From Satellite Sebring to Buick LaCrosse

Half of today’s vehicles blow away the baddest rides of the 1970s. But the reasons are more complicated than you might think.


If a 1976 driver were to somehow get his hands on a car from 2017, he’d be at grave risk of whiplash. Since those days, horsepower in the U.S. has almost doubled, with the median model climbing from 145 to 283 stallions. Not surprisingly, the entire U.S. fleet grew more game for a drag-race: The median time it took for a vehicle to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour was halved, from almost 14 seconds to seven.
Comment: I bought a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Sebring new in February 1973. As I recollect it was $ 4,200. It had a 400 cid  (6.55 liter) 185 hp engine. The LaCrosse has a 3.6 liter engine that generates 310 hp. About half the engine with about twice the hp. (and about 10 times the price, but the dollar isn't what it used to be!).


  1. When they say "they don't make 'em like that anymore", very often my response is "Thanks be to God!". I'm calculating that old Plymouth in at about $24000 today, which gets you a decently appointed Accord or Malibu that will....also leave that Plymouth in the dust, even with the "little" 4.

    Big mystery for me was how a lot of those land yachts of the past somehow managed to have no room in the back seat despite gigantic bonnets and boots. Another gain of the past 40 years...

    1. The engine compartments were massive ... as with the trunks


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