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The 5 best GM designs


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#41 Chuck Most

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:25 AM

But while they're winners in design, they're losers in the quality of interior materials and finishes. European luxury cars of the era used much less plastic.

But these wouldn't break down every five miles and burst into flames for no apparent reason like a European luxury car of the era- I guess that's the trade-off.

Then again when I think 'European luxury car' I automaticallly think of Jag, so I might be off in my opinion there. :P

Edited by Michigan Madman, 06 August 2012 - 09:26 AM.


#42 sjordan2

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:15 AM

But these wouldn't break down every five miles and burst into flames for no apparent reason like a European luxury car of the era- I guess that's the trade-off.

Then again when I think 'European luxury car' I automaticallly think of Jag, so I might be off in my opinion there. :P


It's only the modern Ferraris and Lamborghinis that burst into flames. Let's not even go into the more mundane problems of 60s supercars. But they had great interiors.

#43 Modelmartin

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:45 AM

Amongst other good looking GM cars already mentioned is the '73 Grand-Am in black with 455 and 4 speed.

Also '64 Grand Prix. It's a bit more subtle but really well done.

My top five would be
63-64 Riv (do not like 65!)
61 Impala
73 Grand Am
66 Toro
67 Eldo

#44 Chuck Most

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:59 AM

It's only the modern Ferraris and Lamborghinis that burst into flames. Let's not even go into the more mundane problems of 60s supercars. But they had great interiors.

You're right on that- I guess the old Euro cars were known more for smoldering than outright fire. If only the maufacturers hadn't made a deal with the Prince of Darkness himself... Lucas.

#45 Wayne Buck

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:01 PM

Well, that was good for a laugh...

Did they just put a bunch of GM car names into a hat and pick out 5? They must really be running out of things to write about over there... To me, this the equivalent of having a "top 5 tastiest meals", "top 5 songs", "top 5 movies", etc...

None of those cars would be on my GM top 5, except maybe the '70 Z/28... but NOT the RS "split bumper". I think the full bumper version looks SO MUCH cooler (The parking light locations and bumper just looks better IMHO).

It almost drives me nuts sometimes when people refer to those Camaros as the "split bumper" cars, especially since there were a lot more produced without them. It was an RS package bumper only.

...And I know they (2nd gens) were produced late for the '70 model year, but the many people calling them "70 1/2" bugs me too (Even on the AMT boxes sitting behind me right now). :lol: Show me a title from the DMV for one that says 1970 & 1/2 or 1970.5 on it!

:END Rant: (before it turns into ten pages) Sorry, I just LOVE my old Camaros :wub: :D

To stick to the nature of the thread, I'll try a top 5 of my own (Gonna be hard as a GM guy)
  • '67 Nova
  • '55 Chevy
  • '68 Nova
  • '67 Camaro RS/SS
  • '70 Camaro Z/28
  • ....man! I knew this wasn't gonna work! I have SO many more (and I'm not even sure about the order of my top 5 now... :wacko: ) :lol:


#46 dave riggs

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:22 PM

I would actually give them the 63 Riviera, But where is the 70 Riviera, and the 71?
As far as corvettes go, I would have to say 1967 would be the best.
I don't really think a Camaro belong on the list at all. Style wise I can think of a lot of Cadillacs that look a whole lot better than a Camaro.

Dave

#47 oldscool

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:46 PM

It depends on how far back you want to go, but if the cutoff is 1960s or newer, I think the 65-66-67 Impala belongs on the list. And I'd take the '68 vette over the '63.

The 66-67 Imapalas certainly belong on the list and the 61 as well. I always thought the 61s looked so much smaller than other Impalas for some reason.
IMO the shark bodied Vettes were the finest of the breed.
The Solstice? No way.
As for the Riv, I'll take the 66 over any of them.

Edited by oldscool, 06 August 2012 - 12:49 PM.


#48 Miatatom

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 01:52 PM

The Solstice is a great entry level sports car, outdoing the Miata in every possible way,


OK, well let's go with the most glaring figures. Solstice total US sales = 114,773 (production discontinued due to poor sales). Miata total US sales = nearing 500,000, with over 1,000,000 sold world wide. It's still being produced and sold and going into it's 4th redesign. It's the largest selling 2 seat roadster in world history.

#49 cortinanut

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:53 PM

Just to stir the pot a little further, here's my $.02. I'd scratch the Camaro and Solstice in favor of the '57 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and the '65 Corvair (all body styles!). Or maybe it should be the '60 Corvair, because it was first--but I find the second generation vastly more attractive.

Honorable mentions: '92 Cadillac Seville STS, '61 Pontiac Catalina 2DHT, '66 Pontiac Lemans, '66 Olds Cutlass, '66 Chevrolet Chevelle--yeah, it was a good year--, and '70 Olds Cutlass Supreme.

#50 Rob Hall

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:10 PM

OK, well let's go with the most glaring figures. Solstice total US sales = 114,773 (production discontinued due to poor sales). Miata total US sales = nearing 500,000, with over 1,000,000 sold world wide. It's still being produced and sold and going into it's 4th redesign. It's the largest selling 2 seat roadster in world history.

The Solstice and Sky had neat styling, but had a lot of shortcomings..horribly cheap interior materials, non-usable trunk, etc...

#51 Longbox55

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:47 PM

Lets not forget GM Trucks.Posted ImagePosted Image

#52 Chuck Most

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:02 PM

OK, well let's go with the most glaring figures. Solstice total US sales = 114,773 (production discontinued due to poor sales). Miata total US sales = nearing 500,000, with over 1,000,000 sold world wide. It's still being produced and sold and going into it's 4th redesign. It's the largest selling 2 seat roadster in world history.

I don't see how sales figures prove the Miata is better... The air cooled Beetle was the best-selling car in history, and there were better alternatives available the whole time it was being produced.

But yes, the Miata is head and shoulders above the Solstice/Sky. B)

#53 Rob Hall

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:27 PM

I don't see how sales figures prove the Miata is better... The air cooled Beetle was the best-selling car in history, and there were better alternatives available the whole time it was being produced.

But yes, the Miata is head and shoulders above the Solstice/Sky. B)

IIRC, the magazine reviews put the Miata ahead of the Solstice/Sky in comparisons...the Miata has always been a great driving little sports car.

#54 Harry P.

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

That list had nothing to do with sales figures. They were talking about design, not sales.

#55 Miatatom

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:50 PM

I don't see how sales figures prove the Miata is better... The air cooled Beetle was the best-selling car in history, and there were better alternatives available the whole time it was being produced.


Miata and beetle, apples and oranges. They were designed and marketed to entirely different demographics.

#56 Skydime

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

The Riv...maybe. But, I don't agree with the year. I think it's the '65(?)...the year the headlights were moved out to the outside and had the clamshell hide-aways. That was pretty cool. The rest of the list...no.


The headlights in Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot...yeah that was coolest. And not that either belong on the list but, I think the Saturn Sky was far cooler than the Pontiac Solstice. Yeah, I know, same car.

#57 charlie8575

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:04 PM

My own top five for GM styling:

1. 1963-'65 Buick Riviera
2. 1963-'67 Corvette
3. 1955-'57 Chevy Nomad/Pontiac Safari
4. 1940 LaSalle
5. Pontiac Solstice (I think it's a great-looking car, frankly one of the nicest cars style-wise GM's made in recent time.)

The First-generation Toro goes in the top 10, definitely, and I'd twin it with the 1967-'68 Eldorado.

As far as trucks go, I do like the 1955-59 Chevy/GMC. I'd have to really study the trucks a little more though to come out with some ideas.

Charlie Larkin

#58 Chuck Most

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:28 PM

Miata and beetle, apples and oranges. They were designed and marketed to entirely different demographics.

Absolutely. Just saying that huge sales don't always equal a better product. That goes for roadsters and econoblobs- most roadsters are purchased more to make a statement, or just because the owner wants a 'fun' car, than for their capabilites. B) And again- I wholeheartedly agree the Miata is tops in its department- it also happens to be the sales leader. I drove quite a few Solstices when they were new, but when I went for a drive in a customer's ten-year-old Miata I was blown away by how much better it was than the Solstice. It didn't even have any squeaks or rattles, and the new Solstices were already making junky noises! Looks a lot better too in my opinion, though I'll admit I like the first-generation Miata over the later designs. The Solstice just looks like a flabby jelly bean with a split honeycomb grille to me. The Miata/MX-5 might be one of the rare instances where a car is the best seller in its category because it's the best at what it does.

#59 CorvairJim

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:58 PM

'71 Chevrolet Vega GT:

Posted Image


Casey makes a very good point. The Vega definitely got a bum rap for it's supposed reliability problems, brought on by owners who didn't maintain their cars properly, but why shouldn't the pretty little Vega be considered for this list. We're going strictly by appearance here, and to heck with the car's unfounded bad reputation!

I know the owner of this particular 1973 "Millionth Vega" and had the pleasure of riding in it last summer at the Maple Grove Super Chevy Show (where it won "Best In Class" and an "Editor's Choice" award). It was like a brand new 38 year old car, with fewer than 8,000 ORIGINAL miles on it. It's completely original and unrestored. Take a good look at this car's lines. It is a seriously good looking little machine, easily head and shoulders better than it's compact competition from the early 1970's like the Pinto, Gremlin, Corolla, B-210, etc. The Vega has sporty, aggressive styling while it's competition looks, well, economical.

As the header on the photo says, this shot ran in "Motor Trend Classic" magazine, where the car participated in a three-car shootout of early 1970's American compacts a couple of years ago. The Vega aced just about every facet of the competition: The Gremlin eked out a slight win in acceleration, but the Vega took ride, handling (on it's original 38 year old tires, no less!), interior room and overall comfort, not to mention the purely subjective styling element.

#60 CorvairJim

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:19 PM

OK, well let's go with the most glaring figures. Solstice total US sales = 114,773 (production discontinued due to poor sales). Miata total US sales = nearing 500,000, with over 1,000,000 sold world wide. It's still being produced and sold and going into it's 4th redesign. It's the largest selling 2 seat roadster in world history.


Here's the glaring figure I look at: MY glaring figure!!! I don't fit into any Miata ever made! My 34" inseam legs and 40" waist are big for me to fit into it and still drive it safely (I have the same trouble with Triumph Spitfires, MG Midgets, A-H Sprites, and Fiat Spiders and X1/9's... and stick shift Chevettes!). The Solstice, on the other hand, has plenty of room for me. It will also out-accelerate and out-handle any stock Miata. As for being discontinued due to poor sales, it was discontinued due to G.M. closing down Pontiac Division. Now let's check your numbers for a second - Pontiac sold 114,773 Solstices in two (or was it three - I don't recall for sure) years. Then add in the Saturn Skys that were the same car under the skin. Meanwhile, Mazda only soild 500,000 Miatas here in over 20 years. The Solstice handily outsold the Miata on the basis of an average year's sales. That's like Ford's claim that the F-Series is the best-selling pickup. True if you don't combine the identical Chevrolets and GMCs. Do that and the Ford has NEVER outsold the G.M. twins.

Tom, I don't have a problem with you liking your Miatas. My wife wants one of her own. I even built a Miata model to her specifications back in the early 1990's, while we were still dating. And I'm not saying it's a bad car. It's just that from everything I've seen read, and heard from people who have driven both, the Solstice is the better car... But I gotta say, the Miata from any generation is the better looking car!