Yeah, my dad had a 1982 Cav with its 1.8L GM 122 engine cranking out a massive eighty-two horses of sheer power. Which were, no lie, affected by whether or not you were running the a/c, which is always during the summers in 90°/90%-humidity D.C. Uphill on-ramp to the Beltway? Flip off the fan and shout TURBO! This engine was so bad that GM redesigned it the following year, cranking it up to 84 hp.
The Cav, however, was a pretty fun car for a high school student. It was small, so you could swing a 180° in the middle of a two-lane street to pursue a car full of girls late at night. And it was dead easy to parallel park after you’d practiced with Mom’s Ford LTD Country Squire stāwag.* It had its downsides, though. Like floormats and upholstery that never really let go of the smell of one’s brother’s wine-cooler-induced vomitus.
We did pimp our ride, avant la lettre, with a couple switches labelled “Front Machine Gun” and “Rocket Launcher.” Dad was cool like that. Although not as automatively shrewd as Ghettoputer Sr., who worked some ninjitsu on his Cav by having the engine chip swapped out for a Cadillac Cimmaron’s, so it ran much smoother. (See the U.S.A. in your deliberately crippled Chevrolet!).
À propos ’Puter’s original post, last night your Volgi was discussing Cavs by text messages with my cousin who drove a ’91 Cav, a/k/a Ghost Rider, a/k/a Le Cavalier, sporting a massive 2.2L powerplant and, as he recalls GM describing them, “dual retractable beverage containment units.” (Read: Pull-out cupholders.) In said conversation, I used the phrase “$30,000 Cav” that il Putero based today’s post around, so y’all can see we’re on the same page from way back.
So, in an ending unhappy for Detroit, between the Cav, early-model Ford Taurus which replaced it, and generally paying attention to cars in the 1980s, your Volgi was decisively imprinted with a massive bias against American cars†.
*Or as it’s known in the Pat Collinstionary, a War Wagon. (How is that segment not on YouTube?)
† Though I always liked the LTD wagon. It had a V8 which gave it great pickup when empty, it drove like a car, and you could pack it full of your friends. Effing CAFE standards killed the stāwag, though, and gave us today’s world where you could drive from Chicago to Seattle without ever passing anything that’s not a truck.