Vaguely Exotic California Municipalities

oooo, how cosmopolitan!!
oooo, how cosmopolitan!!

It’s the ubiquitous GM A-body from the mid-70s.  WooHoo!.  Not only is this every Oldsmobile Cutlass, Pontiac LeMans, Buick Regal and Century you’ve ever seen, it is, down at your neighborhood Chevy Dealer, the Malibu, the El Camino, the Laguna and the Monte Carlo (yeah, not Cali, but the same climate).

Why love it, besides being old but intact?

It begat the 6000SUX (“It’s back! Big is back, because bigger is better than ever! 6000 SUX: An American Tradition!”), which inspired the 1998 Packard (“Something with reclining leather seats, that goes really fast, and gets really shitty gas mileage”).

Also, because of a close encounter in the BK Lounge on graduation night.  Then there’s Annette (who no longer hates me, because she forgot she did)

Crosstown VW/Jag, Before They Completely Sucked

Jaguar- sleek and smart. For men who would like handjobs from beautiful women they hardly know!
Jaguar- sleek and smart. For men who would like handjobs from beautiful women they hardly know!

This is what happens when dudes in polyester leisure suits wrest design authority from the pipe smoking tweeded twits with the leather patches on their elbows.  If you took every bad “I have a large penis and lots of money.  And I am athletic, see?” styling cliche of the 70s, couple it with the worst electronic systems ever, and a V12 that is impossible to tune, you get this:  a relatively OK, flabby and  pretentious country club car that WILL get you laid.  630CSi delusions;  Monte Carlo/Riviera/Tbird applications

I  remember my first time up close with a Jaguar XJ-S.  It was red and $22,000 in 1977 stagflation money.  I thought that the puny back seats must really be the most comfortable seats ever, for crazy money like that, because who would ever buy a car with seats that did not work? (I had forgotten what the leg room on an E-type coupe looks like.)

Sparkle Buggy Wash Classics, Take 2

1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency

God, I loved these cars.  Everything that was so right, and so wrong about American cars and GM, all bottled up into one effete and ponderous whale for everyman.

  • The Seville (v. 1.0 and 3.0) “notchback” roofline
  • The half Cutlass Supreme/ half tailfin taillights
  • Bumpers that announce that your penis is made of steel.
  • The plump assed French hooker rear end of the car, from delicate wire wheel covers (sometimes actual wire wheels) and the real men wear fender skirts to the subtle wedginess.

Inside was velour or leather(like) loose pillow bench seating for 4 (the other 2 were not very welcome), AM/FM stereo with 4 speakers, power windows and locks, cruise control and a clock.  Woo, the lap of luxury.  Just don’t try to turn, or pass, or parallel park, but man, do you look like a yuppie and a pimp all at once.

Give me one in the dark blue over dark blue, please.

Spied in Phoenix

The black blurry thing is some sort of Lamborghini
The black blurry thing is some sort of Lamborghini
Or possibly a Ferrari.  It's so hard to tell, and this was BEFORE the bar.
Or possibly a Ferrari. It’s so hard to tell, and this was BEFORE the bar.