While the news this week has been all about Saab possibly going tits-up, Nice Price or Crack Pipe thinks that the Born from Jets car maker wouldn't be so screwed if they had built something like today's candidate.
Top Gear likes to Put a Star in an Reasonably-Priced Car and yesterday a narrow 56% of you thought about putting a not unreasonably priced Starion in your garage- and then scraping off all the Autozonalia that besmirches it.
At nearly ten-times the asking price of that Mitsu, and with two fewer seats in its fighter plane-inspired cockpit, today's Pulse Jetcar might take more scratch, but will let you and a friend fulfill all your Maverick and Goose carpool lane fantasies. This 1986 Pulse is what is referred to as an Autocycle by the folks who own them. These are the sort of people who also collect lawn gnomes and may have answers about the missing cable installer, but it's best not to accept their invitation inside to discuss it.
The brightest stars burn the shortest, and Pulse production burned between 1984 and 1990, first in Indiana, and then in Michigan. One of about 326 sold, number 240 originally came with a yamaha mill, but that has been replaced with a Honda V65- good for 110-bhp and a claimed top end of 180-mph. Looking like a nickel ride in front of the Piggly Wiggly, the Pulse has a four wheels, but is licensable as a motorcycle, and hence gains you the perks of solo HOV lane driving and lower license fees. As it has a pair of outriggers sprouting from its sides to prevent low-speed toppling, lane-splitting is probably something you would want to leave to the real bikes. The bubble canopy provides unobstructed views front and side, and delivers on one of the styling features we have been promised since the ‘50s. Slide that heat-sink back and you'll find a pair of in-line jump seats shoved down inside a cockpit tight enough to cast Cuckoo's Nest II full of claustrophobics.
Despite missing the vertical stablizer and rear fin option, this Pulse does resemble a jet plane enough that driving it would have you instinctively reaching for the stinger missile launch button, whenever a distracted driver ahead cuts you off. That Honda driveline should prove reliable, and with the aerodynamics of a wet cat turd it should get pretty good gas mileage.
But would you pay $22,900 so you could get all mavericky out on the highway? The rarity and obscurity will mean this is not only a good commuter choice, but will turn you into a minor celebrity at every fill-up, as driving it must be something akin to having a second head that tells bawdy jokes- it draws people in, and repulses them at the same time.
So, would you throw down a benjamin-shy of twenty three grand for the opportunity to jet around town? Or, does that price make you think this pulse has flat-lined?
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