I’ll take Steaming Piles for $200

Some weeks in Phoenix make you want to gouge your eyes out with forks.  Today’s villain:  the 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon.

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon
It is alive (No, not Sgt. Hulka)

GM’s answer to the age old question:  how much DO we hate our dealers?  The good news is that they only produced about 17 of them before switching to the tolerable, conventional-looking notchback sedan.  The corresponding bad news?  All of the survivors appear to be located in Tempe, fouling my commute.

The irony here?  I could not catch up to this turtle.*

*Thanks, Dept of Public Works, for the construction bottleneck.  On an open road, I could toast this guy in first gear with the parking brake on.

1978 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

1978 Oldsmobile Custome Cruiser
Red vinyl seats and an FM radio = mad luxury

Oh, look, it’s the University/Harold Ziegler Lincoln Mercury used car lot.  This looks familiar… for a couple of reasons.


  • “This is the most luxurious car I have ever owned (to that point)” – Dad, ca. 1978 (Dad’s frame of reference was kinda limited.)
  • 12/25/79 – Star Trek: The Motion Picture with Chevelle.
  • Same day, Total station for gas

me: are you open?
clerk: no
me: *leaves without buying gas*

[I thought they made somebody stay on site like a security guard or something]

Karma: you WERE a fucking idiot, weren’t you?

  • New front end. Why? Milquetoast tried to pull into a parking spot. Missed. Ford pickup with a diamond plate bumper was completely unhurt.
  • ~October 1979. Rainy night. Second solo flight in the car. Left turn (to eastbound). Front heavy V-8 car with no traction= donuts. In the middle of a 4-lane road.  Spun sideways across a driveway ramp, facing oncoming traffic. Good times…
  • ~1991 – told pops about this episode in his super luxurious Olds. Myocardial fakeout ensues.
  • (No, not really. Just an ulcer. Sorry, pops.)

1977-February 1980