The Truth About Cars » Special Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 04:21:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Special Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1984 Buick Century Olympic Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1984-buick-century-olympic-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1984-buick-century-olympic-edition/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=707178 08 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, GM was a major sponsor of US Olympic athletes at the 1984 Summer Olympics (which were boycotted by most of the Warsaw Pact as payback for Jimmy Carter and friends boycotting the ’80 Olympics over Part XXIV in the War In Afghanistan), which meant that you could buy an Olympic Edition Buick Century that year. I moved to Southern California while the ’84 Olympics were going on, but all I remember about them was my friend who made the national news by drunk-driving over tens of thousands of orange cones set up for the bicycle-road-race event in Orange County (delaying the start of the event and earning five years of weekend orange-vest-freeway-cleanup duty)… and the sight of all these Olympic Centuries being driven around by low-level employees of the Games. Here’s one that managed to stay on the street for nearly 30 years, before washing up in an Oakland self-service yard.
12 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSort of a forgettable member of the forgettable Celebrity/6000/Ciera family, but the US Olympic Team badging makes it a rare find.
11 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinI’m sure this Olympic hood ornament is worth at least several dollars today.
06 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinCheck out these Olympicized headrests!
25 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinIf a Buick buyer was too cheap to spring for the cassette deck (as this car’s buyer was), GM supplied a radio with the cassette door replaced by a plastic block-off plate. I’ll bet all the cassette-deck mechanism is in place behind this plate, too.
28 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinGold pinstripes.
20 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinEven the first year after the end of the Malaise Era was still fairly Malaise-y.

02 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1984 Buick Century Olympic Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
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Special Editions That Actually Were Special http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/special-editions-that-actually-were-special/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/special-editions-that-actually-were-special/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 16:47:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478337

From my post yesterday, you might get the feeling that I think all special editions are bad. That isn’t true. Occasionally, a car company makes a special edition when it’s not desperate. And occasionally, it’s pretty good – even if it doesn’t include extra horsepower. This post details all those special editions that were surprisingly tolerable – even if they were mostly unique badging and special paint.

Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition

The Venture Warner Brothers Edition got a lot of hate in yesterday’s comments section, but I’m not entirely sure why. It had many strong selling points, chief among them the WB logo in back that replaced the Chevy bowtie – so no one had to know you were driving a U-body. Too bad it still said “Venture” on the tailgate.

Of course, another major selling point was its rear entertainment package, which gave drivers a choice between DVD and VHS. Those who picked the latter are likely regretting their choice, but probably no more than their decision to buy a Venture in the first place.

In the end, the Venture WB was enough of a hit that it inspired the Sienna Symphony, a copycat special edition from Toyota. Of course, in true Toyota fashion, the Sienna Symphony was better looking, drove more smoothly, and didn’t have Bugs Bunny on the tailgate.

Volkswagen Jetta Trek / K2

Even the Germans aren’t immune to the allure of run-out special editions. Witness the Jetta Trek and Jetta K2, which came with a bike or a set of skis depending on which model you chose. As anyone who took advantage of the promotion will tell you, it was a pretty neat idea since it was the only way to guarantee you got something that worked when you bought a Jetta III.

Dodge Dakota Convertible

The Dakota Convertible was perfect because it cornered a market that had been largely ignored since the 1920s: the open-top pickup buyer. Hate all you want, but they sold hundreds of these, or possibly dozens. Every one was sold to drivers excited about the possibility of heading out on a warm summer day, dropping the top and going for a cruise … with a couch in the back.

Range Rover Autobiography

Owning a Range Rover is like being part of a special club. That club is called “other drivers won’t let you over in traffic.” They’re also part of the “air suspension ticking time bomb” club, but that one’s not as exclusive since it was founded by S-Class owners.

Owning an Autobiography Edition puts you in even rarer company: the “only valets will know how much I spent” club. That’s because the highly subtle Autobiography is $30,000 more than the Supercharged, which is $12,000 more than the HSE. So why is it on this list?

Because to the kind of people who buy Range Rovers, it’s perfect. Nothing is left off. It’s the ultimate SUV, saying “Out of my way, peasant!” every time you turn the key. It just doesn’t say it very loudly.

Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition

While I’m not usually a fan of clothing company-car company joint ventures, you have to respect the Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition for no other reason than it showed just how well Subaru knows its customers. Perhaps the only way they could’ve improved it would’ve been a standard “MV” sticker on the back window.

The Outback LL Bean is also praiseworthy because it had a lot of stuff Subaru owners actually wanted. Standard features included leather upholstery, heated front seats, a regulation softball bat and a subscription to “Curve” magazine.

Some of that is true.

Ford F-150 Harley Davidson Edition

Never mind Jesus. Real men love only two things: Harleys and pickup trucks. Armed with this knowledge, Ford created a pickup truck with Harley badging and a throaty exhaust. First offered only in F-150 guise, it eventually expanded to Super Duty models so real men didn’t have to compromise.

At some point, it also added flames. I have no idea why this was done, though I think it may have been because Ford market research discovered real men also like fire.

Mercedes SL-Class Silver Arrow Edition

The age of a person’s SL-Class tells you a lot about when they had their money. A Sam Rothstein-style 1970s “R107” SL-Class, for example, tells you the driver probably had cash in the ‘70s before divorcing her husband. Now she uses alimony to maintain it. An early 2003ish R230 SL-Class is probably someone who bought it used last year, and can only sleep by crossing his fingers and hoping the top doesn’t break.

But a 2002 R129 “Silver Arrow Edition” reeks of class. It also reeks of leather cleaner, since they only came with white seats. Get past that, and you’ve got a distinctive Mercedes sold in small numbers. Sort of like the C-Class hatchback.

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, roadtripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute laptime on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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Special Editions That Weren’t Special http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/special-editions-that-werent-special/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/special-editions-that-werent-special/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 16:47:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=478125

Sometimes, car companies get desperate. This usually happens at the end of a model run, when a car is obsolete but the new one isn’t quite ready to launch. Or, if you’re Chrysler, this happens the day a new model is released.

Automakers have four ways of dealing with this problem. One is to simply let the current car die a slow and painful death. This strategy is commonly employed by Acura, who stunned journalists when the latest RDX came out not because of its new styling or V6 engine, but because everyone thought the old one had been cancelled three years ago. The other two involve fleet sales and trunk money – tactics invented and perfected by General Motors.

But there’s always one more possibility: a special edition. Because nothing makes people feel better about buying an outdated car with a black and white navigation screen than a unique paint color and some custom wheels. Today, I’m going to explore some of the most ridiculous special editions of our time. They include green seats and movie-themed badging. But most importantly, they all reek of desperation.

GMC Jimmy Diamond Edition

GMC decided to try something new in order to distinguish its second-generation S-10 Jimmy from the otherwise identical Chevrolet Blazer. No, it wasn’t a passenger airbag: neither model offered one of those newfangled gizmos until three years after the government mandated it in 1995. Instead, it was the Diamond Edition.

Named because the interior was inexplicably finished in diamond-pattern leather seats, the “Jimmy Diamond” sounded more like a transsexual lounge singer than a “professional grade” SUV. But professional grade it was – just ask the casket makers who undoubtedly provided GM with the material to upholster each and every one.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis

When Ford came out with the Eddie Bauer Explorer in 1991, Chrysler couldn’t sit idly by. It had to respond by courting its own outdoorsy company that sends you catalogs you never asked for, yet are vaguely appealing.

The result was the 1995-1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Orvis, which was sold only in Forest Green with Forest Green leather seats unusually trimmed in red. While the green seats were intended to bring the outdoors inside, they instead succeeded in making the occupants wish they were outdoors. Around 50 of these still haven’t succumbed to transmission problems and can still be found on various Craigslists wearing at least a few of their original panels.

Mercury Villager Nautica

After Jeep snagged Orvis, Ford rushed back to the drawing board, or possibly the junk mail pile, to find another catalog manufacturer/clothing company it could mate with its cars. The result was the Mercury Villager Nautica, which used unreadable pale yellow Nautica trim on the usually-white minivans, presumably because Nautica was embarrassed with the relationship. They had reason to be: most Villager Nautica vans had white wheels. And nearly all had blue interiors.

The Nautica/Mercury tie-up ended in 1998. Presumably, Ford only allowed Nautica to back out after the company promised it would stop mailing catalogs to Ford executives.

Lexus Coach Editions

It’s not just the Americans who are into sappy special editions. Witness the Lexus LS and ES Coach Editions, which came with a set of leather luggage as if the buyer was purchasing a Ferrari F50. Unlike the F50, however, the Lexus Coach Editions didn’t come with driving footwear – probably because Lexus owners wouldn’t understand how to put them on over their orthopedic shoes.

Pro tip: if you’re buying one of these used, insist on the original luggage. No one still has it. Then pull a CarMax and demand a huge discount because the car is missing “original equipment.”

Toyota Tundra Terminator 3 Edition

Yes, this exists. A Toyota Tundra that commemorates Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Interestingly, while the movie featured humanoid robots with automatic weapons built into their liquid metal exoskeleton, the Tundra didn’t come standard with a tachometer.

Each Tundra Terminator 3 was finished in either green or black and featured a bunch of sporty bolt-ons Toyota wouldn’t have been able to sell otherwise. The Toyota badge was also removed from the grille, replaced by a simple “T3” in the lower right corner. Total production run: 850 units. Yes, a Tundra Terminator 3 is rarer than an F40.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder

Yes, that’s the official name. I checked. It’s by far the longest car name, unless you count stuff like the “Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Short Bed Extra Cab,” which wins by only six characters.

But a special car should have a special name, and that’s precisely what this was, since you could only get one if you had a 918 Spyder on order. Imagine the pissing matches in South Beach garages: oh, you just have the regular Turbo S? Well, I have this to tide me over until my million-dollar supercar arrives.

By the way, this model was definitely not a last-ditch effort to sell the last few 997 Turbo S units by throwing on green paint and green calipers. Nope! It wasn’t that at all.

BMW M3 “Frozen Gray”

This one is almost too easy. The particulars: it came with a paint job that looked like bad bodywork and couldn’t be dented or scratched. Washes had to be done by hand. It cost $9,000 on top of a normal M3, which was already $15,000 on top of a 335i despite offering less torque. And they only made 30 of them – an announcement which undoubtedly caused a collective groan among BMW’s 30 largest dealerships, since they knew they’d be the ones on the hook.

But the real losers here are BMW body shops. They’ll have to incur the inevitable wrath of owners when they find out the paint can’t be blended following a fender-bender caused by the “M3 Special:” a one-handed, no-signal lane change without looking.

Doug DeMuro operates PlaysWithCars.com. He’s owned an E63 AMG wagon, roadtripped across the US in a Lotus without air conditioning, and posted a six-minute laptime on the Circuit de Monaco in a rented Ford Fiesta. One year after becoming Porsche Cars North America’s youngest manager, he quit to become a writer. His parents are very disappointed.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Journey To The Chrysler TC Begins With A Single Step Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-journey-to-the-chrysler-tc-begins-with-a-single-step-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-journey-to-the-chrysler-tc-begins-with-a-single-step-edition/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2010 18:32:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=343182

The search for “potential synergies” between Alfa Romeo and Maserati has already yielded its first bitter fruits, as Auto Motor und Sport reports that a special edition Alfa will be built as a loaner for Maserati owners who bring their cars in for service. Because there’s nothing Sergio Marchionne can’t fix with a special edition…

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Jeep’s Version Of New Product Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-jeeps-version-of-new-product-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-jeeps-version-of-new-product-edition/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2010 15:22:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=341139 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mountain Edition

In the past, Jeep’s done it up big for the NAIAS, unveiling wild concepts, driving new production models through plate glass, and the like. This year though, things are a bit tight. Instead of throwing a booze-soaked bash around some miles-from-production concept, Sergio Marchionne is going to lay out some saltines and Tang and let visitors paste some cheap decals he picked up in China on a Wrangler. All this in celebration of Jeep’s first new products in ages: the Unlimited Mountain and Islander edition Wranglers. Featuring the cheapest, most gimmicky-looking graphic decals and upholstery ever foisted upon the buying public (random latitude/longitude readings? really?), these “special” editions need to keep Jeep gasping along until ChryCo can get the suppliers lined up for the new Grand Cherokee. Meanwhile, stand by for more special editions from Chrysler, hinted at in the firm’s five year plan. This is going to get even uglier before the actual Fiat products show up later this year. 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mountain Edition 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Mountain Edition Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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