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caddycruiser

Sunny day in the driveway...full of dinosaurs and one fresh face

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Not sure why, but I was struck today to grab the camera in the sunny heat and just take pictures of our car conglomeration. Too bad only a few were cleaned, and mine was covered (hah...prepping for the storm that hit soon after), but still interesting.

Why? Especially now with gas prices, micro cars, etc., the whole driveway is still FULL of old GM boats, all daily drivers--with the one pretty new face of Malibu just standing out like the Suburban before it never did. Looks almost like land of the lost.

First some overalls...and again, why I didn't do this before I put my car cover on, who knows.

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And some specifics. First, my younger brother's '86 Regal Limited. Has now had it over 1.5 years, after picking it up as a 1 dead owner car (sitting around...for a while) for $700. Only changes have been cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning (for single stage paint...it's quite shimmering in many coats of my products), and his removal of one of the front filler pieces, both rears, and the top dash pad to play body shop pro and repair them from their cracked up state. A year later, still just sitting in the shed...and the car is driven without. Oh, and the wheels (changed from original wire caps) that I got him for $100 from a guy in PA, via Craigslist--big improvement, I think.

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Then, of course, mom's beauty. Suburban went bye-bye in January because she was just tired of driving "the bus" all alone largely and just as gas was starting up. She loved her Avalanche and the Suburban more than any other vehicle...until the Malibu. Just infatuated with this again, like the Av, and loves having a "small car again"--which just shocks me. This from the person who said they could never own something smaller than a Tahoe anymore and, 2 years ago, thought Lucerne was too cramped when looking at one.

Beautiful car in every way, and probably never would have come about had I not had a great month in an '07 rental 2.2L 'Bu while the Fleetwood was being rebuilt. Still gets daily attention, even with a lot more of them around, and working in a bank, she's had customers not only want to see it but at least one go out and buy a matching one for his wife.

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Still, seems a stark contrast to the rest of the BOF, RWD, V8 fleet...odd, but really a standout in the group of ogres.

Mom started a trend, or at least we say so, as I'm on again, off again with selling my '95 boat and going 4-cyl/FWD in SOME form (the what being the challenge, partially, that still holds be back), dad then wanting a practical, efficient, and cheap beater to replace one of his for a daily (probably the '93 Fleetwood, which is still great, but the household spare), well, and my brother refusing to ever cross into the dark side yet. At this point, dad may have given up the idea after months of classified searching and just not wanting to give up his cars, and I'm a leaf in the wind...one day I am, then the next I see how stunning my car is, and can't bear the idea.

But that's "the fleet". Sort of a bizarre sight in today's world, really.

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Good looking cars there!

Yeah, in a classic car show kind of a way... :AH-HA_wink:

There's been so much talk of changes lately (if ever, who knows) in the name of downsizing, newer, etc., I thought a perfect time to snap.

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Nice pics, Mr. Cruiser. I see the bumper guards are missing off the front of the white Roadmonster. Hey, you know there are companies out there that reproduce those bumper filler pieces like the ones on your brother's Regal? Some fiberglass, some in polyurethane. And...uh... your Fleetwood looks like it's sprouting a bit of a tent there at the front. Is that the real reason it's covered? :AH-HA_wink:
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Nice pics, Mr. Cruiser. I see the bumper guards are missing off the front of the white Roadmonster. Hey, you know there are companies out there that reproduce those bumper filler pieces like the ones on your brother's Regal? Some fiberglass, some in polyurethane. And...uh... your Fleetwood looks like it's sprouting a bit of a tent there at the front. Is that the real reason it's covered? :AH-HA_wink:

Hah! When I had covered pictures of my car before...I get comments of anywhere from a dead whale, to the tent pole up front :AH-HA_wink: Just my way of keeping it free of tree crap and storm splashing (as there's no garage...sigh...miss that at my PA apartment!), if it's been cleaned recently.

And yep, he knows (I think) about various replacement bumper fillers, yet does nothing with them anymore and I think is just beyond caring, kind of. He doesn't like the look, but his repairing of the old ones stopped quite some time ago, but then he'll fully detail the car weekly regardless of missing bits. Odd. I think working as a collision shop tech daily again for summer, he's a bit tired of it when off. The look bothers me, so I make sure to bug him frequently about it when here. Decent car for the price, aside from the awful Olds 307. Even with just 80k on it, and thought a lot from the sitting/lack of oil changes, etc., it burns oil like fuel and often gives a blue puff. Yet he drives it daily, highway and all, with not a snippet of issues otherwise...except for that medusa (I've never seen SO many lines running around an engine) Olds V8.

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Malibu looks really nice in that colour :yes:

Agreed. Coming from white, and wanting no more of it (gets filthy and looks "like a refrigerator"), she gave me 2 top choices when I was shopping: 1) Silverstone and 2) Black Granite. I knew the black was just not something, despite how it looked, something she'd want to maintain, so kept that off hand a bit. I knew Dark Gray looked great on the car and when one was available (the only one we could locate at the time, that a dealer would swap), it was as such.

Good thing, because she loves it, and gets a lot of comments on the color--especially the Titanium 2-tone inside. And even for a darker color, oddly can be quite filthy and not look it...same for the 2LT 4-cyl wheels, which have a sort of graphite coloring to part of them.

I REALLY like this car...wish I had one :AH-HA_wink:

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same for the 2LT 4-cyl wheels

Aha, so it's a 4-cyl! How does your mom (and/or you) feel about the car's performance? I read (IIRC on the online Sun-Sentinel) that some 75% of mid-size cars sold in recent months have been 4-cyl models, as people don't seem to lose much in real world driving versus V6 models, while getting fuel economy gains and of course paying a lower price.

Edited by ZL-1
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Aha, so it's a 4-cyl! How does your mom (and/or you) feel about the car's performance? I read (IIRC on the online Sun-Sentinel) that some 75% of mid-size cars sold in recent months have been 4-cyl models, as people don't seem to lose much in real world driving versus V6 models, while getting fuel economy gains and of course paying a lower price.

It seems weird as someone who drove 2 SUV's with 5.3L's for years (and LOVED the power and sound, hah, with her Corvette driving style in both), but after she saw and heard how much I loved my 2.2L '07 rental, her interest really perked up. For years, we'd been (well, not me, but everyone else) sort of averse to anything below a V6 and never actually owned any.

But this car with the 2.4L is a revelation. At idle, there's no vibe and just a distant whisper of the engine inside, it steps off very lively I think and generally pulls and sounds like a small V6. Thank god GM's Ecotecs keep getting better and better, in more and more solid cars, and are NOTHING like the growly, rough 4-cyls of just a few years back.

I just knew, from my rental, and the fact that a big part of her going Suburban-->Malibu was fuel economy, she would be more than happy with the 2.4L. Not that the 3.6L wasn't a slight consideration, and it's a terrific drivetrain, but it's just "too much" in a lot of ways, puts a touch more weight on the nose, eats more gas, and costs $2k more. For the price alone, she didn't care, and I assured her the 4-cyl was the one. She's now driven it since mid January and has 4800 miles and just LOVES it. She loves the car itself a lot, but also as far as the engine, she's never complained once about it being slow or noisy (there's so little noise...hence the quietest 4-cyl sedan in the class), and just raves about how smooth and spunky it is. And this is with the old 4-speed. In that regard, not that there wasn't any thought to the 6-speed, but the current setup is great as is and proven, and no desire to wait. It revs the 2.4L out a bit at times (of course, longer gear holding with less of them), but keeps the engine lively and subdued overall.

Great choice. At times I'm still tempted to even just try a 3.6L version just based on the reviews, but really would never buy one given how darned impressive the 2.4L in this car is. Nearly every Camry and Accord is sold with a 4-cyl, and now that something like the Malibu has such a package and it's so good, I can see why--when it's right, it's just ideal in this kind of car. She "loves her little car" :thumbsup: ...and we're all jealous with our old tanks, hah!

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OH...and in case any wondered what might be going on in front of the Roadmaster, that's dad's "mod work" in action.

He LOATHES bumper guards, as are on these cars stock, and already they've been removed off both Fleetwoods...yet still bugged him to death on the Roadmaster. So what did he do? Off they went, and to cover the holes on each side left in both the chrome and plastic below, he took the gray pads off the original bumper guards, cut them down smaller, and just attached those back on. Weird to me for the very small difference, but he's happy now.

Odd man. Odd, odd man :rolleyes: Oh, and he also ground a chunk out of his finger while doing so...playing with the grinder to make things shaped and fit right.

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Those chunks are delicious with fava beans and a nice chianti.
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Great photographs! It almost looks as though the Malibu is being surrounded and looked over by the old cars while they decide if they approve of the new addition to the fleet or not. I bet they will :AH-HA_wink:

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Great photographs! It almost looks as though the Malibu is being surrounded and looked over by the old cars while they decide if they approve of the new addition to the fleet or not. I bet they will :AH-HA_wink:

YES! I JUST said that yesterday! I think they're slowly accepting the cute new puppy...but there's been some dirty looks :AH-HA_wink:

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Yes, that Malibu is certainly goodlooking. I really like those rims.
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Some new, now with my uncovered car showing, taken this evening (hence the lack of light).

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The last showing the totally reconstructed side as of December...thanks to a Subaru bumper. With the parts, now it's a '95, a '96, AND a '93. The body shop NEVER had anyone deliver their wrecked car and ALL the parts from a quarter panel to doors all chrome and even little trim clips, at once. Ah well.

That's the drive, yet again. Now if it would just stop raining EVERY freaking night after a fresh cleaning. Oy.

And my favorite...

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Edited by caddycruiser
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Wow.... those B-bodies are so gorgeous, so clean.

Damn, what an awsome collcetion of modern classics.

Hard to get excited about some FWD CamCord fighter

after that RWD/BOF/V8 orgy.

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Wow.... those B-bodies are so gorgeous, so clean.

Damn, what an awsome collcetion of modern classics.

Hard to get excited about some FWD CamCord fighter

after that RWD/BOF/V8 orgy.

Eh, they have their merits, but all of us have an emotional tug to the Malibu like nothing else outside. Part of it's the newness, and the other is just the gorgeous looks, great interior, and standout dynamics. Well, that, and it actually can zing along without being big, heavy, clunky, and pigging out on gas.

It's a trade-off, but aside from my Regal driving brother, we'd gladly take a fleet of 3 of that Camcord fighter instead anymore. Well, and still appreciate and love the boats from afar...or just have one as a play thing. Or not.

Edited by caddycruiser
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wow i wish i had that fleet! $500 Firm take it or leave it? :AH-HA_wink: :thumbsup:

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