Like everybody else, my childhood neighbors had big, six-passenger cars. Some of them motored about in giant wagons, but most had 18-foot-long sedans like the 1975 Pontiac Grandville. With its choked 455-c.i.d. V8 wheezing out 200 horsepower, the two-and-a-half-ton land yacht sucked down gas at a rate of about 128 ounces for every 10 or 12 miles driven. And yet, no one expected any more.
The Grandville boasted six sets of seatbelts, but they required huge, flat bench seats with no side support. Had anybody actually worn them, those seatbelts would have prevented passengers from sliding all over the cabin--if only the car were capable of anything in the vicinity of "road holding."
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