Though cities today are designed with the pedestrian in mind, in the 1950s, the boom of automobile production after the war saw the rise of the city car. The Volkswagen Beetle drove the popularity of the city car. Its compact size, efficient engine, and affordability set the bar for many other "people's cars" that followed. Here are three that have become objects of desire for collectors. Austin Mini Cooper S The Austin Mini, one of the most popular, was made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and designed by Sir Alec Issigonis. The Mini was the epitome of space-efficient design. It employed a then-novel front-wheel drive layout, granting exceptional space for four adults and luggage. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent of the German-made Volkswagen Beetle, or the Italian Fiat 500. It, too, starred in a number of movies and television shows like The Italian Job in 1969 and the Mr. Bean television series. And, like the Beetle, it has been revived … [Read more...] about These super stylish city cars are objects of desire
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It's a given: the greatest drives have always been around the Alps of Europe, where, consequently, the best-handling cars are developed and tested. But the Alps need not be the only venue. A personal favorite was a 250-kilometer trip from Imperia by the Ligurian Coast, up the Strada Statale 28 (SS28) and down into Turin, savoring half of the route of the famous San Remo Rallye through cliff-hugging hamlets and mountain springs that irrigate much of the produce for the Slow Food Movement. Ironically, I suspect that trip was more fun because I was dicing with a briskly driven Ford Orion in my underpowered 1990 1100cc Fiat Tipo. That was only part of the week-long journey that took me through the fog-bound Autostrade in Emilia-Romagna, uphill against the rush of flood waters around Firenze, and a wonderful but short drive from Bergamo to Venezia, then doubling back into the Val d'AOsta to continue into Switzerland. There, I switched to an Opel Omega and went up through every Swiss … [Read more...] about Five great road trips and the best cars to take with you
When Best Friend opens in Las Vegas in late December, it will represent one of the city’s time-honored traditions: a sure thing. The restaurant, inside the Park MGM, is the brainchild of Roy Choi, the soulful chef who jump-started the food truck trend around 2008 by tweeting locations of his Kogi BBQ Taco Truck in Los Angeles. The timing is as good as it gets in Vegas. Best Friend’s opening will coincide with the beginning of Lady Gaga’s residency at the neighboring Park Theater, which starts on Dec. 28, and ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, kicking off on Jan. 8. “If I can crush it in Vegas, it opens doors that normally I wouldn’t be looking at, like Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Korea,” Choi says. It’s a change of heart for the guy who’s said no to Vegas projects for years while being recognized by the likes of the late Anthony Bourdain as a chef who personifies L.A.’s multicultural … [Read more...] about First look at Roy Choi’s Vegas spot, opening in time for Gaga
‘Forever’ and what else keeps Gladys & Chris together? It’s a cliché, all right, but besides “forever” what else keeps Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas (real name: Christophe Sommereaux) together all these 25 years (11 years as “boyfriend-girlfriend” and 14 years as married couple, an event of “togetherness” which they celebrated with renewal of vows several weeks ago)? Food, yes, glorious food! “We both love to eat,” said Gladys, 40. “Chris is a Culinary Arts graduate and he loves to experiment. He mixes this and that at kapag tinikman mo, ang sarap! I am a Kapampangan and you know that we Kapampangan are noted for — food! By the way, did you know that Chris (half-French) once worked as chef at the Monaco Palace?” (No wonder Gladys was enlisted as endorser of two food companies, Mang Inasal [with Aiko Melendez] and Del Monte.) The couple on a small stage with … [Read more...] about ‘Forever’ and what else keeps Gladys & Chris together?