Stuff with a Motor

2006 New York International Auto Show

My son and I went to New York on our annual
trek to see live and in person what’s going on in the automotive universe.  Between the two of us, we have subscriptions
to just about every American automotive magazine.  These journals have already covered just
about every car introduction this year with the Detroit, Los Angeles, Geneva
and Chicago auto shows all having taken place already.  Nothin’ like seeing them in all their plastic
and sheet metal glory, though, to get a feel what’s cool and what are the hot

While my son and I don’t
agree on a lot about cars, we do agree about the trends in the automotive

  • Bigger cars – Everything’s getting bigger.  The Camry, Accord and Altima are huge
    compared to what they used to be. 
    They compete with Buicks now. 
    Not only in size, but in price. 
    Lexus just introduced an L version of its LS series to compete with
    the gi-normous versions of the Mercedes S Class, BMW 7-series and Audi
    A8.  This doesn’t even count cars
    like the Maybach (even the small one), Rolls Royce, Bentley, etc.  Check out the Chrysler Imperial concept
    if you want to see a huge car for more pedestrian wallets.  These cars have more rear seat legroom
    than my living room. 
  • Convertibles – It ain’t the 80’s any more when
    no matter how high your stack of cash, you couldn’t buy yourself a
    convertible.  Most companies have
    two-seat convertibles now and there are more 2+2 and 4 seat convertibles
    available this year than ever.  I’m
    just waiting for another 4-door convertible like the ’63 Lincoln
    Continental Convertible (yup, picture JFK’s last ride).
  • Hardtop convertibles – An extension of the last
    point, many companies are now producing convertibles with folding hardtops
    that slip into the trunk at the touch of a button.  These have been out for a couple of
    years in high-end cars (Mercedes has two, Lexus has one, Cadillac has
    one), but now they’re becoming available on lower-end cars.  Volvo just introduced the C70, VW the
    EOS and Pontiac has a hardtop option on the G6 that looks nice.  The idea here is that these cars are now
    better suited to year-round use. 
    Better not be thinking of bringing your golf clubs, though.
  • Gas guzzlers – $70+/barrel oil doesn’t seem to
    be stopping the auto industry from producing cars that consume a load of
    fossil fuel.  Between big cars and
    high-performance cars, there are more options now to blow holes in the
    ozone layer than ever before.  This,
    of course, includes muscle cars. 
    The Mustang is already
    selling in multiple forms; the concept Camaro
    looks great as does the concept Dodge Challenger.
  • Chrysler – My son doesn’t agree with this one,
    but I think the Daimler-Chrysler thing has paid off big.  Chrysler is producing seriously cool
    vehicles at a wide range of price points. 
    Cars that appeal to young and old. 
    To people seeking luxury, performance or utility.  They are innovating in style and
    performance and they’re introducing new cars quickly to a rapidly changing
    market.  Check out the range from
    the Caliber to the Sprinter.  It helps when you get to use your
    parent’s old Mercedes platforms and mechanicals.

 Check out some mediocre
pictures of the event here.

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