So most of you know I’m a car guy. Specifically an old General Motors (GM) car guy. We are an all GM family here at home with a Chevrolet Malibu and my GMC Envoy but my favorite GM cars were Oldsmobiles. Yes I know GM shut them down 15 years ago and though they were a shadow of themselves, I still loved the brand and their past products.
My late father was an Oldsmobile man (he owned a really nice 1975 Olds 98 Regency), and that seemed to the official car of the south side growing up. Everyone knew someone with an Olds.
Specifically the early to mid 1980’s Cutlass Supreme, those cars were everywhere. And there were various models including the Hurst Olds (with the lighting shifter), in 1983 and 1984. And the legendary 442 which by the mid 1980’s was tamed down to a 307 V8 engine with a four barrel carburetor but was only making 140 horsepower.
But I got a little surprise over the last few weeks, I had re posted a picture of a nice 1987 442 for sale (its the car pictured) several months ago, and didn’t think anything of it. Its a favorite car of my youth and this was the last year for the old body style and rear wheel drive, in 1988 GM went to the new body style and front wheel drive Cutlass (its a great car on its own merit), but there were no more V8 Cutlasses.
On the south side we call these “Cutty’s” these cars are immensely popular, easy to customize or just keep as a contemporary classic. For a car that sold very well, it still has a lot of value and is well loved and appreciated.
So the love for this car is shared by a lot of other people who also re posted the picture and I have lots of pictures of cars on my social media accounts but this one car is getting a lot of attention. I’m a little dumbfounded on why this car and not some others get the popularity.
The car is still for sale in Michigan and I’d love to have it but just not practical right now. I’m assuming its popularity is because its a clean, unmolested, good looking, sleeper (a fast car that looks like a regular car), and a car we all saw daily 25-30 years ago.
I remember the first time I saw the Cutlass’ like this (GM calls them “A” bodies), and it was a (1983), 15th anniversary Hurst/442. A guy had one over near 71st & King Drive when I was going to school in South Shore and it would make my morning to see that car. For those of us born after the hot rods of the 1960’s & 1970’s these were our hot rods. The IROC Z Camaro, the C4 Corvette and of course the legendary Buick Grand National. They may have been scaled down and back from their ancestors which were fire breathing muscle cars but many of us love these 1980’s cars.
I watch a lot of car shows and I try to watch the classic car auctions too and the older cars mean a lot to many people, not just monetary but I think its memories and some really cool cars. You wonder why the classic car business is booming its because these are more than just old cars. The are investments not just like a stock or bond but investments of time, love and maybe to a simpler time.
I know for me these older cars remind me of my dad, his friends and the first cars I remember. I drive my wife crazy (no pun intended), with old cars, watching shows on cable and videos online, reading magazines, looking at listings online. Even going to the local “cruise nights”, to see the old cars up close.
And I’m not alone, out here in Will County once June is here you can go to every town and each night of the week some municipality has classic car night or cruise nights and usually food and a band. Its a good night out and a real trip down memory lane.
I got nothing against new cars (well maybe the price), but I know cars are made better now, the technology is insane and the performance is so much better now. Maybe not “raw horsepower” but in handling, safety and convenience.
Still I’d drive a classic everyday if I had the money and lived in a better climate than Chicago. Better streets too, these pothole laden streets are no fun for any vehicle.
So for people who follow me on social media, I commend your good taste in liking that 442, its a heck of a car and I treasure it too.
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Filed under: Cars