I came across this one in my neighborhood last night. It stood out among the generic family sedans lining the street like the Sports Illustrated bikini team would at an Amish family gathering. And while I certainly enjoyed the eye candy on my way home from work, I was definitely a little surprised to see it parked on the street in such a casual manner. I was even more surprised this morning when I discovered it still parked among all those Toyotas and Hondas. Hopefully the owner will emerge at some point to make sure the car is not resting on cinderblocks.
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People have been celebrating the day Columbus arrived unofficially since the late 18th century. Maserati has been dreaming up drop dead gorgeous, blindingly fast race and sports cars since 1914. The holiday and the car are both dripping with Italian pride, making any sort of brand affiliation a marketing no brainer. The Italian sports car maker has really been the toast of NY lately. First, with the grand opening of their 5,000 Sq Ft, stand alone showroom in SOHO. And then with this honor of leading the 66th annual Columbus Day Parade up Fifth Avenue. Among the impressive flock of classic and contemporary Maseratis, a 16-cylinder V4 Spyder that clinched the world’s speed record in 1929. On your way home from work later, check out the GranTurismo convertible parked inside Grand Central – not only is it easy on the eyes but you can enter a raffle to potentially take it home. It’s all for charity.
On a side note, we would like to think that Columbus would have driven a Maserati if cars had existed back in 1492.
Photos Credit: Maserati
We are always pleased when charity functions use cool cars as their main source of donation appeal. Sunday’s Alpine Classic Inivatational Car Show, for instance, put 100% of the proceeds from the all-day Car Show ($20 to get in) and Concorso d’Eleganza (judged car show) toward achieving the Education Foundation of Alpine’s “Building A Better Tomorrow” campaign goal of $4M. How can we say no to that when all that is required of us is to look and gab about cars all day. And while the show wasn’t exactly up to Concours standards (no program, lack of vehicle descriptions, etc), it definitely drew a good mix of American and European precious metal. Everything from Steve Urkel’s BMW Isetta to an uber exotic Maserati MC12.
Photos galore after the jump and in our featured gallery
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Friend, artist and fellow automotive maniac Bob Petillo is a car spotter from another mother. His photo realistic paintings, yes that’s a painting you’re looking at, look shockingly identical to the real photographs to which they are based. Only upon close inspection does the look and texture of the canvas come into sight. Bob tells me the collection, which he calls “Reflections of America“, is meant to create a window into a time period and “capture the heart and soul of this great country”. As I’m sure you will agree, his work is simply amazing.
“I was walking along at a local car show and there it was. The aesthetics of this 57 Chevy in the sunlight was enough to send me back to the car for my camera. I knew it was a painting but not the inspiration of a whole series until right before I did the second piece. It was painted with acrylics directly on the canvas after transferring a sketch. Many guys use an air brush to paint auto images, but I like good old fashioned paint brushes. It’s 4,000 year old technology (animal hair on the end of a stick) but it still works. The photorealistic painting style is supposed to make a painting look exactly like a photo until you get up close. At the bottom, I put in a surrealistic self portrait. All it needed was an American Flag!”
Look for more from Bob next week.
Our pal Dave Pinter took time out of his busy Paris Auto Show schedule to chronicle some local street culture and remind us how much better Europeans have it than we do. Case in point, they have enjoyed this sweet little Fiat 500 since 2007 while we continue to wait for the retro modern hatchback to hit U.S. shores (the latest word is December 2010). This particular example, the Abarth, is a red hot performance version of the 500 with all manor of menacing design cues that transform vehicle character from urban chic to track ready boy racer. Think of the Abarth as Fiat’s throwback answer to Mini’s John Cooper Works-branded vehicles. Word on the street is that Americans will get an even hotter version of the Abarth sometime around the end of 2011/beginning of 2012. We can’t freekin wait!
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We’re not sure how much road time Bowlmor Lanes gets out of this custom made Caddy pick up truck we spotted in a nearby University Place garage, but it’s definitely one hell of an advertisement to all those who pass by. I mean how many crystal red vintage Cadillacs do you see with flat beds as long as Honda Civics in back? Take it from me, there aren’t many.
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Deep pocketed Manhattanites now have more choice than ever when it comes to purchasing exotic sports cars. You have Tesla selling $100K electric roadsters in Chelsea. Then there is Manhattan Motorcars on 11th selling all variety of exotic nameplates like Bentley, Lotus, Lamborghini, Porsche, Panoz, Rolls Royce and Spyker. There is even a Ferrari experience store on 55th and Park Avenue, though no sales actually go on there (we’re still trying to figure that one out). And now, the final chapter…a stand alone Maserati dealership in SOHO of all neighborhoods. The new 5,000 square foot showroom set the scene for a swanky grand opening party last night and there were no shortage of frills for the well-heeled guests in attendance to indulge in. Drinks were flowing, music was spinning and they even got celebrity chef Todd English to do live cooking demonstrations.
Believe it or not, we only spotted one guy sporting a pony tail.
more pics after the jump
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