Seems like yesterday I brought this thing home:
So you're all just dying to know, what's it like living with an outdated, oversized, underpowered, underdamped land yacht on a daily basis?
Pretty awesome, actually, once you get the bugs ironed out. Most of those bugs were due to bad repairs by previous stewards. And while that was annoying and occasionally expensive, it's also done.
Reliability has been 10/10, never failed to start on the first try, even during the sorting-out period. That's because I fired the parts cannon at it early, in a sustained barrage.
It's been driven in all weather, from 0F to 90+, wet and dry, for 22 months. So here's the review:
Look at all that blue velour.
New for 1988 was lumbar support in the seatbacks, and 33 years later it's still comfy. You don't sit in these seats, you sit on them, and you rely on seatbelts and friction to hold you in place during cornering, but if you're moving around you're going too fast. It's an obvious case of "not a sports car" and if you can wrap your head around that and drive it as such, it can get on with what it's good at, which is comfort.
This isn't performance luxury, it's grandpa luxury. Grandpa wants quiet and soft, and moderate speeds. And lots of room in the back seat. Adults will be comfortable with lots of room, even wearing a hat.
There are seatbelts for six. Might get a little tight. Four will ride in supreme comfort.
Yeah, don't have too many chassis pics.
What it's good at, it's really good at, being smooth and comfy. If you push it, you're gonna get lots of body roll and tire squeal (215s don't give you a lot of contact on a 3800 lb car (255-60's in the pic)) but it will turn, predictably and safely, but with a bit of drama. This is the car's way of saying "please don't do that." Keep doing that, and you're going to Understeer City.
Steering is super light and over-assisted. You really can park with one finger, if it's a decently-strong finger. Not much road feel. Back to doing what it's good at, which is isolating you from the road.
Front 10.5"discs, rear 10" drums. They do the job around town and on the freeway exits, but for any sort of spirited driving, they're seriously undersized. Overboosted and with no ABS, you'll want to leave some room in front. Don't drive it like you have a lot of brakes, because you don't.
Well, you've got a primitive trip computer and a radio with six speakers. What more do you want?
Luxury touches include automatic temp control, which still works and works well, even. And a power antenna, which still works:
In 1988, poors had to get out of the car to put their antenna up.
Power seats, windows, locks mirrors, tilt wheel and cruise control we take for granted today, but you were big pimpin' if you had all those 30 years ago. And I do, and they work. I guess that makes me a pimp. I sure feel like one driving this car. Automatic headlights, too.
Five liter V8 with a whopping 150 HP, but a good 275 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. The torque gets you going quickly enough and then it's time for the transmission to do work. Usually you're running at 2,000 rpm or less, which keeps you right there at the torque peak. So it feels faster than it is. 1/4 mile time is in the low 17s which is hilariously slow by 2021 standards.
All this is down to the throttle body. It's 52mm, about what you'd find on a Harley. Good port velocity, but it's all done by 3.500 and literally will not rev past 4,000. Kind of genius engineering for its intended use.
Sequential EFI was a really big deal in 1988.
Did you expect better? Why? 15 city, 25 highway. If you need more, get a Prius.
Cargo room: 10/10
22 cubic feet. You can literally haul 4 mounted tires and a week's worth of groceries at the same time, and get the lid closed. Room left over for a dead hooker, if she's small. If you need more room than that, you can always rent a van.
No air bags, no electro-nannies. Don't crash and you'll be fine. If you do crash, the full perimeter frame might help. But don't crash.
Style (subjective) 8/10:
It's your thing, or it isn't. Insert your own number here. Personally, I dig it. Even the padded vinyl roof.
This is all stone-age stuff. The oil filter is easy to get at and change, and you don't need to digitally pair any replacement parts. I'm gonn ding it one point for the single-stage enamel paint, which takes a bit of care or it'll go chalky. But with regular svending, it looks really good. 90% of the paint is original (half of one quarter panel has been resprayed).
What else ya want to know?