Posts from ‘Saab’
I have no gift for prognostication. I predicted, for example, that Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista would divorce shortly after the 2012 presidential election—we’re still waiting on that one. I also once predicted that I would own a Porsche 911 by the time I was 35; now, I am shooting for 55.
Here’s an eye-opening then-and-now comparison for you. The 1981 Lincoln lineup’s sole engine choice was Ford’s corporate 5.0-liter V8. In Lincoln trim, it produced a tepid 130 horsepower, and in the Town Car, it returned a leisurely 14.9 second 0-60 time. Fast-forward 35 years, and Lincoln’s largest sedan, the MKS, scoots to 60 mph in just over five seconds when equipped with the available 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.
While Saab never topped the sales charts, its clever engineering, innovation, and—truth be told—quirkiness gained it a loyal following. That’s all but over now: Saab Automobile AB halted car production in April 2011 and filed for bankruptcy in December of that same year.
Purists often refer to the 1999-2010 Saab 9-5 as the last “real” Saab. This because the 9-5 is the last Saab to have been more-or-less fully developed by the Swedish maker’s in-house engineering team.
By now you know the drill. We provide you with five abstract images from auto brochure covers, and you try to figure out what vehicles these snippets are from. This time we’re looking at European cars of the Sixties. Every vehicle here is a regular production model and was widely available for purchase in countries you’ve heard of.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
Through their logos, many automakers have created a dazzling world of wonder. In logo land, you’ll discover roman gods, prancing horses, and mystical beasts—as well as religious themes such as the Holy Trinity and the Christian Crusades. It’s a universe of stars and planets, ships and rockets, diamonds and domination. One emblem, which is simply a crooked letter, symbolizes a trustworthy handshake.
Here in Chicago, at least, we’re finally seeing signs of spring. And every year about this time, I start thinking about convertibles.
Since ragtops aren’t really practical as daily transportation in these parts (especially where I live in the city, where anyone with a pocketknife can cut their way into your car), I always think of a convertible as being a “weekend” ride. Trouble is, it’s really tough to justify the expense of insurance and license plates for a car you only drive occasionally—and even then, only half the year.
Sarcastically, it was called badge engineering. Basically, it’s the process by which an automaker amortizes development costs by retrimming an existing vehicle and selling it under another name—usually through another brand channel, or channels.