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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.

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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.

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The Sneaky Hot 1974-1983 Volkswagen Rabbit (aka VW Golf Mk1)

"Sneaky Hot".

For the uninitiated, the term is somewhat au courant these days and refers to people (okay, almost always female) who are "not usually in the conversation of being among the hottest of their group, but when mentioned or seen you remember that they are rather attractive." 

It could, in my view, have a temporal component as well, describing someone you've seen or perhaps known for a while, who didn't initially strike you as being all that, but one day you look at them and see a certain attractiveness that you didn't notice before. Not really the "homely librarian" type of thing where a new outfit, hair style, Volkswagen_Rabbit_5-Door_(Hudson)and ditching the thick glasses transforms the ugly duckling into a graceful swan; we've all seen that schtick before, it's been the plot line of hundreds, probably thousands, of movies, TV episodes, and romance novels.

Not like the cinematic  treatments are all that believeable, of course; you can't just slap a pair of thick glasses on a smokin' hot actress and make her appear plain to anyone blessed with the gift of sight. No, this is more a function of a different, shall we say, perspective of the viewer rather than a different look for the viewee; and it can often take a long time for that perspective to change.

In the case of me and the VW Rabbit, it has taken most of my adult life. But I finally got there.

I honestly never gave the Rabbit/Golf a second look, except perhaps as this odd-looking "hatchback" thingie that I would never, ever Lust over, let alone want to drive and/or own. Even the famed GTI didn't blow my youthful skirt up, weaned as I was on ground-pounding American muscle cars as my performance icons. Nah, that goofy little square-looking front-drive Beetle-wanna-be wasn't my cup of tea and never, I assumed, would be. Oddly enough, however, it wasn't even a Mk1 that first piqued my interest: it was a plain, white four-door late model Golf that used to drive by every morning while I was waiting for the bus. For whatever reason, it began to strike me as a subtly sexy little thing; not supermodel hot, but more, well, sneaky hot. And I began to think "Hey, maybe those old Rabbits weren't too shabby after all. . . ."

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Al Bundy's... "Dodge"?

Al Bundy's gold Dodge"Married... With Children'"s Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill) had it rough. He was a struggling women's shoe salesman, his wife was a couch potato, his daughter was, well... "fast," and as the song goes, his son tried, but just couldn't do it. However, Al could always (Well, usually) rely on one thing... his trusted car, frequently referred to as "The Dodge."

But it turns out that poor Al's car wasn't a Dodge at all. It was, in fact, a 1972 Plymouth Duster. Why, in at least one scene, you can even see the Gold Duster decal on the "Dodge"'s front fender.

The car uses a screwdriver as the ignition key, and music is piped in via a period-correct 8-Track tape player. And in addition to many memories, some going back to his high school glory days, the "Dodge"'s trunk also held Al's collection of "Big 'Uns," a magazine dedicated to the finest of adult male entertainment.

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The NEXT Top 10 Worst Cars Of All Time

Thank You so much, dear readers! Your contributions and input when this post was suggested a while back were well received and appreciated. But we had a couple more blanks to fill, so I've injected my own supplemental nominees for this dubious honor. There aren't really any winners here, except for maybe some great deals on a used car lot if you can find one of these veehickles in superb condition. If.

So now, without any further fuss and in no particular order, here are your (And our) suggestions for

The NEXT Top 10 Worst Cars Of All Time:

Windstar

Ford Windstar. Ya know 'em, Ya love 'em, Ya can't live without 'em. Well, OK, we can. And we do. Plagued with corrosion and durability issues throughout its production life, the resale value on these is, well... ▼.

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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. . . .

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

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