Posts from ‘Oldsmobile’
For the most part, we identify luxury vehicles not by price, but by make and model. For example, an Oldsmobile 88, to most people, was not a luxury car. But an Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight… we can pretty much agree that the senior Olds was a luxury ride.
So much has changed in American culture over the past decade or so, but there’s at least one time-honored tradition that appears to be holding on just fine: the classic car show. From low-key summertime cruise nights to high-profile concours gatherings, people young and old love to get together and enjoy special-interest vehicles of all stripes. And some car shows, such as those produced by the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association, get big—really big. Goodguys bills itself as “America’s Favorite Car Show,” and every year the company produces an ambitious nationwide schedule of large-scale car shows that take over fairgrounds-sized venues. The events are two- or three-day extravaganzas that typically attract 3500 to 6500 vehicles and 35,000 to 100,000 spectators per show. Put on your walking shoes!
According to website Statista, light-truck sales—which include crossovers and SUVs—have risen from about 2 million in 1980 to almost 12 million last year. One needs only to look around to see that coupe and convertible sales have fallen to all-time lows, but it’s the humble sedan that I am most worried about.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the April 2021 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Oldsmobile’s first compact was the 1961 F-85. Midyear, the line added a deluxe coupe called Cutlass. In 1964 the F-85 grew into a true intermediate, with the Cutlass gaining fans as a sporty premium series. By 1973 it had become the car the public associated with midsized Oldsmobiles and the increasingly marginalized F-85 was gone.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the February 2019 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
The 1942 Oldsmobile brochure proclaimed that the cars were “Better Looking . . . Better Lasting . . . Better Built Than Any Oldsmobile In Forty-Four Years.” Playing off the “B” in “better” and 44 years, all 1942 Olds wore a B-44 badge. This ’42 Series 66 Special, owned by Dave and June Simon of Gardena, California, confirms Olds’s boast of quality and durability. The club coupe has covered 76,000 miles and is mostly original. It has been repainted in its original Metallic Mist Blue, although the engine compartment and trunk retain the factory paint. The tan ripple-weave Bedford-cloth-and-broadcloth interior is original.
The American auto industry’s “Malaise Era” is generally defined as the 1973 through 1984 model years, and it was by and large a bummer for car enthusiasts. A confluence of several sobering factors—more-stringent emission standards, the introduction of low-lead gasoline, and rising auto-insurance rates—rather suddenly put the kibosh on horsepower, and as a result, on fun.
Say the word “hardtop” and any vintage-auto enthusiast knows what you’re referring to: a closed-roof car with a pillarless roofline (i.e., no door posts to break up the flow of the styling). Though there were earlier examples of the basic concept, General Motors kicked off the hardtop as we know it by introducing a pillarless-coupe body style in its Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile product lines midway through the 1949 model year.
Question: What would large-coupe drivers of the Seventies and Eighties drive today? Answer: Not large coupes, because there aren’t any. I suppose there’s still the Bentley Continental and the BMW 8-Series, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.
By Jim Flammang
Not many automobile engines warrant a biography. Ford’s Model T four-cylinder is one of them. So is Volkswagen’s air-cooled rear engine, which powered what once seemed like zillions of original Beetles.