Mile Post 370

Mile Post 370
Mile Post 370

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Project Geezer Rocket: Naming the Project and the "Mission Statement"

OK, so many of you are probably wondering about the name "Geezer Rocket," for the 1996 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Elite Sedan that I picked up just over a month ago.  Those of you who know me well, understand my sick sense of humor.
  1. So to start, it's not nor will it ever be a Rocket  It's a big heavy sedan with a Fuel Injected Buick 3800 Series II V-6 and a 4T-60E trans-axle, with overall gearing (2.84:1) that is so high as to get the best possible fuel economy in the Interstate, if it is driving over flat ground.  You couldn't make this car fast, if you stuffed an Displacement-on-Demand 5.3 L, LS V-8 transversely in the engine bay with the matching transmission and gearing.  It would take nothing short of a Rocket, affixed to the car and fired upon acceleration, to get this car up to speed quickly
  2. Oldsmobile's symbol since just after the end of World War II has been Rocket, referencing their "Rocket V-8" engine.  Now the only V-8 that the Oldsmobile Division built in 1996 was the 4.0 Litre, DOHC Aurora V-8.  Built with the same architecture as the larger Cadillac Northstar V-8, it was a revver, not a torquer.  
  3. In fact, during these last confusing years, the 88 and 98 Models got the Rocket Emblems, even though they did not get a V-8 or an engine that was made by their division.  The Intermediate sized Aurora was available with it's Namesake Pent-Roof, 4-Valve per cylinder V-8, the Alero, and other smaller cars with the DOHC Pent-Roof V-6 and even the Pent-Roof Quad-4 got the Aurora Emblem, with a stylized Rocket that leaps up like an "A" from the larger "O."
  4. Most people that would purchase a car such as this would be better off financially than those that didn't, but usually not well off enough to purchase a Cadillac.  Younger buyers would purchase either the Aurora, a Cadillac Seville, or maybe even one of the Blower Buicks (Park Avenue or Regal), or a Pontiac Bonneville or Gran Prix, depending on their financial status or need.  I picture the market for this car as being in the mid to late 50s family man, successful in business, with children that were teeagers or grown and aged parents (Surprise, that's me!  A Geezer.).  Unfortunately, Oldsmobile was really too far gone to save the division against internal foes such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Saturn and Cadillac, let alone Chrysler (whose LH and LHS cars were on a hot streak), Ford (Crown Victoria, Mercury Marquis and Maurader and the Lincoln Town Car,) The Japanese Imports, European Imports, and the Korean Imports.
I name each of my Project Cars, however there is a parameter for the name:  I must (if I so choose) be able to put the name on a Vanity Plate.  In the state in which I live vanity plates can have up to 8 characters.  So the Geezer Rocket (or in 8 Characters for a vanity plate GEZROKET) is a joke that my wife can live with (she thought the SOGHETTO - "So Ghetto" - was a bit much).

Now for the Mission Statement

As I've alluded, this is a VERY NICE car.  It's almost too nice for a working class guy, like myself.  While it is nice enough for me to drive my family to church or any other social event (it would make a very decent wedding car), it's far too nice to drive to what amounts to a dirt road construction site, on a daily basis, which is where I'm currently working as a Fleet Maintenance Clerk.

In fact, strangely enough, it's a collector car of sorts.  Not one that I would have chosen, but one that I found, realized what its value is and want to preserve.

So the Mission Bullet Points are as follows:
  • I will be a Good Steward of this beautiful car, maintaining it for the years to come.
  • I will be a Curator of the car for its next owner that will love it as much in the future, as I do now.
  • I will make tasteful upgrades that are in keeping with the styling of the car (including both de-badging the Oldsmobile TrofĂ©o rear spoiler that Mrs. Blaney had installed on the car).
  • I will add things that increase the handling of the car without compromising its nice ride.
  • I will add things that increase the car's performance without hurting its drivability.

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