By on September 19, 2011

Over the last few weeks we’ve been to BotswanaMaltaBangladesh and Venezuela. Well I have a surprise for you this week: we are going to the most exotic of places – to the eighties! We travel 25 years back in time, back to homely United States of America, and, you know, party like it’s 1986! You are welcome. That’s what friends are for.

Now, I know it is controversial to study the US in an article titled ‘Around The Globe’ but hey, I pride myself to be able to surprise you week after week so you can’t be mad at me for trying… The only thing is, 1986 might be a very bad year for you to remember and a bad idea for me to pick…. could be for any reason (don’t tell me) but it’s ok if so, there are 155 (truly exotic) countries to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is just great, so click away!

Back to 1986. This was a time when the Top 6 best-selling vehicles in the US and 8 of the Top 10 were all American… Livin’ in America, baby!

The Ford F-Series was already in the lead in 1986. After becoming the best-selling truck in the country in 1977, it advanced to the #1 spot overall in 1982 and kept it warm by the time 1986 was around the corner (and still has to this day)… The 544,969 sales lodged by the F-Series in 1986 are still a far cry from its peak of 940,000 in 2004 but comparable to its 2010 level (528,349).

In 2nd place, the Chevrolet Celebrity shines and is the best-selling passenger car in the country with 408,946 sales. This would be its last year atop the passenger car ranking as it will be passed by the Ford Escort in 1987 and 1988 before the Honda Accord took the reins in 1989.

Just under the Celebrity we find the Chevrolet C/K Pick-up with 403,150 sales…

…Followed by the Ford Escort at 402,181 units.

The Chevrolet Cavalier is 5th with 357,120 sales and would stay in the Top 10 for many years to come.

Oldsmobile places the Ciera in 6th position at 329,930 units.

The Honda Accord kicked off production in the US in 1982 and has been the best-selling Japanese passenger car ever since. It is the case in 1986 when the Accord ranks 7th with 325,004 sales. Note that in 1986 the Honda Accord is the only Japanese car in the Top 15! How times have changed… Interestingly, the Toyota Pick-up ranks 8th with 320,748 sales, a performance that the current Tundra and Tacoma have both failed to reiterate in the last decade.

The Ford Ranger is #9 with 269,490 units sold.

The Ford Tempo closes the Top 10 with 265,382 sales.

Launched in 1985, the Ford Taurus first generation is already #11 for its first full year of sales in 1986 with 263,450 units sold, missing the Top 10 for a couple of thousands units… This is the start of a brilliant career spanning almost two decades and leading the Taurus to the top of the passenger car ranking from 1992 to 1996.

The Top 15 best-selling vehicles in the US in 1986:

Pos Model 1986
1 Ford F-Series 544,969
2 Chevrolet Celebrity 408,946
3 Chevrolet CK 403,510
4 Ford Escort 402,181
5 Chevrolet Cavalier 357,120
6 Oldsmobile Ciera 329,930
7 Honda Accord 325,004
8 Toyota Pick-up 320,748
9 Ford Ranger 269,490
10 Ford Tempo 265,382
11 Ford Taurus 263,450
12 Oldsmobile SK 261,260
13 Buick Century 240,747
14 Chevrolet Caprice 226,132
15 Nissan Pick-up 216,350

Now for the much awaited gold nugget for you to show off in dinners. When I said the Ford F-Series became the US’s best-selling vehicle in 1982, I saw some of you wondering which car was best-seller before it. Yes you in the back, and you on the right: I saw you raise your hand to ask the question… And the answer is: the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme… Yes sir. But that is a whole other story…

Now my dearest readers: first, thank you for reading thus far! Man, you are interested in car sales aren’t you?! Given you are that interested I have a service/donation to ask of you: if any of you has detailed models rankings in the USA before 1986 (and for 1987-91 by the same token) please can you be so kind as to comment on this post and let me know? No need to expose your email address to the whole world, just comment on here and I’ll get in touch with you!  - You will not regret this: I can promise you fame, how about that?!

Thank you very much for your help in advance, it is very much appreciated.

For after 1986, you can check out a yearly update all the way up to 2011 in my blog on the USA Historical pages. (Scroll all the way down to reach the direct links to the yearly posts)

Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.

 

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67 Comments on “Best Selling Cars Around The Globe: America Loves A Celebrity…...”


  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The Chevrolet Celebrity (and it’s A-body kin) haven’t gotten their due here. They had room for 6 at 2717 lbs, with most of the demons of the X-bodies banished. Eventually they offered reasonable performance as well.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Essentially X cars with a new skin, the A cars often live in the shadow. Now, imagine for a moment the GM had not chosen to use its customers as unpaid beta testers and the A body experience was what the original X buyer received. I would imagine that the General might have fared quite a bit better.

      The Ranger is a bit of a chuckle, having just gone out of production. All in all, we have come a long way. I loved the ’80s, which was my transition from college to real life. Don’t miss that automotive landscape, though I wish I had bought a couple of ’60s musclecars…Now about that weight problem that our cars face today…

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Amen!!!

      I have tried to introduce a little attention to the Celebrity here at TTAC, even sending links of the car I had.
      The Eurosport here is identical to my own.
      A bright spot for me in this period.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/37573576@N06/4425901396/

      By the way…I am still impressed how the exhaust sounded on this wagon. It was very cool sounding.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The Celebrity and its kin may not be the miscegnated piles of crap that the X-bodies were, but they are still solidly emblematic of GM’s contempt for anyone who was too poor or too dweeby to buy full-size “real” cars like they were supposed to.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Being poor can be measured in more ways than financial…as you are exhibiting.
        Both “miscegnated” and “dweeby” together in the same paragraph.
        wow….I am stupefied.

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      I had an ’86 Pontiac 6000-STE for a few years, I loved the size of it, and it had as much room as my much bigger 76 Chevelle, with a bigger trunk!

      The 2.8 was a good performer, and the ‘specially calibrated’ 3 speed slushbox was a willing partner, just hated the harsh 1-2 shift, and loved the butter smooth 2-3 shift. It nearly matched the 0-60 time of my fire-breathing V8 Chevelle, and had a pleasant growl from that 60 degree V6.

      It was also VERY quiet, as it was the top-line A-body at the time. I loved all the gadgets in it, and it was a good handler. Braking was mediocre especially for a car with 4 wheel disc brakes though, the drum brake cars stopped better and felt better.

      If I could find another one in good shape, I’d buy it again. I did like the boxyness of it, after having the relatively swoopy disco era Chevelle.

  • avatar
    Syke

    From what I remember reading, the only problem with the A-bodies was that they cost enough to produce that profit on them was minimal. Assuming there was a profit on them – I’ve read that they were money losers, although I can’t quote the source this many years gone.

    Personal experience: Two mid-80′s Buick Centuries, one V-6 and loaded to the gills, the other a stripper four cylinder. Both were (much to my mid-30′s embarrassment at the time) excellent cars. I still have rather fond memories of both.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Wow, but one imports among the top 10, and no Toyota in sight! Heh, it illustrated how recent the ‘import phenomenon’ were. It only seem like it’s always been that way…

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    Wow, 7.9% financing on a new 1986 Chevy. What a deal! Love the fact that Toyota and Nissan had trucks with no real model names back then. I miss those truly compact pick-ups.

  • avatar
    OliverTwist

    Wow, I never knew that my Celebrity was the second best selling vehicle and the best selling passenger car in 1986! That explained the abundance of parts and competent mechanics everywhere in America West during my road trips.

    Just a good toolbox and a trustworthy Haynes repair manual as well as well-equipped auto part stores and petrol stations would keep me going.

    Too bad General Motors couldn’t overcome its shortcomings in the air-conditioning system. I had to put up with the shitty compressor that kept failing due to engineering flaw…

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Of these vehicles, the only ones I still see on the road are the Cieras, and the occasional Ford P/U. Perhaps it’s different in warmer climes…but in these parts, rust ate all the Hondas.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      I live in the south and the only 1980′s vehicles I see in any significant numbers are the Ford, GM and Dodge pickups, and the Ford Panther sedans, GM B-Body sedans and G-Body coupes. The fwd cars (both domestic and import) have all but dissapeared.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    In those days, the GM name still had “brand equity”–people would give a GM car the benefit of the doubt.

    Also, there the “gentlemen’s agreement” that set limits on Japanese cars had just ended. Only Honda (Accord) and Nissan assembled Asian cars in the US, and Toyota’s venture with GM had just started.

    Today people are giving Toyota the benefit of the doubt. But, as with GM in the 1980s, its cars no longer stand out as superior values. And Hyundai is now comparable to the Japanese in the 1980s–with China waiting in the wings to give us the 2015 equivalent of the the mid/late 80s Hyundai Excel–$4995, cheapest car in America.

    Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose…..

    • 0 avatar
      getacargetacheck

      Toyotas in the 80s weren’t exactly “superior values.” They were slightly smaller cars for more money generally. They did, however, last longer mechanically and had better fit and finish. In 1986 you could spend about the same money on a compact Camry as you could on a mid-sized Celebrity with more equipment. GM was well into rebates and low-interest financing by then too.

  • avatar
    eldard

    Tempo? What are the marketing men at Turd Motor Co. smoking when they name these stuffs?

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    My aunt bought one of those best- selling 1986 Chevy Celebrities. It was dark blue with the four banger. Later she bought a 1989 Buick Century and then traded in the Celebrity on a second Buick Century in ’94 or ’95. I took my driver’s test in the ’89 Century. Good times, good times…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Back in 1986, I was still firmly in the Chrysler camp, driving K-Cars – we had our 1981 Reliant, just bought a 1984 E-Class and my mom had her 1979 AMC Concord. My father-in-law had K-Cars, too.

    I really liked the Celebrity, but one of those was simply out of our budget at that time. Our cars since buying the ’81 Reliant were all used. We would not buy another new car until our 1990 Acclaim.

    I didn’t realize the Cavalier (Cockroach of the Road©) sold that well, as I didn’t think too much of them, but that’s personal opinion for you! How wrong I was!

    ©geozinger

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      My family was also a K-Car family. When my sisters were in college they had a 1982 Dodge 400. My parents owned a 1984 and 1989 Aries. One of my grandmothers had a 1985 Aries. And, I had a 1985 Aries.

      I owned my Aries through college and graduate school and during this time I drove it all over the country. In 1995 I traded it for a new 1996 Cavalier. All I will say about the Cavalier is that it is one of the reasons I swore off GM.

      Given the length of the Cavalier’s production run, and the number of cars sold, I will bet it did more to hurt GM’s reputation than the Vega or Citation.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Zackman: To be honest about the origin of the ‘cockroach’ sobriquet, it was originally applied to the FWD X-cars. Growing up in the shadow of the Lordstown complex however, I saw so many Cavaliers, that they became the next generation of CotR. Actually, it really depends upon where you are.

      When I lived in Atlanta back in the 90′s, the CotR was the Nissan Altima or the Toyota Camry. They ran neck and neck for the title.

      Living in Western Michigan now, W-bodies (Grand Prix especially) are the CotR’s locally. The Epsilon body Malibus are rapidly becoming the next candidate around here.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Yes, but the Cavalier fits the “CofR” moniker so well! I still award you with that as applied to the “J” cars!

        Anyway, you’re not going to pass up a few beers, are you?

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    My best friend had one 87 Celebrity Eurosport, first year with EFI in Venezuela. My dad at some point bought used a 88 Century (sold as a Chevy).

    Those were the first EFI cars sold in Venezuela, and I still remember the ad’s slogan: “El carro que piensa” (the car that thinks).

    Comfortable cars, and according to my friend (who’s now in Italy) they had good torque and were very good on gas. His parents still have it IIRC.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    How the mighty [compact pickup market] has fallen…

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    A friend of mine got an early Cavalier as his first car. He used to park it in his driveway facing out, because he thought it was cooler that way. Dude, it’s still a 82 hp slushbox Cavalier.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Wasn’t there a really cool, even fast, Cavalier back then?
      I seem to remember a 2 door with added skirt,red trim, awesome exhaust as well as a big 6.
      Yes…here it is.

      http://auto.howstuffworks.com/chevrolet-cavalier6.htm

      And it even had a smart wagon version.
      This car became especially cool the next model change.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    I’m a little surprised by the Toyota number since imported pickups were subject to a 25% tariff. The Nissan number seems more realistic as they were already three years into pickup production at Smyrna, TN. The Toyotas were very popular though — I almost convinced my dad to buy one. Also, what’s an Oldsmobile SK? Is that the G-body Cutlass?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I’m a little surprised by the Toyota number since imported pickups were subject to a 25% tariff.

      There were (and still are) ways to avoid the chicken tax. If I’m not mistaken, Toyota skirted around it by shipping the trucks over without certain parts installed, such as the beds. They would complete the assembly at the docks upon arrival.

      You might find this interesting: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125357990638429655.html

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    3 A-bodys in the top 15! My first car was an 82 Chevy Celebrity CL, basicaly a loaded up 4-cyl minus power windows, seats, and locks. The things I remember about that car are; the prodigious way it rusted, the gutless Iron Duke that had to be rebuilt around the 100,000 mile mark, a three speed auto that was flawless and impossible to kill, bumpers that were tough enough for a teenage boy learing to drive, and a huge trunk and passenger compartment for the wheelbase of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      But at least it had three tail lights!

      BTW, how’d I beat you on this thread? Doesn’t happen too often, but now you will proceed to beat the daylights out of me for future postings ’til the cows come home!

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Nah, my life is getting busier. Not as much time to stop by during the day. BTW my school district is having a “surplus vehicle sale” I feel like I should go snap some pics for Paul’s site CC. There’s nothing down there newer than 1996.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    As I recall, the 100,000 rebuild was average or a little better for engines of the day.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I don’t agree with that. My 87 2.2 Mopar four went 254K, my friend’s 4 cylinder Toyota 4Runner was sold with 187K on the clock…I am sure that is not uncommon…

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Dad’s ’81 Celica went 165K miles and was still going strong. Mom’s ’84 Citation was almost troublefree for 140K miles when they sold it.Maybe it needed a gasket or two along the way. Dad’s ’83 T-bird turbo was starting to burn oil (turbo seals) at 140K when he sold it. My ’84 VW Rabbit convertible was going strong at 190K miles when I sold it. My ’87 Accord hatchback was going strong at 325K when I last saw it. My ’78 VW Westfalia has 198K miles but then it’s had two engines… LOL!

        My grandparents had the Buick Century with the V-6. Don’t remember the year – maybe 1985? Quiet and comfortable with four people and luggage. Was reliable too for over ~130K miles. I don’t recall any major repairs. Was the right size and weight in my opinion for a people hauler.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    We travel 25 years back in time, back to homely United States of America

    That doesn’t have quite the same meaning in American English as it would in the Antipodes. In US English, “homely” is used most commonly to describe something that is ugly…although looking back at it, that Tempo really was pretty hideous.

    (The joys of being separated by a common language.)

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Can’t believe I’m saying this for a list that includes the Cavalier, but I think the Tempo is the worst of that bunch.

    You see a lot more Cavaliers today, even from that era.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      I haven’t seen a Tempo in quite a while, either…

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Then you need to come down here to the Ozarks of MO!
        Man…EVERY car ever built is still here.
        And they are running!
        Some, however, have become inbred themselves and are parts of lots of other makes and models.
        I think this area should be a seen in the next Star Wars movie!

        I saw an old mini pick up the other day with 3 old bleach bottles roped to the front grill on the bumper.
        Man…this still has me scratching my head.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “I saw an old mini pick up the other day with 3 old bleach bottles roped to the front grill on the bumper.”

        White-trash 5 mph bumpers?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        There are still a few – very few – Tempos and Topazes from the late 1980s and early 1990s on the road around here. The cars that have virtually disappeared are the “upper level” GM compacts – Buick Somerset/Skylark, Oldsmobile Calais and Pontiac Grand Am. All gone, gone, gone…

        There are still a few of the Skylarks, Achievas and Grand Ams from the mid-1990s in daily use.

        I would argue that one is less likely to see a Contour/Mystique on the road than an older Tempo/Topaz (which had the bugs largely worked out by the late 1980s – the problem was a lack of refinement and a dated design by then).

      • 0 avatar
        friedclams

        3 bleach bottles: filled with ATF, antifreeze, and windshield fluid, respectively. Easy access.

      • 0 avatar

        My friend had Tempo which run 250K miles with no problems and was still running strong when he finally decided to donate it.

  • avatar
    Marko

    At my church, there is an elderly woman who drives a 1987 Chevy Celebrity with a whopping 35K miles. (No, that’s not a typo.)

    I still see a lot of Cutlass Cieras, Centuries, etc. on the road, probably due to their simplicity and resulting reliability, and possibly in part due to owners like this.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      And because GM built them almost unchanged into the mid-90s. The ones still on the road today probably aren’t as old as they look.

      • 0 avatar
        texan01

        the only way to really tell is after 88-89 they went to the bubble back window on all by the Celebrity. It looked awful on the square edged 6000, and the Olds and Buick got redesigned rear ends to match the rear window to make them look more fresh.

      • 0 avatar
        steeringwithmyknees

        yes – my 85 century wagon (v6, in limited trim) was an absolute joke as far as reliability goes. Literally everything but the actual engine broke at some point in it’s 155k mile life with my family (first my mom, then me).

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Earlier this year, my brother scrapped his 80,000 mile 1985 Celebrity. It was given to him by his very elderly next door neighbor in 2005, with something like 30,000 miles on it.

      My brother would have kept it going longer, but it had been broken into several times (due to where he works) and the cost of finding glass and body parts for a 25 year old car is not worth the hassle.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The A cars were so much better than the infamous X ones, I owned the latter, a 1980 Skylark with horrible quality and reliability, a cousin got an 84 Pontiac STE 6000 and when I drove it it was like day and night, I cursed GM for selling me such a POS for which I even waited 6 mos for delivery.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      If it is any consolation, my next door neighbor’s 6000 STE was the car that turned him off GM. It replaced a Citation that somehow wasn’t bad enough to discourage Pontiac ownership. The Citation replaced a German VW Rabbit that was far from perfect. The 6000 STE was replaced by a series of Mercedes-Benz cars. He told me that the Pontiac was at least as impressive an engineering accomplishment as the 300E that replaced it, because everything failed within a few hundred miles of the warranty ending. I suppose that is a far lengthier service life than was enjoyed by many a GM victim. Olds Diesel. Cadillac V6-8-4, HT 4100. Monza. Vega…

    • 0 avatar
      epsilonkore

      I was 16, and had been driving my parents 1979 AMC Concord straigh 6(just shoot me) and 1988 Cutlass Calais Quad 4 (fun!) to learn to drive. I had saved almost enough money over the years of working as a lifeguard and camp store clerk to buy most of the car I really wanted, a Blue/Black 1992 Saturn SC2, that I had test drove 2 days before my grandfather pulled up in a 8,000 mile old white 1990 Pontiac 6000 S/E. He GAVE me the car, I was so lucky!?! Could I trade it for the Saturn SC2?! NO! I was stuck driving a 4 door large car that had more chiclet buttons on the dash and steering wheel than the computer lab at school. I was somewhat geekily attracted to this (at night I felt like I was commanding a amber lit starship) but the large lumbering movements paled to the crisp SC2 I had driven 2 days before. I HATED the 6000 for ruining my young Saturn dreams. I kept it for 3 years, looking a gift horse in the mouth every day like the brat child I was in my teens. Looking back, the 6000 wasnt a bad car, other than the 5 alternators that we put on it, it was very reliable and safe (survived a bad side collision and front end collision). Mom and dad drove it to 180,000 miles with few other issues. Just keep the fog lights turned off and the alternator will stop blowing out! I never bought the SC2, and I ended up with a 94 Celica (my favorite car to date) but every time I see a 6000, Ciera, or Celebrity I think back to High School and hauling ALL my friends around (sometimes in the massive trunk, I kid not…) in a way that tiny Saturn never could. I read an article comparing the mid 80′s 6000 AWD to an Audi Quattro, I couldnt believe it then, looking back now I totally get it. One of GM’s few bright spots in the 80s and I owned one… and yet I couldnt wait to get rid of it. One of the many errors of my youth.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        I drove an AMC Concord wagon with the six and gov’t issue interior (former TVA car) and that was part of my car education – what not to buy if sexy was the goal. Same 90HP 3.3L six that my Mustang had. It was reliable but thirsty. Five years later I was driving an ’84 Rabbit convertible through Italy with a 90HP 1.8L. SO much more fun. I it was stock except I put the larger factory 14″ steelies on it with some Pirelli P500 tires. Sticky but they didn’t last 50K miles.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    “The Honda Accord kicked off production in the US in 1982 and has been the best-selling Japanese passenger car ever since. It is the case in 1986 when the Accord ranks 7th with 325,004 sales. Note that in 1986 the Honda Accord is the only Japanese car in the Top 15! How times have changed… Interestingly, the Toyota Pick-up ranks 8th with 320,748 sales, a performance that the current Tundra and Tacoma have both failed to reiterate in the last decade.”

    Is the Camry not a passenger car? I know the Accord outsold it for some/most of the 1990s, but I believe Camry has outsold the Accord in a number of years since 1982.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The Accord easily outsold the Camry during the 1980s. In 1989, it was the Accord that became the first non-domestic (meaning, not made by GM, Ford, Chrysler or AMC) passenger car to reach the number-one spot.

      The Camry didn’t take over the number-one spot among passenger cars until the very high-quality 1992-96 generation was on the market.

      • 0 avatar
        200k-min

        Actually the Taurus outsold both the Camry and the Accord from 1992-1995. I think Camry finally came out on top when the Taurus was redesigned in 1996. Since then the Camry has been #1 except for one or two years where Accord just edged it out – 2003-04?

        Also remember that the Toyota truck was hot in the mid-80′s thanks to one being featured in a movie called “Back to the Future.” Everybody wanted that truck, at least my friends and I did.

        Different times indeed. Still recall my father complaining that Japanese cars were too small. He called them “beer can cars.” 25 years later I crossed both Honda and Toyota off my short list for having vehicles that are too large. Imagine that.

        In 1986 everybody was fawning over the brand new Taurus…it was still pretty rare to see one on the road. I remember a lot of brown Delta 88′s on the road. There were a lot of those as I recall.

  • avatar
    brettc

    My parents owned a blue 1987 Celebrity sedan with “rally wheels” and the 2.8 V6. What a POS that thing was. Took it to Florida in 1988 and we had to keep spare fuses in the glove box because it kept blowing them along the way. Took it to the dealer and they either couldn’t figure out the cause or just didn’t care. Probably the latter option. Needless to say I’ll never be buying a GM product based on what they went through with that thing. My VWs are much more reliable than that POS was.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    We don’t know how lucky we are these days.

    7.9% interest was one hell of a deal in 1986 for a car loan. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage in 1986 was over 10%, tickled 11%, and that was down from rates much higher just a few years earlier. Can you imagine buying a home at 16% interest and doing it with a smile on your face!!!

    Standard auto financing at the time might run you 13% – 7.9% was giving away the store.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I remember when my parents refinanced from 9.3% to 7.5% on their mortgage, they thought they had won the lotto. A few years later they dropped it to 6.5%. Their mortgage was from the late 70s – early 80s originally.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      We re-financed our home a year ago in August at around 3.8%! We owe so little on our house, they basically gave us a car loan. We pay the taxes ourselves twice a year, our bank handles it. My Impala’s interest rate back in 2004 was something like 6% or so.

      In 1978, our mortgage interest rate on our first and only house in STL was 10%! Ouch!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    In my neighborhood there is an old man with an ’83 or ’84 Celebrity in dark blue. It is in showroom condition (I know it’s pre-85 as it has no third brake light). Factory rims, paint only has some light fade that a really good detail could likely solve. Only the back of the rear seat is UV faded, no cracks in the dash. It is a rolling museum piece. We’re always stunned when we see it.

  • avatar
    windnsea00

    From `89-`90ish (born in `86) I rode around in a brown on brown Chevy Celebrity with the 4-cylinder. It was a previous rental car from the family business, CEL on most of the time but it got us through hard times! I remember those car’s interiors having a very distinct smell also.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I always loved the Celebrity/Century/Ciera wagons of the late 80′s and early 90′s.

    My MIL bought one of the last Olds Cutlass Ciera wagons back in 1996. It could seat eight(small people) and given how skinny and young my wife’s family was at the time, everyone could ride in it.

    It was totaled in an accident about a year later. From that point, I found a new 1996 Dodge Caravan for the family which they kept for about 10 or 12 years.

    I could go on about the virtues and shortcuts of all these models. But suffice to say that they were all made well beyond their competitive expiration date.

    • 0 avatar
      friedclams

      I have owned and loved several of those wagons. Pretty amazing combination of handling, space, reliability, comfort, fuel economy… Sadly at this last date they are getting too old to be a feasible dd.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I owned a 1986 Celebrity Eurosport sedan with the 2.8L V6. I really liked the car and drove it for 9 years, until it got totaled by an accident in a freak spring snowstorm. It was light and had no obvious handling vices. It was cleanly styled and had excellent visibility. The biggest problem was rust. It was not a great car, but it was a good car, fun to drive, and easy to deal with.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Interesting to note that while there are posts here of poor reliability, there are plenty that posted positive reliability experience. So, extrapolating (if you will) the design must have been good, but the overall quality of the parts must have varied significantly such that a given car was a bit of a crapshoot…

  • avatar
    Billy215

    Really enjoyed this blast from the past, and looking forward to more 70s/80s stats. But what’s an Oldsmobile SK? A Cutlass Supreme?


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