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March 2021 Car Spotter Channel


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OK, Time to start posting about what you have seen for the Month of March on the Road!

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This year, I have seen a growing increase in lifted 4x4 Mercedes Sprinter vans. The latest had a nice mountain scene on the glass that was parked just a couple spaces away from me at the mountain for skiing.

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My only worry is them tipping over on me on the highway when a gust of wind comes along. 

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It’s a boring cold late winters day.  Spotted an Uplander panel van still at work.  Haven’t seen one of these in ages. 

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Edited by Robert Hall
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@Robert HallLooks like some serious rust on the back door and that sliding door.

WOW, agree with you that I have not seen one of these in a decade or longer.

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Interesting day, by my boring standards, anyway ...

Friday, on a two-lane country road:

Last Buick LaCrosse with the smaller, blacked out oval grille, so probably 2007.  It was silver.  It was immaculate.  I thought the grille was weak, but having it blacked out is a nicer treatment.  I wish they had partially blacked out mine instead of all the shiny metalized plastic bling.

Right behind it ... a Monte Carlo LT coupe of about the same year.  It was also silver.  It was also immaculate.  Good to see those were in it for the long haul.

In two different country bumpkin driveways, a red Alero sedan and a silver Alero sedan.  Both were spotless and shiny.  It's nice to see that these little 2.4 Ecotec sleds have been so reliable for people, lasting some 17+ years, when some early Mercedes 190 sedans turned out to be problematic throw-away cars.

Again, I once had a rented Alero coupe out of Spokane Airport and also drove it into British Columbia and Alberta, and it was fine, but I never would have thought it would have made for such a durable vehicle.

Edited by trinacriabob
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On 3/4/2021 at 4:10 PM, Robert Hall said:

It’s a boring cold late winters day.  Spotted an Uplander panel van still at work.  Haven’t seen one of these in ages. 

E01A381B-F0DC-4673-BC68-A54B6A678016.jpeg

I am not sure but think there was some nameplate overlap/change at Chevy with the Uplander and the Venture.

Either way, when the dual sliding door for rows 2 and 3 came into being, Chevy ran a cool print ad campaign with a dolphin "in flight" going through the supposedly open 2 sets of sliding doors.  One doesn't easily forget a visual like that.

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On 3/7/2021 at 4:52 PM, trinacriabob said:

Again, I once had a rented Alero coupe out of Spokane Airport and also drove it into British Columbia and Alberta, and it was fine, but I never would have thought it would have made for such a durable vehicle

GM got many things right in the late 1990s. Especially with Oldsmobile. But got sooooooo many things wrong. 

Id say the only drawback to the Alero were the engine choices.    Well, the 3400 6 cylinder.  It wasnt a bad engine per se. But the Alero deserved a lot more than that.  It had all the right suspension tuning and precision driving control BS that GM advertised that made the Alero drive more European which was a great move, but the 3400 only made 185 horsepower and close to 200 Ft/lbs of torque.  Which was good enough. But good enough was NOT enough.  Oldsmobile should have put the Shortstar 3.5 in there.

1. It was a bonafide  Oldsmobile engine

2. It had the necessary dual overhead cam design that foreign buyers wanted AND what Oldsmobile was aspiring to be anyway at that point in time

3. The Shortstar had the 200 plus necessary HP to equal and pull ahead of its competition... (for the time) 

Offering a DOHC 4 cylinder AND a DOHC 6 cylinder would have been dope for Oldsmobile and the Alero.  Oldsmobile was just there to make a breakthrough with foreign loving buying Americans.  Oldsmobile got sooooo much closer than what Saturn ever got to be and today's Buick.    The Alero would have been THAT much MORE of a success.  And THAT could have pushed the Intrigue to be successful too at the turn of the new millennium.  GM might not have been so eager to shut down Oldsmobile so fast like they did.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the land of the rising Sun, I found this imported Toyota Right Hand driving Land Cruiser. Turbo 4 banger 4x4

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15 hours ago, David said:

From the land of the rising Sun, I found this imported Toyota Right Hand driving Land Cruiser. Turbo 4 banger 4x4

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The turbo in a J80 like that would be a 4.2 inline 6 diesel. 

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I was just going to comment on how I saw 3 EV CUVs today on the way to a junk food grocery run but Balthy's Cutlass convertible just makes my news seem irrelevant and nondescript...

Since I did come here to post something...

1. Tesla's red hued Model Y.  Parked at the grocery store.   Although the Model Y would be the frumpiest and ugliest of all Tesla vehicles, I must admit, Tesla's red colour is awesome and it goes very nice with this CUV... 

2. White Ford Mustang Mach E. A suburban 35-40 year old milf-ey wife with two kids in the back.  Divorcee? and part of her settlement was to purchase this to stick it to her cheating ex. Or maybe SHE was the one cheatin' and her new beau bought her this?

  All speculative of course as I like to conjure up stories in my head when Im out and about trying to entertain myself when my wife and kids are not with me...  

3. Black Jag iPace.     Boring Jag. Nothing of interest to report other than it was...black.  I didnt even want to bother with who was driving it...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

The turbo in a J80 like that would be a 4.2 inline 6 diesel. 

That is cool to know, I wonder if the 4 means 4L diesel then? I thought the Turbo 4 meant 4 cyclinder.

I honestly know nothing about these Japanese Land Cruisers, but was cool to see it here.

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March 21

First day of spring!

I saw this late model Corvette in a valet zone.  I'm not sure if I like this metallic salmon color (most likely custom, and not stock) but I do like many metallic rust colors, especially on sports cars. 

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As far as sports cars go, they're interesting how they've moved across the generations, unique, and a home grown American story.

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March 22

I was in the parking lot for an adjacent merchant (three guesses and the first two don't count) and this "Schwinn bicycle blue metallic" sports car caught my attention - the current mid-engine Corvette.

This was a big leap for this car.  It has taken a while to get used to it because it has had different proportions for decades.

It might be one of the few expensive eye catching cars I'd consider if I had money to burn ... not.  I'll take it in silver with a maroon leather interior.

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I think they did a good job with the redesign.

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I've found the C8 to look better in person than in photos.  And especially looks good in dark colors, which show off the dozens of creases on the frunk lid and bodysides.  Not a fan of white or the dayglo cartoon colors, really like the bronze w/ tan leather interior.  

Edited by Robert Hall
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• new black Bentley convertible, paralleled parked illegally with flashers on (special people).
• new black Rolls sedan, driving.
• late '70s dull brown hulking Ranchero, yard-parked. 
• fiberglass "Mini T" T-bucket hot rod, body must've been built in the '70s, rollin in traffic. 

Edited by balthazar
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Spotted a solid red '70 Ford Torino GT convertible in a driveway, looked like it was being worked on. 

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Spotted my first e-Golf in the wild even though that was a compliance EV today running to Home Depot. If not for the name on the back of the auto, looks just like any other golf.

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March 28 - today

Spotted this final gen Monte Carlo ... they look great in white and with the optional alloy wheels.

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I have a soft spot for these and get some cognitive dissonance (the last larger GM coupe within the more reasonably priced brands), seeing that they have held up so well.

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It tends to be more civil over here ...

Ok, this backs up to mid-March, because it was when I was at the dealership for service.

In the showroom:

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GMC Acadia dashboard

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GMC Acadia engine compartment - with the 3.6 L VVT V6

This is probably the only SUV/CUV I like.  The Acadia has always been among the better looking in this segment, with its clean lines.  I actually like the dashboard quite a bit.  Also, GM currently features "cleaner" looking engine (ICE) compartments than does the competition.  The Acadia slots it nicely in price point between Buick Encore and Envision.

* still thinking along the lines of a basic $29 K Dodge Charger *

 

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Last day of March

Some spotting occurring over several days this month.

It's nice to see so many well maintained last-gen Pontiac Grand Prix vehicles on the road - in base 3800 form, and also in supercharged 3800 and 5.3 V8 forms.

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A fairly timeless shape that has held up well.

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 I like the slightly different grille of the GXP compared to the base model.

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Here's a base model seen at a Sonic.  If they had incorporate the GXP grille and amended the headlamps along those lines, I think they would have sold a few more of these.  The question is whether they would have cannibalized from other W-body sales, or even picked up a few would-be Ford Taurus buyers.

White is the best color for the last GP.  I still have a slight bit of cognitive dissonance and a soft spot for this vehicle.  They were reasonably priced for what you got.  I've had them as rentals several times and have driven them for quite a few miles.

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^ that white GP looks like the rental I had in Oregon back in '05 when I got stuck for 7 hours to go 20 miles in an ice storm on I-5.  

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