Saturday, April 03, 2010

A.F.I. 'Decemberunderground'

I’ve noticed a growing trend among car people. And I say car people, because women are just as much part of the scene as men. I don’t personally know any women out there restoring cars and “tricking” them out, but I wouldn’t want to exclude them in this day and age.

Anyway, the trend seems to be more people restoring and tricking out the Chevrolet Caprice Classics from the late 1980’s. And in my opinion, those were one of the ugliest vehicles that ever displayed the Chevrolet bowtie.

They had four doors. They were big and round… And to quote Johnny from the film AIRPLANE!… They looked “kinda like a big Tylenol”. I thought they were hideous.

During the late 80’s, they were the cruiser of choice for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department. I know this because my father was a patrolman and drove one of those beige uglies during his days protecting the citizens of Guilford County.

From what I understand, none of the officers had an appreciation for the vehicle’s aesthetics. They referred to it as “the pregnant turtle” or “the Easter egg”. I never could understand the “pregnant turtle” thing since they’re egg layers, but it was the only criticism I ever heard about the car.

The Caprice Classic must have been a good workhorse when it came to policing because I never heard a bad word about the performance. It was just big, odd, and ugly looking.

I’ve noticed that those cars are back out and about on our streets and highways. I’ve seen a couple of them restored in flashy neon colors with big rims that lift those jokers off the ground at a pretty good height.

But here’s the trend that I don’t understand… The owners are painting them up with themes.

The first one I saw was orange and brown on High Point Road in Greensboro. But it didn’t stop there… There were Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup logos all over the thing. There was a logo on the hood, one on the trunk lid, and one on each side of the car. It wasn’t like a NASCAR thing where the logos were on the rear quarter panels. The logos were plastered right over the doors. I thought to myself, “This guy must really love Reese’s.”

I saw my second one in Winston-Salem at a stoplight at University Parkway and Hanes Mill Road. The owner had that joker tricked out in a Superman motif. It was Superman blue with red and yellow accents. A Superman shield was on the hood with the classic Superman logo spread out across the side over the doors. Why couldn’t the owner pick a better comic superhero like Batman, Spider-Man, or Plastic Man?

The third vehicle I saw was beautiful, despite my problems with the Caprice Classic’s body aesthetics. It was burgundy with a yellow and white racing stripe. When I got along side of it on Highway 52 North in Winston-Salem, I couldn’t help but notice the big ol’ Washington Redskins logs spread over the side of the car. As a ‘Skins fan, this pleased me greatly. I gave the lady driver a big “thumbs up” as I passed her by. She looked a little confused, but I didn’t care. It was cool, daddy!

And just this past Thursday, I saw another one on Business 40 West between Winston-Salem and Kernersville. It was red, black, and white featuring the Pizza Hut logo spread out over the side of the car.

It made me scratch my lead just a little. Are these people being paid for these rolling, tricked out advertisements? Do the owners love Reese’s, Superman, the Redskins, and Pizza Hut so much they trick out their rides to honor their favorites? What’s the deal?

I love me some Long John Silver’s, but I cannot imagine painting Roxy (my 2001 Ford Ranger) up to represent my affection for deep fried seafood… Or paint her up to show off my love for the rock band KISS… Or trick her out with my all-time favorite television show, Green Acres.

To be honest, I’m not the kind of guy that would waste money on tricking out something that can easily be totaled on our roadways. I keep Roxy the same way when she rolled off the lot except with a little more dirt and grime.

But if someone were to pay me for showing off their logos on a tricked out vehicle, I don’t think I’d pass it up. Unless it’s a product that I just can’t get behind… Like Almond Joy, Tampax, the Dallas Cowboys, any professional soccer or basketball teams, Kyle Busch, pickles, Oprah Winfrey, Mounds, Republicans, Kurt Busch, Democrats, Girls Gone Wild, Dale Earnhardt Junior, the Atlanta Braves, Family Guy, or proctologists.

Have you seen these cars or others like them?

Leave a comment if you have and include where you saw it. I’m trying to figure out if it’s some kind of weird Caprice Classic cult.


  1. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Eugene, I too have seen the Washington Redskins Save A Lot on Yanceyville St. in Greensboro. Just the other week, I saw one in the Greene St. parking deck w/the Texas Pete logo, complete w/a UPC on the trunk.I have seen one on Summit w/Oreos as well. I don't understand at all and often posed these same questions. If you figure it out, let me know.

  2. But if you drove a proctology-mobile, you could have the license plate ASSMAN, a la Seinfeld.