Friday, September 21, 2012

William Shatner's Warp Drives

1 used powerboat + 1 Ford Falcon chassis + 1 Corvair engine + 4 chrome reverse wheels from the Pacoima Pep Boys shop + 1 JC Whitney catalog + 1 East L.A. Paint shop = Babe Magnet
Star Trek occasionally offered us an opportunity to see if Captain Kirk was as adept at handling a car as deftly as he fondled Janice Rand's butt cheeks.

Kirk's first attempt didn't go well. He's lucky that the DMV didn't have the Kobayashi Maru Test.

In JJ Abrams alternate timeline reboot, Kirk is not only a juvenile delinquent as a young lad, he's quite proficient with the gearbox of a 1965 Corvette.

As a long time fan of both Star Trek and the massive ego that is William Shatner, I was curious as to what kind of cars that Shatner fancies.

Here are Shatner's 10 Favorite Cars according to his Twitter account;

1. Bugatti Veyron - If cars were Starfleet cruisers, this would be the Excelsior with Transwarp Drive. Fastest production car ever at 267 mph delivered by an 8 liter W-16 1200 hp powerplant. As for all the technical wonders of this supercar, Scotty would be mesmerized.

2. Chevy Corvair - While the first generation Corvairs made Ralph Nader a household name with it's massive oversteer, the second generation Corvairs were gorgeous, surprisingly fast, and were still a bit lively in the ass end.

Just like Kirk's women.

3. Ferrari Enzo

4. Mercedes 300SL - When Shatner was starting out in 1950's Hollywood, this was the must have car of Tinseltown's leading men. Early 60s icons Steve McQueen and James Coburn had one.

5. Willys Army Jeep - Sturdy and dependable vehicle for the Allies in WW II, but if the Klingons buy a fleet of Schwimmwagens, Kirk is in trouble.

6. Packard 426 - I hope Shatner had better luck driving this than Kirk had with the Caddy 370

7. Jaguar XKE - Like Green Orion Slave Chicks, no man can resist their beauty

8. Dodge Viper - Loud, ostentatious, and a bit crazy. I can just picture the Shat stepping out of the Viper screaming "DENNY CRANE!!"

9. Jaguar D-Type

10.  Citroen 2CV - Slow and hideous, they were loved by European hip youth in the 60s. Shatner must have discovered that they were great for picking up French hippie chicks in 1968.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

1955 Lincoln Futura; Future Superhero Ride

Every year the automakers hold a showcase for their new models along with concept and experimental cars. While many are preliminary teasers of what is to come in a few years, others are one-offs that were probably never serious but are attention grabbers for the automotive press.

In 1955, Ford presented the Lincoln Futura, with massive fins and a bubble top consistent with the flying car fantasies of the 50's

Detroit, We Have a Problem!
Powered by the early version of the Ford 390 (6.4 L) V8 to power its massive length, the Futura probably would have gathered dust in a Ford warehouse had it not drawn the interest of Hollywood.

The car starred with Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds in It Started With a Kiss and then after production was sold to Southern California car craftsman George Barris. The car never had a title registered with the DMV and couldn't be insured, therefore it was probably up on blocks when Barris got hired by the producers of the 1966 television version of Batman.

The 1959 Cadillac Eldorado originally being customized as the Batmobile couldn't be completed in time for production. Fortunately, Barris remembered that the old Futura drying up in his back yard could easily be fabricated into the Caped Crusader's ride with some sheet metal tweaks, a paint job, 60's muscle car Crager wheels and a few gadgets screwed on.

To me there was no cooler car in the world when I was in 3rd grade. My classmates and I probably drove the folks nuts with the repetitive singing of the surfer song type guitar instrumental theme with the single "BATMAN" lyric.

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!