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On The Road With Johnny B ..What Ever Happened To These Charmers??


Cars change with the times. Our current automotive landscape consists of Hybrid’s, Camry’s, Minivan’s and other bland ways of going from A to B. I must admit we do have some very cool new cars these days. Mustangs, Challengers and other retro-cool cars are filling the roads. Its not an everyday sighting to see a classic Packard, Beetle or Muscle Car cruising the streets, that's understandable but happened to the everyday Crap-A-Fied "Charmers" that filled the streets no so long ago ?? So here is a short list of What Ever Happened to??..

The Dodge Intrepid Introduced in 1993 the Intrepid was part of Chrysler’s LH or Cab Forward platform. It promised superior interior space and packaging. Known for horrible mechanics and being impossible to repair. To change the water pump on a 2.7 liter you needed to remove the enitre front of the car. A very Intrepid undertaking indeed. No wonder most of these "Charmers" are now recycled Hyundai fenders.

The Chevy Cavalier. What can we say about this GM failed attempt at a euro type small car. Introduced in 1981 the Cavalier platform would spawn such Charmers as the Caddy Cimarron. Underpowered and built like a box of Kleenex it proved to the car buying public that GM was years behind Toyota. Some of the Z24′s with the 2.8 liter V6 proved to be not horrible but when is the last time a First Gen Cavalier pulled into your local 7-11 to buy a Slurpee and not on it's way to the scrap yard?

The VW Quantum. Ok its not a VW. Its not an Audi. It's an "Vaudi". VW was stuck in the automotive “Purgatory” known as the Quantum. Not that it was a bad car it just had no place to go. Based on the early Audi 5000 platform it formed spider webs in VW showrooms across the USA. To make sales even slower VW dropped the dashboard shaking diesel into it. The Quantum Diesel moved about as fast as Rosie O’Donnell at an all you can eat buffet. A Quantum failure by VW.

The Ford Tempo. Doomed from the start even its name was the start of the word Tempo-rary. In the days after the Pinto, Disco and Son of Sam the Ford Tempo was Ford’s answer to the small car question. Thats if the question was..” How bad of a car can Ford build??” So bad was quality control that a gaggle of Tempo's went out the factory door with the Ford Tempo badge on its front and a Mercury Topaz badge on its trunk. As Ford said in the 80′s “Quality is Job #1″ Yeah sure..

The Chevy Citation. Introduced on GM’s very horrible X-Car platform the Citation was so bad they imploded on the showroom floors. So awful was the Citation that owners were heard mumbling.. “Geezz I sure wish I never sold my Vega” The Citation and the entire X-Car lineup set an all time recall record that stands till today. It was the X-Car that forced the US Goverment to implement the Lemon Law. Hows that for a legacy?

Some honorable mentions are.. Any K-car, Chrysler Cordoba, Ford Fairmount, Saab 900, Audi 5000, Mercedes 190E and the VW Fox. Where did all these Charmers go? Can you think of any?? Let us know.

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