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Yeah the late-70s/early-80s cars were just horrible. I thought maybe it was just they didn't age well but nope. They looked like shit when they were brand new and they weren't good products either. arstechnica.com/cars/2021/11/w…
I put a 1981 Datsun engine and transmission in my old little british sportscar because the car that engine came out of got 51mpg: the most efficient carbureted engine in a production car ever, I believe. It was also 200 pounds lighter than the original car's engine and produced slightly more power. The Datsun it came out of was not a pretty car, though, and was soooo slow.
Hm now that I've finished the article: his disdain is primarily for American cars, and, yeah, I really can't argue with that. Japan totally outcompeted them, and (in 1981) utterly wiped out the British car industry as well. The American cars that did well were low-end ones with European (at first) and Japanese (later) guts or entire production. GM floated on a sea of Toyota and Suzuki products, making their profits there while still selling big domestic designed and built cars at the top of their lineup.
When my dad bought a Chevy Nova in 1988 and found that when you opened the glove compartment door it straight up said "Toyota" he was pretty irritated.
Nova/Corolla. Yeah, It was hard to tell the difference without the nameplate.

I got a '87 Corolla which, it turns out, was assembled in California, but people did not like that I had a "foreign car" but the previous Ford I had was not built in the US.
I had a dodge colt back then. It was a Mitsubishi product, an airplane manufacturer, the best little car i've ever had. Detroit really lagged behind, the management culture was so close minded. I don't know how they stand today. Very interesting and informative comments above, btw.
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/best-cars-80s/
@manuelcaeiro ☕ I'm digging this list enough to reshare it in its own post but I so don't agree with the Mustang and Fiero. The Fiero on style but that thing was a fire/explosion hazard. The 1978-1989 911 on the other hand I think was the pinnacle gen of that car.