That ‘70s Show was not only gut-busting entertainment, it was a learning experience. It gave a window to how life was in mid-to-late 1970s North America. What we now consider kitschy-cool was actually considered lame back then, not everyone liked ABBA (or Styx for that matter), and being in the throes of adolescence sucked no matter what decade it is. Am I right?
If these cars could talk… most of them would have trouble remembering what went down. That's why we're here for.
“The traffic jam. Scourge of the 20th century city life. Raiser of blood pressure. Disruptor of supply chains. Stealer of bed-time stories…”
Grabs your attention, doesn’t it? It did for me, until I realized this was a tech commercial. Then my attention waned. I’m not going to dedicate this particular post to the discussion of traffic jams in general, how bad they are, how they make me feel or the technologies involved in making them go away in the future a reality. Why would I want to use a traffic jam as a Carspotters’ Challenge? Well, have a look:
As far as “traffic jams” go, this one at least has some interesting iron on display, for car-people at least. What’s also interesting is the eclectic mix: old, not-so old, North-American, European, UK, etc.
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:When 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?
With 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.
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.We're late for the Oscars, anyways (by about three months as of this writing), but what can you spot on the way?
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:
How 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.
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.
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?
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.