The Commuting Car of Choice

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Car designs have certainly changed over the years. Never mind Henry Ford. We'll start with the basics. Everyone's familiar, of course, with the earliest model, a 2 door with manual transmission:


This was quickly updated to the 4 door version to accommodate the needs of the marketplace, not to mention putting more horses under the hood.


Cup holders would come later.

Today, it seems that many upper middle class aren't content with the ho-hum Japamerican options of automotive transportation and comfort. They want European sophistication. Volvo, Saab, BMW, Mercedes... Ah, the desirability of German engineering!

On my drive home, I came across a picture-worthy car. It's not exactly selling like hotcakes in Europe or the U.S., but it does feature a fine engineering heritage from Mercedes.


Note the stylish racing groove through the doorway. I'll be this thing owns on the Autobahn!

(Patrol officers will note that both vehicles are stopped while this candid photo was taken. No risk to either driver was involved in the capture of this image. Prosecuting attorneys will note that the license plate has been blurred to protect the I.D. of the guilty.)

That's a Smart Car. No, really! A Smart Car! 33 mpg in the city/41 highway. MSRP $11,500. Nice price, but...I'm not so sure that it's that smart. Here's a better picture. With the backdrop, these things look as American as apple pie and somehow look much larger!


Not!

One must ask themselves, where do the Germans come up with such great design work? Ah, gentle reader, do not fret! I have the answer:

Now that's a Smart(er) car! Way to go, kid!

(Second note to attorneys: It's designed by Little Tykes. A little design infringement perhaps?)

(Third note to attorneys: Obviously, Little Tykes owes more than a debt of gratitude to Hanna-Barbera for their engine design. Because that may be unfamiliar to you, that's the production company for "The Flintstones." I know, you were busy watching "Perry Mason.")


It kind of makes you re-think the attractiveness of buying German autos. Taken only a week later on the same road, this picture suggests that perhaps people are looking for an Italian option to the Fahrvergn├╝gens of other lands.


That's a Maserati Quattroporte, a 4 door sedan, costing around $115,000. This smarter car offers a well appointed interior including, one must assume, Italian leather upholstery.


Anyone heard of a quality German leather upholstery? I tell you, buy Italian!

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