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To Boston!

By Gunnar Heinrich

AUTOMOBILES DE LUXE is on the road to Beantown where Saab USA will show off their latest, (hopefully) greatest, jet black, charged and cross-driven Turbo X.

Over the next forty-eight, ADL photographer exemplar Kevin Kusina and yours will meet with GM reps, Saab dealers, fellow automotive writers, and a line of Saab “heritage” vehicles – notable models from the marque’s past which I’m really keen on reviewing.

And of course, we’ll have some road and (heh) track time with the Turbo X.

Despite the General’s gracious hospitality shown by once again keeping us luxuriously fed and housed, their Swedish division’s $40K+ flagship has an uphill battle to win this writer’s approval.

The standard, Epsilon platformed 9-3 sedan which I drove a few years back was a good, but mostly forgettable experience. And the latest technological magic that the Turbo X is meant to cast will come from the same, albeit facelifted version of that same milquetoast four door.

Holding true to my belief that Saab is a (supafly) niche car company that shines best when it produces cars like the 9-X concept, on first take the Turbo X seems like more vain Teuton chasing. Saab’s strengths lie outside the midsize luxury sedan market.

Still a fair hearing the Turbo X shall get and you shall read in the coming hours.

Keep it locked.

[Linked: Saab Turbo X]

If The Name Fits, Sell It > Mercedes Gazelle

A “Mercedes” unlike any other… Mercedes

By Gunnar Heinrich

WEB CRAWLING through Hemmings this afternoon, yours came across an unusual classified ad offering a Mercedes “Gazelle.”

Mercedes…Gazelle…

Read ad’s vague description below:

“This beautiful 1929 Mercedes-Benz Gazelle is ready for some summer cruising! Take it to shows or just cruise around with the convertible top down either way you are guaranteed to get some looks! [...]$10,595″

The model name really didn’t fit in with Benz’s standard alphanumeric lexicon, so your resident inquisitive MB enthusiast investigated further.

What’s on-sale at Hemmings is a kit car (duh) that’s appallingly similar to those bloody Excalibur kit cars. Indeed, there seem to be healthy markets for both models, more web digging yielded quite a few results on Mercedes-Benz Gazelles.

The 1929 Gazelle replicar is a modern day kit-car that’s supposed to look like Mercedes-Benz’s M.Y. ’29 SSK roadster.

Most Gazelles are finished in baby food cream on dirty-diaper brown and are built on the chassis once recongized as a Ford, Chevy, or Volkswagen. Apparently, rear-engined variants based on V-dubs are preferred by those in the know.

The two-seaters have a (surprising) cult following and there’s even a site called Steampunkworshop.com that catalogs the conversion process of what it takes to build a Gazelle.

Tap the links to read more about the faux-Benz that’s all the rage among the 70s-replicar-set.

[Linked: Hemmings | Steampunk Workshop]

Tech Update…

Bridging the gap is seldom easy.

They said it would be easy. Brainless. Simple. The Model T of transitions. Apply any other superlative needed to express how painless transfering a simple blogsite onto a hosting server under its own domain could be.

No problems. Peace of cake.

Yeah.

Right.

One month and counting…

And as if that weren’t enough, it seems like the whole Google network is running on three cylinders today.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Have a look at CAR Magazine’s Porsche celebration >>> At least someone’s got cause…

ADL’s Technical Difficulty

Automobiles de Luxe is in the shop due to technical gremlins. Check back on Wednesday, April 30th for the next update.

Weekend Snapshot > Forging Ahead

ya gotta do, what ya gotta do
(img: Reuters)

Weekend Snapshot > Finding Wintry Grace In A Porsche

Image: MotorTrend
It’s just beyond the crest of yonder hill…

Best of the Webspecials

Image:Porsche

Each automaker’s marketing folk put time and effort into creating the most communicative and exciting websites that will speak to buyers and enthusiasts alike. And for most every site worth its bandwith, there’s a link to a webspecial on this or that latest and greatest model.

Here’s a rundown of the best I’ve come across in recent escapades of auto surfing. It’s the best of the Webspecials.

Porsche Cayman S Design Edition 1

The intro flash movie to this site starts off like a Batman movie. Lofty shots of Dark Gotham skylines (I count skyscrapers from NYC, Chicago, and LA) matched with suitably moody music which you can set between between “Eclipse,” “Dusk,” and, most notable, “Gloom.”

Spend a few minutes and the music and scenery will have you saying, “Holy mysterious Cayman S Design Edition 1 webspecial, Batman!”

Lamborghini

Lamborghini’s entire site runs like a Macromedia web special. Because, the site pretty much is one big flash file of running bulls.

The opening image is of a cowboy riding – guess one of the following a) ostrich b) emu c) bull – with the caption “Ready to Ride?” Your answers are Yes or No. Being obstinate, I clicked no. You might click yes.

Pagani

Lots of flash are what Italians are known for. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that yes another Italian based company creates a website will lots of flash to showcase its cars – in this case the remarkable Zondas.

It’s good to give the li’l guys a boost. Check out the site’s downloads.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

RR has maintained a professionally posh site since 2003. In the past couple of years, the marque has made frequent use of webspecials to showcase their latest concepts and production models with heavy use of simple films that showcase beautiful Rollers in even lovelier locales.

Case-in-point is the new Rolls droptop intro that I’m pretty sure was shot in California.

Jaguar XF

The cat hasn’t gotten any prettier, but the webspecial sure is sleek. Lots of flash clips with shots from the same people who did “Gorgeous.” Mercifully, the obnoxious VO guy who says “Gorgeous” 10 times per second was absent.

Posh treatment for an otherwise mundane looking auto.

Five Cars To Be Thankful For


Whether these autos gives us hope for an aesthetically pleasing tomorrow or just raise the bar in engineering excellence, it’s time to recognize some ’07 cars that should move every auto enthusiast to pause and give thanks.

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

The 8C is easily the most beautiful car created in the past 40 years. That only 500 are to be made this year means it will be exclusive and collectible. The Alfa raises the bar in style for the automotive industry and shows us that implementing classic language in contemporary design does work in a modern car without looking retro. The upcoming 8C Spyder is even sexier.

Mercedes-Benz Ocean Drive

Even though Ocean Drive was originally conceived as Maybach, it succeeds as a Benz. Clock that traditional grille. Eclipsing the current S-Class, the four-door drop-top reminds the world that there was a time that Mercedes-Benz built grand cars and that they may do so again.

Aston Martin DBS

With the limited exception of Alfa’s 8C, Aston Martin produces the world’s most elegant sportscars. The latest Aston carries the marque’s heritage forward without looking dated while raising the performance bar to dizzying heights of speed. Take that, Porsche.

BMW 1-Series

The new coupĂ© that’s bound for America, brings the BMW marque back to its no-nonesense sporting routes. The 1-Series is about keeping it simple – in the tradition of the original 2002 and early iterations of the 3-Series. And in an era where the 3-Series sedan now comes with as much cosseting kit as a Lexus, BMW traditionalists everywhere have cause to be especially thankful.

BMW 3-Series Convertible

Thank you, Mr. Van Hooydonk for saving us from the chaos that is Chris Bangle’s abstract hand BMW has returned to it stylistic senses with the latest 3-Series drop-top and has spared us from the wandering, beastly curves. That they’ve managed to incorporate the Hoffmeister kink is a coup de grace.

Ebay To Go


Recently, I’ve added “E-Bay To Go” to Automobiles de Luxe.

This advertising feature for E-Bay.com pays the publisher nothing monetarily (blast!) but it might, just might appeal to you – dear reader.

That’s why, for the moment, I’ve put it there. And that’s why I’m asking you to sound out in comments whether you like it, don’t like, don’t care, or can’t find it because of browser issues.

— update

The feature has been removed.

In For Service


~ Automobiles de Luxe will resume posting on Monday, November 19th ~