Last post on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:08 PM
You are in the Oldsmobile Aurora
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Oldsmobile Aurora, Sedan
Jun 04, 2003 (3:24 pm)
I thought that the last three posts regarding the Collector's Edition Aurora were a great time for me to share some great news with you. As of May 10th, I am the proud owner of a new Final 500 Aurora. I'll give you some history of my experience in purchasing it.
I originally did not think too much about the Aurora because I have been dreaming of the day that I would be able to buy a Bonneville SSEi. I have always loved it even from the original ones back in 1988. In Oct. 2002, I started doing my own comparisons and on-line research about the two cars since they were similar in price, creature comforts, performance, and that it was the last year for the Aurora. I quickly decided that the Aurora would probably be the better car for me because it had more luxury features than the SSEi such as real burl wood, was the last luxury car of the oldest car brand in existence, came with a extended warranty as standard, could be ordered with a special Collector's Edition package that may make it collectible one day, already owned a used 1990 Touring Sedan and still love it, and many other pros that quicklyoutweighed the pros of the SSEi.
I decided to buy a Final 500 if I was going to get one, so I researched dealers that still sold Oldsmobiles and had several new ones on their lots through the BuyPower website. I found a dealer in the next major city from me that had them and turned out to be the largest Olds dealer in the state.
In Nov. 2002, I went to test drive each car to see which I truly would like with actual 'seat time, interior ambiance, and performance'. I was wowed by the Aurora because my first impression was that it felt, smelled, and performed to me like a Cadillac Seville. I had to have it now! The SSEi was left in the dust.
I was told by the dealer that they were allocated two of the Final 500s and should get my name on their list early to be certain I would get one. On Jan. 3, I put in my order and deposit for one. I was the first person to be on their list. I told the salesman that I wanted every option that it came with except the Navigation radio. I wanted the cassette player radio instead because I have many cassettes that I want to be able to continue to listen to in style. My salesman later sent me a monthly newsletter that Oldsmobile sends to the dealers that had a writeup about the Final 500s and told what options could be ordered on it. I'm also collecting all stuff like this that I can get as collectible memorabilia. I could not wait to get it!!
My salesman called me on March 31st to tell me that the car had arrived. GM made the Final 500s earlier that they originally announced to everyone. The last one was made on March 28th. I wish that I could have been at the Orion plant for the celebration.
My salesman faxed me a copy of the window sticker and the dealer invoice for me to look at because I saw that the car had popped up on the BuyPower site but didn't have all the options on it that I ordered. I found out that this first one that popped up was the other Final 500 that someone else ordered. Mine popped up a few days later. I could not believe that he actually sent me the sacred invoice because we had not even talked numbers yet. I knew exactly what they paid for it and that they could not pull any funny business now. I told them that the car they ordered for me was missing the engine block heater only. Everything else was there. The salesman offered to put it on the car at no extra charge since they didn't order it like I wanted. I was shocked because I didn't even have to ask him to later in the negotiations.
On April 12th, I went to negotiate the price of the car. I wound up negotiating with one of the owners of the dealership working that day also because I intentionally got there 1.5 hours before closing to try to get a better deal by making them stay after closing. I had to wait for a while because my salesman was delivering another car at the time. We did not start until after closing.
In a short amount of time, I negotiated a price of $38,000 for the car with an extra set of Final 500 floormats and some wheel locks for the chrome STS wheels thrown in at my prompting. My final total later with tax, tag and license, extended warranty, and $3,000 cash back was $41,545.85. Sticker price was $39,955 including destination charge. Oldsmobile has a special deal that new buyers can extend the 5/60 extended GMPP a little further to either 5/75 or 6/60 for $395 more. I took the 6/60 extention and thought that was an excellent deal. Kudos to Olds for treated the last new owners of their cars right! I picked up the car on May 10th and paid a guy that the dealer uses to pick up cars from and take car to other dealers to trailer my car home. I did not want to drive it and have over 128 miles on it right off the bat just to bring it home. I bought it with 28 miles on it.
On all Final 500s, all come with these required options:
* Standard Aurora features
* Passenger Comfort Package
* Convenience Package
* Heated Seats
* Collector Edition Package
These options are the only 'free-flow' options:
* Power Sunroof
* Bose CD/Cassette radio system
* Navigation Radio w/Bose sound system
* 12-Disc Trunk Mounted CD Changer
* Engine Block Heater
I have all except the NAV radio and still need to have the block heater put in. They ordered the parts but the service guy had not done this install before and did not want to mess up the car. They gave me the parts to have another dealer more experienced with the install to put it on and they will pay for it.
Sorry about writing a book, but I thought that everyone here might enjoy a little 'glimpse' of my experience and know that someone in the group finally owns a Collector's Edition. I love the car thus far and I fight myself every time I have driven it to not floor the excellent and unique V8 engine. She has only 58 miles on her still and I am trying really hard to keep her in collectable status. That means very little driving and meticulous upkeep. I have it stored in a storage unit to keep it safe and out of my hands each day.
As for the VIN number question that '53rocket' had about the Final 500, I can answer this one. The VINs of the Final 500 will be in the 1G3GS64Cx3417nnnn to 1G3GS64Cx3418nnnn range. The 'x' is the unique check sum digit of the car and the 'n' is the last 4 unique identifying numbers of each car. I have been watching the VINs of other Final 500s left in my area of the country and this seems to be the range for them. Mine is in the 3417xxxx range, which seems to be the range of the first 100.
Thanks for reading my 'book' and indulging me the pleasure of talking about my new wheels. Let me know what your thoughts are about it and ask me any questions you may have about the car. I will answer all.
Jun 04, 2003 (5:08 pm)
Thanks for the follow-up. I really appreciate it. I've saved a copy on the pc with all of the details. My only wish would have been to have my name and not someone else's on the documentation. That's the trade off for not having the cash now.I'm sure I'll kick myself for many years to come but such is life (I think I hear the "Married with Children" theme in the background).
Jun 04, 2003 (5:58 pm)
I am interested in purchasing a 2003 Aurora. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago. I would appreciate any information regarding readers perception of reliability, long term comfort and performance. Would anyone buy another today if theirs was lost? Any recommendations on Foley Rice or any other metro Chicago Dealership? Is there any "dealer cash" from GM above the $3,000. national rebate? Thanks
Jun 04, 2003 (8:38 pm)
Welcome to the club! You're now the envy of all of us, though some of us Classic owners would need two cars as we could never part with our 95-99 models. Sounds like you need another 03, one to store and one to drive. Thanks for all the information.
Jun 04, 2003 (9:51 pm)
I'm a 21 year old college student in search of a new(er) car. I currently drive a 1988 Olds Delta 88, which is a nice dependable car, but it sure doesn't get the chicks. I have always really liked the Aurora and have one in mind. It's a 1997 with about 80,000 miles for $5995, BUT it will need a new crankshaft right away. It is for sale at an Oldsmobile dealer. It is discounted about $2000 because of the need for repair. I am a little wary of it because it needs a new crankshaft, but it is a very clean car. I don't even know how much it will cost to replace the crankshaft, but I am betting between $500-$1000. It seems strange that it would need a crankshaft at that mileage. Maybe it indicated the car was driven hard? I have heard the Aurora is prone to some expensive repairs. My Grandma-mobile may be boring, but it is fairly cheap to operate. I need your advice, is this car worth considering or should I look for another Aurora?
Jun 05, 2003 (6:05 am)
I think that price is too high for an Aurora with major engine problems. These cars are very sophisticated (read: 'Can Be Expensive to Fix') and I think you are looking closer to the $2000 or better to repair it. And yes, I would be very suspicious about it needing a crankshaft so early. My '95 has 100k miles... some on this board have more than 200K and I have NEVER heard of one needing a crankshaft.
Having said that, I love my '95 Aurora and I would certainly recommend one. The '97 and newer are probably better than the '95 and '96s (there were some potenially expensive issues fixed after 96). But if you look around a little, you should easily find one in very good shape for less money than that car and repairs would cost. Make sure any Aurora you look at (and any other used car, for that matter) has service records showing frequent oil / trans changes and servicing. Maintenance is the key when it comes to avoiding major repairs in high mileage used cars.
Jun 05, 2003 (7:37 am)
You have a prized possesion now. The 2001-2003 aurora handle great, look great, are well built, and with your 6 year warranty, you dont have to worry about a thing. I wish I had known about that warranty extension. Can you get that later on? I just hit 40K on my 2K1. I cant help it, it is so much fun driving this car.
BTW, what tires came with the caddy rims? And last, what are the trims for the 500? I know the embroidery on the seats and the caddy wheels, what else? Looks like stainless or chrome air intake vents in the front bumper?
#4346 of 5876 pilot sport AS, the verdict
Jun 05, 2003 (7:50 am)
Now that I've had the replacement tires for a few days (thank god that whole ordeal of out of round tires is behind), I think they are worth the extra cost. Just make sure you get them at the dealer and they test it on a Hunter...
These tires are the best thing since sliced bread. They are way better in the rain than the MXV4+. Slighlty more noise with the windows down, but it's a cool sound. RJS wouldn't be able to hear the difference with the Corsa exhaust
How good in the rain? yesterday we had a flash flood on highway 52 (north carolina) and I was on it when it happened. I couldn't tell, never aquaplaned or anything. I was northbound. Southbound I saw a flipped 2003 nissan altima (i think a 3.5). Looked like a nice pancake.
When I drive around the backroads, I usually cruise at a speed i'm comfortable with, based on the car feedback and other factors. I noticed that I seemed to be driving about 8 mph faster on the Pilot Sport AS. The steering feel is much more responsive, less "float".
Flooring it on the dry, from a standstill, the traction control never kicked in. I tried a few times. It usually did with the mxv4+.
They ride a little stiffer than the mxv4+ but you gotta pay attention to that to notice. Changing lane in an emergency is much tighter too. At any rate, I think this is a much better upgrade than going to 18", with more ride comfort, equal performance in lane changing ability (sidewall flex) and less risk of wheel damage.
There is one down side.
Mileage is going to go up more quickly...
Jun 05, 2003 (9:52 am)
The Final 500 is pretty cool. Question, how do you like the color? The Aurora is a lot more car for the money than the SSEi in my opinion.
Fdion, those STS wheels on the CE come with the same 235/55-17 Michelin MXV4+'s. Those tires are actually an extra cost option on the STS...
Glad to hear you like the Sport A/S's. I'll have to keep them in mind when it's time for new tires. Though I wish there were some decent Goodyears or Dunlops I could get... I imagine snow isn't a concern down there in Carolina?
Bret, I wouldn't buy that car unless you are prepared to possibly spend a lot. Question: How does the dealer know it needs a new crank? What's wrong with the current one? How did they pinpoint it was the crank without taking it apart? And if they took it apart, why not replace the dang thing?
Jun 05, 2003 (10:40 am)
ontonagon - I have a 98 with 41k. I love it and would buy another Aurora to replace it if something happened. The new ones have a pretty strong warranty.
uniguy - I wouldn't touch it. RJS is right, what IS the truth about that car? What else is goofed up that is related to this problem? Why don't they fix the car and then sell it for an appropriate price? There has to be some reason they don't want to touch it, but want you to pay them for the privilege of fixing it.