at the movie theatre? Eat Pop Rocks? Wanted to own an IROC? If you answer yes to any of these questions then your old and remember the 80′s. If you answered yes to the IROC question your old and mentaly insane. So take trip back with Carlisle Johnny to the 80′s. Before reality TV. Before Jon Bon Jovi wasn’t a member of AARP. The days when K-Cars and the Chevy Citation roamed the streets. Enjoy great auto trivia and some knarly videos all week on Carlisle Johnny and C.A.R.S. Classic Auto Appraisals
Monthly Archive: March 2012
This stylish Europeon sedan or station wagon was produced between 1966-1974 in its home market,but is still being made in Russia under another name till this day.With over 15 million made it is one of the most successful vehicles of all time. Being produced in Europe,Russia,Latin America and The Caribbean it was one of the first “global platforms”. Introduced at the 1965 Turin Italy Auto Show it would be awarded Europeon Car Of The Year in 1966.The 4th for this popular automaker. Chief engineer Oscar Montabone was given a clean sheet of paper to design a totally new car to replace its aging older sibling. The new car would feature lightweight uni-body construction.It also had four wheel independent suspension with firm coil springs at each corner.Braking was done by four wheel discs. These nice performance items were usually meant for pricey Europeon cars at the time. Powering these sprightly cars were engines ranging from 1.2 liter OHV to the much sought after 1.8 liter dual overhead cam 4 cylinder with dual Weber Carbs. No automatic trans was ever offered only a sluggish 4 speed manual or the slick 5 speed.In 1967 a long wheel base version was introduced.This platform and engines would also give birth to a two door roadster and a two door coupe.These sport-ish cars always sold well in Europe but never caught on in the USA. What Auto is This??
When GM dealers across the border needed a compact car and could not use the Pontiac Tempest they decided to create one themselves. They first wanted to use the a re-badged version of the Chevrolet Corvair but it was feared that the air cooled rear engine was too radical for north of the border. Using the still new Chevy II engines ranged from a four cylinder “Iron Duke” , The Thriftmaster in line six cylinder and a small V8.
Tranmissions ranged from a ‘Three On Tree” column mounted three speed manual, a floor mounted 4 speed or the Ole Slush Box Powerglide two speed auto. Body types ranged from a stodgy four door sedan, a two door hardtop and spiffy convertible. Not many options were offered. Power steering, brakes but no power windows. You got a heater as standard but no factory A/C was offered. I guess they figured you didn’t need it in the frozen tundra. What Auto Is This??
This car company was known as being a little different or quirky. Offering vehicles that were slightly different than The Big Three. Strapped for cash and in need of a new mid-size model to battle the new Ford Fairmont and GM’s high selling Oldsmobile Cutlass this car maker used the warmed over platform from it’s prior bread and butter car. Using every 70′s garish styling trick to create a common or mainstream car.
Introduced for 1978 this mid-size blah wagon would come in four body types. A four door sedan, two door coupe with a semi opera window, a Family Truckster station wagon and a two door hatchback. Making old new again engines ranged from 2.5 liter four cylinder to a fuel gobbling 304 V8.
Most people went for the tried and true 258 cubic inch in line six. You could option it from bland vinyl to 70′s luxo with more crushed velour than an Elvis painting. Thru its lifetime this model sold well and would even spawn a 4×4 car. Alot of this makes purists feel that getting away from being quirky or different was the demise of this once independent car maker. What Auto Is This
Remember the dark days of the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970′s. Here at Carlisle Johnny.com we do. Big ole American cars would suffer a blow that they would never recover from.During that time sales of large RV’s and motorhomes also suffered to the point of extinction. By the mid 1970′s one of Japan’s biggest vehicle makers had the bright idea of merging the mechanics of a small pickup with a barge like camper back. The result was this pictured wonder of engineering. With all the comforts of home or a very small closet these “Mini-Homes” sold in droves during the gas starved “disco ball era” They would give the wonders of RVing to a whole new market place and provide it with slug like performance and buckboard handling. The idea was very VW Westfalia like. The top used a pop-up type roof with canvas sides.With the roof fully extended a six foot person could stand up or ahhh slouch.This love shack on wheels had all the comforts of home(if your name is Jed Clampett) You could get sleeping for up to 4 people,a full kitchen and a bathroom.For an additional cost you could get a full sewer system and forced hot air propane heating system. All these Ritz Carlton comforts added over 700 lbs of bulk and mass to an already snail like vehicle. If driven correctly you could squeeze 20mpg from your home away from home. The “rice burner” mechanics proved to reliable and easy to fix. Sadly most of these wallowing tubs would suffer from floor and cab rust due to poor rust proofing. Your Bro Carlisle Johnny owned one of these slop wagons. Its was robust and trusty but due to its large roof would wallow like the Queen Mary and catch wind like the Hindenburg. My 1978 example was sold to some beer drinking college kids who promptly turned it into a 3800 lb beer keg. Click What Auto is This To see the answer.
The Horror..GM’s Oldsmobile Diesels.. Why It’s Never A Good Idea To Fling A Diesel In Your Fathers Oldsmobile
Take one of your best selling car lines..Oldsmobile.Take two of it’s very popular models. Do little or no modifications to them and convert them to diesels..GM never thought the added stress and compression from the diesel conversion would blow head gaskets and rip cylinder head bolts out while the cars were in the showrooms.. As with thick headed GM of the late 1970′s it was an answer to a question that nobody asked. Another problem was the Delta 88′s and 98 Regency’s that got the spine shaking diesel engine were known for being a smooth luxury. When the diesel would shake off your radio knobs it just didn’t go woth the image of the car. GM wouldn’t try another diesel for many years and Oldsmobile never recovered.
The Mercedes Benz 1984 190E..Ok understand me being a Benz guy this one is tough. The first year for the 190E(1984)was a very bad year..Picture these cars parked in the Benz showrooms back in 1984.. 500SEL(luxury) 380SL(sporty) 300D(turbo-diesel) The 190e 2.3(ugh) These underpowered oil leaking, windows falling down German warranty wagons shamed Mercedes dealers all over the USA..But after many years of “Campaigns” the later 190s were very good cars..It always made me laugh the way that Benz would never call it a recall only a “Campaign” Kind of like the way the Germans”Campaigned” their way across Europe during World War II. If somebody offers you a free 1984 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3 tell them “No thanks I’m not in the mood to “campaign”