Adventures In Badge Engineering: Mercury and Oldsmobile SUVs!
March 21st, 2011 2:07 AM Share
As Detroit was skipping a decade or two of car R&D by concentrating on packing increasing numbers of 128-ouncer-ready cup holders and faux-wood trim into big trucks, it became necessary to make it clear to the targeted buyer demographics that these trucks really weren’t, you know, trucks. In fact, they were more about protection from street crime and potholes than anything else, which is where slapping Mercury badges on the Explorer and Oldsmobile badges on the Blazer came in.
#1990s #1991 #1991OldsmobileBravada #2000s #2002 #2002MercuryMountaineer #Advertising #Bravada #Mercury #MercuryMountaineer #SUV #Oldsmobile #Television #SportUtilityVehicle #Mountaineer #OldsmobileBravada
Published March 21st, 2011 11:00 AM
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9 of 16 comments
You know, the only person I knew who drove a Bravada was also the one guy who could afford to drive anything he wanted. One of my best buddies back in college was a kid who came from real money. Really real money. Once, we were goofing off once in Macau and his father came to visit but had to rush back to the office Hong Kong office. Had a helicopter pick us up and immigration and customs met us on the roof of his building when we landed. Back in the states, he drove a Bravada. Other car: F-150. Son drove an Explorer with crank windows. Whenever I see a Bravada, I think of my buddy's father, who would drive miles out of his way to go to the cheaper gas station.
Nobody with an IQ bigger than their shoe size would buy this crap
I remember a Bravada of this generation in the "experimental assembly" area in Lansing. By that time it was J,L, & N city and Olds really did not have engineering control anymore, so it was an unusual sight. They were looking at a 5.7L TPI Corvette engine in one. They wanted to give the Olds something special to distinguish it, but the rework was too much for the business case to work out. Olds sold so few Bravadas it was dropped for a year or so, if my memory serves. I love the Olds 'face' on the next generation, '96-7. That was the story of life for Olds at the time, there was no money to do much more than badge engineer low volume Bravada. GM actually was on the verge of bankruptcy in '92. The last Bravada was quite a nice vehicle and ironically, the Line 6 engine a product of the former Olds engine team who had evolved into the Line Engine Team in Lansing. Olds was even finally given a first, with the new '02 Bravada out months before TrailBlazer and Envoy. The excitement was short lived when the phase out of Olds was announced shortly thereafter. A good friend, third generation Olds dealer heard the news on the radio while out for breakfast with his wife. I remember her asking how GM could kill Olds just after they got the great new Bravada. Ron Zarrella is the answer.
Signal11- Reminds me of a trip to Nantucket Island a number of years ago with a wealthy friend. His even wealthier friend there had a new '05 GMC Envoy he kept on the island. They needed 4wd occasionally for the sand when going to the best beach for surf casting. I remarked that it was good to see an American brand vehicle. He replied that he chose it because it was the best one on the market! They had expensive Mercedes sedans, too, and could afford whatever they wanted.