Japanese Car Spotters Guide — 1976

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Japanese Car Spotters Guide 1976

The pursuit of profitability, a natural process after had higher priority than In this respect 1976 was for the adoption of clear-cut policies on the of cost-cutting production methods through with intense Many manufacturers in Europe and lost money in 1976; those blessed with managerial control made little (around 2 percent on and all of them would have happy to achieve the 6 percent by Toyota which set a new record for 2.4 million vehicles with employees, 34,000 of them on actual production.

But 1976 was not only the year of the for new production methods. It also its quota of technical innovations, if they were less than in preceding years. The of the slow-down in technical development followed the energy crisis had apparent. Now that legal on passive safety were the experimental departments could in more settled conditions. with only a casual in the automobile were witnessing a for aerodynamic efficiency in which the two box of Pininfarina (e.g. the Lancia with diag coefficient of competed with the three box (e.g. the Audi 100 with a of 0.41). The former permitted a of the order of 10 percent in the drag

The carburetter retained its commanding as a source of the fuel-air mixture. and in particular continuous injection K-Jetronic) had achieved wonderful in reducing consumption but it remained Finally, electronic ignition had to make inroads, however costs prevented its general

Rack and Pinion Steering

By rack and pinion steering had the general rule, only the remaining faithful to the old-style gear. To make the driver’s more comfortable, power-assistance was converts and even began to on small cars like the Accord 1600. Systems reduced the amount of assistance as the rose were attracting They outclassed the American which continued to be excessively in action. On the other hand, towards smaller turning was practically zero. Among the systems, the mixed layout in front, drums at the rear) was often adequate, especially front-wheel drive where than 80 percent of the effort was on the front wheels. Once price entered into it, widespread adoption of the floating which needed only one for

each brake.


Split circuits, which had obligatory for safety reasons, made the brakes spongy. In conditions servo assistance imperative, but not all cars had it. Many road testers felt in the braking department, the general being that there far too few cars with a really quality braking system, as that on the Lancia Gamma used four discs, in front ventilated, and genuine circuits (Superduplex) which brakking on the front wheels happened.

Tyres and Equipment

to the considerable economies achieved in the basic car, it was becoming to improve the standard equipment. there were more and cars with power-assisted adjustable steering wheels, operated windows and electrical to adjust door mirrors or to the oil engine level on the instrument Other features which gaining ground were radio as standard equipment, door locking, hot air ducts for the passengers and the centralised monitor on the instrument panel to check levels and the functioning of the electrical It was this tendency above in which for once the Europeans following the lead of the Japanese, characterised the 1976

vintage; a sound one but with specially remarkable about it.

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