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Worst car of the 1960's

vicfarlowe

veteran brummie
Only just the 1960's, but my old man's company gave him a Vauxhall Victor Mk 1 out of the pool while his usual company-car (and I've forgotten what it was) was having something serious done to it. The Victor looked quite flash (for the period) but it was a dog. It regularly over-heated, and the gearbox was suspect. But the best came when Dad decided to wash it before he returned it, and his hand went straight through the top of one of the front wings! It was rotten as a pear, as we used to say. I don't know how old it was or how many miles it had done, but it was terrible. But probably not much different to the majority of company pool cars back then.

G
My father was a chauffeur and one of the brand new Humber Hawks he was issued with had rust breaking out on the front wings after just three weeks!!
 

TerryD147

master brummie
Yes, I'm afraid there were some pretty badly built cars around in the 1960s. I bought a brand new Ford Cortina 1600 Super (SRF 184G) back in 1968, painted in metallic "silver fox". Sadly the fox proved too slippery, because the paint all started to flake off (I think that was the wording I used!) after 18 months and I had to have it resprayed white. Not to mention the fact that if you lifted the driver's carpet, there was a sticker saying "No brakes" and the fact that the wipers fell off after about 2 months and the ignition coil started playing up and causing a misfire. I wasn't sorry to say goodbye.
 

cookie273uk

master brummie
MY first car which I bought in 1959 was a 2 year old Austin A40 Farina which I had for five years, sadly rust was it's undoing, not uncommon in those days. Rust does not seem to be such a problem now. Eric
 

paul stacey

master brummie
So very true Eric, I have a Chevrolet Captiva 2010, and it looks like new, drives like new still, you would not see that back in the 1960's. maybe the very expensive car's in saying that in late 60's early 70's I owned a few jaguar XJ6's and wow they rusted while you watched. Paul
 

paul stacey

master brummie
Before the EU, in Denmark, the place was choc a bloc with NSU Prinz's, they still had the plastic seat covers and looked brand new, the reason was that at this time Denmark had a Super tax on motor vehicles, and it was about 80%,hence the smaller cheaper cars.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
They certainly did the rotary engine Mort, not sure about them going broke, the engine was improved and used by Mazda in their RX series.
 

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
I had a Vauxall Viva HB wonderful motor easy to maintain and service. So I bought a new Viva HC it was the worst car I’ve ever owned the window screen wipers stop working as I drove out of the dealer car park. I had the car foe 10 months before dropping it. I was almost on the staff at the Main dealers in Walsall during this months I had a visit for a representative of Vauxall from Luton to inspect the problems I asked if it was a Friday car he didn’t understand so he said. During the10 month I had two new engines because slack pistons, two new clutches, a new gear box after they forgot to put any oil in the gear box, I had a boot full of rain water the roof welds couldn’t be sealed. I have never bought another Vauxhall since. IThe went from one load of trouble to another I bought a new Ford Cortina Mark 3 after the Ford 10 week strike it had to go in for 42 replacement parts it sent 3 days in dealers. At this time I was travelling all over the midlands I had the accelerator pedal assembly dismantle it self whilst 100 miles from home. I had to have to have wheel hubs replaced as precaution after the mechanic hadn’t tighten my wheel nuts up after service again I had rain water in my boot and inside the wind screen wouldn’t seal. When I pick the car up the sun blinds had been defaced with f—- off. I wrote to Fords about the problems I’d had reply came back Fords let new customers find out faults. After this strike the told me that cars had from Fords with many problems an piston had 6 inch nail bent in a piston. A new car had been delivered with no rear near side door fitted the early 70’s was bad times to buy new cars thankfully those days are over. Since the I’ve had many new cars which have been fairly free from major problems. I think the best new I had the one I’ve got at present a Nissan Juke automatic super little car
 

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave
My worst ever car was an Alfasud Ti I bought brand new, a weird flat 4 engine where the pistons went sideways, it was a complete load of junk as Alfa Romeo tried to enter the small car market, I should have been suspicious when they only offered 6 months warranty on a new car.
Yes it looked good with twin headlights etc and had incredible acceleration but from the first day I noticed a rattling, grinding noise on idle which stopped when you pushed the clutch in, what you would usually think was a faulty clutch bearing but apparently all the Alfasuds did this, it was normal :eek:
Then I noticed a pool of oil under the car so back it went to the dealer who discovered a badly machined casting on the gearbox. It was very obvious it had leaked on the showroom floor but neglected to get it fixed.
Then I noticed rust appearing along the roof join, the wheel arches etc because paint was too thin.
Quote: Once customers got hold of their cars, the horrible truth soon emerged. The low quality steel used in its production, and scant rustproofing meant the gifted little car had become infamous for tinworm – owners were finding their new cars would develop widespread corrosion, which could strike anywhere, within a matter of months.

Then after about two months I noticed that when I applied the brakes the steering wheel started tugging to the left. Back it goes to the dealer to find the brake callipers were seizing up and overheating and warping the disks. Were the brake disks fitted on the wheel drums as is normal? oh no, they were inboard and fitted each side of the transmission so didn't get wet or air cooled and easily overheated. I had those disks replaced under warranty twice in six months. Then before the car was one year old and warranty expired I had to pay for two more brake disks from Mario Deliotti who was the only dealership in B,ham, the entire drive shafts etc had to be dismantled to fit them on. It seems there are still enthusiasts for this car and there are forums asking for advice on oil leaks and brake disks binding etc even after all this time.

Needless to say I got shot of it after that and bought a new Nissan which was an excellent car.
 
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Richard Dye

master brummie
They certainly did the rotary engine Mort, not sure about them going broke, the engine was improved and used by Mazda in their RX series.
Eric, the engine was improved by Mazda and it almost bought them to their knees. So much so that Ford stepped in to manage Mazda at one time owning 27% which has been sold. I spent time working on fuel delivery systems for Mazda in Hiroshima. They had a prototype car that I believe was only sold in Japan, (certainly not the US) it was a twin rotor, twin turbo, four wheel drive four wheel steering, went like smoke. Got to be a passenger on their test track.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
ro80 wankle engine or words to that effect :grinning:

NSU Ro 80 - Wikipedia:grinning:

That’s it Pete the NSU RO80. Lovely looking car and am told quite a quality build too. But the engine let it down. My understanding is that rotary engines are fine running at a constant speed and load. Cars place an exceptional demand on the power unit so the rotary engine developed problems with the veins on the cam.

They had hundreds of recalls that sent them bust. I have a feeling they may have been bought out by either BMW ot VW?
 

Chunky AC

master brummie
The worst car I ever had to drive was the Lancia Gamma, an expensive company vehicle that looked good but just was not worth the money very badly finished (frayed seat material) poor fitted carpets. A devil to start especially in the damp. It had a 4 cylinder horizontally opposed engine that was impossible to get to. Fortunately I only drove it for a few weeks prior to leaving the company. I understand that after giving me a lift to the station the day I left The flywheel disintegrated.
1633971289566.jpeg
This one car put me off Italian cars for life.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
I bought and sold two of those a saloon and a coupe, the saloon came from Tewkesbury BCA auction, it had a blown head gasket, when I set about fixing it I found that both the camshafts were worn out, I found a good pair in a breaker's yard.
When it was up and running I sold it to a plastics factory owner and he loved it.
The coupe came and went with no problems.
 

izzy eckerslike

Yaw've med my day yaw ave
I remember Lancia hitting the news as rust buckets, most cars in that era ended up with rust compared to today. I remember my first car was a black 1964 Triumph herald convertible with red upholstery I bought from Spot Garage Bristol road Longbridge. I loved that car and learned to drive in it and pass my test. It had a Spitfire conversion with twin SU carbs and wire wheels and I fitted the Walnut dashboard with all sorts of extra gauges such as vacuum, rpm, altimeter, volt meter, oil pressure etc. The side and rear sills were bolted on and rusted away so I replaced those easily and underneath had to have welding several times but otherwise a great car and bird puller, :cool: I can still remember it's number was BCH 647B. Around the back of Spot garage was the Don trimming company who fitted a new hood on my Triumph (photo property of Geoff Thompson)BristolRoadSouthSG.jpg
 
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