Blogs at Amazon


Going (Semi) Topless: The T-Top

Ah, the T-top. Like the opera window a classic from (mostly) the 1970s. This semi-convertible feature was designed to give you the open-top experience of a convertible while getting rid of flimsy and leak-prone rag-tops, giving the driver a coupe-like quiet inside and maintaining some semblance of structural rigidity. Pop the panels off, stow 'em in the trunk (or garage if the rain chance is low), and you can cruise around admiring the sky and feeling the wind in your hair.  1978_Trans-Am_bandit

That was the idea anyway. What many ended up with was a leak-prone roof that didn't make much appreciable difference in what was considered 'handling' back then. Whether installed at the factory as part of the options package or put in later, T-tops seemed like such a great idea but never really worked as well as their billing suggested. They've made an appearance off and on since their heyday in the 1970s, but for the most part they've been supplanted by traditional convertible tops (that actually work well), single-piece removable tops (ala, the modern Thunderbird), or more modern retractable hardtops. 

I've often thought that the T-top was a great idea -- a happy medium between the true convertible and the coupe -- that manufacturers would find some way to bring them back, make them work well, and give us nostalgia-seekers a little feeling of semi-convertiblism in our modern, comfortable, and well-performing automobiles. It's been 30+ years, the time must be ripe. . . .right?

Probably not, sadly. 

Continue reading "Going (Semi) Topless: The T-Top" »

The Cars of Deutschland 83 deutschland83-staffel1-trailer_deAny series that uses Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling for the opening can’t be bad at all!


Taking place during the 1980s chapter of the Cold War, Deutschland 83 (‘Deutschland’ is German for ‘Germany’, ‘83’ for 1983) is about a young East Germany soldier that went from confiscating illegal literature to becoming a spy in the offices of high-ranking West German military personnel so he can gather information on what was going on with the nuclear weaponry. Naturally, anything involving nuclear warfare quickly gets complicated, on both sides of the Berlin Wall, on a military level as well as on a personal level.

The series was wonderfully crafted. There was no glaring stand outs of anything that didn’t belong there, everything from the wardrobe, to the furnishings, to the music (oh, that sweet, sweet music!) was spot-on. There are well-funded movies that mess this up (*coughs* Dallas Buyers Club *coughs*). But let’s be realistic here, there will be anachronisms. As the series gets airtime in Germany (it aired first in the U.S. market), they’ll begin to pop and be pointed out. A greater learning experience, in my eyes.

Yes, there will be the inevitable comparison to The Americans, but this series has another thing going for it: It’s German. This must certainly help the period portrayal of both sides of The Berlin Wall as well as a fresh perspective to the Cold War that isn’t North American, not to mention a fresh portrayal of life in Germany in the 1980s; things that I was curious about when the series was first announced on Sundance TV. Oh, and it’s in German, the first series to be aired that way on North-American television. Get used to reading subtitles.

While I found that the ending had a bitter-sweet (more on the bitter side, IMO) open-ish ending, I still want more of it. Let’s hope that the rumors of two more seasons (said to be called Deutschland 86 and Deutschland 89) become real.

Continue reading "The Cars of Deutschland 83" »

Carspotters’ Challenge #151: What Did You Do On Labor Day?

 What did you do on Labor Day?

Tumblr_msi6kuzgCp1r9qhhio1_1280 Circa 1959. Click here to find a bigger version.

Did you go to a get-together with family and friends, hopefully in fair weather?

Continue reading "Carspotters’ Challenge #151: What Did You Do On Labor Day?" »

1977-1984 Coupe De Ville/Sedan De Ville, 1977-1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, 1987-1992 Cadillac Brougham tumblr_ml7jlz7vnj1qgapm9o1_1280Where I work, there’s a used car dealership right beside us. It holds an eclectic collection of automobiles, ranging from Hyundai econoboxes to old Ford Super-Duty trucks suited for different applications. Among them there’s old ‘80s metal for sale. Parked right outside the window I stare out of in a daydream-like haze is a worn-down, big, white Cadillac.

From that view to that dealer I’ve lusted after a neat, red Z31 Nissan 300ZX and a beater early-3rd-gen Chevrolet Camaro, to name some. Then how come that Cadillac, with mismatching whitelines and blackwalls and faded business advertisement telephone numbers still present on its rear flanks grabs my attention as much as iconic 1980s sporty coupes? Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a case of CarLust.

Continue reading "1977-1984 Coupe De Ville/Sedan De Ville, 1977-1986 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, 1987-1992 Cadillac Brougham" »

Wednesday Night Cruise In, Medina, Ohio 7/22/15

Well, c'mon, it IS a restaurant, y'know.An automotive-themed restaurant's parking lot filled with classics, customs, and hot rods is a perfect place to spend a summer evening.  Here's some of what I saw at the local Quaker Steak & Lube on a Wednesday evening not too long ago.

For starters, the Batmobile!

WP_20150722_18_38_30_ProBat-wing-mobile, actually.

Sing it with me people: "Da=da da-da-dadadada da, bat-wing!"

Continue reading "Wednesday Night Cruise In, Medina, Ohio 7/22/15" »

2015 Studebaker Drivers Club Meet, Talmadge, Ohio - Part 2

We'll start the second installment of our series on last Saturday's Studebaker Drivers Club meet in Talmadge with a look at the Larks.


Continue reading "2015 Studebaker Drivers Club Meet, Talmadge, Ohio - Part 2" »

2015 Studebaker Drivers Club Meet, Talmadge, Ohio - Part 1

The Ohio Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club gets together in Talmadge in late August every year for what is touted, quite accurately, as the largest one-day Studebaker meet on the planet.

Studebakers! Bunches of 'em!I attended the 2015 edition last Saturday, and there was a lot to see. Too much to fit in just one post, so we'll have to spread it out over the whole week. Here's the first installment.

Continue reading "2015 Studebaker Drivers Club Meet, Talmadge, Ohio - Part 1" »

The Cars of Jem and The Holograms

Jem logo wikipediaIf you’re into ‘80s pop culture, you will like this show. If you’re into ’80s kitsch, you will like this show. If you’re into ’80s music, you will like this show. If you’re into the music and/or fashion industry, you will like this show. If you’re into strong female characters, you will like this show. If you’re looking for a cartoon – retro or otherwise- that’s not full-blown action, fantasy, and/or overly-kid-oriented, you will like this show. If you’re into cartoons that are rife with detail, not only in animation but also in writing, you will definitely like this show.

I really like this show. I’ve been curious about it for years, so when I found it on what was formerly known as The Hub Network (now called Discovery Family), I watched all of it alongside G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero! cartoon (talk about contrast!). What I saw did not disappoint. What started out in its essence as a toy-line turned into something more. I just wish it could’ve lasted just a little longer to fill in all the loose ends. And that the series would come out remastered on Blu-Ray to really make the sound and color pop. With multiple language/subtitle options.

I’ve pondered on making this list long before my successful Cars of That ‘70s Show post, because I doubted there were enough non-generic vehicles to make a list of them. I was surprised that actually had a list for the series! So I thought, why not?

Showtime, Synergy…

Continue reading "The Cars of Jem and The Holograms" »

Carspotters’ Challenge #145: NYC Bridge Commute, 1956

Last week’s Carspotters’ Challenge focused around the Golden Gate Bridge on the West coast. I threw a question out there it if the commute ever got old and readers responded with a resounding ‘no’ plus explanation. Inspired by it, I now give you the East coast version Aside from no then/now photos, this time the bridge is unknown, at least to me, and NYC has a lot of bridges.  Tumblr_msvp3iV3LR1r9qhhio1_1280If you can identify the bridge, what’s the view/commute/experience/etc. like? If it can’t be identified, no worries. See if you can identify the cars instead.





Carspotters’ Challenge #144: Golden Gate Commute, Then and Now

How long would it take to lose the novelty of driving through the Golden Gate Bridge every day?



Continue reading "Carspotters’ Challenge #144: Golden Gate Commute, Then and Now" »

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

Powered by Rollyo

Car Lust™ Contributors

October 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 31