By on February 26, 2018

Cadillac-Allante-747

We’ve all got ‘em. Whether it’s that vapid ear worm song from the ‘90s or a TV show you won’t dare tell anyone you watch, we’ve all got some sort of vice in our closet.

Being gearheads, we’ve a few cars to count among our guilty pleasures too. Mine? Well, it has to do with General Motors … and a whole lot of electronics.

Back in the ‘80s, Detroit was running scared from the Japanese. Assailed on all sides from compact cars to luxury land yachts, the Motor City turned to electronics in a bid to lure buyers. After all, they couldn’t bank on quality, and a race to the bottom on price helped no one.

At the time, expensive Japanese home entertainment systems that made Bryan Adams sound as if he were standing on your fireplace mantle were chock-a-block full of identical tiny little buttons. Sure, you needed fingertips like swizzle sticks to operate any of it, but the sound — and quality — was real.

So the domestic manufacturers copied the style. Soon, dashboards were awash in row upon row of Chicklet-sized buttons, controlling everything from the stereo to the power seats. Not that you could tell by touch, naturally. They all were the same.

Allante

Witness my guilty pleasure — the interior of an early Cadillac Allante. It’s a friggin billboard of rectilinear shapes and identical buttons, not to mention a vertical cassette tape player for good measure. I think it’s glorious. Don’t tell anyone.

There are many other GPs existing in my brain for the same oddball reason: excess buttons. The 1992 Bonneville SSEi, with it’s weirdo CRT compass and nine-button seat adjustment (but no memory!) is another example.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Automotive, of course.

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97 Comments on “QOTD: Your Guiltiest Pleasure?...”


  • avatar
    Sceptic

    Italian cars. All of them.

    • 0 avatar
      nlinesk8s

      Yup. Speaking of dashes, I remember sitting in a ’75-ish Alfetta GT. the only thing in front of you was the tach, as if to say: “Whatsa not in front of you, is nota importante.” [sort of reference to Gumball Rally]

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Allante” always puts me in mind of Christina Applegate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As far as guilty pleasures, you just made a public admission that you listened to the “Canadian Elvis”, Bryan Adams. I’m not judging, I just can’t top that.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I have some casual snapshots of a cousin’s in-law’s collection of cars in Nauvoo Illinois. One is a red Allante with black interior, in very good shape. Just checked my photos . . I never noticed how many buttons there actually are on that dash. Dang!

    My guilty pleasure is the motor on any vehicle: cylinder count, induction system, performance, its sonic character, throttle response, torque curves, exhaust notes, you name it.

    Uniform, silent and simple electric motors of the future are going to be boring by comparison, no character whatsoever.

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Mine is maxing out payload and towing while climbing grade or calling a shift on rolling hills using minimum rpm using a gas motor. The thought engineers built a platform I can traverse the country in a few days always cracks a smile.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I really like the current VW Beetle. “Butching up” the styling was 100% effective on me.

    I also have a thing for the Mini Clubman.

    Don’t tell anyone.

  • avatar
    jansob

    I really like the Allante as well, but my real guilty pleasure would be a 1977 Cordoba with “Corinthian” leather and the 400cid engine. Nothing like it.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    The digital dash in any 80’s 300ZX.
    So cool.
    There – now I feel better.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I have always had a thing for the Subaru BRAT.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I have many..but for this exercise.

    Mid 80’s Monte Carlo SS complete with T-Tops and 305 CID. Holds head in shame while turning up the volume on Van Halen’s Panama.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I like the orderliness of that Cadillac, so it definitely has appeal. But I also like the switch on old Saab’s which turns off the lighting on most of the dash. Today’s wacky dashes give me no comfort – I like the old Audi dashes which kind of wrapped around the driver.

    When I used to take my kids (girls) to the auto show, they were never particularly interested in the cars, but like to jump into truck beds or hide in the trunks. One game they created was find the car with the most switches/ buttons – I think they got up to about 140 on a Lincoln.

    My esoteric guilty pleasure is the seat back adjustment knob for vw / other German cars. The cheap lever on most cars annoys me. (Also, my first real car was a vw.)

  • avatar
    Sobro

    I enjoyed driving the much-maligned Chevy Vega as a teenager. I called it a baby Camaro. Rust was never a problem in the Mid-South. And much like a DC-3, the mantra at gas stops was “fill it up with oil and top off the fuel tank”. And with the hatch open it could hold nearly as many teenagers as a DC-3 could.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    The 1994 Buick LeSabre Mom gave to me in 2008. Light metallic blue, cloth bench seats, fake wire wheels, and less than 25K miles – a real grandma car. I wasn’t too excited at first, but I grew to love the car. Smooth, quiet, comfortable, surprisingly economical, fine cruiser, fairly reliable, and cheap to fix.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      No reason to feel guilty about this car. Tons of these cars still exist in varying levels of (dis) repair plying the streets of ‘Merica.

      I remember feeling the same way when I drove a 94′ Park Ave. I was 100% shocked at how nice the car was, I drove it for a demo for a few days when I was selling VW’s back in 97’. Shockingly, it was my first introduction to a GM car and I was quite surprised based on what I had been told as to how bad they were. Course, I was selling used VW’s at the time, so I was accustomed to seeing some serious piles of trash come in, especially the first model run of the Passat. That was a terrible car…

  • avatar
    la834

    ’70s customized vans. You know, mural on the side, a little round bubble window near the back, and inside, a wet bar, a bed, and shag carpeting on every possible surface. Love ’em. Miss ’em. When I was a kid, wanted one when I grew up, but by the time I grew up they were all gone. #borntoolate

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’m a 36 year+ GM Retiree, that once swore of Ford products. I love convertibles, and I love Mustangs, and have a passion for Mustang convertibles.

    In that vast array of domestic truck configurations available , give me a 4X4 Regular Cab, base model , 8 ft box.. work truck.

    I know, kind of odd “guilty pleasures” for a 64 year old guy. However QOTD was asked !

    Well, I really don’t have any need for the truck, or for that matter a Mustang convertible. With spring slowly showing its face here, I do know where to find a sweet 05 GT 5 speed…Hmmmmm ????

  • avatar

    Weird and/or bad SUVs from the 90s and early 00s. Things like:

    Acura SLX and Isuzu Trooper
    Suzuki X90
    Montero Limited
    Discovery II

    From the same time period, the gigantic and boaty Q45 gen 2.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I have no shame, so I have always been upfront with my admiration of crossovers. As a native New Yorker I like that they fit more car into a shorter, easier to park footprint. As an engineer I like their packaging efficiency. As a contrarian I enjoy how much they enrage and trigger automotive purists. A trifecta of win. Granted I hope to never have to have one as my daily driver, but philosophically they push the right buttons for me.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    The ’85-’87 Pontiac Fiero V6. I know the brakes are a joke, it rides like an ox cart, and it can’t get around an autocross course as fast as an MR2, CRX, or Miata. But driving one makes you feel cooler than Sonny Crockett and Thomas Magnum put together.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      At the time, I was thinking what a great place the world had become. Those plus the Fiat X1/9. I had the early MR2. And you could get (I did) a V8 notch Mustang manual with crank windows, cheap seats and radio delete for the price of a loaded Corolla! I didn’t think it would ever end..

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    I love the buttons. Pre airbag Pontiacs with the majority of the radio controls duplicated on the steering wheel come to mind. The Pontiac 6000 STE is a good example of buttons being cool even if they have no practical use. The AC controls are buttons on this car vs. the usual levers of the other trims. If you really look at them you soon realize they simply replaced the lever with the buttons as the layout is overwise the same. No different or added functionality.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Bose stereo in my Tahoe and everything about my Miata. Guys give me grief about driving a “chick car”, but it’s just fun to drive.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Four-doors. I’d take a 190E 2.3-16 over any 80’s sports car (M3 possibly excepted). I’d take a current M3 over the M4. 5-series over a 6-series. In my life I’ve lusted after Ladas, W124 300E’s, Volvo S60 race cars, and the Alfa 164S. Now, if any of those came in the equivalent wagon, I’d lust after them even more ardently.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Low mileage anything…uhhhg

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Also – 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix – with the quad rectangular headlights – and t-tops!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    EVs – I hate that they are subsidized (and that they are vastly over-priced if not subsidized).
    I hate their short range and long “refueling” time.
    I hate the “save the world” smugness of many EV owners.
    I am very doubtful of the environmental benefits of coal powered EVs.
    …but the good ones do drive very nicely, and the terrible resale value on most make them great used buys.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> EVs – I hate that they are subsidized (and that they are vastly over-priced if not subsidized).

      Yeah, I hear ya, but those subsidies are going away/running out. If it’s any comfort to you, I used oil earnings to buy my EV which included some subsidies.

      Once you drive one it doesn’t seem so overpriced. At the low end, they feel like a V8 compared with the 4 cylinder CVT powered ICE versions. If I end up with a Mission E, it’ll be over-priced equally with other Porsches.

      >> I hate their short range and long “refueling” time.

      With the Porsche or the new Roadster and Tesla Mega-charger, you’ll be able to put in 250 miles in less than ten minutes. That’s not bad for me. Now, it’s a non-issue since I don’t take trips more than 150 miles in a car. With the current car’s 100 mile range, if I move the office 6 miles away, the range isn’t an issue. The 300-mile range with the Porsche, Model S, and the 600-mile range in the roadster, I’ll look at the range gauge only on rare occasions.

      Even now, I always have stuff to do while the car charges. Checking email, working, eating, and sleeping while the car charges. The car typically finishes charging before I’m even done with what I’m doing.

      It’s kind of weird that you go as far as hating a certain aspect of a car that you don’t even own. If you don’t like something, why the hate? Just don’t buy one and understand that some of us that own EVs are perfectly happy with them.

      >> I hate the “save the world” smugness of many EV owners.

      Personally, I’ve only run into one EV owner that had any sort-of green smugness. They weren’t happy with my oil investments. Most EVs owners I’ve met are into the performance aspects like me. The most green/smug people that I’ve met are Subaru owners. They are annoying. You’d think my EV would get me off the hook, you’re wrong. They’re anti-personal electronics and anything modern, except when they decide they want them.

      >> I am very doubtful of the environmental benefits of coal powered EVs.

      In my area, we don’t have coal plants. I’m near three big solar farms that my local utility built and after that, it’s natural gas and nuclear plants. Personally, when I’m stuck in traffic, I care more about what’s coming out of the exhaust of the cars around me rather than what’s coming out of the stack of a distant power plant.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        ” I care more about what’s coming out of the exhaust of the cars around me rather than what’s coming out of the stack of a distant power plant.”

        LMAO

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        MCS: glad you are happy with your EV, but I don’t share your optimism. The most optimistic projections within the realm of possibility predict fossil fuels will account for 75+% of global energy use in 2050, so coal powered EVs will be very common if they continue to be pushed by governments around the world (even if they are clean in your neighborhood). As for 10 minute refueling of 600 mile range EVs – I expect you will be waiting a long time since they will require major grid enhancement investments and battery improvement discoveries, which always seem to be 5 to 10 years away. In the meantime I have two cars today that have 500 to 800 mile ranges, which can be “recharged” with fossil fuels in 5 minutes, and didn’t force taxpayers to subsidize my vehicle choice.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Nissan Y31 Cedric/Gloria Cima. (Relatively) big cushy hardtop sedan, looks like an early ’90s Buick, but built at the height of the Japan Inc era.

    youtube.com/watch?v=zZKiknAte5w

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      https://austin.craigslist.org/cto/d/1991-nissan-gloria-brougham/6477449247.html

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The regular Y31 is a nice consolation prize, but the Cima got you DOHC heads to go with your VG30 turbo. For a regular Y31 I’d want one of the super-rare factory manuals and do a VQ swap.

      • 0 avatar

        Ya know, that Gloria looks a lot like a similar era Cressida.

        Also, didn’t the Gloria in its next iteration get a weird chunky front with quad headlamps? Some BMW/Bentley mashup thing.

        This may be a Rare Rides because I like it.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Yeah, Nissan held onto the mid-80s box styling a bit longer than they should have. The Cima was their first car to start off down the rounded jellybean road in 1988.

          The Y32 Cedric/Gloria had the ersatz-BMW front end as a common option.
          http://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/NISSAN/CEDRIC/700130054430170201002/index.html

          The “standard” front end was more Cima-ish.
          http://www.goo-net-exchange.com/usedcars/NISSAN/CEDRIC/700054078930170715007/index.html

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        Wow that steering wheel! At first I thought it was just a funky design with three spokes all sprouting out to the left; then I realized the hub stays put while the rim and spokes spin around it. Didn’t realize there were any cars like this that weren’t Edsels….

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Small, two-seater roadsters. I guess if I wanted to impress the boys on poker night, a muscle car or bro-dozer would better do the trick, but I couldn’t care less how I look…I can flog the hell out of it and shift 5 times between stopping at intersections without killing someone in the process. They’re the definition of a “fun car”.

  • avatar

    Detroit came out with some interesting looking dashes at that time. Unfortunately, the interior plastics used were cheap looking. The buttons on some Pontiacs looked like chicklet candies. Futuristic presentation can only go so far. It is the cheap looking and feeling plastics that will eventually ruin the illusion of quality

  • avatar
    V16

    First generation Isuzu Impulse. (1983-89)
    Giorgetto Giugiaro design, rear wheel drive, flush glass, a movable instrument cluster, Lotus tuned suspension for the last two model years.
    Still turns heads, if you can find one.

  • avatar
    ernest

    I still miss my F350 King Ranch. Don’t have a use for a big diesel pickup, but I sure enjoyed driving it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    1979 Lincoln Mark V. Cartier Edition.

    Or an ’80 Eldo.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    Late-70’s/early 80’s RWD Toyotas with manual transmissions. I’ve owned a bunch. They were underpowered and prone to cancer (rust), but often they were fairly balanced chassis and you could positively BEAT ON THEM in the most hilarious and entertaining ways. I even took my 2-door 1978 Corolla Liftback off-roading once and had an “Oh What A Feeling!” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqs6V7SWuOQ) moment at the top of a big hill in the gravel pit near my friend’s house. My earliest was a 1976 Corona 2-door that only had a four speed, and my newest was a 1981 Celica GT with too many options. Good memories.

    Close runner-up: 1980’s Mopar turbos – Shadows, Chargers, even Omnis (especially GLH variants), Lasers, Starions/Conquests and eventually the Diamondstar cars. I had so much fun with all of them!

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    The Iron Duke. Comedy gold. Modern 80s FWD GM vehicles with all the “Brougham” GM could add and an engine ready for the 30s.

    The corporate disconnect fascinates me and makes me smile every time I drive a period GM with one.

    It’s a sickness.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Yeah, I’d say the current Beetle, it looks so much better with the more aggressive roofline. Looked at buying one last fall, a closer look revealed what horrible junk these cars are. Other guilty pleasure – 1972 Montego GT.

  • avatar
    gtem

    ’81 Frank Sinatra Edition Imperial

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The Alfa 164S. I know they are not the most reliable but I have a soft spot for the Busso V6 and the Bang and Olufsen inspired dash.

    The current VW Beetle particularly the Dune edition. Sure it’s a three door retro looking hatch but it’s nice alternative to the small CUV’s.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    GM had some great styling back around the late 80s … the Allante was beautiful and classy; the ’88 Fiero was perfect for a 2-seat sports car; and the GMT-400s are still the cleanest and best-looking GM trucks of the modern era. But as good as GM was on the exterior, they were equally as bad on the interior. It boggles the mind how good they could be on one aspect of design and then be totally horrific on another.

    • 0 avatar
      cognoscenti

      When I went to work for GM, I was finally let in on the (not so secret) secret as to why: the vehicle programs always started out with a budget that got ate up during development. They did not earmark more for the interior team. So, as cost overruns inevitably occurred, the interior ended up being the compromise. Also, marketing knew they could sell the cars based on style. This thinking was not exclusive to GM. Remember when Sergio took over at Chrysler at the formation of FCA? The first thing he did was recognize that problem, and solve it by earmarking more money for the interior. I can’t find the article right now, but IIRC it was $800 more budget per vehicle.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The 00-05 MR2 Spyder. Seems to get a lot of hate for being slower and uglier than earlier MR2s, but I like the idea of a cheap, reliable mid engine car. Being lighter than a Miata is nice too.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Geeze. I have too many. I guess I’ll skip the Ford products, since most of you know what they are.

    Oldsmobile N body (Calais, Achieva, Alero) with Quad 4, Getrag 5 speed and two doors.

    FWD Pontiac Bonneville

    Pontiac 6000

    Pre-1983 and post 1990 Toyota Tercel

    Toyota T-100

    Volkswagen Fox (Gol)

    Plymouth Acclaim

    Plymouth Breeze

    1st gen Honda Prelude

    1st gen Honda Oddy

    Infiniti M30, and the first M45

    Mazda Millenia S

    Datsun B-210

    Datsun 810 coupe

    Datsun 200SX (pre-1980)

    Datsun 610 and 710

    Late 90s-early 2000s Mitsubishi Gallant

    BMW 318Ti

    1960s-mid 70s Toyota Corona

    Toyota Stout

    Lancia Beta

    Alfa Romeo 164

    Renault Fuego

    Honda Element (make it AWD/manual)

    Honda Z600

    1980s Oldsmobile B and C body coupe

    1st gen Scion xB

    Toyota Tank (JDM)

    Toyota Mark X (JDM)

    Oldsmobile Bravada (1st and 2nd gen)

    Chevrolet Corsica

    Chevrolet Malibu Maxx

    Late 90s/early 00s Pontiac Grand Prix 3800 (supercharged or not)

    1st gen Oldsmobile Aurora

    Acura Vigor manual

    Dodge Dakota crew cab

    1st gen Nissan Frontier crew cab

    Audi coupe (5 cyl/5spd, hatch, GT or base)

    Isuzu VehiCROSS

    Mitsubishi Expo LRV/Plymouth Colt Vista AWD manual

    I’m sure there’s more I can’t think of at the moment. LOL

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Thought of some more good ones:

      Infiniti J30

      1st gen Kia Sportage 4wd manual

      Kia Borrego 4wd

      1st gen Kia Sorento 4wd manual

      Nissan Murano Cross-Cabriolet

      Chevrolet S-10 crew cab

      Honda CR-Z manual

      Dodge Daytona Turbo manual

      Cars on sale today:

      Lexus RC manual

      Cadillac ATS coupe manual

      Fiat 500 manual

      Jeep Renegade manual 4wd

      Nissan Titan

      Nissan Frontier

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    Infiniti QX80. It’s one of those vehicles that I sit in at the auto show and two thoughts come to mind: (1) This is the most ridiculous over-the-top waste of natural resources possible; and (2) I want one.

    • 0 avatar
      burnbomber

      We had a strong desire to fund a used Lexus GX. Similar in nature, big, brawny, full body on frame V8 powered. Older ones with side facing 3rd row seats.

      Till we actually got to touch one. Too big. A ridiculous waste of petrol. Settled for a new Honda Pilot Elite AWD.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    Any 84 to 89 Corvette interior, especially the steering wheel. It reminds me of a jet fighter for some reason. So industrial looking.

  • avatar
    olivebranch2006

    Large German sedans. I have fond memories of driving my Father’s 1991 BMW 735IL. Those old 7 series were light enough back then so the straight six had enough guts for fun driving. Now he has a Mercedes AMG 6.3 S class but I have only driven it twice. That thing is like a 60’s muscle car with lipstick.

    On that note… I think I really just like powerful and spacious 4 dour sedans.

    Having owned 3 wagons myself, two of them with v8 engines… It just puts a smile on my face.

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    All the ’80s GM sport models… T-Types, Eurosports, STEs, etc, etc.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I also like the Chevy Vega. And the Ford Pinto (and the Vega’s close relative, the Monza Towne Coupe). I like the AMC Gremlin and Pacer. I like station wagons with “simulated wood-grain paneling” on the sides and tailgate. I like vinyl roofs (love me a simulated cabriolet), continental kits, and luxurious velour seats.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    You tell when most of us were in high school/college….

    Chrysler TC by Maserati. Dreamed of owning one when I got out of college.

    Audi 5000s; sounds like I dodged a bullet on that one.

    Any one of the Chrysler turbo hot hatches from the ’80s.

    AMG Hammer wagon

    Taurus SHO; even better, the one-off SHO “Bubba wagon” built for Car & Driver.

    Rover Sterling.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Red 1966 Coupe Deville Convertible. Those things are effing huge and flaunt it. Equally impractical W221 S65 AMG. A four door that rides better than a Bentley and will walk away from Corvettes.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I like to listen to female ’90s artists/bands, such as Swing Out Sister, Lisa Stansfield, TLC, Alanis Morrisette and yes, Amy Grant and Mariah Carey. Pretty much only my wife knows that I listen to this. Well, except for the time I was blasting Hold On by Wilson Phillips as I drove off to lunch one day. I won’t confirm or deny if I was lip-syncing =)

    If someone found out that I’m not listening to what a typical millennial guy should be listening to (is it hip-hop/rock fusion? I truly don’t know), so be it. I’m not ashamed.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Ferrari F355 GTS

    The screaming 3.5L V8 Tipo 129B/C with 5-valves per cylinder. The pop-up headlights. The removable targa style roof. Polished chrome gated shifter. Perfect Pininfarina design. Heaven.

    Yet, everything about the F355 is “wrong” by modern standards. The F355 requires astronomically expensive routine maintenance. The modern market is bucking this trend, even the maintenance intensive motorcycle market is demanding low-maintenance. Late-model supercars often feature forced induction with flat torque curves, particularly the most recent Ferrari V8 models. The Ferrari F355 is peaky by comparison, and the engine only comes alive if the accelerator is forced close to the floor.

    Manufacturers today work 24/7 to increase chassis rigidity, yet the GTS trim of the F355 has a removable roof panel. Also, Ferrari didn’t quite perfect the marriage of the steel monocoque and steel rear subframe before the F355 was released, imo.

    The F355 is still cool to like, but it is also the antithesis of all product planning and regulatory compliance activities undertaken by manufacturers, which makes it something of an indulgence.

  • avatar
    raph

    foxbody derivatives like the LTD and various wagons!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I love the Mercury Zephyr. I’ve had two and would love to have them back (1978 Z-7, 1983 GS sedan).

      LTD/Marquis? Nahh. The Fox Granada was okay. The Fox Mustang is good.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack7G

    All that picture makes me think is… “CHECK GAGES.”

    Time to craft 325 buttons, 9 gaUges, and 7 LCD readouts, but no time for the U in gauges.

    GM.

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    I’ve always been particularly fond of sleepers. A few examples that come to my mind: Buick Grand National and especially the GNX, Taurus SHO, Audi S4, any Charger with a Hemi. The Hellcat looks pretty sinister but still qualifies I’d say. Also I like tuned diesel trucks that aren’t obnoxiously loud, don’t blow a lot of smoke, and aren’t jacked up halfway to the moon, but are simply deviously quick.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The first generation (2005 and up) of Epsilon Chevy Malibu (not the flexi-flyer Maxx). Everyone talks about how terrible they are, but I think they’re one of the nicest volume sedans of the 2000s to drive. Agile, light, quick with the 3.5, comfortable to sit in, and with very good suspension tuning for a cheap car.

    The Cadillac XLR. It was a Corvette but slower. The XLR-V was about as fast as a Vette but expensive. The interior was more Chevy than Caddy. I don’t care; I love the styling.

    My own 14 mpg Mall Cruiser (LX570 with street tires). It’s big, blingy, and thirsty. It’s also roomy, comfortable, beautifully built, and ridiculously capable even in Mall Cruiser form. I feel a bit guilty about the fuel economy. Fortunately, our other car is a PHEV that does most of the in-city driving, and the Mall Cruiser will mostly accumulate highway and trail miles.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    My 79 Berlinetta with wire wheels and all 140-ish horses

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    My coworker from England would agree with you, Matthew, on the Allante. He has one and absolutely adores it.

    For me, the Buick Reatta.
    1st Gen 70’s Lagonda
    SVX, XT, and BRAT
    ’87 Lincoln Vignale, and MarkVIII
    FG X Falcon XR8
    Continental Mark II
    Gen 1 Lotus Esprit
    Rover 75
    Kaiser Darrin
    Austin Allegro Vanden Plas
    ’83 Thunderbird

  • avatar
    ajla

    Hot Take:

    Cadillacs built post 4.1L and preNorthstar were comparatively their best products since Nixon resigned (including through today).

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    Useless piece of trivia, but the ground speed simulator sitting under that Allante now resides in the NRC 9m wind tunnel in Ottawa. I helped install it a few years ago.

  • avatar
    skor

    The digital dash in my 1st gen Ford Probe. It was like an Atari with wheels.

    http://www.joost.net.au/?attachment_id=423

  • avatar
    pb35

    My dad worked at a Dodge/AMC/Jeep/Renault dealer in the 80s and as a result, we had a parade of Fuegos and LeCars in our driveway. I recall the sumptuous smell of the brown leather in the Turbo Fuego that we had for a few weeks. And the LeCar was just weird and fun for my 15 year old self. I didn’t have a license yet but I drove it up and down my block.

    While I realize that all of these cars have turned to dust, I would love to see/drive a clean example for a day. Too bad they have all turned to dust by now.

  • avatar
    Mingo the dingo

    How about the Chevy HHR SS & the Honda Element, I have a thing for vehicles that are utilitarian, also some wagons.

    but not the Nissan Cube “fugly”

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