2001-2010 Chrysler PT Cruiser

20 years ago, the New Millennium arrived after much anticipation. Just a couple of months into the Millennium, another much anticipated arrival was released to become one of the definitive cars of the era. What better way to begin a new decade here at ItRolls than to talk about a machine that’s celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the polarizing Chrysler PT Cruiser?

Way… as long as it’s the one-year-only Seamist Green Metallic, preferably one of allegedly 146 GT (turbo) models, but it has to be a manual. And have the factory rear wing.

Ah, the PT Cruiser. While I didn’t realize how big this car’s release was at the time, I knew it was something else. Back when I was getting better educated with automobiles (makes, models, prices, etc.), Motor Trend magazine was testing one for a year, and the reporter stated something along the lines that it still got as much looks and double takes as if it was a Ferrari. Can’t say I blame the viewing public: there‘s nothing that looked like a PT Cruiser. Then there were folks that couldn’t leave it alone: that Monster Garage episode drove that home for me when a modified PT Cruiser came in with a bunch of accessories for the PT Cruiser that was being transformed into a wood chipper (don’t be surprised: this was standard fare for Monster Garage). It even appeared in PlayStation’s Gran Turismo racing simulator series! Simply put, the PT Cruiser was part of the automotive enthusiast landscape. Heck, enthusiasts could subscribe to Cruiser Quarterly magazine!

Time passed. After 9 years of production, the PT Cruiser was discontinued. Some more time passed. I’ve been immersed in automobilia for quite a while now, thanks to the Internet and a bigger variety of car books and magazines when available. But some years ago, I discovered something that took me by surprise: the PT Cruiser is derided. Hated. Loathed.

What happened?

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The 2010s, a look back:

The 2010s. What a decade, right? Every single decade brings changes from the one before, and the 2010s is one for the history books!  With the decade coming to a close, a view back is in order. Not a full retrospective, because let’s face it, a lot of things that happened felt like it was just yesterday.

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Gone in 60 Seconds (1974), a review:

The art of the girl is a model used for some of the movie promo material. This movie poster had her aggressive facial features changed for a softer look akin to female protagonist Pumpkin Chase (Marion Busia), who didn’t show any leg whatsoever in the movie. Ergo, the tiger is more relevant than the poster girl. The movie is PG-13 by today’s standards.

Maindrian “Vicinsky” Pace knows the insides and outs of the insurance game. Good enough to run a professional theft ring, complete with a chop shop. But he’s not so bad; he only steals cars that are insured, meaning that the owners don’t get completely screwed. He lands a $400,000 contract from an Argentinian customer to steal 48 cars and have ‘em ready to ship by the predetermined deadline.

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Ford v Ferrari, a review:

Ford v Ferrari officially debuted about two weeks ago with great critical success. Unfortunately, overhyped sequels are debuting or are soon to debut. If you need to get away, watch this movie instead. But in order to convince you, there will be spoilers.

Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) is pissed. Slow sales will do that. He welcomes any ground-shaking idea to inject some life into the Ford Motor Co. Lee Iacocca (John Bernthal) has one: bring European flair into the company. It’s what the kids like. All they have to do is buy a struggling Italian icon of speed and cool: Ferrari. Everything was going smoothly… until word got out to the Agnelli family, owners of Fiat. They quickly give Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) an even better offer. What sealed the deal in favor of Fiat wasn’t just the money, it was that Ford would ultimately make important decisions on the Ferrari racing program, the department where Enzo’s heart and soul resided. No wonder he dismissed the Ford crew with some choice words…

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The 2019 Nashville British Car Club Show

Fullscreen capture 10122019 15556 PM.bmpl haven’t done one of these in a while, maybe for a couple of reasons.  First, these shows are usually held at The Parthenon in Nashville, and in recent years, parking for the event has been moved to a distant and inconvenient location.  Second, driving in Nashville traffic, especially on the weekends, is now something l try to avoid at all costs.  Except for infrequently doing a radio show on Music Row, there is very little that can attract me to drive in Music City any more.

But this year, it’s my understanding that the grand Greek structure and area is undergoing some construction, so a new location was found.  And as it turned out, that spot was not far from my home.  So l fired up the Miata, drove some nice country roads over to Brentwood, and spent some time wandering about these classic and classy British motor cars. Continue reading