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One Lap of the Web: 1970, rollin' in sight

Mon, 14 Apr 2014

-- Come with me to a time when people raced Datsun 120Ys and when Rinspeed ruled the world. A simpler time, when going fast was the only entry in the racing rulebook. A ridiculous time, when the world was presented with a Simca Maxi Turbo and didn't think much about it. That's the beauty of VS Design, a "specialist in the '70s & '80s!" that amasses period photos of cool 1970s and 1980s race cars and has thus become our new favorite Tumblr of the week.

-- Go even farther back than that with the New York Times, to a time when the automobile was a be-all, end-all technological conqueror, a time that was "the last un-self-conscious public celebration of automotive culture before concerns about safety and fuel economy changed it forever." The two World's Fairs held in New York City, in 1939 and 1964, paid tribute to the automobile in a way that cemented its importance in American optimism. In 1939, Ford had "imagination across time and space!" GM had moon colonies. Chrysler had moon rockets. In 1964, GM had Futurama II and Chrysler had the Turbine car, but Ford unveiled a sporty-like two-door runabout that it called the Mustang. Fifty years later, it's the most enduring example of a World's Fair that presented the car as the pinnacle of human achievement.

-- The nerdy drifter 8-Bit Miata has taken its arcade roots to the next level. The car now sports a coin slot in the center console; the idea is to start the car by dropping a quarter then firing up the "PLAYER 1" button. For now, watch the novelty of sliding a quarter into a car that could pass as a Namco cabinet. Bet you're waiting for us to say something like, "the Miata is so fun to drive it's like an arcade game." Nope. You won't get that out of us.

-- In "Need for Speed," the hero Ford Mustang is allegedly purchased for $3 million. At Barrett-Jackson this weekend, the hero Ford Mustang was actually purchased for 1/10th of that.

By Blake Z. Rong