Lamborghini Cheetah

12341359_10153112234817100_1196637794281561291_nCHEETAH! Like the cat for which it was named, this high-performance vehicle has explosive acceleration, high speed, and sure footed agility over virtually all terrain. This spirited machine combines rugged multi-purpose utility with the latest technology developed during years of tough, record-breaking racing and torturous North and Central American desert and mountain regions, Cheetah’s strong simplified design utilizes a minimum number of parts and provides convenient accessibility. The result is a tough, hard-working vehicle that is easy to operate and maintain. Only by personally experiencing Cheetah can you fully comprehend this new definition of agility, mobility and utility. We call it Cheetah… you’ll call it MIRACULOUS!

–Lamborghini Cheetah brochure introduction (1977)

One of my earliest automotive exploits on the World Wide Web was to find out about this mythical Lamborghini off-roader. Use your kid-brain: the company that made a low-slung car and had the audacity to indirectly name it after the devil made an off-roader. The results must’ve been downright demonic!

My search led me to a page that talked about the Cheetah. The fact that Lamborghini used such a cool name that evoked thoughts of speed and agility made by pulse race. But just as I felt that I discovered the Lost Ark of the Covenant, my hopes were dashed when further reading revealed not only that it didn’t progress beyond prototype stage, it was a handful to drive to say the least. To rub salt on the wound, it’s said that the rig was destroyed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve revisited the Cheetah. For one thing there are far more pictures now. Not a huge variety, but far more than back then. Continue reading

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Speedway (1929), a review:

Turner Classic Movies likes to release a number of movies from their collection in batches to form a theme. War movies, Clint Eastwood movies, Dracula movies, etc. I just so happened to find out that they were gonna give car movies, so I recorded those whose reviews garnered my attention. Warning: spoilers ahead!

Speedway DVD box

Speedway is the first and so far only silent racing film I’ve seen. Taking place in the late 1920s, it’s the story of Bill Whipple (William Haines), a pompous young man who puts on airs of being a great driver. He is an ace mechanic, though. His talents do get to shine… racing on the rival team, against Jim Macdonald (Ernest Torrence), Bill’s adoptive father who owns and drives his own car for a living. Only after bringing out the best of said rival team’s car does he get pushed aside, forced to sit at the sidelines to see that rather than being on a team as a mechanic where he is loved despite his faults, now he belonged to no one. Continue reading

The 1956 Chrysler Norseman Show Car

Andrea just sunkOn the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean lies the wreck of a magnificent ocean liner with some precious automotive cargo still inside.  The ship was struck at night while on her way to New York and sank with loss of life.

This vessel is not the Titanic, but rather the Andrea Doria, pride of the Italian LineShe sank on July 26, 1956, after a collision with the MS Stockholm the night before.  At 160 feet down you could touch her hull; at 240 you can touch mud.

Somewhere in a cargo hold is a show car that never made it to America for display.  It is a 1956 Chrysler Norseman, or rather the 1956 Chrysler Norseman, as only one was ever made.  And more amazingly, both the Andrea Doria and the Norseman began their lives in 1953, then sank together three years later.

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Great Cars of Ireland

Originally published at Amazon’s “Car Lust” blog on March 17, 2011.  Edited and updated.

Here, for your St. Patrick’s Day viewing pleasure, is a picture of the most Irish of all possible Irish cars, a lovely green De Lorean DMC-12.

Green DMC

Pot of gold sold separately, leprechaun not included.

Ah, faith and begorrah (whatever the heck a “begorrah” is), sure as you’re born ’tis more to the story of Irish automobiles than green DeLoreans. Follow me to the end of the rainbow and we’ll take a look. (I promise to lose the phony accent.)

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Great Commercials: Heineken’s “When You Drive, Never Drink” with Sir Jackie Stewart

Responsibility may be any advertiser’s foremost concern.  So when you make an excellent adult beverage as Freddy Heineken does, you would want to promote the proper use of said beverage.  And if you just signed an agreement with Formula One as the Series’ “Global beer partner,” you might really want to put your best image forward.

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