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One Lap of the Web: Willys CJ2 rat rod, Blade Runner sketchbook and vintage Alpine A110 footage

Mon, 11 Nov 2013

-- Even if you don't remember every nuance of the plot of the 1982 film Blade Runner, or even which of the myriad versions of the film you saw, its powerful visual images and bizarre-but-plausible technologies have likely stuck with you. From glowing umbrellas to the unforgettable flying "spinners," Blade Runner was fascinating look at a future that wasn't. Although technically the film was set in 2019, so we've got a few years for replicant technology, and Los Angeles smog levels, to catch up with fiction. Now, you can pore over the sketchbook that contains the roots of the film's visual appeal -- it's full of works by the likes of Ridley Scott, Mentor Heubner and, of course, Syd Meade. The book is out of print, but it's available for download at Silodrome.

-- As Kurt Ernst notes at Hemmings, the Renault Fuego had a log going for it when it was introduced to the U.S. market in 1982. Take it's sporty looks. Or its...sporty looks. It looked good, at least at the time, even if performance left a little bit be desired. Despite its success overseas, tepid stateside reception has led Ernst to classify the Fuego as a lost car of the 1980s. So we ask you: Is it it best to let this lost car remain forgotten, or is the thrifty but pokey Renault worth another look?

-- Here's a Renault even Fuego-haters can get behind: The rally-ready Alpine A110. We went a little nuts when the A110-50 concept debuted, but the vintage A110 is something to behold as well. Watch it in action during the 1973 FIA World Rally Championship at Petrolicious.

-- Another gem from Hemmings, just in time for Veterans Day: A 1949 Willys CJ2 rat rod. Normally, we shudder when a custom car is described as a "rat rod" -- it's a term that is often used to excuse poor construction quality or give an air of authenticity to a cost-is-no-object car wearing a few coats of fake patina. But this oddball wears the name well -- or at least as well as it wears its boxy Willys body. The look is jarring to say the least, but we give builder major props for retaining the original Willys four-cylinder and three-speed transmission. It's certainly not for everyone, especially at $49,500...but honoring our armed forces and that all-American tendency to take things just a bit too far wasn't going to be cheap anyway.

By Graham Kozak