Posts from ‘Oldsmobile’
The strangest thing about the 1981 midsize-wagon market is the absence of Ford products from the segment. While Ford was still very much in the wagon business, the company no longer produced a wagon to compete directly with longroof versions of the Chevrolet Malibu or Dodge Diplomat.
Fast is a relative term. For 2017, there are a number of vehicles that will make the mad dash from a dead stop to 60 mph in three seconds or less. Count the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Ferrari 488 GTB, and Porsche 911 Turbo among them.
What price luxury? In 1979 terms, that price was around $8000… because that’s about where the base prices of the near-luxury Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and Buick Electra kicked in. Just a little higher up the dollar tree we find the Chrysler New Yorker.
Big is a relative term. In regards to American passenger-car engines, “big” in the early Seventies meant 460 cubic inches from Ford; 440 cubic inches from Chrysler; and 454, 455, and even 500 cubic inches from General Motors.
The last-ever Oldsmobile lineup was kind of a mess. The long-lived brand featured for 2004 a pricey V8-powered sedan, an anonymous minivan cloned from other General Motor’s vans, and a thirsty SUV at a time when lighter, more efficient crossovers were taking hold.
After a decade of healthy economic growth and general future-think optimism, Americans were forced to face an unpleasant truth: The world was no longer an entirely happy place in 1961.
It’s a dead category in the U.S. today, but look back about 40 years and you’ll find that midsize station wagons were very popular. Rendered obsolete by consumers’ preference for minivans and crossovers, the midsize wagon has all but disappeared from the American landscape—unless you count pricey European imports.
In 1974, the experimental German rock band Kraftwerk released the album “Autobahn,” a still-celebrated collection of electronica featuring a 23-minute cut of the title song.
We can talk all day about how much cars have changed over the past four decades. It’s easy to point at the demise of large sedans, the ever-growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, and the rise of import brands. But, one of the most telling indicators of how much things have changed is the language we use to describe vehicles.
For whatever reason, armchair sociologists and most of the non-automotive media seem to have fixated on 1957 as a pinnacle year for almost all American human endeavors. The best fashions, kitchen-appliance designs, diner menus, and, of course, cars, are largely ascribed to this singular period.