Most Americans aren’t familiar with the Chinese car brand Zotye, but the painful car geeks that make up 90 percent of our readership are likely to remember that there was a Chinese carmaker that built a shameless copy of a Porsche Macan. That’s them. Now, it seems they have plans to come to America, and be the first Chinese brand to sell under their own name. This could be fun. While Chinese-built cars are being sold in the U.S., so far none is being marketed or sold under a Chinese brand. Zotye Automobile has partnered with HAAH Automotive Holdings to develop a sales and distribution network in America, with the goal of selling Zotye vehicles in the U.S. by late 2020. Here’s what their press release has to say: The company’s first U.S. product with be an SUV but the specific model has not been announced. Engineering development and homologation work on the model is underway and is proceeding smoothly. Sales to retail customers in the U.S. are expected to … [Read more...] about Chinese Porsche Knockoff Maker Wants to Be First Chinese Car Brand Sold In U.S.
As you probably all know by now, the legendary superhero-generating machine Stan Lee has died at the considerably old age of 95. While Stan Lee’s achivements weren’t of the automotive variety, he did contribute some things to the world of automobilia, including one of the strangest superhero cars in all of, um, superherocardom. The superhero car in question is the Fantasticar, the aircraft like thing that was nevertheless called a car by the people who used it, the Fantastic Four. I should mention that whenever we talk about the Fantastic Four I should be clear that not all the credit should go to Stan Lee. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were very close collaborators on the series, and as to who exactly came up with what first I really can’t say. But, for our limited purposes here, we can say the Fantasticar first showed up in the March 1962 Fantastic Four #3 comic, and Kirby and Lee were directly involved. That’s good enough, I’d think. I like the Fantasticar … [Read more...] about RIP Stan Lee, Who Gave the World the Strangest Superhero Car
Over the weekend, we got an email in tips saying that old episodes of Top Gear are no longer free on Amazon Prime. Goddammit! Amazon confirmed this distressing news. The old episodes of Top Gear first began streaming on Amazon Prime in late 2016, and since then I’ve treated them like old friends, emphasis on the old, as they are mostly delightful though in 2018 the seams are showing. The esteemed Raphael Orlove once ranked nearly every one of them, and it’s a good guide for people new to the show to sort through the good and bad. Except now you’ll have to pay $1.99 per episode or $17.99 per season if you want to watch. The switch appears to have happened sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning. (Top Gear also isn’t on Netflix and Hulu, though the latter has Top Gear USA.) I emailed Amazon with some questions, and they responded with, “Top Gear is available to rent or purchase through Prime Video.” Except that wasn’t accurate, since they … [Read more...] about You Can’t Watch Old Top Gear Episodes for Free on Amazon Prime Anymore and That Sucks
The Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia is one of those car that even non-gearheads tend to like, because it’s just a fundamentally pretty object. It’s elegant and friendly and curvy and sleek all at once, while being approachable and inviting. It’s just a lovely little design for a car, and pioneered the idea of a sporty car, as opposed to an actual sports car. Sure, it looked like it might be fast, but it wasn’t and it didn’t care. The Ghia is an undeniable classic, so you may as well learn these five interesting things about it, right? 1. The design was stolen from a Chrysler show car Okay, that sub-headline makes this all sound more devious than it actually was, but the basic idea is true: the design that became the Karmann-Ghia started off as a show car Virgil Exner designed for Chrysler, called the D’Elegance. Chrysler and the Italian coachbuilder and design house Ghia had a partnership in the 1950s, the result of which was a number of collaborative show … [Read more...] about Five Things to Know About the Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia, And Its Sort-Of Stolen Design
Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams. Wars probably don’t have such a dreamy singer or bass line. I don’t know, I haven’t fought in a war and I don’t think Belle and Sebastian ever did either. Our thanks to our vets who have. … [Read more...] about Belle and Sebastian–‘I Fought in a War’