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Weekend Edition – Four Different Big Boats for Sunday. Which would you prefer?

Jim Brennan December 8, 2013 For Sale, Weekend Edition 34 Comments

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Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Redusernab Weekend. We here at Redusernab like quirky things, odd cars, cool trucks, Australian Muscle Cars, European Mini Cars, Japanese Motorcycles… in other words, we are just a little off kilter. On the other hand, I like Big American Boats, with V-8 power, Velour Interiors, Vinyl Roofs, White Stripe Tires, and of course, Automatic Transmissions. I also crave for the same thing in a Station Wagon, except it has to have Wood Grain on the sides… The point to this opening paragraph is this: American Barges (Pre 1980) are starting to get scarce, so I think it is time to try and appreciate the breed because they will start getting expensive, and we will only see them at some future car show on the lawn of a private Golf Course. So, here are four examples of the breed.

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I’ll start with one of my favorites. This us a 1976 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Wagon that was a special order when originally purchased. According to the eBay listing:

This is a true “Survivor” of the first generation (1971-1976) Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.
This was Oldsmobile’s first “full size” wagon since 1964 and featured the innovative “glide away” or “clam shell” tailgate. It could seat up to eight (8) passengers with the optional 3rd row seat and weighed in at over 5000lbs., with a length of 231.2 inches. To move this vehicle, Oldsmobile offered the massive 455 cubic inch “Rocket V-8” as an option.
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This example is a 1976. The last year for the first generation in ALL Original Condition (Paint, Interior & Engine) with approximately 82,320 ORIGINAL MILES. This example is a Three – Seat, Plain Body, “CUSTOMER ORDER” through Reilly Oldsmobile in Westfield, NJ and built at GM’s Kansas City, Kansas facility. Total Production for this variation in 1976 was 3,642. Total production for 1976 was 22,316. ****Has ORIGINAL BUILD SHEET****
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This Custom Cruiser has the following FACTORY OPTIONAL equipment; Tilt Steering Wheel, Power Windows, Power Locks, 6-way Power Bench Seat, Power Antenna, AM/FM Stereo (Currently not installed, but comes with car. Current CD player in stalled),Clock (Does not work),Factory Floor mats front & rear, Color Keyed Seat Belts, RARE factory installed floor console, Fuel Economy Gauge, 3rd Row Seat, Pin Striping, Tinted Glass, Body Side Molding/Door Guards, Heavy Duty Tow package & 455 “Rocket” V-8.
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I am the third (3) owner having bought it (2006 ) from another car enthusiast, who bought in directly from the original owner. The Oldsmobile is clean and the body is straight. This car has truly been preserved and has consistently been maintained and stored from the elements when not being displayed or showed. I have consistently placed in “Stock” or “Survivor” categories at local car shows. The interior, seats, headliners, carpet are all original with no tears or damage. Car comes with Original Spare tire, original AM/FM radio, a second set of Deluxe wheel covers, original Manuals and the ORIGINAL BUILD SHEET. The owner prior to myself had dual exhaust installed. Car has the radio phone from original owner mounted in the front. The car drives effortlessly with the smooth, strong and powerful V-8 and the transmission shifts smooth as well. I drove the with no issues from Chicago to California in October 2010. Car had a new Master Brake Cylinder replaced in 2011 and new Diehard Battery May 2013.

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With over 5 days to go until the auction ends, the top bid so far is $3,049 with an unmet reserve. This is a stunning original car that has been lovingly cared for by three owners, and is among one of the most unique wagons that was ever offered for sale to the general public. The rear window and gate are worth the price of admission alone, but what do you think? See the eBay listing here:
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Here is another Oldsmobile, but it is no where in the same class as the previous dreadnought wagon above. This is a 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado Coupe, that is fully equipped for the period (including a Vinyl Roof!) and is described as a barn find. According to the listing:


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This car has the 385HP 425CID V-8, and remember, this is Front-Wheel-Drive, so six full sized adults can fit inside. The dealer broke down the Cowl Tag and Serial Number tag within the listing, so it is an interesting read. The top bid with over four days to go is $1,025 (Reserve not met), and a Buy-It-Now price of $10,000. See the eBay listing here:
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Next up is an Aircraft Carrier sized car in the form of a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman (Like the one that was offered by this dealer). These car are as rare as they are big, and you will need a whole lotta garage space to house on of these behemoths. According to the Craigslist listing:

A very rare collectible Cadillac.
“The Talisman” option. There were only a thousand made in 76. This interior is near flawless. Car has only 37,XXX miles on it. this is A one owner car. I have many original papers, including build sheet. I have not titled it in my name. you are the second owner. Price is firm.

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Its platinum silver with a flawless factory padded silver top unique to the talisman. The car is almost 100% rust free. A few small dime size marks near vinyl top. Ziebarted when new. Underside looks new. Under skirts, doors perfect. A/c blows cold. I crack in rear filler. Runs, drives like no other. Look on hemmings . people are selling for $16,000 to $25,000 for a talisman. Priced to sell. No games. No bottom ers. I’m not a dealer.

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These are truly imposing vehicles, and the asking price of $8,000 seems to be very reasonable. e, or if the ad disappears,

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Finally, a representative from the Mopar wing of large barges in the form of a 1975 Imperial, which was the last of the line of true Imperials (there were two pretenders afterwards, but that’s another story for another time). According to the listing:

I have to sell my 1975 Imperial Lebaron crown coupe as I have too many projects and this car, once my daily driver, has just been sitting. The car now has about 50 thousand ORIGINAL miles,. I repainted the car and had the correct silver roof installed with opera lamps from a 75 cordoba, however now the roof is black because the sun faded the silver so I colored it and I replaced the original dark red interior with black from my other 75 imperial.

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A little TLC and this car would be perfect, the 440 runs very well and the radiator has been upgraded to a 3 core from a trailering package car. 2500 or best cash offer, I need the money to rebuild the motor in my 1961 imperial.

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The asking price is quite reasonable at $2,500… For a 50,000 mile car that is. , or if the ad disappears,

  • stigshift

    I only want the blue ones and the silver ones.

    • stigshift

      Can I have my 76 points back, please?

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        Indeed, as soon as you sign back into IntenseDebate.

        • stigshift

          I'm lost. I changed my email address and now I can't seem to get anything accomplished.

    • Mr Potatofoot

      Hard to fathom that Brennan didn't submit any brown cars, guess the editors told him to stop dipping from the 'Brown Car Society' well. 'Bout time.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Toronado would be my pick of this litter, but they'll all have to grace someone else's aircraft hangar.

  • Sjalabais

    I have always had a weak point for the Toronado. Conceals its size very well. The wagon would have to come second.

    …weird that I could post that. I get a connection timeout message from Insanedebate every time I try to post something in the green Lincoln post today.

  • Joe Dunlap

    WTF happened to the floor/carpet of the Imperial? Is that mold I see down there. I'll spend my $2500 elsewhere, thank you.

  • If that barn-find Toronado "needs restoring" then I may as well throw my "perfectly OK as they are" cars away and have done with it.

    You guys got some darned nice barns.

  • cruisintime

    IMPERIAL : The only answer to this quiz. .

    • Kogashiwa

      We had a lovely dark green '78 Newport back in the day, and my uncle also ran a couple of the same generation New Yorker, so yes for me this is absolutely correct.

  • Pete

    Talisman, for sure.
    It's Cadillac thing.

  • dukeisduke

    Collect all four!

  • NotJustDucky

    I want to like that Olds wagon, but the squared-off nose really clashes with the rounded rear end in my eyes. That monster Caddy would be fun to float down the road for a few weekends, but no so much that I'd want to actually own the thing. My inner Mopar fan wants to say the Imp, but if I were going to get one of those I'd want one with the full-width grille from the '69-'73 era, so if I had to pick one, I guess it would be the Toronado.

  • Rover1

    Imagine that. A telephone that uses wireless radio waves to join to the network AND small enough to fit in a car. A Marvel !

    • ptschett

      It'll never catch on.

      • Rover1

        Next thing they'll have a camera that fits into your pocket- and can show the image without having to have the film developed.

  • Newport Pagnell

    Imperial had me at Cordoba Opera lamps.

  • DemonXanth

    Toronado. No good reason why, but I love the first ones. The next year they screwed up the styling.

  • <img src="http://redusernab.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Fullscreen-capture-1282013-121809-PM.bmp.jpg&quot; width="450">

    Yet another shift indicator which forthrightly acknowledges automatics as an exercise in P.R. 'n' drivel.

  • Tiller188

    Toronado, hands-down. My dad drove a '69 Toronado in high school (apparently it was a favorite example of his physics teacher's for an object of large mass moving at some given velocity…), but Granddad got rid of it not too much longer afterwards. Always wished I'd had a chance to see that car in person; the quirkiness here and there (drum speedometer) and the genuine technical innovation of it (unitized power package), not to mention its good looks, made it a very cool could-have-been for me.

  • mr smee

    THe only answer here is the Toronado. the only one that's at all collectable. Not the first FWD American car, but some unique engineering and stunning design. Slow clap

  • OA5599

    Toronado if I'm spending your money, or the Imp if I'm spending my own.


    The Imperial is the one I can afford without cracking anything in the budget..so yeah, I want the Caddy and the Olds wagon is way cool (even if the front end styling clashes with the ass end). Since it's my money, I'd take the Imperial..clean it, and soak up my lane completely and look for Priuses I could shove off the road.

  • PushrodRWD

    The cost of the Toronado puts it in a different league. I think the 66 was better looking and had one of the coolest steering wheels ever. If I was determined to get a Toronado and willing to pay that much, I would find a '66 in good shape.
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    The big wagon may be more useful as a tow vehicle and I love the concept of the multi-function back door but I wouldn't want to deal with finding parts or repairing the window mechanism today.
    The seats in the Imperial look so comfortable that I would probably fall asleep at stoplights. At that price it's a steal__.__

    • tonyola

      Yeah, for 1967 federal standards dictated that steering columns required both padding at the wheel and the ability to collapse under impact.That cool 1966 wheel, sadly, had to go.

  • RobbieAG

    Toronado for sure though I hate that vinyl roof. That Imperial looks to be a great deal for $2500 too.

    • tonyola

      Yeah, that vinyl roof would have to go. It spoils the lines of the car.

  • I saw the Imperial a few weeks ago. It is VERY tempting, if I just had a extra $2500 laying around. Wonder what I could scare up to trade? It is local to me too!

  • Elliott

    As a Mopar guy, that Imperial is calling me…but even though it is less than 30 minutes away and the price is way TEMPTING, I MUST CONTROL MYSELF!! 🙂

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    "fuel economy gauge"

    It always points to NOPE.

    Gawd, that Imperial! I'm glad it's not closer.

    The fuselage is overwhelming me… The OEM AM/FM 8-track isn't helping, either.

    I want one in this color combo, too! I wonder if it has the factory sunroof.

    Whew! It doesn't.

    Little-known fact, these have disc rear brakes.

    GAH!!! Now I want one even more!

    Oh, and it, too, had a fuel economy 'gauge'. If you tipped into the 440 too much, a vacuum switch closed, illuminating the left turn indicator sentinel at the front of the left fender.

    I bet that bulb would benefit from an LED transplant.

  • tonyola

    The last of the line Imperial seems a bargain, even if the same car was available as a Chrysler New Yorker Brougham for 1976-1978.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I fear the Imperial is gone.

    I've sent two emails, no response. After thinking about it, I'm having a really hard time letting this one go to what will likely be donk central.

    How much can fuel be, from GA to Fort Worth?


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