Buy/Drive/Burn: Alternative Luxury Sedans Hailing From 1995
The B&B has proved on many occasions that they enjoy a nice Buy/Drive/Burn or three centered around the 1990s. I sense you want more, so have more! Today’s trio sprang to mind as we discussed the article surrounding Buick’s choice to remove the brand name from all new vehicles. In the comments, things naturally turned to the Oldsmobile Aurora and the modified Rocket logo it displayed.
But what other two vehicles from 1995 do you pair with the brand new Oldsmobile Aurora? Will you want to burn any of these? Let’s find out.
First, the one you knew was coming. 1995 was the introductory model year for the Aurora. An all-new styling direction for the brand, the sleek sedan was de-badged and decidedly distant from things like the staid Ninety-Eight and its Regency Elite Grandpa Deluxe trim (which remained in production through ’96). Riding on GM’s G platform with the Buick’s Riviera, the Aurora was a unique offering and did not have a GM-branded counterpart. It’s motivated by a 4.0-liter L47 V8, based on Cadillac’s Northstar 4.6. The engine was designed especially for the new Aurora flagship. 250 horsepower travels to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic. Leather, dual-zone climate control, and real wood trim are at your fingertips. As an added bonus, it doesn’t look like anything else on the road in 1995. It would be the last all-new Oldsmobile developed by Oldsmobile.
The 960 was Volvo’s flagship entry into the world market throughout the 1990s. Introduced in the United States for 1991, the rear-drive 960 would start out with several different engines including an awful PRV V6 of 2.8 liters. Thankfully Volvo developed their own engines, and the ’95 960 has a much better 2.9-liter I6 under the hood. A steady 178 horsepower are available through the 4-speed automatic. Built in Sweden, the boxy 960 would be the last rear-drive car built by Volvo. The 960 received no direct replacement after sales ended in 1998.
Rounding out our trio of alternative last-of luxury is the shapely 9000 from Saab. Easily the oldest design here, the 9000 debuted all the way back in 1985. The Giugiaro design went through some modernization throughout the years, entering its final design iteration in 1994. For 1995, the CDE (sedan) version of the 9000 was equipped with a 3.0-liter GM-Opel V6 engine that would also see duty in the Cadillac Catera and early Saturn Vue. 1995 was the only year for this V6, as afterward only turbocharged four-cylinder engines were available. 208 horsepower travel to the front wheels via the four-speed auto. The 9000 would be the last pure Saab-developed sedan in production, as the replacement 9-5 for 1999 was very much a GM-sourced vehicle.
So, which of these sad last-of items gets burned at the stake, and which do you take home with you?
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- Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
- Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
- ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
- FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
- FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.