1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme: King of the Coupes

Today, the most popular new cars tend towards silver silvermist combover anonymity. Because, as you know, it is much better to have a car that does 17 things crappily rather than one that does one thing very well. But I digress. Things change. It’s a given, especially in the fickle car market.But approximately 45 years ago, the top selling cars in the land of the free were actually attractive. Due to having several in my family when I was a kid, I especially long for the 1976-77 Cutlass Supreme; in all likelihood, so do a number of people, as they set sales records in the ’70s and early ’80s. Luckily, I spotted a primo example at the Oldsmobile Nationals in Brookfield, Wisconsin back in 2015.

1976 Oldsmobile Mid-size and Compact-02-03

We’ve all heard the Colonnade story: In 1973, GM unveiled the new A-bodies. They were new and modern, but were festooned with the first 5-mph safety bumpers. And in certain quarters, draw a serious amount of ire from Monday morning quarterbacks. But at any rate, sporty muscle coupes were on the way out, with the world of Brougham taking over. The Cutlass coupes, in various S, Salon and Supreme forms, did quite well.

But in my opinion, they hit their stride in 1976, when an attractive new face and sheetmetal greeted visitors to Olds showrooms. The smooth sides (sedans and wagons retained the 73-75 fender blisters), quad rectangular lights and waterfall grille all looked great. It was a clean, attractive restyle, what one would call a near-luxury car today. For the up-and-coming young professional to announce his moving up in the world.

Continue Reading →

(Last) Weekly Roundup: Dad’s New Truck Edition

Children are innocent
Teenagers fucked up in the head
Adults are even more fucked up
And elderlies are like children

Perry Farrell might be on to something. I’ve had this sense of, ah, regression lately. At first I thought it was anhedonia, the byproduct of various professional and personal disappointments, but now I recognize it for what it is — not an inability to feel pleasure, but a disinterest in the pleasures of late adulthood. I don’t want to drink interesting vodkas or travel to fascinating places or earn enviable sums of money. Don’t want to win arguments or write enduring prose. My interest in what used to be called “the fairer sex” before society decided that was unfair — still present and accounted for, but no longer shouting quite so loud in all the corners of my skull.

This is what I want to do: as another pansexual lead singer once declared, I want to ride my bicycle.

Continue Reading →

Cooper And Norton: How The Triton/Norvin Motorcycles Came To Be

Note: Another motorcycle post by my friend, Lee Wilcox. -TK

A while back, I came across a little story that explained why Triton/Norvin motorcycles became so popular in the ’50s and what started the movement to rear-engined race cars.  If you are like me, you might have never thought much about what you would do to power a race car, especially when the engine size was limited to 500cc. It must be even harder if you are stuck in a situation where there are more shortages than anything else. Into this situation comes John Cooper in war ravaged post WW2 England.  He’s smart and he wants to go racing.  There is a major shortage of cars, but there are some choices.

Charles Cooper founded the Cooper Car Company.  He did this with his son, the aforementioned John and his son’s boyhood friend Eric Brandon.  They began building racing cars in 1946.  The first cars built by the Coopers were single seat 500cc Formula 3 cars that were driven by John and Eric.

Continue Reading →

George Benson: “The Other Side of Abbey Road”

The Beatles’ final studio album Abbey Road was released on LP in the United States on September 26, 1969. As will be discussed after the jump, audio-industry maven Philip O’Hanlon pulled together (under the “Magnum Opus Rediscovered” banner) a coast-to-coast Abbey Roadlistening party” for Saturday, September 28, 2019, in which 40 audio dealers will play the remastered album on “fine audio” (or “high end”) equipment, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM (local times).

Which is all fine and good. But I for one wish that the participating audio shops would have extended the duration of their events by not all that much time (32 minutes), and spin what is to my mind, far and away, the best Abbey Road cover album ever, George Benson‘s woefully under-appreciated The Other Side of Abbey Road. Will they, won’t they? Matters not. It’s easy to add this gem to your collection!

Starting only three weeks after Abbey Road‘s US début (October 22-23 & November 4-5, 1969), producer Creed Taylor (who produced this record for Herb Alpert’s label A&M) convened a rather astonishing gathering of participating musicians at engineer Rudy van Gelder’s legendary studio. Don Sebesky was in charge of their comings and goings, in that he was the arranger. (Benson sang, as well as playing guitar.)

How’s this for an (incomplete) lineup? Ray Barretto, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Bob James, Hubert Laws, Idris Muhammad, George Ricci (brother of Ruggiero Ricci), and Emanuel Vardi? More information (and sound samples) after the jump. Continue Reading →

Quick Look: 1973 Buick Riviera

Although it hasn’t actually arrived yet, last week my buddy Jason Bagge, AKA The Brougham Whisperer, agreed to acquire the grand set of wheels you see before you: A 1973 Buick Riviera.

The classic boat-tail Rivieras were built from 1971 to 1973, and there’s no mistaking them for anything else. Though they do have a slight resemblance to a middle-aged 1963-67 Corvette coupe. One who has invested well, married well, and drinks Scotch, plays golf and lives in the right neighborhood.

Continue Reading →

Weekly Roundup: Consensus Up Your Backyard Edition

Here’s the plot: A Midwestern city is filled with single-family homes, many of which were owned across generations. A bunch of developers come in. Aided by external interests, they rewrite the zoning laws on a city-wide basis, allowing them to place multi-family dwellings anywhere regardless of previous zoning or the existing residents’ opinions. It no longer matters what your neighborhood was or what you want it to be — it’s now fair game for low-cost housing.

In an era of significantly decreasing violent crime nationwide, there’s a reverse trend in this city. Rape, murder, burglary, auto theft — all posting double-digit percentage increases. The established residents aren’t rich, having a median income of $65,000 — but now they’re surrounded by people with a median income of $20k. Anyone who complains is told they’re free to sell their home and move, but their incomes wouldn’t give them a chance at owning a home in most parts of the country. And the future looks bleaker still, because in the next 20 years this ambitious plan will be taken citywide. Worse than that, there are plans to do it elsewhere.

Anybody want to guess how the national media is covering this disaster?

Continue Reading →

1941 Dodge Business Coupe: Giving America The Business

Note: Another article by Lee Wilcox! Enjoy. -TK

Even though I am retired, I frequently find myself crossing the state for non-income producing reasons.  Now I carry a camera.  I was minding my own business doing just that when I came across this little attention grabber.  These coupes have always been favorites of mine despite having too many wheels.  Just honest workhorses.

Continue Reading →

1990 Cadillac Brougham: Classy in Cotillion White

Today’s classic Cadillac is owned by Bryan Wood of Chicagoland, and a fellow member of The American Brougham Society. No, not the group with the guy with the VW with the standup hood ornament, the one run by “That Hartford Guy” who owns a 1961 Cadillac Sedan de Ville and 1977 Lincoln Continental Town Coupe. Which reminds me, I should write his cars up too. Well! Some other time. Today, let’s keep the digressions to a minimum, haha.

Continue Reading →

(Last) Weekly Roundup: Blurred By The Dark Fog Of Britain’s Domestic Politics Edition

We’re a little short on actual scientific progress lately, aren’t we? Oh sure, the coding sweatshops of the Far East turn out a million-plus new “apps” a year, and today’s cars have much bigger LCD screens than their immediate predecessors, but consider the following: The remarkably underwhelming F-35 fighter plane began development in 1992, flew for the first time in 2006, and began operations (of a sort) in 2013. That’s a twenty-one-year timeline. Now think about the fact that the X-15 started poking around Mach 5 and Mach 6 in 1961, after a first flight in 1959. What’s the state-of-the art look like in 1940? Why, it’s the Mach 0.6 Supermarine Spitfire, which had set world speed records during civilian development five years prior. In other words, airplanes got ten times faster in that twenty-one years.

The pace of technological development in the Fifties and Sixties was just plain staggering. It was also an era of national pride, one in which billion-dollar projects could be fired-up on a whim just so a country would have more presence on the world stage. Two of those billion-dollar projects happened to be supersonic airliners… and therein hangs a tale.

Continue Reading →

The Critics Respond, Part Fifty-Two

Who says having an opinion doesn’t pay? I earned the magnificent sum of $45.36 over the past week from advertisements placed on this website. It costs me about $4.10 per day to host said site, so my true net-out was about seventeen bucks. How did I make this cash, you ask? It was by writing “The Passion of Saint iGNUcius,” an opinion piece that was picked up by Vox Day and Steve Sailer, among many others. Unfortunately for me, it’s the habit of most commentary sites nowadays to excerpt pretty much the entire piece, so I probably lost out on a few hundred dollars that would have come my way had Vox et al. simply linked rather than excerpted. Don’t cry for me about this; I got enough money to buy a hundred balls.

As you might expect, any criticism, or defense, or someone like Richard Stallman brings out the Aspies in force, particularly at places like YCombinator. I’ve now read at least fifty detailed and hugely condescending essays on the precise errors I made in my characterization of the man, his influence, and his legacy. Most of them make the classic Aspie mistake of reaching their halting state, so to speak, the minute they find something they believe to be incorrect; one fellow told me in very superior fashion that today’s Android developers are not using the gcc compiler for their work, so therefore my claim that mobile computing is beholden to Stallman is 100% wrong. How we got to a situation in this world where there are multiple free-of-charge compilers is a minor historical detail which seems completely lost on him. A few others got on their high horses and told me that FreeBSD and OpenBSD would have taken the place of GNU/Linux if Stallman hadn’t existed; this sounds reasonable from a modern perspective but I was there on the ground in 1999, I sold multiple OpenBSD-based systems as well as running OpenBSD myself for years, and I can forthrightly tell you that such a claim is ridiculous. The WhateverBSD projects were doomed almost from the start by a lack of leadership which led to endless “forking”.

That being said, most of the minor-detail arguments made against what I wrote have at least a tenuous foothold in reality, so there’s no need to break any butterflies on a wheel where they are concerned. What I’d like to do instead is consider the above criticism made by an anonymous user at The Unz Review.

Continue Reading →