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Car Lusts of the '00s: The List

  CXT vs GTI R32With the introduction outta the way, let’s begin listing the (probably) lust-worthy vehicles of the 00’s. A quick reminder: This list doesn’t list said vehicles from model year 2000 to 2010 one by one but categorizes vehicles that fit into the Car Lust way of thinking, so that means that obvious choices aren’t included unless given an explanation. Yes, there’s gonna be exceptions. Yes, there will be disagreements, but just give ‘em time to grow on you, like a decade. Or three. Now, onto the wall of text list.

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Car Lust Quantum Leap: Ford Carousel

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen/The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'" --John Greenleaf WhittierWhat if the "fathers of the minivan" had become fathers a decade early?

In the fall of 1983, the first Dodge Caravans and Plymouth Voyagers rolled off the assembly lines and into the showrooms as 1984 models. The "T-115" minivan, derived from the K-platform FWD sedan, became one of the most influential vehicle designs of all time. The two individuals most responsible for bringing the minivan into the world are Lee Iaccoca, the CEO and public face of Chrysler Corporation at the time, and Hal Sperlich, who served under him as Vice-President of Styling and Product Planning.

But that wasn't the first experience these two gentlemen had with a minivan. Ten years earlier, when Lee Iaccoca was President of Ford and Hal Sperlich was its Director of Product Planning, one of their projects was the Ford Carousel, a prototype minivan that got tantalizingly close to production before being cancelled. So let's leap back in time to the Ford executive suite in 1973, and see what might have happened in an alternate universe where the first true minivan was the Carousel, rolling into Ford showrooms in the fall of 1974 as a 1975 model.

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Carspotters’ Challenge #133: Morning Commute, Portland, Oregon, 1954

While I don’t see a certain ’39 Plymouth, there’s still plenty of other machinery of different years in this commute, happening one state south of said Plymouth's owner's whereabouts.

CC 4 10 15

Click here for the full-size version. 

--Tigerstrypes

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com/

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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Carspotters’ Challenge #127: None Of The Above

I’ve heard or the 1980s movie Brewster’s Millions, but it was only recently that I’ve watched it. Boy, was I glad I did! Aside from the fact that it was one of the cleverest movies I’ve seen in recent memory, it had the following camera shot:

Brewsters Millions None Of The AboveI just had to pause and laugh. It’s a metaphor to the main protagonist’s political campaign strategy –that ALL of them, himself included, were bad choices- which was genius. The lack of the printscreen’s definition makes the license plates, with all of the candidates’ last names, unreadable. Still funny, though.

That shot was reason enough to hunt the clip down. I’m pretty sure that there are some people out there who wouldn’t consider ANY of the following vehicles on the billboard, or those parked behind it. Regardless if you’re one of them, can you tell said vehicles?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References:

It’s a video printscreen.

Carspotters’ Challenge #126: TJ Hooker in Hot Pursuit

I love being an ‘80s retro nut. I get a thrill of finding stuff related to the decade. It’s the reason why I found out about the track whose music video was used for a successful Carspotters’ Challenge. The beauty of it all is that while making that post, a recommended video listed on the website’s sidebar had a certain Chevrolet pony-car as its icon. I’ve always had a soft spot for those cars, so of course I clicked. Thank goodness that I did, because it was good. Good enough to do another Carspotters’ Challenge video in the same vein as the one featuring the final chase scene of The Driver.

 

The clips are from the TV show TJ Hooker, a show that I’ve never seen re-runs of. The track is called Thrasher, from Dance With The Dead, from the Out Of Body album.

As we join in hot pursuit, what vehicles are we narrowly missing?

I must also ask: was the TV series good? What other TV series would you compare it to?

 

--Tigerstrypes

May 12 Weekly Open Thread--Street Shark

Presented for your amusement, a photo from the parking lot at the Great Meadow Field Events Center in northern Virginia, taken at Saturday's Team America Rocketry Challenge national fly-off.

[Insert theme music from "Jaws" here.]As always, this is the place to talk about all things automotive.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

The Way We Were - Big Chris

While I haven't had a list of tremedous vehicles I've driven, what I lack in quality I make up for in quantity.

My first two cars were Toyota Corollas.  I started with a 1979 in white with 4 doors and a 5-speed manual.  We got this from some relatives and my parents drove it for a year or so before I was old enough to drive.  Unfortunately, I don't own photos of most of my vehicles (or most of my childhood).  We didn't own a camera most of my life (crazy huh?) and it just was never a concern of mine to document these sorts of things.  The '79 was a great learner car.  It was a stick, and it was slow.  So I got good experience but was limited in how quickly I could do stupid things.  Eventually the clutch cable broke, and the car wasn't worth fixing with some of the other issues that began to crop up with it.

The second Corolla was a dirt brown 1978 2-door with the automatic transmission (was previously my grandparent's car).  The only option it had was a rear window defroster.  Both Corollas were glorified beer cans with wheels.  I give thanks I was never in an accident in them.  The only claim to fame for the brown car was that we sold it with nearly 300K on it for something like $500.  The body was shot, everything mechanical worked, but barely.  Suspension was laughable.  But 4 years later the same guy who bought it was driving it around town still.  You just couldn't kill it.  A cockroach of cars.

The next car I got was a 1984 VW Rabbit.  4 doors, tan everywhere, and epically slow.  My first front wheel drive car and my first hatchback.  It was as uninspiring as a car could get, but it served me well until the distributor broke off in the motor.  I regularly ferried about a half ton of offensive linemen home after football practice in this little car.  Rear bumper just barely above rubbing pavement.  Imagine three linemen in the back seat of a VW Rabbit.  Yeah.

Bob

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Car Lust Easter Classic: What Did Jesus Drive (WDJD)?

On this Easter weekend we resurrect (pun entirely intended) a Car Lust Classic that poses a question nobody really asked: Just what did Jesus drive?

A somewhat farcical question to be sure, but one that we here at Car Lust are more than willing to throw ourselves into with gusto. This post has as its ultimate source a small movement some years ago by environmentally-directed religious groups to get people out of their gas-guzzling SUVs and into JesusDrivingsmaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles (no obvious relation other than in name to the band). While the merits of this quest of theirs is beyond the scope of this post, it nevertheless spurred me to ponder the question: Just what did Jesus drive?

Admittedly, a small treatise on the wheeled vehicles present in the early 1st century AD Levant isn't all that relevant to modern drivers. OTOH, it's still (IMO) a useful exercise that may shed some light on our common wheeled heritage going back a bit further than the initial stabs at automobiles early in the preceding century. Besides, a little foray into ancient history never hurt anybody and it might add another small  dimension of humanity to the divine that many of us are celebrating this coming weekend.

So, come with me as we journey back 2,000 years to see what sort of wheels our Car Lusting forebears were perhaps drooling over and come at least a little closer to answering the age-old question of: What Did Jesus Drive?

(Obviously, If Jesus did come back today, He would certainly drive a 15-passenger Econoline van: room for the 12 Apostles, plus the two Marys, of course!)

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1985-2005 GMC Safari / Chevrolet Astro (M-body platform)

(Submitted by Car Lust reader and commenter Tigerstrypes)

 

1985ChevroletAstro_700

Car Lust has discussed a bit on the M-body twins, the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari (but mostly the Astro) on the Face-Off series as they battled it out with their cousins, the “Dustbuster” minivans. Judging by the results and by the comments, the Astro/Safari won, though it must be said that the “Dustbusters” gave them a ride for their money. In said article, we find this rather summarizing piece of information:

“The Astro and its Safari twin debuted in 1985 and represented GM's first response to the revolutionary and amazingly successful Chrysler minivans. The Astro was an odd fit in the segment--perhaps unsurprisingly, considering it was a 1980s GM product, the Astro represented an attempt to compete with the ground-breaking Chrysler minivans without really capturing what made them so special.

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

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