(Found In) West End (Alameda, California): 1992 Oldsmobile (Toronado) Trofeo

IMG_8932The Oldsmobile Toronado tried time and time again to break the molds of what it meant to be the most premium offering in the middle of the General Motors Hierarchy. Where it initially channeled the elegant grand touring ethos of the Cord 810 upon introduction, it became an off the rack designer clone of the Cadillac Eldorado for its 2nd Generation. That tradition continued through its 3rd Generation as well.

As the automotive landscape changed and the definition of personal luxury shifted once again, it seemed the original thesis statement of the Toronado seemed relevant once again. Up against more budget constraints, the 4th Generation Toro found itself a compromised return to its roots.

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(Found In) Gold Coast (Alameda, California): 1962 Studebaker Lark Regal VIII 4 Door Sedan

IMG_5645A wing, a prayer, and perhaps some emergency road flares. That encapsulated where Studebaker was by 1962 with their standard passenger car line. Where the innovation of cropping the circa ’53 standard Studebaker down to the Lark in 1959 was a stroke of genius, by 1962 many manufacturers crowded around the special bird to make a feast. No longer was it the only downsized dowager with the pride of a potent V8 engine.

A nip and a tuck of plastic surgery, some new features and a fretting over where to go next signified where the Lark was in 1962. Emphasis on the blossoming of the specialized small American car seen elsewhere creeped in too. How much of the old bird was new in ’62.

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(Found In) Wedgewood Triangle (Alameda, California): 1964 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 Celebrity Sedan

img_5673Caste systems find their function in strict boundaries. If there wasn’t exclusive traits to one station in life, the combination of fear and desire wouldn’t keep products in their proper places. As something that humans have created for each other, we oft find these systems in play in the products humans create as well.

This of course means that there’s rebellions and compromises throughout caste systems to gain more for the privileged. What does this have to do with an ordinary Oldsmobile sedan from 1964 you may ask. Plenty, when you’re one step up in the prestige sweepstakes, yet see a family rival walking away with spoils of riches.

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(Found In) Fernside (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Comet S-22 Convertible

24511649174_c64999eed7_hFuller and Fancier than the Falcon, the Comet had carved out a pretty succesful niche as being a borderline Mid-sized entry level medium priced car in the early 196o’s. As the Falcon added to its repetoire, so did the Comet. For 1963 that mean a few more shots across the sky in hardtop coupe and covertible form. Not only was the fun in the way to accesorize your roofs, some new, some would say needed, zoom was available under the hood as well.

As compact cars struck different fancies in the ever diversifying American Automotive market, the Comet wanted to woo you with interstellar fantasies and earthbound charms a plenty. Charming, carefree and coy, it was one of the most compelling choices among compact cars in 1963.

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(Found In) Gold Coast (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

22287512303_553ac0e23c_z The Mercury Meteor didn’t have to be a quick flash in the sky that fell to the earth without much success as it did between 1962 and 1963. In a market newly hungry for downsized premium and luxury items, it seems Mercury, the middle movers of Dearborn Dreams, would be perfectly poised to seize upon upwardly mobile Mid-Sized opportunities in the early 1960’s.

Unfortunately, a lack of faith on the part of Ford to set the Meteor apart from its sister ship the Fairlane lead to certain fatality on the American market.

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