Mileage comparo

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cjwaters
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by cjwaters » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:14 pm

Let's see what those Miatas look like after another 20 years of weathering, regardless of mileage. More modern plastics and corrosion protection certainly helps though.

On the subject of mileage: the Spiders were released in an era before people were commuting 100 miles a day, while Miatas probably see plenty of freeway miles. My 2005 Ram has 225,000 thanks to SoCal living in the early years and some lengthy commutes in NC.

When I was doing a 90 mile each way commute I was looking at Miatas as a fun way to get to work with A/C and a 5-speed, but ended up changing jobs before buying one.
Courtney Waters
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friedman
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by friedman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:51 pm

Your concerns are very valid and for once I have nothing snarky to say.
Carl in Virginia
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by SimcaBertone66 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:44 pm

No, please keep it up. Yoy Carl, are the new DV (have mercy, I detest that dude so much...forever ) and me the new "Carl " said in Rick Grimes voice .... lol After all this is BS, which should happen in a congenial setting, a nice expresso , maybe a mild libations .. among like minded car guys and gals ... Were TF has this thread gone.... I think it's me , what was the question again ...?
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bartigue
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by bartigue » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:25 pm

friedman wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:00 pm
I think by now we have all learned that the 124 TC motor is very robust and if taken care of will last a very long time.....sort of like the reputation that Mazda twin cam motor has.
So many things contributed to FIAT's issues that I'm one who is shocked they sold at all during the 1970s and 1980s. I guess it is more than a FIAT problem - take a look at pininfarina or bertone history books and you can clearly see that quality control wasn't a top priority. Macro-level issues, like the cars stacked on top of each other under screens, outside. Cars being painted outside of a paint booth. Boxes of parts all over the place. The very concept of the dual-location assembly process is comedic and likely contributed to the non-serial nature of production. Ever wonder why your 1971 has an earlier serial number than my 1970? Because it was disorganized. Why your 1982 and my 1982 don't have the same wiring harness colors in a few places? Disorganized.

These cars were also being built like it was 1965 when it was 1980. The entire world had migrated to highly mechanized lines and our cars were still hand assembled. While it has a certain purity to it, hand made cars have a bit of a personality, and again, quality issues seep in. Remember when Porsche was barely out of bankruptcy and made those commercials making fun of robotic assembly lines? Shortly after that they automated everything, because quality and profits suffered tremendously.

So you add this kind of macro level quality control problem to a dealer network that was comical and you get what you get. Mazdas were front-of-the-dealership cars, FIATs were back-of-the-dealership. Mazda understood the American market - the cars had A/C as an integrated option for example - FIAT (and Alfa in all fairness) couldn't figure out why people wanted cupholders. And on and on and on... FIAT today continues to misjudge this market, and I think it will ultimately have us back to a "FIAT/Lancia Underground" though we'll have to call it "well, sh*t, here we go again, FIAT owners of America. (WSHWGAFOA). Can't wait for WSHWGAFOA Freak Out 2023.
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Brad Artigue
1982 Spider 2000
I've restored, worked on, sold, bartered, and bled for:
1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 124 Spiders -- 1969, 1970 850 Spiders -- 77 X1/9
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cgranju
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by cgranju » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:40 pm

bartigue wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:25 pm
So you add this kind of macro level quality control problem to a dealer network that was comical and you get what you get. Mazdas were front-of-the-dealership cars, FIATs were back-of-the-dealership. Mazda understood the American market - the cars had A/C as an integrated option for example - FIAT (and Alfa in all fairness) couldn't figure out why people wanted cupholders. And on and on and on... FIAT today continues to misjudge this market, and I think it will ultimately have us back to a "FIAT/Lancia Underground" though we'll have to call it "well, sh*t, here we go again, FIAT owners of America. (WSHWGAFOA). Can't wait for WSHWGAFOA Freak Out 2023.
that sounds like a FFO I would really enjoy!

On top of everything that Brad just said, I was under the impression the cars ended up becoming really expensive (by period standards) towards the end of the run ('79-'85), so in the context of the build quality (I'd call it quirky personality), dealer support, & creature comforts Americans were quickly coming to expect, it seems a wonder there are any around. Thank god there are!
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by SimcaBertone66 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:22 pm

Didn't Fiat NA say "basta" because of an avalanche of warranty claims that could never be satisfied .. or something like that '' I want the Fiat Lancia Underground back, FCA my ass... so sanitized, so corporate, so square...people still say that ? of is it my age or is L7 better ... good night
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bartigue
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by bartigue » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:16 am

Fiat couldn’t sell enough cars here, plain and simple. The Strada really killed it though, ugly and unreliable was a bit much for Americans I believe.

Ugly and Unreliable alone aren’t enough to kill a brand though. GM proved this in the early 80s. You have to have more: unreliability, high cost, crappy dealers, bad service, comical parts supply, a recession, and flirtations with communism to really sink a brand. Fiat managed all of this between 78 and 82.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brad Artigue
1982 Spider 2000
I've restored, worked on, sold, bartered, and bled for:
1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 124 Spiders -- 1969, 1970 850 Spiders -- 77 X1/9
http://fiat.artigue.com
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rridge
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by rridge » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:56 am

Fiat's problems in the U.S. in the late 70's and early 80's were also the problems of many car producers. The industry was changing. The market was changing. Chrysler needed a $1.5billion dollar bailout and a new CEO to keep its doors open in 1979. Between 1975 and 1985 brands like Austin, MG, Triumph, Renault, and many other niche European brands disappeared from the U.S. market. In most cases the explanations sounded similar. Poor quality and dealer support, limited product offerings, lack of features expected in the U.S. like a/c and automatic transmissions, ...Change is a bitch for businesses with weak management teams that depend on momentum but especially when there are nimble new players just entering the field.

What was unique about Fiat was the suddenness of their decline and departure. 1979 was a good sales year in the U.S. I think the chaos in Italy with the Red Brigade kidnapping and assassinating not only government and police officials but Fiat plant managers on a regular basis, as well as turnover in the Agnelli family and general government chaos just finally caught up the business of building cars.
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mikehynes
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by mikehynes » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:09 pm

I would be interested in understanding how the unions influenced the well being of the auto industry in that period? I believe that most of the brands that left the US market were from countries with very strong unions.
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friedman
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Re: Mileage comparo

Post by friedman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:41 am

We all know how helpful the Italian labor unions were back then!
Carl in Virginia
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