Burn ‘Em Up, O’Connor (1939), 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!

Burn Em Up O'Connor printscreen

Burn ‘Em Up, O’Connor tells the story of friends Jerry O’Connor (Dennis O’Keefe) and Buddy Buttle (Nat Pendleton) and their rise from the farm to the race track. Jerry is the racecar-obsessed one, willing to sleep through movies just to watch racing news reels and risk getting fired for racing the farm’s tractors. Buddy, while simple-minded, has incredible mechanical knowledge and problem-solving skills. He’s the da real MVP of this movie. Having acquired a Midget-class racecar, Jerry and a reluctant Buddy set out to race. To think that the chance would present itself when Jerry went after a girl, Jane Delano (Cecilia Parker). Continue reading

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1978-1983 Datsun 280ZX-280ZX Turbo (S130)

This post was originally published in CarLustBlog.com on August 1, 2012. Minor editing and extra pic aside, it’s pretty much the same.

1981 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 (South America market) originally from sv1amboOnce you get past the rear suspension and the 2+2 stigma, there’s a lot to like on the S130. Intrigued? Read on…

It’s not a pure sports car. We know. We always knew. We get it. Get over it.

Now that we got that out of the way…

When talking about 280ZXs, there’s no denying how AWESOME the commercials are (I’ll never look at Steve Wozniak the same way ever again). But reading up on the car showed polarizing views on them in just about every place Datsun/Nissan Z-dom is celebrated. Yet the important fact is that it did perform rather well against the competition. The Turbo versions were the fastest Japanese imports in the North-American market. Early 280ZX Turbos kicked their contemporary rivals’ butts, a list that include the Corvette, all the pony-cars, and the likes of the Porsche 924, Ferrari 308 and Jaguar XJ-S in non-cornering tests. Not bad for non-intercooled machinery, eh? Despite its luxury upbringing, the 280ZX didn’t weight that much compared to its previous iteration. While there were WAY more design submissions for what was to become chassis-code S130, the designers kept a lot of the styling cues of the original Z. At the very worst, its Ferrari Daytona-like looks (you can’t deny it, it’s there) lends itself well to replicas.

Yes, the 1982 facelifted non-2+2 models, with the introduction of the Turbo AND manual transmission combo (previously, only slushbox-equipped Turbos were available from the factory), power rack and pinion that replaced the recirculating-ball unit, plus revised rear suspension geometry, make ‘em the most desirable, performance-wise. But do the lack of these features on earlier cars make ‘em any less lust-worthy? Continue reading

The Big Wheel (1949), 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!

moviepostershop.com the-big-wheel-movie-poster-1949-1020251252

The Big Wheel tells the story of Billy Coy (Mickey Rooney) and his desire to be the best racecar driver, like his late father “Cannonball” Coy before him. He and his mother Mary Coy (Spring Byington) moved to the west coast, got a job with his father’s former riding mechanic and now racecar owner Arthur “Red” Stanley (Thomas Mitchell), and began fielding his little hot-rod on local tracks. After wrecking his own car and a borrowed Midget-class racecar, he finally caught a break after lucking out into substituting a comically injured driver, becoming part of another team after displaying great skill. Success came quickly… and so did the party-hard lifestyle. Continue reading

What Did Jesus Drive (WDJD)?

Note: This post first ran at Car Lust, ermmm, many moons ago (I don’t remember the first time) and has appeared regularly at Easter.

A somewhat farcical question to be sure, but one that we here at Car Lust are more than JesusDrivingwilling to throw ourselves into with gusto. This post has as its ultimate source a small movement some years ago by environmentally-directed religious groups to get people out of their gas-guzzling SUVs and into smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. While the merits of this quest of theirs is beyond the scope of this post, it nevertheless spurred me to ponder the question: Just what did Jesus drive?

Admittedly, a small treatise on the wheeled vehicles present in the early 1st century AD Levant isn’t all that relevant to modern drivers. OTOH, it’s still (IMO) a useful exercise that may shed some light on our common wheeled heritage going back a bit further than the initial stabs at automobiles early in the preceding century. Besides, a little foray into ancient history never hurt anybody and it might add another small  dimension of humanity to the divine that many of us are celebrating this coming weekend.

So, come with me as we journey back 2,000 years to see what sort of wheels our Car Lusting forebears were perhaps drooling over and come at least a little closer to answering the age-old question of: What Did Jesus Drive?

(Yes, there are many potential answers. However, it should be obvious that if Jesus did come back today, He would certainly drive a 15-passenger Econoline van: room for the 12 Apostles, plus the two Marys, of course!)

Continue reading