Just Above Sunset
July 9, 2006 - Conspicuous Consumption

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Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, has his automotive shots - the "Fiat 500 of the Week" on the streets of Paris.  Things are different out here.  Sitting in front of the French sidewalk bistro at Sunset Plaza, a 1992 Vector W8 twinturbo - six hundred twenty-five horsepower, with its Kevlar, carbon-fiber, and fiberglass body - a local product, built down in Wilmington, at the harbor.  Hollywood note - a red W8 made a rare appearance in the 1993 movie Rising Sun - Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes and the Japanese and all that. The Vector is a bit over the top - the car's first customer was Andre Agassi.  Vector intended to follow the W8 with the Vector WX-3 and Vector WX-3R, but series production never got off the ground. Production of the W8 ended in 1993, when the company was purchased by Megatech, and pretty much disappeared.  No more Vectors.  More on the car here and the company here.  Amusing.

1992 Vector W8 twinturbo at Sunset Plaza....

1992 Vector W8 twinturbo at Sunset Plaza....

1992 Vector W8 twinturbo at Sunset Plaza....

Across the street, a bit of a contrast -

Not a 1992 Vector W8 twinturbo at Sunset Plaza

Ric reacted, with a challenge -


Thanks for the 'back at you.' I dialed up the blog to see a Hollywood version of the Fiat 500, and saw this plywood shitbox instead. Hey! It was supposed to be an absolutely mint, stock, 1950 Ford convertible! Get out there on the street and shoot it now!

But really - I think your Fiat 500 is probably the California cars of the '50s, from '52 to '58. The wrap-arounds, the fins, the three-tones. They symbolized the United States, the winner of WWII - what the Soviets weren't, couldn't. All that beautiful fluff.

A tip of the old chapeau to America. You had it all.


Maybe we did. Friday, July 7, at six in the evening, on Sunset Boulevard at the edge of Guitar Row, a classic - a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible - beautiful fluff. And it's for sale.

... a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible

... a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible

... a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible

... a mint 1954 Cadillac convertible

Ric's reaction -


Yes. That's it. Look at the blue sky in the chrome. Down here on earth we reflect the heavens, wear it on our shoulders. When you fought in WWII this was the reward. Cadillac convertible de Ville. Coming next - Eldorado!


The Fiat 500 is about putting Europe on wheels. They don't have to be great wheels. Minimum wheels are good enough. All the Fiat 500s still around remind us that the suffering of WWII led to this tiny little toy car - a bauble - a sort of joke, a Vespa for the family. Ah!


So be it.  (And Elvis had an 1954 Cadillac Eldorado convertible - see here and here.) 





If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.



Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

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