There are two things that the Editors of Consumer Guide respond to faster than all other things. It’s not fire, threat of personal harm, or even the promise of paid time off that elicits prompt action.
No, the two things that the guys here at CG Global HQ respond to are:
- The statement, “There are brownies in the breakroom”
- Any request for a list of favorite vehicles
One such list, our all-time favorite Oldsmobiles, is presented here. As always, we’d love to hear about the cars on your list. You can share your favorite Olds models down below.
Our Favorite Oldsmobiles
1954 Ninety-Eight Starfire Convertible
Publisher, Collectible Automobile
I’m a big fan of the entire 1954 Oldsmobile lineup. Oldsmobile advertising called the new 88 the “88 that couldn’t wait!” Couldn’t wait until 1955, I guess. My favorite of the entire ’54 lineup is the Ninety-Eight Starfire convertible. What’s not to like about a panoramic windshield and the available two-tone colors?
During the Fifties, Oldsmobile didn’t embrace tailfins to the degree of most other GM divisions, preferring instead a more reserved look. That changed for 1958, when Olds not only flew fins but doubled down on chrome for what turned out to be sort of a one-year wonder. Many deride the ’58 as garish, but in my mind, that’s what the decade was all about. And few other cars — and certainly no other Oldsmobile — screamed “Fifties” quite as loudly.
1961 Starfire Convertible
Editor-in-Chief, Collectible Automobile
I’ve had a couple Oldsmobiles. The first car I ever owned was a well-broken-in 1973 Delta 88 Royale convertible. There was a debut 1992 Achieva SC coupe, too. If I ever went down that road again, however, I’d hope it would be in a 1961 Starfire convertible—the Olds from the “buckets-and-console“ protomuscle era, wrapped in that sculptured ’61 General Motors styling that’s long fascinated me regardless of make.
Toronado was the first front-wheel-drive American car since the revolutionary Cord 810/812 of the Thirties. The Toro harked back to those Cords with its hidden headlights and perforated wheels. General Motors styling under the direction of then design chief Bill Mitchell produced a clean fastback silhouette with distinctive large wheel openings. The innovative front-wheel-drive engineering produced a fine road car for its time.
My favorites are usually in flux, so if you ask me this question a year (or a day) from now, my answers might be different. This time around, I waffled between the 1957 Super 88 and the 1969 Hurst/Olds, and the Hurst won out. The concept of an “executive muscle car” might be inherently silly, but that’s why it’s so much fun. The ’69 H/O is even better when you realize that its wacky hood scoop and spoiler were even wackier on the recently restored prototype car, which was on display at the 2018 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show.
Like Damon, I have a hard time picking favorites. My favorite Oldsmobile list is as subject to change as is my favorite-film tally. But for this week, at least, let’s go with Casablanca, and the 1979-1985 Toronado. There is something especially compelling to me about these downsized Toros; they look both big and lean, and their clean façades help to wash away memories of the bloated previous generation. The mechanically similar Buick Riviera and Cadillac Eldorado charm me as well, but the cleaner Toronado is my pick of the three.