On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 11:39:07 -0800, David Nebenzahl wrote:
They'll build what they're paid to build, no more and no less. There are
talented folk there, same as anywhere else - but if people want to pay
for crap that breaks after a few months so that they then have to go
out and buy more crap, then that's what the Chinese will happily make...
Problem is, *everyone* does it. It's almost impossible for a company to
exist on the basis of making a 'quality' product any more - which means
that even if the individual wants to pay extra for something that'll last,
the product simply doesn't exist.
Then there's Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes, BMW, the Lamborghini
Reventon , Maserati, the Bugatti Veyron, the McLaren F1, and the Pagani,
to name just a few examples of "European engineering" that there is
NOTHING else like.
I'm the original owner of my 1973 Fiat 124 Spyder. It was my only car until
recently. It has been driven down steam beds in Mexico, over mountains,
across deserts, etc. It still runs and looks great. Biggest problem I've
had with it is "mechanics" screwing up stuff; surprising since it is so
mechanically simple but they manage.
Many years ago I had a Fiat 124 Spyder. I called it the Fiat 124
Lemon. I did buy it used so perhaps it was just maintained terribly,
but almost every other week something went wrong. The alternator died,
the string operating the clutch broke, the transmission developed
problems, and just endless crap.
I guess it just depends on when it got put together.
I used to have an X1/9. Lovely little car, only repair I ever needed to
make on it other than routine maintenance was the thermostat. I'd likely
still be driving it if some asshole hadn't stolen it. Not at all like my
one Toyota, that had a single scheduled maintenance item--at 10,000 miles
On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 09:39:22 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:
Heh, I find myself playing "spot the car" in the US, having grown up on
the other side of the Pond. Saw my first X1/9 on US soil last year, one
"proper" Mini so far (not the crappy modern BMW version), a 2CV a couple
of months ago... quite a few VW bugs, of course. A few MG Midgets (but
with the shitty rubber bumpers that they were forced to have in the US)
I've had a major hankering after a first-generation Celica for a few
months... I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing!
I really want a Jensen FF, but that's waiting until I win the lottery ;)
I don't know which generation was which year, but when I came to the US
from Australia at the end of 1977, I saw Celicas that looked
considerably different from - and inferior to -- the ones I had been
seeing in Australia for the past year or two. The internals might have
been the same, but I much preferred the styling of the Australian ones.
On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 19:33:43 -0500, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:
Interesting. I found that with a lot of the old Holdens when I was in Oz
and NZ - lots of them were based on US models, but somehow they just had
that little bit more grace and elegance in the styling...
And actually, when I say "first generation Celica", I think I'd aim for
one of the post-'75 ones after they gave them the facelift. Problem with
my being in the US is that I think all of the US ones may have had shitty
rubber bumpers added - the Oz ones just had chrome as Toyota intended.
I'm a self-confessed sucker for '70s cars with quad headlights... ;)
Yes, the Italians make Ferraris and $80K shotguns, etc. They also
make Fiats. You want the real survivability lowdown on Fiat. I'm
from sunny CA where cars NEVER RUST!. If it's worth a damn, it will
last forever. In the early 70s, after I got out of the service, CA
roads were lousy with Fiats 850s and 124s. It was a craze and ppl
bought them by the ship load. They were as common as VW bugs. Thirty
years later, they are rarer than an honest politician. In fact, in
the last 5 yrs I spent commuting 70 miles a day on SFBA freeways, I
was stunned to see a single running 850 Spyder, it having been so long
since seeing one, I'd actually forgotten they'd ever existed. Pre-70
Borgwards are more common. If Fiat reliability is any indication of
European quality engineering, Chrysler is screwed!
I had a '75 Fiat 128 L Sport Coupe. Got it for nothing in 1978 after
it sat at a dealership for 2 years to have the engine replaced under
warranty, and the dealer went broke. The guy gave it to me for
installing the brand new- never run engine in his X19.
I put an aircraft generator and 8 golfcart batteries in it and it was
more reliable than any other 128 I ran across - and even it was no
So what percentage of the engineers working on Apollo were German?
Hint--go to Youtube and search on "Disney Moon" and you'll find that the
concept that Von Braun was pushing pre-Apollo was considerably different
from what actually flew (and before you make some ignorant sneering remark
about Disney, do the search and watch the episode).
A surprising number of the best NASA scientists and engineers came from
Canada after the Avro Arrow project was canceled by the Diefenbaker
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