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GMC Canyon, Isuzu i-Series and Chevrolet Colorado (GMT355 platform)

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I’ve been noticing these more often on the streets lately. There are plenty of them on the roads around here. That’s probably because I’ve been checking out trucks. There’s another reason: the Canyon and Colorado are making a comeback, and mid-size truck guys are frothing at the mouth.

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Truck Lust: 1929-1932 Dodge Merchant's Express

I'm going to say it right up front: This may be, in my opinion, the most handsome pickup truck ever:

DodgeSideview

When I began my foray into the world of pickups, this Dodge was one of the first ones to grab my attention. Not because of its performance or place in history or any of that intellectual stuff. It just looks hot. There's just something so utterly perfect about its design, especially in this sideview, that strikes the right chord of utility, sportiness, proportion and captures the pure essence of its time; so much so that it justifiably ranks up there with a Monet landscape or a Bach contata; it's just that. . .right.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate. But only slightly. In truth, I really do believe that they got the design of this sucker just about perfect. And on their first (more or less) try!

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Truck Lust: An Introduction

Interesting cars meet irrational emotion. 

That's our mission statement, of a sort, and we've hewn fairly close to it. Perhaps a bit too close. We have, I'm afraid, somewhat neglected one of the most popular personal vehicles on the road: the truck. More specifically, the pickup truck. Perhaps no vehicle is more distinctively American than the pickup OldPickup
truck. Oh sure, they're very popular in other countries as well (some more than others), but there seems to be something in our collective DNA that is attracted to this in some ways simplest of vehicles. As of this writing at the end of 2014 three of the top five best selling vehicles in the U.S. are pickups; the Ford F-150 has been the top selling vehicle in the U.S. for over the last 3+ decades. We love our pickups. We even love our sorta-pickups. What the Jaguar E-Type is, arguably, to Great Britain, the pickup truck is to the United States. 

And yet, we here at Car Lust have been somewhat remiss in highlighting these most pedestrian -- and I mean that in a good way -- of vehicles. Out of over a thousand posts we've covered a few true pickups -- some vintage Studes, Ford Ranger, the Subaru BRAT, and the VW Caddy -- and we've also delved into the realm of commercial trucks -- the Divco "Shark Noses" and REO Speedwagons (the trucks, not the band) -- but we've oddly avoided much discussion of perhaps the most common American vehicle on the roads. Obviously there are far more different kinds of cars out there than there are pickup trucks, and one might reasonably argue that a pickup is a pickup is a pickup (except to the enthusiast -- or partisan -- of course) in contrast to the various hatchbacks, coupes, sedans, muscle cars, etc. on the car side of things. We're also not generally a bunch of "pickup guys", in the same way we aren't generally "motorcycle guys" even though we've probably covered those more than trucks. 

Well, we aim to remedy that. Over the next few weeks and months we'll be devoting more space to these vehicles. I for one have developed something of a crush on pickups over the last couple of years for reasons that remain largely unknown (really; I don't know why), so much of this will be part of my personal Car Lust evolution and indulgence. Still, we've all got some experience with the humble pickup truck and we hope to bring a bit of fresh material for your Car Lusting pleasure. 

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2015 Lexus IS350 AWD: Time To Pick Sides

You wouldn't be alone if you were to claim not to have much of an opinion about Lexus one way or another. Up until recently, they've been known for solidly reliable but unremarkable alphabet-soup-named luxury vehicles. Cautious and somewhat derivative, Lexus inspired a muted but but dedicated brand loyalty among previous owners, and the only demographic whose true hatred they could claim was an insignificant subset of BMW fanboys. Opinions were had, and sure, there were the SC-series and the early IS's, but across the board, Lexus wasn't a brand that could accurately be said to inspire passion. Things began to change in 2007 with the advent of the IS F, and ramped up substantially with the halo LFA's limited run beginning in 2010. Increasingly over the last decade, Lexus has been on a mission to stake a legitimate claim to the luxury-performance marketplace, and it's got something to prove. Which brings us to the IS350: polarizing looks, impeccable manners, and 306 hp all packed into a car the size of a Corolla. There's a fence, Lexus is saying, and it's time to get on one side of it or the other.

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December 29 Weekly Open Thread: "The World's Most Irritating Car Commercial"

Lately here at Car Lust, we've featured a few new and old commercials, for better or for worse. A Corvette ad of over 30 years ago is probably the best of the best, but now this ad may be the worst of the worst.

Now please don't get me wrong, I love FIATs. It was a pleasure to cover their "FIAT FreakOut" here in Nashville a few years ago, and I even owned an X1/9 for a few hours... which of course is another story.

But personally, I don't like people shouting at me. So every time this commercial comes on, I dash for the Mute button. Madly and instantly. The moment I hear those notes and that voice screaming coursely and repetatively, it has to go. Now.

Here is said ad:

 

Hopefully their Gran Finale commercial will have its swan song soon as well.

Your thoughts please? And of course, this is the place to vent anything even slightly automotively related. Anything.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

A Very Car Lust Christmas!

I've decided to take the reins (pun intended) this year for our annual Christmas With the Car Luststribute to Santa's wheels skids. In past years we've examined the history and various incarnations of Santa's sleigh(s) and other Christmas-related automobiles, but this year I'm just going to toss out a few of my favorite Christmas and/or Santa-themed vehicles. No rhyme or reason involved, just bits and pieces from the Interwebs that may amuse you in between the egg nogs and holidays parties. Enjoy!

CarLustXmas

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Our Cars: 2010 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition

003Before we begin, I have to clarify that this isn’t really my car in the sense that I own it. Another thing worth mentioning is that I have 3 uncles. To avoid confusion, MR2-driving uncle shall be known as Uncle J, his older brother shall be known as Uncle V and their sister’s husband –and former Chevrolet Astro owner- shall be Uncle D.

An interesting proposition was bestowed upon me earlier in the year (May 2013): my family was to drive Uncle V’s new-ish Toyota 4Runner as part of our daily-drivers, with me being the main driver. This came to be for the following reasons: Grandpa’s former steed, a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Edition has been acting up. Not once, but twice I left work in it only to not start, while blocking the same fellow employee in this concrete slab we call parking lot. Thank goodness it had a small descent towards the exit. We got it fixed, but it’s just one of a list of problems that it’s given us. It doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence and its days are numbered.

The second reason was that Uncle J was in Bolivia, at least until mid-July. While over there, we took care of some minor bodywork on his new Ford F-150. Convinced that the truck needed to be used, Uncle V began to use it more as his daily-driver. After the 4Runner got much needed dealership work after serving as my Aunt’s driver while her Toyota Sienna LE was at said dealership, and after I finished ridding the Grand Cherokee of its electrical faults, Uncle V told me to take the 4Runner and park the Grand Cherokee until further notice. While my Mom was the first to let me in on my Uncle’s idea, it came as a surprise that not only did he actually go through with it, but also how soon it was. At least until Uncle J returned in July and order was restored, I have a 4Runner… I kinda like the sound of that.

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Not-So-Great Commercials: That 2015 Cadillac Escalade Commercial - "Evolution" of Indulgence

We’ve talked about Cadillac commercials in the past, though those examples aren’t exactly regarded as automotive advertisement’s crowning achievements. And today is no different. Yes, the ELR commercial had some political undertones attached to it, but it could still be enjoyable. This one struck a nerve the first time I saw it. Even its title rubs me the wrong way. So let’s watch it before it gets taken down.

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December 15 Weekly Open Thread: This Is The Time Of Year When Dreams Come True

It may not be on the scale (pun intended) of "Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men" but for we here at Car Lust, the following development is truly, awesomely, magnificently welcome. Gone are the days (hopefully) when all you could decorate your mantle with were Lambos, Ferarris, and other assorted supercars. Or even just the souped-up (sorta) versions of some regular cars. Now, we might just have the opportunity to display. . . .our own cars. This story from Autoweek:

If you had given up all hope of finding a scale model of your family truckster from back in the day, NEO Scale Models may be able to help. Models of domestic cars in 1:43 scale had basically been written off by model manufacturers because the U.S. market was never really deemed big enough to support them. Those that were offered tended to be purchased exclusively for decorating model train diaramas (O Gauge is 1:48 scale, by the way), and thus had to meet a very low price point. Thus diecast manufacturers like Minichamps, Norev, Herpa, and others focused their attention on churning out models of European cars, producing twenty different versions of a Porsche 911 race Dodge-aries car for every one car that someone might have actually had in their driveway, like a Volkswagen Golf.

Or a Mustang II! VW Caddy! Ford LTD! I've been looking for a Mustang II model kit for a while, but with no success (though never mind eBay). Even if I did find one in the box it would ruin its collectibility (I think) to put it together. So I'm hopeful these things will take off and become viable enough to expand. The design is virtual and, as the article notes, with 3D printing perhaps in the not-too-distant future we'll be able to specify year, color schemes, and options. Even so, once they make a fastback Mustang II, I'll be tempted to just buy whatever they have and paint the mother pink brown.

Lawdy, just go to their web site and start clicking away, but hold on to your credit card. Following the jump are a couple more images for your Lusting pleasure. Also, feel free to discuss anything vaguely auto-related. 

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Carspotters’ Challenge #122: Just Your Typical California Blockbuster Parking Lot

If one lived in California circa 1993 and wanted to rent a video, this is the type of scene one would find on the parking lot outside the Blockbuster… if you lived in the parallel universe of the Jack Slater movie franchise. Lah004011s13.3443

In reality, the pic is from the movie Last Action Hero, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The movie deconstructs the action-movie genre that Schwarzenegger himself helped redefine, case in point the parking lot filled with glamorous beauties (and girls, too) as only an over-the-top movie can get away with.  I275703The entire movie is full of great cars, but just from these screenshots, how many can you name?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: IMCDb.com

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

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