CC Outtake: A Couple of First Generation FWD Cars

Naturally I had to stop and shoot this twosome, as they’re both getting on in years. And they represent the first generation FWD cars of their size class by their respective makers. I had to come up with something to tie them together, although I’m sure you can come up with others too. Like the fact that these both are very space efficient cars for their respective classes. And have great visibility. And…

Strictly speaking, the FWD LeSabre arrived one year after the Electra, but there was very little to differentiate them except for a slightly raked C pillar compared to the Electra’s upright one. And just why did Buick introduce the Electra in 1985, to sell alongside the bigger old B-Body RWD LeSabre for one year? Never mind; trying to make sense of GM in the 80’s is an exercise in masochism.

Given the composite headlights, this would be a 1987 or newer model. It’s showing its age. But like so many old GM cars, it’s still moving. And it’s about as close to being a generic GM car of the era as it gets.

Oh, and it even has the ever-so useful trunk rack. Just why were folks willing to shell out extra money for this device that was guaranteed never to be used? These cars had huge trunks.Never mind…again.

The Rabbit/Golf preceded the new big FWD Buicks by ten years. There’s no question that the Golf had a huge impact on GM, as it did on so many other manufacturers. Sure, FWD small cars had been around for some time, but there was something seminal about the Golf. It was just so logical; light, roomy, good performance and handling, and efficient. It aced all the categories, and of course most of all, it was a Volkswagen; the replacement for the Beetle. It’s a miracle they pulled it off so well after decades of dithering.

Based on the license plate, this is a 1982. And the headlights are not original.

LED replacement headlights. Is this a thing now? Is it a good thing? Paging Daniel Stern.

Not surprisingly, it’s a diesel. The survival rates have favored the diesel version by something like 10:1, at least out here. They were simple and rugged to start with, and they developed a cult following.

But this one’s a hybrid too. Ok. Whatever you say. Covering all your eco bases.

A reminder of simpler times, at least automotively-speaking.