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Auto blogThu, 14 Feb 2013 12:45:00 EST
When you are not the one in charge of the purse strings, creativity is a must when trying to get the string-holder to bankroll that next shiny object you just can't live without.
When I was a kid, I decided that life wasn't worth living if it weren't in pursuit of owning a GMC Typhoon. My 12-year-old self crafted a fiscal strategy that, when combined with my offer of a 49-percent share of ownership in the car in return for my parents' contribution of 80-percent of the purchase price, would see me behind the wheel of a Typhoon by the time I hit college. They walked away from the negotiating table and, the economic climate of the 8th grade being what it was at the time, another partner wasn't found before the Typhoon was discontinued.
Roy El-Rayes, however, has succeeded where 12-year-old me failed, and he did it by using the sort of professionalism that only a PowerPoint presentation can provide, along with some humor and bold-faced flattery.
Quentin Tarantino fans will likely remember Vincent Vega's cherry 1964 Chevrolet Malibu Convertible in Pulp Fiction. In a movie drenched in automotive references, the Malibu is very nearly a character in and of itself, and it serves as the subject of Vega's soliloquy about the kind of man who vandalizes another's automobile. It also happened to be Tarantino's personal car when the film was shot, and was apparently stolen shortly after production wrapped. Now police have located the car some 19 years later.
As it turns out, the thieves cloned the vehicle identification number from another '64 Malibu and had the car registered under the new digits. It was then sold to an unsuspecting buyer. Police happened upon the duplicate VINs while investigating another potential theft. Right now, it's unclear whether Tarantino has taken possession of the Chevrolet, if it has remained in the possession of the fraud victim, or whether it's caught somewhere in the gears of justice. Either way, you can catch Vega's memorable thoughts on the car keying in the Pulp Fiction clip below. But consider yourself warned: the video contains explicit language as Not Safe For Work as it comes.
It happens every year. We bid adieu to some cars and trucks that will be missed, and say good riddance to others wondering how they stayed around so long. Whether they're being killed off for slow sales or due to a new product coming along to replace them, the list of vehicles being discontinued after 2012 is surprisingly long and diverse.
CNN Money has compiled a list of departing vehicles, to which we've added a few more of our own. In the slow sales column, cars like the Lexus HS 250h, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and the full Maybach lineup appear, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda CX-7 and Hyundai Veracruz are all having their gaps filled with more modern and more fuel-efficient alternatives. Obvious exceptions to the rule include models that still sell in decent numbers like the Jeep Liberty and the Chrysler Town & Country (which will eventually be replaced by a crossover-like vehicle).
Check out our gallery of discontinued cars above, then scroll down for more information.