Future classic: Oldsmobile Aurora

Future classic: Oldsmobile Aurora

The car was designed and a full-scale model was created.

1995 Oldsmobile Aurora Four-Door Sedan DN546-U0184

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles about cars that someday likely will be considered classics.

When Chuck Jordan returned from General Motors’ European offices to become the automaker’s vice president of design in the late 1980s, he realized that “all the sedans on the road were dull, drab and boring. There was no character, no excitement.”

Secretly, Jordan set one of GM’s advanced design studios to work on a sedan that had character and excitement.

The car was designed and a full-scale model was created.

But Jordan still had a problem: None of GM’s various car divisions had asked for such a car and didn’t seem very interested in the no-longer secret vehicle.

Undaunted, Jordan parked a full-scale model of the car in the hallway at GM’s headquarters, placing it so executives couldn’t avoid it as they walked past the car several times every day.

At last, the day arrived when the head of Oldsmobile asked if he could have the car. Well, not him personally but if he could have the design for his division, as its new flagship sedan.

1995 Oldsmobile Aurora Four-Door Sedan UNC1995-0039

And thus was born the 1995 Oldsmobile Aurora, which one author has called the last great full-size American car design.

Nearly two decades later, that original Aurora, with its spaceship shape, grille-less nose and full-width tail lamp, still looks fresh and futuristic.

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