Variety is the spice of life. That 18th century adage wasn’t written about vehicles, but it applies nicely to the cars in this driveway. Here’s someone with diverse automotive tastes – a 1992 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, and a 2019 Nissan Leaf.
“Which car should we take today, Honey… the woody or the leafy?”
In this picture, the Leaf is parked closer to the sidewalk, and the resulting perspective makes these cars seem to be similar in size. That’s not the case… well, mostly. While the Roadmaster is a full 3.5 feet longer and 9 inches wider than the Nissan, the white Leaf is in fact somewhat taller than its driveway companion. Of all the dimensional changes we’ve witnessed in cars over recent decades, height is the most startling – and to see that one of today’s smaller cars exceeds a 30-year-old land yacht in any major dimension drives this point home.
But more than dimensions, these cars differ in their character just about as much as cars can… which is of course why this pairing is so fun.
As if we didn’t already know these cars’ target markets, promotional materials make it more enjoyable to discuss. Take this Roadmaster Estate Wagon brochure excerpt, for instance. A car considered traditional even among traditionalists, the Roadmaster is at home here in a serene setting with colonial architecture and a classic boat. If one doubted that this was a car marketed to folks with an affinity for the olden days, the final phrase of this excerpt, stating that “…big, spacious, comfortable American cars are still yours to enjoy” ought to clear that right up.
Quite a contrast with the Leaf brochure, which shows its featured car travelling on a futuristic-looking urban highway with menacing clouds backdropping the scene. The electric Leaf appeals to early adopters, and enthusiasts, of new technology – quite the opposite from the Roadmaster’s old-time traditionalism.
As I’m writing this, I’m gazing out at my driveway with two silver minivans – so similar to each other that sometimes we mistakenly get in the wrong car. Somehow I doubt that happens in this household. In my opinion, these two very different cars balance each other off quite nicely.