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Happy Birthday, Mustang!

It was 50 years ago this month that one of the most iconic cars in American history went on sale. April 17, 1964 to be exact. It debuted on April 16 at the World's Fair and went on sale the next day, going on to become one of the best selling cars in Ford's history and giving its name to a new class of automobile: the Pony Car. And we here at Car Lust are going to spend the next week or two looking back at some of TwoMustangsthe models we've profiled over the years. 

The Mustang went through a lot of changes over the past half century. What started out as, essentially, a dressed-up Ford Falcon soon became a monster muscle car, an accomplished Trans-Am racer, and the automotive star of numerous films. Through the dark performance days of the 1970s, it shifted back to its roots as a small sporty car, the Mustang II, probably by doing so saved itself from the fate of several other of its pony car stable mates. After a thorough redesign in 1979 it matured through the 1980s and 1990s to become a favorite of the tuner crowd, especially the 1989-1993 model years (which they very nearly screwed up). After a questionable redesign in 1994, Ford reached back into the nostalgia bin in 2005 and made the Mustang a classic once again. And now they've evolved it even further for its Golden Anniversary year into. . .well, we'll have to wait an see a bit longer how it all comes together. 

How to explain its success? 

Continue reading "Happy Birthday, Mustang!" »

April 14 Weekly Open Thread: Selling cars - tips, tricks, and any wisdom you have

Honda Civic Caravan

Ever sold a car?  Had good luck with it?  I need your wisdom.  I find myself in the unique position of needing to sell not one, but two cars.  Neither are remarkable unfortunately.  I have a 1996 Honda Civic (wife's) and a 2001 Dodge Caravan (mine) that we've replaced with a 2001 Subaru Outback (wife's) and a 1995 Ford Ranger (mine).  We thought we'd sell them last Fall, but with an early winter, busy schedule, and my own general laziness, it didn't happen.  I asked about this to a degree this past Fall here on the blog, but was hoping for some new and perhaps final wisdom before I take the plunge and get in the market.

I've never sold a car. Or any vehicle.  I scrapped my last one - The Homer.  We sold the body of Bob the Impala for a demolition derby car, but still have the motor.  All of my other vehicles were work vehicles (I used to drive 45-55K a year for work) or vehicles that went to other family members, with the exception of my 1978 Corolla that was also scrapped.

Both of the vehicles are high mileage with some rust.  Interiors are clean, and I'm willing to be honest about their warts (insert oil every XXXX miles...).  We have a pretty good set of records on both, and both vehicles we were second owners on.  Both run just fine - particularly the Honda.  It might have another 200K in it mechanically if the body doesn't rust off the frame first.

Both vehicles have sat over the winter.  One at the end of my driveway, one in front of the garage at church. I've kept both batteries charged, and have run the motors for extended periods as well as cycled the transmissions through gear changes (primarily just in the parking lot) each month to keep the fluids moving.

I'm not asking a ton - probably $1200 for the Honda and a cool $1000 for the Caravan.  If I could squeeze a few hundred more out of each I'd be truly ecstatic.  The difference between $2200 and $2600 is pretty signficiant for our family budget.

Craigslist isn't really a good options, though I'll try it (we're a small, rural town in Southern Minnesota). We don't have a consignment lot in town.  Any "parking" place with traffic will require I move the vehicle(s) regularly so they don't get towed.

So what's the secret?  They'll be as clean as I can get them.  Carpets and seats have been scrubbed. Wording in advertisement?  Locations where they'll sell better?  Prayer?  What's it take?!?

And this is also the place for any other automotive words of wisdom that you may have.

--Big Chris

April 7 Weekly Open Thread--Brown Cars Are Back!

We here at the Car Lust garage have somewhat discussed this before... the lack of any real color choices (Except for what shade of grey/silver you might fancy) on today's cars. But I am here today to say that at least on a few models, a delicious shade of metallic brown has returned.

This Lincoln MKZ Concept Car shows a deep choclate-looking hue:

Brown Lincoln MKZ

Continue reading "April 7 Weekly Open Thread--Brown Cars Are Back!" »

Meet the new car, (not the) same as the old car

The vehicle to the right there probably doesn't strike anyone as being particularly significant; for the most part it's not. Just a basic early 21st century compact Compact Sport Utility Vehicle (CUV or SUV), not too different from half a dozen other similar vehicles we see about a thousand times a day on the streets of our fair cities, 'burbs, and rural roads. Just a fairly basic 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i. Subaru

It has a couple distinctions though. For one thing, it was Motor Trend's 2014 SUV of the Year:

The Forester combines the practicality of a small, wisely engineered SUV with the fun enthusiasts will enjoy. . .The Forester has the right combination of attributes for many SUV buyers, and seems to do the impossible: It has more power than before, with better fuel economy, is fun to drive, offers generous ground clearance, and achieves all this at reasonable prices. The Forester isn't a wagon anymore. When a vehicle does this much and does it this well, it truly earns the title of Motor Trend's 2014 Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year.

So it's a decent little SUV. And as a matter of fact, it is now not only my primary vehicle, but the final contestant in an almost year-long search for something to take me into the field and back, albeit not quite at the sub-$10k amount I'd intended.

Even more than that, this thing has the distinction of being the first vehicle I've purchased since George Bush was president.

That would be George H.W. Bush.

Continue reading "Meet the new car, (not the) same as the old car" »

March 17 Weekly Open Thread--A Classic Irish Car and Car Post

Green DeLoreanWell me laddies and me lassies, we all know that today is St. Patrick's Day. So we're toasting the good folks on the Emerald Isle with a Car Lust look back at what may be the most famous motor vehicle ever assembled there. Of course we're talking about the DeLorean DMC-12, the one and only, of immortal fame.

And finding a green one for today's image wasn't easy. A very few DeLoreans came from the Dunmurry factory in colours, but most, as we know, were brilliant, shiny stainless steel. As are the ones built today from new old stock parts by the DeLorean Motor Company.

So without further ado, Please click here to see the original DeLorean DMC-12 post by Cookie the Dog's Owner.

"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at:
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at:
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at:

Of course, this also be the place to talk about anything else pertaining to leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, or anything else on the planet, especially if it is automotively related.

And as an old Irish proverb goes, "May your pockets be heavy and your hearts be light. May Good Luck pursue you each morning and night!"

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credit: The green DeLorean image was found at

"Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part Two)

BT 7In the second half of our presentation of Bill Thompson's amazing "Study Hall" drawings, we have six new freehand sketches that he did while in high school. And while the 1980s featured such memorable cars as the Yugo GV, Cadillac's Cimarron, Chrysler's K Cars, and the forever-remembered DeLorean DMC-12, as well as the stuff to apply to them, Bill was avoiding the timely trappings that those vehicles wrought and was designing his own cars and car company. He was also coming up with a revolutionary way to power them as well.


Above is a cutaway drawing of a revolutionary new powerplant design.

Continue reading ""Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part Two)" »

1987-1993 Cadillac Allanté

How this blog managed to survive for almost seven years without a feature on the Allanté is beyond me. Well, chalk it up to ignoring the obvious I suppose. But better late than never.

I aim here to complete our trilogy of late 20th century Cadillacs that failed to meet expectations.

Say it with me: Only three?

We've already bookended the Allanté with two other unfortunate Cadillac nameplates, the Cimarron, by Cadillac and the Catera. . .also by Cadillac but maybe a bit less embarassing? Well, hardly, but we'll Allante_1
leave that go for now. As a wise sage once remarked, following Karl Marx: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." While our farcical bookends, the Cimarron and Catera, were separated by almost two decades, one might argue that Cadillac had tried to learn something in the interim -- even down to not starting the name with a 'C'! -- and took a new tack by not simply rebadging another GM product and trying to sell it with a few upgrades from the parts bin and charging a wad of dough for the privilege. No, this time they used a different letter for the name (although they almost blew that, too), and tried building something almost from scratch. Did it work?

Well, in a word, no. But it was sooooooo close. Almost irritatingly so. But, like other GM projects that began with a really good idea but seemed to suffer from wrong decisions at nearly every step--*cough* Vega! *cough*--the Allanté was actually quite a good car for the time and, I would posit, still holds up pretty well in most respects. But, being GM in the 1980s, it suffered from a couple of fatal flaws whose origin we look back on with a "What were they thinking?" look on our collective faces.

Continue reading "1987-1993 Cadillac Allanté" »

1937-1940 Ford Coupe

“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean. . ."

And he'll probably be driving those mean streets in a 1940 Ford Coupe. Preferably black.

If the El Camino is the Steve McQueen of cars, the 1937-40 Ford coupe is the Phillip Marlowe. Kinda tough looking on the outside, but philosophical on the inside. Not flashy, suave, sophisticated, or calling attention to itself, but tough, effective, and not looking for trouble unless it comes looking for 1940FordTophim. Yeah, that's what this car is all about: “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.” Or the car.

All melodrama aside, this may seem an odd Lust for me. Heck, pretty much anything pre-1960s is a bit odd for me, even though I've dipped into preceeding decades a few times (e.g., here, here, and here). I'm not even sure why this particular model caught my fancy: I'm really not that into hot rods, of which this generation of Fords is rightly famous. Chopped, lowered, painted gaudy colors. . . .no thanks. I won't bash 'em but I also won't celebrate 'em.

Then again one could conceivably argue that the '37-'40 Fords marked the start of the mass-produced muscle car, of which I am definitely an aficianado. They weren't factory-produced muscle cars like the later ones, but they had the basics down: largely standard cars that many owners -- often for very particular reasons -- modified into ground-pounding monsters. And for the most part they didn't dress them up like a two dollar hooker -- again, for very particular reasons. I like that. I'm a fan of the sleeper, a wicked fast car that looks like a standard grocery-getter until you step on the gas and all those horses come roaring to life.

On top of that, it's a very handsome car, IMO. It's got a nice balance, not too chromed up (usually), and with more of a modern form to it than many others from that period. You can kind of see the direction that automobile design is heading, from the big carriages-on-wheels to a more modern, sleeker, and more aerodynamic design.

Continue reading "1937-1940 Ford Coupe" »

Happy Valentine's Day!


This picture was an absolute fluke. My sister had turned her truck around in the barn lot in a skiff of fresh snow; I saw the results, then ran for the camera.

I saw two parallel hearts there, drawn when the front tires made their turn. The snow was melting and I knew the image would not be there long. But here it is, preserved digitally, anyway.

So Happy Valentine's Day! to everybody. And hopefully it's not snowing where you are.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Aunt Bee and her Studebaker

Andy's phoneWe all know Aunt Bee (Beatrice) Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show. She was a pivotal character, one that the show could not have survived without. In fact, the show's first episode is titled "The New Housekeeper," referring to Aunt Bee's arrival at the Taylor home. That episode set the stage for the show's eight-year run, and we saw Aunt Bee in many episodes of the spinoff Mayberry RFD (1968-1971) and once on Gomer Pyle, USMC as well.

I will proudly admit that I am a huge fan of the show. The black & white episodes are my favorites, most of which include Don Knotts as Barney Fife, MD (Mayberry Deputy). I've also had the priviledge of meeting Hal Smith (Otis Campbell), George Lindsey (Goober Pyle), Doug Dillard (One of the Darling clan), and Howard Morris (Ernest T. Bass) through the years.

And the telephone Aunt Bee is using here on the right? As a token of my affection for the show and all the years of happiness it has brought so many people, the dial-less phone now sits on an end table in my home with a small authenticification note from Ken Swartz, the show's Set Decorator.

Continue reading "Aunt Bee and her Studebaker " »

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

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