Tag Archives: cars n coffee

Vintage v Modern Motoring

The original Mini Cooper
The original Mini Cooper

There are many choices in motoring, these days. For me, I tend to be a very nostalgic person. I love most vintage things and though I have a great appreciation for modern cars, I tend to gravitate to the elder ones more often than not. I find them very engaging to drive and delight in their analog qualities. It’s a personal choice, but one that I recommend many enthusiasts try as I believe you will feel the same after driving one and living with it for a time. At the end of it all, you’ll emerge a better person for it.

Vintage Ferrari
Vintage Ferrari
Shelby Cobra
Shelby Cobra

If you are a casual user of the automobile, or view them as not much more than appliances, you might not understand this, but I invite you to read on. There are qualities in these cars worth noting; particularly in the older ones. Owning and driving one can change you in many ways. You will become adept at conversing with a wide range of people and will develop an appreciation for the finer details that can be found in places where you would least expect it.

Vintage Jaguar S Type
Vintage Jaguar S Type

Some of my favorite vintage cars are the ones that are very well used. They have a wonderful patina and the many blemishes tell a story about the car’s life. Well-worn paint often brings to mind the many times a caring owner polished it. A cracked and soft leather seat lets you know how many countless times someone sat in it and drove off on untold adventures. The worn pedals display the miles driven as much as the numbers on the odometer do.

There is much to love about the feel and sound of driving one as well. The experience goes well beyond the aesthetics. Every shift, every turn of the wheel and every press on the accelerator connects you to the road and the driving experience. You hear the exhaust note and feel the road in the seat of your pants and through the wheel. It guides you as you make demands of the car.

Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Austin Healey 100M
Austin Healey 100M

Every stop during your travels, be it a stop light or fuel stop, will no doubt result in countless conversations with admirers and like-minded individuals. For many, seeing a vintage car out and about brings back great memories for them and most are more than willing to share. If you’re the type to shy away from people, owning and running a vintage car will cure you of that. It won’t be long before you’re more than comfortable talking to almost anyone.

Jaguar XK120
Jaguar XK120

At the end of the day, living with and driving a vintage car makes you a much more well-rounded and appreciative person. That’s a good thing. We can all use a step back into the past every now and again. It’s an excellent way to get back into touch with reality and the people around us as we get more connected in a tactile way, rather than an electronic way.

Vintage dash and instruments
Vintage dash and instruments
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Riley Brooklands Special gains a new admirer
Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini Countach
Out and about in an MG GT
Out and about in an MG GT
Porsche 356 Convertible D
Porsche 356 Convertible D

The Fisker Karma – Electric Avenue

Karma was a rather curious name for a brand new plug-in-hybrid that was fielded by an equally new company in Fisker. Referencing the principle of causality right out of the gate was a bold move on anyone’s part, but more so having come from a company with no history of doing what it was proposing with this car. Its desire to convey good karma would have been perfect had the hopes and aspirations of its founders come to fruition. Instead, the company’s once bright future has been dimmed though a glimmer of hope for a new beginning does exist. Considering what they went through to get this car to the public, I do hope it gets that second chance. They managed to create their dream in less time and for less money than the giant GM could do for the Volt and that alone is a pretty significant accomplishment and well worth some good karma.

Fisker Karma Wheel
Fisker Karma Wheel

I have always loved these cars and seeing this one stealthy maneuver into place at the local Cars N Coffee is always a treat for me. The styling and attention to detail is superb which should come as no surprise since the co-founder, Henrik Fisker, had a brilliant design background. He left his mark on the Aston Martin DB9, V8 Vantage, and the lovely BMW Z8. His dream of reviving the coach built car in America was a good one and these cars poses a uniqueness not seen in the States for some time.

The interior is beautifully finished with an elegant central console that extends from the front through to the back. It has two sculpted windows that permit you to see through to the battery cell. It also houses a lovely crystal like gear selector as well as what no American can be without…cup holders. The wood trim accents were finished from reclaimed wood from California wildfires and the hides were utilized in a way that produced little waste.

Fisker Karma Steering Wheel
Fisker Karma Steering Wheel

The exterior styling is well done for such a rather large car. The flowing lines and graceful curves are accented with just the right creases and the large 22 inch wheels are perfectly suited to the scale of the car. And don’t pass on the roof as it’s worth a look. It’s a brilliant and well integrated solar cell unit that serves to keep the 12v system charged when not in continual use unless, of course, you park it in your garage.

Fisker Karma Solar Roof
Fisker Karma Solar Roof

I could go on and on about the virtues of this car, but the best thing to do is check it out the next time you see it at a show or just out and about. It’s well worth your time. Short of that, enjoy the rest of the gallery as it visually details many of the elements discussed and feel free to click on over to this gallery from the show for larger high-resolution images. Enjoy!

The lovely curves of the Fisker Karma
The lovely curves of the Fisker Karma
Wood trim dash of the Fisker Karma
Wood trim dash of the Fisker Karma
Fisker Karma key and gear selector
Fisker Karma key and gear selector
Fisker Karma left rear quarter "exhaust speaker"
Fisker Karma left rear quarter “exhaust speaker”