The unsinkable GM

Perhaps what sunk the company, in the end, was the notion that they couldn’t be sunk.
GM's Bel Air, in better days. (AP Photo/General Motors)
GM's Bel Air, in better days. (AP Photo/General Motors)

In those optimistic, can-do post World War 2 days, when America had licked enemies in Europe and Japan, our dukes were up and we marched forth, at the height of our economic power. So did General Motors, who maintained dominance through the fat 50s, the turbulent 60s and the gas crises of the early 70s. But Japan’s influence began to dent GM’s veneer, the Titanic sprung a leak in their perceived permanent hull—and in the 80s, GM began to make crap cars nobody wanted.

Some kept buying out of loyalty and patriotism. But cheat a man once, and he’ll never forget you.

I still remember the name of the guy who, when I was 21, sold me a 1982 Datsun 210 that turned out to have a bent and repaired frame—it had been in a serious accident, and he hadn’t told me. I found out during the next year’s inspection.

I am no economic expert, but I have test-driven over 500 cars in the last 8 years and can say most of the cheaper cars GM made—the ones Americans who get up and drive to work every day in—weren’t as good, plain and simple, as the ones made by Nissan and Toyota. Many were

Crashes don’t just happen; they almost always involve factors which, if the driver had kept his eyes open, could have been avoided. And, as a famous cowboy once said, “There never was a horse that couldn’t be rode/And never was a cowboy couldn’t be throwed.” -Josh Max/AutoGigolo.com

S.S. Titanic, 1912
S.S. Titanic, 1912