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Thursday Trivia

Robert Emslie December 3, 2015 Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia

Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!

This week’s question: What was Ford of Europe’s first fuel injected production car, and when did it debut?

If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right. … Continue Reading

Redusernab Asks: What’s History’s Greatest Four-Cylinder Engine?

Robert Emslie December 3, 2015 Redusernab Asks

Pagé_1917_Model_T_Ford_Car_Figure_08

While the V8 engine may be the most American of mills, four cylinders are presently power over half the cars sold in the U.S.. They represent a far higher percentage of sales in other countries. With so many on the road, and in the history books, you might think that there’s been one over all these years that stands crank and cam above the rest.

The 1895 Buffum was the first, and since then fours have come in flat, vee, and inline forms and from every corner of the planet. Relatively simple to make and to run, the four cylinder engine has also enjoyed extraordinary success on the racing circuit in nearly every category. But track or street, which one’s the best? Whether it’s owed to competence, importance, or just power production, what do you think ranks as history’s greatest four cylinder engine?

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Last Call: Looking Forward Edition

Robert Emslie December 2, 2015 Last Call

Chrysler 1958

Chrysler described their new 1956 brands as ‘Forward Looking‘ a phrase that I think must always be presented in italics. Back then the company offered five distinct marques – Imperial, Chrysler, Desoto, Dodge, and Plymouth – all wearing Virgil Exner-influenced styling. Can you pick them all out in the image above? Here’s a clue, the North American F-86K is the one in the back.

Last Call indicates the end of Redusernab’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

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Craigslist Crapshoot

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist

Welcome to Craigslist Crapshoot, our weekly search for the most bizarre, awesome, and/or terrible vehicles that the online classifieds has to offer. 

Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word. That’s just what we went for last week – bird-named vehicles – the better the deal the… well, better. We’ll fly in just a sec, but first this week’s quest.

Volkswagen may be having a lot of corporate shenanigans at present, but back in the day they were just about the most ernest car maker on the planet. They took a platform that was designed in the 1930s and wrung it out for all it was worth, and then some. One derivation of that platform was the Type 3, the company’s first take on a car larger than the Beetle. Those were offered as a handsome notch, a sporty fastback, and a capacious small wagon, also known as the Squareback. This week we need to find the best deals in Type 3s, whether they be solid citizens in need of some love, or fully restored or resto-modded cars that look like they’re underpriced.

As always, we want your finds to go down in infamy and not in the site’s spam filter. Since we’ve changed commenting systems, you may need to update your commenter account. Make sure you have a Disqus account – they’re free and easy to get – and then comment away.

Got that? Good, now let’s do some birddogging.

… Continue Reading

Redusernab Asks: What Was The Worst Home Market To U.S. Car Transformation?

Robert Emslie December 2, 2015 Redusernab Asks

Lancia Scorpion

Once when immigrants came to this country many were given Americanized names so that those processing them at Ellis Island wouldn’t get their tongues tied in knots calling the next in line for the tuberculosis test. I’m just kidding, the legend of immigrant’s names being changed en-masse as they went through Ellis is not in fact true. Oh sure, some people did change their names, seeking a clean slate in a new land, but that was of their own volition.

The same couldn’t be said of the changes that were affected to a lot of immigrant automobiles in the 1970s and ’80s. U.S. safety regulations at the time were very different form those in Europe and Japan, and they required cars be modified – sometimes almost beyond recognition – in order to be met. That resulted in bumpers you could picnic on, headlights that only partially fit the aesthetic of the rest of the car’s nose, and sometimes ride height adjustments that made every car coming off the boat look like it had just waded through the surf.

Not every Americanized car was a styling disaster and of course those that weren’t aren’t our intent today. Instead, we want to talk abomination- cars, and the few trucks that came to America only to be dressed in funny clothes and be mercilessly laughed at. Which one of those do you think suffered the worst home market to U.S. transformation?

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Last Call: Going Out on a Limb Edition

Robert Emslie December 1, 2015 Last Call

image

Ouch is right! That’s either one really long limb, or this is a rare front-engine Cayman prototype.

Last Call indicates the end of Redusernab’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged. 

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Track Tuesday: Name That Track

Robert Emslie December 1, 2015 Track Tuesday

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 9.35.39 AM

Welcome to Track Tuesday where you are asked to identify a (maybe) famous race or test track from just one closely-cropped aerial image. This week; clouds. Good luck!

Image: ©2015 Redusernab/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Redusernab Asks: What Car’s Dashboard Do You Absolutely Hate?

Robert Emslie December 1, 2015 Redusernab Asks

DSCN5907

What is the part of the car that you – its owner – spends the greatest amount of time staring at? Well, if you’re an Alfa Romeo owner it’s most likely some part that requires you either popping the hood or getting under the car to see. For the rest of us however – flying by you Alfa owners on the side of the road – it’s typically the dashboard that gets the most eyeball time.

That’s not always a good thing as dashboard designs, and their general ergonomics, are as varied as types of dogs, and of course there are examples of both dogs and dashes that can and will just piss you off. It may be an aesthetic aberration that doesn’t jive with your personal sense of cool design language, or maybe it’s a control placement or quality of feel decision that just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to you. Whatever the cause, it makes you cross.

I recently had the displeasure of discovering the latter issue whilst otherwise enjoying a new 2016 Ford F150 pickup. What I found was that, while the knob-driven trailer steering feature was innovative and cool, the knob itself was somewhat cheap and crummy feeling. Not what I was expecting from a vehicle that costs over $50 grand, and whose maker wants to continue its reign as America’s best seller. Have you had a similar experience with a dash? What is the auto dashboard that really steams your beans?

Image: ©2015 Redusernab/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Last Call: Tale O’ the Tail Edition

Robert Emslie November 30, 2015 Last Call

cat wiper

Windshield wipers stopped working? Don’t worry, Mr. Nibbles says ‘I got this.’

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Hoonivercinema: Monday Movie Trailer

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters
Remakes of classic movies are almost never a good idea. The end results usually pale in comparison to the original, and often are vilified by the previous film’s fans for the pointless rehashing. To avoid that comparison some filmmakers loosely base their movies on earlier efforts and rename them so as to further distance their work from its source.

That’s the case with 2001’s Rat Race, the premise of which was taken from the classic comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, but which ends up being far less accomplished on all fronts. That premise here is a collection of strangers all racing to claim two-million in cash from a locker at a New Mexico train station. Unlike the original, hilarity doesn’t ensue. Like the original however, Rat Race does feature an ensemble cast, including John Cleese as the casino owner who instigates the race, and Rowan Atkinson who’s pretty much just doing Mr. Bean. Positioned as a zany comedy, it was directed by the master of such films, Jerry Zucker who also had a hand in Airplane and The Naked Gun movies. Of course, he also directed Ghost so there’s that.

Any race movie has to have cars in it, right? Well, there are a couple that make it worth your while here. There’s a 1935 Lincoln K that’s pretty sweet, a couple of VW 181 Things, a rocket car, and in what’s one of the gags that does work, monster trucks. Speaking of gags, most of them are in the trailer, which is one that is crafted so as to make the film seem like a hoot. Just watching the tailer you can get the gist of the whole movie, and you won’t have to suffer through its over-long bits or the flat spots in between. Check it out, right after the jump. … Continue Reading

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