By on January 24, 2019

Eager to celebrate the Land Cruiser’s 60th birthday (in America), Toyota has released preliminary details on the 2020 model year’s Heritage Edition before its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show. While technically an appearance package with a handful of retro-themed clues hinting at the model’s lengthy lifespan, it’s one of the more endearing makeovers in recent times.

Suckers for nostalgia will love the vintage-looking Land Cruiser badge on the SUV’s D-pillars. But the limited-production model also comes with bronze 18-inch BBS wheels with some throwback charms of their own. Heritage Editions also receive widespread black accenting on the exterior and nixed running boards for a cleaner look.  (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2018

2000 Ford Focus Kona Edition in California wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDuring the middle 1990s, Volkswagen partnered with Wisconsin bicycle manufacturer Trek and sold Trek Edition Jettas, complete with a Trek mountain bike and roof rack. Ford marketers saw an opportunity to out-cool Volkswagen in the bicycle-car pairing department, and figured they’d go to the Pacific Northwest for the bike to include with their biked-up Focus.

Thus was the Kona Edition Focus born, and I managed to find one of these rarities in a self-service wrecking yard in California’s Central Valley. (Read More…)

By on March 14, 2018

Lexus RC F Sport Black Line

Lexus is hopping on the black craze by offering a new appearance package, starting with the RC F Sport. Limited to only 650 units, the brand’s “Black Line” special edition is also only available in one of two colors: Caviar (black) and Atomic Silver (orange). Additional visual enhancements include matte black wheels, orange or black brake calipers, and darkened chrome. The upgrade also includes Lexus’ navigation and Mark Levinson premium audio packages — as well as a moonroof, parking assist, and triple beam LED headlamps.

Extensive orange stitching differentiates the Black Line from the standard cars and appears on everything from the seats to the dashboard and doors. The vehicles also receive an exclusive wood-trimmed steering wheel that features “distinctive shades of black” created by a 200-year old Japanese calligraphy shop. (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2018

Image: 1992 Cadillac AllanteThe year is 1986. There’s a new, V8-powered convertible on the horizon from Cadillac — the Standard of the World. This particularly special convertible is slotted above the Eldorado in the product lineup. And it was designed by a famed Italian house.

You’re drooling by now, 1986 person. Vamanos, to Allanté!

(Read More…)

By on July 10, 2017

Image: 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix Pepsi Special Edition, image via Craigslist

Our last Rare Ride was a Pontiac 6000 with some serious B&B appeal, what with its special gold alloys and transverse all-wheel-drive witchcraft. In light of this old Pontiac lovin’, I found another one for you today.

This special edition vehicle was practicing #branding before either #, or “branding,” were things you’d put together for your latest Twitter communiqué.

(Read More…)

By on May 17, 2017

Image: Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition

You’d definitely remember if you’ve seen one of these before, as today’s Rare Ride vehicle is anything but subdued. We’ve already featured a different special edition F-150-based vehicle here before, when the Neiman Marcus Edition Lincoln Blackwood strolled across these pages. Many of you found the black color scheme, trunk carpeting, and wood trim a bit plain though, even if you didn’t admit it.

So today we turn up the volume bass to an uncomfortable level, with the Ford Expedition Funkmaster Flex Edition.

(Read More…)

By on May 3, 2017

Mercury Villager Nautica, Image via Ford

I’m back again. Shortly after today’s QOTD about special editions went live, I received an email back from a kind contact at Ford. She provided me with the press photos of the Mercury Villager Nautica I had requested. Since they’re so nice, and you probably haven’t seen them anywhere else, it’s Picture Time.

Feast your eyes on this tasty minivan.

(Read More…)

By on April 24, 2017

2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Image: via Mecum

The last Rare Rides we brought you was really quite fantastic; a Toyota Town Ace with all the brown, diesel, 4WD, and multi-window things you could ever desire. Go check it out if you haven’t yet, as it will elevate your mood before today’s Rare Ride drags it right back down into the dirt.

As we’ve seen in some past editions of Rare Rides, things which are rare and “special” are not always good. And frankly, this Lincoln Blackwood Neiman Marcus Edition sucks.

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport

Ask any real estate agent worth their salt and they’ll tell you the easiest way to increase the curb appeal of an aging house is to slather it with a new lick of paint. With a trifling of effort and minimal investment, new sets of eyes will be drawn to the place.

With that in mind, may we present the latest special editions — sorry, factory-custom designs — headed our way from the truck builders in Auburn Hills.

(Read More…)

By on September 16, 2016

Porsche 924 Turbo (931)

There are few better ways to get instant recognition as a connoisseur of cars than to drive a classic. People will applaud your discerning taste, your unique choice in an age of appliance automobiles. Good for you!

You’ve decided to get something German because you like your 1970s classic to run. And you’d like a sports car, which pretty much makes Porsche your default choice. Few models now generate the collective automotive “OOoooo!” of the air-cooled 911. It’s so cool, it’s backwards!

But then you find out what classic 911s cost. If you’ve been living under a rock recently, prices for classic and rare 911s are through the roof. One of the last great air-cooled models just sold at RM Sotheby’s London Auction for £1,848,000. I’ll save you some quick math: that’s $2,460,242 USD at time of writing.

As you wipe the coffee from your screen, allow me to suggest it doesn’t have to be this way. You, too, can have an obscure, classic Porsche for only around 1/1000th the price of an air-cooled 911.

(Read More…)

By on September 6, 2016

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune front quarter, Image: © 2016 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars

The youthful squealing could be heard down the long driveway and through several panes of glass. When I told my daughters that I’d be picking them up from the babysitter’s house in something different, they had no idea what chariot would ferry them to softball and cheerleading practice that eventing.

My girls aren’t gearheads by most definitions. While I’m not necessarily brainwashing their preteen skulls with minutiae and data about every car on the road, I’m not letting them become numb to the wonder that is the modern car. My youngest, soon to be eight, ran screaming from the door: “BEETLE!” That’s the power of an iconic brand.

However, I’m thinking the girls reacted most viscerally to the searing yellow paint.

(Read More…)

By on July 2, 2016

2017 Dodge Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC was inspired by the origi

It’s a great day for an automaker when it can say it sold an entire year’s worth of vehicles in less than a week. Things get less impressive when it’s the final model year of a niche vehicle.

Still, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is putting on its bragging pants and grabbing the megaphone after it sold every special-edition version of the 2017 Dodge Viper in a matter of days. So great was the response, FCA plans to offer one last version of the 25-year-old nameplate. (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2016

Rolls-Royce Zenith Edition

Like a Dreadnought-class battleship, the current generation of the hulking and insanely lavish Rolls-Royce Phantom is being mothballed, but it gets one final hurrah.

The folks behind the Spirit of Ecstasy are busy building — sorry, “crafting” — the ultimate Drophead Coupé and Phantom Coupé vehicles before those models slip the surly bonds of earth.

Just 50 will be made, and Rolls is naming the bespoke collection after those big 1970s televisions you saw in the back pages of National Geographic. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 Stinger Yellow Sport

Remember the Dodge Ram Rumble Bee? Well, it just spawned a litter of yellow offspring.

The folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles clearly felt enough time had gone by without a special edition Ram, so they conceived the 1500 Stinger Yellow Sport. The Rumble Bee decals you ordered online aren’t a good match, however. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2016

Scion tC Release Series 10.0

If you’ve been holding out on buying a Scion tC until the right special edition came along, this is your last opportunity.

Scion’s parent, Toyota, took the youth-oriented brand behind the woodshed last month, making the upcoming Release Series 10.0 version of the tC coupe an aerodynamic swan song. (Read More…)

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