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Were 80's motoring writers mad?

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When I read a road report of a Stevens Esprit Turbo from the 80's they all say that the brakes are great, which leads me to ask were they mad? as in general most of us agree that the brakes are pretty pants.

Your thoughts please.


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They probably were good in them days. Mine is a 1990 and i think the brakes are pretty good on it even though they get slated for bad brakes.

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Hmmm, I'm afraid you might be right. I also don't think the brakes are great either. (I have a 1990 SE). Maybe they were referring to "feel" or some other fuzzy wuzzy car-writers lingo. Gee, and I wish I could find one commenting on the difficulty to bloody turn the steering wheel at parking speeds.

Maybe they were sympathetic that this is like a race-car for the road built by a band of gentlemen who dabble in F1. Or, like all of us totally seduced by the beauty of this car, that we simply overlook these little "eccentricities". :D

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LOL, they've definatly improved over the years, the difference between my GT3 and the SE is unbelievable - I don't care much for road reports though, one of our favourite motor journalist said of the Esprit "I love the driving position" and then a few years later slated it. The only review that counts is your own.


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Ask yourself this question, then you may see why the Esprit breaks were good.

How many cars in the 80s had discs on all wheels and ABS as standard?

Now repeat the Q, but think of post 2005 cars (no specific reason for 2005). That should sum up why we think the brakes are no longer up to modern traffic.

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Come on Chris!

Thats like saying "In the 50's What TV Magazine it says Black and White TV's are good but I think they're rubbish, are they mad?". No because in those days they were good.

Car braking has evolved hugely, as has all car technology. Because of that a modern normal family car will accelerate better than 80's Hot Hatches, stop quicker, be more fuel efficient and have alot more gizmo's.

I think the classic example is Clarkson driving the new Corvette when he says that it's stopping distance from 100mph is half that of the quoted figure from 70mph in the highway code.


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Thanks for the replies, Yep I know braking Tech has progreesed loads (can you even get a car without ABS now?). But I am just amazed when you look back at that old car reports when they go on about how great the brakes are. Other cars back then must have had cotton wool brake pads.


Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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When ABS was first introduced it was a safety feature however IIRC insurance companies charged more for a policy on a car with it. Their reasoning was that people driving with ABS thought that they were invincible on the roads as they'd be able to brake for anything, anywhere! This of course isn't the case and good cadence braking will always outperform ABS so such equipped cars were having more accidents.


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In Europe ABS is now a compulsory fitting to cars and Trucks.


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How many of these lazy arsed journos actually drove them? A motoring writer from the local rag admitted he just had a subscription to Autocar an a lot of it was regurgitaded spiel and press reports. Given the latest shock horror report of the Lonely Planet writers just making stuff up, what's to say a busy motoring hack wouldn't do the same? I have a lot of doubts about some CAR stuff from the 70s...


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Even today much of the reports outside the Automotive magazines are written by a very few self employed journo's who will put their road test out to 10-15 mags and papers in one go.

I advertised in our local Chamber of commerce magazine a few months ago and our agreement was I'd get a free road test report. They sent me the Sub Contracted writers report and I even got to adjust it and remove bits I didn't want. I added in a load of COmpany car data which wasn't there and it was published.

In a best selling Commercial Vehicle Magazine I was told a manufacturer I was working for told them "if you give us a bad report we won't advertise with you in future". Since then I have never seen a bad report on any truck or van, even the truely terrible ones, as long as they advertise with them.

Never, ever believe what you read!


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My 84 turbo - Girling/Solid discs and no vac pump, has better brakes (more feedback and more sheer stopping power) than my Type R Civic.

I guess one of the problems is that the cars generally put on weight with the years.

Steve

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