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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Cadillac Begins Its Eighth Reinvention In Two Decades

      How many reinventions can a brand go through?

    Stop me if you have heard this before; Cadillac President Steve Carlisle is vowing to reboot the brand with six new models beginning with the XT4 crossover and a new advertising campaign that will replace the boring 'Dare Greatly" tagline.

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    By Bloomberg's count, this is the eight reinvention of the brand in the past two decades. Despite the brand's best efforts to reverse a shrinking market share and improve their image, they haven't paid off in the U.S. China is a different story where Cadillac sold more vehicles there than in the U.S. last year.

    Cadillac's problems are numerous and familiar; lack of SUVs, too many sedans, and older buyers continue to be the majority of people entering the showroom. Not helping has been the confusing "Dare Greatly" advertising.

    “‘Dare Greatly’ has been a disaster from beginning to end. When you have product that is in many ways better than the competition, you tell people about it. You don’t dare them to take a leap of faith on your cars,” said Bob Lutz, retired GM chairman.

    Carlisle agrees with Lutz on the ad campaign not really going anywhere. He and Deborah Wahl, Cadillac's new marketing boss are working on a new campaign "that will emphasize features and new technologies."

    The upcoming the XT4 will also be playing a vital role, becoming the brand's least expensive model with a price tag of under $35,000. The low price and crossover shape are hoped by Cadillac that it will bring in younger customers.

    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)



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    Lutz is correct, the Dare Greatly is a FAILURE. Cadillac Korea better understands advertising luxury. Just look at their Instagram account. Way better than the US version.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillackorea/

    They clearly get how to do this with young people. The US must be done by baby boomers.

    US has some great auto pics, but nothing that drives home why Cadillac is better or to even Dare Greatly. Pathetic

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillac/

    Even Cadillac Canada gets a better youth driven message driven image.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillac_canada/

    Cadillac Europe is also like the US, just mostly auto's with no real messaging other than the stupid Dare Greatly at the top. Pathetic

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillaceurope/

    Cadillac Arabia has some awesome history pics and story.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillacarabia/

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    Cadillac should just relocate to OMaha or Iowa, and I mean that without meanness.  Heartland you know.  If you're going to court urbanites, do it in the midwestern states at least. 

    I think the other bit people don't understand.  A lot of Cadillac's bad rap the last 5-7 years is in a huge way related to the terrible outcomes of the early CUE systems.  By all accounts since 17 and especially on the new product, the touchscreen business is bangup and reliable and so I think that alone will get buyers back into the fold once the good rep comes back.

    The V8 returning is huge too.  Caddy's heart and soul is v8 and if this new v8 is boss AND reliable it can be a HUGE difference maker in returning interest to Cadillac.

    Edited by regfootball
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    ^ Lutz just damned Cadillac advertising because in a number of instances they 'didn't even show the car until the ad was half over', yet the Cadillac korea instagram site has a huge majority of pic links not showing any product, just anonymous people. Which way do you want it?

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    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

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    It's not individual "reinventions". The brand builds American luxury / well-performing (or scorchingly so) vehicles, as it has for most of it's history (not all, of course). These public statements aren't supposed to indicate 'difference'; they are a remnant of Corporate-think where sales were the be all, end all. It's outmoded, and frankly, consumers don't know or care.

    One of my 'mandate wishes' for Cadillac has actually happened already; the discontinuance of monthly sales reports.  Hopefully, future sales projections will likewise never be released again. Add to that, there should never again be public declarations of 're-' anything; invention, investment, dedication, etc. 

    Cadillac should only speak of what they actually are doing : a evolutionary strive forward to be among the best.

    God- I would love to run Cadillac for a few years.

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.

    Unless it's a mid-size SUV; then they do want a Cadillac.  Your metric; sales - isn't the XT5 #2 in it's segment?

    No model is ever a 'savior' for a brand (well; maybe the cayenne/macan for porsche), but the XT4, especially in light of recent reviews I've seen, should perform very well for Cadillac volume-wise (not that I care about high volume). Were it to also get to #3 or #2 in its segment, that's a very significant statement that people want Cadillacs.

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    Auto brands, just like brands in any other industry, operate globally.  Cadillac operates in 2 countries and ranks in 6th or 7th place in both of them.  I don't see any path for them to do better than that.  Cadillac doesn't really have a clear focus or brand image, they haven't for decades.

    Cadillac was late on crossovers, they'll probably be late on EV's and miss that market when it takes off.   I think GM will keep Cadillac around because they'll always find a way for the Cadillac brand to turn a profit.   But I see no way for them to turn this brand around.

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    7 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

    Yes and no. Caddy had something going when the CTS rolled out and their SUV was hot. But then they just lost their way yet again, and that was that.

    Caddy simply needs to stop comparing it self to other brands, and start just simply carving it’s own image. You’re not going to change the mindset of competing against the best in the world-so it’s time to simply go your own way....

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    6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Auto brands, just like brands in any other industry, operate globally.  Cadillac operates in 2 countries and ranks in 6th or 7th place in both of them.  I don't see any path for them to do better than that. 

    That's purely sales-focused, not where I want a luxury brand to circle around.

    Quote

    Cadillac doesn't really have a clear focus or brand image, they haven't for decades.

    There's no response to such an inane comment.

    Edited by balthazar

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    Why is everyone feeling the need to court young people?  If we are lucky, young people become older, and as we age we accumulate money if we're careful... enough to treat ourselves to a Cadillac, perhaps.

    I totally agree with those that say chasing BMW and Mercedes has been a recipe for failure.  It is Cadillac following, not leading.  Trying to not be Cadillac.  A forfeiture of greatness, a disowning of one's own greatest history.

    The V8 CT6 is a glimmer of hope.  I just wish it had a real name... something to remember.  Turbo 4 CT6 is a disastrous idea.  STUPID.

    The XT4... I hope it catches on.  Of course being an insignificant bystander, I would make some changes to it.

    I think Cadillac should adhere to RWD/AWD chassis only.  I think strong, silent V8 power is sorely missed.

    Escalade's staying power should be a clue to Cadillac management of what Cadillac should strive to be across the entire line.  Brash, bold, unashamedly AMERICAN.  BIG AND STRONG.

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    They did not give Oldsmobile that many chances or this long to turn around. I see the unfairness in that alone.  There are marketing and management issues at "GM". Get to the root of the issues.  It has been a long time watching this turn around. There is a product issue too. They had all those great concepts, and did not pursue yo think about putting them into production.  Too many management changes and and too many directions and false starts.  Although it is see as cheesy now, The "Cadillac Style" era marketing worked and it was memorable. It sold cars.

     

     

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    Much like what has been stated here, Cadillac needs to ignore, stop trying to follow the Germans as Idiot Johan attempted and continue to deliver on what they did great. Yes SOME elements are getting into the product but not enough of what made their concepts so great.

    See the source image

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    Will say there are some sweet Ideas for Cadillac out there!

    See the source image

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    listening to the biased bullshit that comes off SMK's keyboard is a  march onward into insanity.

    The reality is that Cadillac never needed reinvention.. they just needed products that were revolutionary.  The first CTS was the springboard that promised to launch Cadillac into the new century. CTS.. then the XLR.., the Escalade .. then the SRX.. then the STS.  What destroyed a great deal of promise was the simple fact that Cadillac was in the hands of GM during a time of survival. Seriously.. think about it. 2000-2009 was a dark time. Not just for GM, but the entire American 3. The interesting part is that they had the formula partially correct under Lutz's direction. The Second Gen CTS was a hit. The STS.. now faced with a still similar sized new rival costing less.. even lost me as I went with my first CTS-V after a brief 1 month stint with a horrible quality M5. But here is the kicker.. and timing was everything:

    We can skip to 2011. The long promised STS replacement materialized into the XTS.. the XTS was originally supposed to be a replacement for the DTS named XLS.. They mergered the STS and DTS together, and went FWD based due to costs and timing. The SRX, Caddy's sole CUV was selling like hotcakes, especially compared the RWD model. Here's how I think things could have stayed the course

    The CTS should have been down-sized to essentially the ATS on Alpha. Hindsight suggests that the car spies should have spied on BMW a lil better and saw that the 3Series was gonna add a lil more space in the rear. A simple "scallop" of the back of the front seats would have shut a bunch up about leg room. That being said.. the CTS should have never lost its position. All variations should have been reintroed for the 3rd gen.. Wagon, Coupe, Sedan, Vert... V for all 4

    The STS should have remained. It should have been the current CTS.. again.. more legroom for the bitches who bitch. A WAGON, a Sedan, a Coupe, Vert and a V For all 4 would have sufficed

    SRX, along withe the BRX (smaller) should have been as they are.. FWD based. Same size difference as the XT5 and XT4, with a AWD only variant of the Lambdas at the time as an ERX

    XLR should have remained.. Gotten  C6 and then C7 bones instead of it being a C5 variant as it was. Furthermore the engines should have been no different than the Vette's. As in a XLR- with LS3, XLR VSport- LS7 and XLR VSeries LS9

    Escalade should have been pretty much what it has been with a more powerful 500HP+ engine option to go head on with RRover. 

    The XTS (or what was also called XLS and  DT7) should have been introduced on Omega.. essentially what the CT6 is, but add back in that 10% they took out to have it go full on with the S-Class. That includes exactly what is getting ready to happen with the 2019 model year. There should have also been a coupe XTC

    The name thing is negligible now.. what's done is done. The XT5 and CT6 names are very well known and I hear people actually knowing what they are upon sight.. even women. The new names will settle in fine if Caddy properly announces them and does so in a way that does not confuse returning customers. I can tell U straight up that people would go in dealerships looking for the "small" Caddy and find that it was no longer called CTS.. it was now a smaller ATS. No warning.. no announcement. The switch to XT5 was done well. The intro of the XT4 is going nice. The thing they need to do at the Auto Show is have an EV and VSport version of both ready to be shown and ready to launch by Spring 2019.

    The thing is that my plan isn't even hard to replicate, and truthfully GM has all the parts to do it.. cost effectively.. but alas.. that cost was probably $100 over what some planner budgeted for it so it was scrapped.. instead of just saying "FUCK IT.. charge the customer's $400 more for it."

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    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

    Saw a BMW X4 in a parking lot yesterday.  As more of those creations pop up it just underscores how much the XT4 will help Cadillac.  It gets Caddy's foot in the door to compare with those strange and milquetoast German and Asian luxo SUV's.  So it is, what people want.  Including Millenials.  And Seniors.

    Edited by regfootball

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    4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Why is everyone feeling the need to court young people?  If we are lucky, young people become older, and as we age we accumulate money if we're careful... enough to treat ourselves to a Cadillac, perhaps.

    I totally agree with those that say chasing BMW and Mercedes has been a recipe for failure.  It is Cadillac following, not leading.  Trying to not be Cadillac.  A forfeiture of greatness, a disowning of one's own greatest history.

    The V8 CT6 is a glimmer of hope.  I just wish it had a real name... something to remember.  Turbo 4 CT6 is a disastrous idea.  STUPID.

    The XT4... I hope it catches on.  Of course being an insignificant bystander, I would make some changes to it.

    I think Cadillac should adhere to RWD/AWD chassis only.  I think strong, silent V8 power is sorely missed.

    Escalade's staying power should be a clue to Cadillac management of what Cadillac should strive to be across the entire line.  Brash, bold, unashamedly AMERICAN.  BIG AND STRONG.

    I don't think the CUV's need a RWD biased chassis, they just need a very good chassis.  The new XT4 chassis is wider and has suspension and ride that is not bargain sedan class by accounts.  Likewise, it has a brand new (smooth by accounts) 2.0 motor with enough movement to get out of its own way.  Not a 15 year old 2.5 and CVT.  As long as Cadillac ditches the 2.0 from the CT6 and doesn't put the 2.5 NA in the newer products I think they are getting the picture.  The XT5 is a geriatric wagon and so next go round they may need to overhaul the ride and handling and such, but they can still keep it on the FWD/AWD platform IMO.  Maybe Caddy would benefit from a CT6 chassis RWD/AWD exclusive sports crossover.

    I do think the sedans except for an entry class sedan should use RWD/AWD because they have to demonstrate being the very best.  But the entry class vehicle, which cmon, is for young posuers like those who get a CLA, to make a very excellent FWD/AWD chassis that is outperforming the A3's of the world, its not a bad strategy to just have a few sales of those here in the US.  If you don't make much $$ on those in the US, but can cover those costs globally, its ok IMO to have that model be FWD/AWD.  It just needs a larger back seat than the ATS.

    Caddy fans should be thankful for the XT4 and XT5, they make enough of Caddy's volume, or will, to keep the dealer's doors open so they can sell the rest of the lineup.

    Edited by regfootball

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    7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Most/All of the new models coming were started under Johann.

    Which means they probably won’t be any good.

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    2 hours ago, regfootball said:

    The XT5 is a geriatric wagon and so next go round they may need to overhaul the ride and handling and such...

    Aaaaaaaaand; there it is.

    2 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I don't think the CUV's need a RWD biased chassis...

    My local dealer has 14 2019 XT5 in inventory and 13 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor.

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    I agree with Cmicasa’s product line but Cadiallc didn’t do that then and they aren’t going to do it now.  This brand doesn’t spend money and I have been saying that for a decade.  Even going back to the XLR in 2004, they cut cost all over the place. 

    The argument that sedans need to be rwd for better performance, ride and handling, but the crossovers are fine with front drive makes no sense.  If rwd has better ride and handling then you should invest in it on the most popular body style of vehicle.  Cadillac sales could be 80% SUV by 2020, why wouldn’t they want the best platform possible on 80% of their product?

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The argument that sedans need to be rwd for better performance, ride and handling, but the crossovers are fine with front drive makes no sense.

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

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    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

    Same reason the SRX went FWD: sales.  The original luxury crossover, the first Lexus RX, defined the market in ways that are still palpable today.  Few RWD crossovers sell compared to their FWD competition.

    As for the reinvention, it is ALL ABOUT a unique selling point: why Cadillac instead of BMW/MB/Audi/Lexus/Acura?  The new head at Cadillac had better figure out why anyone should buy a Cadillac AND push that.  No need to ape Japan or Germany on anything.

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    2 hours ago, balthazar said:

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

    They are all AWD, but you need a longitudinal mounted engine with the transmission behind it that can help with weight balance, longer wheelbase, and the ability to send more power to the rear wheels, like 40/60 to the rear for example. 

    If chassis does not matter, then the CT4, CT5, CT6 should all be FWD with an AWD setup (make it standard AWD if they want) in order to save money.  They can build the whole line off Cruze and Malibu chassis and save engineering resources.  

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    They are all AWD, but you need a longitudinal mounted engine with the transmission behind it that can help with weight balance, longer wheelbase, and the ability to send more power to the rear wheels, like 40/60 to the rear for example. 

    If chassis does not matter, then the CT4, CT5, CT6 should all be FWD with an AWD setup (make it standard AWD if they want) in order to save money.  They can build the whole line off Cruze and Malibu chassis and save engineering resources.  

    Chassis doesn't matter for a vehicle that is never going to be used with sporting intentions.  The XT5 outsells the X3 easily.  Cadillac doesn't (yet) have an X5 competitor.  The German competition to the XT4 is all transverse FWD (X1 and GLC)... in fact, there isn't a RWD competitor to the XT4 from any brand. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Chassis doesn't matter for a vehicle that is never going to be used with sporting intentions.  The XT5 outsells the X3 easily.  Cadillac doesn't (yet) have an X5 competitor.  The German competition to the XT4 is all transverse FWD (X1 and GLC)... in fact, there isn't a RWD competitor to the XT4 from any brand. 

    Precisely.  Cadillac is following.  Not leading.

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    I'm putting on my Mary Barra hat.  @ocnblu, @smk4565, @Cubical-aka-Moltar here is your job:

    1. Show me the ROI of using a RWD platform instead of a FWD platform.   There must be higher profits on the XT4 to justify changing my mind. 

    The key competition at this price point is the GLC, X1/2, Q3, QX30, Lexus NX or UX and Acura RDX.  Show the advantages to sales figures.

     

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      Cadillac's newest V-series, the CT4-V and CT5-V, disappointed fans when they debuted on May 30th by being substantially less powerful than their predecessors. The CT4-V gets a 2.7-liter turbo four cylinder producing 320 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, that's a 130 horsepower deficit compared to the ATS-V.   The story for the CT5-V is similar with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo making 355 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque compared to the 640 horsepower of the CTS-V.  GM President Mark Reuss called the previous cars "hammer" and that they intimidated customers. Thus, Cadillac responded by extending the V-series badge down to be more accessible to more customers. 
      Cadillac fans wouldn't have it, and Cadillac was quick to respond saying that more powerful versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V would be on the way, even bringing out higher potency test cars for the Detroit Grand Prix. The CT5-V was rumored to be running with the Blackwing V8, and that car getting the 4.2 Twin-Turbo V8 is not a new rumor. 
      The controversy comes down to what to call the higher powered models when they do arrive. Some fans felt that the models already shown should be V-Sports and the more powerful versions get the V moniker. However, it seems that Cadillac has settled on Blackwing as the name for the high power versions of their V-series, and that name may not be limited to just models with the Blackwing V8, making Blackwing more of a sub-brand for Cadillac like Denali is for GMC.
      What do you think? Is Blackwing a good name for the true high-performance versions of the V-series cars?
       
  • Posts

    • That sounds an awful lot like a homophobic insult. Well, just relax there junior.   
    • I will second several points echoed from the past (one of which dfelt already pointed out). The looks are a problem for a lot of folks. It looks like a CUV yet it offers nothing that other CUVs offer, like AWD or 4WD. That kills a huge subsection of potential CUV buyers looking to go green. Second, and this is the big one, has been total lack of marketing, much like the diesels certain folks here crow over. I worked at a Chevy dealership last year and during that time they had exactly one Bolt that sat for almost two months with a $44K price tag on it. Most of the sales people knew jack and $h! about the car and that price was a huge pill to swallow for a lot of folks. All of this had nothing to do with the powertrain and that’s what the dinosaurs don’t get. It has said a million times in the last, that had the EV tech gone in something more like the Equinox, sales would be better (potential high price not withstanding). I don’t know why the EV hater here doesn’t get what has been discussed a thousand times now but those are the simple facts.  Diesels don’t sell for $h! here either and their issues have cost manufacturers BILLIONS. Guess, by your logic, we should give those up too right? Just for you @ocnblu, this article covers the issues facing the Bolt perfectly. Read it, understand it, and move on from your endless troll act.  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2019/07/21/chevy-bolt-the-best-ev-youve-never-heard-of--still/amp/
    • Ah deflection, the favorite practice of the defeated. I actually have every song in my collection that I’ve posted here. The title of the thread is “What are you listening to?” not “Be careful what you post or you may affect Blu’s delicate sensibilities.”. Again, if you have a problem with that, just add me to the “ignore” list in your account settings because I’m not changing a thing. It’s that easy.    And you know exactly what you can do with the insult snowflake.  Part of my actual YEAR OLD playlist that Mr. Delicate has a problem with.    @ocnblu Seek help for that paranoia.    
    • Lovely looking standard cab pickup at the gas station. So rare to see them like this.
    • Restored and modified Novas. Popular for decades now, any clean 6-banger coupes have already been snapped up & redone-modified. The days of cheap ‘lil old lady’ Nova coupes are long gone. Frankly, seeing multiple units asking $70 grand blows my mind. Yenkos go over $100K, I believe. EDIT: found one on autotrader; $3600, rusted/rotted, dented, parts missing, mismatched interior. Would take $10K to make it decent (not restored or repainted), then another at least $10K to get everything to make it BE... and thats with ALL labor being free. Its possible, i suppose, but its nuts on a fiscal basis. I thing Neil Young spent like $200K EVing his Lincoln. 😆
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