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John Brown
John Brown MegaDork
8/23/12 7:41 p.m.

My job is cool, not JG Pasterjak or Pat Caherty cool, but I have it kinda easy. I am the Shop Foreman for a GM garage, which usually means I am a low level assistant manager but in my dealerships case I am basically being groomed for the Service Manager position. Part of my job duties include problem resolution, dealer training and long test drives. Some times I get paid way too much to do my job.

I have found that there are a couple cars that I get to drive that I really had never even considered looking at before and I truly enjoy. Everything that ends in "V", any Buick that ends in "GS" or "Super" and of course all LS powered vehicles.

Tonight I got to abus... err... test a 2007 Cadillac STS V with the 4.4L Supercharged Northstar mill... I could live with both of its personalities.

What car have you found that you really like driving that you never really knew anything about?

irish44j SuperDork
8/23/12 7:56 p.m.

Big3 cars, or any car?

John Brown
John Brown MegaDork
8/23/12 8:05 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:


noddaz Reader
8/23/12 8:07 p.m.

Who hates the big 3?

06HHR New Reader
8/23/12 8:07 p.m.

1996 Bonneville SSEi. Supercharged 3800 goodness, quicker than they look if you can get past the boy racer cladding and the "jet fighter" style interior with a million buttons to adjust the seats and whatnot.

bastomatic Dork
8/23/12 8:14 p.m.

In reply to 06HHR:

My mom had one of those new back in the day. I remember showing off all the lights and seat controls to all my friends visiting. Thought it was so cool.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
8/23/12 8:14 p.m.

I liked the Opel Manta.

I owned 2 1st gen Monte Carlos, a 71 Camaro RS, 70 Olds Cutlass, 74 Charger, '90 IROC-Z 350/5sp with T-Tops, a Delta 88 (inherited), a Bronco, a Bronco II, a '79 Gran Prix, Nissan Pathfinder, two Hardbody trucks and a couple more I probably will remember later. I liked something about them all just fine (except the Bronco II - that was trash). I still own half a '70 Chevelle SS 396 my dad pimps around in to car shows.

One day I drove a nice, borrowed '87 325is down a twisty road.


friedgreencorrado PowerDork
8/23/12 8:26 p.m.

When I was still in my youngish "DOMESTICS SUCK!!" period (mid 1980s), I had a roommate that worked at a Buick dealership. He convinced me to drive a Regal T-Type. I dug it. I think it might have been the first turbo car I ever drove, as well.

integraguy UltraDork
8/23/12 8:26 p.m.

Back in the mid '70s, I had a 1970 Chevy Impala as a loaner car while the car I was SUPPOSED to driving (my little sister's Maverick) was being rebuilt after I was involved in a wreck. Being from a Ford family (not just parents, but nearly all aunts and uncles drove Fords, not even Mercurys, but Fords), I figured "a Chevy? automotive purgatory." But it wasn't too bad, as big Detroit cars go. Certainly better than a '70s Ford LTD (I had one of those when my TR3 was in the paint shop) and better assembled than a '70s big Mopar (drove one of those, too).

More recently? My "little" brother has had a string of late model Malibus (the FWD ones). His 2001 Malibu was a bit of a rental car, and his current ride is too, but it takes an awful lot of abuse at his hands...and keeps coming back for more.

Jeff Dork
8/23/12 8:30 p.m.

I drove the big Chrysler 300 last month for 3 days for our wedding. I did not like it very much. Yes, it had some grunt when you stomped it, but otherwise it was everything bad I remember about big Detroit iron.

Last week we were in CA for our honeymoon. We ended up with the new Taurus. At first I was thinking great, another big Detroit behemoth. But you know what, that was not a bad driving car at all. Handled really well in the mountains (I forgot how good State highway 49 can be) and the sport mode auto shifter was slick. My first pleasant manual-matic DSG like box. Yes, it's still to big for me, but it was really pretty nice.

8/23/12 9:00 p.m.
noddaz wrote: Who hates the big 3?

I don't hate them Just constantly disappointed by them. I just wish they would not make such compromised vehicles.

Mitchell SuperDork
8/23/12 9:07 p.m.

I don't spend much time in modern age of cars, but last week, my dad rented a Dodge Caravan so that we could tote around everyone (3 adults and 2 kids in car seats). I was really impressed by how everything was put together, and it wasn't bad to drive by any means. I liked the radio screen that automatically became a backup camera when the transmission was put into reverse, although that may be common nowadays.

Maroon92 MegaDork
8/23/12 9:09 p.m.

I've always been a Big 3 bandwagoner. It's just recently that I've started liking eurotrash. Generally I blame GRM...

Ford's new Taurus SHO is completely awesome. Chevy's Cobalt SS is much more fun than it should be. I really liked the new Dart, too. In fact, I almost bought one... Bought a 17 year old Audi S6 instead...

Vigo SuperDork
8/23/12 9:10 p.m.

Today i drove a ~1985 4Runner 2dr 5spd 4wd with the removable top, in good condition (ac worked!) in tan and white. I really liked it! And just a while before i drove it i had expressed ambivalence about it, so the enjoyment surprised me.

dj06482 HalfDork
8/23/12 9:17 p.m.

I've also driven an STS-V a few years back and came away impressed. At a C&D Driving Event, I also drove a regular STS and a first-gen SRX and came away impressed with both. The turbo 4 door Cobalt SS was another car that really didn't get the credit it deserved.

GM does a great job with their trucks/large SUVs. I have a bunch of GM Card earnings that are going to expire at some point, if they would do away with the stupid allowances and let me spend the balance on any car, I'd be tempted to pick up something like a Cruze ECO for my commute.

accordionfolder Reader
8/23/12 10:03 p.m.

I really love my Chevy Cruze Eco. It's visibility out the back sucks (New chevy trait?), but otherwise better equipped than most other cars at it's price point and I can get up to 50 mpg when I'm trying.

I wish I had known how much I was going to love the styling on the new Dart and I would've waited. Man those things look cool.

amg_rx7 Dork
8/23/12 10:13 p.m.

I've been very curious about the Cruze. seems like a cool car but haven't driven it.

Drove the Focus. It was OK. Interior was a let down.

Drove the 300. Total load of crap in every way.

Never drove anything with a V at the end of it though...

Datsun310Guy UltraDork
8/23/12 10:14 p.m.

I want a big old Suburban.

yamaha HalfDork
8/24/12 12:44 a.m.

At mecum this last year I drove a 1980(or so) Chrysler 300.......only had like 16-17k miles, 318/auto..........that car made me wish chrysler wasn't saved the first time by the Kcar.

Good ones however, after driving a '90 ZR1 down there, I actually liked a C4 vette(which is unusual).....and I was more amused by the valet key with "normal" and "full" engine power....

Oh, and I drive old dilapidated SHO's daily, so I probably lost my mind. I have gone to find myself, if I get back before I return, please keep me here.

novaderrik SuperDork
8/24/12 3:10 a.m.
06HHR wrote: 1996 Bonneville SSEi. Supercharged 3800 goodness, quicker than they look if you can get past the boy racer cladding and the "jet fighter" style interior with a million buttons to adjust the seats and whatnot.

that same drivetrain was available in Buick Lesabres, of all things.. swap in the Bonneville SSEi suspension stuff and you'd have one hell of a sleeper without all the plastic cladding or buttons jammed into every available square inch of interior space..

ddavidv PowerDork
8/24/12 5:37 a.m.

The prior generation Ford Taurus. Had 3 of them as fleet vehicles, which usually means you tolerate them until they are worn out. Liked them all. Recommend them to everyone as a good, cheap used car now.

Buick Park Avenue. I don't go that way, but if I did want a four wheeled Barcalounger, this car is surprisingly tolerable.

Jeep Patriot 5 speed. A vehicle so shockingly decent we bought one instead of another Subaru.

Klayfish Dork
8/24/12 6:37 a.m.

I'll jump on the Pontiac Bonneville/Buick Park Avenue bandwagon. We had an '03 Bonneville SSEi for a few years, it was my wife's DD. The jet fighter interior and heads up display took some getting used to, but it was a really nice car to drive. Seats that rank right up there with Volvo for comfort, really fast, handled well under 7/10ths (plowed like a pig beyond that) and a nice looking car. Only reason we sold it was she was commuting 35 miles each way, and the car got 17mpg using super unleaded. Just too expensive.

Gearheadotaku SuperDork
8/24/12 7:51 a.m.

I've always liked the mid-80's G body and late 80's F body.

GameboyRMH PowerDork
8/24/12 7:59 a.m.
Vigo wrote: Today i drove a ~1985 4Runner 2dr 5spd 4wd with the removable top, in good condition (ac worked!) in tan and white. I really liked it! And just a while before i drove it i had expressed ambivalence about it, so the enjoyment surprised me.

You didn't like '85 4runners before? You know those are one of the best trucks ever right?

noddaz Reader
8/24/12 9:36 a.m.

Since you did bring this up... Once I put a clutch in a base model Citation that had a v6. No ac No power steering. While I despised X body cars in general, that one was kind of interesting. And it did scoot along pretty well.

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