. . . 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.
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 two, if you missed it.
Later in the day the judges will be announcing the winners. The categories are the following: Most Unexceptional Car, Most Unexceptional SUV/truck, Best Backstory, and Most Lit. Okay, here’s my favorite cars I’ve seen today.
This 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara comes from the last generation of USDM Suzukis from when they were just throwing everything at the wall to see what stuck. In this case, they decided their first unibody crossover SUV needed to look exactly like a Toyota RAV4. The reason this car, now with only 41,000 miles on it, survived in all original condition is remarkable: A Toyota dealer took it on a trade in in 2013, right after Suzuki left the market. No one would buy it so they applied fake badging to sell it as a Toyota RAV4. However, their customer found out and won a big settlement with the dealership. She thought it was so funny that she owns the car to this day, albeit with the correct badging applied.
This pre facelift 2007 Subaru B9 Tribeca is a rare bird indeed. No one actually knows anything about the car. The last dealer service was in 2009 when it had 17,010 miles and the next available record is from 2041 when it went to auction with 391,023 miles. The ugly duckling got a new paint job and was lightly refreshed, but is in surprisingly good shape for such high mileage. No one can really explain this one.
This 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is one of the only remaining original USDM examples of this uncommon body style. There are four others known to exist in the US, but they are all modded. The car is still owned by its original owner who bought it brand new. She only stopped dailying the car last year after it hit 100,000 miles, turning back to the newly reopened Mitsubishi dealer she visited 40 years ago to drive home in a brand new Mirage GS4 Wagoback plug in hybrid. Her old car can’t compare to the GS4's 360 horsepower but she says she will hold onto it till the bitter end.
Just barely squeaking in, this 2020 Volvo V90 is still quite a looker. We all know how much of a hit the brand took when “V*lv*” became a derogatory insult as we know it today. The buyer must have either been brave or ignorant not to wait until the company changed its name to Vova and to refuse the free rebranding. Very few remain with original badges and this is one of the best documented ones.
This 2005 Saturn Ion Redline epitomizes “unexceptionally brilliant.” Some tasteful period modifications adorn this ultra rare sports “coupe” inhabiting an interesting niche at an interesting time. I remember in 2020 you could still snap them up for fairly cheap. That is, before most were burned in protest of Vice President Musk’s colonization of Saturn using convicts in 2026 (after the Ghosn wars of 2022 led to surprising advances in space travel of course). The fact that the ship was named “The Thin Red Line” didn’t help either. With so many anti Lebanon and Anti VP Musk protesters burning Saturns in the street, it’s a wonder the car survived at all.
Well, that wraps up today’s installment. Tell me which cars you think should be nominated for each reward. Remember there are a whole lot more cars at this show than the ones I’ve mentioned.