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Carspotters’ Challenge #159: Meanwhile, In Dubai…

Here’s a short Carspotters’ Video Challenge for ya. Haven’t done one in a while.

This is an easy one, because the guy recording this is giving away some of the answers, but not all of them. If you think that what you see at the beginning is interesting, just wait until you reach the end.

How many can you get in a row before needing to re-watch?



Carspotters’ Challenge #158: The Pop Culture Is Strong With This One

Thanks to Back To The Future Day, I was able to use on of Scott Park’s BTTF-themed works in one of our Carspotters’ Challenges. Inspired by the rest of his portfolio, I decided to showcase more of his automotive-pop culture-themed artwork.

Tumblr_mnn7uwVNGN1std30ho1_1280Click here for bigger version.

Tumblr_n19xt3Ru841std30ho1_1280Click here for bigger version.

The featured works are Star Cars and Star Cars Vol. 2, respectively, a series which showcases a vast array of pop-culture vehicles from movies and TV, as well as comic books and videogames throughout the years. Ya like? Get ‘em here and here, respectively. My only quip is that the artist used the 2008 movie version of the Speed Racer Mach 5 instead of the original, but that's about it.

So… how strong is the pop-culture with you?




References: Tumblr

Carspotters’ Challenge #157: So Many Cars, So Little Time…

Because I’m still pumped over Back To The Future Day, I decided to continue celebrating just a little while longer…

Cii7t57wcldt9vo3kffbClick here to get a closer look.

During the world-wide countdown to October 21st, Jalopnik featured the image above. It was done by Scott Park of Scott Park Illustration, a talented artist who’s not unfamiliar to the vehicles of pop-culture. This piece is titled 88 MILES PER HOUR (referencing the time machine’s speed it needs to be traveling in order to time travel), featuring 88 cars from the trilogy (I’m sure there are more that don’t repeat themselves, but the artist did outdid himself. Besides, the BTTF 88mph reference works here).

The script at the bottom is the answer sheet. How many can you make out without cheating—er, double-checking your answers? Can you point out any that appear in the trilogy that’s not included here?

If you really like this poster enough to buy it, you can get it here, among other wonderful artwork from not only the same artist, but others as well.




References: Jalopnik

Back To The Future Day: The Future Is At Bob Statler Toyota

2016-toyota-tacoma-statler-back-to-the-future-teaser-02If you’re a Back To The Future fan and are also good with math, then October 21st might hold a special meaning: It’s the date certain teenagers and eccentric genius scientist come visit the year 2015 in a souped-up time machine sportscar.

I’m not here to bemoan the lack of certain future-tech (there are plenty of other people doing that) that even BTTF head-honchos Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale knew they weren’t going to happen by this date, but decided to add it to their franchise for the fun of it.

We’ve seen plenty of BTTF-related news articles, movie re-runs, merchandise and marketing campaigns, all of which were kinda inevitable, given the popularity of the franchise, though I'll admit that it's a little overwhelming how many companies have jumped the Back To The Future Day bandwagon.

Which brings us to today’s post. Some time ago, I’ve found an article telling the story about Marty McFly’s black Toyota pick-up truck, its fall from grace and how its current owner is restoring it. Thinking that I found a follow-up story, I stumbled on another BTTF-based marketing campaign. After getting over the brief disappointment, I checked it out. It was pretty neat; I never realized that Hill Valley’s Statler Toyota had their roots in selling horses way back in 1885! Then, the following teaser scene appeared:

Continue reading "Back To The Future Day: The Future Is At Bob Statler Toyota" »

Stick Shift Lesson

This 10-minute educational film from 1936 is probably the best explanation you will ever see of the inner workings of a manual transmission.

This is the place to discuss stick shifts, or any other automotive topic that strikes your fancy.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

Carspotters’ Challenge #138: The Last Traffic Jam

“The traffic jam. Scourge of the 20th century city life. Raiser of blood pressure. Disruptor of supply chains. Stealer of bed-time stories…”

Grabs your attention, doesn’t it? It did for me, until I realized this was a tech commercial. Then my attention waned. I’m not going to dedicate this particular post to the discussion of traffic jams in general, how bad they are, how they make me feel or the technologies involved in making them go away in the future a reality. Why would I want to use a traffic jam as a Carspotters’ Challenge? Well, have a look:


As far as “traffic jams” go, this one at least has some interesting iron on display, for car-people at least. What’s also interesting is the eclectic mix: old, not-so old, North-American, European, UK, etc.

Continue reading "Carspotters’ Challenge #138: The Last Traffic Jam" »

Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge: Cookie the Dog's Owner (1961)

Sheesh! Everybody's a critic.Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Introduction
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Cookie the Dog's Owner (1961)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Tigerstrypes (1989)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Anthony Cagle (1962)
Birth Year Fantasy Garage--Chris Hafner (1976)

The year 1961 was one of momentous historical events: President Kennedy's inauguration, the first human in space, the first American spaceflights, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the erection of the Berlin Wall, and my birth.

Okay, so maybe that last one doesn't rate quite so high on the historical importance scale.

For purposes of this fantasy garage challenge, the timing of my birth just ain't fair! Two of my little sisters get to have Avantis and Wagonaires in their birth year fantasy garages, but noooooo, not me, I'm too old for those. At the same time, I'm too young for Forward Look Mopars and Loewy coupes.

So where does that leave me? Is it possible to assemble an appropriately Car-Lustful collection entirely out of vehicles from model year 1961? Follow along and we'll see what we can do.

Continue reading "Birth Year Fantasy Garage Challenge: Cookie the Dog's Owner (1961)" »

1998-2004 Porsche 911 (996)

Silver 996Porsches, particularly 911s, are typical car-lust (lower case) fodder for the masses. That’s OK, it’s earned it. In CarLust fashion, it’d probably end up in the CarDisgust section for a number of reasons. That’s OK, it’s earned it. But as you read on about the following example of Stuttgart’s icon, you’ll see why it’s CarLust material.

Continue reading "1998-2004 Porsche 911 (996)" »

Great(ish) Commercials: Love Today/Today Is Pretty Great

This is the print advertisement that is supposed to entice Gen-Y/Millennials and me to consider buying a new Honda Civic:


*Turns the other way to the Scion dealer*

Continue reading "Great(ish) Commercials: Love Today/Today Is Pretty Great" »

1989: It Was a Very Good Year!

Nineteen eighty-nine was a dream in a dream
We straddled the thin line between what it means or it seems
To be sure enough we left the world behind

--Grey Eye Glances, "The Lost Coast"

Though nobody expected it to be that way at the start, 1989 was a momentous year, one in which much of what seemed a permanent part of the world was left behind by December 31.

It was certainly that way in Eastern Europe. The "Iron Curtain" looked like it would be there forever on January 1, but that would soon change. In February, the Polish Communist government and representatives of the Solidarity independent trade union entered into the "Round Table Agreement" for the liberalization of the political system; the country held free elections that summer and the new government abolished state socialism and withdrew from the Soviet-dominated "Warsaw Pact" by year's end. In East Germany, a series of mass demonstrations inspired by Solidarity's success led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November.

"You can bend me you can break me, but you'd better stand clear/When the walls come tumblin' down..." --John MellencampThere were other peaceful transitions to democracy in Chezchoslovakia ("the Velvet Revolution"), Bulgaria, and Hungary. The not-so-peaceful Romanian Revolution in December overthrew the brutal Caucescu regime, and the tyrant met his fate before a firing squad. Even in the Soviet Union, the seemingly-mighty empire which would go out of business completely in anticlimactic fashion just two years later, the government had begun yielding to the tide.

The tides of liberty weren't confined to Eastern Europe. Down in South Africa, P.W. Botha met face to face with Nelson Mandela, one of a series of negotiations which led to the end of the apartheid system of racial segregation. The thuggish Noriega dictatorship in Panama was put out of business Just under half of the class appears in this U.S. military intervention. Brazil and Chile held their first free elections in decades. In China, the Tiananmen Square protests captured the world's attention before the democracy movement was brutally suppressed.

On a much smaller scale of importance, 1989 was a year of great changes for me personally: I graduated from law school, moved, passed the bar, got married, and embarked on my present career. With my law school class holding its 25-year reunion in August (photo at right), and me being all nostalgic and such because of that, it seemed an appropriate occasion to look back on the automotive world of 1989.

Continue reading "1989: It Was a Very Good Year!" »

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

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