Oldsmobile Firenza

With the exception of cosmetic differences, engine upgrades and the dropping of certain models, the Firenza platform remained much unchanged throughout the years. The Oldsmobile Firenza was a compact car manufactured by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors from 1982 to 1988. Granted, it was only around for six years, but it did ok in that time. It was built upon the front-wheel drive GM J platform, which it shared with the Buick Skyhawk, the Cadillac Cimarron, the Chevrolet Cavalier and the Pontiac Sunbird. When it was discontinued in 1988 it was supplanted by the Oldsmobile Calais, which was, renamed the Cutlass Calais for 1988. The J platform, which the Firenza was built upon, was General Motors' inexpensive front-wheel drive platform from the 1980s and 1990s. The first J-body car ever was the Chevrolet Cavalier, which was launched on March 21, 1981 as a 1982 model. The last surviving J-body car, the Mexican-built Pontiac Sunfire, thankfully ended production in June 2005. Over the years, there are three generations of the J-body: the first span was from 1982 to 1987, the second was form 1988 to 1994, and the third was from 1995 to 2005. The original design of the J-body dates all the way back to the mid-1970s, at which time GM-controlled divisions in different parts of the world were manufacturing totally different rear-wheel drive mid-size and subcompact cars. Such models included the Chevrolet Vega in America, the Vauxhall Cavalier in Europe, the Holden Torana in Australia and the Isuzu Florian in Japan. Because some of them were not competitive in their respective markets, it was decided that a common replacement would be created to eliminate the duplication of research and development. This proved to be a very successful strategy and the J Body was immediately sent into production with the Oil embargo crisis looming.