Top Autorotica of 2012.

We recently launched a regular feature for THE WEEKEND EDITION of FIVE THôT called “Autorotica.” It showcases our love of the automobile—the sensuous designs, and the powerful engines that make our hearts race. Here are five of our favorite “Autorotica” stories of 2012. 

1). The Volkswagen Microbus Created a Market Where There was None Before.

The VW Microbus was an icon of the 1960’s hippie movement, of California surfer culture and served as camping vehicles, panel vans and ambulances. Simple in design, they became iconic in their stance. 

2). How Sex Sells the Fiat 500E as an Eco-friendly Seductress.

Few products evoke sex appeal more than automobiles. Auto designers and marketers understand how consumers personify car design and buy based on sex appeal. Consider muscle cars and their manly appeal, and the long-nose designs of sports cars. And then there is the Fiat 500. The Fiat 500 is what I call “ugly sexy.”

3). The Flamboyant Flight-of-Fancy of the Tailfin Era.

To me there is little that is more piercingly flamboyant than classic automotive tailfin of the 1950’s and 60’s. As bouffant hairstyles reached for the clouds, so did the spiked protrusions jutting out from the rear quarters of classic Cadillacs, Buicks and even Mercedes Benz (albeit a little more reserved in their height and nicknamed "Heckflosse" in German).

4). Defining the “Frunk.” Tesla names the Front-Trunk in a way VW, Porsche and Corvair never did.

We love those who create witty and appropriate terms for items found in the world. And, interestingly, the concept of a “frunk” has been around a long time without a witty and appropriate term attached to it. In fact, three of the most iconic automobiles in history have a “frunk” but no one ever knew to coin the term until now.

5). You’ve Got Sway: 1954-1989 Merceds-Benz SL-Class

Since I was a little boy, I have lusted after the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. There is a romance to these vehicles that is hard to describe. The early generations of these cars have what I can best define as elegant swag. 

The growl of the I6 and V8 engines is unmistakable—as are the sleek lines of the design. The allure of these cars crosses generations, and is nearly priceless—with auction prices for some models now in excess of $1 million.

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