A Look Back at the History of the American Automobile
By Michael Schlee
With the American Auto Industry in a crisis like it has never faced before, I thought we could take a look back at the past 100 years of American Vehicles to see the highlights (and lowlights) of an industry on the edge of collapse.
This is a new feature that will become a regular segment for this blog.
Key Developments 1972:
· Horsepower is now rated in “SAE Net” instead of “Gross”. Numbers appear much lower as this is a more accurate rating system.
· Sunroofs become very fashionable as safety regulations make convertibles less and less popular
· Chrysler has a new 400cid (6.6L) V8 in its line-up. It replaces the old 383cid (6.3L) V8.
· The fabled 426cid Hemi V8 stops being made. Another victim of tighter emissions controls.
· GM tests both Rotary engines and OBD systems. Although the rotary never makes it the Corvette or Vega as promised, OBD systems become standard in all cars in the future.
· Prestolite batteries become available. They are maintenance free and do not need water to be introduced.
· The Pontiac GTO goes from full-on model to trim package.
Top 4 New Models:
· Ford Toirno
· Mercury Montego
· Ford Thunderbird – The Ford Thunderbird can be had with 4 wheel disc brakes, and ABS.
· Lincoln Continental Mark IV – 460 cid V8 212HP
Top 5 ‘Hottest’ Models:
· Chevrolet Corvette: 455cid V8 – 365HP
· Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO: 0-60MPH in 5.4 seconds. 455cid V8 – 300HP
· Buick Grand Sport Stage 1: 455cid V8 – 270HP
· Plymouth Road Runner: 440cid V8 – 280HP
· Ford Mustang Mach 1: 351cid V8