199- Oldsmobile Silhouette (Kensington)
Speaking of the ineptitude of General Motors, remember this? This is indeed not your father’s Oldsmobile.
You cannot blame GM for wanting to give Olds a piece of the minivan action – it would have been foolish to have that division to neglect that then-growing segment – but you have to wonder what the designers were thinking.
Lamps and grilles were relegated to narrow slits in the plastic body panels, and where a crease would have been expected to add heft, seven thick stripes were used instead. But it was the dramatic slope created by the windshield and hood that inspired Automobile magazine to describe the chrome-less Silhouette as sporting “the Dustbuster Look”, after the cheap hand-held Black & Decker vacuum cleaner of the same name.
As the roadside assistance hotline, 1-800-442-OLDS, its nice that they chose 442, but wouldn’t that have been better under the hood? Is it wise to remind folks that this product may well leave you stranded on the side of the road?