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October 2012

Great Cars of Death III: The Franz Ferdinand Death Car

Once again a full moon rises above the moors and tiny witches, goblins, vampires, and Paris Hiltons roam the darkened streets in search of treats. The wind whistles through the trees and a mist creates horrifying shapes out of mundane objects parked in suburban driveways. . . .Vegas of every description, mean and aggressive Chargers, and even -- dare I mention its name? -- a forlorn yet strangely diabolical RAMPAGE!! or two. Yes, it's that time of year again. . . .it's Halloween and  . . . *cue spooky music crecendo* . . the General Mills Monster Cereals hit your local grocery store! Gavrilo-princip

Oh wait, my bad. It's Halloween and  . . . *cue spooky music crecendo again*. .another installment of Great Cars of Death.

Like the previous installments, this one will focus on a car that involved a death of some sort. Unlike previous installments, however, this one is rather more sinister in that not only were its primary occupants tragically killed in it, but it led directly to the untimely deaths of millions in World War I. A forgotten war to many, overshadowed as it eventually was by the horrors of World War II, it was -- accurately for the time -- known as The Great War, involving as it did countries from around the world and savage in its brutality. Until 1939 it was also known as The War to End All Wars, since the carnage for soldiers and civilians alike was really unlike anything that had gone before, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The advent of the machine gun and heavy artillery turned infantry into cannon fodder and completely rewrote the book on how to conduct modern warfare. True, the Crimean War and the American Civil War had hinted at what 'total war' looked like, but the concept reached its full fruition in WWI.

And it all started with a few young hotheads hell bent on killing someone for the glory of Greater Serbia. 

Continue reading "Great Cars of Death III: The Franz Ferdinand Death Car" »

Highway HORROR!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!Tomorrow is Halloween, and our culture is once more engaged in its annual flirtation with the macabre and the supernatural--ghosts, witches, ghouls, monsters, ancient legends that turn out to be all too real, mad scientists tampering with Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, open portals to Hell, and nameless horrors from A to Z.

In the, ah, spirit of the times, Car Lust today counts down the five most horrifying things ever to roll on four wheels.

Come along and see for yourself. 

You're not scared, are you?

Continue reading "Highway HORROR!!!!" »

October 29 Weekly Open Thread: "♫ A Hearse Is A Hearse (What's Worse, What's Worse) ♫"

Hearses aren't supposed to be funny, but one look at these beauties reveals something of a morbid sense of humor, I suppose. I'll bet they are expensive as well... so much so that one would be buried in debt to pay for it. I mean... you'd be coughin' up money for years just for the gas. But after all, people are just dying to get into these things, right?

Hearse bike

Continue reading "October 29 Weekly Open Thread: "♫ A Hearse Is A Hearse (What's Worse, What's Worse) ♫"" »

Carspotters' Challenge #34--Invasion of the Buick Snatchers

These are stills from the classic paranoid SF thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), obtained from the Internet Movie Car Database.

"They're here already!"
"You're next! You're next!"
When you get in the car, be sure to check the trunk and the back seat for pods....

--Cookie the Dog's Owner (or is it?)

2013 Honda Goldwing

For those who haven't been around the blog for long, I am the blog contributor who grew up in/on/under/around countless things with two wheels.  My father was a motorcycle mechanic and shop manager most of my childhood and part of my adult life as well, and still does it as a hobby (yes, he truly enjoys fixing motorcycles).

A few weeks ago, he mentioned to me in passing that he was interested in the new Honda Goldwing.  He currently rides a Honda ST1300 - a very lust worthy cycle.  An acquaintence is apparently interested in the ST1300, and that triggered the idea in my dad to look at new bikes.  He's a long term Goldwing lover, having owned one briefly in the late 70's that was stolen and never recovered, and then having owned a second one that he gave to me a few years back.  Yes, you read that right, he gave it to me.

Because he still techincally owns the one stolen in the 70's, he's been allowed for quite a number of years to be a member of his area's Honda Goldwing Club.  So I guess it seems fitting that he'd consider a new one.  And considering the miles that he and my mother like to put on the bike, a Goldwing for the road would be much more comfortable.

So in speaking to him on the phone the other night, he mentioned he pulled the trigger.  Candy Red - to match his Candy Red 1978 Honda CBX.  He got all the options other than the air bag (yes, some cycles now have air bags!) because he wanted the ABS brakes and heated hand grips, and the only way to get them was to bundle on the other items that he was less enthused about (Navi system, we're looking at you...).

 

2013 Goldwing
Image from http://powersports.honda.com

 

If you aren't familiar with the Goldwing line, espeically the current version, they are the luxery cruiser of motorcycles.  1832cc (111.7ci) of displacement in a liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder.  Roughly the same size engine as my wife's 1996 Honda Civic, though gobs more horsepower and torque.  This motorcycle has a reverse gear.  And there is enough storage in various compartments on the bike to easily and comfortable be away from home for a few days.

This is the type of motorcycle you can ride all day and not be hurting afterwards - it is incredibly comforable for touring.  It gets good gas mileage inspite of the fact that with your gear for the weekend and gas in the tank you can be North of 1000lbs before you and your passenger sit on it. While it won't win any handling competitions, nor will you run it at your local drag strip, it will do everything my father wants - go on endlessly day after day, comfortably, reliably, and safely.  Pretty close to a dream come true for my dad.  He's worked hard for many years, and without question deserves and will fully enjoy this machine.

With the wind in his face the the pavement beneath his feet, I expect he'll get more than his money's worth out of this beautiful bike.

As an aside, the bike is being delivered to the shop he ordered it from (in South Dakota) next week.  He'll uncrate & assemble it himself, and is hoping to get some riding in yet this year.  I'll be cheering against the snow coming early, that's for sure!  And while it doesn't exactly induce motorcycle lust in me, I am certainly envious of this opportunity.  And hopefully, if I behave myself and ask nicely, I might even get to ride it!  :-)

October 22 Open Thread - Fine Line Between Awesome and Insane

It's the internet.  Full of entertaining things that run the razor's edge between nuts and "Why didn't I think of that?"  As the father of a 3 year old, I'm tempted to replicate the following video but we'll do it as a father-son trike.  Neighborhood walks will never be the same again!

 

 

I'd make room in my garage!  Anybody any have any fun projects you are working on?  Projects sitting gathering dust in the corner of the garage?  Waiting for parts, time, or more likely money to move to the next stage?

 

As always, this is the place for all the other things that might not fit under our other threads.  Pull up a seat, crack your favorite relaxing beverage, and share with us for a spell.

--Big Chris

Carspotters' Challenge #33--Pennsylvania Vertigo

San Francisco is justly famous for its steeply-sloped city streets, but it's not the only city that torture-tests your parking brake. This is Pittsburgh in the mid-1960s.

Pittsburgh
What do you see?

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Image obtained from the Studebaker Drivers Club Forum.)

Car Lust Classic: "The Ford Mustang: Can You Go Home Again?"

(Submitted by Car Lust reader and Carspotting: Auto Archeology Editor Michael E. Gouge)


Mustang guest post
For my fellow car lovers, there is no need to explain the bond a 16-year-old has with his first car. Mine was a 1966 Mustang in Nightmist Blue, and it opened up a world of freedom, of escapism, of pleasure in the sound of an engine purring along an open road. In other words, this angst-filled teenager discovered a home, a sanctuary, in a Mustang.  Three decades hence, that old pony car--along with my youth and a new-found euphoria for the open road--are but memories.

Click here to read the rest of the original post by Michael, and to leave your comments.

Continue reading "Car Lust Classic: "The Ford Mustang: Can You Go Home Again?"" »

Carspotters' Challenge #32--"I'll take one of each, please."

"Lindsay, do you know where Chris put the keys to the Time Machine?"

"They're hanging up next to the keys for the AMCs. What do you need them for?"

"Just, um, just, ah, confirming some of my research on the Auburn Speedster article. Yeah, that's it, confirming research. Yeahhh. That's the ticket. C'mon, Cookie, let's go for a walk."

"Arf!"

"Oh, and Mike--what's up with the $15,000 requisition from petty cash?"

"It's, um, for, ah, dog treats--dog treats!--and, and, and coffee and snacks for the break room. And some other stuff."

"Fifteen grand for dog treats? We need to have a talk about your expense account. Mike, people are starting to wonder how you're able to afford all those pristine low-mileage Wagonaires on your Car Lust salary."

"I'm just good at arbitraging. You know, pay pre-inflation prices with post-inflation dollars. That kind of thing."

"What are you talking about, pre-inflation prices?"

"It's, ah, um, er--Oh no! Look at the time! I'll be late. Gotta run. We're almost out of olive oil. Left my suit at the cleaners, too. They'll be closing soon. Kthanxbye!"

"What kind of discount could I get on a Lark for buying in bulk?"

"What does he mean, 'late?' It's a time machine, fercryinoutloud."

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Image obtained from the Studebaker Drivers Club Forum.)

2012 Honda NC700X

Honda side viewCar Bike lust, lust, lust. I have it now, and I have it bad. Ever since the Kawasaki EX500 died, I've been searching for a sporty replacement bike. But the used crotch rockets I've been looking at have mostly been junk, and selling for $4,000 or better. A new CBR600RR is about $12,000, plus tax, tags, title, and license (And maybe more), so that's definitely at the high end of my motorcycle price range.

But maybe six months ago, Honda introduced the NC700X (NC stands for "New Concept"). And any time Honda declares a brand new category of bike, you can bet it's a milestone.

When I first saw "NC700" on the bike, I immediately thought "NCC-1701." So did the sales manager, and we shared a laugh. But then, he's trying to sell a bike, so any joke from a customer is funny, I guess.

Continue reading "2012 Honda NC700X" »

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

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