Once upon a time, back in the ’70s, there were full-sized cars. And unlike today, lots of people bought them. Single people, families, professionals, you name it. It was the Time Before SUVs And Combovers..Oops, I Mean Crossovers. People bought actual cars. True, there were SUVs and Jeeps and pickup trucks, but people who bought them back then were more likely to use them for something besides schlepping to work and dropping the kids off at school. There were, of course, any number of compact, subcompact and mid-sized cars, but back in 1976, there were still plenty of people who stepped up to a big Chevrolet. And the Caprice Classic was the Broughamiest of them all.
Remember Oldsmobile? Sure you do. Well, most people born before 1990 do at any rate. As a kid in 1980s Illinois, my neighborhood was full of them. There was the next door neighbor’s daughter’s beige Cutlass Cruiser station wagon, with wire wheel covers. Her husband had a metallic root-beer brown Custom Cruiser. Across the street and two doors down lived a cedar metallic 1982 Cutlass Ciera Brougham. About a block away, a friend’s mom had a white FWD Firenza hatchback. Expanding further outward, one of my classmate’s parents had a triple burgundy Cutlass Supreme coupe, and both my aunt and a cousin had a 1976 Cutlass Supreme Brougham and ’77 Cutlass Supreme coupe, respectively. So yes, I am familiar with the make, even now, over a dozen years after the marque’s demise. But what I remember best are not the Aleros, Auroras and Bravadas seen in the make’s final years, but the plush, velour- and leather-lined gunboats of the ’70s. Like the Ninety-Eight Regency. Continue Reading →
Was 1976 Peak Brougham? Perhaps it was. Sure, the phenomenon of V8, RWD luxocruisers with crushed velour and landau tops went on for decades after, but in ’76, it was everywhere, and in screw the fuel economy, fully full-sized form. Also, it was the last year for the gigantic Eldorado convertible.
Please welcome Tom Klockau to Riverside Green. You’ve read him on various other automotive sites, including “Curbside Classics”. He’s graciously agreed to toss a couple of articles in for the old-car fanatics among us, self included! — jb
I like old cars. I like new cars too, but whenever I’m on the way to work or the store or wherever, I always keep an eye out for anything interesting. Modern cell phones mean most people are carrying a camera anyway, but I still keep an honest-to-God digital camera in the car. You can’t even make calls on it, honest! And sometimes, I see some pretty cool stuff.