1986 Toyota MR2: Japanese X1/9

Remember the Fiat X1/9? It  was a lovely little go-kart by all accounts, but with its rust-prone steel and thin-on-the-ground Fiat dealer network (at least in the U.S.) it slowly faded from the scene. Believe it or not, there is a nice bright blue one still living around here. I’ve seen it in a driveway several times.

Sadly, not at car shows or on the street, so no pics yet. Anyway, Toyota took the Fiat’s general hard points and then produced a sporty two-seater of their own: the MR2, or “Mister Two,” as it was affectionately dubbed by its fans. Continue Reading →

1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale: Blue Brougham

Poor Oldsmobile. During the 1980s it went from volume champion to being essentially the Cutlass Division of GM, thus finishing the decade in a real bind. What went wrong? Was it the loss of divisional independence caused by the newly formed B-O-C Group? The omnipresence of front-wheel drive? Increased, and increasingly intense, competition? In any case, only one thing is certain: In the late summer of 1985, the last medium-priced, B-body Delta 88s came off the line. Perhaps taking with it the bulk of Oldsmobile’s upper-middle class clientele.

The first newly downsized full-size Oldsmobiles–including the last of the “big” Delta 88s and equally trimmer Ninety-Eights–debuted in 1977. The zaftig 1971-76 gunboats were now a thing of the past. Sales of their attractive, crisply styled ‘sheer look’ replacements took off. In 1977, Oldsmobile set a production record, albeit on the strength of Cutlasses. But the big cars did very well too.

Despite being much smaller than the ’76s, the ’77 Royales had more interior room and trunk space. One shocking development was that the standard engine was not a V8. A 231 cu in V6 came standard, but 260, 300 and 400 CID V8s were available. And popular. Also available was a 5.7-liter V8 Diesel.

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This Week’s Klockau Lust Object: 1980 Cadillac Seville

Oh no! A Seville! When Cadillac sold luxury cars, and where never was heard, any combover word. Yes, the bustle back Seville. Banks of computers are coming online, electricity is churning and burning, as certain RG folks immediately start typing madly, seeing this blast from the past. Great walls o’ text, saying in multiple paragraphs and for the 4,782nd time, I do not like that car, good sir. Oh crap, the RG server is beginning to smoke. BeepabeepabeepabeepaAWOOGAAWOOGAAWOOGA!

Yes, indeedy! *cackles madly*

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Throwback Road Test: 2005 Cadillac Deville

Note: This originally ran on a site run by some dude who bought a Scion xB and painted the wheels red. I drove the car in late autumn 2013, when these were still fairly common as late-model used cars at Caddy dealerships. I’d just bought my 2000 Cartier (which is now living happily in Syracuse, NY with its new enthusiast owner). It was also the first car I drove with a heated steering wheel. 🙂 -TK

Once upon a time, Cadillac sold sedans and coupes, with French names and chrome and bench seats and stand-up hood ornaments. Today, they primarily sell glitzed up combovers and the Escalade-though they do still sell two sedan models. But you’d have been hard pressed to find them on Cadillac dealer lots even before the Chicom Chip Chaos Conundrum-but never mind that.

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This Week’s Klockau Lust Object: 1978 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

Yesterday was our first real dose of winter weather. Fortunately I didn’t have to go anywhere, so I rode it out online, over first a pot of coffee, and later, several screwdrivers.

As I was perusing I came across this most excellent ’78 Fleetwood Brougham. It’s in Buffalo, NY. I’ve always loved the 1977-79 downsized Cadillacs. Continue Reading →

1988 Chrysler Fifth Avenue: Mike Ehrmantraut Approved

So here it is, Christmas Eve Eve, as some may say. I spent the day picking up a pie for Christmas dinner (I don’t cook), hosing off the Lincoln (damn birds, damn berries!) and perusing FB for cars I don’t need or have room or patience for.

And found this seemingly immaculate Mopar M body on Omaha CL. For a rather princely $11,500, but I will admit it appears to be a real time capsule, at least from the photos. Continue Reading →