Hard work pays off. Hopefully, you’ll get out of a job what you put into it. If you’re a hardworking person, you’ll likely receive an opportunity to move up in the world. So maybe you’re moving on to something new, or you’re replacing someone who has left a position above you. Either way, moving up can be pretty awesome. So with your newly accepted promotion, you’ll want to spend your more generous new wages appropriately. So why not buy a new car, something that will really show the world your hard work has paid off (literally). People often say “you should dress for the job you want.” So why not drive a car for the job you want?
Hop into your DeLorean, kids, we’re going on a time-travel adventure.
Set your clock to February of 1963, a time when the Beatles opened for Helen Shapiro, Mickey Mantle signed a $100,000 baseball contract and Jaguar built 12 special-edition E-Type Lightweight race cars.
The E-Type is, to many people, the most beautiful car ever made. The ultra-rare Lightweight version was crafted out of aluminum, got its power from a 3.8-liter straight 6-cylinder with an aluminum block, had a stripped-out interior, no chrome trim and lighter-weight side windows. Those modifications resulted in a 250-pound weight loss and an increase in performance, especially useful around a race track.
Legend has it that Jaguar was supposed to build 18 of the rocketships, but managed only 12. The outstanding 6 were allocated chassis numbers but never built. For the next 50 years their shells sat gathering dust while Jaguar marched ahead, hence the time machine to go back and get one or somehow convince Coventry to go ahead and finish the missing 6.
Lucky for us, we can keep the time machine parked and thank our lucky stars that Jaguar is going back in time for us.
What has happened to car design in modern times?
I’ve been flipping through images of the cars from the Shanghai Motor Show over the weekend, and I have to say, I’m left mostly unimpressed. Where are the cars that drop jaws, increase heart rates and draw humans to them like moths to a flame? Where are the cars that create an obsession at first glance?
Granted, it’s Shanghai, a show known for a certain amount of epic weirdness. Among the cars no one outside of China will ever see outside of gallery pictures on a blog, a few stood out as well-designed vehicles that can be described as sleek, snarling and sexy.
But what about seductive? What about all-out awe inspiring? For that, I had to simply walk through the valet section of a hometown hotel.
Jeremy Clarkson, on his Facebook page yesterday, posed the question above. Can a car be art? Most of the nearly 2,000 comments simply said, “Yes,” but the question struck me and reminded me of at least two examples of cars also serving as art.
A car certainly requires art as it evolves from an idea in a designer’s mind to a clay form to a concept. Typically, once production begins, any art that was involved in creating the idea of the car gets lost in the practicalities of building it.
That’s not always true, of course, and I do believe a few examples of cars could be classified not only as automobiles, but as fine examples of pristine art.