by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Warner Bros
THIS simple, ceremonial post marks the two thousandth and one article posted on Automobiles De Luxe since November of 2006. While that milestone might compare to our online peers like Pagani’s annual production tally vs. Ford’s global output, we feel it worth noting.
Thank you, dear readers for doing your part. And for ours, we’ll keep on keepin’ on – as the man says.
FOR the United Kingdom, the 1960s were strange and interesting times.
As a nation, we had finally regained some national confidence after the devastation and long-term rationing of the Second World War (the rationing, after all, had only ceased for Britain in 1954). To add to this, there had been the political embarrassment of the Suez crisis, and the population was rapidly rising.
From the midst of all this turmoil emerged many notable things. Primarily, these included hippies, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, and a ‘New Town’ called Milton Keynes.
If we discount the hippies for the moment, there is more similarity between the latter two than one might at first imagine.
In order to relieve pressure on housing in London in light of the population increase, it was decided by Parliament that several waves of ‘New Towns’ were to be built in the southeast of the country. Milton-Keynes was to be by far the largest and most ambitious of the scheme.
Consequently, on the 23rd January 1967, Milton Keynes was officially designated a ‘New Town’. What was fascinating about Milton Keynes was the forward thinking, modernist approach to town design and planning of founding architect, Derek Walker.
Walker took his inspiration from the Californian urban theorist Melvin Webber, and this inspiration is plain to see if one looks at Milton Keynes from above.
Unlike the majority of towns and cities in the UK, which have grown from little village centres over hundreds of years, the ‘clean sheet’ approach taken by the town planners allowed complete freedom to use any layout they chose.
Thus, Milton Keynes’ roads followed the American style grid and road naming system much preferred by Webber, rather than the somewhat higgledy-piggledy nature of roads in most British cities.
By now, you might well be wondering why on earth a piece on a 1960s British ‘New Town’ has appeared on a luxury car website. Indeed, that would be a very fair question.
The fact is, the similarities between one of the World’s best known luxury cars, the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Milton Keynes are pretty strong.
You see, as with Milton Keynes, the Silver Shadow followed a modernist approach towards design. The head of the styling team, John Blatchley, was charged with shaking off Rolls-Royces’ hitherto old-fashioned image.
To his credit, Blatchley managed this feat without losing all the elements of character that allowed Rolls-Royce the undoubted success it had enjoyed until then.
Like Milton Keynes, the design of the Silver Shadow employed all the new fangled technical expertise available at the time, though this author would suggest that the lines of some of the more concrete ridden 1960s buildings of Milton Keynes have not mellowed with age quite so well as those of the Silver Shadow.
I must confess that I really warmed to Milton Keynes, much as I did to the Silver Shadow. Both are obvious contrasts to the accepted wisdom of what went before, yet both manage to retain an element of their predecessors charm and character.
Perhaps it is for this reason that both designs succeeded in their aim of subtle modernisation in such a big way.
Sometimes life presents the nice kind of hard choices.
Harvard or Yale? Paris or Rome? Oil or gold?
If you had to boil the benefits of both down to experiencing just one long term – and both presented impeccable qualifications to justify your expenditure of time and money… how could you choose?
Would you opt for Yale only to miss Beantown’s nightlife? Would you vie for Paris and do without Villa Borghesi? Or what if you put all your chips down on gold only to watch oil futures rocket beyond the horizon?
The debate between which BMW convertible the 1-Series or 3-Series, presents a similarly luxurious dilemma. To buy both would be a foolhardy expenditure of $100K. And at $100K, there are many more enticing cars that you should be considering- used Aston Martins and Ferraris come to mind.
So sense and sensibility dictate that you should opt for just one BMW drop top for your garage. Trouble is…or was… I just couldn’t. Whether it was color choices or amenities or character – both the 1er and 3er present strong, if endearing cases.
That’s why in this segment, we took the 128i and 328i to Block Island (a scenic spit of hills off Rhode Island’s coast) and asked SoCal native and one-time Infiniti owner Alexandra Harbushka to judge which convertible might entice her to switch to a roundel badged car.
To say the least, we were surprised by her choice. TRT: 09:30.
Executive Producers: Gunnar Heinrich & Neil Rogers
Line Producer: Tiffany Hopkins
Editors: Neil Rogers | Kevin Kusina
Camera: Neil Rogers | Chris Reo | Ben Winchell
Writer | Host: Gunnar Heinrich
Special Thanks: BMW | Block Island Chamber of Commerce| Dres. Ward Heinrich, Sr. & Jr.| J.M. Ficca
Automobiles De Luxe & CPTV
By Gunnar Heinrich
SOMETIMES you just can’t get enough ADL…
Automobiles De Luxe airs tonight (Sunday, May 3rd) six o’clock on WEDH, WEDN, and WEDW – the three glitzy stations for CPTV, the Constitution State’s PBS member station.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, that’s the same li’l network that could and did bring the world Barney, the purple dinosaur along with Thomas & Friends™.
From our P.O.V., the giddy T. Rex and self confident choo-choo should be so honored.
- About CPTV -
CPTV and WNPR serve the entire state of Connecticut–reaching an estimated 750,000 television viewers and more than 180,000 radio listeners each week. The company operates with a $20 million annual budget, funded in large part through community support from individuals, corporations and foundations.
CPTV and WNPR’s community-supported, statewide public broadcasting networks are dedicated to serving diverse communities with a mix of educational, news, public affairs, children’s, and entertainment programming and services.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class made one of the lists…
By Gunnar Heinrich
IN a blogosphere filled with year-end automotive “Best” lists, it’s ADL’s turn to contribute its vibrato to the chorus. That having been said, and as is our M.O., we’re going to do things a little differently…