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.
So today I got out of the office, made a service appointment with Strieter Lincoln, drove through a near-monsoon through most of the Quad Cities, had a late lunch and settled down in front of the computer. To discover this amazing Broughamed-out refugee from GM’s pre hump-everything-electric phase. A Phoenix! Continue Reading →
Jason Bagge, my compadre in Spokane, and refurbisher of all things Brougham, has once again found the opera-windowed needle in the haystack. This past weekend, he saw a medium metallic blue 1977 Chrysler Newport two door hardtop for sale. It looked good, so he went over to check it out. In addition to the Chrysler (which was pretty nice and priced right) he spotted a gold 1973 Fleetwood Brougham…and this green 1975 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight LS four door hardtop.
These cars don’t exactly grow on trees, outside of marque-specific national meets anyway, but this triple green luxocruiser was extra special, as it was equipped with the ACRS airbags.
After the GM A-bodies became G-bodies, each division did its own thing when it came to deciding what models stayed in the lineup. Consider the sedans: The Chevy and Buick versions departed after ’83. Pontiac’s G-body Bonneville lasted until 1986, after which it became an H-body. But Oldsmobile, arguably the purveyor of the best A/G-bodies in the corporation, kept its sedans going all the way to 1987. All in all, not a bad run for an Olds model that had flopped (at least in four-door form) when it first appeared in 1978.
Well, the Brougham Whisperer, AKA Jason Bagge, has found yet another vintage example of GM rolling stock! This time it’s a once-common midsizer, the ’77 Malibu Classic sedan.
Like so many of the cars he’s tracked down, this car more or less fell into his lap. He bought it from the original owner, an elderly lady who’d been using it daily for 40+ years.
Fellow Cadillac fancier and photographic contributor to this fine website, Jayson Coombes, alerted me this weekend to a most excellent example of 1966 Cadillac he spotted online. This gorgeous Fleetwood Series 75 Formal Sedan, painted in Nocturne Blue, if my estimations are correct.
It was originally listed on this website. A true time capsule, with a mere 15,000 miles on the clock. From the pictures, I believe it. Sadly, she’s since been sold, hopefully to a happy new owner. Anyway, I eagerly scrolled through the pictures. Said photos are very well done. I love it when a photographer knows what he’s doing. So many times, too many times, that is not the case.
When the Cadillac CT6 debuted just a few short years ago, I thought, finally. A new flagship Cadillac. A nice big sedan, like Cadillacs of old. It looked good. But then, I’m a sedan man. Give me a sedan, or an honest-to-God station wagon. I’ve never been drawn to hatchbacks, crossovers and SUVs, though I’ve always loved the original Grand Cherokee and classic Grand Wagoneer.
But of course combovers are taking over the world. After all, why buy a sedan when you can get something similar to a sedan, but with clumsier handling, uglier styling, a higher center of gravity and suckier fuel mileage? But never mind.
For decades, folks stepping up to a Pontiac from a Chevrolet meant getting a genuinely nicer vehicle. Unlike in later decades, from the 1940s through most of the 1970s, the differences went beyond the grille, taillights and trim. For example, the 1972 Pontiac Catalina. The most basic full-size 1972 Pontiac you could get, but it still came equipped with a standard V8, power steering and power brakes. For the miser’s special, you’d have to go across the street to the Chevy dealer for a Turbo-Thrift Six, three-on-the-tree Biscayne, because there was no such animal from Pontiac Motor Division-unless you were in Canada and snagged a Laurentian with the 250 CID six, that is!
The 1970 Pontiacs that preceded our featured Catalina were very different from the sleek Pontiacs of the early- to mid-’60s. They were all-around nice cars, despite a facelift that made them a bit baroque-looking in front view. A year later, they would be replaced by a super-sized version.
A while back on the 1978 Caprice Classic post, one of our commenters asked about deciphering the various General Motors platforms. My friend Carmine explained it all in a subsequent comment. There were a few even I hadn’t heard of (the Corvair was a Z-body?!). At the time, I intended to do a little post on it, and add pictures of the appropriate cars under his text. Of course, as often happens with me, it got put on the back burner, then was conveniently forgotten.
We are now rapidly approaching the end of summer. You know what that means: car shows are dwindling. And soon, will be gone altogether-until next April. And so it was that I attended the cruise night yesterday evening with a friend of mine. Sadly, no Broughams were in evidence. In fact, the show itself was kind of small.
Part of it was the heat-it was about 88 degrees out-but as we heard from fellow attendees, there had been a big show at Green Chevrolet that morning. Apparently most of the usual suspects went to that show instead, leaving North Park Mall in Davenport with relatively slim pickings, car-wise