27 July 2009

Favorite ride

Not a great picture (seeing as it's a photo of a photo, since I don't have scanner capability), but this is yours truly back around 1988. The car is my favorite of all the autos I've owned over the years-a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, with wire rims, whitewalls, the vinyl top that would eventually crack after several years in the Midwest weather-in short, all the best features of a car built in the late 1980s.

I'm really sure my Cutlass had the 305 V-8, which was technically a Chevy powerplant but some got stuck in the Oldsmobile line. It didn't have street racing speed but I could get all of the go I needed on the highway.

The Cutlasses of the late '60s-early '70s were cool cars (especially the 442), and the mid '80s version rocked. The mid-to-late '70s models and the Cutlasses built after '89-'90 were cookie-cutter-no discernible styling or performance to speak of.

I loved that car-drove it to death (nearly literally, as I had a long commute to and from work in those days) and I wish I had it today. My friend JP had an '84 Supreme that he drove from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, back to NW Illinois (about 700 km one way) every weekend, until the engine finally burned up (along with the rest of the car) on one visit back.

Still, a solid design from the late Oldsmobile Division of General Motors. Nice work, ladies and gentlemen.

OK, class-of the vehicles you've owned, what was your favorite? It doesn't have to be the fastest ride in town, or the best looking-but what made it special?

yankeedog out.


  1. The Brown Hornet for me. (1988 Nissan Skyline 3.0 GX). For a bunch of reasons - which I've had a bash at outlining here (you've already commented on that post I think) - but in summary: (a) first real car, not counting grandma-spec Datsun 180B about which the less said the better; (b) inline six with rear wheel drive, brilliant at touring. But mainly for the good times and great memories (makes it sound like a classic rock FM station doesn't it!) Road trips, party weekends, interludes with previous girlfriends etc. All awesomeness.

    Highly commended to Elvis, the 1997 V6 Mitsubishi Magna which replaced the Brown Hornet. Elvis lived in 'Vegas (Brisvegas), had a big arse and scored a lot of hits, mostly in narrow carparks. Big turning circle cos it was front wheel drive - but that was about the only thing against it. Again it was the space, grace and pace of the thing (to borrow a line from old Jaguar marketing), along with the road trips and random missions, which made it memorable.

    Currently - other than the Astra family wagon (Euro small-med thing, bit like a Saturn LW300) - my own ride is a mid 90s Subaru Impreza AWD wagon. Which I love because it's agricultural, go anywhere, hose-out, rough-as-guts motoring, like the old Subaru 4WD wagons I used to idolise as a kid. Takes on dirt roads and frosty mornings like nothing else.

    Would love a Holden Sportwagon SS-V though. Or the Calais V version, I'm not picky.

  2. My ZH Fairlane with the 12-slot mags!


    It was my first V8...I fell in love with its awesomeness and power!

  3. My Holden HJ Statesman was nice, 308, Turbo 400, LPG and it handled. The current ride Ford Fairmont wagon AU SeriesII, I can't complain. It goes, handles well and has comfort features.
    I can't disagree with Doc the Sportwagon is something I'd really like just the money could be better spent.

  4. Doc-I do remember the Brown Hornet! I don't think Nissan called that car the Skyline here, but they look familiar. A sweet late 80s mount!

    I like the Subaru Forester a bit more than the Impreza, but they're probably both good vehicles.

    Those Holdens are the Pontiac G8 here. GM's been pushing those before the Pontiac marque goes away.

    Natalie-Nice ride! Our Fairlanes had a stodgier looking nose then yours did. Looks like Ford Australia took an American Fairlane and grafted a Mustang nose on it.

  5. Bangar-Statesman=Chevy Caprice or Buick here. Big and staid in the 70s-not so big in the 80s. A good car.

  6. Don't be fooled Yankee...those Subies...URGH!

  7. But...

    I did have a 180B SSS coupe...don't tell YOB!

  8. Well, I've owned cars from each of the Big Three automakers and they all beat walking.

  9. 180B SSS >>>>>> 180B Grandma Special with vinyl roof and metal sunshade. You can't go rallying through the national park access roads in the latter. Not effectively anyway.

    Rating the old ZH. The old man had a ZD 351 in rust brown when I were a wee bairn. Fugly looking warhorse but went like a V2 rocket. Similar fuel usage too.

  10. Oh yeah...it had the vinyl roof alright...but it was also powered by a Celica five speed gear box with reverse at the top left and first on the bottom left....it honked!

  11. Vinyl tops on cars-I don't miss 'em. Now convertibles are a different story, and no self-respecting Jeep/Land Rover/whatever should have a metal top at all.