Early 70's Sports Sedans

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Dogscout, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Dogscout

    Dogscout Wow why and adventure

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    Some of the other recent threads got me thinking about cars of my youth and the one segment of car culture that we didn't get in the muscle car dominated life I had growing up in Pittsburgh in the 70's. There is a whole group of cars that I began to appreciate when I was in my 20's when I was traveling a lot and expanding my car knowledge. In the 80's, the european cars were either achieving great success such as BMW or heading towards disappearing on this continent such as Peugeot, but they both had cars in the sports sedan segment in many other parts of the world. 10 years earlier these companies along with others were producing some pretty cool little sedans that we only got a glimpse of, but lets take a look today.

    The BMW 2002
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    The 2002 was most of our first example of a mediocre little german sedan, but then BMW added performance options, a turbo, and suspension and many other go fast parts started coming across the pond.

    The Lancia Fulvia
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    This little Italian looker was a rally car champion and we never had heard about rally racing. A 1.6 liter coupe with a tuned suspension.

    The Alfa Romeo GTA
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    Another little Italian girl with great power to weight and and racing heritage.

    The Peugeot 504
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    Rally racing versions of this little French girl with a 2.0l engine ran in the Dakar.

    Many of these shared the influence of the house of Pininfarina and all were beautiful yet low performance when compared to Mustangs, Comaro's, Chevelle's and GTO's. I wish more were available today here because I sure would have some fun.

    I did buy a Peugeot 405 Mi16 in 1989 and at the time it was a fast little sedan but hampered by to much smog equipment, too many sensors for mixture and temp and an early computer system that couldn't properly adjust the ignition to keep up with what those sensors were telling it. Its was fun, but I think that an earlier sport sedan like those above, made before smog control and the EPA would be a lot funner.
    [​IMG]
    It was fun.

    What do you got, what do you know
    #1
  2. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

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    Cars we drove but didn't own;
    Friends father(s) had a 2002. Very fun. Really good handling albeit with copious body lean.
    Brother's friend had a Fiat 124 coupe - more fun than the 2002. The 124 I think is underrated. Of course it wasn't as well built as the 2002. Around then I remember being down on everything plastic, but marveled how the Germans in the 2002 could do an interior in good "plastic".
    Neighbor had a BMW 3.0 (not a CS) that was nice, too.
    Another friend's father owned the Porsche Audi dealership. Somehow the kid got to test drive the cars coming our of maintenance. I recall a very eye opening and sphincter tightening moment in one car, a 911E, - you know, abrupt off throttle in mid turn.
    Let's not talk about the scary but not very fun Triumph Spitfire - not a sedan or coupe, so I am off the hook on explaining that.
    The family Volvo 142 had the snot driven out of it too. Another body leaner but unbreakable.

    Stupid kid stuff, all, in other people's rides.
    #2
  3. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    Only in New Zealand - the Fiat 125T. I used to work for the guy who built them for production racing, we used to get them in sometimes, and he had all the specs on hand.

    [​IMG]
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  4. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Mosquito bait

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    A L F A Romeo.... ALFA!

    :lol3

    GTA was the lightweight race version, with aluminum body panels and such. The GTV 1750 and 2000 were the streetcars.

    [​IMG]
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  5. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    I was a high school freshman in 73 and I joined a rather preppie frat. The only car on your list that wasn't owned by an older member was the Lancia. I got to personally detail each of the other cars as part of my initiation!

    Personally I think the memory of these cars outweighs the actual performance. My girlfriend had the 124 Fiat and it was a real dog. I had the Alfa in the 80's (nightmare) and currently have the 02's big brother...a pristine E30.

    Sad thing is that the cheapest Kia could probably lap faster than any of them.
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  6. shakeybone

    shakeybone Long timer

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  7. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    Working at an ALFA dealer in the 80s & 90s I saw a lot of sports sedans. The Alfa GTV series was a Spider with a hard top IMO.
    The GTA with it's "aluminio" body was a totally different animal due to weight.
    I had the opportunity to restore a GTA while working at the dealer. We used to repair/restore all sorts of vintage cars to varying degrees depending on budget of the owners.
    I must say the Alfetta "Sport Sedan" was my favorite actual sedan. The 50/50 weight distribution of the Alfetta chassis and the stiff monocoque construction made it a joy to drive to the point of scaring owners who complained that the car was sluggish. ( Don't buy a SPORT SEDAN until you learn how to shift Lady!)

    At the same time my wife had a FIAT 131 Sedan... while not as powerful as the Alfa sedan still a fun car to drive and drift through corners once the junk Michelins were replace by Conti 771s

    Had a Saab 900 Turbo (4 dr) for quite a while... nice comfortable car that can really boogie!

    My wife had a VW Golf GTI for a while also a nice car... That reminds me there was also a 1986 VW Jetta in the mix we bought new... that was a decent sedan and cheap to keep.
    #7
  8. Dogscout

    Dogscout Wow why and adventure

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    I agree but the cool factor of driving one of these will put a bigger grin on your face than any KIA. Think of what you could have by putting the 250hp 4 from the new Ford focus ST in one of these beauties.
    #8
  9. Dogscout

    Dogscout Wow why and adventure

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    Any love for these?

    Audi 80
    [​IMG]

    Opel Manta
    [​IMG]

    And the Saab
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    Ford Capri
    [​IMG]
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  10. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Those are ALL coupes. A f*cking sedan has four doors. Kids these days. What is the world coming too? You should all be embarrassed. :rolleyes :dunno
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  11. ZCarFan2

    ZCarFan2 Been here awhile

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    As the years pass Italian cars seem to make more sense to me.

    112-1.jpg alfa-1-1.jpg IMG_3659-1.jpg
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  12. Solaros1

    Solaros1 Long timer

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    I was very heavily influenced by David E Davis' article in Car & Driver magazine "Turn your Hymnals to 2002" back in 1968. It shaped the whole direction of the base of my car enthusiasm to this day. Light nimble sports coupes became my third obsession after Land Rovers and Porsches.
    We were already very familiar with the concept as we had the American equivalent in a driveway full of Corvairs:

    [​IMG]

    It took me two years of heavy persuading before I could even talk my father into trying one - within two weeks this 1970 BMW 2002 was in the driveway as my mothers car (she had a known lead foot).

    [​IMG]

    Within a year there were three of these little coupes in our driveway - mom's, Dad's and my somewhat battered 1600.

    [​IMG]

    followed by many more including a 1973 2002 Tii

    [​IMG]

    We also had Volvos - 122, 142, 144's:

    [​IMG]

    Two NSU's

    [​IMG]

    and Fiats.

    [​IMG]

    I've owned seven 2002's, five Fiat 124 sport coupes, three BMW E-30 coupes , a BMW 318Ti, a couple of Volvos, two NSU 1200's. What I really want is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    First, thank you for properly referring to these as sport coupes. You are obviously an educated man with good taste.

    In 1965 (I was 15 at the time), I saw a Giulietta coupe behind a local gas station in Minnesota with the partially disassembled engine in the trunk. I offered to trade my 1949 Vespa (fine running condition) for it in that condition, but he declined. It turned me off Italian cars and into British roadsters until 4 cylinder Porsches later entered my life.
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  14. Solaros1

    Solaros1 Long timer

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    I don't know about good taste - a little crazy perhaps - I DID buy a Peugot once because "I've never owned one of those before..." bad reason to buy a French car. Actually there is no good reason to buy a French car....

    I too fell under the spell of 4 cylinder Porsches - especially coupes - I drove this home in 1971 when I was 19 years old - my dad thought I was nuts:

    [​IMG]

    Still have it over 46 years later

    [​IMG]
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  15. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Nice! Back in the 70s, I went from a 67 912 to a 59 B sunroof coupe to a 64 SC Cabriolet to some 914s and finally succumbed to the 6 cylinder force... Living in high cotton, indeed. :nod

    Edit: never found a running French car I wanted. 3
    #15
  16. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    OK people... THIS is a sedan... Notice FOUR doors.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  17. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Confessions of a rollback driver ..........................


    :twitch
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  18. advrockrider

    advrockrider Been here awhile

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    Two of mine, if they count?



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  19. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    A coupé, or coupe in North America (from the French past participle coupé, of the infinitive couper, to cut), is a car with a fixed-roof body style that is shorter than a sedan or saloon (British and Irish English) of the same model. The precise definition of the term varies between manufacturers and over time,[2] but often, a coupé will only seat two people and have two doors; though it may have rear seating and rear doors for additional passengers. The term was first applied to 19th-century carriages, where the rear-facing seats had been eliminated, or cut out.[2]


    The primary purpose of the sedan is to transport people and their baggage on ordinary roads.[2] Sedan versions of the automobile body style have a central pillar (B-pillar) that supports the roof and come in two- and four-door versions.[3]Sedans usually have a two-box or three-box body.[2

    It seems that both coupe and sedan can have either 2 or 4 doors. The differentiation has to do with the size of the back seat.
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  20. Dogscout

    Dogscout Wow why and adventure

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    Alright I'll take the fail on the coupe vs sedan, although I am not necessarily a kid being born in 64 and lusting after 70's cars. Total failure on my part but I had always heard the term Sports sedan and I don't recall hearing these called coupes.
    #20