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(Jalopnik)   What's it like to drive a land yacht - especially anything from 1961-1967?   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Jet Star Inc., two-lane road  
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4444 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Apr 2013 at 7:22 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-04-04 12:48:52 PM  
1 vote: Full Size

My first car was a '78 Chevy Suburban like this one. It was RWD and only got about 12 MPG, but I was a menace on the highways. Back then it was the biggest thing on the road except for tractor trailers, so I could just hand in the high speed lane and everyone would shift right for me. Make way for the king, baby.

It also fit all the people you'd want in it at one go, so I was always playing chauffeur for my friends. And since it was so huge, it made adjusting to other cars that much easier. I always know how much room I've got around me, and it's easy as pie to maneuver in anything.
2013-04-04 12:43:10 PM  
1 vote:
I'm reading a lot of opinions that are clouded by time and nostalgia.

The single most applicable benefit of these cars were space - both in terms of passenger room and cargo room. But when you claim "Oh, my old land yacht could do 120 mph all day long, in complete comfort." No, no it couldn't. It's far more likely your speedometer was so inaccurate that you thought you were going that fast.

Here's the thing. These cars were aerodynamic bricks. I still drive V8 pony cars of the era up & beyond 100 mph (I own a high geared, cherry 65 Mustang fastback, w/ 53,000 original miles). Anywhere above 100mph, it feels like the car is going to lift off the ground - the corners of the hood slightly ripple, the engine roars and the wind sounds like a hurricane outside. And with a GPS, the speedometer is about 20% off at speeds above 100mph.

The thing is, in a car like that, you feel like you're flying down the road. However, you can take almost any modern V6 grocery getter (think Camry or Accord) and blow the doors off of almost any stock muscle car from the 1960's - let alone any land yacht. Modern cars have fuel injection, more horsepower and vastly superior aerodynamics. Doing 100mph in a 1960's car feels like 150mph. Doing 100 mph in a modern V6 feels like you're doing about 50mph - it's quiet, smooth, and well controlled. There's no slop in the steering, the 4-wheel disk brakes work perfectly, and the aerodynamics of the car keep it firmly planted against the road.

If you really want to feel like you're going warp speed - drive a stock 1948 Overland Willys with military tires, a 'go-devil' flathead inline-4 and a Warn overdrive to split gears. The wind, noise and roar of the engine at the redline at 55 mph makes you feel like everything is going to rattle off the rig and you're going to go flipping off into a ditch and catch flame at any moment.

/currently works on and owns two '48 Willys trucks, '52 Dodge B-3-B truck, '64 BSA Victor, '65 Mustang Fastback, '69 Triumph T100C scrambler, '05 Toyota Tacoma, '07 Honda 919 motorcycle, '12 Nissan Leaf
//has a lot (and recent) experience with both classic and modern cars, motorcycles.
2013-04-04 12:19:01 PM  
1 vote:

Quantum Apostrophe: Yes, please demonstrate how somebody can just go find a 1967 computer, the multi-kilowatt three phase power supply, the room and know how to operate it.

Sorry, what? I thought we were talking 1967, not 1947.

Nice to see I was able to poke you into a three paragraph rant exposing not only your own ignorance of computer technology, but actively admitting that powerful technology is created from humble beginnings (see also: 3D printing, space travel).

Also interesting that you are basically admitting that transportation technology has been strangely stagnant for nearly a century. Keep this in mind the next time to complain about new transportation tech.
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