My trip to New York happened more than four months ago. In that time we’ve seen all the new and interesting products automakers brought to the auto show. Now I’ll show you the “new” and “interesting” things Mitsubishi brought to the Javits Center. There’s also some tricked out rides and a plethora of classic cars.
Mitsubishi’s crossover lineup is bizarre. The Outlander and Outlander Sport are a bit too big to be considered a compact or a subcompact, respectively. And the Eclipse Cross is too small to be a compact and only two inches longer than an Outlander Sport. The Eclipse also has that extraordinarily garish single-piece tail light setup that greatly reduces rear visibility.
Mitsubishi’s latest crossover is basically an old Tootsie Roll in a new wrapper. While the design looks contemporary, it sits on the GS platform, which has been in production since 2005. This is the same platform that underpins the Dodge Journey as well. Both vehicles are incredibly outdated, but the Dodge moved nearly 90,000 units last year, which means its still making a business case for itself, somehow.
Despite the outdated underpinnings, the Eclipse Cross actually has a pretty decent looking interior.
Which is unfortunately marred by an infotainment system that relies on a touch pad to operate. Why do automakers think those systems are a good idea? Our phones, tablets, laptops, and self-service check out kiosks are all touch screens these days. Why introduce a middle man into the mix?
Anyway, it seems the Mitsubishi has a few decent features, with a heads-up display being one of them. And I’m sure its priced lower than the competition as well. That’s probably the main reason why people choose one.
The Outlander continues to trudge along for another year. You know what that means, right?
The Zone of Sadness! Yes, this is about the absolute worst button blank setup I’ve ever seen.
How about an additional Zone of Sadness? This one is less visible if you’re sitting in the driver seat, but its still just as pathetic. How do zones of sadness come about? I imagine they arise because an automaker doesn’t want to spend additional money designing unique buttons for an interior. It escalates when that same automaker doesn’t want to create any type of setup that could mitigate the aesthetic disaster of having similar sized buttons blanks all over a vehicle’s interior. And that’s how the Mitsubishi Outlander happened.
Vinyl wrapping is all the rage these days. And it’s easy to understand why: it gives vehicle owners the opportunity to transform the look of their ride without the permanence or expense of a full paint job. Phenomenal Vinyl brought several of their projects to the auto show this year. A Phenomenal Vinyl employee demonstrated the wrapping process by working on this late model Ford Flex while onlookers watched.
A quick glance at their Instagram account shows the completed Flex sitting inside a Ford dealership, presumably before its delivery to the customer. I salute the Flex owner for choosing such a bold purple. That thing is really gonna stand out!
They also had this Maserati on hand, probably to demonstrate just how crazy you can get with these wraps. This looks like a wrap with a chrome finish. Chrome wraps apparently cost at least three times more than a non-chrome finish, which means a customer can spend well over $15,000 to have their car customized. And the life expectancy of a wrap is about three years. Is it worth it? If you have gobs of money and don’t want to permanently change the paint job on your car, getting a wrap is a potential bargain. I definitely think there’s value in getting the equivalent of a factory paint job for a fraction of the price.
Ironically, the most tasteful wrap was found on the most garishly customized vehicle at the display. This “stanced” NSX has it all: a frame that can touch the ground, incredibly awful rims, and a spoiler that can be seen from space.
This first generation Chevy sits in the “Camaro Corner.” Basically a bunch of Camaro enthusiasts that occupy some space at the Javits Center.
This second generation SS looks great with its blue paint job.
It was inevitable that the third generation Camaro would become something worthy of displaying at a car show. I’d have to imagine that any Camaro from the Roger Smith era that has survived this long isn’t prone to too many maladies, but who knows.
This Zeta platform Camaro is a bit more customized than the older ones, as it boasts a unique color, a roll over bar, some after market rims, and a vanity plate. The under body lighting may be a bit much, but otherwise the additions largely work, and I’m kind of surprised to hear myself say that.
Our last Camaro is also a previous generation model, but its got a twist. Actually, its got webbing! Right there in the grille. Seems like this owner loves Spider-man.
The car actually has a bit of a web presence. And it seems the owner uses “Jarvis69” as an alias, which means they’re probably a big fan of Marvel comics in general.
This restomod Chevy pickup immediately got my attention due to its age and its blue and black color scheme.
It looks like there’s some wood veneer on the car as well. If this truck is a restomod, its a damn good one.
Seeing a Polaris Slingshot at the show may have been the most unexpected surprise of my visit. These seem to be getting quite popular around my area, and a quick visit to the Polaris website shows two dealers about a half hour drive from my house. A Slingshot owner in New York needs a motorcycle endorsement, one of only six states to require anything other than a standard driver’s license.
With a base price of $19,999, the Slingshot isn’t cheap by any means. A regular motorcycle will cost you much less.
But this type of vehicle is pretty unique, isn’t it? The controls are identical to any manual transmission passenger car, and the vehicle itself is a 1,743 lb tricycle powered by a variant of GM’s Ecotec 2.4 liter four cylinder. Total output is quoted by Polaris as 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft. of torque. I imagine these are quite a hoot to drive.
I’ve always thought the Slingshot was a grown up version of a tricycle, and I used that term to derisively refer to them for quite a while. I’m pleased that Polaris is at least a little self-aware in that regard.
Little kids even get their own version of the Slingshot in the form of a…Peg Perego product? Yes, you heard me correctly: apparently Fisher-Price doesn’t have a monopoly on the battery powered toy car market. Their main competitor is a company that also sells stroller and car seats. Pretty much anyone that sees one of these in action will just refer to them as a Power Wheels. I’d bet on it.
Another unconventional exhibitor at this year’s show was Brembo. The brake manufacturer set up shop near the entrance, and their display really stood out due to its aesthetic, which resembled that of an Apple store. The Pagani Huayra BC that they featured prominently was icing on the cake.
The Brembo representatives at the display deserve a kudos for their helpfulness and expertise. As a layman when it comes to brakes, I asked an employee a lot of basic questions and he answered them without any sort of judgement whatsoever. Hopefully Brembo returns next year so I can ask them more questions!
Coverage of the 2018 NY auto show wraps up with this final section, which will cover everything the Saratoga Automobile Museum brought to the Javits Center.
How much money do you have to bid to get a ride with racing legend Mario Andretti? I imagine the winning number was well outside the realm of most Americans. For a racing enthusiast with more money than god its probably worth it.
And here’s the legend himself, in cut-out cardboard form. Andretti is one of the most successful race car drivers of all time. Everyone reading this article probably knew that already. Personally, I never realized how incredible his career was until I looked it up. Here’s Wikipedia’s blurb on his accomplishments:
“He is one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR (the other being Dan Gurney). He also won races in midget cars, and sprint cars. During his career, Andretti won the 1978 Formula One World Championship, four IndyCar titles (three under USAC-sanctioning, one under CART), and IROC VI. To date, he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship, and, along with Juan Pablo Montoya, the only driver to have won a race in the NASCAR Cup Series, Formula One, and an Indianapolis 500. No American has won a Formula One race since Andretti’s victory at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. Andretti had 109 career wins on major circuits.”
That is an insanely long list of victories. As the kids say these days, Mario Andretti was an “absolute unit” on the race track.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum brought two race cars associated with Andretti, among other things.
First up is the 1994 Lola Indy Car raced by Andretti. According to Medium, Paul Newman and Carl Haas gifted him the car after he officially retired.
Next up is a 2017 Dallara IndyCar 2 seat racer. These are built solely for the ride-along drives provided by the Indy Car Experience. Presumably this was at the exhibit to show the silent auction bidders exactly what they’d be driven in should they win.
This purpose-built racer is a 1967 Bizzarrini P538. The short lived manufacturer built only a handful of these vehicles before going bankrupt, and this particular one is #002 of the 5 examples known to still exist.
Several of the P538 models came equipped with the Chevrolet Corvette’s 327 cu. in. V8, while others, including our featured example, were built with a Lamborghini 3.5 liter V12. Every P538 featured four wheel disc brakes, a fully independent suspension, and a fiberglass chassis.
There isn’t too much information available regarding Packard’s 1929 626 model, but as far as I can tell, less than 100 examples of any 626 variant remain. This example is a customized version built for racing. Manufacturers didn’t typically field their own race cars in that era, so this conversion was probably done by the owner. The shot is blurry, but if you look closely you can see “Ask the Man Who Owns One” above the 47. That was a slogan used by Packard.
Marano And Sons is a used car dealer based out of Garwood, New Jersey.
Next to Andretti’s Indy Car was this 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV. Calling this car gorgeous is probably the least controversial thing I’ll ever say on this website, but its true. The lime green color helps enhance the look as well.
With a curb weight of 2,848 lbs and an output of 385 brake horsepower, the Miura achieved a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds, which is still reasonably quick by contemporary standards. Just 150 examples of the SV were produced, and this was the last example to be imported into the United States.
The Duesenberg Model J was easily the best classic car at the show. The Model J originally debuted at the New York Car Show of 1928, so its fitting that one found its way to the Javits Center 90 years later.
Our featured example is from the 1931 model year, with a custom Tourster body by Derham.
Derham was known for its coach building expertise, and according to the information provided by the museum, their work on the Model J is considered their best work.
Only eight Tourster variants were built, and this particular J is among the few to survive with its original body, chassis, and engine.
It stands alone as the only Model J with vertical hood louvers.
Also hailing from the 1930’s is this Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff. Like the Duesenberg, this Bugatti was built by a well known coachbuilder.
Gangloff was a Swiss/French outfit that also produced bodies for Mercedes-Benz, Rolls Royce, and other automobile corporations of the time.
The “C” in 57C means this particular example came from the factory with a supercharger bolted to the 3.3 liter straight-8 engine. It’s also notable because it is fully authentic and was once owned by Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
This 1931 Stutz DV-32 is apparently one of a kind, as LeBaron, the coachbuilding company, constructed the Convertible Victoria model in order to demonstrate their expertise to Stutz.
The engine, a 322 cubic inch straight-eight, has dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, which is why it goes by the DV-32 designation. This specific example was imported to Argentina when it was new, but it returned to the United States in the 1970’s.
Our final car is a 1936 MG P-Type. This specific example is a supercharged model, which was very rare before WWII. It was primarily used as a rally car in Europe throughout the 1950’s.
This MG was eventually brought to America, where it traveled to The Great Divide and Elkhart Lake.
And thus ends my coverage of the 2018 New York International Auto Show. It was a solid year for debuts, and I look forward to seeing all the craziness again in 2019. Thanks for tuning in!