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Old 05-16-2008, 12:21 AM   #1
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Default Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

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Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

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Roger Smith and F. James McDonald are pictured with the 1985 Saturn four-door sedan concept. This was the first Saturn demonstration prototype vehicle. It was completed for evaluation and shown to the media on September 15, 1984.

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Old 05-16-2008, 06:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

It looked like a bland smaller version of a mid 80's Olds Cutlass Cierra. It is interesting how things eventually evolved stylistically into the early S-series; especially the attractive SC. By the looks of the prototype, we can be thankful that such evolution did occur, but I guess things had to start somewhere

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Old 05-16-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Wow, I never knew there was a prototype Saturn car as early as 1984! The final styling of the "S" cars was greatly improved before they started coming off the line in Spring Hill. My beautiful 1994 SW-2 wagon still runs great & its original green finish looks flawless parked beside my gorgeous 2008 gold VUE. I'll be trading my VUE for a Plug-in VUE, but will always keep my beloved SW-2!

I'll never forget the phone call I got in 1994 from a lady in Spring Hill who I think was Vice President of Public Relations. She asked, "Does your license plate really say "NASA MAN"?! After I confirmed that it did, she told me how Saturn got its name....

"GM ran a company-wide contest to name the new company & car, and a fellow named Philip Garcia in a Chevrolet design studio won ....with the explanation, 'We used Saturn (the moon rocket) to beat the Russians to the moon and we should use Saturn to beat the Japanese in the automotive business!'"

My SW-2 has hand-painted pin stripes on both sides that include a Saturn planet, complete with rings, at the end of each one. Maybe this car should be placed in a museum when I no longer need it!*

*[My new VUE's tag is "NASA CAR" & my SW-2's tag remains "NASA MAN" -- I've spent my life in the US space program, including the moon shot, so my much-loved Saturns are effectively moving commemorations of an exciting career.]

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Old 05-16-2008, 07:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10 View Post
It looked like a bland smaller version of a mid 80's Olds Cutlass Cierra. It is interesting how things eventually evolved stylistically into the early S-series
Much like how the first-gen S-series looks like a bland smaller version of the early 90's Olds Cutlass Supreme

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Old 05-16-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

I remember that it took a long time (about 7 years) between the time that the creation of Saturn was announced and the time that the first S- Series car was available. The explanation given at the time was that they wanted to make sure that they got it right.

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

The '84 Proto-type actually is a Cavalier. The production Saturn looks like the Cutlass, the rear windows are amazingly similiar! See where our designs came from? Now they are gone (Olds) and we are the new Guinea pigs for new product, designs, technology, Etc....

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Old 05-16-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

The time was spent developing unique innovative designs for the s-series. For several years they spent trying to cast the block and head assy in one casting using the lost foam process. This would have significantly cut down the steps manufacturing an engine. They were not sucessful. Imagine no head gaskets!

IMO this prototype styling wasn't looking far enough ahead of the curve. At first glance it screams Cavalier to me... No door lock cylinders?

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Old 05-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Regarding the first-generation S cars' styling, what you guys are forgetting or didn't know is that GM corporate controlled the lines, not Saturn. That's why a lot of car rags panned the S sedan for being a junior Cutlass Supreme sedan (W-body), not the A-body Cutlass Ciera and the S coupe was derided for being a Geo Storm clone.

When the '96 sedan/wagon and '97 coupe exterior restyles were unveiled, they were more unique looking and certainly better looking than the comparable J-body (Cavalier, Sunbird) of that time, IMO.

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Old 05-16-2008, 11:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post
Regarding the first-generation S cars' styling, what you guys are forgetting or didn't know is that GM corporate controlled the lines, not Saturn. That's why a lot of car rags panned the S sedan for being a junior Cutlass Supreme sedan (W-body), not the A-body Cutlass Ciera and the S coupe was derided for being a Geo Storm clone.
IMO the 1984 prototype had the characteristics of a small Cutlass Cierra or perhaps the characteristics of a similar Chevy Citation. The eventual S-series was altered between 1984 and initial release and may indeed have been a junior Cutlass Supreme. Whatever it was, the early Saturn always was IMO another brand name for a small Olds that could never sell well as an Olds. Ironically Saturn cars are now often Opels which was a brand that GM initially tried to sell roughly 30 years ago through its Buick dealerships. Some things in life are just fated to repeat themselves.

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Old 05-16-2008, 11:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

I've seen that on this site many times before. I still think it looks like a cross between a Buick, a Mercury and a Chevy Cavalier.

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Old 05-17-2008, 07:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10 View Post
IMO the 1984 prototype had the characteristics of a small Cutlass Cierra or perhaps the characteristics of a similar Chevy Citation.
After thinking about it further, I believe the Chevy model I was referring to was a Celebrity not Citation. Either way, it was a long time ago.

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Old 05-17-2008, 10:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Here's More info about the s series prototype car ...


http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortu...6593/index.htm

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Old 05-18-2008, 09:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by John10 View Post
It looked like a bland smaller version of a mid 80's Olds Cutlass Cierra. It is interesting how things eventually evolved stylistically into the early S-series; especially the attractive SC.
The SL was like a mini Cutlass Supreme. The Cutlass Supreme: An aesthetic vision based on aerodynamic truth!

(Why do I remember crap like that? I think they actually said that in an old Cutlass Supreme ad!)

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

It looks like the 1979 Mercury Zephyr my dad had.

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Old 05-18-2008, 05:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tethys View Post
That's why a lot of car rags panned the S sedan for being a junior Cutlass Supreme sedan (W-body), not the A-body Cutlass Ciera and the S coupe was derided for being a Geo Storm clone.
Except that a first generation S coupe looked much nicer than a Geo Storm. I don't see the resemblance at all, they are so different I can easily tell them apart while walking down the rows at a junkyard, even with body panels and other parts missing.

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Old 05-18-2008, 08:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Saturn has come a long way from those days.

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Old 05-18-2008, 11:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Macbox - I don't agree with the old assessment, I just pointed out what the rags and what I heard from people where I worked at the time, say about the cars. Discerning between early Saturns and other GM models they allegedly resembled was a cinch and it still is, for me at least.

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Old 05-19-2008, 06:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_tek View Post
Here's More info about the s series prototype car ...


http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortu...6593/index.htm
Here's a good synopsis:

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/compa...y-History.html

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Old 05-19-2008, 07:56 AM   #19
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

This is very interesting.

The car is very bland, I'm glad that they got things together and offered the much more attractive 1st gen S-Series.

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Old 05-19-2008, 02:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1984 Saturn Prototype

Actually,

Anyone think this somewhat resembles a Renault Alliance?

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