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.
Rare Rides: The Chevrolet Citation Story, Part I
Born at the turn of the Eighties during a very lackluster period in the American automotive landscape, the Chevrolet Citation was a successful entry into the hot compact segment. It debuted to immediate sales success as a budget used car buy and won a major award. Could it be the ultimate economy car for the Eighties?
It’s Citation time.
Rare Rides: The 2010 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato, Unexpected Underpinnings
Today’s Rare Ride is one of just nine Alfa Romeo TZ3s built in 2010 by Zagato. Priced at over $1 million at the time, every example was immediately sold to a collector who put it in an alarmed garage somewhere warm and sunny, and then didn’t drive it.
However, underneath the fanciful Zagato bodywork was a platform few million-dollar class collectors covet for their garage.
Rare Rides: The Very Exclusive 1984 Enterra Vipre, Luxurious Canadian Sports Car
Today’s Rare Ride is an ever-desirable Pontiac Fiero dressed in an elegant, Canadian-designed fiberglass body.
Let’s talk about a forgotten car with two fake names: Enterra Vipre
Rare Rides: The 1999 Mercedes-Benz C 230, the First Modern Compact Mercedes
The Nineties W202 C-Class was Mercedes’ second-ever compact car offering, after its debut small car the 190. Not made of the heritage-level materials of the 190, the W202 cars were largely trashed at the bottom of their depreciation curve a decade ago by second and third owners.
Said trashing is why today’s very clean example is so unusual.