Stuck in a construction zone, nothing to do but look at the car in front of me. Suddenly I whip out my camera and take a picture of its rear end. “Why?” Stephanie asks. “Look again”, I tell her.
Update: So I just ran an errand, and found myself behind another Stratus. Whoa! There’s not even supposed to be a curve to its lettering. Which I just realized, looks really odd beyond being off-center and not symmetrical in its arc. Somebody didn’t so their homework.
Ouch, quality control was arching out of control that day.
I hope it’s the result of bad body work and didn’t actually roll out of the factory like that.
During one summer job in the early 70s, a coworker was describing his new car. IIRC, it was a Plymouth Satellite. The text for one side was above the chrome trim line while on the other it was below. He wasn’t a happy car buyer.
That makes me think of my old Datsun B-210. I had black hubcaps one one side, and silver ones on the other, and of course nobody ever noticed.
But it didn’t come from the factory that way! It was merely a choice made by myself based on the inventory available at the local junkyard. I bet the lettering wasn’t the only thing that was lopsided on your friend’s Satellite, which sounds like it was put together on a Monday by a bunch of guys with hangovers.
My Dad still tells me stories of the horrors of selling Mopars in the late-1970s. Aspen and Volare wagons would sit on the showroom with the roofs and d-pillars clearly misaligned to the lower body, finger-wide gaps around the rear hatch.
To paraphrase a popular meme, not a single f*** was given by Detroit in those days.
Thats bad, I never saw anything that bad selling GM, but was 20 year later, though I did get a GMC Sierra with a Chevrolet gille once and an Grand Am with a set of 2 Pontiac wheelcovers and 2 Oldsmobile Acheiva wheelcovers in the trunk.
The new 1978 Dodge pickup that my workplace assigned to our group had such a large gap at the top of the driver’s door that daylight could be seen through it with the door closed. Needless to say, rain water came right through the gap.
That truck did not make me proud to be a Mopar guy….
Kind of hard to mess that up as insignia wasn’t “glued” on in that day . . . some knuckle head in the fender stamping department punch the emblem holes upside down . . . . and final assembly just stuck the protrusions for the emblem in the pre-punched “holes” . . . (well, its down below on the right side, ahhh . . they’ll never notice). I had a distant cousing who worked at Belivdere assembly for Mopar and he’s got quite a few horror stories . . .
My dad inherited my great grandmother’s 1972 Plymouth Scamp, original car, paint, interior, etc.
I’m appalled at the fit and finish of the thing! Bondo swirls on the windshield pillars, nothing lines up (this car was driven by a little old lady only 30k and always garaged). The paint on the inside of one of the doors (like the metal part above and below the door panel) wasn’t even completely covered in paint.
It goes on and on. I can definately see why most of these cars I see still running around as beaters have giant rust holes everywhere.
Unfortuanate since the 318 in the car is really a great engine.
There is an old nursery rhyme that applies to Mopars – When they were good, they were very very good, and when they were bad they were horrid.
Having lived through the Malaise Era, I still don’t see what’s wrong with car.
Probably rear ended and badly repaired, this used to be dead giveaway when I sold cars, emblems in the wrong place or badly installed.
I’m embarrassed to say that I’m stumped. It looks spelled right. The “R” looks like an “R” and the “A” looks like an “A”. The stickers appear to have been placed in a slight “rainbow” instead of straight across and it’s slightly off-center — is that it?
Is the Toyota-minivan product in front of it rolling on 28s or something?
I was really searching & the shape of the front seats does strongly favor the early 70’s Mopar style…but that’s probably not it either. Being clueless sucks sometimes!
Isn’t an upward slant in writing supposed to be the sign of an optimist? For that matter, so is buying a Stratus, I suppose.
Into the “Stratus-phere”, Baby!
The guy who worked at MAACO must’ve had a creative bent in him to create that subtle arc of the letters.
Is the “A” by chance a backwards R?
Here in LaLaLand I see this all the time, especially on old BMWs. You can always spot bad bodywork when the car’s lettering is slightly off kilter, or in the wrong place, etc. I’m seeing that more and more these days.
It’s got to be a trick of the lighting, but that “A” really does look like one of those backwards Russian “R”s Then again, maybe that’s not a Stratus… Maybe it’s a ZIL Packardski Limousine that used to belong to Leonid Brezhnev.
Oh, I know! There’s an upside-down xB trapped in the trunk lid!
I had to buy new rear emblems for my ’94 LeBaron. At the time, Chrysler (and presumably other manufacturers) used vinyl-transfer style decals… a practice I believe it continues to use for raised lettering like this, too.
The letters come attached to two adhesive templates, front and back. Remove the rear backing over the adhesive, position, and press the letters into place all at once – basically idiot-proofing the process. Whoever did the bodywork on this car may have been a more highly-advanced idiot than even Chrysler imagined.
I think those are made in Mexico….
A Chrysler Stratus… is there anything RIGHT with it?
In all fairness, this generation of Stratus was actually a very nice car to drive. They were reasonably light, the suspension tuning in the Touring models was great and even the 2.7 was not bad in this application due to the smaller car. The interior was quite nice, too.
The problem was at 60,001 km the Stratus started to self destruct, requiring regular cash infusions to keep it running. You’d need to budget at least $3000 a year to keep on top of one, plus all the time involved. At 140,000 km any Stratus was a pile of quivering ooze, simply not worth fixing anything more that say $300.
“Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl. Yes, we can fix your Stratus.”
Either the trunklid was damaged and self-repaired, or some of the letters delaminated like Chrysler’s cheap, mirrorchrome lettering commonly did and the owner scraped lettering off a junkyard car and tried re-sticking them on, or poorly installed new letters bought from Chrysler.
When I bought my old 2004 Impala, I had custom-made mirrorchrome sidescripts made and designed a template to affix them properly to the doors. I took the necessary measurements from new LS models on a car lot.
Look at the pre-2012 Camrys – those letters all curve downhill – a graphic no-no.
I don’t think they don’t curve — the letters are in a straight line relative to each other — but making ‘CAMRY’ follow the slant of the tail light definitely looks wrong.
Yes, that’s what I meant, but it’s still wrong, optically and graphically. The model letters on the opposite side follow the curve upwards! It kind of balances, but it’s still wrong.
We tend to read either horizontally or in the case of rockets, vertically!
I have to be honest. I’ve looked and looked and looked again and I don’t see a problem with the STRATUS lettering.
Of course it wasn’t bad in itself, it’s just a script. However it does make me wonder about other things that you can’t see like cabling and fluid lines and stuff. If they can be so careless with things that’s so visible and obvious, how about things you can’t see? Definitely don’t make me want to try Chryco product.
Doubtful its factory, the Dodge emblem is missing, indicating sloppy repair rather than sloppy assembly, I dont want to try that body shop thats for sure.
I’m going with slapdash body repairs too. Back when 80’s Cadillacs were more common on the road, I often saw repainted examples where you had the feeling someone at the body shop reached into a grab bag of Cadillac emblems, took out a generous handful and applied them to the car wherever he felt like, without particular regard for whether they were correct for that year or model of Cadillac.
A neighbor of mine has a Cadillac XTS that was recently hit in the rear and had to have its tailgate repaired. Moron at the body shop stuck the wreath upside down. Neighbor is an older guy and doesn’t seem to have noticed it, so I haven’t mentioned it.
Some stoner doing final detail at a body shop
More than likely.
I can see the advert now: “Put a new status symbol in your life with the all-new Chrysler Status…wait, who put that ‘R’ there??!!”
My dad’s first Mopar was a Dodge Charger, that he had to send back because the lights in the dashboard were not working, so you could not see jacksh**t at night, and there were three huge bubbles in the white vinyl roof – like it had been tacked on at the last minute. The dealer took care of the problems right away.
So much for “Dealer Prep”.
“…quality control was arching out of control that day…”
For a car pushing 10 years old, one can’t blame the Mopar factory.
See many oddly placed name badges on repaired cars. It’s one way to tell if it was in a wreck.
In early 1983, in my infamous POS ’82 Camaro, I hit ice on the Lynnhaven Inlet bridge in Virginia Beach, Va. one freezing February evening. I bounced of the rails a few times and had to have the front end repaired. Long story short, (and lots of delays due to lost parts and the dealer’s body shop inability to order the right parts), after two months I got the car back . . . minus the “Camaro” emblem on the lower right front fender and the little plastic separators between the headlights. Since these guys were gorillas, I said “f%$! it” and just took the car home. Six months later (after it’s second main oil seal blew), it was traded for an ’83 Dodge Truck.
Between “real jobs” I worked at Earl Scheib briefly before they went out of business. “Manager Trainee” meant I was hired to fill-in for other managers on vacation that summer. I was never going to get a store. No one was leaving, why hire someone? Duh.
This Stratus may have just been a repaint, peeling clearcoat was fairly common on most cars from the period. For the plastic lettering we’d leave a bit of glue residue to remind us of where they went back on. I remember this poor guy who brought in a Explorer, he provided the factory decal striping that went all the way around. The finishing guy totally f^%$ed it up. From one panel to the next, nothing matched up. Another guy added pinstripes to an old CRX. The stripes didn’t follow the contours of the car…..I redid that one myself.
This was the live truck for my first TV station, KTVN (CBS) in Reno. That’s Managing Editor Buddy Frank at the wheel. It’s the day they took delivery…sometime in 1979.
It’s a Suburban.
Behind that big tire on the front of the truck is a GMC badge.
On the back door is a Chevy badge.
There are Warn hubs on the front, but the left back hubcap is a Chevy hubcap.
The right rear is a GMC hubcap.
The badge above the glovebox is a GMC badge.
The one on the steering wheel is the Chevy bowtie.
I do remember a vist to Troncatty Pontiac-GMC in Corte Madera, California, ca. 1978 so I could “drool” over the Firebird Formula I so desperately wanted, but could not afford (nor would the Bank of Dad finance one). I saw a new GMC Caballero. Real sharp. GMC emblem on the steering wheel hub; El Camino badge on the glovebox door. After 1983, Elcs were Hecho en Mexico . . . I am sure a native Spanish speaker knew the difference between “El Camino” and “Caballero” . . . .
Sterling Heights had it’s problems (stoned and drunken workers on the job), but even they wouldn’t have applied the S T R A T U S script that crooked. I blame that on half-assed body work/re-application of the script . . .
Good note, Michael. Another fun story: My father bought a new GMC Heavy-Half (ton) High Sierra. My then brother in law was a mechanic at Campbell-Bishop Chevrolet in Corte Madera. My Dad wanted undercoating. Former BIL said “no problem – have Billy bring it down to the dealership sometime in the late morning hours . . . tell him to pull around back and I’ll open the gate.”
Yours truly wheeled the new Jimmy into the back gate of the Chevy lot to where I was instructed to stay in the truck, but wedge it in between a new shipment of various trim levels of about two dozen Chevy C and K series trucks. I wheeled the truck to the pit, BIL and a co-worker shot the underside, and I drove off. Gratis. Story is that with the Jimmy wedge between Chevies, floor and service managers couldn’t tell the difference. For futher subtrefuge, I slinged my jacket over the tailgate obliterating the “GMC” red letters stamped into the applique on the tailgate . . . (this was November, 1978).
My question: Why didn’t the owner get creative, since those letters were all bunged up and really should have come off anyway? As I did, when I went to put some “Extend” on a rusty patch on my first Ford Econoline van, a 1974.
Some of the name lettering needed to come off. In those days, instead of the Blue Oval, Ford was in the habit of putting F O R D across the back doors.
I switched the D and F, had to break off one pin on each letter to make it fit…and I had D O R F. Hey, it gave me singularity…buoyed by this creative success, I went to P.O my father-in-law…rearranged the front lettering to make it F D R. (A man he hated for all time.)
With STRATUS, there’s any number of things he can do. If he can fake an H, he can drive a TRASH; or U RAT; or SHAT. Or others…
the Stratus was my favorite rental car…nice handling, quick and comfy seats….and I didn’t have to deal with it when it started falling apart!