from Car Bibles

Malaise Motors Is Your Safe Space to Love Cars That People Hate

Malaise-era cars haven’t had a huge fanbase, but it does exist!


Monte Carlo

Facebook car groups can be a hot mess. Half of them seem like they’re full of dunderheads asking the same easily Googleable basic questions, and the other half is full of know-it-alls who lambast anyone who doesn’t align completely with their tastes. It’s easy for a group to become toxic or boring, then fade away into nothing. Malaise Motors is, refreshingly, neither.

The Malaise Motors Facebook group is dedicated to cars from the “Malaise” era, which this group defines as 1972 to 1995.

What is Malaise, you ask? To make a long story short, the U.S. had a horrible air pollution problem in the 1960s and ’70s – smoggy air was a common sight in many American cities. The Clean Air Act of 1972, created to clear up hazy skies, introduced limits on how much pollution engines could emit. The side effect, though, is that these emissions restrictions also severely limited output from engines.

Suddenly, a 350 horsepower V8 was now making 160 HP because the era’s automotive technology couldn’t really reconcile making power without making pollution. The group considers the mandate of OBDII, the universal computerized diagnostic system virtually every car made since ’96 has, as the end of Malaise. The group calls OBDII the “beginning the modern era of engine management and emissions control.”

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