The Mystery Machine

1969 was a very good year because it gave us very good things. Here’s one of ‘em: Scooby-Doo. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of when it first aired back in September 13, 1969, I’ve brought back an early post close to my heart. Originally published on December 3, 2015 on CarLustBlog.com, it’s been edited (mostly formatting for better flow), expanded, did some hyperlink replacement, plus added a couple of new pics, but it’s still pretty much the same.

Author’s note: I’m going to focus on the Mystery Machine we all know and love. Even though I’ve watched a lot of Scooby-Doo over the years and because the Scooby universe is quite large, details will be missed. Not even as a kid could I have watched it all. And some of the stuff is just plain unwatchable! Update: I no longer watch Cartoon Network as often as I used to; I’m down to just watching one cartoon from ‘em. I gave up on the so-called home of Scooby-Doo, Boomerang -formerly CN’s vintage cartoons channel- ever since it got reworked for 2015. So I’m not up to par with their releases… if they’re promoted at all.

The Mystery Machine. The oftentimes unsung member of Mystery Inc. Thanks to this, well, machine (and the A-Team van), I believed, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, that vannin’ was cool. The appeal of traveling around the country, no, the world in your custom van with your friends is just too appealing for a naïve, car-loving kid. Today, the Mystery Machine brings me memories of those days.

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Gung Ho (1986), a review:

Hunt Stevenson (Michael Keaton) had one job: convince the Japanese car company Assan Motors to invest in a closed down automobile plant of his economically-spiraling-downward hometown. No pressure, right? Luckily for him, and his town, he succeeded. An Assan Motors management team is flown in and greeted with an equivalent of a hero’s welcome. The plant is quickly set up and the local workforce –after reluctantly accepting some temporary agreements – is hired back. Everything’s peachy. Until they get to work. The auto workers want to build cars their way just like before: relaxed –almost lackadaisical- pace, with lots of flexibility. Happy worker, happy company. Assan management wants to implement their way of building cars: strict, efficient, and disciplined, with the company as #1. Happy company, happy worker. Trouble on both sides start brewing and intermediary Hunt is stuck in the middle. When animosity leaves the plant and into daily life -whether at a softball match or in the grocery store- you know things are bad.

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History Channel’s The Cars that Made America, a review:

In honor of Lee Iacocca, who passed away on July 2nd, at 94.

Please ignore the too-handsome portrayal of Louis Chevrolet. Only his last name is of any relevance in this documentary.

History Channel’s The Cars that Made America is a documentary that tells how the automobiles made by the likes of Henry Ford, Horace and John Dodge, Walter Chrysler, etc. came to shape the United States and beyond. 

Henry Ford rose from failure to risk everything in an automobile race in order to prove that he could build a good automobile. He did, because he won. He surrounded himself with engineering talent to help build the perfect car. These were John and Horace Dodge. Through their efforts, the Model T was born. But that was just the beginning. The implementation of the moving assembly line as well as game-changing labor decisions made a great-selling car even more so. Ford even had the gumption to go head-to-head in court with the man the claimed the patent rights for the automobile, George Selden. Ford won, doing everyone with the desire to build an automobile a solid favor: no royalty fees. When the dust settled, around 15 million Model Ts roamed the Earth. But Ford wasn’t the only game in town…

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