Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mullet Mobile

While at the grocery store with my littlest wingnut this week, I bought her first toy car:



I figure it goes well with her mullet:

baby mullet


As Seen on Craigslist – 1969 Renault Dinalpin

As Seen On TV Logo copy

Sometimes, there are just certain cars that reach out and grab you by the lapels, even if it’s not typically the kind of thing you would be interested in.  I don’t know if it’s the color, the wheels, or the overall shape, but this Renault Dinalpin did just that.  I have no intentions of changing the name of this segment to “As Seen on Bring A Trailer,” and to be fair the folks at BAT do this sort of thing 100 times better than I do.  But when I saw this car, I fell in love.  The fastback profile, the sugar-scoop headlight buckets, the thin chrome bumper with rubber overriders, pleated seats – there’s just too much to love.  I’d honestly never heard of this model before (I don’t even know how to pronounce “Dinalpin”) but now I have yet another car to add to my fantasy garage.

69 Dinalpin

Bumper Cars

About once a year, either my wife or I manage to do something fantastically stupid to one of the cars (mine are usually more fantastic than hers).  There was the time, distracted by our dog, I scuffed the mirror and door of our Grand Prix on the concrete base of a parking lot light.  Then my sleep-deprived wife caught the quarter panel of her Acadia on her parents’ minivan.  A few years back, I misjudged the entrance to our garage and rubbed the door and quarter panel of my old Monte Carlo on the door frame.  That error was due in part to the layout of our driveway – because the garage doors are in the rear of our house, you have to make at least a 3-point turn to get any car lined up properly.  That layout is partially to blame for my latest act of boneheaded carnage – because I keep the Tempest in the right side of our two-car garage, the G8 sits outside most days.  Over the weekend, I had parked the G8 directly behind the side of the garage where the Acadia was parked, which normally wouldn’t be an issue (there is room to back a car out of the garage with a car parked on the pad behind it).  Unfortunately for me, the back of the Acadia was loaded with bags of clothes destined for the Goodwill.  With the back window blocked, I forgot the G8 was behind me as I backed up, and, well see for yourself:


That’s what I get for donating to charity.

After the sickening thud, I expressed my disgust with a few choice words that the kids will be repeating in no time and took stock of the damage.  I managed to hit the bumper pretty much squarely with the receiver hitch on the Acadia, which is actually for the best – if I had hit with the Acadia’s bumper I would have done more harm to the G8 and damaged the Acadia.  As it is, the paint is broken, which means just pushing out the dent is out of the question.  I’m probably looking at a whole new bumper cover, but I haven’t had the heart to get an estimate yet.  I suppose I can take solace in the fact that the bumper was already scuffed in places and had been touched up by a previous owner, but that doesn’t exactly assuage my bruised ego (or wallet).  At least this probably means I’ll be accident free for another year, right?

As Seen on Craigslist – 1976 Mini Cooper

As Seen On TV Logo copy

I don’t know much about the original Minis, and I haven’t even seen the original Italian Job movie.  What I do know is that this is one of the later cars (which probably makes it less collectable even though 99% of the people you see on a daily basis couldn’t tell the difference) and it looks adorable.  It appears to be in fantastic shape, and even though it’s not much car for the money, it would probably be a hoot to drive.  It’s amazing to see one of these parked next to a modern MINI, which is considered a small car by today’s standards – these earlier cars are positively dwarfed by the new ones.  Still, given the choice between this and a used modern MINI as a weekend driver, I’d probably take this one every time.


As Seen on Craigslist – 1963 Chevrolet Impala

As Seen On TV Logo copy

Chuck is a man of few words, and the engine and transmission are not original, but this is a pretty nice looking car.  For a variety of reasons (mostly needless nostalgia), a ’63 Impala will almost always demand a lower price than a comparable ’64 model.  The ’64 is arguably a cleaner design, but this car is no slouch in that department either.  The floor shifter is a little odd for an automatic car, but it’s complete, the chrome looks good, and you could have a dance party on the trunk lid.  What’s not to like?

As Seen on Craigslist – 1976 Pontiac Trans Am

As Seen On TV Logo copy

The facelifted 1974-76 Trans Ams may be less attractive than the 1970-73 models (an unassailable aesthetic fact, thank you very much), but the addition of the “sugar scoop” headlights, wraparound back glass, and clunky 5-mph bumpers didn’t totally destroy the fluid lines of the car like the ’79 restyle did.  The mid-year cars are still pretty in a gaudy sort of way (although I could always do without the fender spats), even though performance was certainly waning by this point.  All of that aside, this car looks quite nice for the money, although I’d take along a magnet and a flashlight to inspect the reported floor and body work.  These cars look better in dark colors, and this might be the financial sweet spot between the prettier early cars and the nostalgia-driven ’77-’78 models.  If I were shopping for one, I’d probably wait for a 4-speed, but I’ve seen far worse cars for more money.