Anyone else kinda tired of "One of ***" claims?

dgmeadows

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Mar 29, 2017
43
18
It seems like every other ad or story claims the rarity of the car, trying to hype up the value. 1 of 1,500 high performance editions ? OK. 1 of 675 made with close ratio 4 speed ? Again, I get it. 1 of 3 made with chartreuse interior and butt-ugly stripes ? There is a reason it is rare, only 3 people were tacky enough to order it.
When I was looking for a 78-80 Cutlass, I was offered one that was touted as extremely rare - medium brown, T-Tops, 5-speed and 260 V8 diesel. I was interested, because I would've swapped out drivetrain and the original clutch pedal set up it would've made it easy to go with a manual trans. I never received a dollar figure, as the potential seller would not throw one out. He wanted me to make the first offer, so I just didn't play the game. He clearly thought the rarity made it worth more than I was willing to pay for a car I would swap the drivetrain out of.

Ironically, I ended up with a similarly oddly-configured car, a 79 Cutlass Calais in dark carmine (burgundy/black cherry) metallic, with carmine (red/burgundy) interior, T-tops, and the 260 diesel. Sharp color, bucket seats, console shift and T-Tops, SSII wheels, Calais suspension (sway bars, etc.) and...... the mini-diesel ??? It might be a 1 of 1, 'cause I cannot figure out who the hell thought T-Tops and diesel are a good match ? Nothing like smoking yourself out sitting at a stop light or drive through line.

The purists may have a hissy fit, but I am looking forward to getting a gas burning V8 and better transmission in this thing and kicking the ultra-rare diesel and anemic TH200 to the curb. 1 of a low #, I don't care.
 
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bracketchev1221

Royal Smart Person
Jan 18, 2018
1,052
113
Rare is 2 things. Too expensive at the time for a lot of people to purchase. Or odd enough that nobody wanted it!!!!
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,786
113
Not sure of your age, but even back then, diesels weren't something everyone was jumping through hoops to buy. If anyone was, they were doing it for the wrong reasons. I admire diesels that were built and designed to be diesels from the start, and those can pull a bank safe through a brick wall for the most part without breathing hard for the most part, but not quite so the "gas engine conversions" that GM did to the Olds engines. There was a LOT of problems with them out of the gate. And this is hearing the sob stories from actual owners of said cars, and only after a few months of ownership! Perhaps they weren't used to the slightly different operation of said diesel? I dunno.

Saw a few of them when new when I worked at a gas station back then. The diesel pumps back then were off to the side where the big trucks filled up. It was so funny that most of the diesel owners couldn't read the signs and habitually pulled into the "gas" pump area. Oops. I would politely guide them to the diesel pumps.

You nailed it, though. Rare does not always equal desirable (read "worthy of a high asking price"). I can think of several butt-ugly cars that are rare, and thank heaven for that. Back in those days, the 79 Cutlass had Tahoe or Mojave, aka "Native American blanket party" interior fabric option sure did not make me want to sit inside. Nothing wrong with paying homage to Native Americans, but this wasn't how I'd do it. Unusual, yes. Rare? Most likely. Desirable? No. The Mojave reminded me a lot of my grandmother's couch fabric. *shudder* You know the one...wonder why it wasn't carried on to 1980? It's one of those things that make you go, "hmmm".

79-Cutlass-Designer-Interiors.jpeg
 
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dgmeadows

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 29, 2017
43
18
I've seen some of those Native American pattern seats. I assumed those were local dealer options in the SW. I was 11 in '79, so I was reading car magazines, but probably coasted right by the interior pattern and diesel engine ads.

I bought my car from the 2nd owner. 1st owner I am told was an Oldsmobile sales rep who ordered the diesel because they were promoting it for gas mileage at the time. As others alluded to, the diesel turned out to be troublesome, because the 1st owner was in MN, and the diesel didn't do well in the cold. Good news, that means it didn't get driven in the MN winters very much, and only had 39k miles on it. I'm surprised the 2nd owner spent the $$ to get the diesel operational again, as I would think the vast majority of guys would do what I am doing.
 
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Kamloops cutlass

Greasemonkey
Jan 27, 2021
105
43
Kamloops bc
had an 81 Chevy pickup with one of those diesels
Absolute trash
It was replaced by a 403 ,my first “hotrod” engine pulled it out of a 77 lesabre had it balanced and bored with fresh pistons
Performer rpm cam and intake ,ported heads roller rockers with highway gears and a nearly stock stall converter lol
It was a slug off the line
 
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ck80

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 18, 2014
3,114
113
The single best thing about the diesels then, and in some cases now, was absolute freedom to do whatever you wanted to the drivetrain and be emissions free.
 
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79 GP 4 speed

Master Mechanic
Nov 12, 2017
387
63
I like the ones that say their car is rare because they don't make them anymore and you don't see that many around. Then they point out the obvious by saying that Pontiac, Oldsmobile, etc are no longer producing cars so it will become even rarer.
 
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dgmeadows

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Mar 29, 2017
43
18
The single best thing about the diesels then, and in some cases now, was absolute freedom to do whatever you wanted to the drivetrain and be emissions free.
I have the good fortune to live in rural Georgia where we do not have emissions testing requirements. Our relatives who live in metro-Atlanta have to deal with that, but we don't.
 

motorheadmike

Geezer
Nov 18, 2009
7,825
113
Aberdeen, Saskatchewan Canada
My Hellcat is "one of one". La dee friggin' da. It's rare because of what it doesn't have compared to normal HCs, not for what it was optioned with. Does that make it desirable? To me: yes. To a (rare) guy like me: yes. To most prospective HC owners: Hell no.

It's a "gotta have it" kind of attitude... groupthink causes people to believe meaningless things to become meaningful without justification or substantiation to support the position. It's ideological.
 
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Flyers9928

Master Mechanic
Supporting Member
Jul 30, 2014
454
93
South Central Pa
rare doesn't always = valuable, just like old dosen't always = Antique
 
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