Frabjous Times

Hic Jacet Oldsmobile

I admit it: it was my fault.
Years of imports and Oldsmobile's inability to respond to the competition changed that. General Motors Corp., in the throes of a reorganization, announced in December 2000 that it was pulling the plug on the car touted as "not your father's Oldsmobile" when, in the eyes of the public, it was precisely that.

Once-loyal customers had turned to Toyota, Lexus, BMW and other imports.
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My first car in 1982 was an Oldsmobile Phoenix (the sedan type, not the hatchback) which I bought used for $3000 in rural Illinois. That got me through grad school and for the first couple years of our marriage, when we then traded it in for an Olds Cutlass Ciera the same shade of blue. But it's now been thirteen years since we've owned an Olds. We went for a test drive a couple years ago, just when the talk about shutting down the division started, to see what the Alero was like but found the thing rather disappointing right away; it just didn't have the solidity and responsiveness we were hoping for. That was when we bought our Toyota Prius.
So now the 2004 model year is the last one and then it's gone. Leo Jerome, the car dealer in the Tribune article, says at the end:
"This is our 50th anniversary here and I'll tell you what I want--I want to sell the last Oldsmobile in the country."
I wish good luck to Mr. Jerome.
Originally published: 2004/02/20 07:24:26