Rare Rides: Luxury Van Time With a 2017 Ford Transit Explorer Conversion

Today’s Rare Ride was sort of off the radar as a present day vehicular category until your author was presented with one in an ad. It’s the sort of luxurious conversion van people bought to take their grandkids on vacation in the Nineties and early 2000s, but updated for today.

Presenting the Ford Transit Explorer Conversion. It’s quite large.

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Rare Rides: The 2012 Maybach 57 S Coupe by Xenatec, as Ordered by Muammar Gaddafi

Today’s Rare Ride is a custom-built version of an already-exclusive car. Originally a large sedan, Xenatec’s 57 S coupe was built only in the single digits.

And this particular example was ordered by a dictator.

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Junkyard Find: 2011 Mercury Mariner, Last Gasp of the Mercury Brand Edition

Ever since I found one of the very last Oldsmobiles in a Denver car graveyard, I’ve been keeping my junkyard eye open for other final-year-of-marque Detroit machinery. We’ve got the 1998 Eagle, the 2001 Plymouth, and the 2010 Pontiac, and now it’s time for one of the very last vehicles to wear the Mercury badge: this 2011 Mariner Premier.

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Junkyard Find: 2010 Pontiac G6

When The General decided to eliminate the Oldsmobile brand— I’m still convinced that the main reason for the execution was the syllable Old in the marque’s name— the process took nearly a half-decade, with nostalgia-drenched “Final 500” editions of the last Oldsmobile models released with great solemnity. Even the ho-hum Silhouette minivan got a Final 500 version for its sendoff. When the Pontiac Division’s time came at the close of the 2000s, the 84-year-old marque was shoved out the door to stagger to an ignominious death, unloved and alone in a Michigan drainage ditch. Here’s one of the very last Pontiacs ever built, found in a Denver boneyard last month.

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The 2021 Aston Martin CALLUM Vanquish 25, a Future Rare Ride

Aston Martin’s V12 Vanquish was the company’s heavy hitter GT of the 2000s decade. Between 2001 and 2007, just over 2,500 examples of the Vanquish were produced, composed of 1,492 standard 2+2 coupes, and 1,086 of the sportier S version that ditched the rear seats.

Now, a select few customers can have a thoroughly reengineered Vanquish S, created by the man who designed the original.

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Junkyard Find: 2012 Fiat 500 Gucci Edition

The junkyard tells me that the Fiat 500 depreciates nearly as quickly as the New Mini and Mitsubishi Mirage, though the current generation of 500 remains sufficiently recent that most examples I see are crash victims.

This car, though crashed, is still special: a genuine, numbers-matching Gucci Edition Fiat 500, found in a Denver car graveyard.

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Buy/Drive/Burn: Unpopular V8 Sedans From 2016

Commenter Chocolatedeath is absolutely adamant we talk about today’s trio of unpopular sedans. They’ve all got V8s, rear-drive, and found few buyers in their day, but that won’t stop us from choosing one among them to take home.

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at Chocolatedeath’s car comparison, shall we?

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QOTD: Worst Upscale SUV Design of the 2010s?

We continue our conversation on automotive design from the recently ended 2010s this week. Prior installments in this series have covered the best and worst affordable SUVs and CUVs, and last week, the best of the not so affordable.

In today’s entry, we’ll discuss the worst upscale 2010s designs to ever grace the driveways of North America.

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QOTD: Best Upscale SUV Design of the 2010s?

We continue our discussion of SUV and CUV design from the 2010s today with our third question entry of the series. The first and second editions covered the best and worst parts of affordable SUV/CUV design, with a strict price ceiling of $48,000.

Today we head upscale and only consider really expensive rides.

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QOTD: Worst Standard SUV Design of the 2010s?

Last Wednesday we pondered the best exterior styling found on SUVs and CUVs of the 2010s. This week, flip the question and consider the visually challenged rides of the past decade instead.

If I recall those distant 2010s correctly, there are plenty of designs upon which one might spill some Haterade.

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QOTD: Best Standard SUV Design of the 2010s?

We return to the 2010s today to conduct more design evaluations. Previously in this series we covered the best and worst standard car designs, then did the same for upscale cars. Today we consider the 10-year span when the SUV and other SUV-like things strengthened their grasp on consumer sales, then choked out nearly everything that wasn’t a pickup truck.

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QOTD: Worst Upscale Car Design of the 2010s?

We continue our exploration of vehicular design from the 2010s today. Thus far, we’ve covered the best and worst examples of more affordable car design, following it up last week with the best design among upscale vehicles.

Now it’s time to consider the worst of the upscale.

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QOTD: The Best Upscale Car Design of the 2010s?

We’ve had two prior posts discussing the highs and lows of automotive design from the decade most recently closed. Both those times we kept our choices in the affordable category, where starting prices were under $100,000 when new. Today we double that limit, and consider upscale designs.

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Rare Rides: The Elusive 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss

You may remember when Mercedes-Benz worked with McLaren to develop the SLR McLaren in the early 2000s. The supercar birthed from those creative loins trumped most everything else on the market upon its debut. As expected, it was very rare and very expensive. But did you know there was a further development of the car that was even rarer, and off-limits to all but a select few?

Presenting the SLR Stirling Moss.

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QOTD: Worst Standard Car Design of the 2010s?

On Wednesday last week we looked back on the recently ended decade, seeking the best design found on the sort of cars people can actually afford. Today, we’ll flip the question and go in search of the design failures.

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  • Wjtinfwb "If I had asked idiot traitors what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".... What they wanted, vs. what they'll actually pay for are clearly two different things. It's not hard to want the vision of EV's the Biden admin sold everyone; inexpensive, fast charging with long-range, charging on every corner, minimal impact on the environment. The government delivered none of that. They threw automakers under the bus at the last minute after many of them made huge investment in tech, plants, R&D. Then Biden and his hapless bunch just walked away, built no charging stations, no support for natural resources and doubled down by stoking the labor fires increasing automakers costs substantially. EV's are absurdly expensive for the utility they provide and time is demonstrating their resale value to be in par with a 80's GM diesel wearing a Yugo badge. Sorry, it's not the consumers job to make a fairy tale come true. Making and selling cars is extraordinarily capital intensive, the automakers aren't throwing good money after bad betting on a senile old man who has delivered on none of his promises and is rapidly making himself irrelevant in the national conversation.
  • Fred As a British Car Fan I liked them, but then I sat in one and changed my mind. I like the unique looks of the newer ones.
  • FreedMike Not much to look at, but these were sweet to drive.
  • EBFlex Ford finally making a good decision although they should shut down their EV operations and investment all together. Why lose that money too?
  • Mike Lol. This is the king of suvs. And its made by GM.Why is everyone trashing it?Top of its its class for a quarter century.