Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Specific Motors

So now that dad's home from work and it's time for the kids running GM to face the music, the focus is again on "restructuring," and the General's plans to streamline its branding. No more Saturn. No more Hummer. No more Pontiac. No more Saab. Fair enough. That leaves a lean, focused line-up, right? Each clearly-defined brand delivering quality product to a specific, established demographic, with no redundancy, right? Let's look:

Chevrolet. The heart of GM. The heart of America. The heartbeat of America. Like a rock. Value value value. America. Corvette. Trucks. Hard hats. USA #1!

Cadillac. The Standard of the World. The Cadillac of automobiles. The Escalade of SUVs. Aspirational vehicles for executives and pimps. Bling. Sophistication. Technology. Fuckin' Cadillac, yo.

Buick. Golf. Dentists. NPR membership drive. Antiques Roadshow. Comfortable suburban affluence. Quality. Dignity. Unassuming vehicles for the rest of us.




What the fuck is GMC still doing here? What is GMC's excuse for existence? What the hell does GMC sell that Chevrolet doesn't? "We are professional grade." That's their slogan. What the fuck does that even mean? "We're the Buick of trucks"? They're getting rid of Pontiac and keeping GMC? Who in the entire world gives a shit about GMC? Who would shed a single tear if GMC went away?

Do it, Executioner Obama! Kill GMC!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Now Let's See It At 1:1: El McLareno

Just because it never happened doesn't mean it still shouldn't. This + this = love.

Click on the pic for more photos and the builder's account of divine inspiration

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vintage When It Was New

Great collection of vintage '50s and '60s race programs from Watkins Glen, Road America, Mid-Ohio and parts west.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Living Language: 1969 AMC Rebel SST Wagon

I love how the term "rat rod" has evolved to mean pretty much anything with faded paint. But then how can you fault a seller who begins his description, "Here you go," as if he's just been waiting there for you all along, certain in the knowledge that you'd show up eventually. And who, on the subject of that faded paint, explains that it's "starting to show a real nice natural patina – some folks think it has been painted flat red." Right. Check out the five-thousand-dollar matte paint job I just got for my AMC station wagon! Wait, you thought it was a Lambo? Nah man, it's an AMC! Yeah, really! Still, ultimately dude is one hundred percent correct: this thing is freaking awesome and worth every penny of the (less than) three thousand bucks it's gonna go for.

Click on the pic to check out the auction

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fashion Friday!

From the April 15, 1967 issue of Vogue. Shot at Irwindale (!).

More – including Twiggy on the cover – here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spotted: A Proper Hubcap

I would not have guessed that a late-'80s Cutlass Ciera could be made to look cool, but white steelies with chrome hubcaps go a long way.

Ciera Stalker

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today's Cars Not As Cool As Yesterday's Cars of Tomorrow Predicted

Not nearly. How is that fifty years later the world is still struggling to catch up with the Citroen DS?

Follow the link for the rest of the brochure and tons more

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let's Say You're Sophocles: 1983 Plymouth Scamp

Let's say you're Sophocles, and you write some plays. Your plays are good enough that 2,500 years later they're still being read and performed. Or maybe you're Bach, and you compose some music. Your music is good enough that even after 250 years people still haven't gotten tired of it. That's staying power. But let's face it: these are tiny spans of time from the perspective of cosmological history, and there's little to suggest that a billion years from now, or even a million, anyone will remember these so-called immortals. Viewed through a long enough lens, even the accomplishments of a Sophocles, a Bach, a da Vinci, the ancients who built the pyramids or the soldiers who raised the Great Wall collapse to a significance that is indistiguishable from those of the men and women who contributed a few months of their careers to the creation of the Plymouth Scamp. Remember this.

Click on the pic and despair

Monday, March 23, 2009

Activities for the Developmentally Disabled

Like a lot of slacker artist types, I spent a good portion of my twenties substitute teaching. Mostly high school, in my case. Sometimes I'd get sent to do special ed, which I loved, as these were kids who actually had a legitimate excuse for acting retarded. One of their favorite activities was vocational training. Each kid would get ten nuts, ten bolts, and a laminated sheet of paper with ten circles drawn on it. They would eagerly set to work screwing the nuts on the bolts and placing each completed assembly on a circle. Upon finishing a set, a child would raise his or her hand in triumph, and I would come around, collect the results, pat 'em on the back and say "great job!" and parcel out ten more nuts and bolts. Then I'd go back to my desk, unscrew the nuts and bolts, and put them back in their respective bags.

Friends, may I present the Ford EXP Interactive Coloring Book.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will Trade for Guns! 1974 Maserati Bora

Man these do look great with the stainless steel roof. But I just don't see myself parting with my beloved MR73 Manurhin. Sorry bro.

Click on the pic to check out the auction

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rescue Saab Update: €4 Million in Pledges!

Latest dubiously punctuated dispatch from these guys:
Dear Rescue Saab-Community,

In our last newsletter, we asked "How much is Saab worth to you?". Until now, 3.200 "Rescuers" participated in the survey. Currently, we have a sum of 4 Million Euro. Like we said, all of your answers are of course non-binding. We are waiting a few more days.

My personal commitment is limited to the eight hundred dollars I just spent replacing a bad wheel bearing and a couple worn out rotors on the SPG. (Saving Saab, one Saab at a time.) I fucking love this so much though: "We are waiting a few more days." For what, exactly? And, "all your answers are of course non-binding." You mean you haven't yet collected the four million euros? People haven't sent in their checks? Ah, well. Maybe wait a few more days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not a Misprint: Jag, Buick Tops in Dependability

So says JD Powers & Associates. Which means those eighty-thousand-dollar Jaguars you'll be able to pick up for ten grand ten years from now (or sooner, the way things are going) might actually be decent cars. Less shocking but still plenty weird is Buick, a marque that exists at this point seemingly only because of its brand equity among the Chinese. I had to go and look at the Buick web site to remind myself what they even sell these days. Three cars. Or rather, two cars and an SUV. There's something called a Lacrosse, which looks like this:

Slightly fancier but otherwise indistinguishable is the Lucerne:

And then there's the range-topping Enclave:

Finally, the site trumpets the arrival, forthcoming, of the 2010 Lacrosse, which looks kinda like the Enclave but with a Z4 parked in front of it. (Am I right?)

Using these images as a self-administered Rorschach test produced the following words: dentist, golf, NPR membership drive, and Antiques Roadshow. Also Pep Boys. (Must be those sweet fender vents.) I guess it's good that they're dependable. I can't for the life of me imagine another reason that anyone would buy one of these.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Hitler Channel

Okay, maybe I'm the last guy in the world to find out about this, but oh my fucking god is it funny. Well done.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spotted: Putting the "bent" in Bentley

It's 2009 and you used to have more money than you knew what to do with and now it's like, can something please go fucking RIGHT for a change? We feel your pain, two-hundred-thousand-dollar Bentley driver. Or rather, we note your pain, and cruelly mock it. Hahahahahaha!

Bent-ley stalker

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Magnum Force: 1978 Dodge Magnum

The dark horse of the seventies personal luxury sweepstakes still looks a hell of a lot more badass than its contemporaries. Think about it: Monte? Graceful, yes; intimidating, no. T-bird? Hm. Yeah, not so much. This thing, though? Run for your life. I never realized those headlight covers were retractable, but they were. Cool!

Click on the pic to check out the auction

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spotted: 1986 Cadillac Cimmaron

While people with short memories are acting all surprised and shit that General Motors is on the verge of going out of business, long-time car nerds have known it was inevitable for decades. Remember 1982 and the borrowed hype surrounding the "J-cars"? Why does it only occur to me now what an obvious swipe at Chrysler this was? J comes before K, get it? Clever, guys. Let's go down the list: Chevy Cavalier, everyone knows that. Slightly more obscure: the Buick Skyhawk. Pontiac? J2000! (Later simply 2000, later still the 2000 Sunbird, and finally just Sunbird. Why is this information taking up useful space in my brain?) And of course – of course – the Oldsmobile Firenza. Remember Oldsmobile? Remember Pontiac?

And then there was this. The one variant anybody remembers, if only for the embarrassment factor. People were used to GM cars being garbage by this point. After years of Vegas, Chevettes and Citations, nobody was surprised by another shitbox Chevy. The name Cadillac still put one in mind of better days though, and so when the crest and wreath was slapped on the J-body it got people's attention, and not in the way the marketers had hoped. A shitbox Chevy was one thing; a shitbox Cadillac something else. Didn't Cadillac use to be "the standard of the world" or something like that? Didn't it symbolize all that was once admirable about America? The Cimmaron was a reminder of just how far we'd sunk.

Ironic then – cause for cautious optimism, perhaps? – that Cadillac is one of the few things GM needn't be embarrassed about in 2009, ignoring the Escalade for the moment. The same company responsible for the Cimmaron now tests its cars on the Nürburgring. Go figure. Time will tell if that's enough to save its corporate parent from oblivion.

I'm calling this an '86 because that was the first year, near as I can tell, for those sweet-ass Euro-style flush headlights. Love the tasteful two-tone and ribbed lower body moulding, too. And the red rub strip, very GTI. Actually I kinda do like that. Sue me.

Cimmaron stalker

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rescue Saab! Join our web site!

Not exactly sure what the point of this is, but what the hell. I'm number eleven thousand something. Anybody else? Also, yes, the tagline is completely ungrammatical and doesn't really make any sense. I think they're Germans. "Soon you'll find here more information about our idea to raise funds to send a signal for the Saab rescue." Funds for a signal! Awesome. This'll fix everything.

Click on the rescue Saab thing, to, uh, rescue Saab