Posts from ‘Oldsmobile’
If you trust Wikipedia, the Cord 810 was among the first automobiles to sport hidden headlamps. As far as design trends go, that’s a pretty auspicious starting point. For the purposes of this gallery, we are making a clear distinction between hidden headlamps—those found in or near a traditional grille–and pop-up headlamps along the lines of those found on the early-generation Mazda Miata or RX-7.
After a year of cancelled car shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s lots of pent-up energy and interest around the 2021 car-event season—car lovers are anxious to get out of the garage and back to their favorite shows and cruise nights. One of our favorite summer “super shows” is the Goodguys Heartland Nationals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA. One of the longest-running events on the Goodguys schedule (this year’s edition was the 30th annual), the Heartland Nats always takes place on the weekend closest to the 4th of July, and regularly draws more than 4000 vehicles. This year’s show enjoyed record-breaking participation: almost 5000 registered vehicles filled the spacious fairgrounds facility.
What price luxury? If you were shopping for a new car in 1955, that number was approximately $3000. It was around that dollar amount that the vehicles we might now describe as premium starting kicking in.
It’s called The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and with as many as 300,000 people in attendance, it likely qualifies as one of the greatest events in professional sports. First run in 1911, the Indianapolis 500 is part of the “triple crown” of auto racing, which also includes the Monaco Gran Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Per Wikipedia, “Muscle car is a term for high-performance American coupes, usually but not limited to rear-wheel drive and fitted with a large displacement V8 engine. General Motors introduced the first proper muscle car in 1949. The term originated for 1960s and early 1970s special editions of mass-production cars which were designed for drag racing.”
Much was made of the fact that, as of 2019, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) outsold cars equipped with manual transmissions. And, if you’re of the save-the-manuals movement, this was distressing news, no doubt.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
General Motors was flexing its engineering muscles in the early Sixties, especially when it came to the corporation’s new Y-body small cars. The line of 112-inch-wheelbase premium compacts included the Pontiac Tempest with independent rear suspension and curved “rope drive” driveshaft. Meanwhile, the Buick Special and Oldsmobile F-85 bowed in 1961 with an aluminum V8, followed in ’62 by a 90-degree V6 initially exclusive to Buick.
Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.
Among the seemingly countless tragedies and hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the world this year, the upending of the normal American summertime car-show season ranks relatively low on the list. Still, it hurts to have so many car shows, car races, cruise nights, and other automotive gatherings either cancelled outright or postponed.
The bad news is that fewer than one of every hundred cars sold in the United States is a convertible. (I will spare you the fractional math required to pass along the number of manual-transmission-equipped convertibles sold on our shores last year, but it’s fewer still.)