Automobiles

The 1950s were exciting times. Reported sightings of alien spacecraft at Roswell, N.M., in 1947 spawned a UFO craze that created ideal conditions for the appearances on Earth of three outrageous...
Exclusivity in the world of sports and luxury automobiles is relative. Porsches and Mercedes seem positively commonplace when compared to Ferraris and Bentleys, but even these rarely encountered...
The audacious alloy vents along its front fenders, the 20-inch alloy wheels, the bulge flowing smartly down the middle of the hood, and the pair of ominous large-bore exhaust pipes poking out from...
A driver judges a car, says Aston Martin chief program engineer David King, largely by how well it steers. King, then, will understand a preference for the new V8 Vantage over the DB9, even if the...
At one time, a luxury automobile was distinguished more by the rarity of its appearance than its price. In the early part of the last century, owners of such cars often would purchase a chassis and...
Simone Schedoni has firsthand experience with the fanaticism that Ferraris can engender. In his family’s Schedoni leather-goods factory in Modena, Italy (which is also home to the prancing-horse...
Ferrari always has sought to pull owner passions closer to the company’s heart, which is its racing heritage. In the 1930s, Enzo himself sold Alfa Romeos from his Scuderia Ferrari stable, then tuned...
Driving the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet is not an experience that will make you hold on to your hat, at least not literally. Surging through a narrow, curvy stretch of autobahn on the...
It takes just four seconds—the amount of time a Ferrari F430 requires to reach 60 mph—to understand why Lamborghini created a special edition of the Gallardo. In the spirit of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s...
When the new Porsche Cayman S arrives in showrooms in the spring of 2006, it may look familiar; it will share front fenders, hood, doors, headlights, and taillights with the Boxster convertible. But...
Another monster has come to life in the quiet German town of Ingolstadt, but unlike Mary Shelley’s creature, this one, Audi’s 2007 RS4, is ferocious by design. However, the RS4, which will have a...
The 2006 Mazda MX-5 ( www.mazdausa.com ) features a redesigned body and a more commodious cockpit than its predecessor’s, but the final form leaves little question as to the car’s pedigree. Every...
Creating limited edition automobiles can be a risque business, for too often the collectible nature of such a car is a complete contrivance. Made too many coupes? Simply repaint the leftovers, add...
For a few years in the early and mid-1970s, one Italian coachbuilder abandoned the voluptuous rounded forms for which Italian cars had become famous and enjoyed a brief affair with the wedge...
The wailing exhaust note of a Porsche V-10 engine is not a wake-up call option at most resorts. Nevertheless, that distinctive reveille echoes early one morning off the high walls of the Chateau...
Born in the wake of the 1961 Palace Revolt at Maranello, the Breadvan is perhaps the most instantly recognizable Ferrari—for both its quirky name and radical silhouette. This legendary car will be...
Early in Jack Smith’s writing career, the Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed him “Our man on the macho beat” for his coverage of the French Foreign Legion, pro football, and lion taming, and for surviving...
Sipping a cocktail while lounging in the Patio de Caballos at the elegant Hacienda La Boticaria Hotel near Seville, Spain, BMW board member Burkhard Goeschel gestures toward a new bronze BMW M6...
City streets, interstates, and showrooms abound with two-seaters masquerading as racecars built for the street. They are only perpetuating a myth, for tailpipes the size of toilets, a turbo or two,...
The public had yet to catch a glimpse of Speed, Style, and Beauty, the exhibit that ran from March through early July at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, before the controversy began. The MFA’s...
Oscar Wilde argued that the only excuse for making something ugly is that it be useful, while the sole justification for an utterly useless object is its inherent beauty. This principle may obtain in...
The Chrysler 300, as proven by multiple sightings of black, white, and blue variants on the roads of Napa Valley, cannot claim exclusivity as one of its trademarks. While only several dozen fortunate...
Not long ago, Land Rover—with its Range Rover and Discovery—held a monopoly on the luxury SUV market. Then Lexus joined the fray in 1996, and before long the competition also included entries from...
Herb Harris, one of the Car of the Year participants, steered the Lotus Elise into the parking lot at the Napa Valley Reserve, killed the engine, and took a deep breath, for the hard part was next...
My favorite modern Lamborghini is the Gallardo. In fact, it is my favorite sports car, period, for reasons elucidated in last year’s Car of the Year issue. That said, the Murciélago Roadster leaves...
Bentley’s 2005 Arnage T is a lovely leftover, a mechanical souvenir from distant days when Rolls-Royce was its builder and any thought of an ownership change was just a gleam in the eye of Volkswagen...
Commonly referred to as the C6, the sixth-generation Corvette had been the subject of much speculation over the last few years. ’Vette enthusiasts may not be as fanatical in their devotion as those...
Excepting the exotic SLR, the bad boy in the Mercedes-Benz convertible clubhouse is the SL55’s bigger brother, the SL65. It is an amazing creation in terms of engineering, and its stealth factor is...
While most of our Car of the Year guests descended upon Meadowood on a Wednesday, a few, including myself, reached Napa the previous day. The Acura RL also made an early arrival, granting me an...
Equating a Cadillac with one of GM’s economy marques might seem like slander, but Car of the Year participant Bill Harlan intended it as a compliment when he dubbed the CTS-V a Pontiac in disguise. “...

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