1993 Cadillac Sedan de Ville: Cadillac Style!

Note: This morning’s post was written by my friend, Tom Conti. He has previously written about his dad’s and his grandmother’s Cadillacs (here and here) and today, he’s going to tell us about his recently-acquired Sedan de Ville. Enjoy. -TK

I’ve always loved cars. My family was into cars, and I was born right into it. As a kid the yearly auto show at the Providence Civic Center was my favorite event! Back then, it wasn’t the foreign models that impressed me….oh no. It was the Cadillacs and Lincolns I was drawn to! And Caddies were always around me too….lots of them! My Grandma’s second husband loved Coupe deVilles. He had a ’64, ’69, ’74 and ’78. My Uncle Bob had a ’79 Sedan de Ville, ’86 and ’90 Fleetwood Brougham, ’98 de Ville d’Elegance, ’03 Seville and lastly a ’10 DTS before he passed – only Caddies for over 30 years!

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1976 Chevrolet Caprice Estate: Woodie’s Woody

NOTE: Today’s guest post is by Mark Davidson, another ex-Cantankerous Coot commenter whom has migrated over to RG. He is a fellow Broughamophile and some of his other cars include an ’88 Olds Custom Cruiser and a 1959 Super 88. Please give him a warm welcome! -TK

So good evening. Would you like for me to tell you a story over cocktails?

I’ll start out with this. The next block over from the Avenue of the misfit toys where I live, a friend of mine sold a house and behind that house was a ’65 turquoise color Corvair, a ’65 Mercury Monterey breezeway, a Mercedes of sorts and a ’76 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon.

I knew him when he had that wagon on the road and it was gorgeous. As a matter of fact, I would drive by his house in my 1988 Oldsmobile, which I just bought back last September, and do a side-by-side comparison in the middle of the street. I was so envious of Woodie’s wagon.

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Harley 750, King of the Track, Part 1

Another fine 2-wheeled post by Lee Wilcox! Enjoy. -Klockau

If you follow racing of any kind you know that there is plenty of variety.  If you have followed motorcycle racing you know that there is intense competition between the brands and that one brand will win for a while then another. There is a form of motorcycle racing that is as old as motorcycles in America.  At first motorcycles were used to tow bicycles up to speed on board tracks. As motorcycle speeds increased the bicycles were forgotten.  The next step, board track racing of motorcycles was absolute carnage.  Because of the carnage, circle track or dirt track racing was developed.  This was generally on horse racing tracks and frequently used as an attraction at county fairs.  Wide open throttles with triple digit speeds, no front brakes and steering by sliding the rear wheel.  This is sane?  Compared to board track racing – absolutely yes. One brand has been dominant through most of the history of this sport.  At times, it has required favorable rules from the American Motorcyclist Association to retain that dominance.  Today, however, with rules favoring other brands and models, Harley Davidson still dominates the flat track.  I have found the history interesting and hope you do as well.

The stereotypical Harley rider has become a middle aged professional – typically a lawyer or accountant – wearing expensive leathers and making annual excursions to Sturgis.

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1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel: In Defense of the Olds 350 Diesel V8

My Grand Dad always had a beater, for everyday driving, and a good car, which he bought new and brought out only on special occasions. Once, he said he’d buy a new car when he retired and give his current garage queen, a 1966 Chrysler sedan, to my Dad. In 1977, Grand Dad did retire, and Dad held him to his word.  To replace the Chrysler, he headed down to Carter Chevrolet-Olds and placed an order for what is oft regarded today as one of General Motors’ biggest blunders: a 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with the then-new 350 CID LF9 V8 diesel engine.

The Delta 88 4-door sedan was the most popular 1978 Olds to be ordered with the LF9 diesel. Much like the base-model 1966 Chrysler, the 1978 Oldsmobile Delta 88 was advertised as more car for not much more money than “lesser” automobiles. Undoubtedly this appealed to Grand Dad’s innate frugality, as it still allowed him to have an upscale, but not ostentatious, full-size automobile.

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What The Heck Is Speedway?

Please welcome Lee Wilcox to RG! He wrote some most excellent motorcycle-related content for CC several years ago, and he has given me permission to re-locate them to this fine site. So here we go! There will be more in the future. Please give him a warm welcome. -Klockau

The recent flat track article started a discussion about Harley-Davidson’s lack of competitiveness when it comes to motor sports outside the USA, notably Speedway. Although I view Speedway as riders mounted on overpowered, bicycle-looking motorbikes sliding around a track, I find both it and flat track beyond my capability as a rider. But I’m going to tackle the subject as a writer.

According to my research, both can trace their origins to pre-World War One board track motor sports racing, from which they diverged into two branches, each governed separately; Speedway, by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), and dirt track by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

As you’d expect, Speedway bikes are different because Speedway rules are. Speedway tracks are much shorter than dirt tracks (likely because Speedway didn’t emerge from county fairs or racing on horse tracks), but in both cases, bikes relatively short on horsepower and  braking performance require their riders to negotiate the track in much the same way.

Getting to know more about Speedway bikes proved to an interesting lesson in how to jam the most power into the lightest  package.

The picture above shows a typical older Speedway bike, this one manufactured by J.A. Prestwich. Its engine is upright, and although today’s riders seem to prefer a laydown motor and a lower center of gravity, this early model is functionally similar to today’s bikes, as you’ll soon see.

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1962-63 Oldsmobile Jetfire: With Turbo Rocket Fluid!

Note: Another one from Tony LaHood! The featured car was spotted by yours truly at the Oldsmobile Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, back in 2015. Enjoy. -TK

Our youngish readers might find it hard to believe that in the early 1960s the idea of a turbocharged production car was only slightly less fantastic than that of a pocket-size wireless flip phone. But in 1962, General Motors (Yes, there was a time when GM was a real innovator) rolled out not one but two such production passenger vehicles: the Corvair Monza Spyder, and the Oldsmobile Jetfire, America’s first turbocharged volume-production cars.

The Jetfire was essentially a 1962 F-85 Cutlass hardtop coupe (Holiday Coupe, in Olds-speak) with specific interior and exterior trim and, of course, a big surprise under the hood.

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A Car Girl Buys An Automatic Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ever since my childhood, the BMW brand has been part of my life. I vividly remember my dad’s excitement when brought his first BMW home. Owning one of Bavaria’s Motor Werks had been a lifelong dream of his, and his pride in accomplishing it was worn transparently on his face.

I was 12 at the time and naively said, “Daddy, is it a sports car?”

He gently smiled and said, “No, this is a performance car.”

I’ve never forgotten that moment, not even now that he’s on BMW number eight.

When I was 15, Dad took me to the BMW Museum in Munich, and I distinctly remember watching him, a grown-up kid in a candy store. I learned how to drive stick on his second 3-series. He only drives manual BMWs and I always swore I would do the same, just like my dad. And for my 20th birthday, the old man took me to Spartanburg, South Carolina, for some daddy-daughter bonding at the BMW Center Driving School.

What else does BMW mean to me?

  • M power—and the time my dad made one of his employees take me for a ride in the 5th E46 M3 in our area. Imagine my excitement when Mr. Peters pulled over and told me I could drive the rest of the way
  • Straight 6
  • Rear wheel drive
  • Manual transmission
  • Agile
  • 50/50 weight distribution
  • Naturally aspirated
  • A driver’s car

Well, I recently bought my BMW number eight, and it’s not any of these things. It’s a 2014 BMW 320i xDrive in Basic Bitch White with leatherette—a vehicle of circumstance, not passion.

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Guest Post: Who Is The 35 Year Old Founder Of Rivian Automotive?

This one’s a firecracker! I’ll let the writer claim it in the comments if he likes… otherwise, consider this an anonymous contribution with a lot to say — JB

Do you like trucks and SUVs? Pardon me for reducing you to a statistic, but you probably do. In fact if you are a part of America in 2019, it’s more than ​65 percent​ likely that you do. And with ​1 in 5​ residents admitting they would consider an electric vehicle for their next purchase, the 35 year old founder and CEO of electric truck and SUV startup, Rivian Automotive, must be feeling good.

If that didn’t sink in, let me repeat it: The surprisingly well funded car company you’ve never heard of is headed up ​by a 35 year old named RJ Scaringe. RJ has close to half a ​billion dollars in working capital, and currently employs over​ 600 people in four different cities​. The employees? These are folks with history at companies you probably ​have​ heard of… Mclaren, Lotus, GM, Ford. Given his youth, you may expect for him to struggle in this position, but he really doesn’t suck at it. In fact he’s quite good.

By all accounts, Scaringe is experienced, disciplined, enthusiastic, well spoken – he’s even good looking. This MIT Ph.D toting CEO has enough initials after his name to make you feel like you’ve made some terrible life choices, so how about we look into how one becomes the owner of such esteemed credentials a half decade before being due for a prostate exam?

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Refurbishing The Ark: 1970 Fleetwood Brougham Update!

Last year, I shared my friend Laurie Kraynick’s relationship with her 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. While the Caddy looked great in the pictures, it needed refurbishment. New top, new headliner, some metalwork and eventually, a repaint in the original factory color of Lucerne Aqua Firemist. Such things take time, but progress took a huge jump forward this winter! If you missed the original Broughamtastic post, you can find the link right here! Read on, in Laurie’s own words. -TK

And now for something really important… The Ark is done with Restoration Phase 1 (vinyl top removal/sheet metal work/vinyl top replacement/NOS script installation/new headliner/restored original visors/painting of trims exterior and interior). Phase 2 is next winter, proper paint color and body work. The receipts have been tallied and the cost for Phase 1 exceeds what some folks make in a year, and it was a bargain at twice the price. The top of the car, in and out, looks like its 1970 again. Blisteringly extraordinary work performed by the best in the auto restoration business, you get what you pay for.

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1955-56 Dodge La Femme: I Am Marketing, Hear Me Roar

Note: Another post from Tony LaHood! -TK

You really don’t see as much of this anymore, for several reasons: first, manufacturers no longer have the kind of mad money it takes to design, produce and market vehicles that disrespect the economies of scale. Also, the once-vaunted “halo effect” is increasingly irrelevant to consumers–after all, is the average Altima or Civic buyer the least bit influenced by the existence of the GT-R or NSX?

And then there’s the matter of political correctness; seriously, if a car maker offered a model geared toward a specific gender or other personal demographic today, howls of protest would reverberate, boycotts would form, and the offender would be made to attend automotive sensitivity training conducted by a newly formed Federal Department of Indignation Resolution.

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