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1974 Oldsmobile Omega S has “a little wallop”

By 1974 the cars being sold were a lot different than the fire breathing "Super Cars" being sold in the late 60s. As is evidenced by this vintage road test, although Car and Track did it's best to change with the times, it was never quite the same. This is fairly apparent throughout this 1974 Oldsmobile Omega S road test. As host Bud Lindemann points out, the S in the Omega's name signifies sport options and a higher price tag.


The days of four wheel drifting around the test track were also a distant memory by this point. The most impressive statistic Lindemann can summon about the optional 350 V8 in the Omega is the fact it has a 4 barrel carburetor. During straight line acceleration testing Lindemann quipped "the third time off the line I think there was actually a squeal of rubber, which is rather rare today with all the clean air plumbing". It was the clean air plumbing that could be blamed for the Omega's dismal 18.1 second quarter mile time.

Perhaps most interesting about this vintage road test is how the Omega is classified. According to the host "The Omega, Like Buick's Apollo, we call a 'Mini-mediate', meaning that the size falls somewhere between a mini and an intermediate." Although the Omega is not a huge car, mini is not the word you would use to describe a modern car of similar proportions.


Although it couldn't compare to the cars of a few years earlier performance wise, for 1974 the Omega wasn't bad. Even if the Omega is "a re-run" Lindemann points out "Compared to most of the 1974 models, it's got a little wallop". Ultimately the host gives a hesitant endorsement pointing out "If you've been bitten by the small car bug, but claustrophobia is still a factor you might try this one on for size"

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I always loved how GM named the cars that used this platform:

N ova (Chevy)

O mega (Olds)

V entura (Pontiac)

A pollo (Buick)