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April 25 Weekly Open Thread

As always, this is the place for the random, off-topic conversation that doesn't belong anywhere else.

Here are a few prompts:

  • In some parts of the country (not necessarily Seattle) spring is well underway and the weather is improving. Have your driving or car ownership habits changed at all? Are you washing the car more often, giving it a spring wax, starting to work on it outside? Or are you still staring forlornly out the window waiting for sunny weather like we are?
  • Bring a Trailer is featuring two amazing Lancia Deltas--an Evo 2 Edizione Finale and a Martini 5. Which would you buy? Personally, I'd prefer the Edizione Finale to drive and the Martini 5 to stare at and drool.
  • During my convalescence, I watched an enormous amount of car-related TV. I'm not really talking about classic car-oriented shows like The Dukes of Hazzard or Magnum, P.I.--I'm thinking more of the non-fiction variety, like the Top Gear shows and a bunch of the auction-type shows you see on HD Theater. What do you watch, and why?

My list of favorite shows at the moment run something like this (with extra space to signify relative position):

  1. Top Gear UK
  2. ....
  3. ...
  4. Wheeler Dealer
  5. Top Gear US (but rising quickly)
  6. ...
  7. Chasing Classic Cars
  8. Mecum Auto Auction
  9. ...
  10. ...
  11. ...
  12. Motorweek

For whatever reason, I'm just not a Motorweek fan.

--Chris H.


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Yes, it's def warsh and wax time (that's how we say "wash" here in Tennessee). The interiors get vacuumed and shined as well. And yes, with warmer weather, the Miata is now the vehicle of choice over the Tribute for running errands, and not just because it gets better gas mileage.

I wish an American network would run the UK Top Gear, maybe even alongside the US version. Hey, what a novel idea. Then they'd have a larger audience for the USA show, since people would be tuning into seeing The Great Show as well, then stick around for our version. Hey History Channel, are you listening?

Chris, I agree with you about Motorweek. They have been on for a very long time, and their format is stale. Their production values are good, but it seems every test segment is like the one before, only the blanks have been filled with different names.

Enough babbling. I need to go warsh the car now.

I caught three episodes of "Desert Car Kings" that ran nose-to-tail Saturday night. I liked what I saw--they do a decent job restoring the Car of the Week, and it was kind of fun watching them figure out the pushbutton interface in a '64 Plymouth with an automatic transmission.

I like Motorweek and I'd watch it every week if it were on at a decent time (for some reason it's on at like 3 am here and then at odd times throughout the day). Yeah, it's the same format, but that makes their testing and evaluations consistent. Never caught the Desert thing, but I might now. I think I saw a couple episodes of Chasing Classic Cars, but it pretty much only deals with the weird high-end collector circuit which I find amusing for maybe one or two episodes, but then quickly bores me. I dunno, the whole buying and selling of old stuff for buying and selling's sake just seems bizarre to me. For everything really, not just cars. "You paid *what* for a car you then drove exactly three times in 20 years?"

That's one reason I like Top Gear (both) so much: they actually, you know, *drive* the cars.

Don't forget Autoline Daily & Autoline After Hours on YouTube. They have a lot of the heavy hitters in Detroit and Europe as guests. Great show!

I'm with Anthony on Motorweek. Yes the variety is vanilla ice cream, but like good vanilla ice cream you're willing to eat it week after week.

I've watched most/all of Chasing Classic Cars and honestly don't like it. If something better was on I'd choose that other show. Desert Car Kings is interesting because everything is American and everything is a resurrection. I do wish they'd skip the whole auction component because it doesn't add to the show. A 5 second text at the end of the show before the credits saying it sold for _____ would be as effective and allow more time for more interesting components.

My favorite show is Top Gear USA. Second, and a good distance back, would be Top Gear UK. But that would only be if races (not shows about racing) were excluded.

Man, 3 trips to the DMV really wears you out! Thank goodness I had the day off. Had to get a bunch of stuff that wasn't listed on their website (I'm pretty sure one day they'll ask for my soul and a photocopy of it) and needed to clear some old fines that were already payed.

Finally got my license renewed, though. :D

Since the gas station I frequent to prices regular fuel at $1 per LITER and that the tank was almost empty, the Caravan broke a new record (and my wallet): $60.

I used to be a big fan of Top Gear UK, but lately they are starting to be boring.... how many minutes of supercars and constantly repeating the same old stereotypes again and again... I only watch them when in dvr and and can fast forward those minutes.

I like when they do expeditions or mess with old cars, then it is pure comedy, even if most of it is staged.

I miss the old Trucks show on TNT with Stacy. He always had interesting projects that were more real world types.

Here are my latest street finds...

What, no My Classic Car or Car Crazy? :)

My Classic Car is often still a commercial interrupted by car segments, but has gotten much better over the years. The Jay leno segemnts are great, other times he'll just visit a "rich" guy and show off his exciting (or not) collection. Most of the time he'll visit a car show and feature interesting cars.

Car Crazy is hosted by Barry Meguire, a very nice man but Barry, lay off the caffine!

Both are well done given their constraints (low budget shows for a cable network).

Perhaps the best TV show isn't on TV, watch some of Jay Leno's segments on his "Jay Lenos Garage" website.
Want to known what it's like to drive a Stanley Steamer, Duesenberg, Lambo or big buck custom?
That's the place to go. After all, he not only drives them all, he OWNS them all.
And best yet, in a world of reclusive collectors, he shares his toys.
Well done...Jay, you're the hero of the hobby.

One little-known one is Lance Lambert's "Vintage Vehicle Show". He's a local Seattle guy and the production values are pretty lean, but he often shows some really neat cars, no product placements or anything, and he knows vintage cars like the back of his hand. It's on the cable channels around here and on Comcast's On Demand, but I'm not sure how widely broadcast it is. gear australia, season two with james morrison, outranks contemporary top gear UK - it's just more natural, more sincere, more extemporaneous...i haven't seen the new top gear australia yet, but they made so many changes when they jumped networks for season three that i'm not really optimistic of its prospects...

Haha i think i totally agree with ur list of fav shows bro

I agreee Garry Singh!

Top Gear Australia I found quiet entertaining. But I did find that the current format of silly talk is quiet irritating. They seem to not to focus so much on the performance of the cars as much as being funny. :)

But the list you have created in my mind is quiet correct and in the order I would put it in.

Thanks for the comments Anthony. The "Vintage Vehicle Show" has been on the air 19 years and is broadcast on 83 stations across the nation and in 27 foreign markets. We just finished production on the 417th episode. The web site has a list of the majority of stations broadcasting the show.

We also have 200 "Vintage Vehicle Show" segments posted on YouTube.

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