Monday, August 27, 2018

Land Cruiser Owners- Making Oddball Vehicles Even Odder

Land Cruiser Owners- Making Oddball Vehicles Even Odder

-by Marrs

Update: I've added even more weird Cruisers!

If you have every gotten excited over any sort of offroad vehicle then you probably know exactly what the Toyota Land Cruiser is... the King of This Dirt Planet. The early generations of Land Cruisers were simple and indestructible, but as time and buyer tastes evolved Toyota had to up their game in terms of ride quality, interiors, and bells & whistles. This came about with the Lexus version of the 80-series, named the LX 450, which was coincidentally Lexus' first-ever SUV. Next came the 100-series, the first Land Cruiser that was arguably designed from the ground up with not only mudding and forging capabilities baked in, but also a high standard of luxury even in "base" form considering that the only real options were a sunroof and night vision. Lexus made an even more luxurious version of this rig called the LX 470 owing to it's 4.7 litre V8 shared with the Tundra pickup. By 2008 the 200-series (and LX 570) came onto the scene and improved the ride and overall luxury quotient by adding things like crawl assist and a center mounted cooler for beverages and cocaine.

Even with all of these electronic assists and unmatched offroad prowess, owners still discovered ways to "improve" on the classic rig. The limits of the human brain are few when it comes to vehicle modification so sit back, grab a high ABV beer to sooth the pain or perhaps to accelerate the joy, and enjoy all that is a custom Land Cruiser/Lexus LX.

(Full disclosure. I recently acquired a 2004 LX 470 and the joy of ownership has made me so giddy that Land Cruisers are literally all I can think about anymore. Friend: "Where do you want to go eat?"  Me: "Land Cruisers!" Friend: "Did you get tickets for the movie yet?" Me: "Land Cruisers!")

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Y'all Like Them Ralls-Roses?

Graphic design by Evan Paul

Y'all Like Them Rose-Roses?by Marrs

Fer Sale is these here three ass rigs. What we got here is some of them there Ralls-Rose foreign pieces of junk that has been Americanized to meet them needs like haulin', carryin', junkin', pushin', pullin', yankin', draggin', scootin', shovin', and muddin'. These rigs are still a little too Euro-crap to roll any coal, but sheeeeet, they do got 'em a big ol V8 for fuckin' around n' shit with your boys. 

Chili's don't got no valet parkin' son so you're gonna be on your own there, but sheeeet, who wants to eat at some fancy ass place like that anyway, we ain't the fukkin' Queen of England or nuttin'! Got-danged Cheesecake Factory might be a better place for somethin' as high falutin' as this here shit. Some good ass poon there on weeknights I'm told. Get yours!!!

Get rid of that Hillary-lookin' silver bitch on the hood, stick a big ol' 6-shooter on there (cuz 'Murica) and you gonna' be the coolest critter in the hollar. Don't like it? Well FUCK YOU libtard!!! Y'ain't gonna convert this to them there 'lectric shits neither, ain't gonna sell to just nobody, ya gotta pass my test which is pretty simple, just recite them Bible verses talkin' 'bout stonin' bitches and that which them whores n' shit and show me pics of every cousin you done fucked in the past week and we're good my man. May even take a trade if she's pretty enuff. Hell yeah!

Closin' time... time to roll to Chili's and chow down with my fukkin' boys...

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Elon Musk's Flamethrower is a Roofing Torch in Cosplay Disguise

Elon Musk's Flamethrower is a Roofing Torch in Cosplay Disguise

by Marrs

Elon Musk only just announced the ability to preorder a very Star Wars-looking flamethrower as a promotional gadget for his Boring Company tunnel-building venture, and so far the news has been aflutter with how many units have been sold (8,000 units), the value of those units ($4-million+), and how one California politician is already working to institute a ban on the gadgets.

One thing that seems overlooked so far is determining what exactly these things are? Is this a true "flamethrower" in the traditional sense or a rich-guy plaything to purchase on a whim? The answer is both, and not both at the same time. It is technically a flamethrower of course because it.... ummm... throws flames, BUT, the ATF generally defines a flamethrower as a device that can shoot a flame over 10-feet and regulates such devices as weapons. This one only forces a flame out about 1-4 feet if we base our judgement on Elon Musk's own Instagram posts showing him playing with the device in the corridors of one of his companies (possibly Space-X given the large Earth and Mars images that dominate the wall behind him).

What these devices appear to be in actuality are roofing torches used to heat and lay down tar and other roofing materials by heating them enough so they adhere in all temperatures, but outfitted with a specially-built shell that gives them the appearance of futuristic assault weapons. (Interestingly, this is also what the propmakers of Starship Troopers did to achieve their Morita Assault Rifle, they simply built fiberglass hard-cases that fit right over a functioning factory stock Ruger Mini 1.)

While roofing torches can be had for as little as $30 for your bog-standard Harbor Freight Death Inducer™, tho really pro-level units cost upwards of $400, so you can see that the markups involved in creating these fire-puking gadgets isn't really too severe when you consider the uniqueness of the item and the fact that some people pay far more than the $500 asking price on replica light sabres that, let me remind you, do not have the ability to burn a hole through your boss' office wall.

Cool stuff Elon! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Cars of Good Burger

The Cars of Good Burger
by Marrs

There are a handful of films in cinema history that are remembered almost exclusively for the cars that were featured in them... Bullit. The French Connection. Gone In Sixty Seconds. Good Burger. The Italian Job. You get the idea, each one is a suitable candidate for the Criterion Collection treatment. I’m singling out one of these today because, while just as beloved by car culture afficianados as the rest, this film has somehow escaped the detailed analysis of it's vehicular cast that every other film has been subjected to in the years since their releases. Please join me as we explore… The Cars of Good Burger.

Good Burger is a 1997 teen comedy that tells the story of Ed (Kel Mitchell), a seemingly slow-witted but well-meaning teenager who works at a local burger joint, and Dexter (Kenan Thompson) who gets a new summer job at the same place in order to pay down a debt he owes one of his Hgh School teachers for damaging his car in an early on-screen escapade. It gets pretty ridiculous from there, and be forewarned it's a spinoff from a Nickelodeon series, but it’s arguably more entertaining when translated to the big screen.

I already knew the Producers were gear heads when I saw a gold-hued Mercedes W123 sedan quickly roll past in the background as Ed first opens the front doors of Good Burger. In filmmaking, things like this are never left to chance, on a controlled street shoot every vehicle would have been specifically chosen ahead of time, rented from a “Movie Car” supplier of choice, delivered via flatbed trucks, equipped with a driver, prepped, cued, and filmed as part of that sequence.

Only minutes later we see Dexter driving a red 1995 Nissan 300zx 2+2 that is quickly identified as being “borrowed” from his mother when his friend in the passenger seat asks, “She let’s you drive this when she’s out of town?” to Dexter's curt reply, “Nope!”

Shortly after, and while driving exactly like you would expect a pre-licensed teenager to drive such a vehicle, Dexter is forced to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting a kid on in-line skates (who we can see is Ed, but Dexter only realizes this later in the film after befriending him) and crashes into the black 1993 Infiniti J30 being piloted by one of his teachers, Mr. Wheat (Sinbad).

We will take pause here to acknowledge & honor Sinbad’s wardrobe in this movie, a light handed pastiche of 70’s-ish style but perpetrated almost entirely our of what looks like an adult Halloween Hippie costume you’d find at Parties Are Us World. His tunic is further embellished with sequins and hand-Sharpied™ with an upside down peace symbol & random phrases in the least professional bit of costuming you’re likely to see this side of a regional children’s theatre production. It really goes over-the-top in that way that kids and stoners mutually enjoy, and perfectly complements Sinbad’s laugh line, ““Brother Reed, you have messed up my Afro!”

After Sinbad explains that, “This is a $22,000 car!” Dexter is forced into a deal whereby he has to get a summer job at the same Good Burger where Ed works, while still not realising Ed was the cause of this whole mess to begin with, in order to raise the funds to pay for the repairs.

While Dexter is at Good Burger applying for a job, the Manager Mr. Bailey (Dan Schneider) asks, “Any accidents on your record?” to which Dexter slyly responds, “Not to your knowledge.” Genius.

The lines delivered throughout this film are truly worthy of recognition, such is their perfection. Among my favorites is the interaction between Ed and Dexter when Dexter is told he needs to drive the Burgermobile to make deliveries. “Think you can handle it?” Ed asks… Dexter responds, “I don't know, I’ve never driven a sandwich before.”

The Burgermobile itself is a thing of wonder and amazement. A 1976 AMC Pacer outfitted in the propmaster’s best including a burger and onion motif, with pickle slices as wheel covers and french fries for bumpers and wiper arms, it's really right up there with the Bladerunner Police Spinner design in terms of reverence among the film’s fans.

Interestingly, the Burger Museum in Daytona Beach, Florida now owns the original Burger Mobile and is seeking donations for it's restoration.

Right at the 22:00 minute mark there is a transition cut where we see a small white car driving slowly past Good Burger, but I have not been able to identify it. It looks oddly Japanese AND British in styling, or maybe even Australian??? Help me out?

(UPDATE: Our own Evan Paul identified the mystery car as a Fit 124 Sport Coupe, well done!)

A few moments later comes another terrific scene, where the acting would bring even Michael Caine to his knees, when Spatch the cook is inspecting a rival burger from the new place opening across the street, he jabs his spatula beneath the patty, lifts it's obvious mass with some difficulty and watches in shame as it's heft starts to bend the handle, turns in agony and self-defeat, grunting displeasure with both the circumstances and his own inadequacies, vocalizing in Chewbacca-like tones as he exits the scene. The role of “Spatch” was played by Ron Lester, who later famously starred in Varsity Blues and passed away in June of 2016.

Directly afterwards comes this classic exchange among the staff,
“How do they do it?!?!”
“They just use more meat.”
“Awwww, poor cows.”
“I can always feed my mother cat food.”

Also, what’s up with the song that goes “feel my desire…” randomly showing up throughout the movie in the most random spots??? Maybe it's the Wilhelm Scream of this particular film.

Later, the boys confiscate a Divco Ice Cream truck for yet another madcap street mauling.

When it's all said and done and the evil guys from the rival Mondo Burger get shut down and all the baddies are arrested, Sinbad delivers his estimate to Dexter for final compensation, and just as all seems ready to be tied up in a nice little package of resolution, the giant Hamburger mascot falls from the roof and crushes Sinbad’s freshly restored Infinity.

Good Burger has a 63% Rotten Tomatoes audience score (fuck the critic’s paltry 32% rating, what movie WERE they watching???). It was rather appropriately filmed in West Covina, California, which, if you know the areas around LA, it fits rather well the “built in the 90’s” suburbia-dreamscape that matches the film's aesthetic.

Good Burger man, Good Burger.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

UAZ For It, You Got It, With This Low-tech Russian Fever Dream

UAZ For It, You Got It, With This Low-tech Russian Fever Dream

by Evan Paul

The toaster on stilts that’s been romping around Russia for the past half-century never seems to die. A product of the Soviet collective, the UAZ “Classic” commercial vehicle, formerly known as the UAZ-452, still makes an appearance on new car lots in the eastern hemisphere. Unlike the home of the Big Mac, these regions lack the law books that prevent drivers’ legs from being part of a vehicle’s framework. As a result, the beloved Bukhanka (Russian for “loaf of bread”) will leave you crawling should you encounter a bear at speed. Speed is a generous way to put it, as the big-bore 2.7 liter four coughs out a meager 112-horses. Thankfully these horses aren’t saddled with a filthy slushbox; the only way to reign them in is through a five speed manual mated to a bona-fide four wheel drive system. The transmission isn’t the only manual feature that comes standard on the UAZ Classic, though. Count on growing a pair of Popeye’s grotesque forearms should you keep those additional rubles tucked away under your ushanka, as hydraulic power steering is the sole option.

The version that tugs at my heartstrings most is simply dubbed Farmer. This agricultural namesake takes the front-heavy appearance of a cab chassis to another dimension. The three door cab with room for five sits over the engine and looks ready to faceplant at any moment. Wearing an expression of constant agony, the handsome looks of the Farmer are rounded out by a “tented platform” that’s plopped on the back of its gangly framework. Perfect for hauling potatoes or black market human organs over the roughest of landscapes, this cargo area means the Farmer can make the most of its hefty 2300+ pound payload capacity that puts some full-size Americans to shame.

Now one might ask why anyone would want an antiquated appliance like the goofy looking Farmer? The fact that it seems ready to collapse upon itself should a stray shopping cart blow too-near in a passing breeze is only part of the appeal! The exposed under-seat heater, metal dashboard, and center-mounted speedometer are brazenly resistant to modern design trends, creating an incredibly eye-catching package that’s unlike any other vehicle on the market today. Should the 25-year import rule be abolished, a new bread loaf of my own would soon be in my driveway for a menial four-digit price.

       Price: 487,000 Rubles = $8,283 USD at today's exchange rates. 


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