This Was My Father’s Oldsmobile

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Yesterday, in the course of my adventures, I overheard one sentence from someone’s conversation. It was one of those moments when you walk past someone, hear a snippet of what they said, and spend the rest of the day thinking about it.

This is what I heard:

“It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.”

That’s it. I have no idea what the context of the conversation was or what was said directly before or after. I heard only that one phrase.

It triggered memories from many moons ago of ads that attempted to sell the “modern” Oldsmobiles as less stodgy and more hip than the Olds cars of the past.

The campaign obviously wasn’t all that effective, considering the brand ceased to exist soon after. I have a theory as to why: I think the ads were right. Those newer cars weren’t my dad’s Oldsmobile.

My dad’s was way better.

I think all dads of kids my age owned an Oldsmobile at least once in their lives. In my case, the family Olds was a 1966 Toronado, which is generally considered to be the greatest car of all time. Or at least the greatest Oldsmobile of all time. Or at least the greatest Oldsmobile my dad ever owned.

oldsmobile-cutlass-supreme-ad-1989That ’66 Olds had a 425-cubic-inch V8 and the first front-wheel-drive setup of any GM passenger car. To me, it looked like the coolest car ever. That long hood and those flip-up headlights created a look I still see in my dreams. Absolutely beautiful.

The car was solid and reliable, especially after a complete rebuild and new green paint job. That old Olds made the cars from the 1990s look like cheap plastic toys that should barely be road legal.

“Not Your Father’s Olds.”

That’s too bad. Maybe if they were, Oldsmobile would still be around.

What cars from the past are better than cars today?


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Used Oldsmobile Toronado

1 Comment

  1. Alas, tgriffith, you sure know how to wind me up. And the answer, Tada, is NO NO NO NO NO. Huge, heavy death traps belching volumes of pollution. So simple compared to vehicles today, yet so unreliable. Apparently you don’t remember the expensive and seemingly constant parade of tune ups, repairs, exhaust systems, rust holes and new tires. Not to mention the as many highway deaths every year as the Vietnam war took in ten years, a large percentage of which can be chalked up to little or no safety features. You can reminisce about the good old days all you like, but I was there, and it wasn’t pretty.

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