Everyone has a dream car. You know what I'm talking about — the one you've always lusted after. The one you had every brochure about. The one you dreamed about.

Mine, fellow Opponauts, is fairly unlikely. In late 1984, my grandfather decided it was time to buy himself a new car. While he lived four hours away, the upside of this was that I (a mere 6 years old at the time) received all of the brochures after he had selected a car. The car he ended up purchasing was a 1985 Buick Park Avenue, which ended up being my first car. But that's another story.

Of all the car brochures I own, of all the car pictures I've ever seen, one stands out in my mind:

A Dream Deferred?S

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the 1984 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Brougham. In burgundy. With opera lamps. And cornering lamps. And fender skirts. This has been my dream car since I was about 6 years old. (It used to be the 1984-1985 Delta 88, but I guess my tongue grew a little more silver.)

Starting at age 6, and continuing for the next 28 years, I have held this picture in my mind as the picture of where I wanted my life to be. The tops. Numero uno. Where I envisioned my life in my early-to-mid-30s. Me, apparently well-to-do, along with an attractive wife, heading for a night at the opera with a couple of friends in my top-of-the-line, fully-loaded, it-doesn't-get-any-better-than-this 1984 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham.

Let's check in quickly with myself at the ripe old age of 35. Owned Detroit luxobarges? Three. Wife? Not even close, much to my chagrin. Rich? I'm comfortable. Happy? Not hardly.

I've obtained a hankering lately for an older vehicle. I went through a mid-life (well, I really hope it's more of a one-third-life) crisis two years ago and bought me a 2012 Mustang. It's a fun car, and it's something I've wanted. But like any true Jalop, I always think about having a second, older vehicle. Something I can always have to tinker on. Something I might drive to work once a week just for fun. Usually I end up looking for a 70s-era Ford or International pickup. But occasionally I run into beauties like this:

1983 Olds 98 Regency Brougham

1984 Olds Regency Brougham (Not the correct steering wheel, but...)

And then I tun into old fogey mode again. The current bid on the 1983 Olds is just over $1,500. And it's located in Decatur, Alabama, where half of my mother's family is from. How can I possibly lose with this?

It all goes back to that picture contained in the 1984 Olds brochure. I still hold hope that perhaps one day *I* will be the one in that picture. It hasn't happened yet, and I certainly know that owning a 1984 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency Brougham won't necessarily help, but damn it, how can I help myself?