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Carspotters Challenge #167: Muscle Cars

Our picture may be small this time, but these machines are pure muscle. There's plenty of classic iron to view; I see cars from all of the Big Three Four.

Carspotters 2 12 16

(Maybe even the Big Five if you count the bike.)

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Our Challenge image was found at Hemmings.com.

RIP, Scion

8208167c0a0d028a0039b99d0ac37390While waiting for an e-mail about a part for a Cadillac CTS (still waiting), CarLust contributor That Car Guy (Chuck) let us know the news: Scion will be no more. Just a couple of days earlier we were making fun of Scion’s “lowrider” SEMA car, an eyesore that pretty much encapsulates what’s wrong with the brand. There have been rumors of its demise since I wrote my Scion post and even before that, with Toyota helping out dealers phase out the brand to those that wanted out. There are far more variables responsible for Scion’s fate (Toyota, Millennials’ buying habits, currently cheap gas prices, The Great Recession, global warming, Dinkleberg, etc.), but I won’t go into them.

Continue reading "RIP, Scion" »

1972 Honda CL100 Scrambler

CL 100 ad 2The first street-legal vehicle I had was a 1972 Harley-Davidson 125cc Rapido. But it wasn't the bike I wanted. This one was.

Behold a 1972 Honda CL100. The CL stood for "Scrambler" somehow, which meant it was a dual purpose bike. Agile on the streets, but could take on a dusty trail with ease. And they came in either blue or gold... give me blue, please.

The CL100 had two brothers in Honda's lineup. They shared many parts, but the SL100 had a high, matte black tailpipe and more aggressive off-road tires yet was still street legal, while the CB100 had a low tailpipe, larger front fender, highway-only tires, and maybe it slightly resembled the larger street bikes that Honda sold.

But why would I choose the CL version? What really made me want one? 

Continue reading "1972 Honda CL100 Scrambler" »

Great Cars of Song Books (and Radio and TV and Film and. . .): The Ford Prefect.

This post could also be subtitled "Cultural References You Completely Missed For Literally Decades". For those not much into British humour, I am referring to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. If you liked Monty Python you would probably like Hitchhiker; if not, well, you could probably skip reading the rest of this post and feel none the worse for wear for it. For the record, I don't look up to or down at anyone who finds either of these tedious and unfunny; being a live-and-let-live kinda guy, I don't consider either to be "an acquired taste" or "more sophisticated" or any of that (heck, I find farts -- even mine -- well, okay, 1024px-1948_Ford_Prefect_E93Aespecially mine -- funny). It's different and that's that. 

At any rate, I read the book back in the early 1980s and when I read about this 'Ford Prefect' character I thought it was kind of funny, but didn't think it meant anything other than that it was a goofy name. For a bit of background, Ford is an alien who hitchhiked to Earth

from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. Arthur Dent’s failure to suspect this reflects the care with which his friend blended himself into human society - after a fairly shaky start. When he first arrived fifteen years ago, the minimal research he had done had suggested to him that the name ‘Ford Prefect’ would be nicely inconspicuous.

Being a young man from the midwest, I had no idea that 'Ford Prefect' was anything other than an unusual name for someone to pick out of a hat. And so I went for many years, happily reading the books and not bothering to ponder many of the references therein very much. 

Until this whole Internets thing came along. And only recently did I do a search -- for reasons I hereby state that I do not remember -- for "Ford Prefect" and discover, lo and behold, it was a car! Since that's what we do here, I figured it was ripe for a post. 

Except that I know virtually nothing about the Ford Prefect automobile. 

Not like that's ever stopped me before. . . .

Continue reading "Great Cars of Song Books (and Radio and TV and Film and. . .): The Ford Prefect." »

January 25 Open Thread: "It's Snow Time!"

DSC_0599Wow, feet of snow in New England, and several inches in the South. My bud in Gainesville, Florida, said they got flurries!

Thank goodness I found a Jeep about a year ago. These past few days, it has been great for getting around, and it even jumped off another friend's dead battery yesterday.

Have you seen the video of the guy snowboarding through Times Square? The NYPD are even laughing with him.

Now the question comes up... How are you getting around in the slippery stuff? FWD? RWD? AWD? Horse and buggy? Other?

Please let us know!

And if you have anything else even ever so slightly related to cars, this is the place to speak.

Thanks!

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

1973: It Was A Very Good Year... For A While

▲ Please look up at our masthead. That yellow Chevy Vega GT (Or rather, what's left of it) is a 1973 model.

1973_Vega_GT-_Millionth_Vega_Special_EditionOf course, that's just a coincidence to the fact that the 1973 Vega may have been the best looking one of all... possibly because they got it right just before that hideous 1974 design came out.

The '73's front bumper was pushed a couple of inches forward from the '71 and '72 position, with a body-colored panel just behind it (For a 2.5 mph crash standard). And if you can get a good looking Vega, then dog-gone-it, you've done something right!

1973 was the last year that automakers had virtually all control over what their vehicles looked like. That's because the next year, in 1974, 5 MPH bumpers became the law of the land.

Continue reading "1973: It Was A Very Good Year... For A While" »

Caption This

"You're not going to believe what I saw in the store today."

Bike in store

I'm sure some much better quotes come to mind!

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image CreditDriver.Tumblr.com.

 

Initial D Fujiwara Tofu Shop Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX

Httpschoyano.files.wordpress.com xinsrc_20110230181570331449125We’ve talked, albeit very briefly, a couple of years back, on the chassis-code AE86 Toyota Corolla platform, so why is this one any different? What is it about it that inspires replicas to be built all around the world, let alone inspire a college buddy of mine to replicate it as best as he could (Sorry, no pics. He sold it soon after)? Because it’s a hero car for a niche of a niche entertainment category (read: anime)?

Yes, and to be fair, this car is not so different from other well-cared AE86s… not until later anyways.

Continue reading "Initial D Fujiwara Tofu Shop Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX" »

Initial D: A Love Story

Initial D facebook banner

Have you ever had something (not someone) that has been part of a surprisingly good chunk of your life, for better or worse? Most of my friends would just say ‘videogames’, which is a little vague. I’ll just lump ‘em under Nintendo and/or Pokémon, since those two are forever intertwined. For me, it’s an anime, a car anime to be specific. You may have heard it: Initial D.

Continue reading "Initial D: A Love Story" »

The Mystery Machine

090603_MysteryMachineAuthor’s note: I’m going to focus on the Mystery Machine we all know and love. Even though I’ve watched a lot of Scooby-Doo over the years and because the Scooby universe is quite large, details will be missed. Not even as a kid could I have watched it all. And some of the stuff is just plain unwatchable!

Continue reading "The Mystery Machine" »

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

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