California Convertible at Midsummer

Our first snow of the year arrived last night, so I thought now was a perfect time to look back on summer nights with convertible German sports cars and Bay Area sunsets.

California Convertible at Midsummer

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Red, White, and Black at the New York International Auto Show

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.

New York International Auto Show III

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.

New York International Auto Show I

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?

New York International Auto Show II

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…

New York International Auto Show IV

Americana Double Feature

I had my own staging of Two-Lane Blacktop in central Oregon this weekend, with the company of this particularly lovely 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet. This is grass seed country, and this particular weekend fell in the middle of the harvest. Long, perfectly maintained roads are intercut with forested hillsides and busy fields. By this point in the evening, however, nightfall brought calm with it.

Teutonic Americana

For every sunny hilltop like the one above, there was a tree-lined valley. The setting sun really picks out the details of every treetop, but it’s a shame that Oregon has such a clean, healthy atmosphere. Without other molecules in the air to scatter the light, the sunsets lack the exciting colors of other parts of the country. This photograph captures the feeling of blasting down the road, wind in my hair, with only an occasional truck for company.

Country Highway