That Car Guy, aka Chuck Lynch, is a '57 model. A lifelong resident of middle Tennessee, he's had a passion for cars and trucks since Day One. His automotive career truly began in the early 1980s, when he worked at Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. USA, producing training videos while they were building the plant. He later worked in the NMMC Corporate Communications department in video, print, and 35mm photography. In 1991, he became technical editor, writer, and an on-camera reporter with the "Road Test Magazine" TV show, which morphed into "Car and Driver Television" after his absence. Chuck has won Car and Driver's "10 Best Contest" 10 times through the years, visits as many automotive museums as he can, and hopes some day to have a nice place to store and work on his cars.
All of their bikes will be assembled in Birmingham, Alabama, not far from the Mercedes-Benz plant in nearby Vance. I say "assembled" because the engines are cast and completed in East Texas, then shipped to the Yellowhammer State.
The bike will be offered in what's called a sport-touring model, and in two versions, the MST and the MST-R (shown here, with the fancy red valve covers). Each bike weighs around 500 pounds, which is a featherweight in this class.
This review was first posted on November 22, 2011. I tried to avoid any conspiracy theories and tried to simply describe the limousine that was used in Dallas. It will always be the center of the event, and luckily it is still here as an artifact, a silent witness, and a victim.
It was 48 years ago today, on November 22, 1963, that the world changed again forever. We all know the horrible details of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy's murder, so I'll refrain from them in this post. But on that day, our nation and the world immediately went into unified mourning and shock, and national television was uninterrupted for four days. Nothing of this magnitude had been repeated until September 11, 2001.
He was riding in an open-car motorcade as all Presidents had done before, and none have done since.
After factory assembly, it was shipped to Hess & Eisenhardt in Cincinnati and cut in half (It is a unibody design). The car was then elongated about 3½ feet and modified with special luxuries, plus foldable jump seats, grab handles, rear bumper footrests, special lighting, flagstaffs, and a rear seat that would rise 10 inches.
At its debut in 1963, the Buick Riviera turned heads. Far from the flabby and drab small coupe it would become later in its life, the Riviera was sharp. While the mechanicals were respectable, it was the looks that really made it special. The Riviera was at once clean yet aggressive, with its sharply creased lines conveying an avant-garde styling sportiness.
Crisp detailing on forward-raked egg-crate grille, combined with quad round headlights, set off the long side lines and the rakish thin-pillared greenhouse. As opposed to the bulbous cars slathered with chrome filigree that were so common in the early 1960s, the Riviera was angular and elegant in its understatement--one of Detroit's earliest attempts to capture European style for the American consumer.
OK, it's the 1960s, give or take a decade or so, and let's say you're going to stretch a car and make a limousine. Many, if not most of us, would probably choose a premium brand such as Cadillac, Chrysler, or Lincoln. But the fine folks over at Armbruster Stageway and other places seemed to have liked more "base model" cars, such as Chevys, Fords, and the now dearly departed Pontiacs.
And from 1962 to 1977 (except for 1975), Checker even built their own in-house 9- and 12-passenger "Aerobus" models. Heck, one of them, the Convoy, was designed to haul prisoners. Now that's pedestrian travel!
Here is a Checker Aerobus airport limousine. This one has "only" 6 doors, but other Checker limos had the full 8-door treatment as well.
What makes up an airport limousine? Well, they seem to be a large, lower trim level 4-door sedan, station wagon, or truck that has been stretched and has one, two, or three doors added on each side. There is usually a large roof rack for extra/oversized luggage and/or Aunt Edna. These vehicles were built for function more than form or luxury; getting passengers and luggage to and from airports and hotels quickly was their reason for being. Going to the opera or prom... not so much so.
that just might be the longest car title in the history here at Car Lust.
That's probably fitting, since this may be the longest car ever featured
here as well.
It may also be the widest car ever here. In 1977 GM downsized its largest cars, so this body barely escaped the truncation.
How wide is it? Well, it's so wide that the casket can be
placed into the coach's rear and moved forward into its latching position. Then the casket can be rotated 90 degrees while still inside. That's with all of the doors shut, of course. Then it can be made to protrude a bit, and
be removed from either the left or right side rear door, or out the back. This makes Valentine a true "Three-Way" model.
The Coach belongs to my friend Travis, who hosts a Halloween event
every year. I have attended two of these so far, and hundreds of people from
all over Northern California (and other parts of the country) flock there to see Valentine, as well as to receive some delicious treats, I'm sure.
Well, we're back again. And it's another unbelievably perfect Autumn day, October 12, 2013, to be exact. We're in Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, to see the 2013Nashville British Car ClubShow.
And does it get any better than a British Racing Green Jaguar E-Type in front of the Parthenon? Yes of course it could, but only if the Vanderbilt University Marching Band was practicing right across the street... which it was.
This was the fourth year in a row (2010, 2011, 2012)
that I have motored into Music City USA to see this event. And never has it
been disappointing. This year's theme was simply "Brits At The
Parthenon," which didn't single out any particular make, model, or time
period. And I think that was a good thing.
the idea of "French Cars Week" here at Car Lust was first presented, I
thought my only experience with them was watching a great car chase
scene in For Your Eyes Only.
But after I thought about the subject for a moment, I remembered I did
have some experience with a French car... and it was a very good one.
In 1979, I visited a friend in Toluca Lake, Burbank, California. George
wisely kept the Ferrari to himself, but the "house car," a 1978 Peugeot
604, was my car for almost two weeks. And at the time, our family had a
similar car, a modest 1972 Mercedes-Benz 250 sedan (Ours also had circular factory fog lights). So driving the French counterpart gave me a chance to compare them, even though they were 2,000 miles apart.
just in front of the Ferrari 365 GTC4, is the "house car," the 604
graciously loaned to me by George. Normally the two cars were parked side by side,
but on this July 4, 1979, we pulled the Italian car out onto the street
for some photos.
I'm glad I framed the 604 in the background to help remind me of the visit; this may be the only image of the 604 I have.
George liked the French, and especially their engineering. After all, anybody that builds the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, not to mention helping us win the War Of Independence, can't be all bad.
And in fact, George, Luigi Chinetti, and Jan de Vroom started NART, though some sources give that lone credit to his business partner, Mr. Chinetti. The 48 stars indicate that NART was formed in 1956, before Alaska and Hawaii joined our great Nation. NART won LeMans in 1965, and Chinetti Motors was the first Ferrari dealer in North America. It was originally located in New York City then later moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and is now known as Miller Motorcars.
Many years ago, a very successful artist friend of mine taught me about airbrushing, shadowing, overlaying, and other graphic arts methods of the day. Many of these tricks were either done by hand or clever applications of everyday darkroom enlargers and other equipment. Of course, now we have these amazing computers that do the same work much easier and faster. And anybody with an imagination can do it.
But one trick he taught me, especially from the 1960s, was how the automakers would stretch an image to make a car look longer... you know, have more rear overhang for a perceived larger trunk, and other styling elements that are frowned upon today. This was usually used on large cars to make them even larger. And l don't know if this image below has been altered, but was the rear overhang on these cars really so long?
I've been wanting to "play" with an image I found a while back to see how far the illusion might be taken. This image is "unique," and I stretched it a mere 15 per cent... just enough for extra elongation, but not enough for exagerration (I hope). So presenting here, in full color even, is the result:
Folks, are we in for a treat today! Loyal Car Lust reader and commentor Bill Thompson sent in so many amazing "study hall" sketches that, to do them justice, we'll do two posts. And incredibly, he did all of these sketches freehand!
He said they were all done in high school, from 1984-1987. And Mr. Thompson's tastes seem to focus on classic designs and construction, but with a modern flavor. Though they would have probably been built in the Decade Of Conspicuous Consumption, many of these vehicles would have looked right at home during the Roaring Twenties.
He also was kind enough to write a narrative about each submission, which is included under each sketch. So without any further "to do," please feast upon the magnificence of Mr. Thompson's delicious drawings:
My admiration for this car began one day, as a 21-year-old, when I saw an ad for the first Toyota Celica Supra. The glossy presentation literally blew me away. Here, for the first time in my automotive history, was a small car available with all the refinements of any larger machine. It had power windows and door locks, a tilting steering wheel, a luxurious, plush interior, cruise control, a snazzy console, multi-adjustable bucket seats, and even a sunroof.
That ad showed a dash featuring an amazing array of seven gauges (Including the clock), a large sum of instruments not easily found on any other car of its time, nor even today. An industry-leading AM/FM 4-speaker radio was there, as was (dare I say it?) an 8-Track tape player. In 1979, leather seats and automatic climate control was offered, again, unheard of in a small car on these shores.
Please pardon this interruption of our pre-season
football games, but here we go again with another exclusive Car Lust
Theme Week. This go-round, we're focusing on three of the world's third
largest automaker's affordable yet notable models.
"You asked for it, you got it!" Well, you didn't, but here
it is anyway. Sadly we're not test driving the 2000 GT convertible here ...and we'll pretty much leave the Priuses Prii alone this time.
But I think the three cars chosen for this Theme Week epitomize what made Toyota great on the North American continent. Without them, the automotive standard here would be lower, the bar set further down the pole.
So enough cheesy introductions; let's get going. And as usual, this is also the place to talk about anything else even slightly automotive-related. Datsuns as well.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credit: The James Bond scale model box image was found at Photobucket.com.
Car Lust continues its series on "study hall" drawings, following a superb submission from Tigerstrypes. Another post with similar sketches is coming soon, and if anybody else has some to contribute, we'll gladly put a post together with your designs as well.
This time, we're featuring the artwork of Paulo Rebordão. He says the first two renderings were from 1983-84; the rest are from 1990. From cars to specialty vehicles to a two-wheeler, he has covered the automotive spectrum quite nicely:
I see a French influence here, maybe leaning toward Renault.
"How...DEEE!!!" (Audience: "How...DEEE!!!") "I'm just so proud to be here."
So announced Miss Minnie Pearl (aka Mrs. Sarah Cannon) every time she addressed an audience. Nobody had trouble hearing her trademark greeting or seeing the price tag still attached to that new store-bought hat. The lady from Grinder's Switch, Tennessee, was a staple on the Grand Ole Opry for many years, and is sorely missed to this day.
Speaking of recognizeable audio tones, people today are still debating whether hybrid and electric cars are noteworthy. Some folks say they are silent and a menace to the non-motoring community. Others believe they are about as audible as any other car on the road, once they get up to speed. The Independant, a UK publication, reported a couple of years ago that there will not be required audible signals on non-petrol-burning vehicles.
(Submitted by Car Lust occasional contributor Tigerstrypes)
As soon as I saw That Car Guy (Chuck)’s post on High School "Study Hall" Drawings, I knew I was gonna like it. I liked it even more when he said that we were able to submit some of our own pieces. Being that I’ve used some of my old work to highlight and personalize my posts –not to mention that Chuck used some two of them for his announcements for this theme, which I’m grateful, BTW-, I knew I had to contribute.
Also, being that Chuck stated that the ‘High School’ in High School "Study Hall" Drawings was a general term, this meant that there was some searching to do for righteous candidates from not only High School, but also Middle School and Elementary School, too. Here’s some:
In the "Motorcycle Accessories" Department, I think this falls somewhere between "Egad!" and "Gadzooks!" I guess somebody wanted a windshield for their bike, and they certainly have one now. I've never seen one like this before, so I wonder if it's store-bought or custom made.
The extra orange rear storage compartment is a nice touch as well.
Hats... er, helmets off to whomever came up with this modification. Looks like they did a great job of matching the color of their "addition" to their bike.
I just ordered some "el wire" for my bike, mainly to outline the gauge cluster and mark the handlebar switches. Maybe the results will get posted here if they turn out all right.
And of course, this is also the weekly place to talk about any transportation-related subjects, whether you have bugs in your teeth or not.
Last week, we Car Lust automotive designers doodlers presented a couple of high school "Study Hall" drawings
for your amusal and perusal. We're hoping to do a presentation with a
bunch of these in an upcoming post, and need your help with this
Any vehicular rendering is welcome. Planes, trains, trucks,
wheelbarrows, rickshaws, whatever. Also, something was said about
customized erasers, and they are invited as well.
So please forward any artwork images to the office at:
CarLustInfo@Amazon.com, or send them on to me at cpl-1617@Hotmail.com.
Maybe we can put something together for a post around the 4th of July.
On an unrelated note, somebody in my home town has purchased one of the original TV Batmobiles.
It has been seen driving around town and was
also spotted at a local car show. I hope to see the car in
person soon, meet the new Bat-owner, and do a follow-up story.
And as usual, this is also the place for any fair discussions on anything else even remotely automotive related.
--That Car Guy (Chuck)
Image Credits: The "Study Hall" drawing is courtesy of Tigerstrypes; the Batmobile Bat-picture was taken by my friend Kelly Harwood on his Bat-cell phone.
And while cleaning out the attic a few days ago, I found some of mine... the old high school study hall car and truck drawings. Survivors of decades of heat, cold, arid air, and neglect.
They weren't plentiful... I'm sure more are around somewhere. In fact I remember at least two more sheets of these developmental designs. And they do give a period insight, having been scribbled in the early to mid 1970s.
My car was called the Targa Cheetah, being the fastest car on the planet, and it had electrically-operated sliding roof panels. The car was available in either the 2-Door Sport Model or a 4-Door Luxury Landau. I was later quite saddened when I found out Lamborghini was going to use my car's name on a truck.
The Targa roof style always had me enamored, but it took almost 40 years to write about it. And when Aston Martin copied my straight-lined beauties for their Lagonda... well, the case was gonna be in court for years.
Last week, as you recall, I started yapping about replacing the folding top on the 12-year-old Miata. The top was dirty and worn, was beginning to let light through, it leaked, and it stank a little bit. The leak had soiled the rear deck carpet and turned it from tan to moldy black, so that was to be replaced as well.
I had decided to replace the front floor carpet while the seats were out with a new piece from the Mazda dealer. And, by chance, I found some brand new Miata floor mats online from an out of state Mazda dealer. They match perfectly and even still have that "New Car Smell."
So, off we went. The fiddly bits and the old top were removed, and soon the new one was being screwed, glued, bolted, squeezed, and riveted on. I saved the old top for a while for references.
A Miata is tiny until you bring it into the house. Luckily, I had an empty room to store the carpets, seats, the old roof, and the small parts.