Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cobblestone appreciation post with bonus Olds

I found myself walking through the post apocalyptic wasteland of the soon to be developed Gowanus Canal when I found an equally war torn hooptie:
This is a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera in Medium Garnet Red Poly. My main reason for featuring this ride at all was the awesome setting. 
This is the same make and model the bad guys got as partial kidnapping payment in the movie Fargo (though theirs was an '87).
The Cutlass Ciera was introduced in 1982 and production continued through 1996. It was the top selling Oldsmobile during its entire run. Since the larger Cutlass was a massive hit for Olds they named most of their cars some derivative of the name. At one point in the '80s you could've bought a Cutlass Supreme, Cutlass Ciera, Cutlass Calais, and a Cutlass Cruiser (which was a wagon). They were available in front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, 2 door, 4 door, station wagon, and convertible.
This forlorn bucket is powered by a 3.3 liter Buick V6 good for a yawn-inducing 160 horsepower. Dig that typical-for-the-era paint job with the clear coat peeling off in sheets.
In heavy shadow this car looks perfectly normal. How many cobble stone streets remain in Brooklyn?
We're looking East towards Carrol Gardens in this pic. One day very soon this image will be an historical document with a location unrecognizable due to development.
These cars sold so well that GM didn't really want to change the design. The caveat was that they became known as the quintessential retirement car. Reliability was excellent as every little quirk had been worked out by the time this was built. 
Here is the interior which I would rate as perfectly adequate. If you have no need for excitement and just need transportation and comfort this car was made for you.
This side has seen all the action from dents and scrapes to a very dubious color matching with the touch up paint. 
I was killing a lovely afternoon walking each block that dead-ends at the Gowanus Canal when I saw this. The setting looks more like Detroit or Camden that modern day Brooklyn so I was taken with it. Most of the cobble stone (actually Belgian Block) streets of Dumbo have been sterilized; replaced with uniform paving stones meant to give the impression of the originals (they fail miserably at this). The Belgian granite stones that make up these few remaining holdouts came to NYC as ship ballast in the 1830s! To encounter them today is a rare treat. Viva Gowanus!

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