My Uncle bought “Janice” one of these around then. Such a contrast to her wild personality… Interesting to not spot a single one with alloys. Sometimes these days it’s easy to forget how uncommon they were in this segment then. It also makes me wonder why the white 4-door has black steelies? Destined for wire covers, possibly?
It looks like the 4 blue ones on the bottom at the rear might be Oldsmobile’s
Could this actually drive on real roads? Maybe in Holland where everything is perfect and smooth as glass and spotless. I can’t imagine any US interstate or city street that wouldn’t high-center this thing every few feet.
Ground clearance looks to be an issue. Or was there an ability to raise the some of the axles if required?
Many of these carriers had an air ride chassis and most tended to leak down after parked for awhile. You could also dump the suspension, this helped when loading to keep everything stationary. This is a phenomena known as “Dock Walk” when you are loading or unloading the trailer is constantly shifting around as the suspension works and the trailer tends to “walk” away from the dock. You might get a surprise if your the forklift operator. A lot of trailer loading is done without a tractor hooked up so it also puts a lot of stress on the landing gear.
Looks like a GMC Brigadier or its Chevy equivalent pulling the load.
I recall being disappointed in Buick when these came out because they were so un-Buick like. But then a ride in one left me impressed with its quiet comfort…a similar response to a Chevy Sonic a year or two ago.
My sisters each had one Somerset, both V6 powered. In typical GM fashion they were smooth and quiet. The engines were torquey at up to highway cruising speed. In mixed city/highway driving, they held up pretty well. Both lasted to around 65,000 mikes before troubles set in and were pretty well spent by 100,000. One was traded for a Honda Accord, the other for a Chrysler Cirrus.
One of them succeeded a Chevrolet Citation, and we were heartened by how far GM had come since that fiasco.
Not that it’s saying much but the Somerset is probably the best looking of the N bodies, not as garish as the Grand Am and not as dull as the Cutlass Calais (exc. the Quad 442), the full width taillight bar looked distinctive and the integral lip spoiler adds a nice bit of flair, and nods to the Regal.
That’s more blue Somersets than I ever remember seeing. Most were red and gold as best I recall, been years and years since I saw one in the wild
What a depressing load! There is a mix of Oldsmobiles on here as well (lower left), not that you can easily tell since they all so generic and similar. Not a keeper in the bunch.
“What a depressing load!”
Or maybe just “what a load!” 🙂
It’s surprising there are no Pontiac Grand Ams, they outsold the Oldsmobuick N-bodies combined from the start.
Harbinger of modern times.but this load is far more depressing
The truck is interesting, Twin Steer or possibly a lifting self steering axle behind the front axle.
Somerset seems, to me, to be an unexpected name for an American car. Austin Somerset, yes, fits into a very English sequence very happily.
Yellow over red in this set, and if you find one in the loft, happy days!
Believe it or not, there are 35 cities, towns, or other populated places in the US named Somerset. Most are rather small, and I bet all are either directly or indirectly named after Somerset, England. It definitely is a quintessentially English-sounding name, which makes it perfect for a small town in, say, Pennsylvania… or for a Buick.
I am equally shocked. I always thought the Austin Somerset was a stodgy car with a stodgy name – only slightly less awful than the Austin Devon. Can’t imagine how Buick could be so un-cool.
Yeah and the 4-door version used the Skylark monicker previously used for the ill-fated X-cars until the Skylark completely replaced the Somerset name around 1988.
…and the 2-door version was actually called the Regal Somerset in its first year in 1985, not to be confused with the Somerset Regal which was a G-body coupe from a few years earlier. So the 2-door had three different names in four years, which still isn’t as bad as the J2000/Sunbird over at Pontiac which had four different names in four years.
I like how they are all red, white, or blue. A very patriotic group of cars.
Funny, looking at the picture, my mind’s ear can hear the Leaseway 6-71 perfectly picking em off “nanananananananana” and then the lope of getting underway, “eheheheheheheheh” while pulling itself up to settle into the familiar scream.
Neat post. Thirteen N-bodies must equal at least 65 future warranty claims…
My high school best friend Jeff had a used Somerset coupe as his first car (1992). It had the hail damaged on the trunk disguised by the application of a chrome luggage rack and his was metallic beige with wire wheel covers.
I recall the radio mounted to the console with a gap between it and the dash. The radio got the nickname “the fish finder” because LED “fish finders” were becoming popular accessories for bass boats at the time.
Looks like the blue 4 door on the top rack behind the tractor is a Pontiac 6000.
13 is a bad number , indeed.
Looking at the white coupe at the top level at the end I noticed the composite headlamps. Weren’t those only available from 88/89 onwards by which point all of them were skylarks?
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