AUTOS: A Look at the Cars of 1985

Long before President Carter proposed taxes on gasoline and the sales price of big cars, Detroit's auto designers knew they were in trouble. A law passed 17 months ago required automakers by 1985 to turn out cars that average 27.5 m.p.g., v. 17.7 m.p.g. for the average 1977 auto. As recently as February, General Motors Chairman Thomas Aquinas Murphy protested that GM could do so only by making nearly all its cars as small as the boxy-looking subcompact Chevette. But that may not happen after all. In a "hypothetical scenario" submitted to...

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