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carman21

Full-Size Revival?

28 posts in this topic

carman21    7

Some of you may remember the traditional Full-size Cars of the 1960s & 1970s.They had big V-8s, RWD, and were well over 200 inches long, usually 210 or higher. Their flaws were their size and their poor gas mileage. The Oil Crisis of the 1970s,the influx of imports like Toyota, Datsun, and Honda, and gov. regulations slammed the brakes on a once thriving segment. Of these cars only the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and the Town Car are lone remains of a segment that once dominated autosales for 25 years or more. From 1955 to 1980, 2/3 of all cars sold were considered full-size. During the early 1980s volume collapsed altogether and the top selling cars were all compacts with four cylinder engines. These compacts only got about 20mpg city and 30 mpg hwy, a typical V-6 mileage today. Today the top selling cars are midsizers with V-6s. With predictions of the LS2 V-8 getting over 30 mpg hwy with 400hp with DOD. This means V-8s will soon be entering the sweet spot of 20-30mpg. The V-6 entered this spot about 15 years ago and the V-6 became a top selling engine in cars. If V-8 are soon entering that sweet spot in the next 5 years then by 2026 my the best selling cars will likely be full-sizers.

I know the Avalon, Impala, and 300 are considered full-size today. Well, with cars steadily growing in size and people are transitioning back to cars from full-size SUVs. I think that much larger full-size cars with V-8s are likely to appear in the next 10 years. These cars will have lots of room under the hood, in the cabin and in the trunk. These cars will be very different from the full-sizers of old. They will be unibody, a hybrid V-8 that will have DOD(Displacement on Demand) be Camless with overhead actuators,run off ethanol instead of unleaded gasoline, and be mounted to a CVT that drives a super-handling AWD system. Yeah! Progress! :CG_all:

Edited by carman21

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Variance    0

I've had an attraction lately to the old GM land yachts.

The old Impala SS...

Posted Image

The Roadmaster...

Posted Image

The Fleetwood...

Posted Image

They just have a big, powerful, imposing look that most large cars today don't have. These days, if the average family wants a land behemoth to drive, they turn to big SUVs. I'm not entirely sure a large sedan revival would occur yet. Full-size sedans are equated by most to be "old people's cars". Ironically, I see more elderly people in compact cars than big sedans. In fact, my own grandmother drives a Corolla.

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razoredge    0

Variance "old GM land yachts" ? :lol:

Those are the "new" ones, or the "last" ones :AH-HA_wink:

This is a semi "old" land yacht

Posted Image

I believe we could get a model here and a model there if they do continue V8 improvement. The last of the H & C bodys were large just in FWD formate but really today the Suv and Crossover seem to have the room and utility everyone wants, I believe they along with ........minivans replaced the large passenger car & wagon in the market place. I have a feeling Buick may have a car of this sort in the future perhaps shared with a Caddy or large Pontiac.

Corn burners sure is something Im interested in but its probably not feasible volumn wise.....how about methane :o they could bottle "$h!loads" of it from the local landfills :lol:

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Now that my letters and drawings to GM regarding the importance fo a (1st gen) retro 5th gen Camaro have been made into reality when my prayers were answered today I think the next step is to bring back the V8, RWD full sizeres.

A fullsize sedan/coupe for BUick Caddy & Chevy... they could call them uh, Ummmm.... I donno B-body has a nice ring.

Monte Carlo / Caprice Classic

Invicta / Electra

Coupe Deville / Fleetwood Brougham

just an idea. You'll be receiving my letters Mr. Lutz.

(spell check will be used :P )

Edited by Sixty8panther

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Cory Wolfe    263

Well, Sixty8... since you're the one who seems to get what he wants... get a me a Fiero, a modern 240SX competitor, and a modern (last gen) Lexus IS type car produced under the Pontiac brand, why don't you? And how about a Grand Am on the Camaro's platform, a new GTO, a modern evolution of a (4th gen) Firebird, and a new Grand Prix too? Screw full sizers... when I can have all those, right Sixty8?

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AM6_Cutlass    0

The Impala is actually a mid-sized car, it is just large by todays standards. I'm with you though. I want a B-bod replacement with a 400hp DOD V8, six-speed or CVT, seating for six, a real trunk, RWD and 20 mpg to boot. I would also like it in coupe, convertable, four door pillarless hardtop and wagon models. C'mon GM, bring back real full sizers!

I second that, except I want mine to get 30mpg. With DOD and six-speed or CVT, I don't think that's too far fetched. 80s B-Bodys could achieve mid 20s

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regfootball    250

full size cars don't need to be so massive. my 500 has more useful room than just about all great 70's/80's big RWD boats, but is packaged much much better. And yet, i still think it could stand to have more room and space yet (town car?).

hopefully they will continue to whittle away at the engine bay for space to return back to the passengers.

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carman21    7

full size cars don't need to be so massive.  my 500 has more useful room than just about all great 70's/80's big RWD boats, but is packaged much much better.  And yet, i still think it could stand to have more room and space yet (town car?).

hopefully they will continue to whittle away at the engine bay for space to return back to the passengers.

I agree we don't need a car thats 234 inches long like the 1970s Olds 98. GM and others just need to be space efficient like the Ford 500. I think a great size would be around 210-215 inches. pass vol around 120cu ft and a trunk of 24 cu ft. I understand that traditional full-sizers were large and that was an attraction but, there really isn't a need for all that excess weight when you could have great handling instead.

As for ethanol, Brazil has widespread use of ethanol and it took only 5 years to jump from just over 1 % to 90%. I think the US can do the same and ethanol burns more efficiently so we would see a 50% jump in fuel economy just by switching from gas to ethanol according to figures from Chevy in Brazil. Impressive yes but, the key to rebuilding the past is thinking towards the future.

In the golden era of the US auto industry did Americans look to the 1920s and 1930s for auto inspiration they looked to an optimistic future. This is what made American cars great back then and it will make them great again. GM Fans, If we are what we say we are, we will look to GM's glorious future rather than a long lost past. GM needs to gain back its mojo. We don't want a GM with a midlife crisis trying to relive the glory days, rather GM should think of itself as the child of the GM of the 1960s. GM,Jr is a rich kid that has been spoiled and needs to get his spending under control and his life into focus much like GM, SR. in the 1950s. GM,Jr. will get his life into focus soon and find his place in the market. Like his father he will crush the competition into submission and become the world's best and largest automaker in every market on Earth and be the most dominant player in the US market and will leverage his size to outsell both imports and domestics combined. If you think I'm nuts well look at GM of 1953 and compare it with GM of 1968. Niow look at GM 2005 and fill in the blanks for GM 2020.

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balthazar    2,004

I understand that traditional full-sizers were large and that was an attraction but, there really isn't a need for all that excess weight when you could have great handling instead.

First off, you are contradicting yourself: in your opening post you call their size a "flaw" yet above you call it an "attraction". Secondly, modern cars weigh FAR MORE per square inch of 'footprint' than anything from the '60s, and that's after making nearly a third of the vehicle out of cheap plastic.

Too bad that as cars have gotten smaller (appealing to some), they have also gotten horrifically heavy.

A lot of '60s cars were very well balanced, too, as opposed to later cars than grew increasingly nose-heavy partially because they had relatively no rear overhang.

In the golden era of the US auto industry did Americans look to the 1920s and 1930s for auto inspiration they looked to an optimistic future. This is what made American cars great back then...

Actually, most successful manufacturers regularly look at past example for all sorts of inspiration. Stylistically however, not often... and the reason is that there was real measurable advancement & stylistic progress throughout the first 75 or 80 years of the auto industry. But cars have changed very very little in silhouette since the '80s... the stylistic progress has slowed dramatically.

For a good example, look at the Corvette style jumps: '55/56, '62/63, '67/68, '82/84... then look at the restyles since. Look at '04/05 (do I have that break right?)- very little stylistic progress because there's very little left in the barrel. Minimal overhangs, super low profile, way-laid-back windshield, aerodynamically-observant... these things dictate the bulk of the design. It can't get dramatically lower or shorter, narrower won't accomplish anything, it's locked into a tapered nose with flush/hidden headlights and quad taillamps. Where to go????

We don't want a GM with a midlife crisis trying to relive the glory days...

So is the current horsepower war also an attempt to relive the glory days? 'Good stuff' will always be popular, whether it's power & speed or good design. Being inpirated from the past in no way demeans the present, it merely recognizes quality and appeal.

Gotta learn: "New!" does not guarantee "better".

...look at GM of 1953 and compare it with GM of 1968. Niow look at GM 2005 and fill in the blanks for GM 2020.

You have way oversimplified the issue here. Thousands of contributing factors... and I will point to merely one: division engineering departments.

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Chicagoland    2

Buyers do want roomy cars, with the growth of mid sizers into "large" cars, according to EPA ranks. {BTW, Impala is classed as large by EPA too}

But, old car fans, don't expect big BOF cars to make a comeback. Zeta, the most likely platform for developing a new large GM car, is unibody.

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razoredge    0

Good points by all,

Monoque does contribute to rigidity but not unibody in itself.

We cant go back to such huge cars. They would weigh 6000 lb with all todays "must have" gimmickry.

On the other hand the width of the older cars can not be matched unless we go that wide again, back seat leg room can not be matched either. Trunks are better but thats with the FWD platform, same as some aspects of rear seat room. Not sure how the rear drivers are doing, that big ol spare tire in the middle of the trunk was never very handy.

That Ford is a big car, I looked at them, they are large, I parked the LSS beside one, they are large, Ford may have done good with this car Im not sure time will tell.

Once again....lots of room in the old H body BOP cars ;-)

Edited by razoredge

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97regalGS    0

who give's a hoot whether it's bof or ub.

if the car is the size you want, driving the wheels you want, looks good on the inside and outside and performs the way you want does the underlying components really matter all that much?

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regfootball    250

Spoken like someone who has never worked on a car in his life. :P

Just kidding. I can see your point, but smaller engine bays mean it is harder to do work under the hood, and the harder it is to do work under the hood, the higher flat ratye hours are when something breaks, meaning it it more expensive for the consumer to pay for to fix. Again, I see you point, but there must be some happy medium between enough space to work and interior room.

looking under the hood of a typical 70's GM car as well as cars like my father in law's 98 Olds 88, you can still see plenty of tarmac around all sides of the 90 degree spacehog engine. FAR TOO MUCH wasted length under there. example, why should the radiator have 6 inches of clear air in back of it of which some of could be returned to the passenger compartment? Sit in the front seat of an 88, and its cramped, the dash is low and way too far back into the wheelbase of the car. as a result, there's no front leg room and no rear leg room.

Look at a mid 80's caprice. ENORMOUSLY long hood and trunk. what's left in the middle for leg room?

A good recipe for a full sizer would be about 116 to 118 inch wheelbase and an overall length in the mid 200's. there should be a minimal front overhang over the front and a longer rear overhang is ok if it benefits the trunk. I like a low cowl and dropaway hood (like my 99 taurus or like an early dodge stratus) for open airy cabin and visibility. high enough roof for higher more natural seating position and more headroom. fairly low side windows. a dashboard that is less upright and claustrophobic. stretch the roof back far, again for cabin spaciousness. long/wide doors that have almost 90 degree hinges.

then, if the car is kept around 3500-3600 pounds in FWD form (FWD is most space efficient) it should get great mpg, handle well for a big car, go like stink and have an assload of room.

Dodge regressed moving away from the last Intrepid blueprint. the intrepid had a bunch of room, but it did suffer for seating that was too low and a roof that was far too low.

Edited by regfootball

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razoredge    0

looking under the hood of a typical 70's GM car as well as cars like my father in law's 98 Olds 88, you can still see plenty of tarmac around all sides of the 90 degree spacehog engine.  FAR TOO MUCH wasted length under there.  example, why should the radiator have 6 inches of clear air in back of it of which some of could be returned to the passenger compartment?  Sit in the front seat of an 88, and its cramped, the dash is low and way too far back into the wheelbase of the car.  as a result, there's no front leg room and no rear leg room.

Reg you need to lay off that stuff, its clouding your thinkin. there is no lack of passenger room in H/C body, sorry. Also the 90* B U I C K V6 was and still is GM's most compact V power unit. The Denali peaked 60* and even taller Everest DOHC 60* however do present packageing/servicability problems.

6" clear air between fan motors and manifold ? really ?

Maybe if raising the hood 4" to shorten it 4" is the answer we should all just switch over to minvans because thats what these new tall cars are beginning to look like.

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balthazar    2,004

>>"...116 to 118 inch wheelbase and an overall length in the mid 200's."<<

'mid 200s' would be about 250", no? ;)

I like my car's stats: wheelbase: 123", overall: 217". Loads of room and no dreaded center console! I had a car for a few years, about the size you advocate (whl: 113, ovr: 201)- much smaller interior- small trunk, no like.

>>"you can still see plenty of tarmac around all sides of the 90 degree spacehog engine"<<

Now, Reg- if you want to talk about "spacehog" engines, you simply CANNOT overlook your beloved OHC jobs!

Really really tight engine comparments are for those interested in paying $75-100/hr service department rates. Those of us who know the business end of a ratchet wrench like to be able to get a hand & partial forearm down to -God forbid!- change a radiator hose or something. nissan stuffed their oil filter between the engine & firewall on the older sentra 4-banger: you have to jack the car up high & get completely under it to change the frickin' oil. Yeah- that's really worth another half-inch of leg room.

Come to think if it, if the filter was in a decent location to begin with, they actually MAY have been able to get another half inch of leg room!

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capriceman    0

I think my Name can answer my opion on these cars!!!!!

I hope they come back!!!!!

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who give's a hoot whether it's bof or ub.

We've had threads spanning 10 or 12 pages where we argue this point back and forth and things get nasty.

For those of us who appreciate a nice boulevard cruiser wiht a live rear axle, C-chnnel &/or boxed frame and four-link coil suspension it is a very important thing to see these cars come back. It's not a gray area... either you GET it or you dont.

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Well, Sixty8... since you're the one who seems to get what he wants... get a me a Fiero, a modern 240SX competitor, and a modern (last gen) Lexus IS type car produced under the Pontiac brand, why don't you? And how about a Grand Am on the Camaro's platform, a new GTO, a modern evolution of a (4th gen) Firebird, and a new Grand Prix too? Screw full sizers... when I can have all those, right Sixty8?

Fiero I'm all for it... and a rear engined Corvair based loosely on the Kappa architecture

a modern 240SX competitor yes... & a modern 240Z too!

(not a V6 overweight origami mobile like the 350Z but a inline-6 lightweight)

modern (last gen) Lexus IS type (Pontiac) Call is Grand Am

Grand Am on the Camaro's platform (see above)

a new GTO oh it's going to happen... don't worry

a modern evolution of a (4th gen) Firebird so you want the GTO, Grand Am 4dr, Fierebird, Fiero and a lightweight coupe to go along wiht your Solstice? Let's be somewhat realistic. :P

new Grand Prix too I hope it does not have tumors in it's tail lights.

Screw full sizers... you were just chock full of good ideas untill you had to be a selfish prick! <_<

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regfootball    250

>>"...116 to 118 inch wheelbase and an overall length in the mid 200's."<<

'mid 200s' would be about 250", no? ;)

I like my car's stats: wheelbase: 123", overall: 217". Loads of room and no dreaded center console! I had a car for a few years, about the size you advocate (whl: 113, ovr: 201)- much smaller interior- small trunk, no like.

>>"you can still see plenty of tarmac around all sides of the 90 degree spacehog engine"<<

Now, Reg- if you want to talk about "spacehog" engines, you simply  CANNOT overlook your beloved OHC jobs!

Really really tight engine comparments are for those interested in paying $75-100/hr service department rates. Those of us who know the business end of a ratchet wrench like to be able to get a hand & partial forearm down to -God forbid!- change a radiator hose or something. nissan stuffed their oil filter between the engine & firewall on the older sentra 4-banger: you have to jack the car up high & get completely under it to change the frickin' oil. Yeah- that's really worth another half-inch of leg room.

Come to think if it, if the filter was in a decent location to begin with, they actually MAY have been able to get another half inch of leg room!

a v8 ohc fit beautifully under the hood in my taurus.

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balthazar    2,004

Sure, and you worked on it all the time, right? Hell, I had a hell of a time just changing spark plugs on my '73 Charger Rallye 440 Magnum because of the big upswept manifolds- had to do it from below the car... and a '73 is a big car.

You must've at least looked underhood of a recent mid-size transverse V-6 car, right? Yikes.

Obviously there's a 'middle range' between the engine comparment of a '65 Impala with a 327 and just about any recent car you care to mention. Unfortunately, no one is building that today. I know most car owners today know more about woofers & tweeters than what/ where their spark plugs are/may be, but I don't want to play if all I have to do is pay. Ya get me?

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regfootball    250

Sure, and you worked on it all the time, right? Hell, I had a hell of a time just changing spark plugs on my '73 Charger Rallye 440 Magnum because of the big upswept manifolds- had to do it from below the car... and a '73 is a big car.

You must've at least looked underhood of a recent mid-size transverse V-6 car, right? Yikes.

Obviously there's a 'middle range' between the engine comparment of a '65 Impala with a 327 and just about any recent car you care to mention. Unfortunately, no one is building that today. I know most car owners today know more about woofers & tweeters than what/ where their spark plugs are/may be, but I don't want to play if all I have to do is pay. Ya get me?

i had noneed to work on it. first of all, 99% of america has no pole barn with a hoist.

2nd of all, i don't have tools. i don't waste the money on tools to do something that i can pay someone to do.

3rdly, i never had to have anything done other than routine maintenance.

its of more benefit to the user (the BUYER) to give them the space in the cab, than to waste space under the hood for someone who may or may not ever see your car.

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balthazar    2,004

How did I know?

Why put money into another's pocket's at $75/hr when you can do it yourself for free? I saved myself over $1000 last fall doing a brake job on my truck by myself. Nope: no hoist, either (tho I do have a pole barn).

If a person has the money to fund the loan department, the service department and the state tax coffers by buying a new car every time the warranty dries up and eating the 60% depreciation- I guess that's their prerogative. But that's FAR more wasteful than a clear 6" around an engine underhood, wouldn't you agree?

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