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About That Car Guy

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.

Posts by That Car Guy

Car Lust Classic: 1961 Lincoln Continental

Hey folks, it's the Good Old Summertime, and what better way to spend it than in a classy convertible? And is there any more class than a Lincoln Continental convertible... one not just with 4 doors, but with 2 suicide doors as well?

This Car Lust post was originally presented by Cookie The Dog's Owner on July 14, 2011. It begins with the sedan models, but the pictures of the available convertibles farther into the post are definitely lustworthy:

Mid-century modernist design is making something of a comeback. No small number of our fellow citizens are enamored of martinis and blond wood and Barcelona chairs and boomerang-patterned Formica, eagerly re-creating the look and feel of the culture that the Sixties counterculture was countering.

It doesn't get much more mid-century than this. The mid-century movement broke out into the mainstream in 2007 with Mad Men, the AMC drama series that perfectly captures the look of the Eisenhower-Kennedy era. Mad Men wasn't the start of the trend, though: there had been a lounge-music revival and a Googie architecture preservation movement around for quite a while, you just had to know where to look for them. This fall [(2011)], there will be two new series on broadcast TV that are aiming for that Mad Men vibe: one about Pan American World Airways which features gorgeous stewardesses CGI Boeing 707s, and another about Playboy bunnies that I can't watch because my wife would kill me it'll air opposite Hawaii Five-0.

It therefore seems an auspicious time to take a look at what is arguably the ultimate mid-century automobile, a car that's a perfect summary of its time and place. It's Nat King Cole on wheels dressed in Botany 500 sheetmetal, as elegant as Jacqueline Kennedy and so swank you could fuel it with cocktails....

To see this post in its entirety and to leave a comment, please click here.

The Luxury Chevette, The "1977 Leata"

They say that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. But nobody told these folks that, because they did. Sort of. In a way. Kind of.

Yes, it's our duty here at Car Lust to bring some obscure, unloved vehicles to light, and Holy Moly, do we have a winner today. Move over Mustang II Silver Ghia, step aside Vega Notchback Cabriolet, begone Levi's Gremlin... we hereby present the 1977 Leata. No, not the Reatta, the Leata.

The formula for this automobilia luxuriouso obscuriata: Take one brand new stock 1977 Chevy Chevette. Install fiberglass body panels. A rear vinyl half-roof with opera windows is a must. Nicer wheels are a definite improvement. Reupholster the seats, door panels, and everything else in that spartan interior that you possibly can.

Continue reading "The Luxury Chevette, The "1977 Leata"" »

April 7 Weekly Open Thread--Brown Cars Are Back!

We here at the Car Lust garage have somewhat discussed this before... the lack of any real color choices (Except for what shade of grey/silver you might fancy) on today's cars. But I am here today to say that at least on a few models, a delicious shade of metallic brown has returned.

This Lincoln MKZ Concept Car shows a deep choclate-looking hue:

Brown Lincoln MKZ

Continue reading "April 7 Weekly Open Thread--Brown Cars Are Back!" »

March 17 Weekly Open Thread--A Classic Irish Car and Car Post

Green DeLoreanWell me laddies and me lassies, we all know that today is St. Patrick's Day. So we're toasting the good folks on the Emerald Isle with a Car Lust look back at what may be the most famous motor vehicle ever assembled there. Of course we're talking about the DeLorean DMC-12, the one and only, of immortal fame.

And finding a green one for today's image wasn't easy. A very few DeLoreans came from the Dunmurry factory in colours, but most, as we know, were brilliant, shiny stainless steel. As are the ones built today from new old stock parts by the DeLorean Motor Company.

So without further ado, Please click here to see the original DeLorean DMC-12 post by Cookie the Dog's Owner.

"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at: http://www.irish-expressions.com/famous-irish-sayings.html#sthash.OwQaIYXE.dpuf
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at: http://www.irish-expressions.com/famous-irish-sayings.html#sthash.OwQaIYXE.dpuf
"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light. May good luck pursue you each morning and night!" - Irish proverb. - See more at: http://www.irish-expressions.com/famous-irish-sayings.html#sthash.OwQaIYXE.dpuf

Of course, this also be the place to talk about anything else pertaining to leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, or anything else on the planet, especially if it is automotively related.

And as an old Irish proverb goes, "May your pockets be heavy and your hearts be light. May Good Luck pursue you each morning and night!"

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credit: The green DeLorean image was found at Photobucket.com.

"Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part Two)

BT 7In the second half of our presentation of Bill Thompson's amazing "Study Hall" drawings, we have six new freehand sketches that he did while in high school. And while the 1980s featured such memorable cars as the Yugo GV, Cadillac's Cimarron, Chrysler's K Cars, and the forever-remembered DeLorean DMC-12, as well as the stuff to apply to them, Bill was avoiding the timely trappings that those vehicles wrought and was designing his own cars and car company. He was also coming up with a revolutionary way to power them as well.

Sketch010

Above is a cutaway drawing of a revolutionary new powerplant design.

Continue reading ""Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part Two)" »

Happy Valentine's Day!

079

This picture was an absolute fluke. My sister had turned her truck around in the barn lot in a skiff of fresh snow; I saw the results, then ran for the camera.

I saw two parallel hearts there, drawn when the front tires made their turn. The snow was melting and I knew the image would not be there long. But here it is, preserved digitally, anyway.

So Happy Valentine's Day! to everybody. And hopefully it's not snowing where you are.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Aunt Bee and her Studebaker

Andy's phoneWe all know Aunt Bee (Beatrice) Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show. She was a pivotal character, one that the show could not have survived without. In fact, the show's first episode is titled "The New Housekeeper," referring to Aunt Bee's arrival at the Taylor home. That episode set the stage for the show's eight-year run, and we saw Aunt Bee in many episodes of the spinoff Mayberry RFD (1968-1971) and once on Gomer Pyle, USMC as well.

I will proudly admit that I am a huge fan of the show. The black & white episodes are my favorites, most of which include Don Knotts as Barney Fife, MD (Mayberry Deputy). I've also had the priviledge of meeting Hal Smith (Otis Campbell), George Lindsey (Goober Pyle), Doug Dillard (One of the Darling clan), and Howard Morris (Ernest T. Bass) through the years.

And the telephone Aunt Bee is using here on the right? As a token of my affection for the show and all the years of happiness it has brought so many people, the dial-less phone now sits on an end table in my home with a small authenticification note from Ken Swartz, the show's Set Decorator.

Continue reading "Aunt Bee and her Studebaker " »

Scion: 10 Years After

(This post was submitted by longtime Car Lust reader, commentor, and occasional contributor Tigerstrypes.)

Scion at 10 1

I'll admit that I make it a habit to see what turns 20, 30, 40, etc., years old. But I'll also admit that I was caught off guard by Scion's 10th Anniversary until I saw their Scion 10 Series commercial:

 

  

________________________________________________________

Continue reading "Scion: 10 Years After" »

Car Lust Classic: Car Respect--Geo Metro

Please note: This feature was first posted by Chris Hafner on April 22, 2008. Please place any new comments on the original post.

Metro1I'm not actually going to write a Car Lust for a Geo Metro, simply because it doesn't generate lust for me. I have a lot of respect for the Metro, but as we can see in other walks of life, respect does not always equal lust. My respect for the Metro is a purely intellectual response; the only real emotion the Metro prompts in me is a slight tinge of ennui.

(Note that this isn't really true of the Metro's predecessor, the Chevy Sprint--its turbocharged variant will be appearing in this space someday as a bona fide Car Lust.)

Yet the Metro, in its own way, was as superlative as any Porsche, as extreme a performer in its sphere as any Ferrari. Its forte? Providing maximum fuel economy and usefulness for the minimum price. Within that context, the Metro was the ne plus ultra.

There has been a lot of conversation lately about alternative-fuel cars, hybrids, electric cars, hydrogen-fueled cars, Smart cars, and the like--all very cool developments, all interesting additions to the automotive world. Then fellow Amazon blogger Rich Sloan blogged about his friend's Smart fortwo--and subsequently got roasted in the comments for saying that his friend's fuel costs were $0 after 142 miles.

All of this really puts into context just how amazing the Geo Metro was--or, possibly, that we just haven't made much progress on fuel economy in the last decade. I like both the Smart and the Prius--there's something gadgety about them that appeals to me--but if your goal is just to have a useful gas-sipping car, it would be hard to do better than a Geo Metro.

Continue reading "Car Lust Classic: Car Respect--Geo Metro" »

Car Lust Classic: Santa Claus' Sleigh

Santa's sleigh Car LustWhat an amazing vehicle! Used only once a year, this marvelous machine travels at infinite light speeds, delivering a massive quantity of packages unparalleled by any other transport device ever conceived by humankind. It's quite stealthy, too! No actual photos of the sleigh are known to exist--the image here on the right was compiled by an artist from dozens of witnesses' descriptions.

The owner of this airborne transcontinental transport device, a Mr. Santa Claus, registers it at his home at The North Pole. He lives there with his wife, and they tend to a small but talented herd of reindeer; a herd that not only has the ability to propel this craft and its contents through the nighttime sky, but also can achieve quick and safe take-offs and landings. One particular reindeer named "Rudolph" reportedly has a unique ability to brighten the evening skies with an illuminated proboscis. The herd stays in shape all 12 months of the year, as their annual one-night, global circumnavigational mission is quite physically taxing, to say the least.

Continue reading "Car Lust Classic: Santa Claus' Sleigh" »

Preview: A New American Motorcycle called Motus

Motus 1Motus Motorcycles is coming, and I think that's a good thing. And they will very soon join America's major motorcycle manufacturer names beside Harley-Davidson, Indian, and others.

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.

Continue reading "Preview: A New American Motorcycle called Motus" »

Car Lust Classic: President John F. Kennedy's Parade Car

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.

JFK MotorcadeIt 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.

JFK in limo (GOOD!)The President's Parade Car, known as SS-100-X (Also X-100) by the Secret Service, began life as any other 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible. Mr. Kennedy loved these cars when they came out, so they made a very special one for him.

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.

To read the original post, please click here.

Car Lust Classic: 1963 Buick Riviera

Continuing our look back at 1963, here's a classic Buick. Maybe the most desired Buick in the last 50 years.
 
by Chris Hafner on November 13, 2007
 
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.
 

Limousine Week--Airport Limousines

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!

Checker limo

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.

Continue reading "Limousine Week--Airport Limousines" »

A 1975 Cadillac Model 75 Superior Crown Sovereign Landaulette Three-Way Coach named "Valentine"

ValentineFolks, 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.

Continue reading "A 1975 Cadillac Model 75 Superior Crown Sovereign Landaulette Three-Way Coach named "Valentine"" »

2013 Nashville British Car Club Show... "Brits At The Parthenon"

"Brits At The Parthenon"

2013 Nashville British Car Club Show 058

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 2013 Nashville British Car Club Show.

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.

Continue reading "2013 Nashville British Car Club Show... "Brits At The Parthenon"" »

The Peugeot 604

604 1When 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.

604 George'sHere, 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.

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Sometimes It's Better To Give (Back) Than To Receive

NARTOne of my most valued life possessions was a cloisonné Ferrari North American Racing Team (NART) badge, given to me in 1978 by my late friend, George Arents III. This badge, maybe two by three inches in size, was on his racing car when he raced in LeMans, Sebring, Bridgehampton, and a few other places as well. It has a few scratches from here and there, a mute testimony to many brutal laps on world-class racing courses.

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.

Being the heir to the American Tobacco Company, the family could afford to race in the most prestigious auto arenas of the world. George's father, who passed in 1960, was also a race car driver, and was seriously hurt in an accident in a Vanderbilt Cup race in 1904 in Westbury, Long Island. And following his rich tobacco history, in 1942 he gave his collection of 6,000 books on tobacco (The world's largest collection) to the New York Public Library, where it remains today and has enlarged.

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September 30 Weekly Open Thread: A Simple Car Ad Trick

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?

1965 Cadillac Prestige-10-11

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:

Continue reading "September 30 Weekly Open Thread: A Simple Car Ad Trick" »

"Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part One)

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:

 

BT 7

Continue reading ""Study Hall" Drawings (Episode Three, Part One)" »

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

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