The Titanosaur

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This is a big one, everybody. The biggest Forgotten Metal vehicle we’ve ever had here. By a pretty wide margin, I’d reckon. If people still reckoned, that is. Do people still do that? There are a couple reasons for all this big-ness. First is the fact that this is a bus- a big ol’ bus. But this story is much- ahem, larger than that. Backroom industrial conspiracies, radically practical technological innovations, and fishbowls are all ahead. This is a 1960 GMC TDH-5301. Continue reading

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Stuck In The Middle With You

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In a bizarre twist of organization and consistency, it seems as if Forgotten Metal has now had two contemporaneous cars of similar purpose and layout in a row. That’s right, this Nissan 300ZX  was in more or less direct competition with that Mazda RX-7 from last time. Okay, technically this car is from 1985, which means it could’ve also competed with the then-new second generation RX-7, but as I say whenever someone tries to pronounce my last name, close enough! That makes the introductory part of this post much easier, because it’s pretty much an echo of last time. It also gives us the opportunity to talk about Burt Reynolds.  Continue reading

Baroque Depression

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By a certain point in the early 1980s, the trend towards cool British sports cars had evaporated. Gone– like a Phillip Phillips song. Everybody has their own version of why the interest dried up and, because I belong to the royal collective of “everybody,” I’m going to tell you mine. In short, it was because the Axis lost the war. Now, I just want to be clear, I’m glad the Axis lost the war, but it did mean that former automotive superpowers such as Britain and America had to split their attention between military demands and more civilian technologies, like cars. Part of Germany and Japan’s war reparations, however, included a ban on rearmament. So, in the words of former Top Gear presenter James May, “what else could their brightest minds do but move on to developing cars?” In essence, America and Britain rested on their laurels while Germany and Japan got to work. And here’s one of the fruits of their labor. This is a 1985 Mazda RX-7.  Continue reading

The Dream Of The Nineties Is Alive!

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Yes, I know. This is the second red, off-roady type vehicle we’ve done in as many weeks. But trust me when I say this is a very special piece of Forgotten Metal. So forgotten, in fact, that this car- this very car– is the only one of it’s kind on the entire East Coast. This car gives me the same feeling I assume I’d get if I were given permission to set fire to the Wheel of Fortune. I hate that show. But I love this car. This is a 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country.  Continue reading

Life Sucks, Then You Die

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Two-door SUVs are a fickle group. Europeans seem to like them, but we red-blooded, down-home country folk of the good old US of A could never quite wrap our noggins around the concept. They’re the Marmite of the car world in that way. SUVs with less than four doors have enjoyed a long and diverse history in America, but never a particularly successful one. Yet, much like the makers of Marmite, manufacturers from both at home and abroad keep trying to sell them to us, in spite of overwhelming evidence to suggest we’d be more interested in paying for a mud bath with Newt Gingrich. This is a 1988 Dodge Ramcharger.  Continue reading

One Black Coffee

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Let it never be said that French car engineers do not know what they’re doing. As we’ve seen, the French have been responsible for some of the most clever small cars ever made. They are also responsible for, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful man-made things, in the form of the Citroen DS, which pulled a Jenna Louise Coleman in that it was both heart-stoppingly pretty and a force for good in the world.  Here’s what I’m talking about: big Citroens. This is a 1981 Citroen CX Pallas D. Continue reading

Stranger Things

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There’s something strange about finding yourself north of 250th street. It feels like that scene in The Royal Tennenbaums where they say they live on 375th street. Like magical realism. People live in houses up here. Real, honest-to-God houses, with driveways and everything. In a similar way, it’s funny to see a van this old out in the wild. Vans are utilitarian objects: tools that serve a purpose and are then disposed of. I don’t know if the owner of this car is keeping it running in earnest or if they just drive it ironically. Who knows? We’re in uncharted territory for many New Yorkers. This is a 1969 ChevyVan. Continue reading

Southern Gothic

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Much like a bumblebee’s ability to fly and the movie Cowboys And Aliens, this car works brilliantly in spite of the fact that it really shouldn’t. Let me explain: Porsche has a reputation for building extremely luxurious and ludicrously capable sports cars (though in recent years, they’ve expanded the brand). But behind the pomp and circumstance, the brand is a little stodgy. Their pièce de résistance, the 911, has been around since 1963, and has been through six successive generations. But if you line them all up next to one another, you’d be hard pressed to say the designers were were clocking into work at all. The 911’s design hasn’t advanced in years, and for reasons we’ll get into in a minute, the car’s engineers are no better. But this particular 911 is something different entirely. This is a 1982 Porsche 911SC Targa.  Continue reading

Philosophy And Pickup Trucks

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This is a pickup truck. But it’s also a line in the sand. And that’s because loyalty is a funny thing. Pledging your support to a single idea through thick and thin is an inherently illogical thing to do. And yet so many of us cling to loyalty, like sloths on our favorite branch of the virtue tree. William Bennett writes in his Book of Virtues that “real loyalty endures inconvenience, withstands temptation, and does not cringe under assault. Yet the trust that genuine loyalty tends to generate can pervade our whole lives.” All rationality supports our choosing the best option available to us regardless of our preconceived notions or personal preferences. I still go to the deli that’s a little further away from my apartment than the one that’s closer and more reputable. This truck is like that deli. This is a 1970 Ford F100 Sport Custom. Continue reading

Ramblin’ Man

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If you look at the vast majority of marketing materials today, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ll be unceremoniously shipped off to Timbuktu at the age of 41. The youth are the demographic that gets all the attention- and that’s fine. Millennials have given the world all kinds of great things: from apps that summon personal chauffeurs to your door to shops that sell only cookie dough. But recently, the 18 to 40 demographic has made a terrible mistake. The tastemakers have made something in poor taste. And this car can explain why. This is a 1965 Rambler Classic 770 Cross Country.  Continue reading