Amenities included in the Oldsmobile Achieva were not only standard – they were unparalleled. The car itself was a revelation in itself for anyone. For a time, it was the primary vehicle in the USA for ordinary people. It was the first mass-produced, mass-priced automobile, truly the start of the automobile age. And the Achieva defined and revolutionized American car culture for ever.
During its twenty-year lifetime, the Achieva captured the minds and hearts of a nation as it was the first car that truly made people believe in General Motors as an automotive manufacturer that had AAA potential. Finally, after twenty years of on and off development and redesign, the 2004 Oldsmobile Achieva concept Oldsmobile Achieva: Bring us your camera as we mark our last year in business. And, as our last official act, we proudly present to you our last concept car, the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The Oldsmobile Ace was a sports car introduced in 1935 as a trend-setting L-head with a CMHlassbonné® 4-wheel drive in wintry weather. It was General Motor’s answer to the German Autobahn, which was then the fastest land conveyance in the world. The Aceched in six flat spots was such a counter to the Porsche 356, that it effectively prolonged the Porsche’s time in the marketplace. In 1946, the Oldsmobile Ace was the first mass-produced American sports car.
It was also the first “performance” American car, offering a high rpm at all speeds and more raw horsepower than any other production car in the American marketplace, period. General Motors acclaimed the Ace for outstanding road performance and “road aggrandizement.” The high rpm rate of the Ace prerequisite a low profile, narrow wheel base, and long bed design. Other features of the Ace included Twin Disc Clutch, Dual Side-mounted Lubrication Systems, Side Cut Features, Petal honorable Place, and long wheel base.
It was in the 1960s that the Oldsmobile Ace got a ruffling-out that revolutionized the way the American automotive market would think of the Little Engine Car. The Ace was remade in 1971 with an international design and the addition of a small rear-mounted engine.
Prior to the remade Ace, the philosophy for the development of the American compact was to build a little car first and then a big car later. The decision makers at General Motors were intent on continuing the development of the Ace as a testament to American muscle. And so for the first two decades of the automobile age, the Ace was a distinctly different car than the models that would become synonymous with General Motor’s name. The Ace was the American version of the Japanese mid-size Taurus, the car that shocked the market in 1977 by winning the what respected SEMA show, an award that only a few cars could hope to compete with.
From a styling standpoint, the Ace was always the proverbial “toy car.” Its lines were odd, its styling was curious, and it was an experiment more than anything else. But the oddity of the design, and the curvilinear curves that so endeared it to the American youth, would eventually cost the Ace its spot in the American landscape.
It was during the spring of 1978 that the last of the 304 cubic inch valve V6 engines became available. With a peak output offices powered by this engine, the Olds Cutlass Sierra, the oldest car available with this engine, became a common sight on America’s highways. Although the Americans did not lose the public’s respect by winning the World Championship in 1980, the engines were beginning to become an afterthought for the American car maker. TheStar Motor Company, now America’s only independent manufacturer of motors for the military and space programs, began to gain the respect of the public by producing military vehicles in the early 1970s.
It is in the revolutionary spirit of the early 1970s in Detroit that the three companies that would merge to form the modern-day automobile giant, Ford Motor Company, was formed. Over the next 26 years, the Ford Motor Company would grow into one of the largest corporations in the United States, and one of the most profitable corporations in the world.
The 1970s was to be the era of dramatic advances in auto technology as dielectric testing companies came onto the scene. The tremendous growth in technology would lead to one of the most remarkable revolutions in car design and production in the modern era. New materials would be developed, and new manufacturing techniques would be developed. In addition, the United States would experience the most significant increase in auto sales in its history. The additional sales of automotive equipment by American companies and the productivity of American carmakers would lead to a surge in the auto parts industry.