Removed from its natural habitat and heading down a demanding country road, it’s less supreme. With vague steering and relatively soft suspension, the Cavalier feels unwieldy and often gets pitched off line by mid-corner lumps and bumps. It’s easy to see why, in 1995, Ford regained the upper hand – and its pride – with the Sierra’s ground-up replacement: the sharp-handling Mondeo. On which point, we’ll have more on that chapter for you soon.
Braking performance was good, with the firm pedal offering plenty of feel and easy modulation. It’s well placed for heel-and-toe rev-matched shifting, too. The manual gearshift of the six-speed transmission has a nice weight and precise action.
The Accord is available with a full toy box of technology, too. That’s what buyers want, and Honda does a particularly good job of integrating it all to the point of near elegance. The ergonomics are good, the seats are pedestals of perforated leather happiness, the controls make sense, and everything the driver touches feels high grade. The interface between human being and car is elevated to a new level with this Accord.
"I probably had the most influence on the international side," Miller told Automotive News in 2003. "In the early days of Ford, the overseas [administration] was separate from the U.S. It was run out of New York. It was duplication and very costly. I ... thought that we ought to get rid of the overseas staff and do everything through a single staff in Dearborn. That was really a big decision, but Henry Ford backed me up and we did that."
"The weakest function in American business is human relations," Gilmour said in a 1999 interview with Automotive News. "The good companies make personnel a strategy. That was an Ed Lundy/Arjay Miller legacy. They were thinking about that long before most companies were."
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Ford's bookkeeping at the time was "truly a never-never land," David Halberstam wrote later in The Reckoning, a landmark book that chronicled the ills of America's auto industry.
My goal for the weekend was the Sierra Nevada mountain town of Bishop, California, or just north of Bishop. I was delivering a spare engine to a friend. I’ll take any excuse to do a weekend adventure. The engine was a Lancia V4 (the engine I was delivering, not the engine in the Thor). It (the Lancia engine) had been rebuilt by the experts at Alfa Italia in Burbank and they wanted it out of there. I and several friends wrestled the engine up the Thor Vegas’ steps, rested it on a couple sheets of plywood, wrapped it in cardboard and tied it into place securely. With that I turned north.
The 2018 Accord 1.5T’s acceleration, however, is an improvement on the previous-generation Accord equipped with its standard 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four and CVT. The last Accord had 185 horsepower aboard, needed 7.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, and ran the quarter-mile in 15.9 seconds at 91 mph.
"Henry Ford II's personal dominance of the company gave it a different character, certainly different from other publicly owned companies in the automobile game," Miller said in 2003. "GM and Chrysler were not that way. You knew who the boss was. There were no palace politics with anyone trying to take over."