I am crazy about great automotive design. I love the chamfered edges of recent Volvos, the dashboard of the Mini Cooper, the swooping curves of the Allard, a British car made between 1936 and 1966. I love the deep bottle green of early MGs, the nuttiness of Karmann Ghias and Deux Chevaux.
My first car, when I finally learned to drive at 30, was a used gray Honda Accord, not sexy, but a great vehicle for rural New Hampshire, where I bought it and lived for a while.
But, no, not my dream car.
At 12, I wanted (still do) a yellow Lotus. My Dad, then, drove a gold Jaguar XKE, sex on wheels. He’s now 80, on the road as I write this, driving from Toronto to Madison, Wisconsin in his black Jag (used, dirt cheap.)
I mourn the loss of the Solstice, which I first saw at the Manhattan Auto Show as a concept car – I never even got around to test-driving one. They killed the Honda S2000 and I am pissed to read the the Boxster is slipping in its ratings. If I ever have money again, it was top of my list. I’d still like to test-drive a Corvette, Z3 and Z4 and maybe even the Audi convertible.
For a while, I owned, ecstatically, a red Honda Civic del Sol, long since discontinued. Almost nothing I have owned, before or since, made me so damn happy every time I touched it. (It was, of course, stolen from my suburban parking lot, pillaged for parts and written off by the insurance company. Yes, I cried.)
So, geeky girl that I am, I read The New York Times automotive section every week and this week they featured a man and his 1950 Nash. What a gorgeous automobile!
From the Times:
The Ambassador Custom has several distinguishing characteristics. First, there’s the big and bulbous shape. Nash gave a name, Airflyte, to the look. Introduced for the 1949 model year, it was Nash’s first postwar design, and it featured enclosed front wheels for improved aerodynamics.
Nash also increased the turning radius. “When you make a U-turn you kind of have to phone ahead,” Mr. Conaty said as he tried to execute the maneuver on a wide, quiet street. “I’m not going to make it,” he said before resorting to a three-point turn.
Inside, the rumble of the car’s in-line 6 echoed through what Nash brochures promoted as the “Sky-Lounge safety interior.” The seats recline like first-class airline seats. There’s not much to the dashboard. All the dials, the speedometer included, are in a bullet housing on the steering column. The radio occupies the center section of the dash behind a metal roll-up door.
I love its fully-reclining seats — and wonder how many 60-year-old men and women were conceived in one.