Sdtrk: ‘Rockaway beach’ by the Ramones
Far be it from ‘Shouting etc etc’ to go on about current events — unless it’s Synthetiks-based, suffice to say — but with US fuel prices reaching lunatic levels, we might well be seeing a upswing in sensible thinking regarding vehicles. Namely smaller, more sensible cars, such as the smart car.
No, I didn’t take this pic, I was too busy driving. Plus, it’s in Europe
They’ve been around in other parts of the country (namely the West coast) for a while, but they’re just now popping up in Michigan, which is lovely. Just the other day, I saw two of them, which is what inspired this post. But a mate of mine, Dave Z, has a bit of a problem with them, as there’s one at his workplace, and when he’s driving through the parking lot trying desperately to find a space, he’ll approach one he thinks is empty, but in actuality is already occupied by a smart car. They’re so tiny, you could probably cram like two and a half into a single parking spot!
I understand they get shitty gas mileage (40 mpg) for the prices they’re being sold for ($12,000 USD). Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere, I suppose… Also, maybe distributors in the States will follow the example of light-years-ahead Europe, and build these vertical dispenser buildings. Clever! You should thank me from not saying ‘smart’.
On the same day I witnessed those smartcars, however, I saw this beauty driving around, which made me squeal like a schoolgirl:
I didn’t take this one, either
Fiat has updated their iconic and sexy 500 model (not to be confused with Model 500) for the Twenty-first Century. The one I saw was headed towards me on the opposite side of the road, and from a distance I thought it was yet another smartcar. But then I recognised the curved front with the rounded headlamps, and that clinched it.
Any and all news of a new Fiat 500 slipped completely under my radar, so that was a pleasant surprise! Undoubtedly, the car will be bastard expensive, but… wow. Well done, Fiat!
Apparently, the most famous Fiat 500 enthusiast in anime, Lupin the Third, will be getting a new 500 as well, which killed me.
And when hanging out with Zip Gun and goshou later that day, ZG mentioned that he spotted a MINI Clubman, as BMW have gotten round to releasing the updated station wagon variation of the MINI.
Nor this one
As I’m subscribed to the MINI USA newsletter, I received an Email months and months ago, mentioning that the Clubman was slated to make its debut soon, but that was the only thing I’d heard, so I’d kinda forgotten about it. Upon seeing pictures of the 2008 model, it’s not as impressive as I thought it would be, mainly due to its lack of a crucial aesthetic element:
Don’t even ask
Where’s the wood body trim? It’s not a true station wagon if there’s no imitation wood somewhere on it! As we all know, Wood Panelling is Good Panelling, so BMW, you missed a trick there. However, the new Clubman has a suicide door on the passenger side, so that’s somewhat redeeming.
Tiny cars! The oversized vehicle backlash has begun! Patrick, looks like your wish might’ve come true after all