A classic GMC brand is about to be put out to pasture. The Oldsmobile 2004 line will be last one.
Oldsmobile Dealers Ready to Bury Brand
By JOHN PORRETTO, AP Auto Writer
LAS VEGAS – No one’s wearing a sandwich board with an ominous message, but for hundreds of Oldsmobile dealers attending their industry’s annual convention, there’s no denying reality: The end is near.
“It’s time to get on with the burial,” said Gary Wight, who has sold Oldsmobiles, the oldest automotive brand name in U.S. history, for 30 years. “It’s sad and it’s done and it’s not going to change. Oldsmobile is a wonderful memory, but there’s nothing in the windshield. It’s all in the rearview mirror.”
General Motors Corp. announced in December 2000 it would end production of the struggling Oldsmobile line with the 2004 model year. The company already has stopped making the Intrigue, Aurora and, in the past week, the Bravada sport utility vehicle. That leaves only two models — the Alero passenger car and Silhouette minivan.
Some of my best memories as a child came from riding in my Uncle Redd’s ’72 Oldsmobile Toronado. He called it “Carla“. That car was jet black with silver trim. Always shining. Uncle Redd would pick up my older sister Sandrine and I down in Southwest Detroit (he lived 30 miles away in Ann Arbor). He’d hit Fort Street, connect up to the I-75 South, hit the Jeffries Freeway up to I-94 West and we would just cruise the 30 miles to Ann Arbor. That big 455 V8 just hummin’. Every time we would pass a Ford Motor facilty, Uncle Redd would say in a sing-song voice:
And my Toronado’s just a tornado eatin’ up all those Fords!
Once we get in Ann Arbor, we’d hit the Old German restaurant with those big sausage sandwiches. Uncle Redd would tell those long, wonderful stories. And then we would be back in that beautiful Toronado. Just ridin’…
Damn… I haven’t thought about that car and Uncle Redd in a long, long time.
Amazing how one word, in this case Oldsmobile, turns on the memory machine. *SIGH*
I’ll tip a 40 to your memory, Oldsmobile… I’ll always love ya.