Rare Rides: Rad Van Time With the 1998 Citron Berlingo Calao, by Sbarro
Today’s Rare Ride started off as a standard and rather uninteresting Citroën Berlingo van, and was then thoroughly edited by Sbarro into a windsurfing-oriented beach vehicle.
It’s a lot to process, visually speaking.
Rare Rides: A 1971 Maserati Quattroporte Prototype, the King's Sedan
Today’s Rare Ride was one of just two finished examples of the ill-fated second generation Maserati Quattroporte. Maserati envisioned a promising future for their large luxury sedan, but the company’s corporate parentage at the time had other (worse) ideas.
And this very car was fit for a king.
Abandoned History: The Early 2000s WiLL Project, for The Youths (Part IV)
The WiLL branding project in early 2000s Japan was intended to excite and interest younger consumers with stylish products, all of which were marketed as WiLL. At the pinnacle of unique WiLL offerings were three different small Toyotas: The first two were the unpopular and unsuccessful retro-French themed Vi, and the modern-looking, popular, and unsuccessful VS.
Around the middle of VS production, Toyota just knew there had to be a part of the market they hadn’t reached yet and reintroduced the idea of the Vi with a polar opposite stylistic direction. This is the Cypha.
Abandoned History: The Early 2000s WiLL Project, for The Youths (Part III)
Several Japanese companies embarked on the WiLL sub-brand exercise at the dawn of the new millennium. Miscellaneous WiLL-branded products were introduced alongside a funky new car offering from Toyota, the WiLL Vi.
The baguette-themed retro sedan was an immediate failure amongst the youthful consumers WiLL was supposed to attract, so Toyota had a very quick rethink. Meet VS.
Rare Rides: A Very Luxurious Camry, the 1990 Lexus ES 250
Today’s Rare Ride was the only other car accompanying Lexus’ LS 400 at dealerships in 1990 and 1991. The fanciest Camry offered in the US, it was a badge conversion from a Camry sold in the Japanese market.
But consumers saw through the charade, so while the high-effort LS 400 flew off the showroom floor, the minimal effort ES just sat there.
Abandoned History: The Early 2000s WiLL Project, for The Youths (Part II)
The WiLL project was a short-lived collaborative marketing effort by several Japanese brands, intended to capture the interest and money of youthful buyers. Using emotional engineering, seven companies launched new products in the early 2000s wearing WiLL sub-branding. Included in the myriad of offerings were three different subcompact Toyotas.
And here’s the first one, the WiLL Vi.
Abandoned History: The Early 2000s WiLL Project, for The Youths (Part I)
Today’s Abandoned History story is one of targeted marketing. In the early 2000s, an amalgam of Japanese corporations combined efforts to reach out to younger consumers via unified branding. Cars, food, appliances – all across Japan new, youth-focused products all wore the same sub-brand: WiLL.
Collectively WiLL asked, “How do you do, fellow kids?”
Buy/Drive/Burn: Basic Japanese Compacts From 2008
Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio are the 2008 versions of the same Japanese compacts from last time. Many of you were split on the relative goodness of 1998’s Civic versus Corolla, but agreed Sentra should burn. Do those views change when the cars are from 2008?
Rare Rides: A 1992 Ford Mustang, but It's a Kenny Brown Outlaw XS
Today’s Rare Ride is the second Fox platform Mustang in this series, after a pristine 7UP Edition from 1990. While the 7UP was a trim package that resulted from a failed NCAA basketball contest, today’s Mustang was purchased specifically for transformation into a performance machine. It’s one of a handful ever made.
Buy/Drive/Burn: Basic Japanese Compacts From 1998
We continue our 1990s-then-2000s series today, with the Japanese counterpart to the American compacts presented here recently. These Japanese compacts from 1998 represented the last of the Nineties’ Golden Era quality. Civic, Sentra, Corolla, make your pick!
Rare Rides: A Prototype 1970 Porsche 914 Murene, by Heuliez
Today’s Rare Ride is the second vehicle in the series designed by French coachbuilder Heuliez, and was a one-off as part of a Porsche 914 styling competition.
Abandoned History: The Navistar EStar, a Very Troubled Electric Van
The plain white van you see here is the subject of our second edition of Abandoned History. Though it was produced and sold domestically as eStar by Navistar, it was actually developed in England years prior. In fact, the story of this electric van begins with the traditional black London taxi.
Rare Rides: A 1988 Nissan Van, Not Yet on Fire
Today’s Rare Ride represents Nissan’s first attempt at a family van for the North American market. But Nissan would prefer you forget the Van entirely, given how things went after its introduction.
Buy/Drive/Burn: Economical American Compacts From 1982
Our recent Rare Rides coverage of the Chevrolet Citation made one thing very clear: We need more Citation content. Today’s 1982 Buy/Drive/Burn lineup was suggested by commenter eng_alvarado90, who would like to see all of you struggle. Citation, Aries, Escort, all in their most utilitarian formats. Let’s go.
Rare Rides: The Chevrolet Citation Story, Part II
We continue our Chevrolet Citation coverage today, just after the economy car’s 1980 introduction to critical acclaim and huge sales figures. Unfortunately for GM, the Citation’s true personality was quickly exposed, and things were entirely downhill from there.