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Carspotters’ Challenge #124: The Driver (1978)

Being that Truck Lust theme had more to give than expected, it made sense that the Carspotters’ Challenge was to be truck-related. I could’ve just looked up a truck-heavy picture, but a scene used on an Internet music video that I saw a couple of years ago came back to me: the final chase scene from 1978’s cult classic The Driver. In it, we find two drivers-for-hire and their passengers: one drives a hot-rodded 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, a great period getaway vehicle. The other? A 1973 Chevrolet C-10 pick-up truck -the type of rig that’s highly thought of and has been written about- driven by the movie’s anti-hero. 

There’s no shortage of videos showing that particular chase scene. I could’ve taken any of those over the synth-laden one, but chose not to because a) to avoid spoilers if you haven’t watched it, b) avoid any trouble with the violence scenes that come afterwards and c) this is the video that motivated me to watch The Driver, which is one very cool movie, alright.

 

In case you were wondering, the song is called Highway Knight, from the artist Kick Puncher. The song and artist are just one of the many contemporary examples that follow the retro sounds of 1980’s synth music.

So as the C-10 chases down the Firebird, what else are they avoiding to hit as they barrel down the streets of late-1970’s L.A.?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

Carspotters’ Challenge #123: Exotic Blur

While looking for some Cadillac info, I came across this pic.

Jalopnik ojvvr6bofjwitoadzuha
You’re welcome.

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References:

Pic from Jalopnik/minhimalism

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" »

GMC Canyon, Isuzu i-Series and Chevrolet Colorado (GMT355 platform)

480-colorado-canyon

I’ve been noticing these more often on the streets lately. There are plenty of them on the roads around here. That’s probably because I’ve been checking out trucks. There’s another reason: the Canyon and Colorado are making a comeback, and mid-size truck guys are frothing at the mouth.

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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" »

December 29 Weekly Open Thread: "The World's Most Irritating Car Commercial"

Lately here at Car Lust, we've featured a few new and old commercials, for better or for worse. A Corvette ad of over 30 years ago is probably the best of the best, but now this ad may be the worst of the worst.

Now please don't get me wrong, I love FIATs. It was a pleasure to cover their "FIAT FreakOut" here in Nashville a few years ago, and I even owned an X1/9 for a few hours... which of course is another story.

But personally, I don't like people shouting at me. So every time this commercial comes on, I dash for the Mute button. Madly and instantly. The moment I hear those notes and that voice screaming coursely and repetatively, it has to go. Now.

Here is said ad:

 

Hopefully their Gran Finale commercial will have its swan song soon as well.

Your thoughts please? And of course, this is the place to vent anything even slightly automotively related. Anything.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Our Cars: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition

003Before we begin, I have to clarify that this isn’t really my car in the sense that I own it. Another thing worth mentioning is that I have 3 uncles. To avoid confusion, MR2-driving uncle shall be known as Uncle J, his older brother shall be known as Uncle V and their sister’s husband –and former Chevrolet Astro owner- shall be Uncle D.

An interesting proposition was bestowed upon me earlier in the year (May 2013): my family was to drive Uncle V’s new-ish Toyota 4Runner as part of our daily-drivers, with me being the main driver. This came to be for the following reasons: Grandpa’s former steed, a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Edition has been acting up. Not once, but twice I left work in it only to not start, while blocking the same fellow employee in this concrete slab we call parking lot. Thank goodness it had a small descent towards the exit. We got it fixed, but it’s just one of a list of problems that it’s given us. It doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence and its days are numbered.

The second reason was that Uncle J was in Bolivia, at least until mid-July. While over there, we took care of some minor bodywork on his new Ford F-150. Convinced that the truck needed to be used, Uncle V began to use it more as his daily-driver. After the 4Runner got much needed dealership work after serving as my Aunt’s driver while her Toyota Sienna LE was at said dealership, and after I finished ridding the Grand Cherokee of its electrical faults, Uncle V told me to take the 4Runner and park the Grand Cherokee until further notice. While my Mom was the first to let me in on my Uncle’s idea, it came as a surprise that not only did he actually go through with it, but also how soon it was. At least until Uncle J returned in July and order was restored, I have a 4Runner… I kinda like the sound of that.

Continue reading "Our Cars: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition" »

The Cars Of "The Andy Griffith Show"

 

TAGS Opening(Sung to the tune that opens "The Andy Griffith Show:")

Well now, take, down, your fishin' pole, and meet me at The Fishin' Hole,

  We may, not, get a bite all day, but don't you rush away. 
  What a great, place, to rest your bones, and mighty fine for skippin' stones, 
  You'll feel fresh, as, a lemonade, a-settin' in the shade. 

  Whether it's hot... whether it's cool... oh what a spot... for whistlin' like a  fool.

 What a fine, day, to take a stroll, and wander by The Fishin' Hole, 
 I can't think, of, a better way, to pass the time o' day. 

The name of that song is "The Fishin' Hole," and those were the words to the whistling theme you heard every time you saw Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie walking toward Myers Lake in Mayberry. Of course Myers Lake didn't exist, so maybe surprisingly, the title openings of the show were shot here.

Just like the music in "The Andy Griffith Show," cars also played an important part. In fact, several of their best episodes were written around them and the people who were driving them. So let's take a gander at a few of these machines... some of them might even surprise you a bit!

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Lamborghini Jalpa

1

When did I first learned about the Lamborghini Jalpa? Was it when I saw a pic of it was while perusing through IMDCb.com’s Miami Vice page a couple of years ago? Could have been Rocky IV. I truly believe it was in an indoor auto expo. I have photographic evidence and everything on that one. When browsing Jalopnik, there was this review on the Jalpa. It’s where I got the inspiration and pic to to a Carspotters’ Challenge. It could’ve been that we had few views on the post (nothing wrong with that, it did OK, IMO), but no one blurted out what the black wedge actually was: a Lamborghini Jalpa.

And I don’t blame the readers that didn’t know what it was.

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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" »

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

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