“The focus isn’t simply sheet metal; it’s on the distinctly human presence.” — Margery Krevsky
“Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models,” by marketing maven Margery Krevsky, was recently named Book of the Week on Double X. I’d already bought it; I felt like I had an obligation to support a book written by a woman that had a respectful (bordering on reverent) perspective on auto show models and the hard-earned knowledge to back it up. By the time my Amazon shipment arrived, I’d already forgotten about it. Like most coffee table books, it seemed the act of the purchase itself had already served its purpose.
When we last met, I was enraged about the diffidence with which Volkswagen has treated its New Beetle. Kindly note that, since the publication of Dub Chick Be Trippin’, Tracy Morgan’s been profiled in several glossies. It seems that though my perception might have been the harshest, I’m certainly not alone.
But that’s ancient history. It was before the Chicago Auto Show media preview, anyway, at which I was reassured that really, not much has changed with VW. Whether I attend several auto shows a year or just one, it’ll feel as if I never left.
This installment of Rational Bohemian was scheduled to be a eulogy for the New Beetle, since Volkswagen hasn’t really troubled themselves with anything of the sort. Attendees of the L.A. Auto Show did get a long-expected, totally overdue announcement of the model’s retirement and the inevitable commemorative special editions, but that was about it.
So I’ll say it now, in brief: New Beetle, I adore you and I’ll miss you. Your not-insignificant role in reviving the brand will not be forgotten (by me, anyway). In light of a press release I received last week, though, there are more pressing concerns; a respectful and sentimental sendoff will have to wait. Because what the hell, Volkswagen? Really, what the hell?
I’ve loved public radio since my days on the executive board of my college’s tiny station. We shared one of Vermont Public Radio’s frequencies, very convenient because we didn’t have enough warm bodies to broadcast original programming around the clock. I remember with great fondness and exasperation the semester in which I had morning office hours, fielding hundreds of calls from confused and angry listeners (mostly depressed, snowbound older women) who couldn’t figure out that we switched to student programming at 8 am, and that, yes, BBC World News was indeed cut off in favor of Lamb of God and Napalm Death.
Story by Cherise LaPine-Grueninger, Photography by “Mustang” Matt Carter
Perched on a cerulean vinyl barstool at the Motor City Casino, I discovered the difference between myself and a Grand-Am driver is that I can down a double of Ketel One in a single swig. The Grand-Am driver cannot.