Goodbye, Strieter

Well, it finally happened. Actually, it happened six months ago, but it became clearly over just recently. Strieter Lincoln had been a Quad City area staple, in business for decades. In addition to Lincoln-Mercury, they also sold and serviced Saabs until around 2000-2001. I first started doing business with them around ten years ago, when I bought my first Town Car–from the local Cadillac-Volvo dealer.

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1978 Cadillac Eldorado: Go Brougham or go home!

As most of you know, the big, floaty Coupe de Ville, Sedan de Ville and Fleetwood Brougham went on a crash diet for the 1977 model year. I recently spotted a magnificent Frost Orange Firemist ’77 Fleetwood Brougham for sale in Palm Springs, but today we will be talking about a Cadillac of a different color. The ’77 downsizing, whether or not you were for it or against it, left only one Cadillac model with truly uncompromising dimensions: The Fleetwood Eldorado.

The original front-wheel drive 1967 Eldorado coupe (a different animal from the 1953-66 RWD Eldos), despite being gigantic, was a clean, stylish and–dare I say it–sporty personal luxury coupe. With its razor-edge fenders, close-coupled silhouette and trendy hidden headlights, it was a beaut, and remained so through the 1970 model year, despite having lost its headlamp doors the previous year. Then came the 1971 model, aka the Wedding Cake Eldorado: layers of luxury. Continue Reading →

1996 Buick Regal Olympic Edition: Gold Toned

GM’s midsizers once had a wide array of models. Today, all that’s left is the lone Malibu (for now), surrounded by myriad potato-shaped combovers. Sad. But the once-common GM W-body, first appearing in 1988, lasted all the way through 2012 as a retail option, and a couple years beyond as a fleet vehicle. A lot of the usual, good ol’ GM-hatin’ suspects, love to mock, maim and otherwise expel carbon dioxide on these cars. Or at least they did back when they were common; I rarely see them anymore, other than the odd mint-condition survivor or ragged yet still running example. This particular one I spied about a dozen years ago at a local used car lot.

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1979 Jaguar XJ6: Remodeled by Pininfarina

The Jaguar XJ6 set the motoring world afire when introduced in late 1968, and was considered the most beautiful sedan at the time. It deserved it. The styling would go through three different series on the original body, and two subsequent redesigns going all the way to 2008. The XJ6 was a survivor. It outlasted British Leyland, the Ford buyout and lives on today with a totally different design language that was finally introduced in 2009 after 40 years of refining and adapting the original 1968 shape. While to this day, I still prefer the classic shape, the “new” design, now approaching 15 years in production, does appear suitably elegant. Just the other day I saw one in black in traffic, and it looks pretty good. Well, at least until they kill it and go all-combover-schlock, all the time, like Lincoln. But I digress!

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1969 Opel Kadett LS: Aber das Vinyl-Oberteil

Here’s your fun fact of the day. Once upon a time in America, you could buy a new Opel. And no, not the rebadged Saturn versions from the late days of the “different kind of car company.” Actual Opels, with Opel badges and everything. But if you’re a little more “yootful” than your author, what really might surprise you is that they were sold through–envelope, please–Buick dealerships. Yes, really.

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Spring Project: Colonial Yellow ’82 Seville

It’s pretty well established that I’m a Cadillac fan, even the polarizing ones like the Cimarron. And the bustle back Seville. As Popeye once said, I yam what I yam.

But I was recently excited to find out that Hot Wheels was reissuing their Seville as part of their ’80s series–which included a 1984 Corvette too. Continue Reading →