BMW, Mitsubishi, and Volvo sat out the New York auto show this year. Aside from giving Rivian and the other luxury automakers a bit more space, their absence also enabled some additional car clubs and organizations to set up shop in the first level of the Javits Center. And they brought some pretty cool stuff with them.
The New York Z Car Club got some prime real estate and used it to display some fine Z models.
I don’t think it’s an accident that the club showed up this year. 2019 marks 50 years of the Z, and the company even brought one of their own first gen models to the show.
Officially, the Z doesn’t reach its 50th anniversary until October, which is when the coupe first went on sale in America. Sales started out at 45,000 units per year, which is certified niche territory.
If I was a money making adult in the late 60’s/early 70’s, I would have chosen the blue Z over the red. I think it gives the Z a very understated yet elegant appearance.
This gen 1 Z has a bit more flair to it.
Some cars take on different personalities depending on their color. A black first gen Z seems a lot more sinister in black. I like it.
I’m not sure a second gen Z could pull the whole “different personality” thing off as well as the first gen. It’s not as good looking. The angular roof and blunt front end really did the original design a disservice.
Seems like Nissan was right to make the Z more angular in order to keep it contemporary. They just needed to go a bit further than the second gen. Fortunately, Nissan was able to keep the Z looking good in the era of straight lines and boxy bodies.
The 3.0 liter V6 brought the third gen Z into the 300 range, where it continues to this day.
If the next gen Z switches to a turbo four, will the nomenclature go back the 200 range?
Overall the third gen is pretty much a perfect reinterpretation of the original Z design. If it was good enough for Paul Newman, it’s good enough for me!
The fourth gen got some softer lines and also grew a bit. This might be my favorite Z. It’s a clean look that has aged well.
Is that…a New Jersey license plate? I thought this was the NY Z Car Club! Oh well. Kudos to the club for being inclusive.
The fourth gen Z was one of the first vehicles to use computer aided design. Nissan also developed the first-ever convertible variant for this generation.
The convertible Z is…not a great looking car.
Butts! The rag top Z is odd looking but that rear end is great. I really love the flush tail lights. And I’m pretty sure all Z’s have good looking butts.
The New York Z Car Club is active on Facebook. Their current profile pic is what you see above, a shot of the group’s cars outside the Javits Center, as seen from 11th Avenue. Pretty cool!
And now for something completely different! This isn’t your standard Prius. It’s a Prius SRT8 Hellcat! Yes, this thing has a Hellcat engine under the hood, and modifications now peg the output at more than 800 horsepower.
Whether or not this creation is actually a Prius is up for debate. Personally, I’m not so sure. Long Island based American Racing Headers replaced the frame along with the powertrain. At what stage in the modification process does a car lose its essential essence? I have no idea. In any event, this thing is very interesting.
Phenomenal Vinyl was back again to show off some of their creations. This extremely gold Beetle immediately stuck out for obvious reasons.
This is a car both Goldfinger and Goldmember could love. It’s a 1971 named Bill that is the shop’s quasi-mascot. Bill even has his own Instagram page!
Phenomenal Vinyl has an active social media presence, which makes it easy to track down the story behind all of their creations. Koeppel Nissan commissioned Phenomenal to wrap this Nissan Maxima in Deep Space Flip, an iridescent color scheme that probably looks pretty cool when the car is in motion.
This very angry looking Jeep was also at the show, clad in a very appropriate matte green wrap. That aftermarket Jeep grille is called the “Gladiator” grille and at $94.99 it’s pretty cheap.
The NYC Department of Sanitation also showed up at the Javits Center. There isn’t much detail on this little thing but I did come across a Facebook post (that I only found once) describing it as a “mini collector replica.” Whatever that means.
It’s hilarious and adorable and it looks like it could actually function as a waste collector. I want one.
There is considerably more info on this bad boy. This is US Hybrid’s “HySweep,” a street sweeper that pairs a Cummins six cylinder engine with an electric motor and battery. The objective is to save fuel, obviously, but the hybrid system also performs at a much lower decibel rating (76 dBA) than conventionally powered models.
The HySweep is capable of up to 50 percent fuel reduction and up to 58 percent in greenhouse gas emission reduction. Pretty impressive stuff.
Charge NY also attended the show. The organization is a collaboration between several state agencies designed to encourage electric vehicle adoption among the general public and corporate fleets. New York offers a $2,000 rebate for electric car buyers at the time of purchase. Fleets are also eligible for the discount. There is also the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, which reimburses fleets up to 80 percent of the cost difference between a gasoline and electric truck.
State and local agencies have used electric vehicles for quite some time now, but until recently it wasn’t entirely clear if the vehicles produced a substantial savings in cost when compared to gasoline vehicles. In March, NYC published a report on the maintenance costs associated with a portion of their fleet, and the results point to electric vehicles being a wise investment for the city, even after taking into account their higher MSRP.
NYC’s 2018 maintenance costs showed the Chevrolet Bolt being the cheapest to operate at $205. That was cheaper than the Fusion Plug-In ($497), Prius Plug-In ($893), Volt ($1210), and Fusion Hybrid ($1311). The Taurus was the least expensive gasoline vehicle at $923. It’s a bit odd that the Taurus was substantially cheaper than its Fusion equivalent. I suspect the city runs the Taurus on regular oil while the Fusion runs on partial or full synthetic.
Anyway, NYC also released their annualized costs for some of their fleet vehicles, and the data also supports the adoption of electric vehicles. Over a nine year life cycle, the Nissan Leaf is projected to cost the city $32,580. That’s about $9,000 cheaper than a gasoline Fusion for the same period, despite the fact that the Nissan cost about $3,000 more to purchase. Electric charging is far cheaper than filling up on gasoline, and again, maintenance costs are cheaper too. That’s to say nothing of the reduction in greenhouse gases that each electric vehicle will provide over their lifetime.
Remember the story of the legendary VH1 giveaway that involved 36 Corvettes?
Some of them made their way to the Javits Center this year.
It was a pretty odd sight and I had forgotten about the story, which is pretty interesting.
In 1989 VH1 was a fledgling company in search of a promotion that would spread awareness of the network.
They settled on a raffle featuring 36 Corvettes, or one for every year not including 1983.
The raffle was for all of them, not 36 individual giveaways.
The promotion was a huge success and a carpenter from Long Island was the lucky winner.
He never collected the cars because artist Peter Max offered him a pretty sweet deal for all of them.
$250,000 in cash, $250,000 in art, and a portion of the profits up to $1 million from the sale of the collection should that ever happen. Not a bad deal at all!
Max bought the collection because he envisioned using the cars as some type of art project, so he had them shipped to NYC.
Max never got around to using them in any capacity whatsoever, and they sat in several NYC garages for about 25 years until some people convinced him to sell. That was about five years ago, and the cars have been slowly getting restored and reconditioned in the intervening years.
And that brings us to present day. There aren’t many details about the Corvettes themselves, but it appears that some of them have been restored.
The individuals who now own the collection are holding their own giveaway, but this time each individual model is its own raffle.
You can enter the sweepstakes at the official website. Proceeds will go to the National Guard Foundation, and the History and FYI channels will host a show about the cars in September. I’ll obviously inform everyone if I’m one of the winners. I’d opt for the blue ’66 if given the choice.
The Saratoga Automobile Museum also brought a whole bunch of vintage coupes to the show, but these were decidedly more Italian. This 1966 Lamborghini 400GT obviously stood out because of its fetching paint job.
It’s had a handful of owners over its lifespan, and it originally lived in the UK when it was new.
Wait a second, this was owned by the Strange family of New York? Did Dr. Strange’s parents own this car or something? Perhaps that explains why he is driving a Lamborghini in the 2016 movie!
This next Italian exotic is pretty rare.
500 examples of the 1972 Italia Spyder Intermeccanica were made, and only three were equipped with the removable hard top that you see above.
It’s also got the Ford 351 Cleveland V8 and a Tremec 5 speed manual transmission, which probably makes it more reliable than other Italian exotics from this era.
A pretty interesting car. Kind of looks like a mix between a C3 Corvette and a first generation Z.
This is not a flattering angle for the 1961 Maserati 3500GT.
There, much better! It’s a good looking car but among this cohort it comes up short.
Seems pretty pricey for something with a 0-60 time of eight seconds, right? That’s a little over $100,000 in 2019 American dollars.
This 1969 Iso Grifo was also pretty expensive for its day. Twice the price of the Corvette despite borrowing its engine and transmission.
That money bought you exclusivity. Only 471 examples were built.
That rear window is a bit too wide for my tastes but otherwise it’s a fine looking machine. And that maroon is fantastic.
Thank you, Renzo Rivolta!
I forgot to take a picture of the placard for this Fiat 8V. A quick Google search identifies this particular one as a 1953 Berlinetta.
Out of all the ones to miss, it had to be the model with the smallest production run. And this specific example probably has a rich history. Ugh!
In any event, this is a stunning vehicle, especially in that blue.
I definitely got as many shots of this 1974 Ferrari Dino GTS as I could.
This Ferrari obviously stood out from the others because of its color, which really suits the design.
This particular example hails from Colorado, so I’m guessing the owner temporarily loaned it to the museum.
An amazing vehicle for sure.
And that does it for this year’s auto show coverage. See you next year!
The 2019 New York International Auto Show: