Public Enemy’s 1987 ode to the Olds 98, “You’re Gonna Get Yours,” has long been one of my all-time favorite car anthems, and I’ve always pictured Chuck D’s 98 as a mint-green example of the late-70s iteration of Oldsmobile’s top-of-the-line big car. Then I’m at the junkyard and… here’s Chuck’s car!
See, there’s no way the post-1985 front-wheel-drive Olds 98 could inspire the lines “Smoke is comin’ when I burn/Rubber when my wheels turn,” and the pre-1977 98 was just too big for tearing around the streets of New York City.
I had a vague recollection that the back cover of the PE album “Yo! Bum Rush The Show” had a photo of a lime-green ’78 Olds 98, but it’s been years since I purged most of the LPs from my music collection. Turns out my memory was faulty.
The standard engine for the ’78 98 was the venerable Oldsmobile 350, which made 170 horsepower and a non-shabby 275 lb-ft-o-torque. If you planned on rubbin’ on the railing cuz you’re feelin’ proud, you’d want the 403 engine: 185 horses and a burnout-friendly 325 pound-feet.
What other brand of smokes would you find in a car favored by 90-year-old men and old-school New York rappers?