Posts from ‘What was…’
It wasn’t a dream. You didn’t imagine it either—there really was a GMC SUV equipped with a retractable roof. To the uninitiated, that might not sound too odd, except that the roof didn’t retract back from over the passengers, sunroof style; it pulled into the center of the vehicle from over the cargo hold, creating what more or less amounted to a handy pickup bed.
Most Americans know Pierre Cardin as a purveyor of luxury designer clothing, but how many of us recall the fashion maestro’s foray into the automotive realm?
For many car enthusiasts, the most memorable (and cringe-inducing) element of the 1971 cult-classic movie Harold and Maude is the conversion of a Jaguar E-Type roadster into a hearse. Harold and Maude is the offbeat story of a death-obsessed young man, Harold (Bud Cort), who falls in love with a free-spirited elderly woman, Maude (Ruth Gordon). Harold and Maude was an early work by acclaimed director Hal Ashby, who would go on to direct such films as The Last Detail, Coming Home, Shampoo, and Being There.
Comparing pickup trucks to Hamburger Helper may seem like a stretch, but I beg your indulgence as I explain myself. Here goes: The main purpose of Hamburger Helper is to help costly ground beef go further, at less cost. Thus, a meal that might have involved the expense of a pound and a half of meat might require just a single pound once augmented by the sodium-packed filler material that generally retails for around $1.39 a box.
For as globalized as the auto business has become, you might think a brand as omnipresent as Chevrolet would sell pretty much the same lineup in every market it plays in. Turns out that’s not the case.
Why would Aston Martin, a British company known for building ultra-luxury high-performance coupes, contract with Japanese automaker Toyota to build an Aston-branded version of one of the smallest, least-powerful Toyota-built cars on the market? Turns out there’s a good answer to that question, but it gets a little complicated.
Here’s a question for you: What was Jaguar’s biggest-ever marketing blunder? Many might argue it was the X-Type, a compact sedan that was little more than a Ford Mondeo (called Contour in the U.S.) gilded with a Jaguar grille, curvy sheet metal, and some extra wood and leather inside. By virtually every measure, the X-Type was a flop as a Jaguar, though the wagon version was not without its charms.
Any good headhunter will tell you that it pays to be flexible when looking for a job. Sure, experience is good, but being willing and able to adapt to different projects almost always impresses potential employers.
The recently released period-piece drama Phantom Thread is a noteworthy film for many reasons. For starters, it was written and directed by celebrated auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s been nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Actor in a Leading Role), and it stars Oscar-winning thespian Daniel Day-Lewis in what Day-Lewis himself says is his last acting performance. For car enthusiasts, however, the film’s Bristol 405 four-door saloon is the real star.