Friday, December 21, 2007

Classy Cars Deserve a Second Look

I was on the phone talking with my mom this afternoon as she explained how much fun she had looking at some of the really nice looking cars on the streets of Vero Beach this time of year when the “snowbirds” come down. Snowbirds, for those not in the know, are the folks who spend their winters in Florida and the rest of the year live up in Yankee land.

Mom was going on about a neat looking dark blue Mazda Miata parked in the parking lot of, “2001”, a place she likes to have breakfast. “There’s something worth slowing down for, easing off the gas so a classy looking car has a chance to catch up and pass”. I’d have to agree, some cars are so good looking as to warrant such attention; my own BMW falls into that category.

I’d watched a show on the Discovery Channel, might have been the History Channel, about a classic car collection owned by Ralph Lauren. The show stopper car was a black 1938 Bugatti Atlantic Coupe. Photos are courtesy of autoblog where Robert Farago posted a great article on the Ralph Lauren Collection.

The moment I saw the lines it dawned on me why I’d fallen in love with my BMW Z-3 Coupe; they both have the same basic design flow of lines if looked at from the side. Granted the Bugatti has some awesome exaggerated lines with the fenders separated from the extended hood and the swept back tail, a taste of French elegance; but I’ll take the superior handling of my “Ultimate Driving Machine” over most anything on the market today that is within my price range.

I read where the Bugatti had some serious handling issues; but it was the fastest production car of its time reaching speeds around 120mph. It must not have been very popular, there being only three produced; two surviving today. I guess the old saying is true, imitation is the highest form of flattery; BMW copied from one of the best.

I mentioned that it should be a crime, maybe a misdemeanor, for owners of classy looking cars to drive them in public without first having washed and/or polished these little jewels. Folks should have to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor after their heads jerk around for a second look, taking in the beauty afforded as they pass by.

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