Berkeley’s Normandy Village was constructed as a sort of “Disneyland version” of a French village, but being constructed in the early twentieth century, it included covered car parking spaces. The challenge, of course, is that the size of the average automobile has grown substantially in the past 100 years. “Compact” and “mid-size” cars barely fit; only the Mazda Miata at the left size of the image looks properly at home in its bay.
I’m not in the market for a hypercar (like the Bugatti Veyron below), nor a supercar, nor even really a car, at this particular moment. When friends and family heard that I had attended the New York International Auto Show last month, the response was often in the range of questions about what kind of car I planned to buy. I’m not planning on replacing the Mini just yet, I love the combination of graphic and industrial design on display at a show like this—not to mention the mix with civil and mechanical engineering. Cars have their costs and benefits, but it’s tough to wanter a place like the Javits Center and not feel a little bit of awe.
Porsche’s eternal and outwardly-unchanging 911 (like the R version here) is suprisingly subtle by the standards of similarly-performing vehicles, but it fit well into the classy setting of Porsche’s display: red and white matching perfectly.
Acura’s new NSX is a monster (in performance, engineering, and cost), and joins a category of hybrid hypercars that transform the environmental technology into a performance booster. Sure, the numbers are impressive, but the design just has so many creases and parts. Overdesigned?
The real star of the show (for me), however, was this humble Mazda MX-5 Miata. I might have some bias from owning a 1995 Miata in the past (in this same white paint/black top combination, even). This is a driver’s car for the masses. It’s light and fast and efficient. Shame about the trunk space…