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View Diary: Mad Men: For Immediate Release (6.6) (108 comments)

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  •  The car is Chevy Vega (11+ / 0-)

    according to Slate's AV club.

    Seems like a bummer of a car. Not the Camero or Corvette I thought they were pitching for.

    •  My Dad bought a bright green Vega (6+ / 0-)

      about a year after it was introduced. What an unreliable  piece of crap! He was so mad he never bought another Chevy.

    •  The XP-887 (5+ / 0-)

      is what the Vega was called while in development. Originally it was to have been an actual modern (for 1970) car, not simply a shrunken version of GM's existing larger cars. A really good overview of the compromises that went into the Vega 2300 (as it was called upon introduction in the fall of 1970) can be found in the book On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors, John Z. De Lorean's first-person account of his years at GM. De Lorean moved from Pontiac to the leadership of the Chevrolet division in 1969 while the Vega project was already well advanced, and his criticisms are detailed and clearly valid. (The book carries the byline J. Patrick Wright, who explains within.)

      I presume the Vega's many problems (and perhaps this book) are well known to the Mad Men writers. Perhaps they'll create a scene where the car is named? (De Lorean wanted Gemini, a near-homonym of "GM mini," but was overruled.)

    •  Corvette ~ astronaut's choice (o/t) (3+ / 0-)
      Alan Shepard showed up to space training in 1959 driving his '57 Chevy Corvette. After becoming the first American in space 50 years ago this very day, GM handed over the keys to a special 1962 Corvette as thanks for his bravery. And thus began a love affair between Astronauts and Corvettes.
      Link

      In the opening scenes of Apollo 13, Jim Lovell is shown driving one.  They still are the car of choice for aviators.  

      Note: At my garden store on Saturday, I saw a red corvette with a "NVLAV8TR" license plate and started laughing (my Dad always wanted one) -- and loved the bumper sticker: "He got elected twice. Get over it."

      Be sure you put your feet in the right place; then stand firm. ~ Abraham Lincoln

      by noweasels on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:52:35 PM PDT

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    •  You had to have known it would suck. (5+ / 0-)

      The way they were talking about how it would blow everything away - you don't build up that kind of hype about a product in a TV show unless it's going to be a flop.  

      Knowing the future is easy: Today's trivia becomes tomorrow's sacrament, and vice-versa.

      by Troubadour on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:55:05 PM PDT

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    •  Omg a VEGA? one of the worst cars EVER (5+ / 0-)

      Aluminum block that melted down the first time you redlined it, sheet metal that rusted if you left it in the rain overnight, and so butt ugly even it's mother (who was probably a Schwinn)  would euthanize the fucker.

      The worst car of the era besides the Corvair.  Utter complete crap on wheels!

      “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

      by RocketJSquirrel on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:12:21 PM PDT

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      •  Oh the memories (3+ / 0-)

        I was 18, pregnant, newly married and our 'car' was a sixty something Corvair. It leaked oil like a sieve and we had to make frequent stops at gas stations to buy 'used' sludge oil to fill it up and keep it going. At least gas was 35 cents a gallon.. our next car was a Rambler ;)

        •  Lol again (4+ / 0-)

          I believe I was conceived in a Rambler 440 American.  Another true shitbox, man American cars have come a long way.

          My first car was a Dodge Charger, 1972, 318 small block.  Went 140 in a straight line.  But god forbid you ever had to corner at speed.

          Although have to say my Mazda 3 Speed smokes anything American in its price range. And it's faster, safer, and better handling with far better mileage than anything I've ever owned (and I've owned a few pieces of American muscle).

          Cars are one thing that's definitely gotten better since the 1960s.

          By the way,the genius behind the Rambler was George Romney, Mitt's dad.

          “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

          by RocketJSquirrel on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:44:37 PM PDT

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          •  Don't be dissin' Ramblers! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thankgodforairamerica

            They made the early - maybe premature - attempt to sell more compact and efficient and utilitarian cars to Americans - they were the "proto-Outbacks".

            I first drove in a '63 Classic 660 wagon, the locally infamous "Midnight Rambler". You may have seen it, beige and gold, with a half-dozen guys and, apparently, a fog machine inside. Relatively bulletproof and 16 year old-proof, a modest 6 cylinder in the age of V-8 pigs, with roof rack and fold-down "love machine" front seats.

            I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

            by labradog on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:04:28 AM PDT

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            •  All true (0+ / 0-)

              But they drove like a tobaggon and looked like a turtle and had a top end of like 55mph back when highway speeds were much higher.  My folks had one (the one I was conceived in, I suspect!) when I was very young.  I remember that it was a hideous powder blue and that rusted into oblivion at 7 or 8 years old, after they sold it to the mailman who lived up the street.

              My folks had crazy taste in cars though. Later on we had a freakin Citroen DS21 station wagon, for example.  Pure WTF.

              On the other hand moms made two Subaru wagons go 300k each and I made a Mazda pickup go 200k on nothing but brakes, tires, and one clutch.

              “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

              by RocketJSquirrel on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:47:09 PM PDT

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      •  Could have, should have been better... (5+ / 0-)

        ...but (as usual during that period) the bean counters got involved.  $2.37 per car was the savings for NOT rustproofing the interior of the fender wells that caused rust as soon as hot breath hit...

        No iron sleeves in the block saved $8.00 and coupled with an undersized radiator (for, you know, additional cost savings...) led to the famous unreliability of the engine.  

        Many good ideas in this car were 'value engineered' to the point of ridiculousness costing far more in warranty claims and more importantly, reputation.  

    •  The Chevy Vega was going to be the low-cost, (3+ / 0-)

      compact GM product that would capture the youth market and save the USA and GM shareholders from more VWs.  Keep in mind that the only prior GM product that was somewhat "compact" was the Corvair, which Ralph Nader deemed unsafe at any speed.

      Sadly, the Vega was a piece of crap.  Followed by the Nova.  Both nails in GM's coffin.  It didn't recover for thirty years, BO's finest hour, IMO.

    •  That was my guess. Wasn't that a Corvette (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thankgodforairamerica

      in the lobby of GM? It wouldn't have been there, if the new car was such a secret.

      It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:56:27 PM PDT

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    •  in '68/9, XP-887 proto. was the VOLT's grandad .. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thankgodforairamerica

      It's interesting that the orig. XP-887 "commuter car" concept - at the "time" of the episode in question - was quite different from the production model:

      GM's first hybrid

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:27:15 PM PDT

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    •  the Vega pioneered (then immature) engine tech. .. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thankgodforairamerica

      Ironically, after the Vega's V8 motors melted down..

      ..Porsche would perfect the emerging technology of casting engine block bores in place, using better metallurgy. The 928 - which was aimed at the US market - came to be regarded as having a very robust engine.

      You gotta know when to hold 'em.. when to fold 'em..

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:41:59 PM PDT

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    •  image of '69 XP-887 prototype .. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thankgodforairamerica, Christin

      As the Wired article above says - the AMC Gremlin's prettier sister:

      ..now, where did I leave my torches and villagers?

      by FrankSpoke on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:47:17 PM PDT

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    •  I figured it wouldn't be (3+ / 0-)

      A Camaro or Corvette.

      The Corvette was introduced in 1953 and underwent a redesign for the 1968 model year.  That's one of the new ones seen in the GM lobby scene (faithfully re-created, if my memory of Michael Moore's "Roger & Me" is working properly).

      The Camaro was introduced in 1966 for the 1967 model year and would've been all over the highways when Don and Ted landed the account.

      Oh and in the lobby scene, that's a '68 Malibu behind the Corvette.

      “Nice country you got here. Shame if something were to happen to it” --the GOP philosophy to governing as described by Paul Krugman

      by dwayne on Tue May 07, 2013 at 04:21:17 AM PDT

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