Diesel Road Trip: Agency Rocks SxSW With 1979 Oldsmobile Coupe

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Nothing like a lime green 34-year-old diesel car to wake you up the morning after you spring forward, is there?

Two weeks ago, we wrote about the near-pristine 54,000-mile 1979 Oldsmobile 98 Coupe that popped up for sale on the delightful and quirky Bring A Trailer site.

Now, BaT has published an update--with a lot of lime-green paint.

In short, Jeff Suhy, president of the digital analysis agency Modus Operandi in Hollywood, saw the car, loved it, and snapped it up for $2,000 with a specific mission in mind: transforming it into the company car.

"ModOp’s “OldsMO-bile” is currently on a cross-country trip to Austin from our HQ in LA," he writes, "and has been perfectly reliable and comfortable."

South by Southwest (SxSW) is the sprawling Austin, Texas, festival of music, media, movies, digital innovation, and whatnot. It's a must-visit for cutting-edge artists and firms.

The previously beige diesel Oldsmobile--repainted lime green for $500--not only carried agency members to the festival (it began last Friday, and runs through this Sunday) but is now offering rides around town, a hot commodity during festival time.

"For the cost of a company cocktail party that no one will remember," Suhy summarizes, "we drove ourselves to Austin in style (an ashtray and cigarette lighter in every arm rest)."

ModOp showed the transformation--which involved a $500 paint job, new brake wheel cylinders, a tuneup, and one new headlight--on a special Facebook page.

So if you happen to be at SwSW, and you see a lime green Oldsmobile 98 Coupe running around town, flag down the folks from ModOp.

Tell 'em you read about their project car and company mascot on Green Car Reports.

Oh, and about that legendary GM diesel unreliability?

1979 Oldsmobile 98 Diesel, San Diego, offered on Craigslist, Feb 2013

1979 Oldsmobile 98 Diesel, San Diego, offered on Craigslist, Feb 2013

Enlarge Photo

"This $2000 beauty just floated us trouble free from LA to Austin at an average speed of 75 MPH," Suhy writes, "averaging over 20MPG and without a single issue."

It was, he says, "the best $3000 we ever spent to generate awareness for ModOp and get a million laughs in the process!"

For a longer diesel road trip yet, we asked writer Colin Mathews to cover his 2008 cross-country odyssey in a diesel Mercedes-Benz wagon converted to run on biodiesel.

You can read the eight episodes on his travel blog (in order) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

His motto: "Diesel rocks."


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Comments (6)
  1. Pity is survived in pristine condition for 34 years only to be desecrated by a fool for a PR stunt. Shame!

  2. Hey GCR - just a reminder you don't have to convert your car to run on biodiesel - its a drop in fuel! ModOp should for sure be running that green beauty on bio

  3. "ModOp showed the transformation--which involved a $500 paint job, new brake wheel cylinders, a tuneup"

    How exactly does one tune-up a compression-igniting engine which has no spark plugs and no ignition timing?

  4. For John Voelcker: If memory serves that unreliability was mainly trying to get compression ignition to work when the engine is sucking in air at -30degrees (C or F!).
    For Annatar: Well, there is no spark plug (unless you bought one designed to work in the Canadian arctic) but the problem of getting the right amount of fuel to ignite at the correct time replaces the ignition timing tuneup.

  5. What? Either the fuel pump and injectors are working, or they are not. With diesels, that is binary.

  6. Anyone who thinks diesel vehicles should be on a green/eco car web site is deeply ignorant. They're all over europe and the rest of the world and some of them are worse than gasoline/petrol vehicles.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

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