I submitted this picture to matchboxporn.com quite awhile back. It was my first (and only) submission. I checked the site multiple times daily for a couple of weeks and then gave up hope. Today I visited the site again....and it was on there!!
Here's the link:
Please check it out!
"Clipper Ocean Pearl"
This is one of my favorite "hot wheels" that has survived my youth. It's now in the custody of my 6 year old who continues to play with it. It's 100% diecast metal (except the wheels, of course). All of the modern planes I've given to my son have plastic wings and tails. That very first pic is my favorite of the images I've created so far.
This isn't a vintage hot wheel (it's from 2008) but I thought it came out fairly well. This is simply the natural light that creeps in when you leave the door to our backyard shed open a crack.
Interior of Car Behind Them on Freeway:
Father: Look kids! It's a (squinting) Tide-cel
Daughter: (Rolls eyes) I think that's a Passat dad.
Father: Oh yeah! I know that one ! That's the car Dodge makes fun of in it's ads!
Son: I think TDI means it's a diesel
Father: A diesel?!? Like a semi?
Son: (Goes back to Nintendo DS) Yeah, something like that.
Mother: Ooh and it's an SEL! I bet that means they got the package with a radio aux input and power seats!
Father: Nice! What's that say? 'Vic ...Bailey ...Automotive ...Specialists'. I've never heard of them before, sweet. (Turns to wife) Should we?
Mother: (Nods reassuringly)
EVERYONE IN CAR AT ONCE: Screw Grandma's house! We're going to Vic Bailey Automotive Specialists!
This is not a transcript of an actual ad, thankfully, but I think this is what Volkswagen (and their dealers) are hoping will happen. It's time to take our cars back people. If they are going to be rolling adverts we should at least get paid for them. For the record, I advocate removing all badges, but I'll rank them here (from most acceptable to least) starting with:
4) The Model Name PASSAT
This one makes the most sense, I suppose. Manufacturers want people to know which model car they have. Maybe even get some name recognition. But big companies want lots of things and we shouldn't have to keep their trademarks on our cars just because. Name recognition, maybe....but I'd say it mostly comes in the style of 'That idiot in a Passat just cut me off! What a jackass!'
3) The Type of Engine TDI
This is where things started getting seriously irritating. In VW's case, only car people know what TDI means, much less even stands for. Other automakers are just as bad though, you think the average Camry driver knows (or cares) what 3.2L means? Can decode 535xi (Even BMW people don't really know what it means anymore!)? Even a basic "V6" badge is pointless. Yes, congratulations Accord driver in front of me in stop-and-go traffic....you are using more fuel sitting here with your 6 cylinder running.
2) The Trim Level SEL
Whoever came up with this one deserves a special place in hell as they say. Why on Earth would anyone care what option package you got with your Fiesta? Oh you got seats partially covered in leather and voice recognition? Let's just make sure everyone can tell that. GL! GLX! S! DX! EX! EX-L! SE! SEL! I believe "LE" is supposed to stand for "limited edition" according to some manufacturers. Yeah. That is about as funny as when on the HoverRound commercials they say they'll through in this SPECIAL, LIMITED EDITION CUP for your built-in cupholder as if it would someday be worth something and everyone else who orders one doesn't get a cup too.
1) The Dealer VIC BAILEY AUTOMOTIVE SPECIALISTS
Trim levels are awful, but for worst of the worst you have to give it to the dealers. I hate even driving with a license plate holder with a dealer's name on it. I immediately take it off the second I get home. Did you know I once bought a used Scion from a BMW dealer? So I got to drive home advertising my used Scion as coming from KUNI BMW. I'm sure everyone behind me was extremely impressed. The first thing I do when I get home is take those off and toss them. Even if I don't have a replacement I'd rather drive around with no plate "framer" than a dealer one.
Alas, pretty much every dealer does that though. The absolute worst is when they try to badge your car so it can forever be a rolling advertisement for their dealership. My girlfriend's 2001 Camry came from a dealer in Crystal Lake, IL. It is missing three hubcaps and is pretty scratched up (it's been rear ended twice, and she has just kept the insurance money instead of replacing the bumper). She never washes it. I have to take it to get the oil changed because she'd never do it. Yet, wherever she drives, over 2000 miles away in Portland, Oregon, people will know just what Toyota dealer it came from. Brilliant.
Oh, and guess what? It's an LE edition.
Good Car Bad Car is a very cool sales site for US and Canadian cars. Check out their "Bottom 8"
(h/t to commentator Zorin over at C&D)
"The two best days in a boat owner's life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it."
--Ancient Proverb (Probably)
Over at The Truth About Cars, Steven Lang writes about "The Almost Car". Not your dream car that costs more than your house, but the car you first lusted over and now, theoretically, you can afford. I have fallen into that trap. Literally within a month of getting my first steady salaried job I was at a Mazda dealership buying a used 2000 323Ci coupe with about 90,000 miles on it. This was not a smart purchase. Not only did I finance it at a ridiculous interest rate (think near double digits), but I didn't even really check it out. I test drove it at rush hour and probably never went over 30 mph. In fact, the salesperson didn't know how to drive a manual so I had to back it off the median it was parked on. (I would later find out it had a flat spare tire on the side of the interstate, as well). But It was perfect shade of blue, it had a five speed, it was a freaking BMW! I could afford the monthly payments. It was perfect right? Right?
We all know how this story goes.
(Long story short: do you know how many warning lights can come on while driving a BMW? I do, because I'm pretty sure I've seen them all)
In fact I would later lose about $7500 on a trade for a Scion, which I would then trade for a 2006 BMW, which tore up four rear run-flats in two months due to a poor alignment, so I ran to the BMW dealership and traded it in to lease a MINI. So basically I am still paying for a car I haven't owned since 2009. All I have left is the shift know of the '06 BMW that I swapped out for an "M" knob. In a very real sense I own the most expensive shift knob in the history of time.
So really, I'm out of this conversation for quite awhile. But that's not why we visit car blogs and websites daily. We are stupid about cars. We watch videos of rally cars crashing again and again. We click on articles solely dedicated to the updated specs of the Nissan Juke. And really, if I squint real hard and I get a raise at work and the dealer somehow forgets to run my credit, one of my former dream cars becomes tantalizingly available. One car I consider the most gorgeous ever produced, the 1998 Audi TT. Sure some people say it looks like a squashed New Beetle, some say the 5 valves per cylinder 1.8 litre engine is not terribly reliable (including my friend who has worked as a Volkswagen mechanic at a dealership for 12 years (he even won an award once, too)), and others just say that's a stupid dream car and not at all cool like the cars built on the Panther platform that they search Craigslist daily for....but that's what makes it available and almost "attainable". My dream TT is just like the one in the picture, in denim blue and minus the spoiler that was added about 6 months into production because it proved woefully unstable at Autobahn speeds. I'd even accept FWD if necessary, just to get those lines, Not Tiptronic (even dreams have their limits).
So I think about this car, and continue to make payments on cars I no longer own. And I know that it would be a terrible mistake, but a car guy has gotta dream (and keep up to date on the latest Nissan Juke news) right?
What about you? Is one of your former dream cars getting in the "attainable" range? Would you pull the trigger on it?
Yesterday (in the holiday spirit) I wrote an article called 7 Things Jalopniks Want For Christmas. These are pretty much the stereotypical things we all see daily on the site. I included this as my number 3 entry:
3) Every Porsche SUV to spontaneously combust, or, failing that, Porsche to actually use some of that boatload of cash to make a sub-Boxster/Cayman. Actually these two things are not mutually exclusive.
Within (literally!!!) 1 minute of making the post, I received this comment:
#3 reeks of douchebaggery.
Well Merry Christmas to you, too.
With the Porsche Macan about to make it's infamous debut, I thought I would use some comments from this very site to point out that there are exactly Three (3!) types of internet Porsche commenters:
1) Porsche is diluting the brand, selling out with SUVs.
Thomasaurus writes this, possibly sarcastically:
As a Porsche guy, I'd much rather have the cheapo Boxster that was rumored, than this mommy mobile. Too bad that one would have "hurt the image of the brand".
2) Porsche is only selling SUVs so they can make better sports cars
Victorious Secret says this about the Porsche Macan:
So sue me, I like it.
If it means more sales for Porsche to have more money to screw around on other cars like 918s and 911 GT2 RSs, so be it.
I embrace the future.
Unlike some who wish Porsche still made air cooled, death-trap turbo 911s or whatever it is that old people complain about.
Which brings us to the third and final type of commenter...
3) Porsche lost it's way when it switched to water-cooled engines.
chriswhotakesphotos sums it up nicely:
Classic Porsches always seem so tasteful to me. And so purposeful! They don't do anything but go fast and sometimes sideways.
There is a fourth, theoretical, and slightly nebulous variety:
You forgot the 4th type of "owner". The kind that doesn't actually own one but argues in an internet forum about what year the car actually is since "knowing more" than the registration information somehow makes them look cool. Then checks in every 5 seconds to make sure people are "liking" their comment and ranting at those who refute his opinion.
But that would mean that some of us comment on cars we don't actually drive, and I refuse to believe that.
I originally posted this on Jalopnik