Friday, September 14, 2018

White Boy Rick: The Truth Behind the Hype

Son, the lion don't leave the Serengeti.
Nearly everyone who grew up within the gravitational orbit of Detroit in the 1980s has at least passing knowledge of the legend of White Boy Rick. But before you plunk down your hard-earned cash for a ticket to the recently-released Hollywood dramatization of his story, do yourself a favor and surf over to The Atavist Magazine and read The Trials of White Boy Rick by Evan Hughes. It's the single most comprehensive and exhaustively researched piece yet written on the life of Rick Wershe and his involvement with the FBI, Detroit Police department, Mayor Coleman Young, and the notorious Curry and Chambers brothers drug gangs.

Fun Fact: Matthew McConaughey, who plays Richard Wershe Sr., and Rory Cochrane, who plays FBI agent Byrd, both appeared in Dazed and Confused more than 25 years ago.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richie Merrit, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, and Bel Powley also star.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Rob Zombie’s GMC Motorhome from the Movie "31" Is for Sale.

You know what they say, kemosabe; in Hell, everybody loves popcorn.
Produced by General Motors for the 1973 to 1978 model years, the GMC motor home was at the time the only fully-finished motorhome to be produced by an American automobile manufacturer. Featuring sleek modern styling, rear air suspension, a low ride-height, front-wheel drive (courtesy GM's Unified Powerplant Package as found in the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado), and an aluminum and fiberglass body, it was everything the competition wasn't.
Long a Hollywood favorite, the GMC Motorhome has appeared in numerous features most notably in the movie Stripes where it appeared in slightly reconfigured form as the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle. Additional screen appearances include Minority Report, Anchorman 2, Snake and Mongoose, and many more, not to mention dozens of television appearances.
Yet for all the big camper's screen time, Rob Zombie's 31 is the first time the GMC motorhome was cast in such a sinister light. Once the ne plus ultra of the motorcoach world, in 31 the 1976 model appears tired and barely functional, simply a tool to transport a bunch of carnies from town to town.

Previously available on the used market for a fraction of their original value, remaining examples in good condition are now trading for stupid money thanks to sudden interest of otherwise well-intentioned  folks, who, due to either pangs of nostalgia or simply just having too much time and money, pretty much ruined the vintage camper market for the rest of us. And that's where this one comes in-what better way to hit the campground than in this road-weary and graphically adorned sin-bin? Mix in a few crates of pyrotechnics and PBR en route and you're guaranteed to draw the attention of the campground hoi polloi. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, head on over to GWS Auctions to see more pictures and bid.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Jeep Cowboy: The AMC-Based Jeep Pickup Prototype that Never Was

"Hey, that's a pretty sharp looking Gremlin-Camino ya' got dere."


Originating around 1970, the Jeep Cowboy Prototype was conceived as an answer to the heavy influx of import trucks coming from Japan. Datsun, Toyota, and Mazda, the latter also sold by Ford as the Courier, not to mention the Chevy Luv, itself a rebranded Isuzu, were all picking up steam in the mini-truck marketplace, and AMC figured the easiest way to get in on the action was to cook up an  El Camnio-zed version of it's successful Hornet model with a Gremlin fascia and bed in back.
Reportedly only three prototypes were built, all bearing "JEEP" logos despite its AMC lineage. While accounts vary, the Cowboy was never produced for two reasons: Production capacity for the popular Hornet was maxed out, and at the time AMC/Jeep had no 4x4 system available that would work with the Cowboy's unibody origins. Sad, as just a decade later AMC would introduce the 4x4 Eagle, essentially a Hornet with a slightly lifted suspension and a true four-wheel drive drivetrain. Available in Wagon, Sedan, and Kammback body styles, a light-duty pickup would have been a natural extension of the lineup.
Though we're sad the Cowboy never got an opportunity to put the spurs to the competition, we're absolutely thrilled the concept rode off into the sunset before surfacing with the fascia mock up seen in the photo below which resembles something Anthony Hopkins might have worn in his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Yech.

Saturday, July 28, 2018