Monday, November 19, 2001

Yesterday my brother, Miles, and I went to the Auto Show in SF. No, I'm not buying a car at this time, it's just a "guy thing" to go to the auto show and pretend. Attendance was good, but not as strong as previous years. Whether it was because of the economy - people can't afford to even fantasize about new cars? - or because of terrorism - they're afraid to be in public spaces? - I can only guess. But their loss was our gain, as we were able to get into all the cars of our choice without fighting any crowds.

A few notes:

Cadillac - What the hell's wrong with these people? Of course, I was never one to fantasize about Cadillacs to begin with, but damn these things are getting ugly. Luxury cars that have the front end and grillwork of a truck? I don't think so.

Chevy, Pontiac, Buick - Crap! It's not just Cadillac, it's the whole GM family that's emphasizing the front grill, doubling the size of the logo, and looking uglier than ever. GMC has taken over the corporation, and there's nothing that isn't truck-like anymore. No wonder Oldsmobile was the line they cut: no trucks. - Bad news: Chevy's not going to make the Camaro Z28 after this year. I'll have to buy one - not as a mid-life crisis car, but as an investment: it's sure to be collector's item.

Acura: I used to think of Acura's as just overpriced, dressed up Hondas (not that Honda isn't overpriced on its own), but I did sit in a little RXS that got me rather excited.

Saturn: Ignoring their new SUV (which, for an SUV, isn't so bad), I was pleased with their lack of changes for the coming year. A good product that's still looking like an excellent value. I'm not ready to trade in my '98 SL2, but I would consider owning another Saturn if I did.

Mazda: Zoom, zoom. That Miatta is one highly affordable little sports car. If I'm going to have a mid-life crisis and buy a two-seater, this would fit the bill without breaking the bank. Something to think about.

VW: I've owned two VWs in the past (an '84 Jetta and a '94 Fox), and would enjoy getting into another. At this display I was fantasizing a Jetta for Leslie and a Passat for myself.

Audi: Of course the little TT is another great mid-life crisis car, but the whole line appealing. If you want to buy me a car for the holidays, anything Audi will do - from the smallest to the largest.

Chrysler: Leslie likes the PT Cruiser, and this was my first opportunity to get in one and check it out up close. I must say I was pleased, which doesn't always happen when I look at Chryslers.

BMW: With all the emphasis in this show that was put on SUVs and other truck-like vehicles, and other stupid design choices, I must say that BMW is one company that still gets it. Yes, they're now making SUVs, but they didn't let that take over the whole line. These are cars you can live in. And you might have to, seeing as the price tags for some of them would be a healthy down payment on a house. I'll take a Z3 for my mid-life crisis days and an M3 sedan for the rest of the week.

Ford/Lincoln/Mercury: The new Ford T-Bird is on my list of fantasies. I was also pleased with the Mercury Cougar for some thrills.

Saab: A perennial favorite, for good reason.

Well, I'm sure there others - I drooled over a lot of leather - but that's what I can remember off the top of my head this morning. I (hopefully) won't be looking for a new car for myself for a while, but Leslie's had her Toyota for 11 years, and we need to start thinking about her next car sometime in the next year.

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