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Is it any wonder people wanted Civics, Corollas and 210's instead.
210? Really? The original 510 belongs in that group, but not the pitiful B210. (Just doing my part for the thread drift).
 

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210? Really? The original 510 belongs in that group, but not the pitiful B210. (Just doing my part for the thread drift).
The 210 and B210 were two different cars. I don't know about the B210, but the 210 was rock solid reliable.
 

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The 210 and B210 were two different cars. I don't know about the B210, but the 210 was rock solid reliable.
If my memory serves me they introduced them at a loss financially. The cars were fuel efficient and as you said, rock solid reliable. That was the beginning of the total dominance end for the big 3. Great cars. The early Civics felt like death traps. Some came with 2 speed semi manual transmissions with no clutch. Those Datsun 210s felt like real cars. They lasted forever too. Countering its entry not the market with the Vega was catastrophic...


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If my memory serves me they introduced them at a loss financially.
Yep. Rock bottom sticker prices got Americans to try these unfamiliar Japanese cars. Once people found out how much better and more reliable they were, up went the sticker prices!
 

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Yep. Rock bottom sticker prices got Americans to try these unfamiliar Japanese cars. Once people found out how much better and more reliable they were, up went the sticker prices!
Yep, that’s how I remember it. You saw them on the road forever. But who wants that Asian made crap, the Italian stuff is obviously better,I mean the Fiat for example? Alfa, named the least reliable car available in the US. Maserati was way down on that list as well.


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Was the Vega the aluminum engine block? 50K and out if you were lucky...
My first car in 1971 was a 1963 Buick Skylark with an aluminum V8. It leaked everything it could leak. Oil, coolant, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid now and then, and occasionally gas.

In the trunk I carried several gallon jugs of water, a couple quarts of oil, and a bottle of power steering fluid at all times.

Complete piece of crap. IIRC, it was at about 40K that a head gasket gave up. I had the junkyard come tow it from my driveway.
 

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Yep, that’s how I remember it. You saw them on the road forever. But who wants that Asian made crap, the Italian stuff is obviously better,I mean the Fiat for example? Alfa, named the least reliable car available in the US. Maserati was way down on that list as well.
Hey, don't forget legendary Brit "engineering" like 1960-70s MG. I knew a few guys who drove MGs. Great on a sunny day fresh out of the repair shop. All other times... I pitied the fools. Always broken down at night along a busy highway. In the rain. Before cell phones.
 

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My first car in 1971 was a 1963 Buick Skylark with an aluminum V8. It leaked everything it could leak. Oil, coolant, power steering fluid, automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid now and then, and occasionally gas.

In the trunk I carried several gallon jugs of water, a couple quarts of oil, and a bottle of power steering fluid at all times.

Complete piece of crap. IIRC, it was at about 40K that a head gasket gave up. I had the junkyard come tow it from my driveway.
You kinda got me beat. My first car in 1979 was a 1964 AMC Rambler, and it was a hand-me-down from my older brother. I had to replace a trunnion bushing on it, which was kind of the predecessor to the McPherson strut. I worked in a car garage at the time, and to compress the spring enough to re-install, we had to first compress it under one of the car lifts, then compress it further with those paired spring compressors, something like these -

Auto part Metal Machine Font Event

There were some puckered sphincters, probably like handling a live artillery shell, but we got the job done. After it's compressed by the lift, you further compress by hand-tightening each side. OSHA wasn't there that day.

I will say that one day in the mid-80s we had the coldest day recorded in USA (-24 F) and I fired up that Rambler and drove to the same garage to report for duty. No one else showed up.
 

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Hey, don't forget legendary Brit "engineering" like 1960-70s MG. I knew a few guys who drove MGs. Great on a sunny day fresh out of the repair shop. All other times... I pitied the fools. Always broken down at night along a busy highway. In the rain. Before cell phones.
Hahaha, so true! The Triumph was only a little better. Never drove an MG but I did play with a Triumph. It felt toy like and I barely squeezed myself into it. It was slow also. I had a type 3 VW square back at the time and it was way faster. But that Triumph was always broken, hard to get parts for and hard to work on. The best tiny car I have ever dRiven was a friend’s suped up Toyota MR2. Mid engine so it was weighted nicely. Quick with amazing handling and way more comfortable than I expected.
 
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Hey, don't forget legendary Brit "engineering" like 1960-70s MG. I knew a few guys who drove MGs. Great on a sunny day fresh out of the repair shop. All other times... I pitied the fools. Always broken down at night along a busy highway. In the rain. Before cell phones.
Actually, compared to Triumphs, Jensens, TVR's and the like, MG's were fairly reliable. They were certainly more advanced than most of the competition was.
 

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Now that we're thoroughly off topic, more on Vega. The other thing was, like most US cars, the water pump gave out after 50-60K miles. When it did, you lost your coolant and overheated. That was the end for the engine even if you'd been nice to it up until then. I heard that later years used a cast iron cylinder sleeve that pretty much fixed the oil-burning problem; but by then nobody wanted one. Here in Michigan, most cars in the early 70s would have rust coming through before the 3-year loan was paid off.
And to think: the Vega was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year in 1970 :) We had a Pinto wagon as our first car (no explosion issues with the wagon) and we had rocker panel rust within two years, a window crank handle broke in the first year, a seat belt hanger screw tore out of the head board, an inside door lock knob pulled out, etc. etc. It got hit from behind by a dump truck and we bought a Corolla, with which we had zero problems. There's a story in that for Detroit that took them 30 years or more to learn.
 

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Hahaha, so true! The Triumph was only a little better. Never drove an MG but I did play with a Triumph. It felt toy like and I barely squeezed myself into it. It was slow also. I had a type 3 VW square back at the time and it was way faster. But that Triumph was always broken, hard to get parts for and hard to work on. The best tiny car I have ever dRiven was a friend’s suped up Toyota MR2. Mid engine so it was weighted nicely. Quick with amazing handling and way more comfortable than I expected.
Speaking of Brit engineering... Royal Enfield. I still have, since 1973 (and still runs good) a 1959 Royal Enfield Indian Apache. (A Redditch RE bike badged Indian for the US market with some frame mods like lengthened wheelbase)

As in all typical Brit engineering of the period, it "boasts" Lucas electrical parts (Prince of Darkness), and has the automatic low-oil-warning feature that lets you know it's time to add oil (when it stops dripping oil on your garage floor).
 

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And to think: the Vega was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year in 1970 :)
There were a few other turkeys that made Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Chevy Citation made it in 1980. That car had the most recalls in automotive history. The Renault Alliance made it in 1983....need I say more? 🙄
 

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Over a week, 35 posts, major thread drift and the OP has never returned.
 

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Possibly. Or he didn't get the answer he wanted.
Either way, it wasn’t an answer the OP wanted... In other times, pretty much nothing... now? Maybe $200. Trying to remember but I think that was an entry level Raleigh.


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