Category: Rare Rides

By on May 23, 2017

Image: 1981 Subaru GL Wagon, image via eBay

Your Rare Ride today is a quite old 1981 Subaru GL wagon. It comes complete with a manual transmission, brownish paint, 4×4 drivetrain, brougham Desert Fox trim, and plaid seats. I figured you wouldn’t be too interested in seeing it.

Oh, who am I kidding? You all clicked through as soon as you saw the headline image, and you’ll be glad you did.

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By on May 17, 2017

Image: Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition

You’d definitely remember if you’ve seen one of these before, as today’s Rare Ride vehicle is anything but subdued. We’ve already featured a different special edition F-150-based vehicle here before, when the Neiman Marcus Edition Lincoln Blackwood strolled across these pages. Many of you found the black color scheme, trunk carpeting, and wood trim a bit plain though, even if you didn’t admit it.

So today we turn up the volume bass to an uncomfortable level, with the Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition.

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By on May 11, 2017

Image: Collection of Suzuki and Geo vehicles, image via Craigslist

This is actually the first time in our Rare Rides series where Rides applies directly to a single story. That’s because this is more of a rare collection of cars from someone who is dedicated to a singular passion. A passion which only comes in one color, and which bears mostly misleading badging.

You don’t want to miss what you’re about to see.

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By on May 5, 2017

Toyota Century, image via eBay

Heads of state and other dignitaries typically like to ride around in large, sedan-shaped vehicles. Offerings like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and contemporary Rolls-Royce sedans have long been the go-to around the world. Of course, there are exceptions. For places like the United States, national pride dictates an American-made Cadillac or Lincoln.

The Japanese also have a strong sense of national pride, and for decades there was only one vehicle appropriate for heads of state and CEOs — the Toyota Century.

Now it’s gone.

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By on April 27, 2017

1984 GMC Jimmy Gypsy Street Coupe, Image via Craigslist

Those of you who are regulars of the Rare Rides series will no doubt remember the thrashing we gave another similar-era Jimmy a while back. And if you’re not regulars of Rare Rides, then you’re doing TTAC incorrectly and your life is a shambles. Fix it!

Anyway, this Jimmy here is a custom vehicle, a one-off General Motors’ idea that didn’t make it to production. So come along now as we explore the rare wonder of the Gypsy Street Coupe.

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By on April 24, 2017

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

The last Rare Rides we brought you was really quite fantastic; a Toyota Town Ace with all the brown, diesel, 4WD, and multi-window things you could ever desire. Go check it out if you haven’t yet, as it will elevate your mood before today’s Rare Ride drags it right back down into the dirt.

As we’ve seen in some past editions of Rare Rides, things which are rare and “special” are not always good. And frankly, this Lincoln Blackwood Neiman Marcus Edition sucks.

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By on April 19, 2017

1990 Toyota Town Ace

High atop Mount Forbidden, the “other market’s” imported vehicle stands alone. It awaits that special day, some 25 years in the future, when the clouds will break and a descent into the mortal realm is possible.

And, after that special day comes, the vehicle gets a chance to stand out beyond all normal cars in any given American parking lot. It was never meant to be seen in this country, and yet someone with an entrepreneurial spirit made it possible. Come with me now, as we experience JDM van goodness.

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By on April 18, 2017

s-l1600-7

Last time on Rare Rides, we carried the racing [driver] and special edition themes to new heights, and featured a shockingly bad Jeff Gordon Monte Carlo special edition of which there were 24 copies made. Our ride today is still made by General Motors, and it’s still about racing, but it’s larger and even more rare. It’s also better, because it has an Oldsmobile logo on the front (albeit not the superior rocket one).

Oh yeah, and it’ll go 140 miles per hour.

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By on April 12, 2017

2000 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon

Our last couple of Rare Rides have been special limited edition vehicles. Last week we saw a GMC Spectre which, upon viewing, my friend declared, “That interior looks like an old Taco Bell!” Prior to that, a Nissan Desert Runner made all your Zima-beach-toting dreams come true, even with its sketchy and unclear history.

But today’s limited edition is more rare and more ugly than either of those two prior examples. It’s also newer, which makes its styling all the more egregious and offensive. By the year 2000, we were supposed to be beyond such gaudy nonsense. But the Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon Signature Series Commemorative Edition is as ridiculous as its name is long.

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By on April 4, 2017

1990 GMC Spectre Front 3/4, Image via eBay

Decals, stripes, special paint, lettering, low production figures. These things are important and relevant in a modern world sort of kitschy, but very enjoyable. Last week’s Nissan Hardbody Rare Ride had all those in spades, and this week’s truck turns it up to 11 (kind of). It’s definitely rare, but the appeal and pedigree are questionable.

Prepare your skepticism and critical thinking keyboards.

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By on March 29, 2017

1996 Nissan Desert Runner, Image: via Craigslist

There’s a certain allure to a limited-run special edition that goes beyond “Special Edition” badging and discounted heated seats. Automakers give these ordinary vehicles a new angle (often at the end of the model cycle) to boost sales and margins by a few units and pesos. Down the line, these special vehicles become footnotes over which the ICE can obsess and drool.

And today’s Rare Ride is no exception, if you can handle it. Steel your nerves.

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By on March 23, 2017

1988 GMC S15 Jimmy

There was a time when just about every day of the week you’d see one (or several) S10/S15 Jimmy/Blazer examples driving around, doing middle-class America things because the Explorer didn’t exist yet. But on account of salt, rust, neglect, and the general “use it up” that happens to trucks in this country, that time is no more.

But is our pristine Rare Ride of today worth anywhere near the sucker-punch $15,000 its owner is asking?

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By on March 21, 2017

1995 Mitsubishi 300GT VR-4 Spyder

Over time, certain terms begin to evoke very specific images in the minds of human beings. For instance, when someone utters the word “truck,” a medium-blue color circa-2010 F-150 comes to mind. “Luxury sedan” triggers competing images of a circa 1998 Lexus LS400 (in gold) and a W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class of two-tone variety, probably black over light grey.

And “sports car”… well, that’s a red basket-handle Toyota Supra, or our Rare Ride of today: a Mitsubishi 3000GT.

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By on March 14, 2017

1998 Toyota MEGA CRUISER, Image: Goo-net

In our last Rare Rides entry, we saw a Saleen sporting a lot of engine and little room, carrying a maximum of two physically fit human beings inside the cramped cockpit. That’s assuming neither of them brought any baggage, emotional or otherwise.

Today, we’re going in the other direction. I present to you what is undoubtedly the most intense passenger vehicle Toyota has ever produced: MEGA CRUISER. And it’s in full capital letters for a reason.

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By on March 10, 2017

2004 Saleen S7

When you put pen to paper and start making a list of American super car models, it doesn’t take long to conclude that The Land of the Free is not a leading purveyor of the species. In fact, you can fit the list on a standard Post-It. Google reckons there are just four generally — Ford GT, Hennessey Venom GT (which are current), a couple of Mosler MTs, and the Saleen S7 (which are deceased).

So come and check out a rare example of what happens when American British engineering meets super car specifications, and then it all gets screwed together in the U.S. of A.

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