classic beauty - '57 Corvette
was a time when cars were really cool -- especially those
coming out of General Motors. The 50s became the birthing
decade of hot cars and sexy roadsters. Most notably was
the Corvette, which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Not too many companies can boast such endurance of a street
rod named desire.
in its second century, the Corvette Z06 begins the sixth
generation of rebirth with not only an audience of original
lovers but also a new breed of suitors lined up for the
car of their dreams. Some wait with baited breath for the
first of the sixth to roll off the factory floor while others
are in hot pursuit of something more classic, aged to perfection,
rumbling with the sweet sounds of history and a street-wise
attitude. Its worth the wait.
Corvette is king of its genre it is not alone in its kingdom.
The 55 and 57 Chevys still hold the hearts of
many, a car so in demand today that another zero has been
added to its original sticker price. A mere $50,000 or more
lets you drive away in a mint-condition classic. The very
lucky ones find a ragtop.
the 50s moved into the 60s more hotties rolled off the GMs
production lines. There was the Chevy Camaro and Impala,
Pontiacs Firebird, and who can forget the rip-roaring
GTO, another Pontiac classic which today is not only back
from the dead but more desirable than ever. It was truly
the muscle car era, a time when hot cars ruled, guys in
leather were cool, and music was becoming the universal
language among those under 25. Boy, how things change.
came the gas wars of the 70s. Big engines and big boxy brutes
gave way to little runts that ruled the road. Long lines
of 4-cylinder 4-speeds encircled city blocks to fill up
on what might be the last gas to be gotten for weeks. The
panic had started. Consumers dumped their gas-guzzlers in
fear of being stranded by the road or by their wallets.
Junkyards gave rise to an infectious domain to menacing
rodents and mafia dumplings.
80s emerged as an era of big things; big hair, big shoulder
pads, and big excess, none of which survived the decade.
GM, like many other automakers, entered the era with big
cars and poor quality, a reputation that would ultimately
lead them down the road to perdition.
was then, this is now. Todays GM -- under the leadership
of CEO Rick Wagoner and direction of consummate car guy
Bob Lutz -- have repaved the path of GM with products that
not only ooze quality but also have brought back that hot
pizzazz that makes cars more than a mode of transportation.
They make you sweat.
GM, the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a train.
In fact, one might say GM is now on the road to redemption.
Owning up to their faults, and learning from their mistakes,
theyve moved on, ready to show the world how its
a recent full-line preview of GM products, I expected to
find the same-old, same-old. Instead, it was like being
retrofitted back to the future. There, glistening in the
sunlight were dozens of fine forms and designs that were
so emotionally compelling it was difficult to decide where
to begin. First instincts were to touch and smell.
newest beauty - 2004 Cadillac XLR
beginning to look like 2004 will become known as the year
of roadster rebirth. Cadillac, which has undergone an extreme
makeover this past year, is launching the XLR,
a two-seater roadster that rivals any sports car made. In
fact, it may be in a class of its own. Cadillac also has coming
its own crossover version, the SRX, hitting showroom floors
soon, which we predict will be huge hit with the upscale consumer
crowd seeking to shed a minivan or SUV, especially women.
In fact, since the debut of the CTS last year, women and men alike are looking at Cadillac in
a whole new way -- it's younger, hipper, sexier. Its
no longer your fathers car.
is not only proudly celebrating the 50th anniversary of
its famed Corvette it is about to unleash the Malibu Maxx, one of the most
safety conscious cars Ive ever seen in the mid-size
sedan segment ever. Due to launch in early 2004, look for
amazing gadgetry such as retractable pedals for the short
and tall, a rear sun roof, side-impact air bags which deploy
upon any side or roll-over impact, and my personal favorite,
OnStar, a must have for any and all kinds of safety and
security issues that can happen on the road.
functional beauty -
2004 GMC Envoy XUV
has one of the hottest new entries into the SUV market for
2004, the Envoy XUV. Disguised as an SUV this piece of art
does all sorts of cool things for those who want it all. With
a retractable roof and a power sliding mid-section, the XUV
easily transforms into a variation of a pick-up truck only
much more elegant. For those who need to haul things long
or tall the XUV wont hinder delivery but will clean
up nicely with a washable backend that drains not stains.
No muscle required.
also has something to brag about. The launch of last years
H2 opened the road to of a whole new breed of SUV lovers.
If you liked that just wait until you see the new Hummer
SUT -- think Arnold Swarzenegger meets David Hasselhoff
at the beach (but minus the slo-mo beach bunnies).
lets not forget Buick, the GM line once relegated to
the grandparents. Not any more. While Buick has worked to
maintain its air of elegance it has met the challenge of its
new demographic desires. More suitable for, say, a Harrison
Ford than a Henry, the Rainier, Buicks first entry into
the SUV market smells of success for a more sophisticated
and mature audience who seek pure comfort, quiet, and style
on the open road. It comes standard with a towing package
that can haul up to 6700 pounds for those pulling mobile homes,
horse trailers, or Harley Heritages.
of course, theres Pontiac, the performance player
in GMs house of cars. Look for the coolest of the
cool in their 2004 GTO, as well as some design updates,
nameplate changes and performance enhancers coming out of
Detroit on a family of products known for their power structure
and drive. Deyre da bomb!
anniversary beauty - '04 Corvette Z06
more news than one story will permit, so suffice it to say
that GM has come back swinging. And while they have not yet
won the war on quality they are definitely winning most of
what was once a plethora of uphill battles. Quality and design
are back. So is performance and power. And even though the
war goes on one thing remains certain. GM is leading the charge,
as a great General should, by putting the pride back in Made