Link Of The Day

 Like the music in Mitsubishi's commercials but don't know who makes the song? Mitsubishi's got you covered.

Link Of The Day

 It may be the end of the line for Oldsmobile, but the marque still lives on through the internet.

The Japanese Decade

 The Seventies was the beginning of the rise of the Japanese automobile manufacturers in the US. The Oil Crisis had caught the Big Three unprepared, whil ethe Japanese were selling exactlt what was needed in the changed market conditions. Performance-wise, things were not so bright. Toyota had it's newly introduced Celica, which was more show then go, but by the end of the decade there was the Mazda RX-7, Toyota Celica Supra, and the fabulous Datsun 280ZX, all harbingers of what the future held.

 The eighties was when the Japanese really started to expand their horizons, and performance took a huge leap forward. It was also the decade that front wheel drive started to dominate drivetrains, which led to the introduction of the MR2, a mid-engined sports car. The specialty coupes like the Celica and Prelude gained more horsepower and better handling, and higher prices. The GT cars like the Supra and 300ZX were approaching Corvette territory by the end of the decade.

 It was the nineties where the Japanese really showed their prowess in sports cars. Nissan kicked it off with the new Z, arguably one of the best GT cars ever made. Mazda and Toyota took the RX-7 and Supra beyond their GT roots into true sports car territory. Honda had the coup de grace though, with it's fabulous NSX, the first Japanes exotic.

 The specialty coupes were reaching the performance levels of the previous decade's GT class, and there was an explosion of different models. Long timers like the Celica, 240SX, and Prelude were joined by the Probe/MX-6, Talon/Eclipse/Laser, and the Subaru XT. Along with the jump in performance level came an increase in price, resulting in a swarm of cheaper coupes. The pack included the Geo Storm/Isuzu Impulse, the Toyota Paseo, Nissan NX/200SX, and the wonderful Mazda MX-3 with a 1.8 liter V6!

 It was also the decade that the roadster made a well deserved return with Mazda's Miata, a sensation when it was introduced. Truly it was the decade of the Japanese sports car.

 Now we're in the 2K's, and it's rather boring on the performance front. Sedans are the new performance vehicles, while coupes have faded. Nissan has dropped the 200SX, 240SX, and there is no longer a 2-Door Sentra. Mazda no longer makes the MX-6 or MX-3. Toyota still has the Celica, but the Paseo and Supra are history. Mitsubishi's 3000GT went the way of the dinosaurs, and Subaru and Suzuki don't even make any coupes.

 Yes, the Lancer and the WRX are impressive performance vehicles for the price, but they're still sedans. A sports car comes with only two doors, not four. At least Scion is bringing out the tC, but I fear that coupes are an endangered species in the automotive market. Young people are leaning more towards SUV's instead of sports cars as automotive expressions, but when the SUV bubble finally bursts (seen gas prices lately?), will the sports car make a comeback? I can only hope. I miss the nineties.

Link Of The Day

 Most people haven't even heard of this car. It has terrible reliability, is almost impossible to get parts for, and has strange styling, but I would own one. It's Renault's Fuego. You can also read some history on

Link Of The Day

 Today we look at an enthusiast's website. Welcome to Dan McBoost's Online Garage.


 Since I had the day off, I decided to redo the layout. It'll do for now, but there has been a major change! NO MORE ADS!!! This site is now ad-free!

Link Of The Day

 The assault of the US Microcars continues, this time Ford's spunky little Festiva gets the spotlight.

Link Of The Day

 It's a small car, often with only 3 cylinders for the powerplant, but I think they're cool. It's a page dedicated to the Geo Metro.

Whodda Thunk It?

 I just won some items off eBay, specifically some older Toyota keychains. Nothing really special, just something I'm going to use to make a nice little Toyota artwork. There was one each for a Tercel, Corolla, Celica, Supra, and a Cressida. The bidding started at the same price for each, but guess which one I had to have the highest bid to win? The Supra? Nope. The Cressida? No again.

 It was the damn Tercel keychain!! Somebody really wanted it, but I'll be damned if I was gonna lose one of the set!

Wagons Ho!

 I really like Autoguy, and I definitely recommend you check out the site. That said, I find that I often don't agree with his view of the auto industry. This is a good thing, as it means I get exposed to a different point of view. I'm not an automotive guru, and my views on the industry are influenced by my life experiences and where I live. The same is true for Autoguy, and I think that is one of the main reasons I find our views are disparate. Here am I, in Nashville, Tennessee, a land of trucks and SUV's, while autoguy is in LA.

 As someone who lives in LA, and knows the Hollywood/freeway mentality that goes on here, it's important that the word gets out on what is cool in the auto industry, and what isn't. LA leads in fads, and what cars we Angelenos drive, are the cars that eventually all of America will drive, and whatever car company doesn't sell well here, there's a good chance they won't sell well in the future.

 I happen to believe that LA is not the center of the automotive world. It's very influential, yes, but a car that is not successful there does not mean it will be unsuccessful in the rest of the country. Fads come and go, and the internet has greatly changed the way they spread and develop. LA also has adifferent climate than a lot of the country, and winter has a huge affect on many automotive purchases. I used to live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I can tell you that how a car handles in the snow makes a major impact on which vehicle you buy if you live in the north.

 All of this leads up to Autoguy's latest post, discussing the upcoming Chevy Nomad. Autoguy thinks it's a mistake, while I think it's a smart move. Chrysler has been very successful with the PT Cruiser, and the Nomad is a logical choice to compete n that market. The wagon market has been in decline for over a decade now, with the rising popularity of SUV's, and that's exactly why I think the Nomad makes sense. These are not your father's wagon, as it were.

 Autoguy says the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix have been a failure, but I see more of them every day. Yes, they're wagons, but they don't have the old wagon image. They look like hybrid wagon-SUV's, and that's why they sell. Instead of being simply a Corolla wagon, Toyota has wisely given them they're own style. The Mazda Protege S wagon is another of these vehicles I see more of everyay, and the Mada 3 wagon continues this trend. The same will be true for the Nomad, but it will need a four-door version if GM wants it to be a commercial success. The poeple buying these wagons are the young and young at heart, who want the utility of an SUV but not the handling of a truck.

 We won't really know which one of us is correct for a while. The Nomad won't reach showrooms until 2007.

Wankel's Turning In His Grave

 This is just so wrong. Putting a Chevy V8 into an RX-7.

Link Of The Day

 Perhaphs the weirdest styling exercise ever, we proudly present, a tribute to Subaru's wonder-wedge!

Segway Into The Junkyard

 Shock and awe!! The Segway is doing terrible. You know that thing, the two wheel scooter that uses gyros to saty balanced while you ride it. It was supposed to change the world, revolutionize city transportation , and make the world a better place to live. Apparently 6,000 units have left a factory that can produce 40,000 a month. I'm shocked!

 When will people learn that you're just not going to replace cars with something that is less practical? If it can't do what a car does, and do it better, people will ignore it. Cars are a necessity, and all the feel-good planning that enviromentalists say will eliminate the need for automobiles won't change that.

 It doesn't matter how close you live to work, people are not going to ride down the street in the middle of winter on something that doesn't have a sealed cockpit!

Everything's Super

 Doing some research on the internet a few days ago led to a website that had a gallery of Toyota Supra's, the mark II models. There I found a picture that was damn close to my Supra.

 A flood of emotions came to me when I saw that photo. That was the best car I've owned, bar none, and there's not another vehicle I'd rather own, even a Toyoa MR2. The attachment I feel for that vehicle still lingers on, nine years after I sold her.

 Damn I want my Supra back!

Coolest Aquarium Ever!

 Oh yeah, I gotta get me one of these!

 A tank made out of a Mazda rotary! Hell yeah!

Roomba Zoom

 Your new Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner is not complete until you put a Nos sticker on it!


 I've always seen the Honda S2000 as a response to the Miata, and thought the styling was OK. But, I've never actually stood next to one, only seen them from afar. It's not until you stand right by one that the design really catches your eye. It's sleek and catlike, and blows the Miata's curves out of the water. The car has "presence", a style that envokes an emotional response, something not many cars do.

 I like the Miata. It's cute, and has a singular mission in life, but it's not a very manly style. The S200, on the other hand, oozes masculinity. It looks more like a wild animal, something that takes you along for the ride instead of you having to lead.

 That's the kind of car a sports car should be. Good job Honda! I never thought you had it in you.


 I've found a new blog that focuses on the automotive world, Autoguy, and it's nice to see a site like this. Ride could be considered similar, but there's fundamental differences between the two blogs, and that's a good thing. Autoguy's latest post is about rhythym, or what the Japanese auto industry calls the 2-4-6-8 plan.

 What this translates to is that every two years, you make some kind of change to a model. Year 2 is a mild style refresh, year 4 is a major style change, year 6 another mild restyle, then year 8 you bring out a new platform. The Japanese have used this model very successfully, keeping their cars looking up to date and fresh, while the Big Three tend to postpone updates to their models as long as possible, because the 2-4-6-8 plan is very expensive.

 There's another effect tp the domestic brands that autoguy alluded to, and I'd like to expound upon it. Honda has the Accord, Toyota has the Camry, but what is Chevrolet's bread-and-butter sedan? Right now it's the Malibu, which used to be the Lumina, and before that it was the Celebrity. Why three names in the same period that Honda and Toyota have only needed one? Image. The Celebrity was competent but uninspiring, as was the Lumina, and in an attempt to avoid the stigma of the previous model from affecting the next model, Chevy changes the name.

 That may work well on a household cleaner, but it gives no continuity to the brand at all. The Accord and Camry are nearly legendary names in the marketplace, representing style, value, and quality that has been built up over several years. If Chevrolet really wants to compete against these cars, then they need to spend the time and money to build a really good sedan, wgive it a name, and keep that name, and commit to a 2-4-6-8 plan.

 All this is great, but I've learned to expect very little from GM. A company that large is not very nimble in the marketplace, and trying to radically change the way it operates is like trying to fight against an undertow with your arms tied behind your back. This is the company that is killing Saturn right before our eyes, after all.

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