So last Friday, over at the Jalopnik mothership, staff writer Alanis King authored an article entitled
upon which I commented the following:
And that’s when the madness truly took hold.
You see, apparently being a US Navy chaplain attached to a Marine Corps infantry battalion while working on a doctoral degree in the midst of the possibility we’re going to get involved in another impossible land war in Asia (the first classic blunder) where we might as well be battling kaiju means that I obviously have far too much time on my hands and must fill it with actually COMING UP WITH THAT LIST.
So, this is actually Car Zero. I decided that since I’m going to go about this the legal way, I can take my time with it (no one night shenanigans), and my market can be the entire country. As such, I’m going to need something with which to tow the cars back to my secret lair. What better vehicle to do that than a 2003 Ford Excursion with the Navistar 6.0L diesel V8, developing 325 HP and 560 pound-feet of torque?
Back in high school, a buddy of mine had a 1973 Datsun 240Z with which the previous owner had decided to do an LS swap. That car was constantly riding on the lunatic fringe, but it was also awesome. We still talk about that car today, even though it is long gone. His daily is now a Kia Forte.
That poor man.
When I was in college, I watched the original Gone in 60 Seconds, made by H.B. Halicki and starring a ‘73 Ford Mustang Mach One that he utterly destroyed during a 47 minute, 93 car wrecking chase. But interestingly, that wasn’t the car that intrigued me most. No, that was the DeTomaso Pantera. Now, I’ve gone for the 1974 GTS edition of it, because why not, but I distinctly remember seeing that car and thinking, “I MUST KNOW MORE.”
The 1974 Holden Belmont Sandman is 46 years old, which means I can definitely legally import one. And you know, given the obvious coming apocalypse, I may need it - if it’s good enough for Mad Max, it’s good enough for me.
Just hook up a CB radio, get you a buddy with a semi full of Coors, and make like Bo “Bandit” Darville. Don’t forget to pick up Sally Field, and look out for the smokeys, you sumbitch.
Everybody needs to be able to go camping, and I prefer to do so whimsically and at a theoretical top speed of 50 MPH.
There’s a guy who works out at the same base gym as me who drives a JDM Land Cruiser from this era - he was stationed on Okinawa a few years back, found it, bought it, shipped it back.
I’m insanely jealous.
Neither practical nor reliable, but damned if it doesn’t make my inner child happy. And hey, if it ever actually manages to hit 88 MPH, I’ll see some serious shit.
I love the old late ‘40s Pontiacs. They’re essentially the same as Chevrolets and Buicks from that era, but like always, Pontiac put a little extra flair on them. It blows my mind that they’ve never become desirable to collectors, but hey, that means that they’re a lot cheaper for people like me.
Well, I would absolutely HAVE to win the lottery to get this one - or wait until I retire and can actually access my Thrift Savings Plan account, which should be pretty fat by then.
This was another car that a movie got me hooked on - specifically, Morpheus’ Continental in The Matrix. And Dax Shepard’s in Hit & Run is a beautiful specimen as well. The man’s just got good taste in cars and women (Kristen Bell is his wife, in case you don’t know).
“Max, find me a bear and a frog in a tan Studebaker.”
“Gee, Doc, all I see is a Navy lieutenant in a red Studebaker!”
I disagree with Jeremy Clarkson on a great many things. However, his love for this car is something on which we very much see eye to eye.
My pre-kindergarten teacher drove one of these. I was only 4, but I distinctly remember hearing her start it up one afternoon and I was pretty certain Satan came out of the tailpipe.
Gotta love a FWD V8 muscle car. It makes you shake your head and laugh, all at once.
I suppose if I don’t make out with Angelina Jolie in the front seat of this, you’ll tell me I’m doing it wrong (and yes, I realize that was a Plymouth Barracuda, but that’s not on my list, now is it?).
My first true awareness of the Grand National was when Damien Lewis’ character drove one on the criminally short-lived TV show Life. Ever since then, I’ve badly wanted one.
Bill Gates has one. Why shouldn’t I?
You know, aside from that small matter of a few billion dollars’ net worth.
I debated nicknaming this one Tracy, but decided I risked summoning the mad Jeep-meister if I did so - although I’m not sure this one has enough rust for his liking.
Some boys had posters of Lamborghinis and Ferraris on their bedroom walls growing up. I had side-by-side posters of the GMC Syclone and Typhoon.
If GMC ever decides to make a single-cab Canyon that’s been lowered and turned into a completely insane vehicle, they can have my money.
When I tell gearheads who would ordinarily never listen to Lady Gaga that she drives one of these, the usual response is, “Holy shit, I might have to check her out after all.”
The Avanti not weird enough for you? Let’s ratchet things up a bit.
Also, if I could get an SVX in this color, that would be AMAZING.
I really don’t have to justify this one, do I?
No? Good. Moving on.
I mean, not only is this car dope as hell, but it’s also a green and silver Cougar, which would be a throwback to my high school days, where our mascot was the Cougar and our colors were green and silver.
Also, it’s basically a Mustang under all that Mercury-ness.
As Skinny Pete so eloquently puts it, “I always wanted me an El Camino.”
Personally, I think the Duke boys would’ve been much better off with THE JUDGE, but oh well.
There’s a guy who passed away in 2018, Irv Gordon, who bought one of these new in 1966 and proceeded to put 3.2 million miles on it. Long live Sweden, y’all.
I had the chance to buy one of these in decent condition for $1200 my senior year of high school (2000). I had the money, but I was saving it to go to Italy and Greece after I graduated.
I don’t regret going to Europe - that was an amazing trip - but I do regret that I didn’t buy the AMX then, because they’re NEVER going to be that cheap again.
Ah yes, another of the cars in the “this will only be possible if I DO in fact win the lottery” category. But it’s so beautiful. I despise modern Lamborghinis, but this car is a work of art.
Perhaps I’m a madman for having two utes on this list. But let’s be real, the fact that nobody makes one now is a crime. Chevy really ought to take a long, hard look at a Camaro Ute.
Back in the day, I used to play Need for Speed: High Stakes quite a lot. This was, hands down, my favorite car to drive. I regularly got spanked by the cops in their friggin’ M5s, but it made me deeply desire a Maranello of my own nonetheless.
Five minutes with one of these. That’s all I would need to be happy. I might have a Lonely Island moment, but that’s okay.
One of my neighbors has a crew cab SRT-10, yellow with black stripes. It drove past my wife and me the other night while we were walking our dog, and she commented, “That may be one of the most obnoxious, ostentatious vehicles I’ve ever seen.”
“Yes,” I replied. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
So this one is actually attainable. And it’s awesome. While driving my BMW X1 does give me some of the satisfaction of a station wagon, this would truly do the job.
I still to this day don’t understand why Pontiac had to die entirely, and why it couldn’t have just been a performance marque within Chevrolet, like SRT is to Dodge.
Damn recession. Damn banks. I would’ve gladly sacrificed AIG if it meant we got to keep Pontiac.
Really, Cadillac had no reason to make this car. I think that’s why I like it as much as I do.
Yes, it has a Wankel engine. No, I don’t care. You never had me. You never had your car!
It is inevitable that, at some point, I will be stationed in Japan. Guess what you can still get for a reasonable price in Japan? That’s right, a Gen4 Toyota Supra. And we have reached the point where they are starting to hit the 25 year mark, making them STREET LEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES!!! Gonna get me a ten second car!
(Longest quarter mile in ALL OF HISTORY.)
There’s one of these an hour away from me, in beautiful condition, for $11,995. However, if I bring home a BMW even older than the one I already have, with even higher maintenance costs to boot, I might be sleeping on the porch.
Yet another car I BADLY wanted in high school. And somehow, the Mitsubishi version just always looked SO MUCH BETTER than the Dodge version.
This is how the Prowler should’ve been built to begin with. It’s absolutely ludicrous, and I love it.
It’s like Chrysler poured ALL OF THE INSANITY into this and left none for the Prowler. But hey, we certainly benefited for it, didn’t we?
As you might guess from my Kinja handle, I might cry tears of joy if I were to get one of these. And then I would cry tears of despair the first time it broke down.
The last of the naturally aspirated BMW V10s. Pour one out for those extra two cylinders.
Finally, we make it to the car that set all of this insanity in motion. And while the spelling’s not the same, I certainly gave her the name I said I would, didn’t I?
Ain’t no party like a wagon party ‘cause a wagon party don’t stop.
Well, unless Johan de Nysschen says otherwise. And while GM may have kicked him to the curb, I’m pretty certain that the only Caddy wagons we’ll see from here on out will be carrying dead people.
Because Porsche wagon. It just makes me giggle.
Let’s be real, of everything on this list, I feel like this is my most likely next car. Fun? Check. AWD? Check. Significantly depreciated from new purchase price? Double check. Ten year powertrain warranty? Damn skippy.
It’s like staring into the sun during an eclipse. Or the face of God.
And last, but most certainly not least...
Surely you didn’t think there was any other way this list could end, right? It had to be the unicorn.
I remember watching Gone in 60 Seconds in the theater the summer of 2000, and when they crushed Eleanor at the end, I gasped audibly and said, “No!” Fortunately for 18 year old me, I wasn’t the only one who did so.
Thank you all for indulging my madness. I return you now to your regularly scheduled Jalopery.