As most of you know, I am big on cars. I have been since I was a little kid. I distinctly remember my dad and his passion for them as well. I remember many of our past cars. One of them was purple with a white interior vinyl interior. Chrysler called it ‘Plum Crazy Purple’. You’ll see this phrase being recycles on the new Dodge Challenger and Charger models now. Oddly, the most memorable thing about that purple car was the rear ‘package tray’ cover. And by ‘package tray’ I mean the part at the back window where the speakers were mounted and was often where people put ‘packages’ on the inside of a car to carry around. The cover that my dad’s car had was this fake blue/white fur covering. I liked it so much that when dad got rid of the car, I kept that and used it as a covering for my dresser in my room. I had it for many years.
As for the car, well I don’t honestly recall what model it was. I do recall that it had an 8-track player in it and a console shift. We have no pics of the car, which is a shame.
I also recall a time that my dad bought a 1969 Dodge Dart. He was going to race it. So we stripped the car down in our backyard. I remember doing this quite vividly and I am lucky enough to know that my parents have pictures of this (Hey mom, scan them and send them to so I can add them to the post ). I rather fondly recall my dad telling a friend that they should go for a ride because the car had a killer engine. They got in the car and dad backed down the driveway. When he got to the end of it, he just floored it and left two patches of black marks up the whole thing. His friend was rather white-faced and holding on to the dashboard rather strongly for a minute or two after dad had stopped. That was funny.
Mom got me the scanned pics. There are two of them. The first shows me in the driver’s seat at 10 yrs of age and my brother sitting on the door sill beside me. The second picture shows my dad(blue overalls) and some friends yanking the motor out for more work on the car.
Then a few weeks later I learned that dad wrecked the car while goofing around. Yeah, some things have never changed except that now a days kids have no idea what they are driving so there is a rather disturbing disconnect between man and machine. There are the rare bunch of guys and gals who actually do their own work but most just pay someone else and have never turned a wrench in their life. The biggest claim to fame is that they ‘modded’ the car by adding a couple of stickers. I have done the whole gamut. I have done my own oil changes, brake jobs, replaced a radiator, water pump, brake master cylinder, interior carpet, headlights, and even took apart a few engines to fix. I have also added lights, LEDs, radios, CBs(yes….I said it…CB….), as well as stickers and headlight strobe lights.
I have kept up with the automotive world and paid attention to trends. About 15 years ago I heard someone say “If the imports ever get styling right, they’ll give domestics a hard time.” Well guess what. Have you seen what the latest line of Hyundai’s look like? They call their style ‘fluidic sculpture’ and I am blown away.
But before we get into ‘now’ pictures, let’s show a ‘before’ shot.
Probably one of the first cars people thing of is the Hyundai Excel (it replaced the Pony). My father-in-law has a 1986 Excel. It looks like this one.
One ad bragged “Our new 3-door coupe looks like a million but costs $995,005 less.” Well, given the fact that my father-in-law never throws away anything that still works, should be a testament to how long a ‘cheap import’ can last when taken care of.
Ok, that was then. This is now.
This is the new 2011 Hyundai Avante(Korean)/Elantra(North American). Do you think they got the styling down pat now? And this is just their ENTRY level car. The Sonata, Grandeur(Korea)/Azera(North American), Genesis (sedan and coupe) and Equus (pronounced ee-koos, a take on the latin word for horse) are all damn well designed cars.
And it’s not just designs. These cars are well-built. Say what you want about imports, but when the number of Hyundais on the road are about half of the total, that says a lot about their build. No matter where a car is built, if it is really as bad as someone says, no company will stay in business long.
So, let’s get on with the show. As I still had our old camera when I took the pictures, I was limited in how many I could take before the batteries died out. (Long story short, the second set of batteries were dead already….). So I really only took pictures of some of the more flashier cars and women.
Wait….what? Women?? (All the guys are cheering right now, all the girls are rolling their eyes….but there is a reason, which I shall explain.)
There is no doubt about the saying ‘sex sells’ and nowhere does this hold more true than an Asian auto show. See, I’ve been to the International Auto Show in Toronto. It’s busy as well, spread over one heck of a venue and showcases the best of the supposedly best. Still, at those shows, you see every car that can be bought, plus a bunch of concepts that you can’t get near. As well as the nostalgic section of Antiques and American Muscle. In Asia, there is an obvious difference. Of course there is no ‘muscle’ section, as defined by North Americans. Displaying a car over here says a lot about both the car and even more so about the company.
One cannot simply put a car on the floor and simply expect people to say “Damn, I’mma gettin me one of dese tings!” (Word). Nope, here classy cars are not enough. You need women.
Now, it’s no secret that the automotive world is dominated by men. This not some sort of sexist statement, it is purely logical that there is a great amount of ego attached to a car and men have ego to spare. So add a pretty woman to a display and instant ego-grabbing attention.
This is the The Daewoo Chairman Limousine. The Chairman is Daewoo’s top of the line (Think Cadillac). Add in a very beautiful girl and stern business types look….”oh, hey, a car is there too. Well, might as well have a gander while we are here.”
Of course, those are the for the cars you can buy. The ones you can’t, i.e. concepts, are a step up. Add in a rotating platform so that you get to see the girl from…car from all sides and people take notice.
Unfortunately I was on a bit of a time-table so many of these concepts don’t have names associated with them. Some will be obvious who makes them.
Asian’s don’t just hire any women, these are professional models. Most looked great, a number looked rather bored. Still, it’s a long day to be just standing there smiling all the time.
Oh, and the parts manufacturers weren’t gonna be left out!
Check out the rest of the pictures in the album below.
|Seoul Motor Show 2011|