Blogs at Amazon

Top Gear: The Show That Made Everyone a ‘Car Guy’

Tonight we here in the US of A bid a fond farewell to Top Gear when the last show featuring the trio of Jeremy "The Orangutan" Clarkson, Richard "The Hamster" Hammond, and James "Captain Slow" May airs on BBC America. I'm sure I don't need to go into the details about how their run on the show came to an end, but there was some doubt whether we would get to see the last of the programmes that were TopGearfilmed before it all went belly up. It was a bit of a let down, just sort of petering out mid-season series like it did. I have no idea what tonight's episode will include, if anything, regarding their exit from the Top Gear stage, but at least it's something we know is coming this time and we can treat it with the profound respect it deserves. 

More or less.

When I first started this post -- if I'm honest it was about 2 months ago -- I was trying to find some clever hook by which to hang many profound insights into the allure and worldwide popularity of the show. At first I thought it was simple writer's block (heaven forbid), but then decided that attempting to be all and melodramatic 'n junk would have done a disservice to what they'd accomplished over the last 13 years. So I ditched the profundity idea and decided to just blather a bit on what I think about it. Which will, if you bear with me for a few sentences, hopefully make some sense. 

Continue reading "Top Gear: The Show That Made Everyone a ‘Car Guy’" »

Carspotters’ Challenge #143: Lillian, Ohio, 1979

The summer of ’79. School's over. What to do… Summer camp? Family vacation? Hang around town? Make a movie with your friends? Solve a mystery? Save the town from an invader from outer space? Evacuate town?

Wait. What…?

I454907 That’s what a group of kids did in their hometown. I’m referring to the 2011 science-fiction/adventure movie Super 8. That’s a screenshot. The movie’s filled with lots of period things (though eagle-eyed viewers will notice that some toys are a bit modern, including the Sony Walkman that’s a year too early for the U.S. market). As you can see, that also includes cars, which they pretty much nailed it, IMO. Yes, there were a couple that got wrecked (AMC Pacer fans, you’ve been warned).

The movie gets quite violent at times and can be scary for younger viewers, and the way it was filmed may not be everyone’s favorite (light glare! Autofocus!), and neither is the ending. As far as summer movies go, one could do a lot worse.

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://www.imcdb.org/

July 6 Open Thread: Summer Cruising Music, Weird Edition

We've already had one thread this summer devoted to driving music and some good choices there were. I'm sure we also have our share of one or two songs or albums or even entire genres that might seem a little. . . odd. But whatever; we write paeans to Ford Pintos so what's another oddity? Here are my two:

TENEBRAE

That's right, 16th century sacred polyphony, this one by Tomas Luis De Victoria, his Responsories for Tenebrae. These were sung during Holy Week, and I first stumbled upon them several years ago when the Internet was young and I was actually searching for Allegri's Miserere (which remains my single favorite piece of music, period). Definitely a morning drive CD, I'm not sure how I came to associate it with summertime, but I think I took it along with me one summer vacation and ended up having it locked in my mind with warm mornings with few cares in the world save for having fun with my family back in Maryland and Wisconsin. Hence, I find starting out early on a cool summer morning with one of these sorts of CDs immensely peaceful. You can hear a sample here.

NatNatNatNatNat

The great Nat "King" Cole. This favorite is more straightforward: Probably 10-15 years ago I went through a 'standards' phase: Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin mostly. Nat was a bit later, and I came to link him and summer via. . . .The Twilight Zone? Yes. The Sci Fi Channel (now SyFy) used to (still does, actually) run a Twilight Zone marathon on the 4th of July. I'm too young to have seen them originally, and didn't see many earlier in life, so these marathons really got me hooked. I love the creepiness, the cool early 1960s vibe, and, of course, the many cars. That might be where I really got my affection for that era. 

At any rate, I got that whole nostalgia thing going for that time, and then snagged a Nat CD and played it concurrently with summer and The Twilight Zone and it all kinda stuck together. Especially. . . .

 

Anybody else have any sort of oddball summer driving music? And, as always feel free to discuss anything else vaguely auto-related. 

Credits: Images from Amazon.com.

Carspotters’ Challenge #142: Venice Beach, 1952

There seems to be a parade of sorts getting ready to go. I wonder what the occasion is.

Tumblr_moo0tvrYDb1r9qhhio1_1280 Click here for full-size version.

 Anyways, let’s walk around the parking lot until they’re finished getting ready.

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com

1998-2010 Fiat Multipla

Fiat-multipla-pretty-face-small-97852I was waiting at an accountant’s office, so I whipped out my phone proceeded to rot my brain with 9gag, one of those meme-centric websites. And there it was, a reminder of the existence of the infamous Fiat Multipla, in a garish muli-colored/Harlequin-style paint job, and captions stating how ugly it was while trying to be both funny and uplifting at the same time. Due to profanity, I can’t use that pic. Besides, it’s not as if that was the only time the Internet, let alone 9gag, ribbed the Multipla’s looks.

Continue reading "1998-2010 Fiat Multipla" »

25 Years of Car Lust

A short vanity post commemorating me and my Mustang II's 25th Anniversary together. I've written a couple of times before (here and here) about how this thing came into my possession and how we'd gotten to various points on our mutual trajectories. There's really nothing special happening with the old car and I this year apart from the somewhat arbitrary milestone of reaching the 25-year mark. And I have quite a few other Big Anniversaries in 2015. The Spousal Unit and I went on our first date 25 MeMustang1990years ago, I graduated from high school (*gulp*) 35 years ago, and I graduated from college (undergraduate school anyway) and moved out to Seattle 30 years ago this summer as well. So, for me it's kind of a reflective time in more ways than one.

Back then I was in the midst of the graduate school paper chase, fresh off of passing my comprehensive exams ("comps") and trying to figure out a reasonable dissertation topic. Work consisted of grabbing whatever teaching positions I could wrangle, trying to get research assistant money, doing contract archaeology in my new (to me) Bronco II, figuring out this whole new girlfriend thing, and drinking a lot of beer. Graduate school is an odd thing, something like an extended boot camp for nerds. You've gone and thrust yourself into a world of arcane knowledge that can only be crammed into your brain through many tedious hours of reading equally arcane journal articles and books. In archaeology, a lot of these works can be almost as old as the subject matter itself and you occasionally find yourself doing an archaeological study of archaeological studies. Really strange things take on enormous significance, such as figuring out what exactly the difference is between intensive and extensive definitions (you really don't want to know) or the theoretical consequences of equifinality. The outside world consists of 'stuff you occasionally experience when you're not trying to get the latest assignment done or paper written' and a good weekend consists not of relaxing with family or friends but 'getting a lot of work done'. I guarantee you that the following exchange takes place at least one million times each Monday morning:

Graduate student 1: "Hey, how was your weekend?"

Graduate student 2: "Pretty good. I got a lot of work done." *heavy sigh*

Continue reading "25 Years of Car Lust" »

Carspotters' Challenge #141: Sign of Good Taste

I honestly thought that clever title came from the site that I found this pic. I got curious, looked it up and found out that is truly the title of this photo.Tumblr_mrsqfmyz7u1r9qhhio1_1280This colorful photograph was taken by Fred Herzog. It was taken in Portland, circa 1959. Not the first Carspotters' Challenge involving Portland.

Go ahead and tell us what do you see. For some reason I'm feeling thirsty. You want something?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com/tagged/parking-lot

Carspotters' Challenge #140: Junkyard Dogs Edition

This week's photo comes from (again), Vintage Everyday:

New York City in the Early 1970's (5)

The caption for the photo is "View of Brownsville from the Sutter Ave. stop on the L line, Brooklyn, 1978".

I urge you to peruse the other photos at the link. Some of them are quite haunting, especially the World Trade Center under construction. The number of abandoned and junked cars is also rather distressing. 

Caption This

Stop me before I paint again

Akron, Ohio, June 13, 2015.

Carspotters’ Challenge #139: Jammed Both Ways

Tumblr_mlcouzKJCJ1r9qhhio1_1280Full size version, click here.

There’s no date or place mentioned for this picture. At most, I’m guessing 1955-1956. Aside from the cars (kudos if you can get the ones heading over the overpass), maybe you can guess the place, too.

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com

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

Powered by Rollyo

Car Lust™ Contributors

August 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