Maybe you can find ‘em.
Maybe you can find ‘em.
(Sung to the tune that opens "The Andy Griffith Show:")
♫ Well now, take, down, your fishin' pole, and meet me at The Fishin' Hole,
We may, not, get a bite all day, but don't you rush away.
What a great, place, to rest your bones, and mighty fine for skippin' stones,
You'll feel fresh, as, a lemonade, a-settin' in the shade.
Whether it's hot... whether it's cool... oh what a spot... for whistlin' like a fool.
What a fine, day, to take a stroll, and wander by The Fishin' Hole,
I can't think, of, a better way, to pass the time o' day. ♫
The name of that song is "The Fishin' Hole," and those were the words to the whistling theme you heard every time you saw Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie walking toward Myers Lake in Mayberry. Of course Myers Lake didn't exist, so maybe surprisingly, the title openings of the show were shot here.
Just like the music in "The Andy Griffith Show," cars also played an important part. In fact, several of their best episodes were written around them and the people who were driving them. So let's take a gander at a few of these machines... some of them might even surprise you a bit!
Seeing as it's the 1st of December and we've recently been discussing winterizing our vehicles, I thought I would throw this out for your consideration. I'm not sure this qualifies as a Car Lust exactly, but it definitely qualifies as a Car Thank You. It also represents something of a turning point in my automotive thought process. Herein, my short, sweet, and cold ode to Le Car.
Yes, we have already covered Le Car (or the Le Car, which may be linguistically incorrect however accurate in marketing terms) in its guise as the Renault 5:
Mention the Renault Le Car to the average person on the street, and, if they even remember it, you'll get only snorts of derision and, perhaps, even some open, scornful chortling.
In truth, the Le Car was an awful car with a cutesy name--slow, unreliable, and little more than a French Chevette. To the cynical, it was the latest installment in a decades-long plot to grind Renault's already iffy reputation in America into dust.
I'm afraid I can't add much to that description and won't attempt to. Nevertheless, despite its sordid reputation, Le little Car holds some pride of place in my Car Lust heart if for no other reason than it once saved my life.
I’ve wanted to tear into this commercial from the moment I saw it. I chose the longer version for further dismemberment.
Probably the most truthful automotive slogan I’ve read.
Like Mitsubishi’s 30th Anniversary and Scion’s 10th Anniversary, I was caught off-guard by Kia turning 20 in the American market, hadn’t it been for a news snippet on the local classifieds. Truth be told, I wasn’t paying much attention. Kias weren’t my thing. But seeing how much the brand has grown in a slightly shorter period of time than its sister Hyundai, I believe it deserves merit to travel back in time to see where it all began, even if it’s just for the kitschy-ness of it all. So set the VCR to record the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as the first episodes of Gargoyles, ReBoot and Street Sharks, to name a few; tie up those rollerblades or Air Jordan IX’s, put some fresh batteries on your Gameboy (don’t forget the Donkey Kong cartridge!) and Walkman (with Corona’s Rhythm of the Night), bring a pair of fresh underwear in your JanSport backpack, get the tickets for Forrest Gump, pay your respects to the late Ayrton Senna, forget about the canceled World Series and please keep your opinion on the OJ Simpson murder case to yourself, because we’re going back… to 1994.
Yes, it's our duty here at Car Lust to bring some obscure, unloved vehicles to light, and Holy Moly, do we have a winner today. Move over Mustang II Silver Ghia, step aside Vega Notchback Cabriolet, begone Levi's Gremlin... we hereby present the 1977 Leata. No, not the Reatta, the Leata.
The formula for this automobilia luxuriouso obscuriata: Take one brand new stock 1977 Chevy Chevette. Install fiberglass body panels. A rear vinyl half-roof with opera windows is a must. Nicer wheels are a definite improvement. Reupholster the seats, door panels, and everything else in that spartan interior that you possibly can.
Currently, the Mitsubishi trades paint with Chevy Spark for the questionable honor of being the cheapest new car you can buy in America. But for one thing, how cheap is $14K? Even after adjusting for inflation, it seems that entry-level Basic Transportation used to cost less. And second, what are you giving up for that extra few thousand bucks? At the end of the day, it worth it to get the cheapest car on the market, just for the sake of having a new car? Let’s investigate.
The 2014 Cleveland Auto Show runs through Sunday, March 9. I was there on Saturday the 1st, and here's some of what I saw.
(This post was submitted by longtime Car Lust reader, commentor, and occasional contributor Tigerstrypes.)
I'll admit that I make it a habit to see what turns 20, 30, 40, etc., years old. But I'll also admit that I was caught off guard by Scion's 10th Anniversary until I saw their Scion 10 Series commercial:
While I haven't had a list of tremedous vehicles I've driven, what I lack in quality I make up for in quantity.
My first two cars were Toyota Corollas. I started with a 1979 in white with 4 doors and a 5-speed manual. We got this from some relatives and my parents drove it for a year or so before I was old enough to drive. Unfortunately, I don't own photos of most of my vehicles (or most of my childhood). We didn't own a camera most of my life (crazy huh?) and it just was never a concern of mine to document these sorts of things. The '79 was a great learner car. It was a stick, and it was slow. So I got good experience but was limited in how quickly I could do stupid things. Eventually the clutch cable broke, and the car wasn't worth fixing with some of the other issues that began to crop up with it.
The second Corolla was a dirt brown 1978 2-door with the automatic transmission (was previously my grandparent's car). The only option it had was a rear window defroster. Both Corollas were glorified beer cans with wheels. I give thanks I was never in an accident in them. The only claim to fame for the brown car was that we sold it with nearly 300K on it for something like $500. The body was shot, everything mechanical worked, but barely. Suspension was laughable. But 4 years later the same guy who bought it was driving it around town still. You just couldn't kill it. A cockroach of cars.
The next car I got was a 1984 VW Rabbit. 4 doors, tan everywhere, and epically slow. My first front wheel drive car and my first hatchback. It was as uninspiring as a car could get, but it served me well until the distributor broke off in the motor. I regularly ferried about a half ton of offensive linemen home after football practice in this little car. Rear bumper just barely above rubbing pavement. Imagine three linemen in the back seat of a VW Rabbit. Yeah.