Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Five on the Floor with Three Doors: American Style.

Continuing the theme of maroon/burgundy Oldsmobile Cutlasses is this clean Salon; as the ad states, its a rare bird indeed. When the Colonnade Cutlass was dropped for the 1978 model year, a wealth of bodystyles emerged wearing the Cutlass nameplate. One of the more unique bodystyles to wear the iconic Cutlass nomenclature was this hatchback. Offered in 3 and 5 door versions, it was GMs answer, to well, I'm not really sure what it was the answer to.

What we have here is a three door version powered by a 260 V8 and backed by a 5 speed stickshift. Now, I know this isn't normally what the term "hot-hatch" conjures up, but I think the moniker is appropriate in this case. 

I don't know about actual production figures, but the seller says this a rare car, and I have no reason to doubt him. In the ad, its stated that this car is one of 6558 cars euipped with the 260, and only 170 of those were fitted with a  speed manual.  I'd say the headline for the other burgundy Cutlass also applies to this example.

row your own in a V8-powered hatchback? Yes, please.

If the writeup entices you to give this car a lookover, good. If the pictures entice you even more, that's a good thing too. Oldsmobile is one of the forgotten GM brands, and the company produced a plethora of awesome cars. Sadly, not many aside from the various 442s and other "hot" Cutlass models garner much attention.  This is one of those cars that definitely needs a buyer who will treasure it.

Here it is!

One of a Kind Olds: Unmolested G-Body? Look no further.

Let's face, the old-school GM G-Bodies are favorites in just about every subset of car culture; the lowrider guys have loved them for years, the donk guys have loved them since the mid 2000s, and even now, the drifters and pro-touring guys are getting their hands on these. Long before these subsets enjoyed the G-Bodies, two other categories were responsible for the shortage of clean versions available: drag racers, and demolition derbiers. Before I blabber on and on about this particular car, a little history is needed, for those not in the know.

 This generation of Oldsmobile Cutlass (like its Buick Regal, Pontiac Grand Prix and Chevrolet Monte Carlo) was produced from 1978 (as an A-Body) to the first few months of 1988 alongside its FWD-replacement. As with its 1970s predecessors, these cars shared a line of V6 and V8 engines, and being made by the millions, replacement body panels weren't hard to find (until recently), and the onslaught of aftermarket parts grows bigger by the day.

 In 1982, the car received its first nip and tuck, resulting in a sloped front end, and quad square headlights. In 1987, the car got flush mounted headlights and redesigned grille opening, and the front is called the "European front", because, apparently, it resembled European luxury cars? I don't get it either.

This particular car is a 1984 model, and as such its an often overlooked model year, both with donkriders and lowrider folk'. As a result, this one has been left untouched for nearly thirty years.  And it shows; with only 5,000 miles on the clock, this Oldsmobile is a true time-capsule car. Being a Brougham, it's loaded with damn near every single option Oldsmobile offered in 1984.

It's got, a vinyl roof, T-Tops, styled wheels, white-letter tires, and chrome rocker trim as well as dealer-installed mudflaps. Inside, its got a plethora of interior goodies that most other G-Bodies can dream of; lets look at the list shall we? A/C, check. Power windows and locks, check. Comfy "pillow" seats, check. And, power drivers' seat, check.  In 1984, this was a very nice car, and by todays standards, it seems to still qualify.

Here's the best part; the craigslist ad has pictures of damn near every area of the car to ensure that you're not getting a bondobox, and, let me reiterate here, it has  only 5,000 miles on it. Unlike most cars, even with purportedly low mileage, the underside is not rusted at all. The gas tank appears new, as does the exhaust. Not an ounce of actual rust is to be found on this thing.

So do you want it?
Man, even the wine-colored interior is in great condition, right down to the woodlet on the steering wheel. Wow.

If these pictures entice you, there's a link below. $17,500 is a lot of coin for a thirty year old GM "luxury coupe", but they don't come better than this. And there's surely not likely to be a "stunt double" at your local car show, either.
Find it here.

Art in the Junkyard

Art photography by Chris Garza, in various Oregon junkyards. The hearse was not junked, but was driven there by the owner of the Graveyard Carz TV show.


We have been mostly dormant for a variety of reasons, but with founding writers Chris and Colin living in cold-winter climates and the cold season just now making itself known, Insomniac Garage returns to life.

Posting up a pretty nice collection of junker cars, trucks & machinery to start with, then maybe some "affordable project" material.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wal-Mart Parking Lot Find: Circa 1992 Geo Metro LSi Convertible

A Geo Metro may not seem that interesting to many people, but they have their place as dependable, inexpensive transportation, and they have a cult following much like the Crosley, Nash Metropolitan and Kaiser Henry J had in years gone by and still retain to a degree.

The Metro convertible was the top-of-the-line Metro in the early 90s, and as a reliable source of inexpensive open-air motoring (better than the Cavalier, Sebring and LeBaron convertibles ever were or will be), it is still a great choice.

I spotted this slightly tatty but very usable car in a Wal-Mart parking lot in early 2013, it is still seen around Eugene at the time of publication.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Oregon Rust Farm: July 4, 2013

A sight more typical of Central California or perhaps the Great Plains, rusty tin shed with interesting stuff surrounding. I navigated a sharp rusty gate and nearly meter-deep drainage ditch to get to this place, whilst wearing Crocs and gym shorts.

Early travel trailer in ratty but restorable condition.

Rusty trailer side. Rust issues with similar trailers to this one in the early postwar era led to aluminum and wood construction, or pure aluminum aircraft-style construction in the cases of Airstream, Boles Aero, Avion, Streamline and Silver Streak.
50s Chevy tanker truck

Old workhorses left to rust away. 1940s/50s Hyster bulldozer and 1960s/70s International Loadstar flatbed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Parking Lot Photo Shoot: Porsche 959

Move along, nothing to see here...

Okay, so I cheated a little. This Porsche 959 - more specifically, Bruce Canepa of Canepa Design's modified, street-legal 959 - was in a parking lot just outside of the Danville d'Elegance car show a couple years ago. But dammit, it was in a parking lot and not a car show! And be honest, where else do you think you're going to see a Porsche 959 in the United States? Most are only allowed here as "show and display" cars and can't be enjoyed fully. Canepa builds these cars to go, and go legally right up into second gear at which point you can get into as much trouble as your right foot wants. Canepa's website describes this car as producing 640 horsepower and 570 lb feet of torque and handling better than stock - and it will pass a California smog test.

Oh, how I wish the lighting and positioning were different. This beast deserved better pictures than these.