Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Godmobile

When we were kids, my sister and I played a game called Booger-in-the-Middle in this car.

Resisting the expensive (and unnecessary) urge to replace my Eagle Talon with a new car, I started reminiscing about the vehicular conveyances I grew up with. Enter the Godmobile.

The Godmobile was a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais with glass T-roof which my dad purcahsed in 1982. So loved by my friends, it was affectionately given the name 'Godmobile' - because it was "the best car ever."

In high school, in the 1990s, I alternated driving the Cutlass and my grandma's sickeningly powerful 1978 Olds Holiday 88. The Cutlass and I were generous. We gave friends rides home and just cruised around for the fun of it.

The 4.4L V8 was quiet and fuel efficient, achieving 19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway according to the owner's manual. I loved the round gauge package, the leather wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel, and the make-your-ears-bleed stereo. Power everything didn't hurt either. It was a great car, at a great time in my life.

But the Cutlass wasn't perfect. I can't tell you how many times I burned the living daylights out of my skin on the seatbelt buckles. The glass roof turned that Cutlass into a certified, face-melting sauna - and touching anything metal was as dumb as sticking your finger in the lighter. Yes, we've all done that, haven't we.

The only silver lining to 3rd degree seatbelt burns? The trauma of the memory fades, but the scars remain. And girls love scars.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1991 Renault Alpine GTA

1991 Renault Alpine GTA

I don't like to drive ordinary cars. It's hella cliche, but life IS too short to drive boring cars. So you won't see me in a Civic any time soon.

After my Talon got kablooied at a red light, I searched for a replacement. Diamond-encrusted-24K-gold-bar-shitting-unicorns are easier to find than unmolested AWD Talons - so I searched for alternatives.

One of the more exciting cars I found was this 1991 Renault Alpine GTA.

What's so great about this Alpine? Being rear-engined ups the cool factor immediately, but there's something better. It is powered by a PRV V-6. Yes, another car I could call cousin to my DeLorean. But wait there's more!

This is no ordinary PRV V-6. This sucker's TURBO-CHARGED! It's the Talon and the DeLorean all smooshed into one! Imagine the raspy rattle of the unusual 90 degree odd-fire V-6 combined with that sweet, high-pitched turbo surge! AMAZE to the aural delight!

What I don't like is the bar-fight interior. Ok, it's not that bad, but it's not great. Even in showroom condition it just doesn't have the 90s style of the Talon. And while I like that it's rear wheel drive, in my heart of hearts I know I can't live without my all-wheel-drive. Summer would be love, but every winter I'd feel like the summer fling has ended. Like a part of me was missing.

As with the Citroen XM, I couldn't afford the asking price. $17,900 is high, at least for me. But someone is going to get one heck of a cool 200-hp car.

Auto Trader screenshot.

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