Tag Archives: Oldsmobile

Historiography: The Misapplication of Issigonis’ Engineering Breakthrough

Tweet The first application of Sir Alec Issigonis’ engineering breakthrough – All Photos by Randy Stern, except otherwise noted Remember Sir Alec Issigonis? The innovation he created by switching the orientation of the engine, changing the traditional transmission to a … Continue reading

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Historiography: Memories of Oldsmobile

1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 1
1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Sedan. Photo by Randy Stern

Over two years ago, the last Oldsmobile rolled down the assembly line of the old Lansing plant. It was a burgundy Alero sedan, perhaps a shell of the most famous Oldsmobiles built down the same line. The medium-sized sports sedan represented a marque that once stood for automobiles that were bold and powerful. It was the brand that gave you the Rocket V8 and the Hydra-Matic transmission; among many of the innovations Oldsmobile gave the world.

An Oldsmobile symbolized what was good about cars built in the good ol’ USA. They were cars that sported affordable luxury graced with touches that appealed to everyone. In the good ol’ days, you can tell the difference between driving a Chevrolet Bel Air and an Oldsmobile 88. You can also sense a special air when you revved up that 455 cubic inch V8 underneath that Cutlass 442 when hunting for Mustangs, Road Runners and Chevelles. Continue reading

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My Favorite Collectable Cars

Tweet All Photos by Randy Stern If there were one thing I learned from my second 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance, it would be the necessity of preserving automotive history. I was talking to one of the participants from the Concours … Continue reading

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Five Favorites for the Next Concours d’Elegance

Tweet Next year…if I bring something to the gig… All photos by Randy Stern If anything, the 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance helped revisit some old knowledge I forgot about over time. When I was younger, I used to be fascinated … Continue reading

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Five Favorites From The 1950s

Tweet Photo by Randy Stern Imagine if I lived in the 1950s. In some ways, it was a time for a nation to celebrate its greatest victory, despite a militaristic detour in Korea. It was a time when everyone was … Continue reading

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My Favorite All-American Machines

Tweet As American as apple pie? Photo by Randy Stern Our nation, in all of its glory, blazoned with patriotism and fireworks! This has been a cycle to remember. My faith in this country restored by advances stating that I … Continue reading

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Commentary: Mother’s Day Reflections

Tweet Victory & Reseda wants to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day! The beauty of doing this work and art is to see the diversity of people involved in this game. Amongst you are mothers – something I’ve neglected to … Continue reading

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The Class of 1982: The Legacy

The one vehicle that was introduced during my senior year in high school played a significant part in my life. It helped shape the first 11 years of my driving life. It’s timing could not be any better.

Just like my first car – it was from General Motors.

While the clock continued to tick for the end of 1981, GM indicated that they weren’t finished with their flood of new products. Their next step was to introduce a line of mid-sized sedans aimed to eventually replace its already-downsized rear-drive models. The old A-Bodies were GM’s bread-and-butter. The Oldsmobile Cutlass lineup was the best selling passenger car in the USA. To replace it would affect sales of the entire company.

The plan was to retain the old rear-drive A-Bodies, but rename them as the G-Cars. That meant a consolidation of several lines across the board. The Buick Century sedan took the Regal name, while all rear-drive Cutlasses were known as Supremes. Pontiac was left without a full-sized car in the USA, so the former Grand LeMans became the Bonneville Model G.

The new A-Bodies rolled out on extended front-drive platforms that appeared to be better executed than the X-Cars. Buick’s Century name appeared on their new front-drive mid-sizer, while Oldsmobile adopted the Cutlass name by adding Ciera at the end. Chevrolet introduced their A-Body as the Celebrity, while Pontiac simply used a numeric nomenclature on theirs: The 6000. Continue reading

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Five Favorites for a Pigskin Party

If this was any other year, I’d be happy to celebrate my birthday on Super Bowl Sunday.

Not this year, I’m afraid. It is not because the Minnesota Vikings went into complete retrograde. Just my interest in the National Football League waned severely this year, thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the constant frustration with the state of cultural relations with most major professional sports leagues.

Frankly, I could care less who is playing in this year’s Super Bowl. If it is your team that will be on the field inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis – good luck!

Still, football was one of sports for the longest time. I recalled some memories from the game – in attendance, of course. In some cases, they involved automobiles.

On this special Super Bowl/birthday edition of Five Favorites, let me log back into time to see what crazy automobile-related events transpired around the pigskin and the 100-yard field. Continue reading

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The Class of 1982

Thirty years ago…a lot happened.

The list can go on forever, but I will concentrate on the most important thing overall: Graduating high school. As I realize today that I am indeed on the latter side of my forties, remembering every moment of that year seems a bit difficult these days.

Thankfully, there’s Google. Not for what I exactly did in 1982 – but, rather, the trivial parts of that year.

At the onset of graduation, I ended up the responsibility of car ownership. The 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan of my mother’s was in my care. I was free to do what I please with it – replace tires, fuel up daily, baby the car when it overheated…and so forth.

By that time, I truly grasped the idea of the automobile and its inner workings. At least it was getting there. Sports, cars and music filled my time in-between studies and various plots to go somewhere else. Girls? Well…you probably know where that went by now.

As a public service to the Reseda High School Class of 1982, I offer this little glimpse at our senior year through the windshield of the automobile industry.
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