There’s still a pretty healthy contingent of K cars on the streets here, and sometimes one finds them with rather odd stablemates. Like this one. Or this one:
That Prius looks like a minivan compared to the Reliant!
No kidding. Small cars aren’t so small anymore.
I gotta wonder what kind of mileage the economy cars from the 80s like the Rabbit Mk.1 or K car would get with the engines, transmissions and computers of today and the lightweight bodies of back then?
and the K dwarfs the Jag which I wasnt expecting
The Prius looks huge, while the XJ Jag looks so petite. Perspective could be more to blame on the Prius, but the K and the Jag are right next to each other. These Jags always seemed so much bigger than a K car to me. Hmmmmm.
Usually when I find mismatched older cars like this it is usually due to the owners finding deals on them rather than deliberately purchasing them, especially new. That Mazda Millenia looks a little newer maybe late 90s but the others are from the mid 80s and well probably acquired well on in years. What is interesting is to talk to owners who have purchased new or nearly new cars of entirely different kinds. Sometimes it is understandable husband drives a Lexus wife drives a minivan with kids. My best friend’s brother drives an Acura TSX and his wife a Corvette.
Looks like a Millenia in front of the Jag? I’d be most interested in having that somewhat forgotten Mazda in my driveway.
The K-Car brings back fond memories of our 1981 Reliant!
I once knew someone with a Reliant with a custom license plate ‘NCC1864’.
1000 Bonus Internet points to you if you get it without the help of Google
“Sir…our shields are dropping….”
“Where’s the override, the overide!”
(Explosions as our favorite starship’s phasers tear through the Reliant)
“We can’t sir. the’ve damaged the warp drive and the photon control..we must withdraw!”
Actually, there apparently is a perspective thing going on in each picture. I have here specs for the K-car and late 80s XJ from automobile-catalog.com and for the Prius from the current Prius brochure. Specs are listed in order K-car/XJ/Prius:
Clearly the Prius is closer to the camera than the K, but if you look closely you’ll see the K is closer than the Jaguar. A bit of a wide-angle lens also would accentuate the perspective. Wide-angle makes differences in apparent size due to perspective look greater, while telephoto flattens things out.
One of those two K-car owners thinks the Reliant is the pinnacle of quality and reliability.
LOL! Good one.
You must be talking about the K car owner who also has the Jag 🙂
Congratulations CJinSD…you win the prize for “Most Original Comment in Thread….NOT!”
As soon as I saw the Jag in the photo I knew it would only be a few posts before some jackass just HAD to comment on their unreliability.
FFS dude, we’ve all heard it 1000 times before…and it wasn’t that funny the 1st time….BOOOORIIINGG now!
Not only that, I can tell you that I have known dozens of Jaguar owners that had very little trouble with them.
Further to that, I myself have owned or operated dozens of British “junk” cars over maybe 600,000 miles and, guess what? Only twice have I been stranded at the roadside, once in an American Dodge and once in a German Opel.
Seriously guys, I’m NOT saying British cars were ever totally reliable but they really were never as bad as people over in ‘Murica seem to make out.
Or is it that Americans just don’t have any idea how to actually operate a vehicle without destroying it? Hmmm….
I’ll just say this….I’m in Canada these days and I have driven full-size Dodge vans for many years (I have a special need I won’t go into now) and just about EVERYONE tells me “you can’t keep a front end under a Dodge”. Guess what? You absolutely CAN…you just have to slow down when going over kerbs or on rough roads. I can go 5 or 6 years between alignments with no problems and need NO parts replaced. Just saying.
So, could we PLEASE just ease up on the DULL DULL DULL ‘British cars are crap” comments for a while?
Thank you muchly.
From the end of WWII until the wheels came off the British car industry’s wagon about 40 years ago, the US was England’s most important export market. Plenty of people have even made their livings repatriating British cars, because we had more of the desirable models than they sold at home. That they never figured out how to make cars that could shrug off American duty cycles and maintenance practices was an immense failure in itself. Tell the Japanese about how great cars get awful reputations here and how unfair it all is. They could use a good laugh. I used to read a few different British-published classic car magazines. Their accounts of the trials of ownership weren’t so different from the ones I’ve heard from dozens of US based British car owners.
It seems like you’re conceding that your own experiences are colored by your unusual level of mechanical sympathy. If some people don’t have problems with the Dodge van front suspension because they take greater than average care, it is still an inferior front suspension to that of its competitors. Many if not most large vans are owned by fleets. Many if not most fleet drivers don’t exhibit even normal care in terms of the abuse they heap on fleet vehicles. The suspension systems need to be overbuilt, not just good enough that they’ll hang together in the hands of a careful owner-operator. The bar for British cars wasn’t as high as it is for full sized vans, but they still didn’t clear it.
Your remark about maintenance & duty cycles calls to mind the mid-1960s German experience trying to break into the N. American market with powerful Krauss-Maffei ML 4000 Diesel-hydraulic locomotives. Like American car-owners, U.S. railroads expected their engines (by that time mostly GM/EMD 2-stroke Diesel-electrics) to run for much longer between overhauls, which according to one account, shocked the Germans, apparently not used to for-profit railroading. Another account says they were reliable but unsuitable for the terrain. In any case, the attempt was a failure; GM & GE were safe to compete between themselves. EMD has since been sold, & GE now dominates the N. American market.
It’s a good example of how companies that aren’t held to competitive standards do a poor job of fielding efficient products. Operating costs matter.
I loved the K Car..the only brand new car(and her last car)my Grandmother had was a metallic mauve 1989 Dodge Aries sedan with maroon pinstriping and matching maroon velour interior. I took my drivers test in the car, and drove it often. It was no hot rod, but if you built up a head of steam It could safely navigate a freeway(the right lane of course). It got great mileage and you could fit 6 people in a crunch. She was short and I am tall, so when she drove the bench seat was pushed up and I was real close to the dashboard. It wasnt perfect, she had to repair things alot, and would joke that she had $200 tatooed on her forehead because every time she had to fix something it was $200. It had to be completely repainted about 10 years out because the hood and trunk wore out real bad, but once it was repainted it looked real sharp again. K cars were great small cars for folks who werent ready for small cars, the styling, exterior and interior all said traditional american car, which I think in the 1980’s was still a significant market.
I loved the K car as well. It was comfortable basic transportation.
Nowadays cars are not only required to bring you from point A to B, they have to entertain us at every moment when we are driving.
I’m not against all of the safety built into them, but some of the options being put into cars now makes me wonder if paying attention while driving is still important.
Millenia and a Jag? I guess the K-car is the parts runner.
One is a sporty four door sedan, the other is a Jaguar 🙂
K car/Prius owner likely has purchased each new and is an extremely frugal individual.
Dang it I am still in love with the shape of Jaguar XJ sedans, maybe its the big booty… or the prominent front end.
Although the boxy K-car when introduced didn’t get *me* excited, as in concept it was simply a FWD re-spin of the Valiant/Dart, it saved Chrysler & was a packaging of FWD in the American family-car idiom that was more acceptable to many buyers than the downmarket, Euro-ish Escort & Omnrizon. For that they deserve some credit.
BTW, the Prius (a great car) is frugal *if* you drive a lot or continually pay around $5/gal for gas. Otherwise you’ll have to wait a long time for its price penalty vs. a Corolla (for example) to pay off.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Enter your email address to subscribe to CC and receive notifications of new posts by email.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2016 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.