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January 2013

Car Lust C7 Corvette Roundtable

That Car Guy (Chuck)

Few events stir a car guy's interest more than a dented fender or a new Corvette. Yes, even the slightest vehicle abrasion will cause us to become instant body shop professionals. We immediately and uncontrollably chime in with statements such as, "Yeah, just put some Bondo on it." Then there's always, "The paint will never match, it's a metallic." You know... really important stuff like that.

Corvettes 7 generations

And now our interest is directed to what is unquestionably the biggest automotive excitement in recent time... the official unveiling of a new Corvette. Which happens about as often as, say, a mountain gets moved. This is one of the few times in our lives that we'll actually see a new Corvette... not disguised spy photos or an "artist's conception," but actual pictures from Chevrolet, of all places! One glance is never enough, we have to study and memorize the details of the brand new sports car for the next few days to come.

Continue reading "Car Lust C7 Corvette Roundtable" »

Car Lust - 1969 Corvette Stingray

Long have I lusted for a Corvette.  Not just any Vette mind you, but the earlier version of the Stingray.  A 1969 Corvette with the 427 cubic inch big block nestled comfortably under the hood. One kind of like this:

1969 Corvette
Steve J. Lindsay's project '69 Corvette
So why that Corvette, exactly? 

Thanks for asking. It goes back to my impressionable childhood....

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January 28 Weekly Open Thread--Welcome to C7 Corvette Week

Official GM publicity photoThe big news in the automotive world this month has been the unveiling of the 2014 Corvette Stingray the day before the start of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We've decided to join in the commemoration by proclaiming this a Car Lust Theme WeekTM in honor of the 'Vette.

Judging from some of the commentary we've seen in the media, the "C7" seems to be getting mostly good reviews from Corvette fans and other pistonheads. We, the Car Lust contributors, will weigh in with our opinions in a Roundtable this week. Right now, it's your turn. Hit the comments box below, and give us your take on the new Stingray ... or any other automotive topic that's on your mind.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

Carspotters' Challenge #45--Shopping Expedition

On a sunny day in the 1970s, Mom and the kids head into town for a shopping expedition.

"Bell bottom blues, don't say goodbye...." --Eric ClaptonNo information on where this is or who they are, but it's obviously a smaller town in a hilly part of the country. The facial expressions and body language of the three kids convey a lot of personality. If I were teaching creative writing, I'd use this photo as a story prompt.

As for the cars, the station wagon is a gimmie, but you'll have to work for the rest.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Photo obtained from the Station Wagon Forum's extensive collection of vintage street scenes, to which it was contributed by member "Fat Tedy.")

1970-1981 F-Bodies: A Lust Story

You know, I spent a lot of time pondering what kind of "hook" I wanted to bring to this post. Do I liken my affection for these cars to teenage "first love"? An overarching ode to the otherwise generally derided 1970s automobile design? Nothing really seemed to fit, it all seemed either strained or maybe, well, a little skeevy.

So to heck with it: this is a pure vanity post. I'm going to post pictures of cars that I think are some of 1974_chevrolet_camaro-pic-61169the most beautiful ever created. Yes, I actually typed that. Yeah, yeah, everyone likes to rip on 1970s cars as being over-styled and under-powered or whatever, and I can't help but agree with a lot of the criticisms. But I'd like you, gentle readers, to step back for a bit and have a good look at the second generation of GM's F-body pony cars, the Camaro and Firebird. I think their looks, and to a fair extent their performance, actually reflect positively on that much-maligned decade in automotive history.

Now, as I mentioned above, this all might be related to that whole "first love" business, since I was in my teen years when these were being produced. So, yeah, at least for me there's something of a nostalgic air about them. But ever since I've started reading and writing here at Car Lust I've actually grown more fond of them: for the era they represent and the features of their design that, in my opinion, makes them as fresh today as they were back in the era of bell bottoms and avocado appliances. I really think they hit on a nearly ideal set of proportions and lines that manage to capture that time but also transcend it (to get a little bit metaphysical). I know I won't convince everybody, but I hope that at least a few of you out there will start to look at these wonderful examples of true pony car designs with a little more respect.

To set the proper mood, it might help to have the theme from Love Story in the background as you read this. I mean, just look at that thing!

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January 21 Weekly Open Thread: "The Beast"

The beast 1About this time every four years in our Nation's capital, we get to see an amazing spectacle. That's right, we get to see live on TV the car we citizens provide to transport and protect our President.

"The Beast" will make its second inaugurational appearance today. And regardless of our political views, any inauguration is a time to relax and enjoy the peaceful transition of power that our country uniquely provides.

Some insiders say that this car is more truck than anything else. I don't believe it's a crossover though. And it definitely was not built for good gas mileage. It, in itself, is an ambassador to the world, as every other Presidential transport, including Air Force One, has been.

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Carspotters' Challenge #44--Before There Was a Space Needle....

Frank Owen Shaw, a Boeing quality control inspector and talented amatuer photographer, captured this image from the window of his apartment on the northwest corner of First Street North and Republican in Seattle on October 6, 1959. It's one of a series of photos he took from the same window over the next three years, documenting the construction of the campus for the 1962 World's Fair.

The Washington State Pavilion--later the Washington State Coliseum, then the Seattle Center Coliseum, now called the Key Arena, and the former home of the NBA Team Formerly Known as the Sonics--was built in the vacant lot on the far side of the street. To judge from the satellite images at MapQuest, the apartment building where Mr. Shaw lived is still there.

October 6, 1959Since there's no Space Needle yet, let's look at the cars.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Photo obtained at photography blog DorpatSherrardLomont.  You can see all of Mr. Shaw's images in the series by clicking through the link.)

Car Lust Classic: Ferrari 288 GTO

Brrr! It's the dead of winter here in North America, quite chilly outside, and our blood is running as slow as 105W motor oil. So, what to do...?

How about a post to get our hearts racing? Something red and fast and gorgeous. How about... a Ferrari!

So to satisfy that, here's a Car Lust Classic by Chris Hafner. If you have any comments, please go to the original post and type away.

 

Ferrari-288-gto-front-1_101We don't spend much time talking about Ferraris here at Car Lust. Contrary to popular opinion, that's not really because we prefer oddball Citroens and Chevrolet Citations to Ferraris as cars, or even objects d'lust. Rather, it's because Ferraris are so obviously worthy of lust, and have been so widely feted for their lust-worthy qualities, that there's just not much left to say about them. The Ferrari America and the 360 Modena are obviously brilliant cars, but everybody under the sun already knows everything about them. That fertile ground has already been plowed, sown, and reaped many times.

The exception to that rule is today's car, the 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO. This latter-day 1980s GTO just happens to be that rarest of breeds--a limited-production, hyper-exotic Ferrari supercar that, due to a strange combination of circumstances, has remained far more obscure than its nameplate and performance would indicate.

Continue reading "Car Lust Classic: Ferrari 288 GTO" »

January 14 Weekly Open Thread--Complete the following sentence: "Chevy runs _________."

As usual, this is your place for all discussions automotive. I have a couple of items to get the conversational juices going.

DeepFirst off, in the news last week, it was reported that GM is retiring its "Chevy Runs Deep" tagline in favor of a more "global" slogan: "Find New Roads." In a discussion thread over at TTAC, where the columnists were never impressed with the whole "Runs Deep" thing in the first place, commenters proposed alternatives ranging from snarky ("Find New Management") to serious ("Work or Play, It’s Your Chevrolet"). That last one's pretty good; I think it beats the snot out of "Find New Roads." Any GM slogan ideas from you, the Car Lust readership?

Speaking of Chevys running,...

Continue reading "January 14 Weekly Open Thread--Complete the following sentence: "Chevy runs _________."" »

Carspotters' Challenge #43--"You see any empty spaces anywhere?"

A crowded parking lot, in the days of platform shoes and pet rocks.

Don't forget to pn your "WIN" button on the lapel of your leisure suit.Anything here that lights up your mood ring?

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Photo obtained from the Station Wagon Forum's extensive collection of vintage street scenes, to which it was contributed by member "OrthmannJ.")

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

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