Spotted is Globe Drive writer Peter Cheney's weekly feature that takes you behind the scenes of his life as a vehicle and engineering journalist. We also highlight the best of your original photos and short video clips (10 seconds or less), which you should send with a short explanation. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Twitter @cheneydrive (#spotted), or join him on Facebook (no login required).
How not to customize your truck
My friend Radu spotted this Ford F-150 in Key West, Fla. While it looks like it’s contracted an incurable fungus, the F-150 is actually designed to resemble a coral reef. The owner sprayed the truck with expanding foam, hoping to achieve his vision of an undersea garden on wheels. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say.
James Bond takes an automotive downturn
Radu also spotted this Bond-themed Citroen 2CV in Montreal. The car has a special Gallic charm, but it also has less than 20 horsepower. Not exactly Aston Martin territory.
This Subaru driver makes his climate-change position clear. (We will agree to disagree.) My friend Darren McGee spotted the Subaru on Toronto’s Highway 401 (also known as Carbon Alley).
And the yang ...
Reader Bruce Moir, meanwhile, spotted this Tesla and its encouraging custom plate.
A blast from the political past
I spotted this bumper sticker on a Cadillac in Chattanooga, Tenn. Has it really been 10 years since the last Bush-Cheney campaign? Hope springs eternal in the Republican breast.
The road to the sky
Reader Dave Normandale spotted this rig on the road to Panama City, Fla. The plane on the trailer is a 1954 Piper Tri-Pacer. One of my good friends used to fly an airplane identical to this one (his had the wings attached).
You in the Scion: Step away from the accessories aisle
I spotted this over-accessorized Scion in Kentucky. If you own stock in a decal company, you might want to consider sending a personal note of thanks.
Three rides, one bargain
I shot this photo during a recent road trip in the 2015 Corvette C7 Stingray (story coming next week). In the background is a Moyes Dragonfly ultralight towplane ($55,000 U.S.). In the middle is the C7 convertible with Z51 performance package, magnetic ride control and carbon interior trim ($86,000 Cdn). In front is my flying buddy Peyton Massey on his recently acquired, Chinese-made scooter. It cost $900 brand new, shipping and taxes included.
The poor man’s Winnebago
I’ve always been fascinated by teardrop micro-trailers. They first became popular back in the 1930s after magazines such as Mechanix Illustrated published plans that showed how to build them out of plywood sheets. Although they largely disappeared by the 1970s, which saw the rise of giant motorhomes, teardrop trailers have seen a resurgence. Their low frontal area and light weight mean you can tow them with almost any car. I spotted this one near Cloudland Canyon in Georgia.
A 1980s phallic symbol
I spotted this early-’80s Corvette at Lookout Mountain, Georgia. It epitomizes the Corvette’s third generation, also known as the C3 and the “Coke bottle” Corvette. The C3 was produced from 1968 until 1982, and helped cement the Corvette’s reputation as a male enhancement device on wheels. Front ends don’t get much more suggestive than this.
How to tell you’re in the Deep South
As you had south on Interstate 75, the air temperature gradually rises and the speech cadence slows. Another key sign of your southern progress is the gas-stop beef jerky selection, which increases in inverse proportion with geographic latitude. I spotted this array in Kentucky.
Route 66, antipodal edition
Reader Werner Watzdorf spotted this 1957 Cadillac Coupe de Ville at what appears to be a classic gas station on Route 66 (the legendary U.S. highway featured in everything from TV shows to John Steinbeck’s literary classic The Grapes of Wrath). But this is in Adelaide, Australia.
You’ll get your kicks, but it’s not Route 66
Here’s another angle on that Coupe de Ville Werner spotted in Adelaide. It really does send a Route 66 vibe. As a side note: the 1957 Coupe de Ville weighed 2.5 tonnes. I wonder what it costs to ship one to Australia?