The 1979 Plymouth Horizon TC3 was an entirely new sports coupe (hatchback) with real road feel and joined the best selling 5-door Horizon. Car and Driver even rated it as one of the most aerodynamically perfect cars built in North America and one of the shortest stopping cars around. Its sleek design using galvanized steel and aluminum alloys also fought corrosion. Standard equipment including an AM/FM Radio, contour front bucket seats, fold down rear seat, radial tires, positive rack and pinion steering, front wheel drive, front disc brakes, and column mounted controls. You even had optional choices like air conditioning, power steering and power brakes, TorqueFlite automatic transmission and a removable glass sunroof.
1979 Plymouth Horizon TC3
Volvo sold its first 1800 in 1961. Since then, the car had gone through thousands of engineering refinements and three designation changes, from the P-1800 to 1800S and in 1970 to the 1800E. In 1971, Volvo introduced the 1800ES. While the shape and style was new, the engineering inside was not and was the result of an 11 year evolutionary process.
In 1970, Volvo replaced the carburetors in their sports cars with an electronic fuel injection system. Coupled with a computer unit under the dashboard, the system metered out the exact amount of fuel the engine required to work at peak efficiency. The result was a cleaner exhaust and cleaner air and in 1971, they made the engine run on 91-octane gasoline which increaser gas mileage and performance and produces even cleaner air.
The B20F four-cylinder, fuel injected engine was bench tested to the equivalent of 90 MPH for 60,000 miles without braking. It has five-main-bearing crankshaft, electronic fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and overflow sensor and a full-flow oil filter. Its 121 cubic inch displacement, with a bore of 3.50 in. and a stroke of 3.15 in. produced an maximum output of 125 HP SAE at 6,000 RPM with 123 lb ft. of torque at 3,500 RPM.
It had a four-speed manual transmission, fully synchronized with remote control linkage and electronically operated overdrive on fourth gear. It was also available with an optional three-speed fully automatic transmission with floor mounted P-R-N-D-2-1 shift quadrant.
The 1800ES roofline was extended to the tail of the car, creating 35 cubic feet of trunk space behind the front seats. Volvo only produced 1657 of this model for the American market.
The 1988 Mercury Tracer LS2 (also available as a 4-door hatchback) was a sporty little front wheel drive car that left virtually nothing to be desired. Built and backed by Ford, the technologically advanced Tracer, with its disc brakes, independent suspension and power steering, was a product of their best designers and engineers throughout the world. It got significant praise and was a run-away sales success on two continents. It was sold thru Ford’s extensive Canadian Mercury dealer network.
The Subaru Rex Combi AWD Turbo was initially introduced in December 1983. It was the second generation of the model by Subaru which was produced from 1972 to 1992, and was known by a variety of names, like the Ace, Viki and Sherpa among others. It had a 544cc engine.
1984 Subaru Rex Combi AWD Turbo
The 1980 Dodge Colt Custom is practically identical to the Plymouth Champ (other than a handful of badges and a few details) It is the perfect example of badge engineering, and in fact, I’ve used the same text as the Champ post (as they did in the original manufacturer advertising – it was basically a “Hatchback Package” that included Rallye suspension components that put handling toughness into this economical performer. There is simply nothing else to say.
The 1980 Plymouth Champ Custom was basically a “Hatchback Package” that included Rallye suspension components that put handling toughness into this economical performer. A nice little simply and clean ride.
1980 Plymouth Champ Custom
The 102 HP 1984 Dodge Colt Turbo was imported for Dodge and Plymouth by Mitsubishi and with its 1.6 liter, turbocharged, electronically controlled injected 4 cylinder engine, went from 0 to 50 in 5.78 seconds rolling on Michelin XVS 165/70 HR 13′s, with non-linear high-control springs, solid front and rear stabilizer bars (.79″ upfront and .57″ in the back), heavy duty transmission and clutch and front gas-filled shocks. Front air dam, rear spoiler, tachometer, halogen headlamps and a sport braking system were all standard. A few other details include a Turbo Boost of 7.5 lbs, psi, the 102 bhp was reached at 5500 rpm, its power to weight ratio was 19.77 lbs per hp, Torque of 122 lbs-ft @ 3,000 rpm and 4×2 Twin Stick transmission.
The 2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI concept was shown at the 2012 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris and for the first time, is being offered with two power levels (220 PS in standard version and 230 PS with performance pack) when it goes on sale in early 2013. This is the hatch that made them cool. Nothing comes close to this on the market today, and it still looks great, even after seven generations.
2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI concept.
Peugeot launched the 104 ZS in 1976. It was powered by a 66 horsepower 1,124cc four-cylinder engine. But the brand was interested in Group 2 racing and in 1979 , launched the Pininfarina designed ZS2. Its power was from a 1,361cc engine developing 93 HP. It was front wheel drive and had a manual transmission. The ZS 2 was only available in 1979 and cost 38,000 Francs. It is a real beauty and, I for one, would buy it today. (thanks to Ran When Parked)
The 1982 Mercury LN7 is a very rare ride. It was a car that was “right for the times” and was one of the first two-seaters offered by Ford (along with the EXP) in over 25 years. It was a stylish, contemporary and sporty front-wheel drive car with rack-and-pinion steering, independent rear suspension and advanced hemispherical head, 1.6 liter 80 HP engine with two-barrel carburetor that got 29 MPG in the city and 46 MPG on the highway.
Its unique “bubbleback” rear lift back gave it a exciting new contemporary image, along with its sharply sloped windshield, wheel arches with prominent lips, and wide body side moldings. It was first shown at the Chicago Auto Show and introduced in April 1981 as an early 1982 model. It was not a hit and by 1983, it was dropped after only 40,000 units produced. (image source: John Lloyd)
1976 Mercury Bobcat 3-Door Runabout “Woody” featured a striking new simulated woodgrain option applique of simulated cherry woodgrain on the side and back panels with bright surround moldings. The interior was special too, with standard body-countored bucket seats. Backrests have been designed to give comfortable support as you drive. We ride was smooth, quiet and wide-stanced. A 2.3 liter OHC 4-cylinder engine performed briskly with extensive use of sound deadeners and insulation for a quiet ride. Even the underside of the hood was blanketed with fiberglass to help hush the engine sound. It had rack and pinion steering, front disc brakes and a standard manual. Among other options to help you personalize your Bobcat were a sunroof, forged aluminum wheels and sports vinyl roof.
1976 Mercury Bobcat 3-Door Runabout
For 1978 and 1979, the station wagon from the discontinued Astre series was added to the Sunbird line, as seen here in this 1979 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Safari Station Wagon example. They continued to use the same front fascia as the Astre with Sunbird badging. The 2.3 L engine was simultaneously discontinued.
For the 1979 model year, the Chevrolet‘s 5.0 L (305 cid) V8 engine was made optional in the notchback and hatchback, while the Sunbird Safari wagon continued for its final year with a revised vertical styled grill. The 1979 engine options included the 305-V8, 3.8L-V6 and an 2.5L-I4. (image source: coconv)
1979 Pontiac Sunbird Sport Safari Station Wagon
The 1976 AMC Pacer was the second year of its production, which lasted until 1980. The design explorations for this vehicle started back in 1971 by Richard Teague that Car & Driver magazine called The Flying Fishbowl, and AMC promoted it in 1975 as the first small wide car.
The 1978 Ford Fiesta Ghia was engineered and built to exacting standards by Ford of Germany and achieved excellent EPA fuel economy ratings of 46 MPG highway and 34 MPG in the city. Front wheel drive and a transverse-mouned 1.6 liter OHV engine put more over the driving wheels to help improve traction. Its drivability was enhanced by rack-and-pinion steering for more precise control and a MacPherson strut front suspension system for improved directional stability. It had Michelin steel-belted radial tires, front discs brakes, carpeting and a fold-down rear seat. The 3-door Fiesta hatchback was a beautiful value.
This 1976 AMC Pacer X has the “X” Package, which was available from 1975-1978 in coupe form and consisted of vinyl bucket seats, sports steering wheel and custom trim, as well as a floor-mounted gear shift and front sway bar. The model received exterior chrome features, styled road wheels, Pacer X decals on the doors, and other package identification. It was renamed “Sport” in 1978 and subsequently eliminated.