Here’s a nice little three-way vintage love gathering. It was on busy W 28th (back when streets were still busy), so I only grabbed a few shots of the leading car, but you know this familiar cast of characters behind the Olds Cutlass sedan.
These Seville-wanna’ bes were so common once, but no longer. And this one is a bit worse for wear, but it looks like it’s in the hands of someone who appreciates it.
Here’s its better end.
Back in the good old days, when fuel economy meant making smaller cars, there was a rush to make small luxury cars. They took old fashioned rear drive intermediate cars and loaded them with luxury touches. This was a viable alternative for the corporations shoring up driving alternatives to their large luxury cars and many makes took this route.
GM took their venerable rear drive intermediates, and optioned them up with nice things, added a luxury name to the fenders and produced decent maneuverable luxury cars. Ford took the Fairmont and stretched and turned out a new Granada, LTD, Cougar and Continental. Chrysler put out the Fifth Avenue.
All these cars were good road cars that had proven reliability. The added luxury touches just made them even nicer for those buyers who wanted everything offered in a full sized car, but in a more fuel efficient smaller size.
The market is very different now and just trying to sell sedans has been challenging over the past decade. So, it might be a bit of a challenge for younger generations to find these rear drive intermediate luxury cars appealing. But for folks who always drove big cars, these smaller versions of their traditional rides, were good alternatives back during those days. In many ways, these smaller cars were better daily drivers than their traditional larger rides.
Smaller luxury cars hit the sweet spot for me. Plush, quiet, not much wind noise and much, much easier to park than their larger brethren. I feel no need to have the status of a large car or SUV, I don’t really care much at all what other people think of what I drive.
Oh, I thought that Cutlass was a B-Body for a moment. Good catches Paul, it’s getting harder to find cars from the 20th Century, but you got three in a row. My drive from the Tigard Bottle Drop to Tualatin last week was pretty 90s-tastic with several sightings in a short amount of time.
Poor cutlass. Once invisible as a generic GM sedan in a generic colour without even a vinyl roof or extra chrome or brougham touches (No chrome, no Brougham,) it dutifully trod the streets in simple, unassuming modesty. Then it fell into the clutches of this owner and was subjected to horrible vinyl lettering declaring it to be a clean a$$ hoopty, “Cantu Proud (?),” whatever that is, and a number of other tacky bumper stickers.
This is like taking your nice empty nest church lady neighbour and forcing her out in the streets in fishnet hose and a crop top.
Its missing a giant Monster® sticker and black rims to have the full “Pull me over, officer. I am drunk on some Milwaukee’s Best I found in the fridge in my Grandpa’s basement” package.
Still Klassier than a lot of stuff I see around my part of the ‘hood.
I see it being appreciated by a younger driver.
They are proud enough of it to let other drivers know it is being driven by someone with a pulse.
I never thought I’d be able to say that in a random gathering of three vehicles the Oldsmobile has the most attractive set of wheels but here it is.
The Cutlass has battle wounds in half of its headlights. The middle car–a mid-90s Accord from the looks of it–has mismatched wheels but still seems in decent shape like the Cutlass. Red Aerostars seem to be among the most common of any I see in SC, including a ’91 Eddie Bauer on Pond Branch Road. Just this past weekend I happened to see one on a side road not terribly far from where I live, but judging by the way it was parked I think its good days are well behind it now. If it were for sale I’d be pretty tempted to at least look at it, but the last thing I need is another “project” vehicle with a laundry list of unexpected problems to arise if to be used as a regular driver or for any long distances–I have a 2011 4-cylinder Ranger for daily commuting & an ’05 Astro mostly reserved for weekend/vacation duty, so I’m already covered at all bases.