Along with being obsessed with fashion, retail, and and neat details…I love cars. Not for the traditional reasons. I don’t care about 0-60 times, or cargo capacity. I evaluate automobiles on a far more intuitive, qualitative scale. The feeling of driving a car that speaks to you is unlike any other, and life is too short to be spent driving a car that is rubbery, wobbly, awkward, or bland in every way.
Here are some of my favorites, from my past and present.
1991 Mercedes 560SEL
Aside from being the last truly graceful large Benz, this car is a T-Rex when it comes to handling, acceleration, and braking. Convincing it to move requires a heavy and prolonged mash of the right foot. Power is slow and steady, but once it’s upon you, it’s hard to miss. Braking is the same action in reverse. Stomp on the pedal to stop, but brining this many pounds to a halt quickly is a tall order. Turning is also a multi-step affair. Grip, grip harder, move arms, re-grip for more leverage, and turn more.
Naturally, I loved it. So heavy, so Germanic. So…unlike the tin cans everyone drives these days. Swoon!
2005 Lexus GX470
Not entirely thrilling to drive…this car is more about stature on the road, ultimate durability, and ability to multitask. Leather is waxed just enough to be wipe-able…seats are upright and provide good window-down viewing. Drivetrain will last forever, as thousands of Toyota Land Cruiser owners can attest (same car, different name). I like the idea that it is competent and comfortable, and evokes a Safari feel.
2011 BMW 128i M-Sport
The smallest of BMW’s current offerings, this car is marketed toward and appeals mostly to purists. It feels like a classic BMW, replete with standard manual shifter, no sunroof, and no electric seats. Steering is nicely weighted, engaging, and chassis is tighter than a librarian’s bun.
1999 Mercedes SL500: classic, beautiful shape. Interior a bit blocky, albeit well-made. Red over tan w/ tan soft-top.
2009 Mini Cooper S: Closest thing to a German go-kart. Great to drive, great sounds. Fun, playful. Champagne over black.
2012 Volvo S60 R-Design: Most interesting, beautiful Volvo since I can remember. Love the steering wheel. And headlights. Black.
2013 Lexus GS450 Hybrid: Excited for the upcoming GS iteration. Interior looks gorgeous…outside looks fierce. Black.
2010 BMW 335d: A diesel 3-series feels so subversive…and so right. I’ve heard it’s a beast to drive. White.
2012 Audi Q5 3.2: My favorite of the small premium SUVs…still looks manly. White over black.
2011 Mercedes CLS550: Cooler than an E-class, and sexier than an S-class. Silver over gray.
More to come.