What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

. . . so let’s take a stroll through the isles of the new American division of the Festival of the Unexceptional.

It’s 2050 and nostalgia for the 2000s and even the 2010s is strong. We all know not to talk about 2020 and heaven forbid you mention the Lithium Wars that devastated the world in 2029, but the economy has since bounced back. Money is pouring in, people have jobs, and wages have seen meaningful increases after the Glover Bill was passed 8 years ago today.

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Most importantly, people have money to buy the dream cars of their youth. However, this is not a normal show. The 2050 edition of the American Festival of the Unexceptional celebrates the formerly mundane turned incredibly rare cars of 2000-2020. Part one, if you missed it.

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Okay, here’s my favorite cars of this evening.

Illustration for article titled Its 30 Years in the Future. . . (Day One Part Two)
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Let’s start with the immaculately restored 2009 Kia Borrego brought by the world’s foremost authority on these obscure SUVs, Borgado “The Borrego” Jamison. This car was actually never sold to the public but was briefly used as a dealer loaner before accidentally being left in an area of the workshop that was being subdivided for more sales offices. The car was left in front of a window from the waiting room into the shop so until the dealer folded last year, customers could see a salesman’s desk hilariously shoved into a corner because the massive SUV was taking up most of his office. When the new tenant didn’t like the idea of a 40 year old Kia being in the way, the car was cut out and sold at auction.

Illustration for article titled Its 30 Years in the Future. . . (Day One Part Two)
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And here we find a nearly perfect condition 2001 Isuzu Rodeo Sport in rare stock condition. Most of these have long since been lifted, sended, and junked. The story behind this one is fascinating. The little known Concrete Road Association of America (CRAA) began lobbying the government in 2003 to implement a program to aid rural communities by providing jobs paving dirt roads. . . in concrete. They advocated on the platform that it would lessen the need for gas guzzling 4x4s and bought this Rodeo new as an example of how much worse they were than traditional passenger cars. When their funding dried up in early 2004 after no progress was made, their headquarters was abandoned with the car still inside, where it was discovered by workers in 2041 demolishing the building where it was sent to auction. It now has just 1,903 miles on the odometer.

Illustration for article titled Its 30 Years in the Future. . . (Day One Part Two)
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Here we have a 2014 Hyundai Elantra Coupe so rare that many proclaim it never existed at all. One of 29 left known to exist, this was shoddily repaired sometime in the 2020s before its owner became a monk and took a vow of silence. He forgot to sell the car beforehand so it remained parked at the monastery while he couldn’t communicate with any prospective buyers. After his death in 2038, the car was acquired by the Lane Motor Museum, who brought several other viscerally mundane yet incredibly uncommon cars to this event.

Illustration for article titled Its 30 Years in the Future. . . (Day One Part Two)
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Next is the mythical Suzuki Equator. Only fourteen are known to exist, ten of which form the base of the belief system of the equally mysterious French cult “Le Equator.” This particular truck was once the private car of the leader of the organization but was sent to auction after it racked up too many parking tickets. The current owner outbid the supreme leader of “Le Equator” to a price of one trillion Francs, or US $69,021.

Illustration for article titled Its 30 Years in the Future. . . (Day One Part Two)
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The only Kia K900 present, a 2018 model, was actually bought new by David Houghton, who, as we all know, went on to star in the hit TV series Mr. D’s Big Fit debuting in 2041. The car, then with 12,304 miles on it, was won in 2046 in an ambitious gamble by Frito Lay’s then chairman Isabelle McKystvnt on the number of rooms in Houghton’s Caribbean vacation home before being sold to the current owner for $3,000, or $230.05 in 2018 dollars.

If you would like more posts from the 2050 American Festival of the Unexceptional, let me know. They will be announcing the winners tomorrow and I will be sure to cover the judge’s picks for best in show. Until next time, memorize the number of rooms in your Caribbean vacation home.

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