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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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The Cars of “The Looney Tunes Show” (2011)

The Looney Tunes Show bannerHow many of you are aware that there was a new Looney Tunes series? Well, you do now. The half-hour series focuses mostly on Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, as well as those around them. It’s made in a sitcom-y sort of way but it’s rife with little details that eagle-eyed fans of the franchise can appreciate. Taking place in contemporary times, we see that the show’s animators went the extra mile to make it feel as familiar as one can without infringing copyright laws or unashamed product-placement. That includes cars. While many do look generic, there are many more that, as a car person, grabs your attention. The kicker here is how well some of the vehicles are paired with their owners.

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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/

Nissan Week--1980-1984 Nissan Maxima (First Generation)

Maxima 1"They" say a copy is never as good as the original. And my opinion of the Maxima is that this is true. Later versions of this nameplate just never met the lofty standards of the original, and I'm about to say why (In my humble opinion). But is my opinion biased? Why yes, very much so.

I was introduced with this first-generation marvel in 1982 when I started working at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. We had a number of these cars as "pool cars," available for any real or semi-genuine company vehicle need. You only had to ask for one through the company's concierge, and return it undamaged with some gas left in it. There was a running account at a local convenience market, so fuel never cost us Nissan employees a cent.

The first time I sat in a Maxima, I was a passenger. Even at the ripe old age of 25, I was exploring cars and how they were built, and working at the (then) world's most advanced auto plant was pure daily heaven. And this one seemed years ahead of others on the road, being the first American-sold car that had an invisible lady who told you when your fuel was getting low. She had a small but important vocabulary, pronouncing such wisdoms as "Lights are On." "Key is in the ignition." As well as the ever so popular, "Parking brake is On!" And there was more.

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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 #129: Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

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The year isn’t mentioned. I’m guessing 1959-1960. Aside from the year, what cars can you specify?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com

Carspotters’ Challenge #128: Popular Mechanics Magazine, 1960

I need to cleanse my palate from all the new-car taste:

Tumblr_nhkg7aPIsS1r9qhhio1_1280That’s better.

The pic comes from a Popular Mechanics magazine, circa January 1960. Like a previous animation-based Carspotters’ Challenge, what can you make out?

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com

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

Carspotters’ Challenge #125: George Pattison Pontiac dealership, New Orleans, 1963

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You know, for a Pontiac dealership, I find the lack of Pontiacs disturbing.

Maybe you can find ‘em.

 

--Tigerstrypes

 

References:

http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com

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

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