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Dec. 20 Weekly Open Thread

First, I'd like to share an administrative note. Starting Wednesday and through the end of the year, I'll be on vacation and looking to unplug. I'll reveal the winner of my $1,500 challenge either later today or early tomorrow, and we do have some content that will go up later this week. Next week will likely be very quiet, but we will come back strong--well, strong-ish at least--in the new year.

Suggested topics for this open thread:

  • what have been your favorite car-related gifts or Christmas/holiday/winter memories?
  • I have two sets of friends currently engaged in cross-continental winter road trips - do you have anything similar planned?

--Chris H.


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Best car-related gift: A new galloping pony for the front of my II. The original's tail had broken off at some point and it always kind of irritated me having a tailless pony on my grille. While I was away in Egypt one year, my then-GF bought a new one (used actually) from the old Mustang Ranch up here in the PNW. I think it cost her $15. I opened it when I got back and just absolutely adored it. Her nephew knew I was getting something really cooooool but didn't know what it was so he was watching raptly while I opened it and when he saw what it was he looked crestfallen and said "It's just a white horse!" Heh.

Probably the best, cheapest gift I ever got.

I had a pedal-powered car when I was a toddler that I think was a Christmas gift.

I keep suggesting to my wife that an Avanti makes an excellent Christmas gift, but so far she hasn't taken the hint. :-(

My mom passed earlier this year, and she's been on my mind a lot here at Christmas. I remember the Christmas after my dad bought a used '71 Vega (this would have been Christmas 1972), mom took the car and had 6" rounds and an eight track deck installed for dad's Christmas/birthday gift. She also bought several tapes, one of which was "Switched On Bach," which was one of the first fully synthed classical albums, IIRC.

Dad (joined by us boys for short visits) spent almost all morning sitting in the car listening to that tape...


This year, I got a 2008 Saab 9-3 2.0T for Christmas. Does that count? :D

Also, it's too bad I didn't know about your $1500 challenge a few weeks ago ... instead of trading in old car - a 2002 Volvo V40 - I sold it for $1500. Only had 90,000 miles on it, too.

C'mon, post the winner already, we're dyin' over here!!!!

I'm getting Gran Turismo 5 and a brand spankin' new PS3 to play it on. I'll be in (virtual) nirvana.

I'm working on it, Anthony - almost done! Shock news - it's turning out longer than I had anticipated.

Eric, I recently purchased Forza 3 and am loving it. My first task--purchasing the Audi Sport Quattro, painting it the same gray as my car, and upgrading it to supercar levels of performance.

I got rid of my GT4. Not only did I NOT find it fun, but my data got erased. TWICE.

If I wanted to go fast in a virtual car, I'd hit the arcade and played either Initial D or Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (well, I used to. They were either removed or left without any maintenance, which sucked).

I just paid $2,000 for a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 4 door. Al, our neighbor who sold it to me, bought it brand new and is the only previous owner. He provided us with records of every oil change and repair he had done. It is loaded with almost every option, has 91,000 miles, and runs great.

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

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