Blogs at Amazon

Car Lust

Car Lust's $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge Update #1: The Jeep

A while back, we here at the Car Lust home office and used vending machine storage area suggested a $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge. And among other dream machines, I said that I wanted a Jeep.

DSC_1023Yes, a new CBR600RR found its way into the delapidated smokehouse/shed structure that doubles as its garage, but since I didn't mention that bike in the Challenge, we won't count it. But I did recently make one addition to the "fleet" that should be mentioned here, a 2001 Jeep Wrangler SE.

In my contribution to that Theme Week, I wanted a brand new Jeep per the Challenge's requirements that required at least one new vehicle. But after nearly a year of failed negotiations with our local dealer, I gave up searching for a Jeep... for a while. Then this one popped up out of nowhere.

Somehow I knew this Jeep was "right" as soon as I saw the ad's pictures. This one looked clean. And I mean clean! And it was. It's a 14-year-old TJ Series, but just look at that shine... and that's the original paint! Plus, there's not even a door ding on it. The only scratches are where a previous driver's boots met the paint under the door while climbing in and out. Rust? Nada!

Continue reading "Car Lust's $100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge Update #1: The Jeep" »

March 16 Weekly Open Thread: "What Is A Crate Motor?"

Crate motor 3We've all heard the term tossed around a lot, but do we really know what a "crate motor" is?

Well, there is no easy definition of a crate motor. It's easy to say that a crate motor is a brand new engine assembly, usually with a warranty, delivered right to your front door. And though that's true, things don't stop right there.

Some crate motors are just an engine block, crankshaft, and pistons, all nicely bolted and torqued together. This is called a short-block. A long-block crate motor is a short-block, but with the cylinder heads and gaskets also in place.

Next up the menu (And price range) is the more or less complete engine with all of the above, plus an intake manifold and exhaust headers. And finally, there is the ready-to-run option that includes everything you'll need except for oil, fuel, and electricity.

Oh, and money. You'll need money. Most crate motors are expensive. Really expensive. Why, a new GM 640-horsepower Supercharged LS9 like they drop into a Corvette will set you back around 30,000 big 'uns. But the ease of just dropping in one of these power plants saves a lot of time which makes up for a lot of that expense. Or so "They" say.

Continue reading "March 16 Weekly Open Thread: "What Is A Crate Motor?"" »

Great Commercials--The Inexplicable Melancholy of the 2015 Nissan Super Bowl Ad

Here at Car Lust, we love talking about car commercials. Like vintage car magazines, commercials allow us to see cars through the lens of the times in which they were made. The results can be weird and wonderful; such as commercials including moonscapes and purposeful shifting, minivans with attitudea Citroen driving out of Grace Jones' mouth, gasoline-powered cell phones, a 1973 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham indistinguishable from the Apollo lunar module; a really awful mid-century salesman, Pontiac as a cultural touchstone, flowing yellow neck-sweaters, downright dangerous outbreaks of Dodge Feverfine Corinthian leather, and Joe Isuzu. These commercials are all hugely entertaining, and nearly all funny--either intentionally or not.

I'm almost convinced that the 2015 Nissan Super Bowl ad is a great commercial, but it certainly isn't funny. If anything, it's inexplicably maudlin given its subject matter. But it's also beautifully shot and executed, and perhaps most importantly, it has some truly sensational endurance racing imagery. The commercial itself is fascinating and memorable, warts and all. It is below; I break it down after the jump.

 

Continue reading "Great Commercials--The Inexplicable Melancholy of the 2015 Nissan Super Bowl Ad" »

Nissan Week--Great Commercials--Datsun 280ZX "Black Gold" (Car Lust Classic)

From April 28, 2010, here is a Car Lust Classic featuring a great Nissan Datsun TV commercial for "Black Gold." The car is the 10th Anniversary special edition of the original 240Z, and the period content of the ad speaks for itself. So enjoy this look into the automotive past and, as usual, please leave any new comments on the original post.

I stumbled across this commercial the other day and thought it worthy of a Car Lust commercial deconstruction. My thoughts are after the jump.

 

0:01--I love the soundtrack. This was the era of disco, and it's used to good effect here. You want hip? You want to be with it? You want the right chariot for your night out on the town? You want the Datsun 280ZX Black Gold.

Continue reading "Nissan Week--Great Commercials--Datsun 280ZX "Black Gold" (Car Lust Classic)" »

Nissan Week--2000-2006 Nissan Sentra (B15)

Yellow Spec VWhether out on the street, in magazines or the web, I find that some cars are still the darlings of car guys.

This one isn’t exactly one of them.

Continue reading "Nissan Week--2000-2006 Nissan Sentra (B15)" »

Nissan Week--1980-1984 Nissan Maxima (First Generation)

Maxima 1"They" say a copy is never as good as the original. And my opinion of the Maxima is that this is true. Later versions of this nameplate just never met the lofty standards of the original, and I'm about to say why (In my humble opinion). But is my opinion biased? Why yes, very much so.

I was introduced with this first-generation marvel in 1982 when I started working at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. We had a number of these cars as "pool cars," available for any real or semi-genuine company vehicle need. You only had to ask for one through the company's concierge, and return it undamaged with some gas left in it. There was a running account at a local convenience market, so fuel never cost us Nissan employees a cent.

The first time I sat in a Maxima, I was a passenger. Even at the ripe old age of 25, I was exploring cars and how they were built, and working at the (then) world's most advanced auto plant was pure daily heaven. And this one seemed years ahead of others on the road, being the first American-sold car that had an invisible lady who told you when your fuel was getting low. She had a small but important vocabulary, pronouncing such wisdoms as "Lights are On." "Key is in the ignition." As well as the ever so popular, "Parking brake is On!" And there was more.

Continue reading "Nissan Week--1980-1984 Nissan Maxima (First Generation)" »

Nissan Week--1987 Nissan Sentra Sport Coupe (Car Lust Classic)

This was first posted on December 25, 2012. I enjoyed driving this car for the time I had it and would like to have another, but they are very scarce these days. And if you have any comments, please leave them on the original post. Thanks, --Chuck.

Sentra Sport CoupeI've been wanting to write about this car for a while, so I finally pulled out an old photo album, copied the prints, and went to work.

And this is why: When I worked at the Nissan plant here in Tennessee (Where they now build the Leaf), they had a very affordable Lease Car Program. A version of it still survives. Any full-time Nissan employee, after 8 months of employment, was eligible for the program. The only requirement? You had to have a driver's license; your previous driving record was of no concern.

You could order any Nissan vehicle that was sold in the US and wait about three months for its arrival. The Infinity Division had not yet been born while I was there; I don't know if they are available now or not. But a stripped Sentra could be had back then for as little as $88 a month, and a 300ZX Turbo was, if memory serves, around $270. The BIG NEWS was that insurance was included, with a $250 deductable.

So for a whopping sum of approximately $185 a month, I had the unlimited use of this custom-ordered Sentra Sport Coupe SE. I had seen a prototype/early production model in the plant's Quality Assurance Department for whatever reason (They were never built in Tennessee), and immediately had to have one. The car you see here is the first white Sport Coupe delivered in Tennessee, or so I was told.

Continue reading "Nissan Week--1987 Nissan Sentra Sport Coupe (Car Lust Classic)" »

March 9 Weekly Open Thread: "Nissan Theme Week"

Nissan AdWhether it's "Major Motion," or "We Are Driven," you know a Nissan ad when you see one. They are fast, tightly-cut ads to promote their vehicles with great excitement.

And rightly so. From the 240Z to today's 370Z and in between, we have seen a lot of great innovative cars from Nissan. Plus, Nissan builds many of their vehicles right here in the USA, so not all of them are "imports."

This week, we here at Car Lust will pay tribute to a few Nissan models, both old and new. And we might even pull an appropriate Nissan post or two from the Car Lust archives.

So whether you call them a Nissan or a Datsun, you can't call them dull. Well, most of them you can't.

And of course, this Weekly Open Thread is also the place to speak about anything even nearly automotively related.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credit: Our ad image was found at InsideEVS.com.

Introduction: The $100,000 Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge

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)

It has been more than two years now since we staged our last used-car challenge, and I think it's high time we rectify that. For the uninitiated, these Challenges are used-car classifieds treasure hunts, usually with a specific budget or theme. For example, just over two years ago, we challenged our contributors and readers to assemble their ideal $100,000 Fantasy Garage. In previous years, we have run a $1,500 challenge, a $2,500 challenge, a $5K challenge,  a $25K challenge, and a challenge asking readers to choose between one do-anything car and multiple niche cars with a $20K price cap.

This time around, we're revisiting the $100K Fantasy Garage concept, but limiting each contestant to vehicles from their year of birth. For example, since I was born in 1976, my Birth Year Fantasy Garage can be made up only of 1976 model year vehicles.

I think this is an interesting concept, both because we tend to have a natural fondness for the year of our birth, and because many enthusiasts fell in love with cars that were new when they were old enough to notice and care about cars (say, in the teenage years). By that point, cars made in your birth year were likely ubiquitous but not considered particularly special. For example, my first loves as an enthusiast were cars made in the 1980s and early 1990s. It took a while for me to begin appreciating the cars that were made when I was.

Continue reading "Introduction: The $100,000 Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge" »

1998-2004 Porsche 911 (996)

Silver 996Porsches, particularly 911s, are typical car-lust (lower case) fodder for the masses. That’s OK, it’s earned it. In CarLust fashion, it’d probably end up in the CarDisgust section for a number of reasons. That’s OK, it’s earned it. But as you read on about the following example of Stuttgart’s icon, you’ll see why it’s CarLust material.

Continue reading "1998-2004 Porsche 911 (996)" »

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

Powered by Rollyo

Car Lust™ Contributors

April 2015

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30