Poster of every Motor Trend "Car of the Year" from 1949 to 2020

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/11/poster-of-every-motor-trend.html

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Go home, 1996, you’re drunk.

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As a ex PT cruiser owner I object to this list on the grounds of my hindsight.

But looking further back I forgive them, :heart: Dodge Omni

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They skipped the original Ford Mustang, but they did include such fine examples of automotive excellence as the 1971 Chevy Vega, the 1979 Dodge Omni, and the 1982 K-Car. In fact, most of the American cars on that list were pretty much garbage.

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Next, you’re going to tell me that the J.D. Power Awards are a bunch of crap not worth the little plinths they’re mounted on.

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As someone who used to read Car & Driver, Motor Trend, and Automobile every month for years, I can tell you that Motor Trend is kind of a trashy car mag. It seems their writers are very influenced by advertising money. There is no other way to explain their taste in cars and adulation for some of these utterly boring and forgettable cars.

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this.

There are so many clunkers and just plain boring cars that during those years literally bring nothing to the table. Additionally, if you really look at it…almost every single “car of the year” is really just a newer version from a different auto maker.

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And if I’m going to complain about things (why not, it’s Friday and I’m reinstalling HYSYS), couldn’t they have scaled the car sizes so that the Golf isn’t the same size (if not bigger) than the Taurus?

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What happened in 53, 54, and 55?

1972 Citroen SM for the win!!! Everything about it is weird. It should be the car of the century.

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I’ve never read Motor Trend much, after hearing others pooh-pooh it. Now I see that I have made a wise choice. C’mon, the Vega AND the Monza?

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What happened in 53, 54, and 55?

Those years were lost to the Big Red Scare. Commies everywhere, or so they thought.

1986: Following a multi-decade shortage, the concept of curves is tentatively reintroduced to a wary American public.

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I always found C&D and R&T to be the best of the mainstream automotive rags. Automobile was good, but it definitely leaned more toward the wonkish aspects when at the time I was reading these a lot that didn’t really appeal to me. I agree that MT was definitely more on the tabloidy side of things and I agree with your assessment.

My favorite car magazine, without question, was Car Craft mostly because it was so much fun and didn’t take itself too seriously.

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How many of these MT winners would make Turd Of The Year in any honest journal?

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Maybe some of these are “Car of the Year” in the same way Time Magazine has their “Person of the Year”.

I mean, 1984 Corvette? Really? The car that barely eked 200 HP out of a 5.7L V8? Really?

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What?!? You mean my square, L7 dad actually bought a brand new Car of the Year in 1981?!? That Plymouth Reliant K was a freakin joke. Good for Lee Iacocca back then but seriously, I never understood why he bought that thing. And I’m gonna stop right here about that.

He did buy a Ford Taurus in 1995 (his last car), 9 years after its getting this distinguished award. And it was my recommendation: I had one as a company car around that time and it actually didn’t suck that hard.

5 of the 71 vehicles shown are Ford Thunderbirds? :thinking:

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Mmhmm. I wonder what the ad to award ratio is for each of these carmakers.

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OK I’m a huge car guy how many of these have I owned…

Oh. One. Well, carry on then.

I’ll defend the K-Car (of which my family had at least 2): each variant might not have been an amazing car, but the platform saved Chrysler. And the LeBaron was a decent car for the time.

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