Luxury isn’t about needs, luxury is about wants, or rather, desires. Practical concerns come second to delivering a highly remarkable experience. A luxury object is an art form, and it must appeal deeply to human emotion, even at the expense of being practical or being objectively inane.
The upscale part of Toyota, Lexus has always been extremely focused on delivering on practical concerns. They have the best reputation for build quality in the entire industry, and their cars have always been solid. A Lexus has always been a nice and dependable way to get around, but they never really rose above being just a well-polished transportation appliance. They never evoked any sort of deep carnal desire, or had a sense of occasion that made you want to go out and drive just for the hell of it.
Since 2008, Lexus has been taking serious steps to spice up their brand and make themselves a player in the true luxury segment. It’s a marketplace where people want something genuinely special, not just a Camry fitted with leather and wood. Lexus needed to define their own unique experience, and boy have they made moves in the years since.
This is the new Lexus LC 500, and it just might be the best GT car you can buy for $100 grand.
Check out the color combo on this 1957 Porsche 356A Cabriolet. Forest green over tan leather with a magnificent white steering wheel.
I see a lot of Porsche 356s at these events, and I often don’t pay them much mind unless they are a unique color combo. This one was a fine example.
Enjoy the photos.
When you tell someone you drive a turbocharged mid engined sports car with gullwing doors, they may expect you to roll up in a Pagani Huayra. Imagine the look of surprise on their face when you roll up in this, an Autozam AZ1, instead.
It’s part of an interesting Japanese segment known as a kei cars, or “light cars.” The segment included other passenger vehicles like vans and such, but the Autozam AZ1 was a kei sports car.
Autozam was sold as a sub-brand of Mazda, but the AZ1 had a turbocharged 657cc Suzuki engine under it’s hood. It makes 64hp and 63 ft/lbs of torque, but that’s not actually too bad in a car weighing only 1,500lbs. It’s the gullwing go kart of your wildest dreams.
Despite being a small bite of awesome today, the Autozam AZ1 was not successful in its day. It launched in 1992, right as a recession was taking hold in Japan, and the AZ1 was seen as too expensive for its market segment. As a result, only 4,392 Autozam AZ1s were built, making it the rarest of the kei sports cars out there.
It certainly has a lot of flavor, and who doesn’t love those gullwing doors? It’s a proper bite sized exotic!
Enjoy the photos!
Of the ten Ferrari 275 N.A.R.T. Spyders on Earth, this is the third one I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in person. It was by far the single most valuable car on the show field at Greenwich this year (we saw the red one in Monterey, which sold for over $27 million at auction a few years back). Yes, the 275 N.A.R.T. Spider is one of the Ferrari holy grails, right up there with the 250 GTO, but even rarer with less than half the production run.
I think this subdued silver example with its rich red leather interior is supremely classy in the highest regard. It’s a very beautiful and inoffensive looking car, something that evokes admiration from people. Despite being worth a genuine fortune today, it doesn’t come off all that ostentatious as a car in person. Maybe my perception was skewed by the carbon-bodied Lamborghini Centenario right across the row, but this 275 might actually require a second look to be noticed in town.
I’ve said before, this is my favorite classic Ferrari, more than a 250 GTO or a 365 Daytona, I love the 275 GTB, and the N.A.R.T. Spider is the ultimate one to have. I fantasize about taking one of these on a journey up the Pacific Coast highway in California, wind in my hair, V12 signing along up front, it would be perfection.
One can only dream, but it sure has been nice to get to see a few of these N.A.R.T. Spiders in person. I’ve it a point to enjoy every moment I have with them, pouring over their every detail, and this was no exception.
I’ll let the photos take it from here. Enjoy.
Mercedes-Benz has made the SL for over 60 years, and despite the fact that some of them have been duds, the original is a timeless classic. Some people love the Gullwings, others love the Roadsters. I’m firmly in the latter camp, by virtue of the fact that the first toy car I bought with my own money selling candy as a kid was an ivory-colored 190SL Roadster. I don’t have it anymore, but the memories flood back when I see a 190 droptop in the flesh. This medium blue example drew a lot of attention at Monmouth Park Racetrack this weekend. It succeeded in keeping my attention span occupied for a good amount of time, and was my favorite foreign car at the show. Enjoy the photos of this timeless piece of artwork.
When it comes to the Mazda RX-7, the final generation is the one I seem to gravitate to. I can’t explain why. Perhaps its the “forbidden fruit” aspect of it, since they are not often seen out in the wild. Or, perhaps its the fact that it seems to be right no matter if it still packs its original twin-turbo Wankel powerplant, or some sort of Chevrolet LS engine. Both engines fit this car’s styling almost too well. This one seems to pack an LS1 out of a Corvette and the swap is as clean as they come. Enjoy the photos. Continue reading Mazda FD RX-7 with a dirty little secret at the CF Charities Supercar Show
This is the new Spyker C8 Preliator Spyder, and I think it is a breath of fresh air in the supercar world. At a time when Ferraris and Lamborghinis seem more and more mass market, here is a genuinely unique supercar that takes a different, more classic, and ultra “special” approach.
Today the mainstream carmakers are obsessed with the orgy of technology, which has many upsides for performance, but nobody is stopping to ask if it really serves the purpose of a super sports car well. Too many cars are being built for lap times and bragging rights, and wind up compromising on a truly engaging driving experience. Speed is great and all, but on my weekends, I don’t have any interest in hopping in a car that does most of the driving for me.
The C8 Preliator brings the formula back to what I consider the epitome of the modern supercar. I see it as carrying on the torch of the Pagani Zonda, the Porsche Carrera GT, and the Ford GT, a truly analog supercar experience, with a beautifully exposed gear lever and a proper 3 pedals.
Though not fitted in the prototype you see here, power will come from a very special Koenigsegg 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 making 600hp. That pushing a car weighing right around the 3,000lb mark (around 200lbs less than a 488), should be quite exciting.
Furthermore, the C8 Preliator Spyder oozes handcrafted fine details. It has a substantial sense of occasion when you’re near it that I don’t think an Aventador or even a LaFerrari can match. The Spyker is a genuine work of art, on a level that can be mentioned with the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg. As an object you’ll be paying at least $450,000 for, I think this is surely one of the most “special” supercars out there.
This is really my kind of car. Sure, there are way faster cars out there, but this has an incredible balance of power and lightness. You don’t need 1,000hp when the car doesn’t weigh well over 2 tons (cough, Bugatti, cough), and the performance 600hp can provide remain more than insane on the street. Mix that with the pure analogue driving experience, top down thrills, incredible detail work, and a limited production of just 100 units, and you have the ideal recipe for a super sports car as far as I’m concerned.
Enjoy the photos, and be sure to drink in all those fine details!
We attended the CF Charities Supercar Show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia this weekend. This was the first year for the event in Philly, and we liked the new venue a lot. There were some truly incredible cars, and there’s a lot more to come, but here are some highlights for starters.