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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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Great(ish) Commercials: Love Today/Today Is Pretty Great

This is the print advertisement that is supposed to entice Gen-Y/Millennials and me to consider buying a new Honda Civic:


*Turns the other way to the Scion dealer*

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$100,000 Challenge, Take 2: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame's Max Cars Edition

After reading Chris Hafner's post, I realized that if I hadn't gone so Mazda-heavy, I could have gotten some great 20- and 30-year-old cars in my garage.

I wanted to try again, with a fresh slate.  I hope you'll indulge me, and I hope you even find it entertaining.

But I've got to change the rules, slightly.  I'll still have limitations, because limitations help channel and inspire creativity.

First change: no "car currently on sale" requirement.  All cars need to be 20 to 30 years old.  Maybe 15, at most.  The point is to get cars that are old enough to be great value, but not so old as to be "classic".  The point is to catch cars near the bottom part of the trough, where the value has declined as much as possible, but not to the point where the value starts to rebound from rarity/coolness.

Second change: I have to have exactly 20 cars.  No more, no less.  The point is to see how close I can get to the $100k total without going over, for exactly 20 cars.

Third change: All car prices will be according to the NADA "clean retail" price, but here's the twist: if you can manage to find a 20-year-old car in "clean retail" condition, it won't really be ready to go.  The coolant system will be having problems, or it will consume oil as lustily as Vikings drank mead, or the paint will be starting to flake off, or a few minor rust points, or the alignment will be horribly off, get the picture.  A 20-year-old car that wasn't lovingly restored to new condition is going to have some issues.  So right off the bat, I will budget $2000 per car to get it up to speed.  That might go to a tune-up, or a paint job, or a replacement door + paint, or an alignment, or a new radiator, etc.  That might be an underestimation, but we are starting with a "clean retail" example, so I think an average of $2000 will work.

That leaves me with $60,000 to get 20 cars.  So I'm looking for cars I can get for averaging just about $3000 each.

That's the rules I have.  Let's see what I come up with.

Continue reading "$100,000 Challenge, Take 2: Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame's Max Cars Edition" »

$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: Cookie the Dog's Owner

As the Car Lust contributor who proposed the $100k Challenge to the group in the first place, it now falls upon me to put the bell on my own cat.

"I'll take two of those, and that one, and that one...."In the words of a prominent and influential British artist of the last century, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need. For $100k in pretend money, I was able to pretend to get everything we need and a couple of things I wanted.

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$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: That Car Guy

Let's see... a hundred grand for garage toys. Where to start?

Jeep Garage ChallengeHow about our brand new vehicle first. For that, I'd get a 2-door Jeep Wrangler Sport, which is their base model. And from their somewhat limited palette, I'd get this color called Commando Green, which looks somewhat military to me.

I built and priced one; they come standard with tilt, cruise, traction control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, fog lamps, a 285-hp V-6, a 6-speed manual, and more. Oh yeah, it also has 4WD standard... a Jeep without 4WD? Heresy!

The only options I'd want are air conditioning and a hard top; soft tops are just way too noisy on the highway. Its Grand Retail Total, minus shipping, is $24,085. Not bad.

Why get a Jeep? Well, I've always liked them, they make great service vehicles, if you get stuck it's your fault, and despite new model year updates, I think we know pretty much what the next one will look like.

Continue reading "$100,000 Fantasy Garage Challenge: That Car Guy" »

2002-2005 Honda Civic Si (EP3)

(Submitted by Car Lust reader and commenter Tigerstrypes)


Civic 1

While Hondas have not been super-influential to me, I gotta admit that I liked them. I drew their sleek 2-door CG-series Accords and EK9 Civic hatchbacks (both 6th-gen models from their respective models) in my school notebooks from time to time. They were just great-looking cars.

When the 7th-gen Civics rolled in, it took me awhile to get used to the coupe and sedan’s cleaner, sanitary lines. OK, it didn’t take that long. Then I saw the hatch. I was blown away! If the coupe and sedan were evolutionary, the hatch was definitely revolutionary.

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5th Birthday Week--Anthony Cagle's Greatest Hits

HillbrookI've never met Anthony Cagle, but I think we'd have a lot in common. He's into history by trade; I do it as a hobby, like having spent part of the last four years relocating a magnificent mansion named "The Hillbrook ." This not so humble abode used to stand in Westchester County, New York, and was once owned by the family of a dear late friend of mine.

But where we probably share the most commonality is our admiration (Dare I say love) of the Mustang II. I bought a new one in 1974; presently he is the keeper of a magnificent 1978 Fastback. And if he ever wants to sell it, I hope he lets me know.

So in keeping with this week's theme, I'd like to present a few of my favorite Car Lust posts by Anthony J. Cagle, and a few words about each:

1962: It was a very good year

on December 18, 2008

I take this opportunity to sing the praises of not one car, but many: those from a single year, 1962. Why this particular year? I can almost hear the thoughts of many out there wondering why this year and not some other one that has way more hot cars. What about '69 when we had Super Bees and Boss 302s? Or maybe 1964, which saw both the GTO and the Mustang debut? To these criticisms I can only respond: Hey, this is Car Lust, after all.

Continue reading "5th Birthday Week--Anthony Cagle's Greatest Hits" »

1967 Dodge Deora Concept Vehicle

Deora and surfboardsEver since I was about 10, I have seen this odd pickup truck in Hot Wheels packages, AMT model kits, magazines, and images here and there. But I haven't seen one lately except in KMart's toy section, so I thought I'd look one up.

1967 was one of some really great custom car years. The Batmobile, The Monkeemobile, and The Munster Koach and Drag-u-la were all in fashion, and that's when the Deora premiered.

Designed by Harry Bentley Bradley and based on a Dodge A100 pickup truck/van, the rear glass of a 1960 Ford station wagon served as the windshield. The name "Deora" was coined by a 13-year-old, and (incorrectly) means "Golden" in Spanish. Its highback seats were years ahead of their time, and its rolled and tucked interior was posh by any standard.

Deora doorThe Deora's sharp angular lines, streamlined body, and forward look are appealing, but it's not hard to see why this vehicle never caught on... this may be the most useless, impractical, and unsafe pickup truck ever proposed.

And maybe that's why I like it. With the engine placed about where the empty cargo bed should be, the only practical cargo it might carry above its enclosed bed would be surfboards.

Also, there's no real front end/crumple zone space, so I would not want to be in a collision in one. Its windshield is tempered glass instead of being laminated, so it's unsafe as well. So the Deora exists mainly as scale models of the original, only to be a fantasy vehicle for the masses.

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1985: It Was a Very Good Year!

October 1984 C/DIt was "Morning in America," a time when men were real men, women were real women, and hair was real big. Ronald Reagan had just been sworn in for his second term after winning one of the most lopsided Presidential elections in American history. and the "national malaise" of just a few years before had been replaced by a mood of confident optimism. Technology was on the march: personal computers now had floppy drives and 12 MHz processors, fully-functional mobile phones were down to the size of a box of Girl Scout cookies, and used DeLoreans were being retrofitted with aftermarket flux capacitors. On the big screen, besides the one with the time machine, we had Out of Africa and Witness and The Breakfast Club and Rambo: First Blood Part II. On the small screen, you had The Cosby Show and Hill Street Blues and MacGyver.

On the radio was Springsteen, Madonna--this was way before Nirvana--there was U2, and Blondie, and music still on MTV. The cars then were old school, and you might think them uncool, but this post will be occupied with cars of Nineteen Eighty-Five.

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All-American Week: The "Spirit of America" Chevrolets

SOA Vega poster If anybody remembers our Nation's Bicentennial Year, then they remember these limited edition cars. 1976 seemed to start out like most any other year, except we had "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour" to suffer through. "Charlie's Angels" gave us some great models to gaze at, and the cars weren't bad either.

But in 1974, a couple of years ahead of schedule and maybe to boost sales, Chevrolet sold a really nice trim package on their El Camino, Impala, Nova, and Vega models. Some dealers may have added this trim to other Chevy car and truck models as well.

The outsides were painted white with red and blue stripes, and sported "Spirit of America" emblems; the insides had white seats, red carpeting, and black dashboards. Looks like they had some nice wheels, too. They were not featured in the sales brochures that year, and getting detailed information on all of them is a bit tricky.

So let's just look at a few images of these cars:

Continue reading "All-American Week: The "Spirit of America" Chevrolets" »

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

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