While 'Lincoln Logs' make good toys for children, grown-ups want grown-up toys. Thankfully, there's a new Lincoln toy for big boys. Debuting at the New York International Auto Show, or NYIAS, the Lincoln Continental Concept hints at what will be Lincoln's newest sedan. I have only recently started paying attention to Lincoln, a brand that I had just about forgotten, when I visited a brand new Lincoln dealership in Shanghai. While they only have two models available in Shanghai right now, the MKZ sedan and MKC crossover, you can be sure that they will be bringing a large Continental-inspired sedan to China when it hits production.
Ford's luxury brand clearly started with a fresh sheet of paper with this one, as it tosses Lincoln's current design language out the window (especially the polarizing 'split wing' grille design), replacing it with a dramatic and intricate grille with repeating cut-outs mimicking the Lincoln logo. To my eyes the design is clean and simple, and a refreshing change from 'over-designed' cars that have too much going on. Lincoln was originally known for being a sharp car dressed in a tuxedo, and this newest concept stays true to that theme. Even the door handles are hidden, so that nothing disrupts the flow down the side of the car.
The interior is equally elegant and rich looking, with lots of chrome and leather and even some thick carpeting thrown in for good measure. As with most show cars, one can expect that the interior will lose many of the fancy features (like the rear buckets and full-length console), though one can hope that Lincoln will keep at least some of the most interesting bits.
If my newfound infatuation for Lincoln continues, I think that I will have to rename my blog to the Lincoln (B)Log! I still don't foresee owning a car while living in Shanghai, but if ever I could swing it, I might very well have to give up on ratty old beaters and graduate to something a little more luxurious! Here's to hoping that the Lincoln Continental gets to production as close to this concept as possible... and soon!
It took 15 years, but I have been vindicated! To those that laughed at me and the Pontiac Fiero bucket seats that I had in my living room, let me just say that I was ahead of the curve. Not only does the automotive style apparently have a place in the home, but it can even be considered a classy and upmarket way to furnish ones living space. I present the following as photographic evidence:
That's right! Yours truly has the same sophisticated ideas when it comes to home décor as the wonderful folks at 'Bentley Home', who produce luxury furnishings and accessories inspired by the fabled British super-luxury automotive brand. Better known for their large, powerful luxury coupes and sedans like the Continental, Arnage, and Flying Spur, the Bentley name has also been applied to a line of furniture for your living room, bedroom, office, and lounge.
The following is a description of the products from the 'Bentley Home Collection', taken from their website:
"The new Bentley Home collection takes traditional and modernist designs, injecting a little of the spirit of the British gentleman driver. The leather, veneers, metal, and glass throughout the suite, along with and the distinctive quality of each object mirrors that of a Bentley’s performance and luxury core elements."
While the furniture was arguably of better taste than a pair of faded grey cloth bucket seats from a 1984 Fiero that left rust stains on the carpet, I DID notice that none of the pricey Bentley seats or chairs include stereo speakers built into the headrests. That was one of the avant-garde features of the Fiero buckets, so while Bentley may have a slight lead on the materials, finish, detailing, quality, prestige, and marketing of their products, lets just say that when it comes to integrated audio outputs, they have a thing or two to learn from the Fiero!
I do have to admit that the Bentley chair pictured above is a more upscale piece for a modern living room. Still, after having wired my surround-sound speakers into the old Fiero seats, the movie-watching experience was greatly improved, not to mention the added comfort of the reclining function. Perhaps the only improvement I could have made would have been to install a proper base, as they quite easily fell over backwards, leaving the occupant covered in popcorn, flailing around with their legs in the air...
Lets just say that I will have to think twice before I place my order at 'Bentley Home' when it comes time to purchase some new chairs for the living room, though there's no question that I'm sold on the automotive theme!
LCRC- Luxury Car Rental Club, have just sent us their top 10 selection of cars. The 85th International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland has just closed and the experts in luxury car rentals from LCRC, including our friends Jo Berks and Nick Cowell, commented that it was one of the most exciting shows they have ever attended:
“As always the big guns from Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini stepped out to preview some of their hottest new cars for the upcoming year. It really is a joy to view some of these exotic car before they hit the streets!”
The cars this year were really making a stance; but these are their top 10 favorites!
Embedded from Luxury Car Rental Club
Sometimes you have to be man enough to admit your flaws. I am lucky enough to have lots of people around me that point mine out, so I have many to choose from! My biggest weakness as an automotive fan is falling in love with the kind of cars that most people laugh off. The car in question this time? The Daewoo Tico. During a recent trip to Cambodia I first discovered this small 5-door car, and quickly realised that they are quite popular in that country. It appeared to be one of the more popular small used cars, judging by the number I saw on the streets and in the countryside.
Having never heard of the Tico before, I had to look it up, and learned that it was produced by Daewoo, a Korean automotive manufacturer, from 1991 until 2001. It was based on the Suzuki Alto, and produced mainly for Eastern European consumption. The small Tico looks particularly narrow, even for a city car, but its tall, upright cabin clearly gives it impressive interior space. A 5-door hatchback, it proved relatively popular in countries like Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic. It was also sold in South America. Interestingly, I found no official information about sales of the Tico in Cambodia, so I suspect that they were imported en masse into that country as used models.
Luckily I had the chance to discuss this car with a friend who is familiar with it, having grown up in Poland. He told me that if the simple, unassuming Tico had met a certain success, it's because it was the most affordable 5-door small car when all of the competition only had 3 doors. He also directed me towards a fan website dedicated to the little Daewoo, so I contacted the owner of the site and sent along a few of my photos. Click below on the link to discover other fans of the lovable Tico, but be warned, it's in Polish!
As happy as I was to be able to feed my unnatural love of all automotive things obscure with this Tico discovery, things got even more interesting when my travels took me to the southern coast of Cambodia and the seaside city of Sihanoukville. While regular 'tuktuk' taxis (small wagons with bench seats pulled by little motorcycles) are common in Cambodian cities, in Sihanoukville these had been replaced by modified Ticos! Each one looked a little bit different, so it would seem that owners use their creativity when modifying their Ticos into open-air tourist chariots. I was only able to snap a few pictures from the bus window as I was leaving town, but you can still get a look at these fun little Frankeinstein-ish Ticos!
The more I explore my weird-car side, the more I like it. From now on I will treat it as my mission, to uncover and share with the world these little-known and often unloved cars! Many popular old classic cars have huge followings and don't need our support, so lets take the road less travelled and shed some light on these cars that failed to enter the history books but still have a few dedicated fans.
Feel free to send along any of your suggestions if you know of any rare, unique, or forgotten gems that you feel deserve a little attention, and of course any pictures if you have them to share!
My first automotive interaction on a recent vacation to Cambodia was with a Toyota Camry. This was the model of taxi that took us from the airport to the hotel in the capital city of Phnom Penh. I quickly discovered that this was not a fluke: the Toyota Camry is CLEARLY the most popular vehicle in the southeastern Asian country.
And it's not just the Camry. Several other Toyota models, like the Corolla compact, Prius hybrid, Hilux midsize pickup, and LandCruiser large SUV were everywhere I looked. The Camry was clearly the winner though, with many examples of the different generations popping up all over the place. In total Toyota has produced 7 generations of their midsize car, which is especially popular in Japan and North America. The 3rd to 6th generations are the ones I saw the most of in Cambodia, often doing taxi duty. In general the vehicles I encountered were in very nice shape, with many owners frequently washing and cleaning their cars due to the large amount of dust from the partially paved roads and construction everywhere.
Without trying very hard, I was able to find 4 different generations of the Camry in one spot; you can't see the oldest light blue one in the first shot, but in the second you can see that it's hiding behind a (you guessed it!) Toyota pickup!
Another surprise was the number of Lexus SUVs I saw, especially the RX300 and RX330 models. Lexus is the luxury division of Toyota, and their cars and SUVs are apparently the top choice for wealthy Cambodian families. Many were decked-out with shiny trim pieces and 'Lexus' logos on the sides and hoods, suggesting that Cambodian's are proud of their luxury cars and want to get noticed!
Need proof of just how many Camry's clog the streets? When I was downloading the pictures from my phone after the trip, I found one random shot that I must have taken by accident. Can you guess what it's of? A Toyota Camry!
Still need more proof? When we hired a driver for a day trip to visit some of Cambodia's fantastic temples around Siem Reap... his car was a Camry! And the taxi that took us back to the airport? Voilà, a Camry!!!
I don't think that it would be an exaggeration to state that over 2/3 of the vehicles I encountered were from Toyota and Lexus. While I am not a huge Toyota lover (or hater, for that matter), there is no denying the popularity of their products. It would seem that Cambodia has caught the Toyota bug! I may not have caught the Toyota bug myself, but I did catch another bug that left me with a pretty upset tummy for a few days... though I'm sure none of you want to hear about that!
Has anyone every visited a country (other than the US, Canada, or Japan) that showed such a love interest in all things Toyota?
Welcome! My name is Paul, and I am an old-fashioned, low-pressure, low-buck car fan with lots of automotive stories to tell!