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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Some automotive generalities are undeniable: Americans like their pickup trucks, and Italians like the style and flair of a Ferrari. It’s not often these two interests align, but today’s Rare Rides must have been written somewhere in the stars, because it’s just so right. Via Craigslist, behold the stunning Ferrar-olet.
Do you enjoy luxury? Do you like prestige and exclusivity of the highest order? How about leather, wood, and lighted barware? Well, it’s all available to you today, and you don’t even have to visit Trump Tower.
Last week, we kicked off this Rare Rides series with a shockingly wedge-y Ghia Probe, but that feels a little international, a bit foreign.
Let’s see a familiar brand from the good old USA
that’s never pretended to be international. It wears an Oldsmobile badge and stripes tinted with that familiar shade of Hurst gold.
Behold, the 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue 442.
Our august editor Mark pointed out to me how I might bring some of the rare, quirky, and oddball cars I’m always posting to our internal Slack chat to you. So here we are, with a segment I’m going to call Rare Rides.
Here’s our first entry, from a Hemmings listing, is a fantastic looking Ghia Probe I concept from all the way back before automatic transmissions and air conditioning: 1979.