Joe Diffie, R.I.P.

Fullscreen capture 3302020 11738 PM.bmpJoe Logan Diffie may not be somebody that you would normally associate with things that roll.  However, one of his best-known songs is “Pickup Man,” which spent four weeks at the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts between December 1994 and January 1995.  But Mr. Diffie will forever hold a sentimental place in my heart because of a special day in December, 1995. Continue reading

Hurry, Hurry, Get Your Miatas Now, While They’re NOT!

l used to get a great monthly called  Hemmings Sports And Exotic Car Magazine.  And like everything Hemmings does, for 12 years it was first class in everything it did.  However, the home office pulled the plug on it in 2017, and l have not found a suitable substitute yet.

Fullscreen capture 3232020 101732 AM.bmpMore than anything, the magazine covered stories of small sports car evaluations; it featured scarce and ancient marques, and also it showed step-by-step restorations of British (and other, but mainly British) sports (and exotic) cars of the 1960s, 70s, and more.  From full off-frame restorations to presenting surviving sports and exotic cars in their originality, the magazine was automotive eye candy. Continue reading

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?

Continue reading