Three Car Pileup

I took some pictures of this car a while back and didn’t think much about it, other than the fact that it was really bizarre looking. A couple months went by and I heard an interesting urban legend about a car accident. I think I might have something really special here.

The story goes that back in May 2002, just before graduation, a high school kid in a CRX was racing a kid from a rival high school in a riced out (burgered out?) V6 Mustang down Tatum at lunchtime when both drivers lost control of their vehicles and they ended up hitting each other before rear ending a third car, an Intrepid that was stopped at a red light. Both the CRX and the Mustang were such powerful vehicles that they were able to achieve race car-like speeds on the streets, so when they hit the Intrepid, the force was great enough that it actually was able to fuse the three cars together. The paramedics arrived and pulled all three motorists from the gruesome wreckage, pronouncing them dead at the scene.

The police showed up shortly after the paramedics. They had trouble identifying the owners of two of the vehicles. They were able to run the plates of the CRX to identify the driver, but it had embedded itself so deeply into the other two cars that the whole wreck eerily resembled one mangled, dilapidated vehicle. Even the paint had been blended together, further reducing what had once been three cars down to one singular automotive monstrosity.

As the police sat in their cars doing paperwork and waiting for the tow truck to arrive, something unbelievable happened. The officers reported that the car simply started on its own and began revving its engine at them, as though it was taunting them. They cautiously approached the car with their weapons drawn, assuming that there had been a passenger that had survived and might try to make a run for it. When the officers got close enough to see through the triple-dark window tint, they were startled to discover that nobody was in the car.

Before anyone could even say a word, the car is reported to have shifted itself into gear and took off down the street at an unbelievable rate of speed. The officers tried to pursue it, but the wreck, now believed to be sporting all-wheel-drive and the combined power of a CRX, a V6 Mustang, and a Dodge Intrepid was just too fast for them and it got away.

They say that sometimes, when a soul is unable to complete an important task on Earth, it can become trapped in this realm in a sort of infinite loop, doomed to repeat its final actions for all eternity. It’s been ten years since the accident now, but legend has it that every once in a while you can still see the wreck driving around near Tatum and Bell around lunchtime, revving its engine in a state of perpetual unrest and seeking closure by paradoxically attempting to race itself, neither winning nor losing. Forever.

But mostly losing.

Nightmare In Dreamland (Accord Wagon)

Unfortunately the first image is not some sort of backwards alternate fucked reality, and I’m not just talking about skulls connected directly to other skulls via solid bone. Yes, this other world includes stagecoach Deville’s and Fiat dealerships in America.

I don’t know what this is


Don’t mistake my lack of words for laziness. The two shots of this Civic you see here are the embodiment of the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” See all two-thousand words of paranoid nonsense for yourself by clicking and enlarging the images.



W140 S600


Okay, lets get this out of the way: I’m totally going to forgive those lame-ass tail lights for the sake of one of the baddest German cars to have ever existed. What you see here is 389hp DOHC 6.0L v12 S600 sedan. Aesthetically, Mercedes Benz has yet to best this design as far as I’m concerned. The W140 is the pinnacle of the subtle design language of luxury cars during the 1990s (see also: E36, XF10). Today’s luxury cars being the antithesis of this with very overwrought features and an I-bought-this-with-my-decent-credit-solely-to-impress-you attitude.

The W140 sedan to me is like a modern version of the 409-powered third generation Impala. A stately exterior that hides it’s malicious intentions.

Wile E. Coyote Edition Monte Carlo SS


No I’m not talking about Terry Labonte’s Looney-tuned themed Nascar vehicle (which would be infinitely more interesting). Saw this gem parked in front of a subway in an upscale neighborhood. I can tell you right now that this car didn’t come from the factory like this, although whoever laid the decal did a good job. Judging by the fact that golf is super prevalent in Arizona and dealers will do anything to sell a glorified Grand Prix GT to a sucker, this may be a dealer option. Kind of like a Yenko, except with a lame sticker instead of a fire-breathing 427 big block.

BMW Powered Vixen 21 TD RV

This is probably one of the rarest vehicles I’ve seen that I’ve had the presence of mind to get a picture of. When I first saw this thing I thought maybe a section of the monorail train from Disneyland had derailed and somehow ended up on the I-17. When I got a little closer I was able to read the name on it. I had never heard of a Vixen before but I knew I was looking at something special.

Bill Collins was a car engineer who had worked for GM, quit to work with John DeLorean on the DMC-12 and later went on to work for AMC. After taking a trip in a GMC Motorhome, which is also a really interesting vehicle in its own right, Bill decided he could build a better RV that was meant to be easy to drive (well, easier, anyway) so he started his own company and designed one.

His first model was the Vixen 21 TD, which is what this one is. He went on to create two more models, which were the XC and the SE. The XC sounds pretty interesting. It was basically the same as the TD except instead of having a kitchen or any appliances, it was full of couches and seats so it was pretty much just a huge, weird van instead of an RV. They classified it as a Limousine. The SE was made later and by that point the company had started to stray from their original intentions. The SE was larger and looked a lot more like a traditional RV.

The first thing you notice about the Vixen is how low and wide it is. It really looks pretty cool going down the road. One of the reasons it was designed this way was to make sure it would fit inside a normal sized garage. Bill was obsessed with keeping the 21 TD low enough to do this, and that’s the reason for having then engine in the back.  The other reason for the low stance was to make the vehicle more aerodynamic to help the driver save on fuel costs. They say a 6′ 2″ person could stand up inside which would sound a little nicer if that weren’t my exact height. I have a sneaking suspension I’d feel a little claustrophobic inside one but the thing ended up with an amazing drag coefficient of .29. To put it in perspective, a C5 Corvette also has a Cd of .29.

The really interesting part of the 21 TD are those BMW badges it wears (or what they indicate, anyways.) This thing was powered by a rear mounted BMW M21 Inline 6 Turbo Diesel motor mated to a Renault manual transaxle. Although the RV only weighed in at 5100 lbs, I can’t imagine it was any fun to drive the thing at all, with the motor putting out all of 114hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The M21 was actually the same exact motor Ford put in the super rare Mark VII diesels. (Interesting side note: my car actually has a “check turbo” indicator in the dash as a carryover from when this motor was an option years earlier.) As slow as the Vixen must have been, it sort of redeemed its sluggishness by offering up to 30 mpg on the highway. I really have my doubts as to whether this thing could make it up to Flagstaff though.

The 21 TD had some cool features, like the lack of a generator. Instead it just used one of the first inverters offered in a vehicle for its AC appliances, that way everything could be run off the same engine and fuel source. Instead of a more common propane heater, it used a smaller diesel engine to heat up the coolant of the BMW motor to get warmed up in the morning. The kitchen featured an alcohol-fueled “Hemingway” stove top.

Vixens in general are very rare since the company went under pretty quickly. 578 total vehicles were made, with only 300 of them being the TD model. It’s not likely I’ll ever see another one again to get a picture of the front but hey, I did happen to find myself driving alongside a Maserati MC12 down in Scottsdale once, and they only sold 50 of them so you never know. We definitely have a lot of interesting stuff driving around out here in Arizona.