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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Yes, it really was your father's Oldsmobile | Hagerty Media

In 1988, GM's Oldsmobile brand introduced what it described as a new generation of cars under the tagline "This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile." The commercials featured celebrities like William Shatner and Ringo Starr paired with their adult children. Oldsmobile was then possessed of a relatively old customer base.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/yes-it-really-was-your-fathers-oldsmobile/
16 REPLIES 16
Aquadave
Intermediate Driver

I owned a 1970 Olds Cutlass Convertible and drove a couple of 70's Oldsmobiles as well and I can tell you what killed the Oldsmobile was the product they put out in the 80's. No disrespect intended to your theory about music etc... but what Oldsmobile put out in the 80's was nowhere near the quality of product put out prior to that.
Bostwick9
Detailer

This is true though the start of my love for Olds and interest in GM was triggered by my Father's 1984 Oldsmobile Ciera. Not the car his '70 Delta 88 was, but I found it impressive: quiet, roomy, comfortable, efficient in size and weight and fuel economy.
But then so were the Celebrity, 6000 and Century and they all looked alike and came with an Iron Duke 4 cyl as standard equipment.... WTF.....A tractor motor in cars trimmed like smaller Caprices, Bonnevilles and Electras ? Good work GM.
wjones1954
Pit Crew

The Ed Sullivan show, and the Beatles, aired on CBS.
Studenorton
Instructor

Naturally, the point of albums like this was to get your existing customer list to come in to the showroom and pick up their free record, so you could show them the new model year. It was a kind of sad sideline to the Don Draper world that PR was supposed to be. But Firestone's annual Christmas album really is a classic, and everybody wanted a piece of that action. Give-away calendars were sort of laughable too, until you find the cool old ones in the attic, or start missing the Ridge Tool girls.
Tinkerah
Technician

My impression is you are dead on. Much like we see "(insert sporting event) proudly sponsored by (insert soft drink conglomerate)" all the time. I can clearly imagine a manufacturer "sponsoring" a slate of "stars", and cleverly all the cuts are B-sides.
DickWertz
Pit Crew

I appreciate this take on Oldsmobile. My Grandfather had a 62 Olds 98 and my father was very proud of his 64 88. Grandpa's was black and dad had the burgundy. Than Dad bought a second car for the household. A 64 Olds Jetfire with the aluminum engine that was prone to overheating. Other than the Hurst 442 I could care less about an Oldsmobile.

One correction. Ed Sullivan appeared from 1948 to 1971 on CBS not NBC. Enjoyed the article.
Bostwick9
Detailer

That "Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" nonsense has been retread by GM a couple of times with "Re-imagine Saturn" and the endlessly tedious "That's Not A Buick" , designed to deny the heritage and former focus of a brand to highlight the new direction, usually attempting to take it upscale or to go Euro or appeal to the younger [but un-moneyed] crowd. Like a cat covering a turd in a litter box, hide it and no one will be any wiser. As if the things that built a brand [performance, luxury, honest value] are somehow outmoded and embarrassing
They can retire this misguided theme along with "First Ever " and "Most Awarded". I've seen ads for "First Ever Gran Torino" from back in 1972. Stop it, just stop it.
MATTMERICA
Instructor

My grandmother got a new car every 3 or 4 years - always an Olds. It was around 1988 and she had just gotten a new one, maybe a week old, and she went to the mall. When she came out, the car was gone. We felt terrible for granny, she had her new car ripped off. Four months later the cops call, they found granny's car. It was at the mall the whole time. Just like granny, Olds was already starting to lose it by then. The insurance had already gotten her a new car, so I got granny's car to take to college. Every person who rode in that car said the same thing: is this a granny mobile? No way around it, the Oldsmobiles just put that vibe out. Sure, there were some hints of "younger" models, like the Alero later on, but it was too late. RIP Olds and RIP granny
Zephyr
Instructor

Having graduated high school in 1965 I can assure you that folk music was never popular with baby boomers. It was mainly popular with the parents of baby boomers, and with the generation that preceded us - the bobby soxers - i.e. - the people born during the war and just before, the people who liked Elvis but didn't "get" the Beatles, who were still wearing crewcuts and button-down "collegian style" shirts.
Tsaxman
Detailer

Ann-Margret. Even though I was only ten, it was a defining moment when I saw her starring with Elvis in "Viva Las Vegas." Clearly 10 is a bit too young for me to know, but it was obvious even then that my heterosexual tendencies were blooming. I mean, Elvis was cool, but I wanted whatever it was Ann-Margret had.

That same time period, my dad traded his '63 Impala for an '65 Oldsmobile Delta 88. No one in the family liked it and by the time my older brother had a driver's license, we had a Ford Torino with a 390.
grumburg
Intermediate Driver

Growing up as a car crazy kid in the 60s, Oldsmobiles were for the up and coming professional too young for a Buick. Suttle performance, tastefully luxurious.
Greg_I
Advanced Driver

I've owned a handful of Oldsmobiles in the past, one of them was a 1973 Cutlass Supreme that my dad gave passed on to me to tinker on with him as a teen. I used to joke that "this WAS my father's Oldsmobile" I'm a millennial, so none of my friends got it, but I'd get a good chuckle out of the older guys who remember.

KenJen
Pit Crew

I just wanted to comment that my dad did indeed buy and drive several Oldsmobile cars over the course of my childhood. He told me when I was young, "I like the Oldsmobile because they are pretty fast, but have 4 doors!" I sure miss him, he passed away 10 years ago. Anyway, our family had several other brands in our driveway which included Rambler, VW, Chevy, and even an AMC Concorde right after I left for college. The two that I remember the most are a baby blue 1963 Olds Dynamic 88 4 door hardtop (don't remember the motor, but it was a V8?) He would open up that car on many occcasions and when you're 10 years old I thought it was REALLY FAST!! He replaced that '63 with a 1967 Olds Delta 88 4 door hardtop, light brown with black vinyl top and black vinyl interior, it had a Rocket 425 V8 two barrel. How do I remember that much about that car? It was my first car, they handed it down to me at 17. It was literally "my dad's Oldsmobile!!"
spoom
Technician

Aw, c'mon man, the kids loved Mingo.
61Rampy
Advanced Driver

Oldsmobile sure didn't get it back in 1964 when the introduced the new 442. A magazine print ad featured a drawing of a 64 442 driven by two cops, and the car itself was a 4 door sedan. Just what young people wanted! And, unlike the GTO, the best you could get for power was a 330 inch 4bbl with dual exhaust.
CutlassKirk
New Driver

Well, not all of them were bad cars. I mean my 1988 Delta 88 Royale wasn't the fastest car, but the Buick 3800 V6 was hard to kill. I can't tell if people rag on it because they actually miss it, or it was actually that bad. My dad owned a dark Gold 1969 Cutlass 442 with a swapped 455 right before I was born. It was a hand me down from my great grandfather who was heavily into Street racing back in the 1950s and the rockabilly stuff. Can't forget about the 1949 Oldsmobile 88 with a rocket V8. I wouldn't dismiss this company as anything negative, but they were General Motors experimental vehicles. They came with some of the latest tech at the time. The advertisement was kind of tame for what it was, but I'm 23 years old, and noticed the car guys my age like the Older stuff. I can't find a reason to dislike Oldsmobile considering that my family loved those cars. Everytime I go to talk to the people of my generation, we definitely like Pontiacs, Buicks, and Oldsmobile cars. They are the most affordable classic cars on the market right now to us.