Junkyard Divin’

April 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

So, today seemed like a lovely day to explore a new-to-me junkyard that purportedly had a few E30s kicking around. It was, as they say, a bit of a goldmine. Not necessarily in the sense of parts found (but I did pick some goodies off of a 1987 325es – wish I had a truck, there were some beautiful sport seats I had to leave behind), but rather in knowing there is yet another boneyard local to me that keeps all sorts of forgotten rarities in the far corners of its marshy real estate.


One of the first things that caught my eye was a mid-70s Bronco. After reading this recent post on the Hemmings blog about a reader finding his grandfather’s long lost 1974 Bronco, I couldn’t help but wonder about the owner of this forlorn off-roader, sitting somewhere and daydreaming about his former pride and joy. It’s not too hard to imagine this rig cresting over some dunes with the hardtop removed and a sun-kissed gal hanging onto the roll bar.


This just made me sad. An absolutely gorgeous Volvo 140-series with seemingly completely original sheetmetal, mint bumpers and chrome, and all lighting intact. All it needed was a set of leather seat covers (and, well, wheels) and this swanky Swede would look perfect parked on the streets of Newport, which its parking sticker indicated it was last a resident of. Hell, the original keys were still with the car – hard to fathom how this example ended up here.


I’ve got to do some more research on this. It was a mid-90s Land Rover Discovery with the factory-applied “Special Vehicles” Sticker on both fenders and the rear gate. I seem to recall that this indicated some level of factory-equipped off-road gear like winches and auxiliary lighting, but I haven’t been able to confirm this – yet.


These two old girls were shoved way, way back in the yard, next to several worthless mid-80s domestics. I have a suspicion these were both part of the same estate or garage at one time, and man – what a sophisticated couple this pair must have belonged to. The Rover 3500 is a rarity in the states in any condition, and it’s a shame to see it languishing in the forgotten corner of one of the sloppiest scrap yards I’ve ever stepped foot in. The Mercedes – I think a 220 coupe – conjured similar feelings of, “I wish I had a big yard and understanding neighbors.” Would have loved the vintage Rhode Island license plate off of the Rover, but the overseers had a policy against taking them. If my kids ever donate my cars to a yard after donating my body to science, I swear my spirit will become the poltergeist from hell.


Do you ever get the feeling that the owner of a car was once the cat’s pajamas? This Fiat X1/9 was in decent shape for mid-80s Italian Job, with a complete interior and mostly-there sheetmetal. What I loved were the stickers in the back window, which shows the owner was a Providence College alum and an Aerosmith fan – I’m sorry, but all I envision is some preppy dude who rolled around campus in a two-seat targa-topped coupe and got all the ladies, helped by the fact he had a buddy with a hook-up for great seats at live shows.


Check out the top of the trailer. At this point, I began wondering when I’d see a carriage and the skeletal remains of six horses.


A hopelessly rusty Triumph TR6 that housed a very clean set of bucket seats. The inspection sticker was from 1990, but its last owner had at least some intent to put it back on the road – you don’t just splurge on new upholstery without having faith it will run again. Unfortunately, I heard what sounded like a rattle snake (do we have those around here?) and saw, as some confirmation, good-sized shedded snake skins sitting on the console. I moved on quickly, which I guess is why those seats have remained with this boat anchor.


I tend to get nostalgic when I spot original dealer stickers, especially with cars like this Saab 900 convertible. How it ended up in Bristol, Rhode Island when it was originally sold at Bill Bryan Subaru in Winter Park, Florida, is maddening. I know, I know – why do I care? Well, it has something to do with knowing this car once cruised top-down 11 months out of 12 in a climate made for convertibles. All I can imagine is some ungrateful co-ed calling mom and dad long-distance complaining that Roger Williams University parking enforcement towed her car again, and, “You know, my boyfriend Todd has a new Civic and I’ll just ride around with him.” 10 years later, Todd is mid-level management at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Jenny is selling cosmetics for Avon in Nebraska and this once-beautiful Saab sits, with original keys and remote locking fob (how expensive must THAT have been in 1989?), sinking into the mud.

That’s all for now. There’s a new yard in Brockton I’m itching to check out, but right now, I’m just itching from whatever I crawled through to snap these pictures.

Two Words: Air Suspension

April 11, 2013 at 12:00 am

Sometimes project cars are laughable. As in, this is a car that will bankrupt you faster than a jaded ex-wife who didn’t like you that much when things were good. A 1973 Citroen SM is not just something you stumble upon. No, there’s always a good story with anyone who has a mid-level exotic with de-tuned Ferrari internals sitting in their backyard. The spoils of an illicit poker game? A gift bequeathed to its owner from a long-lost eccentric Canadian uncle? All of it is about as believable as Joe Six Pack picking up a vintage Citroen for the price of a Vespa.


Although I’m not normally drawn vehicles of the front-wheel drive variety, the SM is an exception. It’s a big, heavy, exotic cruiser, chock full of innovation only seen in re-runs of the Jetsons when it was first introduced. Self-leveling suspension – well, I’m a sucker for it. At a young age, I watched a British family disembark from their Range Rover Country only after the air suspension had fully settled; from that point on, this sophisticated method of exiting and entering a car has been burned into my brain. Of course, repairing a hydraulic suspension will make your first mortgage look like a tip at Burger King, but let’s not dwell on the negatives.

Low-mileage is normally a plus, but when you’re talking about Italian/French hybrid exotics sitting in a backyard in Connecticut, it’s probably more an indication of when it last turned a wheel then an attempt at preservation. This is clearly an American model, thanks to its ugly US DOT-approved single-round headlights instead of the killer plexi-glass encased six-lens European variety. Our traffic safety officials are unforgiving-ly lame, as these are the same people who sealed the car’s fate on our shores by declaring it in violation of federal safety standards due to the varying height of its adjustable suspension. Bastards.

This is a project car of significant proportions. To do it correctly, you will likely lose your friends, house, job and any semblance of a relationship with your spouse. But they weren’t there when those smarmy Brits stepped mere inches onto the hot blacktop from their once-lofty perch, and they sneered – oh, they sneered – when they saw you extend your legs full-length to exit the rental-car Civic. Someday, you thought, as your flip-flop fell off from trying to exit the perilously-tall crapbox, you would own a car that could bring you down to earth while putting you above the rest.

That day is today. 

The Life of an Ambulance Driver

April 9, 2013 at 2:34 am

As the EMT/ First Responder of the group, I was asked by my colleagues to write about what exactly it is like being the wheel of an ambulance, driving with lights and sirens.  It was also suggested that I mention the dos and don’ts of what to do when you see an ambulance, fire engine, or police car approaching from behind.  I know I can’t cover every situation, but I will hit the ones that I come across most frequently.  Before continuing, I would like to make it clear that they do not let any moron behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle.  All operators must complete and pass an Emergency Vehicle Operations course, comprised of classroom and driving time.

SoT Amb Cart

               So, what’s it like driving an F450 Ambulance around with the lights and sirens on, going to pick up a patient or while you have one in back?  At first, to the inexperienced novice, it is one of the biggest adrenaline rushes you could ever get.  For the ones who have a few years of experience and driving under their belt, it’s like a normal drive, while avoiding the idiots who seem like they are completely oblivious to the lights and sirens.  While you’re driving with the lights and sirens on, you become the biggest target on the road, and similar to hazardous road conditions, people forget how to drive.  Finally, driving in the suburbs/countryside is completely different from responding in the city.  When responding through the suburbs, people on BOTH sides of the road pull over and STOP.  In fact, one time, when I was responding, I had a guy on the opposite side of the road put all 4 tires on someone’s lawn, despite me not having a single vehicle in front of me, blocking my path.  A bit of overkill, perhaps, but I still waved and thanked him.

Now, responding in the city is completely different.  In the city, no one wants to move out of the way of the emergency vehicle, unless it’s a cop who can pull them over.  Not to mention, people do not understand the concept of pulling over to the RIGHT, or if a lane is free at an intersection, to keep it free despite which lane it is.  Now, I’m not sure if if people don’t move out of the way because of pure ignorance, or just plain stupidity, but regardless, we know you can see us in your mirror, and it shouldn’t be a surprise when we’re behind you, blasting our air-horn.

So, with all this being said, here are some quick tips for when you see an emergency vehicle responding behind you:

– Pull over to the RIGHT (not left, and don’t just stop in the middle of the road) and come to a COMPLETE STOP.  It’s not easy having to maneuver and have to consider how much space we have when you’re still moving.

–  If there’s awful traffic, some drivers may “play Moses” and split the lanes.  In this case, the left lane pulls over the left, and the right lane over to the right.

– If you’re an an intersection and you see a lane open, (even if it’s the far right lane where you would normally pull over into), keep that lane OPEN, giving us easy access through the light.  Not mention, everyone stop at the intersection!  It allows us to plan our moves before we come up to the area.

– Don’t follow close to us.  We may have to stop suddenly and you may not.  (And we’ll probably win).  Also, police officers love to follow pull over people who are driving too close to emergency vehicles.  (Keep back 300 feet actually means something).  Also, we have extra weight with water tanks, equipment, and patients, so it takes us longer to stop- so PAY ATTENTION!

– We have our lights and siren on for a reason-  because we are needed, so get out of our way because you never know who we are going for- could be your family or a friend.

– Most importantly, there may be multiple emergency vehicles behind one another.  We are required to keep at least 500 feet of running room between us.  So before cutting back into your lane, check to make sure another emergency vehicle isn’t coming.

– Despite all these rules/bits of advice, we (emergency vehicles) do not own the roads.  We still have to stop at all red lights and stop signs despite how severe of a call we’re on.  Also, not many know but we have to stop for school buses who have their Stop signs displayed-  Not too many civilians know that fact either.


With all this said from the perspective of one who is behind the wheel of an ambulance, saving and improving lives, my coworkers and I would hope that you all pay more attention next time an emergency vehicle is behind you. Enjoy the YouTube clip I found of an fire truck responding to a fire.  Take note on the idiot in the SUV at 0:50.  Don’t be that guy!



The Losing End of Winning

April 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm

hill 96

If we’re the best in our field, the last thing we expect to hear from our employer is that we’re being replaced by someone else who has accomplished less but might have more potential. That was the curious case of Damon Hill as he was on his way to winning the World Championship in 1996. It’s a scenario that took place over a three year period that ended up with Hill finding out during a race weekend that he would be replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen in 1997.

The courting of Frentzen by the Williams team started in 1994 after the death of Ayrton Senna; Frank Williams was looking for someone to fill the now open seat and offered the position to Frentzen, then a Sauber driver and former Group C Mercedes Junior Team teammate to Michael Schumacher, who after his early season performances was looking like the man most likely to be world champion. Frentzen turned down the drive as the Sauber team (who ran the Group C Mercedes team) needed consistency after the near fatal crash of his teammate Karl Weindlinger. Williams appreciated his loyalty to the team and kept him in mind as future driver.

At this time Frentzen was highly rated by all in paddock. Schumacher was beginning the start of his reign and many viewed Frentzen, his former Mercedes teammate as being faster of the two but perhaps not as mentally strong. It’s also interesting to note that a former girlfriend of Frentzen’s is Mrs. Corinna Schumacher, the wife of Michael.

From 1991-1997 it was widely agreed upon that Williams had the best car in the paddock. It was shocking to Williams that they were being beaten by Schumacher and Benetton. The Williams philosophy was that driver was just another part on the car and it angered Hill when Williams brought back Nigel Mansell in the middle of the 1994 season when his IndyCar commitments would allow, leaving Hill who was supposed to be the number one driver and still in a title fight to feel as if the team had viewed him as second rate; a quality number two who could win a few races a year and provide great technical feedback to the team but not a superstar.

The 1994 season ended in controversy with the Hill/Schumacher collision in Adelaide and accusations of title winner Schumacher’s Benneton being illegal. The 1995 season was the first year of the raised nose Williams and Schumacher was even more dominant in the Benetton clinching the title with two races to go and Hill finishing second in the points but having a terrible second half of the year.

It’s believed that during this stretch when Hill was struggling was when Frentzen was signed for 1997.  Hill had a contract for 1996 and Jacques Villeneuve was joining the team for 1996.  1996 came along and Schumacher was now driving for Ferrari and Hill came into the season motivated to win at what many felt was his best chance at the world championship. It was during the summer while leading the championship that Hill found out at the German Grand Prix that Frentzen would be driving for Williams in 1997 and not him.

Hill went on to win the World Championship that year and continued what was a tradition of driver’s winning the world championship in a Williams and leaving. It started with Nelson Piquet in ’87, Mansell in ’92, Prost in ’93 and Hill in ’96. Hill would go onto to drive for the TWR Arrows team and later for Jordan giving the team their first win at Spa in ’98. It’s interesting to note it was the same Jordan team where Frentzen after struggling at Williams would go on to have the best form of his career.

Was it just Williams’ view that Hill was a really good number two and his poor result in 1995 was the reason that he was dropped from Williams? A few other scenarios come to mind. Was Williams aware in 1995 of Renault’s withdrawal from Formula 1 at the end of the 1997 season? Was the hiring of Frentzen a way of enticing BMW to partner up with Williams? By this point, F1 racing in Germany was at its peak; Mercedes was fully involved with McLaren and the men from Munich had been sniffing around F1 since the early 90’s.  Audi was also rumored on joining Formula 1 and where one of the big German manufacturers is, the other two are soon to follow.

It’s also interesting to point out that Renault was upset about Hill being dropped as they would be unable to have the number 1 on a Renault engined car for the third time with Williams in five seasons. Hill was also regarded as the best out of the four Renault engined drivers (himself, Villeneuve, Alesi and Berger) in giving technical feedback. There was also rumors that Renault was trying to have Hill replace Alesi in the Benneton for 1997 (important to note that Alesi was regarded as the worst at giving feedback).

Another alternative reason is money, Williams was notorious in its refusal to throw big money at drivers, Frank Williams was once quoted as saying that they spent more on Nigel Mansell’s salary in one year than they did on R&D. It’s possible that Hill priced himself out of a drive for 1997 like Mansell had done during his 1992 title season and found himself without a ride when his arch enemy Alan Prost was signed for 1993.

One final scenario (and the least likely) is the idea that Williams was betting against the success of Jacques Villeneuve. By the time Frentzen was signed, Villeneuve was confirmed at Williams for 1996. In the mid ’90’s CART was producing the best racing in the world and viewed as a rival to F1. Bernie Ecclestone fearing CART courted one of it’s biggest star’s in Villeneuve to F1 with promise of a frontline drive. The last CART star to venture to F1 was Michael Andretti in 1993 for McLaren which was complete disaster. Did Williams fear they were going to experience Andretti 2.0 and thought Villeneuve would only last a year and go back to CART with his tail between his legs?

While Hill did end up getting sacked he did what all of us aspire to do in our jobs; leave a place better than we found it.


$10K Fantasy Garage- Matt’s Rat Boxes

April 2, 2013 at 2:01 am

I really thought this would be easier than it actually was.  I started this out with a few cars and trucks I would like and picked them.  Then when I was left with about $200, I knew I had to revamp my choices. So sit back, and enjoy my collection of rat boxes for under $10,000.

1964 Chevrolet C10 Custom Cab: $2,950

1964ChevyC10Cust Everyone needs a pick up truck, and this was the best one I could find with in this price range.  The seller says this truck runs, but the only catch is that seller bolted on fenders and put in a ’61 GMC V6 engine along with a 4 speed transmission, which only makes this truck “Yard Driveable” (for now).  This truck is a 1/2 ton, which means you’d be able to haul a lot of hay, dirt, and tractor parts in your hick truck.


1984 Pontiac Grand Prix: $3500

1984GP This is my fun beater- something that I can spin the tires with and impress the ladies, as long as they like old beaters whose hoods don’t latch on completely.  Pontiac has always made great vehicles, but unfortunately, due to the economy, the ceased production and this company shut down a few years ago.  Here are some vehicle specifics from the seller: recent V6 231 motor and TCI 200-4R transmission, polyurethane bushings and recent front end work.


1970 International Fire Truck: $2,795

1970 IntFT Of course, I would need to find an emergency beater!  This was taken out of service from a fire department in 2007.  According to the seller, it starts right up, and drives well.  In addition to this, the lights siren work, and this truck is capable of spraying foam.  The only downfall is that a warranty is not included.  If you can get over that, then you will definitely enjoy cruising down the back roads with your 5 speed manual transmission.  Surprisingly, this truck only has 2,433 miles on it, which means the call volume for this department must be extremely low.

I believe this leaves me with approximately $700 left over, which will probably be used for towing expenses when all of these break down in the middle of no where.



2013 World of Wheels

April 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm


Sons of Taki take a trip to the 2013 Boston World of Wheels. Check out the photos here:

World of Wheels 2013

Brett Quinn – A Sons of Taki Hero

March 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Legacy GT Update #2

The Leggy GT will live. Planet Subaru Service Manager  Brett Quinn called me this afternoon to give me the news. Subaru decided to cover the costs of the repairs to the Leggy GT, all I need to do was pay the small deductible (which is minimal in the grand scheme of things). Brett will now order new cylinder heads, a short block and turbo (basically I’m getting a whole new engine). I greatly appreciate Brett’s hard work over the past week in helping the Sons of Taki cause and allowing the Leggy to live.

I laughed as he was somewhat apologetic in that it may take a few weeks to get done, I told him I didn’t care; the fact that he did a great job and the wonderful people at Subaru decided to cover the cost was more than enough to satisfy me. Hell, I wasn’t losing my shirt by having to spend a fortune on repairs nor would I have to look for a new car when this one wasn’t paid off.

So once again, thank you Brett Quinn, if we ever make it big and have a Hall of Fame, you may be a candidate for our first class

When a Legacy GT becomes a Legacy

March 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm


What the sound of metal going through a wood chipper sounds like

What the sound of metal going through a wood chipper looks like


My relationship with my Legacy GT has hit an all time low. Over the weekend I was on my way to visit fellow Son of Taki Jeff Lavery for some burgers and car talk when the CEL came on. For my Leggy, this is a common occurrence especially since the car misfires and throws a CEL light in any temperature under 40 degrees. So I carried on; as I got closer to SOT’s Southern headquarters (of course being too late to turn around) I heard a clunk or two which wasn’t part of the Leggy’s monthly light show.

On the return trip to SOT’s coastal base, the noises got worse and more frequent as I got closer to home. Coming from a fairly Catholic family, I  began reciting every prayer I learned during 11 years of CCD and 8 combined years of Catholic High School and College. The car made it home but the sound it made when I stepped on the accelerator can only be described as pieces of metal being put in a wood chipper.

There are some great mechanics that maintain the SOT fleet and I had an oil change booked with one of them for two days later, so I contacted them and told them what the situation was and I would drop the car so they could look at it first thing the next morning (it being Sunday). I feared the worst, with it being a broken rod or a blown turbo

The plan was to drive the car to the shop which was a ten minute drive and have my SOT brother and real life brother Matt meet me there. Right in the middle of this trip is my office where I had to pick up some gear for a shoot that night. So I take off from my house with the chipper in full force, I get to the first traffic light and it dies. I fire it up and goes but in a very limp fashion. The only way I can get the car to move is by shifting it. I’m shifting to keep the car moving while praying it doesn’t die in the middle of a busy road and I can at least get to my office.

Thankfully the next light I encounter is green and I limp through that with the slow silver woodchipper and crawl into my office parking lot. I step out of the car and I’m hit with the sent of burning. I make the decision to call AAA and have them trailer it the two and half miles to its destination.

I get the call Monday afternoon from my shop with the diagnosis. The turbo has blown and was putting oil into the engine. The decision is made to send it over to the local Subaru dealership for further diagnosis and hopeful repair. Thankfully, a family member knows the service manager and was able to give him a heads up. I’ve dealt with this service manager in the past and my dealings with him have been very good.

So this leaves me carless for the time being with no timetable as to what the next step is? When will I get the car back? How much will the repair cost? Is it even worth repairing?

The last question is the one I don’t want to face as the car is less than five years old and will be paid off sometime this summer. The car doesn’t have an exorbitant amount of miles on it and I would like to keep it for a long time. My 1998 Grand Prix GT had almost as many miles as the Legacy GT did when I bought it and that ran like a true champion and was still in decent condition when I traded it in for the Legacy. The question is what to get? Do I go brand spanking new? Do I get a few years old? or do I go the Jeff Lavery route and throw caution to the wind and buy something eight years old with a decent amount of miles but is pure magic? There is an 08 R32 at Coastal VW on the lot with 30,000 odd miles on it…


I found out this morning from the Subaru Service Manager that the turbo was blown and they found pieces of metal in the oil pan. The car needs a new short block and a turbo, so basically a new engine with a total cost of $10,000. The hope is that Subaru will cover the cost (or most of it). If I end up going forward with the repairs, the Leggy will not be back on the road until close to mid April between authorization, ordering parts (insert the Fast and Furious line) and installation.

For now I am carless, bumming rides off of family members who have stepped up to the plate with their care and support. Being a car lover and on top of that being someone who is very independent; not having a car is a horrible feeling. I feel completely vulnerable and helpless, as if one of my major limbs has been torn off. It’s a feeling that it’s in the upper half of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.

Mid April cannot come soon enough.

A New Look for Buick

March 26, 2013 at 1:35 am

SOT Buick Regal                 It appears that the old man car of yesterday is now the hip, sporty car of today.  With in recent years, Buick has shifted their focus towards the younger generation with vehicles such as the Lacrosse, Lucerne, and now with the rebirth of the Regal.  Additionally, Buick also made the attempt at SUVs, such as the Rendezvous in 2001, which were not as successful as their sedans.  The only exception to this would be the Buick Enclave, a more luxurious SUV, similar to a GMC Arcadia.

Buick began this transformation to a younger audience in the spring of 2001, by introducing the 2002 Buick Rendezvous to their line up.  This was the first truck in Buick’s line up since 1923.  Comparable to the Pontiac Aztek, the Rendezvous was classified as a mid-sized crossover, which boosted Buick’s sales.  This was a great improvement in the Buick line up, lasting from 2002 up through 2007.  The Buick Rainier was the next SUV to be produced by Buick.  This full sized, luxury SUV was introduced in 2004 to replace the Oldsmobile Bravada.  The Rainier was the first rear wheel drive vehicle to be produced by Buick since the Roadmaster.  Both the Rendezvous and the Rainier were replaced in 2007 by the Buick Enclave.  In addition to these two vehicles, Buick also manufactured a minivan, the Terraza from 2005-2007.  The sale of this vehicle was quite poor in the U.S., which caused Buick to discontinue production of this model.  As previously mentioned, Buick then joined the full size luxury crossover competition, and released the Enclave in May of 2007, as a 2008 model.  This model was accepted with much praise, and similarly to the Rendezvous, has boosted Buick’s sales.

Not only has Buick transformed their appearance with the introduction of their SUVs, but also with the introduction of new sedan models from the Lacrosse and Lucerne to the Regal, Verano, and Encore.   The Lacrosse was introduced in late 2004 as a 2005 model to replace the Century and the Regal.  In Canada, the Lacrosse was originally sold as the “Allure”, since “la crosse” is translated from Quebec French as “self love”.  I have driven this vehicle before, and I can say that it is a very nice with respect to both the interior and exterior.  Additionally, it handled very well and I was very comfortable sitting in it.  The Buick Lucerne, introduced as a 2006 model, was another great product of Buick.  This vehicle replaced both the Park Avenue and LeSabre models.  It handles very well, and both its V6 and V8 version have excellent acceleration.  This luxury sedan could definitely be compared to a Cadillac in some aspects.  Unfortunately, it was discontinued in 2011, making room for new and improved Buick models.

More recently, Buick has released the Regal, Verano, and the Encore models.  The Regal, which was discontinued in 2004, began production in the US for the latest model in 2011.  This model was both advertised and sold as an “upscale sport sedan”.  I have not personally driven this model, but I have yet to hear anything negative about it.  Buick also introduced its first compact sedan, a 2012 Verano, since the 1997 Skylark.  This vehicle appears to be very fuel efficient, as it is comparable to the Chevrolet Cruze. Finally, Buick has most recently added the Encore to their product line.  Unveiled in 2012, and sold in the U.S. beginning in January 2013, the Encore is the first subcompact crossover to be produced by Buick.  This crossover is comparable to Opel’s Mokka.

As you can see, Buick is no longer the old man, last ride car that we once knew it as.  With Buick’s improvements with in the past 10 years, I see big thing in their future, especially now that they have extended their customer range from young adults to older adults.

The Butterfly Throttle Collector

March 20, 2013 at 7:22 pm


“And the small fame that you acquired. Has brought you into cult status but me you’re still a collector” – The Butterfly Collector by The Jam

What exactly defines a cult classic or cult status with a car? We all can throw out the names of several vehicles when asked the question but there isn’t a true definition of the phrase.

To me a cult classic at it’s basic is a unique car that has a religious following for one reason or another and can be  purchased (new or used) by a reasonable amount of members of the cult. Ferrari’s, Zonda’s are not cult classics; 1st generation VW GTI’s, E30’s and WRX’s are cult vehicles. These cars aren’t the fastest, the best handling or the magazine darlings but they earn their places because they offer something unique and special to the common man who is an auto enthusiast.

Part of the definition for me requires the car in question to be something not mainstream beloved and possibly be ultimate spec of the car anyone would buy. Look at cars such as Civic Si’s, the original SHO’s, 850R’s and Galant VR4’s. Their base models were everywhere and blindly bought by the masses with the purpose of just getting from point a to point b.

I look at my current car as being/with the potential to be a cult classic: the 4th Generation Legacy GT (The wagon has already achieved that status). The 4th generation Leggy GT offered an alternative to those wanting to be a bit different than everyone else who had a WRX or STI. The 4th generation allowed the driver to get the benefits of  it’s younger, wilder looking brother but without cops, thieves and the insurance companies breathing down our necks.Subaru has lost of the plot with the 5th generation Legacy making it a bloated four wheel drive Camry alternative. The new car may have more power and options but it lacks the soul of the previous generation.

Soul, that’s it, cult cars must be cars that most can afford but have soul.

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