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Old 03-21-2016, 09:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1980s American Cars, Guns, Gadgets and Consumer Goods [Atmosphere, look, minutiae

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
SUVs hadn't really quite become a marketing category in the 80s. You still had station wagons and trucks with 4-wheel drive.
Well, a logging company owner in northwest Aroostook County is likely to visit his logging sites from time to time. And that's the kind of thing that even today is noted as requiring special vehicles.

Eventually they make tracks solid enough for the big trucks that carry the lumber to market, but Clayborn Allen (the father) is a very hand-on type of manager and Courtney Allen (the son) has at least a nominal job during college vacations as an inspector for potential new logging sites, so both of them need to be able to get around where there aren't any roads at all.

Not to mention the 100+ inches of snow per year and periodic spring floods that ensure that any good roads don't remain good for long.

1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Range Rover
I thought Range Rover had only just started their attempts to become 'upmarket' in the late 80s and their cars were still pretty rough-looking?

Hmmm..., I guess the 1988 Range Rover is a lot better than the 1980s Range Rovers I remember seeing here, which were boxy and ugly. The 1988 Vogue SE might be acceptable.

Anything made before 1984 is far too utilitarian for the son, might do for the father, though.

2)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Debuts in 1993, unless Wikipedia is wrong.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was apparently the gold standard of the SUV market in the 80s.

It apparently had larger and more powerful engines than the Range Rover, so might be more suited to Courtney than his father. On the other hand, I have no idea whether the Rover V8 engine in 3,528 cc (3.5L; 215.3 cubic inches) has other advantages over the AMC V8 engine, whether in standard two-barrel, 360 cubic inches (5.9 L) or the optional four-barrel, 401 cubic inches (6.6 L) configuration, to make the Range Rover a 'cooler' car for young men.

3)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Chevy Suburban, Ford Bronco (go OJ!)
Good choices. I especially like the Chevrolet Suburban in black as a 'fleet' car for the managment of North Woods Logging.

9)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
An Apple Lisa.
Brilliant. She got an Apple Lisa 2/10 while at Stanford.

Is there anything fancier in the line of ultra-compact (for the time) personal computers that came out in 1988, which would be her last birthday gift? Let's say that the parents spent up to $50,000 in GURPS money, which is what, $20,000-$25,000 in 1988 money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
A synthesizer (Yamaha, Roland, Korg). A cellphone, e.g. Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (likely especially useless in rural Maine). Sony Watchman (Walkman is too plebian; everybody has those.)
Nice! She'll own all of them, but the synthesizer will probably not be among the effects she packs for a short working trip.

12)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Pepsi. Coke's always been strongest across the south. Also of note, the 1980s saw the introduction of the "Pepsi Challenge" ad campaign.
Right, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
And 1985 was the disastrous introduction of "New Coke". (A few months later, they were selling "Coke Classic" to stave off the mobs, but the new formula remained "Coca-Cola" until 1992.) Characters that like soda might well have strong opinions on the matter.
Oh, yeah! Good catch. None of the PCs have been established as 'soda people' yet, but I'm sure Special Agent Frank Corelli has some strong opinions on the audacity of changing something as classically American as the formula for Coca-Cola.

13)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Most of the ones that come to my mind aren't very "adult". Skittles were new in the 1980s. They also had ads in a style that I referred to as "New Wave", which had a characteristic look with a lot of solid areas and costumers of bright primary colors. (Not so unusual in an ad for brightly-colored candy, but that that style was used in a lot of products at the time. To me, it's characteristic of the era. See also the Swatch watches.)
I'm pretty confident that Special Agent Maria Lucia Estevez will prove a Skittles fan.

15)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The craft beer / microbrew trend hadn't taken off in the 1980s. That was more mid-90s. Something from a small brewery would be even more a mark of a hipster than it is today.
Ok, but what beer is everyone drinking in northern Maine, by the border with New Brunswick, Canada and Quebec, Canada?

Do they sell Narragansett this far north? Does it outsell Miller and Budweiser?

Drinking Samuel Adams Boston Lager in rural Saint John's Valley in 1988 is assuredly a mark of decadent urbanism, but is it a decadence that requires periodic trips to Massachusetts to stock up, or can you get a supplier closer to home, if you accept occasionally driving into Caribou, Presque Isle, Houlton, Bangor or Portland?

What other beers can you buy in the bigger towns? What are popular imported beers in New England in the 1980s?

As major adventure NPC Courtney Allen is at Harvard Business School with Rich Doyle (of Harpoon Brewery), we can safely assume that he's familiar with their first offerings, which I'm guessing are the Harpoon IPA and maybe a few more experimental brews.

What are the export beers from Quebec or New Brunswick?
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