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Carspotters’ Challenge #136: These Are Not The Ricers We’re Looking For

Part of the tragedy of import cars of the ‘00s is that more likely than not, they’ll be associated to the infamous Fast & Furious franchise. While not the defacto ricer ride of choice, this is what happened while looking for pics for my B15 Nissan Sentra post: I found a screenshot of one from the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious. If these type of cars cold talk, it would be the equivalent of finding an embarrassing snapshot of a time that’s yet to be looked upon with rose-tinted glasses. Speaking of which, I was taken back to 2003, where my MR2-driving Uncle and me went to the movies to see it. This isn’t going to be a movie review, so back to the screenshot:2F2F RicersWhen this scene happened, I remember trying to take it all in. So many cars, so little screen time! Now, at stumbling upon this screenshot, there doesn’t seem to be that many. Regardless, there are a decent number of cars.

So, under all those questionable aerodynamics, flashy paint, vinyl graphics, dated wheels, etc., what can you make out?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: IMCDb

Car Lusts of the '00s: The List

  CXT vs GTI R32With the introduction outta the way, let’s begin listing the (probably) lust-worthy vehicles of the 00’s. A quick reminder: This list doesn’t list said vehicles from model year 2000 to 2010 one by one but categorizes vehicles that fit into the Car Lust way of thinking, so that means that obvious choices aren’t included unless given an explanation. Yes, there’s gonna be exceptions. Yes, there will be disagreements, but just give ‘em time to grow on you, like a decade. Or three. Now, onto the wall of text list.

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Carspotters’ Challenge #135: On Our Way To The Oscars

Keeping things animated, Here we have yet another Simpson’s-themed Carspotters’ Challenge. The title has less to do with the actual Oscars and more to do with the episode the pic comes from… well, according to my research. I haven’t seen this episode.Che2214We're late for the Oscars, anyways (by about three months as of this writing), but what can you spot on the way?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://imcdb.org

Great Commercials - Vauxhall: 50 Years (and 5 million cars) After

What do we know about Vauxhall? We know they’re part of GM and that they sell rebadged Opels as well as Holdens/Isuzus/Suzukis, etc., depending on which model we’re talking. I’ve gotten the impression that they were able to build some of the most boring cars of the UK and at the same time some of the most bonkers. But did you know that the plant producing Vauxhalls as we know it turned 50 years old? How about that it produced 5 million cars during that time frame? Just one of those two milestones is more than enough reason to produce one of the most entertaining commercials that one can’t find on Western television programming:

 

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The Cars of “The Looney Tunes Show” (2011)

The Looney Tunes Show bannerHow many of you are aware that there was a new Looney Tunes series? Well, you do now. The half-hour series focuses mostly on Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, as well as those around them. It’s made in a sitcom-y sort of way but it’s rife with little details that eagle-eyed fans of the franchise can appreciate. Taking place in contemporary times, we see that the show’s animators went the extra mile to make it feel as familiar as one can without infringing copyright laws or unashamed product-placement. That includes cars. While many do look generic, there are many more that, as a car person, grabs your attention. The kicker here is how well some of the vehicles are paired with their owners.

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Car Lust Quantum Leap: The Chevette

I guess it should not be a surprise that I picked this microbial minicar, since about anything you do to a GM T-Body will improve it anyway. But I have always defended this car, which was the best-selling American small car of 1979 and 1980. After all, I did own two of these beauties.

Chevette 2 door

First off, I'd keep virtually all of the external sheet metal, but build an up-to-date, high-tensile steel space frame under there that meets today's crash standards. After all, is the Chevette really such a bad looking car?

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Nissan Week--RIP, Yutaka Katayama, Mr. K

Mr. K 1958 Australian Mobilgas Trial Datsun 210Mr. K and the 1958 Australian Mobilgas Trial-winning, 10,000+ mile-surviving Datsun 210, part of two-car team he managed. Both finished.

As car-people, we delve into this topic a little more often than most folk. This is how I came to learn not only of the Z-car, but the people behind it. Amongst them a name stood out: Yutaka Katayama.

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Nissan Week--2000-2006 Nissan Sentra (B15)

Yellow Spec VWhether out on the street, in magazines or the web, I find that some cars are still the darlings of car guys.

This one isn’t exactly one of them.

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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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Carspotters’ Challenge #130: No Porsche’s Land

Fellow readers, you have no idea how happy I was when I found and watched this video. While not the greatest car chase of all time, for what it was, this chase was excellent.

 

It was so good that while this is still a Carspotters’ Challenge, I couldn’t help myself and break it down, at least the highlights of it… and give away some of the answers:

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

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