1972 Ford Carousel (photo courtesy: forum.chryslerminivan.net)
What is the deal with minivans? I was thinking the other day that as an outdoor person, minivan’s are perfect. They have lots of room for people and gear, AWD (in some cases), lots of roof space, and better MPG’s than an SUV. But apparently I can’t own one because they’re not cool. I could get a wagon though. Isn’t a minivan just a super-sized wagon?
The easy answer: desperation. More literally though, all three have recently employed the talents of hip hop producer Swizz Beatz in more or less desperate attempts to recapture some much-needed cool. Unfortunately for Lotus, the most recent employer of Mr Beatz, they’re not only getting “sloppy thirds,” but they have to actually share promotional space with Reebok, of all brands. So why did Lotus, a brand with loads of heritage and under-the-radar cool, hire a guy to pass along such brilliant advice as “the key is to infiltrate the market in a cool way” and “for a premium sportscar, they want the flash”? According to Lotus’s release (with video)
1. Like Group Lotus , he means business: He’s a risk taker with considerable credentials including music producer, rapper, designer AND painter.
2. Like our cars, he’s multi award winning: This year he shared a Grammy Award with Jay-Z.
3. Like Group Lotus he keeps good company: This man regularly works with the likes of Bono, Kanye West, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.
Even if you think Lotus should avoid the “enthusiast trap,” this is a bad call. Having already pimped for Aston-Martin, Swizz’s automotive-sector cool has been spread thin… and does Lotus really want to be associated with his other comeback client, Reebok? The answer: no, but it’s already too late. Lotus was already putting the cool cart before the new product horse, and hiring a prominent and over-booked shill certainly won’t help.
The ad shown above seems to cement a sad reality for automotive enthusiasts: the objects of our passion are no longer considered the cutting edge of material culture. And this reality is reflected is reflected in more than just ads for mobile phones, the object that appears to have replaced cars as the touchstone of youthful cool. For a broad array of reasons, young people (the traditional arbiters of cool) are less obsessed with cars and car ownership than they once were. Even automakers themselves are rushing the automobile to the scrapheap of history by seeking to load ever more phone-like capabilities to cars, a trend that both fuels phone mania and disinterest in driving as an intrinsically rewarding experience. But, it seems, that cars can still be cool after all… (Read More…)
Terrence Steven McQueen was born to a stunt pilot father and an alcoholic mother on this day in 1930. His father left them both halfway to Steve’s first birthday. In the ensuing years he would find a home on his Uncle’s farm in Indiana, be moved to Indianapolis and L.A. where he was shipped off to a Junior Republic by an abusive stepfather, lumberjack, be a Marine guard for President Harry Turman’s yacht and become the highest paid movie star in the world.