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Nissan Pulsar NX (1982-1986)

It was the early to mid 1980s, and everybody was having fun. But some of us Datsun Nissan fans couldn't afford a 280Z or 300ZX, yet we wanted a sporty ride. What to do, oh, what to do.

Pulsar 1Enter the first generation Pulsar NX into the American market in 1983. Its timing was superb, since the Sentra Sport Coupe was still a few years away, and a regular Nissan Sentra (2-Door, 4-Door, 5-Door Wagon, and 3-Door Hatchback) was for the sensible, not the sporty.

I nearly ordered one of these puppies (I worked at NMMC at the time), but since a 1984 Sport Truck was already in the stable, something more car-like and less fun was in order to replace that wretched Pontiac T100 that I just had to have at one time. So I took the sensible route and got a 1985 Sentra 4-Door XE with a 5-speed. This NX would have been more fun. And a lot more sporty.

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May 16 Weekly Open Thread: "I'm Mad As #*!! And I'm Not Going To Take It Any More!" least not without saying something about it.

I thought this pet peeve belonged just to me, but apparently there are quite a bunch of folks that hate this. And it's not often that one sees a disguised "colorful" metaphor in the title of a Car Lust post. But if there's one method of bad driving that gets my blood boiling... it's people that think they have no need to hold onto the steering wheel in their cars or trucks.

Wheel wrist

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1997-2002 Mitsubishi Mirage

1997 Mitsubishi Mirage LS Coupe Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a car that clearly belonged to the category of CarLust when I was in 5th-7th grade when others lusted after Dodge Vipers, Ferrari F50s and Lamborghini Diablos; a car that I often drew in class Study Hall and even used as a writing assignment subject; a car that I daydreamed about making radical modifications (ah, blissful youthful mechanical and economic ignorance…) among other things; a car whose name I respect and whose USDM “successor” I rebuke for setting back 37 years such a proud name; a car whose information –it pains me to say- lives up to its name of not being there; the 1997-2002 Mitsubishi Mirage.

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A Mess of Mustangs

This popped up on my Facebook feed a while ago and wanted to share it with Car Lust fandom. It's from the Vintage Everyday web site, which you should visit regularly or Follow on Facebook. They collect vintage photos from readers, group them together, and post them as regular photo montages around some subject or other. They're very often famous people, though not always in formal photo shoots. But most of them have to do with everyday people going about their business and having some moment captured on film, which is something we seldom get to look at in our media-saturated world.  60's Mustang (9)

This installment was titled "60's Mustang – The Most Successful Cars of Ford Ever" and showcases owners with their 1960s-era Mustangs. The title is actually incorrect if one just goes by total sales (the Escort sold the most worldwide, though the F150 beats even that), but I have always been fond of Mustangs and found this series to be utterly charming for a number of reasons. 

Rather than bore you with an array of facts and figures and narrative on the evolution of the Ford Mustang, I shall just present a few of my favorites from the series and let the interested reader visit the page and see the rest. These to me give a nice cross section of the sort of people who bought those early Mustangs. While we generally associate the classic 1960s Mustangs with the muscle car era, we must remember that the Mustang was first and foremost a (really, the) pony car. It wasn't really a sports car, like the Corvette, it was a sporty coupe, for the most part a redesigned Falcon with a longer options list. Many derided that first year's Mustang as little more than a "secretary's car". . .which, in fact, it was. That was precisely the demographic that Ford was shooting for: Younger, single or recently married, with enough money to get out of a basic econobox and into something a little more sporty, but still practical. Those were certainly not the only people that bought them, as we'll see below, but that was the core group of buyers. 

Either way, as the first photograph shows, people loved their Mustangs. I'm not sure people get that excited about their first cars anymore (or any cars, for that matter) as they've really become almost appliances these days. But back then, when you got your first car, you made sure it was photographed. A lot. Preferably with you, the proud owner next to it. Or on it. . . .

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Is This The Most Useless Automotive Feature Ever?

I refer, of course, to the cup holders indentations that used to(?) be on the inside surface of glove box/compartment doors. The one pictured here is from my 1978 Mustang II and I can say almost for a fact that they have never been used for their stated purpose on this car. But my family had a succession of 1960s-70s domestic sedans and all of them had the ubiquitous "cup dimples" for lack of a CupHoldersmore formal term (cup holder seems generous in the extreme). As a kid I recall maybe attempting to put some sort of beverage on them but it just never seemed to work out right. Either the door was too shallow and anything but a tiny little teacup would hit the top of the compartment, or whatever cup I was using wouldn't even fit in the dimple. 

Suffice it to say, these things have been irritating me to some small degree for much of my life. I mean, it's not like I wake up every morning and cry to the heavens "Why, oh why are there useless dimples in my glove compartment door?". But it has been percolating in the back of my mind, lo these many years. And now, since I have this forum where all the world may partake of my (admittedly minor) little neuroses, I may possibly generate some answers. 

Actually, when I started this post it was purely out of some other, related, irritation which we shall get to in a moment. As a matter of fact, when I started searching for these things in the ol' Interwebs I was a bit flummoxed on what even to call them. I came up with "cup dimples" on the fly, but I've also seen them referred to (once) as "picnic cup holders" but nothing else (admittedly I only flipped through the first two pages of Google results). 

Am I the only one to find these things somewhat inscrutable as to their actual utility? I bet not.

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The Music City Miata Club at Nelson Mazda, April 2, 2016

MX-5. Miata. Roadster. Whatever you name them, don't call them a hairdresser's car. Some angry guy (Or gal) who drives one might beat you up if you do. Or worse, they might challenge you to a run at Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap (318 curves in 11 miles), where any muscle car would be horribly humiliated.


They have possibly received that insult because well, if you want to drive one, you should not be greatly tall of stature or wide in girth because there's no way in hell that you'll ever fit in one. So NFL linebackers, NBA forwards, and Sumo wrestlers need not apply.

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Caption This

I021650During Easter weekend, after service of course, a couple of the CarLust staff had a chance to take a quick spin on a Ford Fairmont Futura in the Bahamas. Here they are entering the "St. Andrews parking lot".







Car Lust Classic: The 2011 "FIAT FreakOut" in Nashville, Tennessee

Last week, we mentioned that FIAT was in trouble here in America. So for no reason other than to return to a happier day, here's a repeat of the 2011 "FIAT FreakOut" that was held in Nashville about five years ago:

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Fiat Freak-Out 2011 070

Loyal Car Lust readers may remember the 2010 Nashville British Car Club Show post from last October. Now it's July 23rd, 2011, and I'm back in the shadow of the Parthenon at Centennial Park here in Nashville. But this time it's the Italians who get center stage... presenting the 2011 "FIAT FreakOut," or "FFO" for short.

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Volvo 480 ES, S, Turbo

Volvo 480 1That bridge looks like California's Golden Gate Bridge, but it isn't. The car doesn't look like a 1980s Volvo, but it is. And I think we North Americans were robbed by never getting this sporty hatchback.

Those bumpers make it look American. The rear quarters say "shooting brake." Its overall design suggests near perfection.

The car may have looked fairly Honda-ish for the time. And why not? This was Volvo's first front-wheel-drive car, so its packaging fit Honda's profile (Though thankfully with a longer, safer front end).

It belongs somewhere between Volvo's P1800GT (1961-1973) and their C30 (2006-2013). In fact, it fits quite well between them, even with its requisite 1980s boxy styling (Think Mustang). The 480 was made between 1985 and 1995, and had all three cars been given the same or a similar name (Maybe the P1700 and/or the P2000?), I doubt that anybody would have complained.

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Notes from the 2016 Cleveland Auto Show

Here's some of what I saw last Sunday, February 28.


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

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