Consider today’s Cold Start a sort of public service announcement for those of you who may not be aware: noted garbage can-dweller Oscar the Grouch, of Sesame Street, New York, canonically owns and drives what appears to be a slightly modified 1968 Volkswagen Beetle convertible. It’s not in what most people would call good or even remotely hygienic condition, but in the Grouch community, I think it’s highly respected. The car has a name, too: the Sloppy Jalopy, and it seems it is sometimes employed as a taxi.
The modifications seem to be a strangely re-built and squared-off hood, along with what may be a partial garbage can used in place of the conventional engine lid. The cooling fan may benefit from the large cylindrical can structure, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.
The spare tire seems to be occasionally placed on the hood itself, since the re-worked front end blocks the usual spare tire well up front. The increased hood height almost looks like one of those fake Rolls-Royce kits minus the grille, but also appears more home-built. The increased height should add to the trunk capacity, useful for the taxi service, which, it should be noted, seems to have a motto that reads “We Don’t Go Anywhere.”
The Sloppy Jalopy was actually once used in an ad for the Chrysler Pacifica! Look:
I guess Chrysler wanted to be really sure the other cars in their ads wouldn’t overshadow the Pacifica, or prove more appealing. I’ll have to look at sales numbers to tell if that worked.
Oh, one last thing: Did you know Oscar was once orange? Look:
Crazy, right? I always equate him with that very particular garbage-green, but his original form was orange. In 1970, Oscar became green, attributing the change to algae growth in his fur after a vacation in a swamp. Also, I just learned that Oscar’s birthday is June 1, the day before mine! Holy crap! Look at all we’re learning today! The important things!