Crying Shame

We’re all familiar with my overriding (and much-mocked) criterion that a car shouldn’t just perform;  it should be beautiful as well.  And yes, I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder:  while some may drool over some 1960s-era muscle car, I feel vaguely nauseated every time I see one because there’s a great deal of difference between muscular and muscle-bound.  It’s the reason I’d prefer a 1964 Mercedes 230SL

…over an AC Cobra of similar vintage:

However, there is one other car that I would take over just about any other open-topped sports car.  But of course, nothing in my life is ever easy when it comes to affairs of the heart, and this no exception.

It’s the 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spyder, and Maserati only made one of them.  (Needless to say, the last time it sold, it brought a price of $3 million.)  But, but, but:

Here’s its story, and some more pics for those who are interested.

For my money, the only car which ever came close was the 1957 (what was it about that year?) BMW 507 Cabrio:

If someone put a gun to my head and said, “Pick a sports car from the 1950s…” I’d grab the Mazza with both hands, and if denied that, then the little Beemer.

No, I wouldn’t take a Mercedes 300SL Roadster over either.

Too muscle-bound by comparison.

Go ahead, mock me.  You know you want to.

15 comments

  1. Carz, Guitarz, and Gunz, I like em all, some more’n others.
    To mine old eyez there is nothing finer than a mint condition red 1969 Mustang Mach 1 with black furniture. I’d gladly give up the left one for it.

  2. Mine would be a ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible in yellow over white leather. With subtle handling and safety upgrades (better brakes, better suspension, anti-roll bars, that sort of thing).

  3. @Red Five, the 71 Cuda is indeed a cutey and is 2nd on my lottery ticket list. Of the 4 years of 3rd generation Barracuda’s the 71 was the only one to have 4 headlights with all others having 2. My understanding is that the 1971 CanAm Cuda with the 440 six pack was the fastest american made production car that year. Make mine dark green metalflake with black pleez. Good choice sir!

  4. The 230SL would be a nice present for the wife. She would have to drive it with a scarf over her hair like in the movies.
    I liked the BMW Z8 as a modern update to the 507. Bring along a lot of money if you want one, though. There was a nice black one here in my town, but I have not seen it for a long time. I can’t think of a 1950s car I would want at all. The sixties would be the start with the E-Type, but even that is a maybe now.

  5. Have I somehow gotten myself involved in a site for multimillionaires? Are there any cars here that us mere mortals could possibly afford?

    1. Sorry, there’s no dreaming involved with a Mazda Miata, FFS, because I could get one of those pretty much anytime I wanted.
      It’s like dreaming about having sex with the supermarket checkout girl vs. Salma Hayek.

      Sheesh… if yer gonna dream, dream big.

    1. LOL! Yeah Libertyman, now I do see your point. We can look but we can’t touch. (I guess I just never saw cars quite that way.)

      PS: Then again, the knockers on the woman above do remind me of a 1958 Cadillac.

  6. The 300SL looks like the four design engineers compromised and put in all the trim features. It’s overdone compared to the subdued tastefulness of the 230SL. As for the Maserati it’s a gentlemen’s car down to the chromed mustache on the front. With all due respect to the host of this here motley crew I’d prefer the BMW. The front is pure mako shark but it’s the rear quarter panels that do it for me. Cars like women are better served by curves.

  7. The 230SL is a beautiful car, and I’d take one as a daily driver during non-salt on the road seasons. The Cobras I have a soft spot for but its a Sunday driver.

    The others are ok but fall short of a Jaguar XK-E for curvaceousness and beauty; why settle for less in a special days high maintenance driver?

  8. These look “nice” but dainty, like they should be museum pieces.

    Those muscle-bound muscle cars from the Americas look like you can actually drive them.

    Of course the real sadness is that cars from neither category can really be driven too much, unless you want to risk wrecking them.

    So in practical terms, Detroit is turning out some very fast, good looking new steel now, and you will be able to get parts for a while since they are so popular.

    Personally, unless I was a real car collector, I’d just look at the old and new ones in a museum 🙂

    But if we are talking unlimited money, drive it no matter how special, I like the Vector, twin turbskies Chevrolet small block, aircraft grade components in the interior (which is not to say they most eye catching :)).

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