Friday, August 24, 2012

Food for the Crusher

Car shows are for arty people who either don't like conventional art or the art world.  While few say anything good about the art world, the judgement of art itself is subjective.  In any case, museums and other arbiters of such things have, on occasion, put vehicles within their hallowed walls.  The idea of cars being valid as art got me thinking along different lines.

Are exotics and classics valid as cars?  Ferraris and the like often get full restorations after 30,000 miles.  How bad does a car have to be to need that?  I suppose the prancing horse emblem is appropriate.  They're like Thoroughbreds, useless, expensive animals pampered and nursed to no end that occasionally enter races between injuries. The owners of exotics are a flashy, stressed bunch.  With forced joy, they drive around and talk to each other in loud voices.  The drama in the back of their minds is on their faces as they wait for the next spectacular breakdown and accompanying bill.  Even for high rollers, it's a bit much.

The events around Monterey have gone from being a gathering of local hobbyists to a forum for retentives. Perfectionism runs wild.  Bolts that no one can see are lined up perfectly.  Some people even color sand.  If you color sand you're in one of three categories:  A. You're working in the business.  B.  You own a Deusenberg.  You might take it to someone in the "A" category.  C. You need a life.

Classic cars are often large weights that sit on plexiglass disks and generate income for auto transporters.  They just go from their heated garages to car shows and back.  A classic on the road is exciting. A bunch of them lined up can be too much of a good thing.  Too many of the same ones is a used car lot.  Like exotics, classics can be treated to frame-up restorations every ten years.

To answer the above question, exotics and classics are valid as cars.  The DMV has spoken. Such things rival boats in generating hard work and loss of resources.  Most people work to bring money in, but that's otro cantar.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mystery Meat

What's this?  My guess is either a Mercedes or a Hyundai.  Maybe it's a BMW.  Most of their prototypes are black.  It doesn't make any difference, but it's fun to speculate.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chevy Meriva

While much has been written about how Detroit gave away the US market, their loss of Latin America is even more spectacular. They used to own it. Now, they have a presence, but their US products are a sideline. The streets of places like Mexico City are filled with the products of their European and Asian subsidiaries and partners. While Latin America is a major producer, it is also a major importer.

Things have changed so much that this Chevy, photographed in the US, was the most foreign car on the lot.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon

Here's another Volkswagen from Puebla, Mexico.  I wonder if this is unusual for a prototype, or if things are shifting. While Mexico is an important market, I can't help but remember auto shows in the past.  Suzuki imports from different places, but their show cars were always from Japan.

The VIN decoders I find are always out of date by a few years.  The fourth digit indicates a sedan or base model.  Having ruled out that it's a sedan, I doubt it's a base model. Prototypes are made to test everything possible, and they are made to impress. Similarly, the best I could do for the fifth digit was a 2 liter Golf GTI engine rated at 115 hp. So much for 2006.

Although I like VW styling, I don't know it well. I wonder if this is a mule with, with something other than a turbodiesel under hood.  Also, I wonder how much of their product development has shifted out of Germany.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 VW Superbeetle again

Or maybe it's another year, but it was made in 2012. Anyway, here are a couple more pictures.

What would modern cars look like if form followed function? The answer is somewhere else.