Moving Machines

<< Back to Robb Report, August 2002
  • Sheila J. Gibson

Imagine what it’s like to bob through the canals of Venice and drink in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city in a floating Mercedes-Benz. Or consider the feeling of hovering in a vehicle at 50 mph over surfaces that vary from a pond to a sandy beach to even a stretch of ice.

Such unparalleled sensations—and the perspectives they grant their users—distinguish a unique object from its more common counterparts. A sports car can whirl around a racetrack at triple-digit rates, but the exhilaration of speed and power rises exponentially when that car is a 1,001-hp, 250-mph beast that turns everything in sight into a blur. A plane, helicopter, or glider can make for a pleasant flight between Paris and London, but a stately zeppelin, ambling along at 75 mph, grants its riders views and feelings (as well as an appreciation for history) that no other machine can provide.

Differing perspectives, after all, stimulate conversation, debate, and appreciation. A fine work of art can provoke gushing from one onlooker or curiosity from another. Likewise, these unique machines are pieces of art and certain to kindle chatter. Their purposes range from unlimited speed to leisurely cruising, and their uses vary from blasting down highways to exploring underwater reefs. Such objects turn the sometimes ordinary chores of transportation into extraordinary experiences that alter one’s point of view, making them items that every individual should someday enjoy.

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