Posted by: winteridge | December 28, 2008

New Horizons


Just received from my brother (a packrat like me) a full-color sales brochure on his 1981 Plymouth Horizon (Sorry.  He no longer has the car).   It was a great-looking little car.  Some interesting stuff here.   For example, and I quote: “The New Chrysler Corporation is so sure of Horizon’s quality engineering and construction, it offers a 30-Day/1000-Mile Guarantee”.   Hoooo-eeee!  Now, there is confidence!  As I recall, among other problems, the paint peeled off his Horizon in large strips, and Chrysler refused to do anything about it, even after we called Lee Iaccocca himself.  Some things never change.

They also promised estimated highway mpg of 47 miles, and probably got close to that. I will admit I am not an engineer, and never understood all these mileage standards, but over the 20-something years since the Horizon, auto makers have allegedly improved polution controls, emission controls, engine quality, and fuel standards considerably.  How much improvement I am not sure, but reasonably, let’s say 50%.  But a comparable American built auto today will deliver, on average, 23 MPG.  So if one drives a modern US-built car a mile today, is one not delivering even MORE emissions and polutants to the air as in 1981?  Am I missing something here?  A gallon of gasoline is 50% cleaner now, but it will only take your car half as far.  And we won’t discuss prices.  I think we still need some work.

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  1. […] For example, and I quote: “The New Chrysler Corporation is so sure of Horizon’s quality engineering and construction, it offers a 30-Day/1000-Mile Guarantee”. Hoooo-eeee! Now, there is confidence! As I recall, among other problems, …[Continue Reading] […]


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