Happy Friday, Autopians! It’s time for another four-way shootout, and another made-up scenario to help you choose. Today is all about star power, as we choose a car fit for a music video. Don’t worry; I’ll explain.
But we need our fourth contender first.
I confess, this one surprises me. The little Korean cookie tin on wheels? Really? All right; you want the Kia, you get the Kia. Personally, I like the idea of taking even more stuff off the X-90 and making it an off-road toy, but the Sportage wins fair and square.
All right, so we have our foursome, now we need our scenario. Our very own rock star, Stephen Walter Gossin, is filming a video for the first single, “Love Is A Pick-N-Pull,” off his new album Stratus Fear, and he needs a cast of thousands, or at least thousands of dollars’ worth of crappy old cars, for a giant spectacle that he describes as being “one part Thriller and one part Cannonball Run.” Grandiose plans, to be sure, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s our man Gossin.
And he wants you to be a part of it! All you have to do is choose one of these four cars to drive in the video, and be willing to take direction from the ghost of Hal Needham (whom Stephen has conjured up to coordinate the stunts in this masterpiece; we didn’t ask how) and possibly get a little banged up in the process. Hey, they’re only shitboxes, right? Choose wisely, or end up on the cutting room floor. Let’s recap the cars, so you know what you’re dealing with.
Pros: Dependable, photogenic, conveys that “working-class hero” vibe
Cons: Kinda slow to use for stunts
Who doesn’t love an earnest little pickup truck? It’s useful, humble, and sturdy – virtues all. This little Chevy (well, in name) would make a stout little workhorse, just as it doubtless has for the past forty-one years. Sure, it’s not the speediest thing, but semi trucks, ships, and trains use diesels for a reason; diesel engines pull. Horsepower is what sells, but torque is what does the work.
For our purposes, however, what matters isn’t that this is a good honest little truck; what matters is that it looks like one. And it would look great kicking up plumes of dust on some dirt road somewhere. It wouldn’t be very convincing in a chase scene, but maybe we could speed up the film?
Pros: Looks like it was pulled straight out of a junkyard, fun to drive
Cons: None, really, for these purposes
Now, this car was, of course, featured in the second Cannonball Run movie, driven by none other than Jackie Chan. This one looks more like it belongs in a post-apocalyptic George Miller movie than a Hal Needham comedy, but it runs and drives just fine, and it has enough power to pull off some fun maneuvers.
I may not have grown up with cars like this, but I’m beginning to see the appeal. It has a great retro-futuristic vibe to it, with the digital gauges and pop-up lights. In one way, it would be a shame to mess up a car like this for the sake of a video stunt, but it would also immortalize it pulling off something really cool.
Pros: Wildly photogenic, “coolest” car here
Cons: Too nice to smash up
And speaking of cool-looking cars, how about an American rear-wheel-drive coupe with rally wheels and white-letter tires? Just shoot a close-up of the rear wheel spinning from a standing start – it’s the automotive equivalent of a good power chord.
Of course, you’ll have to film that scene on dirt, or gravel, because there’s no way the 140-horse Chevy 305 V8 in this thing is going to break those BF Goodriches loose on dry pavement. But looking cool is more important than going fast, at least in this scenario.
Pros: Rear-wheel-drive for on-camera sideways shenanigans, no guilt over smashing it up
Cons: You have to be filmed driving a Kia
Did you ever notice that in ’70s and ’80s TV shows that when a car crashes or goes over a cliff or something, right before it gets smashed all to hell, it changes from whatever cool “hero” car was in the last scene to some nasty old clunker that just happens to be the same color and roughly the same shape? Well, there’s a chance we might need one of those for this shoot.
Actually, this little Kia, with its rear-wheel-drive and 130 horsepower Mazda-designed motor, could make for some fun chase-scene action, maybe driven by one of the bad guy’s henchmen. Get it sideways a few times, have it almost catch up to the hero, and then send it to Valhalla, preferably airborne, possibly upside-down.
Actually, I bet we could come up with some pretty good car-chase scenes involving all four of these. But the cameras are rolling, Stephen is ready to rock, and Hal Needham’s ghost is impatiently tapping his ethereal foot and looking at his watch. It’s time to choose your ride for the big scene. What’ll it be?
(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)