COAL: 1986 Oldsmobile Firenza – Short Term Flipper

Not the actual car.  

I’d recently moved home, and gotten a job at an auto parts store on the counter.  I’d bought the 1987 F150 and sold the 1992 Saturn SC.  I wasn’t really looking for another car, but a co-worker had bought a new car and offered me his old Firenza at a price I couldn’t refuse.

Let me go on the record by saying I really, really, really dislike these cars.  After having an ’83 Cavalier and driving a few friends’ J-cars, left me with a less than impressed opinion of them. The ones I’d experienced were slow, noisy, poorly handling, uncomfortable – about the best thing I could say about them is that they’d usually run poorly but reliably for a fairly decent number of kilometers.  Another guy at the auto parts store where I worked had a new Sunfire – and it thumped and rattled over the bumps like an old bus.  Alternators, axles, wheel bearings seemed to be common items to fail on them – at least we sold a lot of them at the store.  I’m not fussy about what I drive – but squeaks, rattles, and thumps drive me around the bend.

Anyhow, getting back on topic, my co-worker offered me the car for what I recall was $500.  It started and ran well, the body, paint, and interior were immaculate, the tires good, and a fresh inspection to boot.  I couldn’t pass it up for that.  I figured I’d buy it, and just beat it around ’till I got tired of it.  I wouldn’t lose on it.

If only my dreams and desires could be fufilled this easily…

I went on a road trip once with it, to Moncton, New Brunswick, about 5 and a half hours away.  It worked well enough to get there and back, but like the old Cavalier, it needed a run at the hills to make it up and over.  Hit them at 100 KM/H, you’d be in second gear to the rug.

After a few months passed, I started a new job working in the warehouse and parts counter of a local heavy equipment dealer.  With the new job came much better pay than I’d ever gotten, and the chance to learn a new trade – I was excited.  As it turned out, one of my new co-workers at the new job needed a car, and I sold it to him for what I’d paid for it as a favour.  He and his wife just needed a basic car, and their old one was on its last legs.  It served him and his wife well for a few years, until she had an accident with it.  It was a write-off.  She was OK other than her pride, but he was upset – the car had fulfilled his expectations for him perfectly, and its replacement was to come with monthly payments.

I can’t complain too much about it – I only had it 6 months, but it was forgettable in my mind – I’d never even taken a picture of it.  I still don’t like J-cars – do any of you have an intense dislike of any particular kind of car?