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The "New" Kit

We all love that new car smell. And we all hate the payment book. But we also love something else about getting a new car, truck, motorcycle, or whatever. It's a bunch of little things that make no real sense whatsoever individually, but collectively, no new vehicle would be complete without them.

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It's called The "New" Kit. And it's those extra little markings, stickers (This time, on the headlight), and other things that usually disappear in a week or two.

Continue reading "The "New" Kit" »

October 27 Weekly Open Thread: Will No One Rid Me Of These Turbulent Noises?

FIle this one under First World Problems: Since I bought a new vehicle to replace one of 1970s vintage (and an addition to one of 1990s vintage), I have experienced many neat and wondrous things. Such as heaters that heat quickly; quiet; a smooth ride, etc. However, there are one or two things that have been really bugging me. In this case, constant beeping and flashing:

 

Yes, all the infernal beeping and flashing that seems to accompany virtually every press of a button, though to be honest it's mainly locking and unlocking it with the fob. Lock it and it beeps a couple times and the lights flash. Unlock it and it beeps a couple of times and the lights flash. Lock it before the doors are all closed and it beeps and flashes and then beeps again once the doors are all closed. Can this thing not do a simple task without being a drama queen about it? 

I did try to bypass all the beeping and flashing early one morning by simply opening the driver's side door with the key, but then it immediately started beeping and flashing and added blowing the horn to the mix. "No!" it seemed to say, "Bad owner! No driving!"

I imagine there's some way make it all shut the hell up, but it's not risen to that level.

Yet. 

Stealthy entry is not its strong point. 

Sometimes it's really pleasant to get into my old Mustang with a simple turn of the key and nary a beep or a flash to be heard or seen. 

Please discuss this or any other auto-related topic.

Carspotters’ Challenge #121: Something’s Out Of Place Here…

While browsing the comments’ section on a Jalopnik post, the pic below grabbed my eye. While a certain black wedge is without a doubt CarLust material, let’s take a look at the contemporary machinery that makes said wedge stand out. Who knows, maybe one or more of the surrounding machinery will become CarLust fodder sooner or later.

Jalopnik lamborghini japlapa review printscreen izzdsbqxzwkeb0xcz8al So what can you identify out the back window?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References:

Pic: Jalopnik

October 20 Weekly Open Thread: American Retro Edition

This week we bring your attention to a photo essay by Vanessa, also known as Nessy, the proprietress of Messy Nessy Chic. Recently, Nessy highlighted a few photos by photographer Ryan Schude, many of whose works feature automobiles, both newer and older. Sayeth Nessy: Tree

The fascinating scenes, the colours, the cars, the people, the places– there’s just so much to soak in, but I’m going to let the pictures do all the talking. All I can say is that his pictures have stolen my American retro-loving heart…

Some of them are a bit busy and, well, goofy for my taste (if that's worth anything) but in most cases the photographs featuring automobiles are mostly simple but elegant in composition. You'll notice often the color pallette of the background scenery and the featured automobile are nicely complementary to one another. They look like they really do fit where they are. Most of them have sort of a mid-century modern flair to them (which I adore), even when there's nothing particularly "mid-century" involved (e.g., the '85 Volvo). I'm particularly tickled that one features one of my faves, the Subaru BRAT.

I'll let you all click over and check out the images in her essay and the photographer's Tumblr pages, all of which are both gorgeously shot and feature several cars known throughout these Car Lust parts. And feel free to discuss anything else. Enjoy.

My favorites (so far) include the photo above and this one in particular:

Jag

 UPDATE: Schude's web site is here and he has a Facebook page for more photos.

Open Thread Mystery: The Answer

On Monday I posted a photo of a couple of old pickup trucks as something of a little mystery for Car Lust readers to solve:

MysteryTrucks

So here's the answer to the mystery:

Continue reading "Open Thread Mystery: The Answer" »

2002 -- 2006 Honda CRV

Remember when you were a teenager and you developed various crushes on certain celebrities? Teen girls had their Davy Jones'sDavid Cassidys, Leif Garretts, Rob Lowes, and James Van Der Beeks (pick yer decade, ladies), while we young men had our Farrah Fawcetts, Catherine Bachs, Dallas Cowboys 2006CRVCheerleaders, Britney Spears'ss's, Kate Uptons, and Lamborghini Countachs (hey, we're a little geeky, okay?). Most of those are pretty standard and easily understood even from the pedestal of advanced age. Heck, much to my parents' chagrin, I had Farrah's 1976 Red Swimsuit poster on my wall (along with God knows what all else, I don't even remember; but I remember that one. . .). 

On the other hand many of us probably had one of those that came out of left field that no one else went gonzo over. You know the type, kind of homely, maybe a bit nerdy, and not someone who would leap to mind as being traditionally sexy, hot, or any other adjective that leaps to mind. But for a time they were the center of our little-understood teenaged hormonal universe and we look back on them, again from the pedestal of advanced age, and. . .well, usually get a little wistful after the initial "What was I thinking?" moment. For what it's worth, my bizarro crush was none other than [censored to protect my dignity] so make of that what you will.

Thus my odd and fairly recent fascination with the 2002-2006 Honda CRV. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's a fine vehicle, but more in the way a KitchenAid Mixer is a fine appliance, but definitely not something to almost obsess over. Think perhaps Kate Jackson to Farrah Fawcett. Danny Bonaduce to David Cassidy. Ringo. Answering Mrs. Thurston Howell III to that eternal question for pete's sake! 

So, no, I'm not sure why I've latched onto the CRV as my Objet d'Lust lately. But I suppose admitting it to others is the first step in recovery. . . .

Continue reading "2002 -- 2006 Honda CRV" »

October 13 Weekly Open Thread: Mystery Edition

We get the Halloween season going with a little mystery for Car Lust readers:

MysteryTrucks

Any guesses as to the what, where, significance, etc?

The only hint I'l' give is that I took the photo myself about a week ago.

 

I'll let this sit out there and give a fuller explanation later in the week. 

Feel free to discuss anything else of automotive interest as well.

Carspotters’ Challenge #120: Traffic Jam in Springfield

Some weeks ago, a record-breaking, series-long marathon of The Simpsons was given on FXX. And earlier this year, but stumbled upon earlier this month (September), Jalopnik raided The Simpsons’ Internet Movie Cars DataBase webpage to form a guide to every real car used in said TV show. These two events motivated me to check said IMDb webpage to see all listed vehicles and see if I could find choice pics for a future Carspotters’ Challenge. Needless to say, I succeeded.

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This pic alone is evidence enough of another Simpsons record: having the most listed vehicles in an animation series, at least up until 2012. Of those, how many can you recognize from at least this pic?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References:

Pic from http://www.imcdb.org/

Great(ish) Commercials – Style Never Goes Out Of Style… Allegedly

I’ve wanted to tear into this commercial from the moment I saw it. I chose the longer version for further dismemberment.

 

Continue reading "Great(ish) Commercials – Style Never Goes Out Of Style… Allegedly" »

Carspotters' Challenge #119--"Oh, The Pain... The Pain"

We've sort of done one of these Carspotters' Challenges before. But I saw so many especially Lust-Worthy cars here, I thought... "Hey, what the heck!"

CS 119

I see a car that was in one of the best-loved James Bond movies (Hint: It's 50 years old this month). And I think I see at least one that was designed by fellow Car Lust contributor Virgil Exner, Jr. There are also a few more that I would like to pull out of that pile.

See anything in there that you would like to restore?

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credit: Our heapin' helpin' of scrap cars image came from PinupsAndKustoms.com.

Miller Motorcars (née) Chinetti Motors, America's First Ferrari Dealership

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Miller Motorcars

There is an elegant structure in upscale Greenwich, Connecticut. It's something of a stately 2-story Tudor with large picture windows, and graces Putnam Avenue with style. At first glance, the building could house antiques and/or art... and yes... in many, many ways, it does house fine art.

The establishment features Ferrari, Maserati, and the occasional "previously owned" Rolls-Royce Motorcar and such. Why, I even thought I saw a more-pedestrian BMW on the premises. They also feature new and, ahem, used Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, McLaren, Pagani, and Rolls-Royce. In fact, they are the only factory authorized dealership for all these unique brands in the state of Connecticut.

Continue reading "Miller Motorcars (née) Chinetti Motors, America's First Ferrari Dealership" »

September 22 Weekly Open Thread: The Top 10

Rusty-car1As we all know, every car publication, blog, and TV car show has produced its choices of the "10 Worst Cars Of All Time." And many cars, such as the Chevy Vega, the Pontiac Aztek, and the AMC Pacer, have shown up on virtually every 10 Worst Cars List ever done.

So since those lists have become all too familiar, we're now going to do a 10 Worst Cars Of All Time list, but with a little twist. And we need your help.

The twist is this: We're putting together a list of "The Next 10 Worst Cars Of All Time," and we need your choice(s) for any of the Top 10 worst cars of all time, especially when you exclude the following:

Chevy Vega/H-Body Cars

GM X-Body Cars

Continue reading "September 22 Weekly Open Thread: The Top 10 " »

4th Annual Home Depot Cruise-In, Medina, Ohio 9/14/14

Last Sunday was a perfect day for a cruise-in, so the Frazer Manhattan and I went to the one sponsored by our local Home Depot.

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There were probably close to fifty vehicles that were in attendance at one point or another over the span of five hours, and it was a pretty eclectic mix.

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Here's some of what we saw.

Continue reading "4th Annual Home Depot Cruise-In, Medina, Ohio 9/14/14" »

Review: If Kia's Not Your Forte, It Might Be Time For a Second Look

As Tigerstrypes' recent post emphasized, Kia has made a stealth ascent within the US auto market, moving from punchline to serious contender in the space of a generation. Once considered the ultimate in disposable transport, Kia's lineup has morphed into a kaleidoscope of seeming contradictions: Kias can be both derivative and innovative, cheap and luxy, aspirationally flashy and plain-jane commuter. The company's marketing injects goofball hamster-laden whimsy into a famously risk-averse industry; its design cues manage to be distinctive but not "polarizing"; and we end up with things like a teenage-dream sound system packed into a compact SUV whose primary market is Baby Boomers. The compact Kia Forte, redesigned completely for 2014 to give it some independence from its Hyundai sister Elantra, embodies everything that Kia is doing right. For a Civic alternative that comes in at just over $20K, our top-line EX test car turns out to be surprisingly feature-rich, and has some character to boot. While it's hardly a flagship vehicle, this compact you've probably never given a second thought to just might surprise you.

DSC_0707

Continue reading "Review: If Kia's Not Your Forte, It Might Be Time For a Second Look" »

September 15 Weekly Open Thread: The People's Car?

Over at Top Gear -- that poor stepsister to Car Lust -- James May had a 3-episode series on Cars of the People (which, you know, we've been highlighting FOR YEARS). Largely devoted to automobiles designed 1024px-VolkswagenBeetle-001 for ordinary folks to carry out their daily business in -- like the VW Beetle, Ford Transit VanCitroën 2CV, Ford Mustang, Fiat 124/VAZ-2101, and various other primarily inexpensive automobiles produced for the masses -- it was an exercise ostensibly directed at determining what the ultimate Car of the People was. Not the car everybody wanted, but the car that the majority of people needed and could get along with and, you know, use

What do you think he decided on?

The VW Golf

"Pah!" said I, "That's not it because. . . .well, because it's. . . .I mean, it can't be since the real ultimate People's Car is. . . . .hmmmmm."

And you know, I couldn't really come up with any good reasons. It seats five. Drives well. Has a hatchback so it's practical. Covers a range of budgets, from basic to hot. And over six generations since 1974 it's sold over 30 million copies so they've got to be doing something right.

Right?

Maybe. But for my money, it's the Honda Civic. It comes in sedan, coupe, and hatch versions in a variety of trim and option levels, it's more reliable and cheaper to maintain than the Golf, and has had its own hot hatchback at times. It hasn't sold quite as well though, only reaching about half the number of the Golf in about the same amount of time (sales figures here). So maybe I'm wrong (perish the thought).

Then there's the Toyota Corolla, the best-selling nameplate ever at 40 million and counting. That must count for something.

He mentioned the Model T and I think that, considered across the entire span of automobile history, I would probably go with it over everything else. It was the first car that was really built for the masses and it fulfilled that role magnificently. As I noted earlier, the Model T was for everything from an around-town runabout to delivery trucks -- beer, milk, you name it -- to ambulances to farm implements. They fulfilled every conceivable use and made motoring a part of daily life for everyone, not just toys for the rich. 

So, what do you think? The Golf? Civic? Toyota Corolla? Something else? 

And feel free to discuss anything else auto-related that comes to mind. Beetle photo from Wikipedia. 

Kia: 20 Years After

Kia the power to surprise logo

Probably the most truthful automotive slogan I’ve read.

Like Mitsubishi’s 30th Anniversary and Scion’s 10th Anniversary, I was caught off-guard by Kia turning 20 in the American market, hadn’t it been for a news snippet on the local classifieds. Truth be told, I wasn’t paying much attention. Kias weren’t my thing. But seeing how much the brand has grown in a slightly shorter period of time than its sister Hyundai, I believe it deserves merit to travel back in time to see where it all began, even if it’s just for the kitschy-ness of it all. So set the VCR to record the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as the first episodes of Gargoyles, ReBoot and Street Sharks, to name a few; tie up those rollerblades or Air Jordan IX’s, put some fresh batteries on your Gameboy (don’t forget the Donkey Kong cartridge!) and Walkman (with Corona’s Rhythm of the Night), bring a pair of fresh underwear in your JanSport backpack, get the tickets for Forrest Gump, pay your respects to the late Ayrton Senna, forget about the canceled World Series and please keep your opinion on the OJ Simpson murder case to yourself,  because we’re going back… to 1994.

Continue reading "Kia: 20 Years After" »

Carspotters' Challenge #118--Meanwhile, in Maryland…

While looking for a 1970s reference of businessmen apparel, the search engine of choice gave me this pic as a result. Yes, it had to do with a certain crisis involving petroleum-based goods. Then again, you’d expect that the Wikipedia page that discussed the 1970s would mention something of said events, wouldn’t it?

This photo was taken by Warren K. Leffler, who is an accomplished photographer, to say the least. It’s titled ‘Line at Gas Station, Maryland’, circa July 15, 1979. This photo seems like a pretty big deal, as you can find it in the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division (digital ID ppmsca.03433).

1280px-Line_at_a_gas_station,_June_15,_1979
 

Bigger version here.

So, while we wait for gas, how many vehicles can you identify?

--Tigestrypes

 

Image source: Wikipedia.

The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T.- Behind the Scanner

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Just like the first post, lists of all of his gadgets, websites and blogs have been made and books have been written about the making of K.I.T.T., the stunts and how they were made, so I’ll try to keep those details to a minimum, too. Which was easier said than done.

Continue reading "The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T.- Behind the Scanner" »

The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T.

  Knight Rider KITT intro scanner shot

2012 marked the 30th anniversary of many things. This date took me by surprise when I found out that movies like Tron and The Last Unicorn (both Jeff Bridges flicks. Wild, huh?) and albums like Yaz/Yazoo’s Upstairs at Eric’s, A Flock Of Seagulls’ self-titled album and Rush’s Signals turned 30. The youngest of the Checker A11/Marathon taxi cabs as well as the original Suzuki Katana also turned 30 in its odometer. Other 1980s wheeled-sweethearts turned 30, the MkII Supra and 3rd-gen Celica, the S-series trucks and the 3rd-gen Pontiac Firebird… and Camaro. But out of that model year, there’s one 3rd-gen Firebird and 1980s icon that also reached this not-insignificant cornerstone: The Knight Industries Two Thousand- K.I.T.T. for short.

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that the body, the hardware, is called the Knight 2000, while the computer A.I. itself is K.I.T.T., but to avoid confusion, for this post K.I.T.T. is the whole machine, as it should be. Websites and blogs have been made and books have been written about Knight Rider and K.I.T.T., with lists of all of his gadgets, including those one-offs seen only once, so I’ll try (emphasis on the word ‘try’) to keep those details to a minimum.

Continue reading "The Knight Industries Two Thousand – K.I.T.T." »

September 1 Weekly Open Thread

WP_20140824_13_01_10_ProAs always, this is the place to talk about anything you want to talk about.

For your amusement and edification, may I present a vintage non-digital gasoline pump, encountered (and refuelled from) a week ago in the bustling (not really) metropolis (not quite) of Sulphur, Indiana, where it is still in service. Apparently, it's not the only preserved artifact of a bygone age to be found thereabouts.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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