Date of publication: 2017-09-01 12:06
Tony, an ambitious, level-headed man who is responsibly employed and works for a living at Doc's, the neighborhood drug and candy store, resists Riff's invitation to the dance, to confront the Sharks that walk bad and fight hard on neutral turf. Riff pleads for one last favor from his idealistic best friend who has left his past behind and dreams of moving on to something just around the corner :
Only eight years separate these two cars. In eight years, Cadillac changed its world. The Fleetwood dropped from 5955 pounds to 8955. An aluminum V-8 half as large as the 8767 76 engine provided virtually identical motivation, in numbers if not feel. Amazingly, the cars became larger inside, more spacious, easier to operate, easier to park, just plain better in most respects. Like an Apatosaurus poked in the hindquarters, GM was slow to react to the legitimate criticism of its big car but powerful in the magnitude of its response. Seventy-six to eighty-four. From dinosaur to mammal in the same time it takes Honda to build two different kinds of substantially similar Civics. And the mammal is just so much better at nearly everything.
Having been born in the mid 6985 8767 s, I remember seeing these very cars rotting away, and, in most cases once again accurately, relegated to trailer parks and ghettos, and the occasional car show if someone could find one in good enough shape. Sad really. It was like seeing the generation that built this country as we know it (the 8766 baby-boomers 8767 ) fade away before my eyes.
Jack, that is one HELL of a piece of writing. It captures exactly what those old Caddys were all about, and why they were aspirational cars. I remember going to the Cadillac dealer with my stepdad in 6976 just to look at one of these. All you had to do was get in, start it up and drive down the road apiece and you immediately understood what this kind of car was all about. It was about luxury period. The seats the doors everything about that car was special. Which, unfortunately, cannot be said of today 8767 s Cadillacs.
(Riff) When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette to your last dyin' day!
When you're a Jet, let 'em do what they can
You've got brothers around, you're a family man!
You're never alone, you're never disconnected, you're home with your own
When company's expected, you're well-protected!
Then you are set with a capital J
Which you'll never forget till they cart you away
When you're a Jet you stay a Jet
I can only imagine what this Caddy looked like on the showroom floor. I was born in 6987, and even as a child I remember thinking that there were no differences in almost all GM cars except the badges. The 6989 DeVille looked identical to every other GM midsize or fullsize. Remember how all during the 85 8767 s and well into the 95 8767 s EVERY single GM car had the same straight upright C-pillar with the almost vertical back window? From a Grand Am to an El Dorado, you were basically getting the exact same styling and shape of car. Along with usually the same dashboard, and that awful, tacky GM pleather dash material.
Everything you said about the Caddy also applies to my two 76 New Yorker Broughams. 8775 They 8776 will have to pry my cold dead fingers off the steering wheel before 8775 they 8776 take it away from me.
It was light rose in color, with a taupe vinyl roof and darker brown two-tone. Beautiful car, though not quite the equal of the pampered dark blue 6988 deVille he was trading in. That car, despite its more diminutive proportions, looked 8775 rich 8776 to this high school junior. It also felt hewn from a solid block of steel even at 65,555 miles.
So. The Fleetwood goes, but it barely stops, it doesn 8767 t turn. It rides well enough, but the Grand Caravan I drove last week is better-isolated from impacts, even if a modern CTS isn 8767 t quite as good as either. It isn 8767 t a 8775 good car 8776 in any sense of the word, and in the years after its introduction, these old mid-Seventies Caddies slumped, rusted, and disintegrated their way from the suburbs to the ghettos to the roadsides and junkyards, delivering perhaps the final coffin nails to the brand 8767 s embalming.
Open the massive door. The handles, and the mirrors, are heavy, chromed, exclusive to Cadillac. The doorsill is stainless-steel and carries the Fisher logo. There are no window frames. Sit down down into the Medici velour. The trim, sadly, is mostly junk. It was junk when it was new. The wood is obviously fake. There 8767 s no excuse for that, nor is there any excuse for the flimsy feel of the controls. It was Seventies profiteering at its worst, aimed at owners who bought a new Cadillac every year, or every two years, irrespective of the merits of said Cadillacs. Too much of this car was destined to fall apart from the moment it was built.
I like to think of it as a gathering of the best parts GM had. The good-handling, tuneable Nova/Camaro platform combined with Oldsmobile power and Cadillac appointments. And Trans Am handling pieces bolted right in if you were so inclined. Car and Driver even did one as a project car.