QOTD: Graceful Aging of the Nineties Variety?
We’ve talked about the Nineties in a couple of recent QOTDs, and today we’ll do it once more. This inquiry was generated in TTAC’s Slack foyer, where Adam Tonge mused about styling from the greatest decade.
What domestic Nineties ride has aged better than all the others?
Buy/Drive/Burn: A Large, Front-drive Luxury Party in 1999
The other day, among the urbane, informed chatter happening in the TTAC Slack room, Adam Tonge suggested a little Buy/Drive/Burn trio to me. The year is 1999, and the subjects are full-size luxury sedans of the front-drive and comfort variety. Lincoln, Cadillac, and Chrysler are all represented, all wearing their conservative, double-breasted suits.
Come along, and select your turn of the century American luxury sedan.
Rare Rides: A 1983 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe, Looking Sinister in Black
Believe it or not, a long time ago the Cadillac brand was associated with elderly, moneyed customers. They chose Cadillac for comfort, luxury, and for the stately vulgarity which came standard when you purchased the pinnacle of General Motors. And as the pinnacle personal luxury offering from the Cadillac brand, an Eldorado was the de facto choice for many an American septuagenarian.
But Cadillac desired a younger customer, and a change was due for Eldorado. Presenting the 1983 Eldorado Touring Coupe.
QOTD: What Car Would You Avoid Owning at All Costs?
Today, our question circles around cars with issues. The sort of issues that could send an owner to an early grave or perhaps some preventative therapy, at the very least. Cars with widely-known issues, bad ownership propositions for running costs, depreciation, safety, or something else — they all qualify today.
Which cars would you avoid owning at all costs?
Junkyard Find: 1983 Cadillac 'Bustleback' Seville
The first-generation Cadillac Seville was a sibling — or maybe first cousin — to the proletariat rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Nova, selling well while also cheapening the Cadillac brand. The second-generation Seville, introduced for the 1980 model year, moved to the Eldorado’s front-wheel-drive platform and gained a bold “bustleback” rear body design.
Here’s an example of a Bustleback Seville I spotted last week in a Phoenix self-service wrecking yard.
Junkyard Find: 1980 Cadillac Seville 'Bustleback'
Our last three Junkyard Finds have been Deutschland machines, and before that we had four trucks in a row. That means that we are overdue for some genuine Malaise Era Detroit luxury, and I have found a genuine first-year Bustleback Seville for the occasion.
Junkyard Find: 1978 Cadillac Seville Elegante
As Aaron Severson explains in great detail in his excellent Ate Up With Motor piece, the 1976-1979 Cadillac Seville (which was essentially a Chevy Nova under the skin), accelerated the long decline of the Cadillac Division that continued with the Cavalier-based Cimarron and didn’t really turn around until Cadillac started building trucks for rappers and warlords in the 1990s. Having driven a $50 1976 Nova many thousands of miles, I can assume that ’78 Seville ownership was very similar, though with a plusher interior and (slightly) more engine power. Here’s a brown-on-gold-on-brown-on-yellow-on-ochre-on-umber-on-brown-on-beige-on-copper example that I spotted a few weeks ago in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard.
Hammer Time: Rediscovering My Inner Jersey
114 car dealers. Every single last one of them looking for an impossibly good deal among the 150 vehicles at the auction on a near-Arctic Monday morning.
Even if it’s a seemingly bad deal. It doesn’t matter during this time of year.
This is officially tax season… which means that cars that couldn’t even get a $500 down payment during the post-Christmas drought will soon be picked up in earnest by the sub-prime, debt happy public. A $1200 down payment as their first financial tombstone of 2014 will be followed by a long line of bogus fees, and a note that will hopefully be flipped into funny money (now known as sub-prime asset backed securities) before the drowning debtor becomes financial roadkill.
Everything is high. But surprisingly not as high as in years past. Orphaned brands are mostly cheap. Minivans are cheap, and everything from older luxury coupes to younger hatchbacks can be had for decent money if they’re not sporty or popular.
Speaking of popular. Let me show you a little somethin’.