Dad had a pale yellow one with a black vinyl roof.
So when it came time for me to spend my money for a car all I knew was GM. My first car (bought with dad's money) was a used Mustang....a non-GM product, because it was cheap. But with MY money I bought a brand new 1971 Camaro SS 350.
In short order I followed that with an Olds Cutlass, a Toronado (what was I thinking?) a couple of sporty Buicks, and then it dawned on me: they're junk. (I since have moved on to Honda's, Mazda's and Audi's, with excellent success.)
That was the low point of GM products. For years their market share had gone up and up and they got fat, dumb, and lazy. They could roll out any old thing and people would just throw money at them.
That's what happens when the bean counters get the upper hand over the engineers. No doubt GM had the know-how to build fine cars. But when they'd come up with something really good the accountants would tell them to make it cheaper, use thinner plastic, find some supplier from deeper in some Third World jungle, or whatever they had to do to save a few pennies. They shot themselves in the foot. Their reputation went down the tube.
Enter the Age of The Public Relations guys.
You want to improve your image? Just build a car that can stay glued together for 90 days. That's all....just 90 days. If you can do that, JD Power will put your name on a trophy. GM filled up a trophy room with 'em. Ta-da! Quality improved, reputation fixed, problem solved.
"Crash? What crash? I didn't see a crash" said one GM lawyer to another.
Turns out they knew about the problem for years, but their lawyers covered it up because they didn't want to pay the $.50 to fix each one. It seems the lawyers trumped the PR folks, the bean counters, and the engineers.
I can't help but wonder what the net cost would have been to GM if they had just let the engineers build the car they wanted in the first place? So it would have cost $___ more. So what? If their cars had a reputation for being top-quality and bullet proof, I'm convinced people would have paid the price.
Today they'd have better cars and fewer dead-weight lawyers, PR guys, and bean counters. Win-win-win and win.