Top Ten Movie Cars?

Winding Road recently published a blurb about the most influential cars in movies. Not “car movies” mind you, but cars in a movie. I clicked the link expecting to see iconic automobiles, which I did.

Along with a couple of head-scratchers. A BMW 5-series from Ronin?

But most noticeable was what the list was lacking.

No mention of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Herbie the Love Bug? I’d dare say the Model T from Grapes of Wrath should muster an honorable mention.

In all fairness, they did hit the mark on Vanishing Point and the Mustang from Bullitt. Have a look and see what you think of their list of the Ten Greatest Movie Cars.

Italian Renaissance

Fiat Returns to America
or Everything Old is Nuova Again

New 500 happy faceIt’s no secret. I’m a gearhead, a certified lifer.

My first bicycle was a compilation of parts I’d gathered from neighborhood junk piles. I took apart a Lawn Boy engine at the age of 9. And my first motorcycle was delivered to me on my 14th birthday. In three boxes (turned out Dad had accepted it as payment for back rent from a deadbeat tenant). It took me a few weeks, but I managed to put it back together with a little help from a neighbor with an arc welder.

Turning wrenches, getting greasy or adding needless accessories occupied our spare time. It was the Seventies and that was what teenage boys did.

One day I bought a broken Fiat Spider planning to fix it up and sell it. Turned out I met my future wife in that car. Jackie was suitably impressed with the red convertible, so I kept it longer than intended. Eventually I became infatuated with little Italian cars and owned dozens over the years- mostly clapped-out Fiats, a Lancia or two and a slew of Alfa Romeos. I was hooked. Continue reading Italian Renaissance

Memories of the Kon Tiki

Jackie discovered this vintage postcard from the Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. On the back it explains the Kon Tiki offered a “fabulous Polynesean (sic) atmosphere in the midst of Phoenix.”

Kon Tiki Hotel in Phoenix

Back in 1989 we made the trek to Phoenix, Arizona for the U.S. Grand Prix. Now as Formula One Grand Prixs go it was a mediocre affair- the course was set out on the streets of downtown Phoenix and, needless to say, it was hotter than hell. And yes, it was a dry heat.

One of the non-automotive highlights of that trip for me was our accommodations. A friend from Spartan had told me about a unique hotel at the corner of 26th and Van Buren. “You’d love the place,” were his words, “And it’s across the street from the State mental institution.”

Hmmm, lovely. Not knowing much more than that I dug around and found out a hotel called the Kon Tiki was located at 26th and Van Buren. Turned out it was a mecca of island kitsch, soaring Fifties rooflines and orange Trimline phones. It was also smack in the middle of the red light district- but that’s a story for another day.

“Come to KON TIKI and take away a life long memory.”

You Can Take It With You

WD-40 that is.

WD40 .26oz Lubricant Pen - 12-PackHank Hill carries his WD-40 on a keychain. Now you can be even cooler than Hank! Not possible? Check out this handy dose of WD-40 in a pen!

That’s right gadget freaks- you get a full 1/4 ounce of everybody’s favorite home remedy in a handy no-mess pen. Changing lives since 1953.

Directions:

  • Before first use, point pen downward and press tip against surface until saturated
  • Apply, pressing the tip to release more WD-40 as needed
  • Pen will not dry out, re-activate by saturating tip

Why’s it called WD-40?

 

Ten Cars That Should Have Been

We’ve seen our fair share of Ugliest Cars lists lately- so I was tickled to see a list celebrating beautiful cars for a change. The irony is, they’re all concept cars.

Winding Road offers us their Ten Concepts We Wish Had Become Production Cars.

I’m not 100% on board with their entire list. For example, the Suzuki looks like it might be more at home in a toy store than your dealer’s lot. And the Cadillac, well… let’s just say it’s the best looking Cadillac product I’ve seen in a long time.

But for the most part it’s a great list of some great cars that never were.
 
Remember the DeTomaso Mangusta?
Judging by this Shelby GR-1 prototype, someone at Shelby does.