Tag Archives: Dream Cars

My Dream Car the Jaguar E-Type

The subject of an earlier posts was “What is your dream car?” In my response, I was considering contemporary dream cars, and chose the Cadillac Sixteen. Recently, I was reminded of one of the dream cars of my youth the Jaguar E-Type, also known as the Jaguar XK-E in North America.


1965 Jaguar E-Type
1965-Jaguar E-Type Copyright © 1965 Jaguar

Spring 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type’s introduction. The British manufacturer produced over 70,000 E-Types from 1961 to 1975. Celebrities Steve McQueen, Brigitte Bardot, and Tony Curtis owned them. Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type “the most beautiful car in the world.” That’s some praise from one of motoring’s influential builders. An E-Type is a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

So what is the draw of this dream car? In convertible or fast-back coupe form, the XK-E sported flowing and athletic lines. The exhaust note from the 3.8-liter straight six-cylinder engine was a siren for motorsports enthusiasts around the world. The engine increased to 4.2 liter in 1964. XK-E’s were reported to be capable of 150 m.p.h. Series 3 (1971-1975) XK-E’s featured a 5.3-liter V-12 engine. This combination of sensuous looks and high performance mark it as a motoring icon.

As a youth in the early 1960’s, I can remember going to the Jaguar dealer in downtown Indianapolis and salivating at the luxurious lines of the display British Racing Green XK-E coupe. It sported a tan leather interior with bucket seats, wood rim steering wheel and chrome spoke wheels. I can still imagine driving along on a winding two-lane highway and hearing the reverberations of the dual exhausts off the nearby trees. What a day in paradise for any genuine car nut! Perhaps my auto obsession started with an XK-E?

Possibly, you’ll see one at a car show this summer. Ask the exhibiter to start it up, and reminisce about this motoring icon.

My Dream Car the Cadillac Sixteen

A few years ago, I was pleased to talk about automotive history to a class at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN. One student asked, “What is your dream car?” Now I hadn’t really thought about any one car as being “my dream car.” I enjoy many for various reasons. But I found that I didn’t hesitate with an answer too long before I decided—the Cadillac Sixteen, which debuted at the 2003 North American International Auto Show.

Cadillac Sixteen
Cadillac Sixteen
Copyright © 2003 General Motors

I have to admit that this car did not fit with the theme of my presentation Mileposts in Indiana Automotive History. However, this model does make me think of the coachbuilt era of the 1930’s, when many of America’s great cars were designed. Cadillac introduced its first V-16 automobile in 1930, followed by Marmon shipping its first Sixteen in 1931. Both of these cars were top of the mark in their era. I believe the current Cadillac Sixteen pays tribute to these cars and extends the design to the new millennium. For me, the Cadillac is the epitome of current American car design.

So, let us take a look at the Cadillac Sixteen. This luxury-sedan concept, measuring 20 feet long and weighting 2.5 tons, is powered by a 13.6 liter V-16 engine producing over 1,000 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. The engine debuts fuel-saving “Displacement on Demand” technology for a 20 m.p.g. rating.

The Sixteen features an ultra luxurious cabin with hand-stitched, Tuscany leather upholstered seatsand an all-glass roof. Walnut burl veneer inlays trim the dash, door panels, and front and rear consoles. A Bulgari clock is mounted in the dash center.

The exterior styling has a long hood and a low sedan passenger compartment much like its predecessors from the 1930’s. I like how the design line flows from the LED headlights to the LED taillights. The wheel arches show-off the 24-inch polished aluminum wheels with custom Michelin tires. A Sixteen nameplate resides over the vent behind the front wheels.

So, I can dream about the Cadillac Sixteen, can’t I?

Working on Indiana’s Innovative Automotive Designs

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on my new presentation “Indiana’s Innovative Automotive Designs.” I was inspired by the Indianapolis Museum of Art exhibit “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas” scheduled for May 3 to August 23, 2015, which traces the development of concept cars not intended for series production from the early 1930s to the present.

Duesenberg Twenty Grand
Duesenberg Twenty Grand

With that in mind, I wanted “Indiana’s Innovative Automotive Designs” to demonstrate the development of three Indiana-built automobiles from 1928 to 1962. I believe it is style and beauty that draws us to a particular automobile. In the first-half of the twentieth century, some of America’s most sought after automobiles were produced in Indiana.

Cord Sedan
Cord Sedan

I want to tell this story through three iconic Indiana-built automobiles: the Duesenberg Arlington Torpedo Sedan better-known as the “Twenty Grand” Duesenberg; the 1936 Cord Model 810; and the 1962 Studebaker Avanti. They are still highly regarded by automotive enthusiasts around the world today.

Avanti at Palm Springs
Avanti at Palm Springs

These innovative automotive designs demonstrate only part of Indiana’s contributions to America’s production cars.

For more information click this link.

I look forward to sharing my new presentation with you.

Indianapolis hosting new automotive events

In 2014, Indianapolis was voted the #1 convention city in the U. S. by USA Today. I believe part of this recognition is because Indianapolis continues to host new automotive events.

1932 Ford Speedster
1932 Ford Speedster

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is presenting Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas, a major exhibition featuring rare concept cars from the 1930’s to the 21st century, from May 3 – August 23, 2015. Dream Cars showcases some of the most unique vehicles ever created by top names in the automotive field. If you’re like me, it’s styling that draws me to automobiles. Plan now to visit the Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas exhibit, and experience how these designs envisioned new ideas for transportation.

1963 Agajanian Willard Battery Special
1963 Agajanian Willard Battery Special

Another example: last June 5-8, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational. This event was the largest collection of race cars to compete in one place in the United States. The special Oval Track exhibition class featured open-wheel race cars with Indianapolis 500 or other historic racing experience.

There was something for every car enthusiast with 11 groups of competition ranging from Mini Coopers to open-wheel race cars up to 2008. The cars were on display on the infield and open to all fans, providing up-close access to the race cars. I believe every car enthusiast has to put the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on their bucket list for 2015. This year’s event is June 11-14.

In November 2014, the Speedway announced that it will host the Bloomington Gold Corvette show, June 25-27, 2015. The nation’s prestigious and longest-running all-Corvette show will include a gigantic one-of-a-kind display of Corvettes. The event has grown substantially through the years, with 5,000 Corvettes expected to appear at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In December, the Indiana Convention Center continues to host the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. I believe the PRI Trade Show has to be the number one event for this industry. Performance racing vendors from around the world demonstrate their wares. Exhibitors ranged from sanctioning bodies to parts vendors and everyone in between. I was amazed at the presence of Indiana breath at this show.

It’s great for everyone in the hospitality community to shine the light on Indianapolis.

I am working on a number of unique occasions to augment visitor’s experiences celebrating car culture during these events. Let’s work together to share Indianapolis’ uniqueness as a destination.