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About Anthony Cagle

Anthony Cagle came of age in an era when women were women, men were kinda like women, too, and cars developed a reputation for being overdesigned and underpowered--the '70s. His Car Lust bonafides include owning only one car not made during that ersatz decade of automobile history and then for only a month and a half. He currently pursues archaeology and keeping his 1978 Mustang II as clean and wickedly fast as possible, all the while defending its honor among the hordes of non-Car Lust afficionados.

Posts by Anthony Cagle

Carspotters Challenge #137: Memorial Day Vintage Edition

Described as "Parked automobiles crowd Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts, ca. 1920s". 

MessofCars

Let's see, there's a black Ford. . . .and another black Ford. . . . .

Source: Vintage Everyday. Also check their Facebook page for nearly daily updates. 

Car Lust Classic: 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO

Originally posted by Chris Hafner on Feb. 8, 2008.

As we ponder the automotive landscape of the 00's, this is the. . .well, okay, the second vehicle that came to mind; the first was my old Thunderbird post. But I will submit to you, gentle readers, that the reborn Pontiac GTO is truly emblematic of the resurgence in automotive performance that took place during this period. As Hafner notes, performance was stellar and for a really great price. The trouble was the styling; it aimed to bring back a hallowed nameplate but made not even an eyebrow raise, let alone a simple nod, to the original. One can argue the merits of whether or not styling should be a crucial issue to buyers -- and it was hashed out in the comments -- but I think it's fairly clear that simply rebadging a Holden and calling it a GTO didn't work very well. 

Which does, I suppose, make it a useful contrary note to the Thunderbird of that period. -- AJCGTO

When Pontiac announced its plans to release a brand new GTO to the motoring public after a nearly 30-year hiatus, excitement ran high. Pontiac had used the long-neglected GTO nameplate to kick off the whole muscle car craze back in the early 1960s, and the revival of the GTO represented not only a potentially exciting new car, but a chance to cleanse the palatte from the sour taste left by the last GTO, the tape-and-sticker Ventura-based 1974 GTO.

When the new GTO debuted, however, it was to sighs of disappointment. The anticlimax had nothing to do with the performance. With a 350-horsepower LS1 small-block V-8, replaced the following year with the 400-horsepower LS2, acceleration was certainly potent. Car & Driver clocked the 2005 GTO at less than 5 seconds from 0-60 and the 13-second range in the quarter-mile.

But, to some, the GTO lacked the visual chutzpah of its predecessors--and in an age of overtly demonstrative cars, that seemed a fatal flaw. The GTO's feeble sales compared to the brisk movement of the new, retro-styled Mustang just drove home the point. After only three years of production, the GTO was quietly canceled.

Read the rest of this post, its comments, and post your own comment here.

 

Car Lust Quantum Leap: Mustang II

As my Quantum Leap scenario, I have chosen -- perhaps not surprisingly -- the Mustang II. The main reason, of course, is that I'm rather intimately familiar with the model, its strengths, foibles, shortcomings, etc. I've also spent much of the last 25 years of owning it alternatingly defending its honor, calling it a 'sucky old car', and in the end trying to put it in its proper context and 1974 Mustang II Folder-03evaluating it that way. 

In a way, I'm almost tempted not to change anything at all, since it really was a fairly successful car for Ford, despite the many protestations that "it wasn't a real Mustang" and ought not to be considered as one. But if one does a few quick back-of-the-spreadsheet calculations on sales of all Mustangs over the years, the Mustang II did, in fact, sell very well. I compared total sales for each model year ("1964.5" and 1965 combined) with the total US population (to control for population growth) to get a per capita sales figure for each year.* The results? Out of the 45 years available (through 2010), the 5 years of Mustang IIs all appear in the top 20 sales years, with the debut 1974 model coming in at #4 (Best: 1965; Worst: 2009). Hence, despite the MII's appearance on so many "Top 10 Worst Cars" lists, Ford was obviously laughing at the Mustang II's critics. . . .all the way to the bank.

But I would still make a few changes.

Continue reading "Car Lust Quantum Leap: Mustang II" »

April 13 Open Thread: The Quantum Leap Challenge

This thread may or may not be in the process of being written by me. Or it may be someone else who is using my body temporarily to write -- or rewrite -- the whole thing in order to achieve a certain result. 

WE'LL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE. Quantum-Leap-Jennifer-Runyon-Car

And with that bit of logical conundrumness we kick off the latest Car Lust Challenge: The Car Lust Quantum Leap Automobile. . um, Challenge. . .Thingie. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, Quantum Leap was a science fiction television show that aired on NBC from 1989-93. It starred Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell who. . .well, I'll let IMDB set it up:

Doctor Sam Beckett (Bakula) led a group of top scientists into the desert to research his theory that a man could time travel within his own lifetime. Unfortunately, in order to save his funding, he was forced to enter the accelerator prematurely and vanished. He then found himself in someone else's body with partial amnesia. His only contact from home is Al (Stockwell), a holographic image only he can see and hear. Setting right things which once went wrong, Sam leaps from life to life, hoping each time that this is the final leap home.

The central theme is that Beckett would go back in time each week and inhabit someone else's body for a time in order to right some wrong that took place in the past. For example, he occupies the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and tries, unsuccessfully, to avoid assassinating Kennedy. . . .but we find out that in the original time line Jackie Kennedy was also killed, who he manages to save this time. I was never a fan of the show myself, but I always thought it was kind of a neat concept. 

But it recently got me to thinking: What would I do if I could go back in time and be in a position to change the way some automobile was made? I mean, we all sit here and b*tch about how GM should have done this or that with the Vega, or that AMC should have done this or that with the Pacer, assuming that with a few changes this or that model would have been AWESOME.

So here is your challenge, Car Lust readers: If you could go back in time and inhabit some auto executive's or designer's or engineer's body for some length of time and change the course of history for one model, what would it be? And how would you go about it? No need to be super detailed ("Yeah, I'd lengthen the trailing arms on the front by 6.8 mm, and then bore the cylinder out another 0.5 mm. . . .") but give enough detail that we get an idea how it would change things.

This might be a big thing, like, say, to give an example of something really dumb that would never happen in any sane universe, decide not to assemble cars in a separate country by flying them back and forth across the globe on 747s, or maybe something more modest, such as changing the suspension somewhat and avoiding the resulting bad press (misguided though it was). 

I'll have my choice out this week and my confrères will be getting theirs together in the future to sprinkle in as we go. Feel free to make yours in the comments or even send more detailed plans in and we'll publish them in the future. 

And feel free to talk about anything else that catches your fancy. 

If, in fact, it's really you doing the typing. . . . 

Image here.

Car Lust in the early 1950s: A Boy And His '39 Plymouth

A bit of a digression from our usual fare for this post. Over the last couple of years I've developed a bit of a hobby with old diaries. I'd always wanted to maintain a diary/journal, though not so much because I think I have so much of importance to say for posterity. After my dad died several years ago, I realized that all of the stories he'd told us over the years now only existed in our memories; we couldn't go check them with him or hear them again, they were all lodged only in our imperfect memories as something of an oral history. I made a few attempts over the years to keep a diary (even when I was a kid) but they never lasted, I 1939 Plymouth Ad-07think because I never thought I had anything of profound interest to write. 

Then one day on a lark I bought a diary at an estate sale and started reading it through. That one was from 1948 written by a 60-something-year old Seattle housewife by the name of Lillie May (Reasoner) Smith. She wasn't anything particularly special and mostly she just recorded her daily doings. . . .which I found utterly fascinating. Instead of profound thoughts on Life and the Big Events of the day, she recorded her shopping trips, her husband's work as a longshoreman, picking berries on Orcas Island, dinner parties they attended, etc. Such a different world from the one I inhabit here in the later 20th and early 21st century with our computers and Internets and cable television and cell phones and such. So, I started my own diary, online this time, and went through and transcribed Lillie's  entry for the same day ("On this day in 1948. . .") and then entered my own doings. And I kept at it, I guess, partly out of a feeling of obligation to give the world her story as well as my own. When the year was up (her diary only was for a single year), I found another and started in on it. The second one was for 1967, a man this time, and he was kind of dull. 

But I found another one that was fairly complete for almost three years from 1952 to 1954 and started in on that. To be honest, for the first month or so I thought it was a teenage girl -- there was no identifying information in it -- but turned out it was written by a teenaged boy from Yakima, Washington. And he had a 1939 Plymouth coupe, much like the one pictured here. He was 16 at the time and the Plymouth kept popping up as he went through his daily teenaged high school boy life.

While we were both teenaged boys at one point, like Lillie May, it was a different world from the one I grew up in. He's had a few adventures in his Plymouth and many, many problems with it, some of which were his own fault. But the way he related to his car and the things he did with it are far different from what I experienced, and I thought I'd share some of his entries with Car Lust readers. No doubt some older readers will relate to what he went through, and younger ones may find the actual writings of a car-loving guy from the early 1950s enlightening. 

A couple of notes: He had very small, cramped writing and it was often difficult to make out words. Those I've put in [brackets] with the the word I think it is or in some cases just the letters it looks like in hopes context can render it intelligible to someone. More on the diarist below the fold. 

Continue reading "Car Lust in the early 1950s: A Boy And His '39 Plymouth " »

1968-1973 Ferrari Daytona

Ladies and gentlemen, I declare this The Perfect Car: the 1968-73 Ferrari Daytona.

Technically, yes, it's the Ferrari 365 GTB/4. But really, it's the Daytona. And it's wonderful.  Ferrari-daytona_1475650c

A while back I made up a bit of a fantasy post, specifying that if you had to have a single vehicle -- and only one -- for the rest of your life, what would it be? I gave two options, a real world one (you pay for everything), and a fantasy one (someone else buys it, insures it, gasses it, and maintains it). For mine, I actually went all practical and chose a couple of SUVs, a Honda Pilot for the Real Word and a Range Rover for the Fantasy Realm. 

But I dunno, I may rethink the latter and throw caution to the wind and get my (fantasy) self into a Daytona. 

I'll let you just gaze at that photo for a bit before clicking to read the rest of this post. Take your time, I'll wait. 

Continue reading "1968-1973 Ferrari Daytona" »

Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge: Anthony Cagle (1962)

Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Introduction
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Cookie the Dog's Owner (1961)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Tigerstrypes (1989)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Anthony Cagle (1962)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Chris Hafner (1976)

Heck, for me this post almost wrote itself. In addition to the Cagle Mark III model, this annus incredibilis also saw a slough of really great cars that defined the post-1950s pre-muscle car era as one of ultimate cool. I had to do a little fiddling, but only with the middle-range car. I was really interested in a Buick Riviera but, while many were probably produced in 1962, it only started as a '63. I also wanted to Images62buickspecialconvinclude a Pontiac Star Chief but was unable to find one of that year for sale that wasn't a wreck, and I was a bit uneasy using published prices on these. But I also adore the Catalina/Bonneville so I went with those in my final search as well, along with a few others that have struck my fancy over the years. 

I took this challenge as a true "What if. . . ." with something of an added stipulation of my own devising that I would ditch whatever other vehicles I have and truly use these on a daily basis. What if I had $100k to spend on vehicles that would get me through pretty much the rest of my earthly existence? Admittedly, the long term costs of these could be substantial, although it is my belief that cars from this era are simple enough mechanically that you could keep them going for a long, long time if properly maintained and repaired when the inevitable happens. I don't live in a big rust state so I could reasonably expect the body and chassis to maintain integrity for the next 20-30 (hopefully!) years or so and I'm used to the other (often rather significant) odds and ends with my '78 that crop up; heck, I've driven that since 1990 on a regular basis as my only vehicle so it can be done (albeit somewhat expensively). 

Consequently, I chose a set of vehicles that would cover all the bases for me. . . .mostly. I wanted something really special for cruising around on those long summer days and nights, something to use more as a "daily driver", and another for a work vehicle. At the moment I'm doing a lot of fieldwork, so some form of truck was a necessity, although to be honest a 50+ year old truck won't be the most comfortable or economic means of transporting me and equipment around the state. 

On we go. . .to 1962!

Continue reading "Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge: Anthony Cagle (1962)" »

Leonard Nimoy, RIP.

A bit late on the uptake here, but we here at Car Lust are all saddened by the news of Leonard Nimoy's passing last week. We've had our fair share of fun with Star Trek around these parts, nerds that we are, so we were all a bit taken aback at the news and we would like to take this opportunity to salute Mr. Nimoy for a life well lived.

And I for one would like to retract everything I said a few weeks ago about a certain commercial possibly being the best car advertisement ever made. 

It wasn't. 

This is:

The only thing possibly holding it back is the amount of nerd backstory one must have to fully appreciate its astounding glory. But then, "Mr. Spock" is one of those extra-nerdal cultural icons so I think it's fair to say even without the more opaque bits (e.g., the Bilbo song), it still holds up.

We are also very fond of this photo of Nimoy with his 1963 Buick Riviera, perhaps one of the coolest car photos ever made:

SpockCar

More photos, backstory, and more fun at Jalopnik.

Requiescat In Pace, Spock. We here at Car Lust are eternally grateful that you did, in fact, word, and deed, live long and prosper. 

The Sneaky Hot 1974-1983 Volkswagen Rabbit (aka VW Golf Mk1)

"Sneaky Hot".

For the uninitiated, the term is somewhat au courant these days and refers to people (okay, almost always female) who are "not usually in the conversation of being among the hottest of their group, but when mentioned or seen you remember that they are rather attractive." 

It could, in my view, have a temporal component as well, describing someone you've seen or perhaps known for a while, who didn't initially strike you as being all that, but one day you look at them and see a certain attractiveness that you didn't notice before. Not really the "homely librarian" type of thing where a new outfit, hair style, Volkswagen_Rabbit_5-Door_(Hudson)and ditching the thick glasses transforms the ugly duckling into a graceful swan; we've all seen that schtick before, it's been the plot line of hundreds, probably thousands, of movies, TV episodes, and romance novels.

Not like the cinematic  treatments are all that believeable, of course; you can't just slap a pair of thick glasses on a smokin' hot actress and make her appear plain to anyone blessed with the gift of sight. No, this is more a function of a different, shall we say, perspective of the viewer rather than a different look for the viewee; and it can often take a long time for that perspective to change.

In the case of me and the VW Rabbit, it has taken most of my adult life. But I finally got there.

I honestly never gave the Rabbit/Golf a second look, except perhaps as this odd-looking "hatchback" thingie that I would never, ever Lust over, let alone want to drive and/or own. Even the famed GTI didn't blow my youthful skirt up, weaned as I was on ground-pounding American muscle cars as my performance icons. Nah, that goofy little square-looking front-drive Beetle-wanna-be wasn't my cup of tea and never, I assumed, would be. Oddly enough, however, it wasn't even a Mk1 that first piqued my interest: it was a plain, white four-door late model Golf that used to drive by every morning while I was waiting for the bus. For whatever reason, it began to strike me as a subtly sexy little thing; not supermodel hot, but more, well, sneaky hot. And I began to think "Hey, maybe those old Rabbits weren't too shabby after all. . . ."

Continue reading "The Sneaky Hot 1974-1983 Volkswagen Rabbit (aka VW Golf Mk1)" »

The Best Car Commercial Ever Made(?)

We've examined a few commercials before, some in detail worthy of OCD status. We've marvelled at the kitchiness of the slogans, the blending of retro and modern, celebrity endorsements, and the apparent disconnect between the commercial and the reality. We've even examined the social and political ramifications of certain commercials. We love them. We hate them. But which is the best of them?

I submit the following: the first (North American) commercial for the Fiat 500 Abarth, "Seduction" or “You'll Never Forget The First Time You See One”. Not only is it, in this correspondent's humble opinion, one heck of a commercial, but it also nicely embodies the essence of this humble motoring blog: 

Continue reading "The Best Car Commercial Ever Made(?)" »

January 26 Weekly Open Thread: No. Just. . . . . .No.

America's Best-Selling Cars and Truck are Built on Lies: The rise of fake engine noise

Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without FartCanthem, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.

Softer-sounding engines are actually a positive symbol of just how far engines and gas economy have progressed. But automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.

Read, as they say, the whole thing. 

In your humble correspondent's opinion, when Ford decided to tune the exhaust and pipe in some of the noise to the cabin to give more of that muscle car feel, I was a bit wary, but eventually (mostly) okay with it. It was the actual noise, just redirected a bit. Meh. Whatever.

And putting some sort of noisemaker on super-quiet electrics and hybrids just makes sense; it really is a safety issue. 

But a completely digital noise solely for the purpose of driver enhancement? No. Stop it. Stop. It. That's even worse than a fart can on an untuned Honda Civic. 

Feel free to vent and agree with me on this one. And anything else. 

Photo here.

January 19 Weekly Open Thread: The Return of the Ranger?

We'll start this week on another pickup-themed note: the potential return of a smaller pickup in Ford's arsenal. Since the Ranger ceased production (at least in North America) the only non-full-sized pickups have been from GM and brethren, Toyota's Tacoma, and Nissan's Frontier. And even these aren't what anyone would consider "compact" or even in the range of "small" except by comparison. In my Truck Lust post I lamented the increasing size of pickups in general and the extinction of true compact pickups like Ranger the Ford Courier. Without looking up the numbers, I'd wager a Tacoma is probably about the same size as a full-size F-150/Silverado/etc. from the 1980s and earlier. 

Last fall a number of news outlets ran stories about the potential return of Ford's Ranger to their North American lineup, such as this one from USAToday:

[Ford 's truck marketing manager, Dave] Scott says Ford is aiming for a true small pickup, not a midsize such as General Motors' 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which just went on sale, or Toyota Tacoma.

"We're looking at it. We think we could sell a compact truck that's more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight more miles per gallon (than a full-size truck), is $5,000 or $6,000 less, and that we could build in the U.S. to avoid the tariff on imported trucks," he says.

That tariff is something we here at Car Lust are familiar with. I haven't seen much since then to indicate Ford's plans. As they say, the Ranger now being sold is still in the range of the other mid-size units, and I suspect they may be correct that such a truck would probably steal sales from the F-150 rather than adding to them. Since they went all-aluminum with the F-150 (a pricey change) they can't really afford any diminution in sales. 

So what do you think? Is there still a market for a true, small pickup truck? One that would actually make money? What could they use for a base (e.g., a Focus-based unibody platform) or a rebadged import? 

As always, feel free to discuss anything else automotive-related. (Ranger photo is from our old post).

Pontiac Star Chief

This will be kind of a drive-by (pun intended) post; even I will admit that the Star Chief has little to recommend it, barely making it over the rather low bar we here at Car Lust set for automobiles to be "interesting". In fact, the only generation of this car that I really find "interesting" in a Lust-worthy sense is the fifth generation (1961-1964). As regular readers may know, I have some affection for that whole early '60s field of cars and the Star Chief fits the stylistic bill from that period to a T. Even so, it wasn't a spectacular 1962-pontiac-star-chief-sedan-photo-274720-s-1280x782performer or a great looker or a sales superstar or anything like that. 

So, um, why write about it then?

I honestly don't know; I just adore it for some reason. I think maybe it's the name: Star Chief. A Star Chief? A Space Indian? That's what I'd always thought it referred to, but looking back it probably had more to do with a Chief of police or something like that. At any rate, it has that sort of Buck Rogers 1950s vibe to the name, as if you were more likely to hop in and take it on a cruise to Mars than to your local drive-in. A car that a 12-year old boy might climb into and pretend he's on a mission from Star Command, where the cigarette lighter fires the photon torpedoes and the turn signals are laser cannons.

Yeah, that's the ticket. . . .

Continue reading "Pontiac Star Chief" »

Truck Lust: 1929-1932 Dodge Merchant's Express

I'm going to say it right up front: This may be, in my opinion, the most handsome pickup truck ever:

DodgeSideview

When I began my foray into the world of pickups, this Dodge was one of the first ones to grab my attention. Not because of its performance or place in history or any of that intellectual stuff. It just looks hot. There's just something so utterly perfect about its design, especially in this sideview, that strikes the right chord of utility, sportiness, proportion and captures the pure essence of its time; so much so that it justifiably ranks up there with a Monet landscape or a Bach contata; it's just that. . .right.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate. But only slightly. In truth, I really do believe that they got the design of this sucker just about perfect. And on their first (more or less) try!

Continue reading "Truck Lust: 1929-1932 Dodge Merchant's Express" »

Truck Lust: An Introduction

Interesting cars meet irrational emotion. 

That's our mission statement, of a sort, and we've hewn fairly close to it. Perhaps a bit too close. We have, I'm afraid, somewhat neglected one of the most popular personal vehicles on the road: the truck. More specifically, the pickup truck. Perhaps no vehicle is more distinctively American than the pickup OldPickup
truck. Oh sure, they're very popular in other countries as well (some more than others), but there seems to be something in our collective DNA that is attracted to this in some ways simplest of vehicles. As of this writing at the end of 2014 three of the top five best selling vehicles in the U.S. are pickups; the Ford F-150 has been the top selling vehicle in the U.S. for over the last 3+ decades. We love our pickups. We even love our sorta-pickups. What the Jaguar E-Type is, arguably, to Great Britain, the pickup truck is to the United States. 

And yet, we here at Car Lust have been somewhat remiss in highlighting these most pedestrian -- and I mean that in a good way -- of vehicles. Out of over a thousand posts we've covered a few true pickups -- some vintage Studes, Ford Ranger, the Subaru BRAT, and the VW Caddy -- and we've also delved into the realm of commercial trucks -- the Divco "Shark Noses" and REO Speedwagons (the trucks, not the band) -- but we've oddly avoided much discussion of perhaps the most common American vehicle on the roads. Obviously there are far more different kinds of cars out there than there are pickup trucks, and one might reasonably argue that a pickup is a pickup is a pickup (except to the enthusiast -- or partisan -- of course) in contrast to the various hatchbacks, coupes, sedans, muscle cars, etc. on the car side of things. We're also not generally a bunch of "pickup guys", in the same way we aren't generally "motorcycle guys" even though we've probably covered those more than trucks. 

Well, we aim to remedy that. Over the next few weeks and months we'll be devoting more space to these vehicles. I for one have developed something of a crush on pickups over the last couple of years for reasons that remain largely unknown (really; I don't know why), so much of this will be part of my personal Car Lust evolution and indulgence. Still, we've all got some experience with the humble pickup truck and we hope to bring a bit of fresh material for your Car Lusting pleasure. 

Continue reading "Truck Lust: An Introduction" »

A Very Car Lust Christmas!

I've decided to take the reins (pun intended) this year for our annual Christmas With the Car Luststribute to Santa's wheels skids. In past years we've examined the history and various incarnations of Santa's sleigh(s) and other Christmas-related automobiles, but this year I'm just going to toss out a few of my favorite Christmas and/or Santa-themed vehicles. No rhyme or reason involved, just bits and pieces from the Interwebs that may amuse you in between the egg nogs and holidays parties. Enjoy!

CarLustXmas

Continue reading "A Very Car Lust Christmas!" »

December 15 Weekly Open Thread: This Is The Time Of Year When Dreams Come True

It may not be on the scale (pun intended) of "Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men" but for we here at Car Lust, the following development is truly, awesomely, magnificently welcome. Gone are the days (hopefully) when all you could decorate your mantle with were Lambos, Ferarris, and other assorted supercars. Or even just the souped-up (sorta) versions of some regular cars. Now, we might just have the opportunity to display. . . .our own cars. This story from Autoweek:

If you had given up all hope of finding a scale model of your family truckster from back in the day, NEO Scale Models may be able to help. Models of domestic cars in 1:43 scale had basically been written off by model manufacturers because the U.S. market was never really deemed big enough to support them. Those that were offered tended to be purchased exclusively for decorating model train diaramas (O Gauge is 1:48 scale, by the way), and thus had to meet a very low price point. Thus diecast manufacturers like Minichamps, Norev, Herpa, and others focused their attention on churning out models of European cars, producing twenty different versions of a Porsche 911 race Dodge-aries car for every one car that someone might have actually had in their driveway, like a Volkswagen Golf.

Or a Mustang II! VW Caddy! Ford LTD! I've been looking for a Mustang II model kit for a while, but with no success (though never mind eBay). Even if I did find one in the box it would ruin its collectibility (I think) to put it together. So I'm hopeful these things will take off and become viable enough to expand. The design is virtual and, as the article notes, with 3D printing perhaps in the not-too-distant future we'll be able to specify year, color schemes, and options. Even so, once they make a fastback Mustang II, I'll be tempted to just buy whatever they have and paint the mother pink brown.

Lawdy, just go to their web site and start clicking away, but hold on to your credit card. Following the jump are a couple more images for your Lusting pleasure. Also, feel free to discuss anything vaguely auto-related. 

Continue reading "December 15 Weekly Open Thread: This Is The Time Of Year When Dreams Come True" »

Car Lust Followup: The Renault Le Car

Seeing as it's the 1st of December and we've recently been discussing winterizing our vehicles, I thought I would throw this out for your consideration. I'm not sure this qualifies as a Car Lust exactly, but it definitely qualifies as a Car Thank You. It also represents something of a turning point in my automotive thought process. Herein, my short, sweet, and cold ode to Le Car.  1024px-Renault5-Le_Car

Yes, we have already covered Le Car (or the Le Car, which may be linguistically incorrect however accurate in marketing terms) in its guise as the Renault 5:

Mention the Renault Le Car to the average person on the street, and, if they even remember it, you'll get only snorts of derision and, perhaps, even some open, scornful chortling.

In truth, the Le Car was an awful car with a cutesy name--slow, unreliable, and little more than a French Chevette. To the cynical, it was the latest installment in a decades-long plot to grind Renault's already iffy reputation in America into dust.

I'm afraid I can't add much to that description and won't attempt to. Nevertheless, despite its sordid reputation, Le little Car holds some pride of place in my Car Lust heart if for no other reason than it once saved my life.

Continue reading "Car Lust Followup: The Renault Le Car" »

To Show or Not To Show: That Is The Question

I just wanted to toss this out for Car Lust reader contemplation. The past couple of months I've been wrestling with the question of what to do with my Mustang II. Essentially, to keep it as a fun old car to drive around in, or make it into a show car. I'll run through the pros and cons below, but here's a bit of Car-Show-Fieldbackground to ponder:

First, it's not stock. As the link above indicates, it was my only car for nigh onto 25 years so it got its share of dings and such, and I eventually replaced the engine and exhaust because the old one was pretty wheezy, dirty, and expensive to gas up and maintain. Plus, you know, the old 302 couldn't spin a donut on dry pavement if I tried. Second, despite much of it being in truly excellent condition, it's really not up to car show standards. Oh, I've put it in three Mustang shows and it won something at all three, but in reality it looks pretty pathetic compared to the gleaming, shiny, nearly-perfect cars that populate car shows. So I would be extremely hesitant to put it into a show again without major improvements. Therein lies the rub.

Continue reading "To Show or Not To Show: That Is The Question" »

November 10 Open Thread: The More Things Change. . . . .

You know the saying "There's nothing new under the sun"? Yeah. 

Submitted for your contemplation: Girls + Cars. Cars + Girls. I'm fairly certain that the average Roman  curri dealer occasionally had a couple of calida mulierculae Romana* posing next to the new (AD) 14 models. And you can bet that the first thing some guy will do when he invents an anti-gravity landspeeder is dress up a future honey or two in quasi-futuristic bikinis (or perhaps grab a couple of Fembots) and sit them on the hood. It's what we do. Hence, compare and contrast:

Flappercar

That, according to Vintage Everyday, is a Peerless Touring Car, taken in 1923 in San Francisco.

And here. . . .

Two_girls_one_car_by_Graffton

is a more recent rendition.

A couple of things I noted:

-- There's no bumper on the Infiniti to stand on

-- There's probably more steel in the hood of the Peerless than in the entire Infiniti

-- You could probably outfit 20 of the modern ladies in the material in one of the vintage ladies' suits. 

Anything else? 

Sources for the photos in the links above. And let me tell you, if was a tough assignment doing research for this post. . . . .

* Hot Roman Babes. Loosely translated, of course. 

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

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