What is shark jumping, you ask? The term was originally coined to define when a television show did something inexorably stupid that started the show on its decline into kitschy irrelevancy. The phrase, "jumping the shark," is a reference to Happy Days, and the episode when Fonzie, leather jacket and all, donned a pair of waterskis and jumped over a tank of sharks while on vacation in Hollywood.
But, all kinds of things can "jump the shark" - musicians, politicians, video games, and, as Karl's blog points out, cars. Karl defines a car jumping the shark as, "when a particular model topped out before beginning that inexorable slide into pathetic-ness."
The one pick I absolutely agree with is the Chevrolet Corvette. The C1 'vette was sex on wheels. Prince didn't call a racy woman a "Little Red Corvette" for nothing. But the C3 'vette might as well have been piloted by Evel Knieval for all the shark jumping it did. Did you see Boogie Nights? Dirk Diggler was a high school drop-out desperate to belong. Dirk defined cool as performing karate without any formal training, "imported Italian nylon" shirts and his late 1970's Corvette with "ten coats of competition orange, hand-rubbed lacquer." All he was missing was a mullet.
Check out this amazing display of cheesy-ocity. No, this is no joke. This is an actual Corvette commercial from 1984. An exquisite display of shark jumping.
The Corvette has gone on to redeem itself in recent years, particluarly with the C6 convertible, and is now a viable option for the sportscar enthusiast. But keep an eye on Karl's blog to weigh in on other models that may have jumped the shark. It's fun reading for car buffs.