Posts from ‘What was…’
A hit with fans and critics alike, the 1998 Wes Anderson film Rushmore is a rare treat for movie fans with an appetite for mild surrealism combined with sparse but brilliant dialogue–not to mention the incredible directing. But there’s something else brilliant about Rushmore that often goes overlooked: the music.
If you were a Volkswagen fan in America in the early Seventies, and you were looking for something sporty to drive, you were kind of out of luck. There was the coachbuilt-body Karmann Ghia—a car which was arguably gorgeous, but not really all that sporty. Mechanically identical to the contemporaneous Beetle, the Karmann Ghia was more of a casual touring car—it was a little too slow, and its handling a little too pedestrian, to be engaging. However, Brazilian VW fans of the day had it a little better.
To the extent that any vehicle can be said to embody the spirit and optimism of a nation, the Ford Model T did. Produced between 1908 and 1927, the “Tin Lizzie” was both a literal and figurative representation of American mechanization and expansion.
By the time Donald Trump had stamped the White House with his personal brand, the New York real-estate mogul had lent his name to a number of products and services. Numbering among the many short-lived Trump-branded commodities are mail-order steaks (2007), vodka (2006), and a board game (1989).
Culinary mashups are hot right now. Chicken and waffles, that time-tested soul-food classic, is now so Twitter-active that even KFC has gotten in on the deal. As a vegetarian, I have never indulged in the savory crispy/maple-y buttery promise of chicken and waffles, but I have good things to say about the improbable pairing of peanut butter and pickle relish. Really.
Between 2007 and 2009, commercial-truck manufacturer Sterling sold a rebadged Dodge Ram chassis cab as the Bullet.
That, in a nutshell, answers the question: What was the Sterling Bullet? But the story gets so much more interesting from there…
If you’re roughly my age—let’s say five decades into this whole life process—you’ve seen a fair number of automobile brands fade into the sunset.
I was probably most impacted by the demise of Pontiac, but I remember feeling a twinge of sadness at the deaths of AMC, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and—no kidding—Checker.
The Chevrolet Vega was meant to be a technical and efficiency tour de force. The good-looking, lightweight little car featured a number of cutting-edge features, and was positioned to prove that the Bow-Tie Brand—and on a broader scale General Motors—was in a position to take on the low-cost and fuel-efficient imports that were starting to show up in dealerships at the beginning of the Seventies.
Pontiac of Canada was well known for selling gently tweaked variations of Chevy products for exclusive distribution north of the border. The 1976-1987 Pontiac Acadian for example, was actually a retrimmed Chevrolet Chevette.
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.