03 February 2014

Car Stuff: Random Sighting #20

After last week's phone mishap, I lost some of the car pictures I'd taken over the past couple of months, mainly because I wasn't backing up to iCloud regularly. Some of them are from nearby and can be redone, while others were chance encounters in my travels and wanderings that I'm unlikely to find again. (Fortunately I didn't lose anything more important.)

In the short term, I have material I can use, just not as deep a reserve as before. This picture is from Downtown Crossing in early December, and I've cropped less of the original image than I typically do, mainly because I liked this particular car against this background.
This is a Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon from the mid-1990s, the last of the traditional, full-size, V-8 engined, rear-wheel-drive station wagons that General Motors had been building for decades. This specific model was built from 1991-96 with virtually no exterior changes during that time, but the mirrors on this one identify it as either a '95 or '96.

This car shared its basic body with the Chevrolet Caprice wagon and sedan, and there was also an Oldsmobile version of the wagon called the Custom Cruiser, which was only offered in 1991-92. All of them suffer from rather unfortunate styling; they are sometimes referred to as "bathtubs." GM was clearly trying to make the cars more aerodynamic in the wake of Ford's success with the Taurus, but their iteration just didn't work. The previous design was more squared off and wore its proportions much better, as you can see on this Pontiac from early in the series.

By the time this car came out, buyers of station wagons had switched to either minivans or SUVs, both of which brought about the end for these cars. You only bought this car if you wanted to float down the road while carrying a bunch of stuff. Among the car's more unusual features, you can just make out the fixed glass panel over the rear seat, which was standard (though a shade for it was not offered until 1995).

Based on where it was parked, I suspect this car belongs to someone involved in putting up the downtown holiday decorations like the wreath on the pole. It was either raining or snowing on that day, so I took only this quick shot from the shelter of the T station entrance; I wasn't able to take the front and rear shots I like to get when I have more time.

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