Rare Rides: A 2000 Chevrolet Metro, Which is New
Today’s Rare Ride will upset some of you. It’s one of those cars that was very common in its day, entirely disposable, and a prime example of the characterless econobox. Yet because it was such a throwaway, nobody ever saved one – except this one.
Visiting us from 21 years ago, it’s a Chevy Metro with 400 miles.
Rare Rides: The 2000 Mercedes-Benz CL 500, a Finale Called Final Edition
Large, luxurious, and very serious, the first generation CL was also an SEC and S during its life. While Mercedes-Benz played the Nineties naming games with its lineup, the W140 soldiered on in two-door format as a last-of for a top-tier Mercedes coupe.
Rare Rides: The 1987 Hyundai Stellar, Korean Midsize and Ford Cousin
The Rare Rides series has featured just two Hyundai offerings in past entries, the affordable Pony that Canadians loved, and a Mitsubishi Precis that was a rebadge of the Excel. Today’s larger Rare Ride was sold alongside those two in places outside the United States. Meet Stellar.
Rare Rides: The 1978 Sbarro Windhound, a Luxury SUV of 6.9 Litres
Today’s Rare Ride is the third car in the series from designer Franco Sbarro. Our premier Sbarro creation was a windsurfing-specific take on the Citroën Berlingo, and the second was a very hot hatchback called the Super Eight – a Ferrari underneath.
While both of those creations were one-off styling exercises, today’s Sbarro actually entered very limited production. Presenting the Windhound of 1978.
Rare Rides: Grand Prix's V8 Finale, the GXP From 2005
The Pontiac Grand Prix was a long-term staple in Pontiac’s lineup, a Driving Excitement alternative to the Buick and Chevrolet cars with which it shared its various platforms. Though it faded from its initial personal luxury prominence, Grand Prix had one final V8 hurrah at the end of its life. It was a sort of return to form after many years with a maximum of six cylinders. Let’s check out some GXP goodness.
Abandoned History: The Cadillac Cimarron, a Good Mercedes-Benz Competitor
Sometimes car companies get a bit carried away with a new idea that, for a myriad of reasons, doesn’t translate so well in its execution. Toyota (and other Japanese companies) did exactly this when they invested in the very unsuccessful line of WiLL cars and other consumer products in the early 2000s.
Today we look at a 1980s domestic example of an idea that fell flat. It was the time Cadillac thought applying lipstick to a Cavalier-shaped pig would make the BMW and Mercedes-Benz 190E customer come a’callin. It’s time for Cimarron, a J-body joint.
Rare Rides: The 1987 Chevrolet Cavalier RS Convertible, Last of First
The Rare Rides series is a friend to the General Motors J-body. In 2018 we featured a 2000 Sunbird from ’83, in 2020 there was the ’84 Oldsmobile Firenza Cruiser, and earlier this year a ’91 Cavalier wagon.
But we’ve never featured the OG J-body main event, a first-gen Cavalier. Let’s go.
Buy/Drive/Burn: Alternative Japanese Compacts From 1998
Our last two Buy/Drive/Burn entries covered the 1998 and 2008 versions of three mainstream Japanese compact sedans: Civic, Corolla, and Sentra. Today we look at the alternative offerings in 1998 from Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.
Rare Rides Icons: Daimler's Flagship Cars and the DS420 Limousine, Elder Statesman
Welcome to Rare Rides Icons, a spinoff of Rare Rides where we take a more in-depth look at those particularly interesting cars throughout history. Today’s large and luxurious Icon is the first time we present a Daimler in this series. The DS420 was the flagship of the brand; a car for heads of state. And in fact over 50 years after its introduction, it’s still in use as an official state limousine in several nations.
Rare Rides: The 1980 Sbarro Super Eight, Not Your Standard Hatchback
The Eighties were the decade that saw the dawn of the hot hatchback. Today’s little red hatchback is really very hot, because it’s entirely a Ferrari 308 underneath.
Rare Rides: The 1986 Pulse Litestar Autocycle, Michigan's Finest
Today’s Rare Ride is technically our first ever motorcycle, even though it has four wheels. Called the Pulse, it kind of looks like someone cut the wings off a small plane.
Rare Rides: The 2003 GMC Yukon 2500 XL, a Quadrasteer Experience
Today’s Rare Ride coverage was prompted when your author saw an unusual pickup truck on the roads of Cincinnati. The truck in question was a black Sierra Denali from the early 2000s, with a telltale feature on its rear fenders: little lights on either side. Let’s talk Quadrasteer.
Rare Rides: Bertone by Any Other Name, the 1979 Volvo 262C
Today’s Rare Ride is an example of the first time Bertone added heaps of Italian build quality to an ordinary Volvo midsize. We’ve covered Bertone’s second effort ( the 780) long ago, so it’s past time we talk 262C.
Rare Rides: The 1995 Toyota T100, a Truck of a Different Era
Trucks were simpler when today’s Rare Ride was new. No giant grilles, no Ranch Platinum 1764 Embroidery Edition, and no ridiculous styling (I see you, Tundra.) The T100 was a reliable essence of truck, even if it wasn’t what the American market wanted.
Abandoned History: Project Genesis, Toyota Cars for Young People
Toyota was very focused on youthful consumer appeal at the turn of the millennium. Around the same time the WiLL sub-brand launched in the Japanese home market with its multitude of different products, a similar project was just getting underway at Toyota Motor Sales USA.
It was called Project Genesis, and like WiLL, it didn’t go well.