In Maestro Emslie’s earlier post, he asked what defined luxury. Much of the discussion ended up revolving around comfort, as that’s one of the historically defining factors. After all, if you’re not paying for comfort, you’re probably paying for performance… but then again, a $2500 5.0 Mustang will get you performance, and with a few thousand more invested, will get you a whole lot of performance for a great price. So odds are, even if you’re paying for performance, you’re paying for performance in a comfortable shell.
But once again, these are things that can be overcome. Let’s say we start with the Lincoln Versailles he posted; those cars used surprisingly good mechanicals under the skin, and are based on the Fox platform with a 351 Windsor engine. The Fox platform is remarkably solid, and is shared with the ubiquitous 5.0 Mustang, and there are millions of parts out there to make the cars perform. So with only a little bit of work, and probably not a huge expenditure, you could almost certainly make that Versaille perform as well as your average Lexus. A few interior upgrades and you can have everything you want. After all, for less than $1000, you can have a new stereo installed that features Bluetooth, Sat-Nav, a hard drive, voice recognition and iPod integration. So for a total cost of, what, the price of a new Jetta, you could have a very luxurious car to rival an Acura. So why aren’t we all doing that?
Yeah, I know. Let’s be honest, it all comes down to style. Think about it. There is absolutely no reason for an Audi A3 to exist; it’s a GTI with a bit more flash and style. And yet, they can’t make enough of them.
So what happens if you take all that comfort away, and focus instead on style and style alone? Well, you’d probably end up with the Confederate P120 Fighter motorcycle. With a price tag edging to within a hair’s breadth of six figures, it’s a lot of money to pay for something that doesn’t look very comfortable at all. But there’s no denying it: it’s damn sexy. It looks mean, it looks utilitarian, it looks bad-ass. And it’s got the limited production and price tag to guarantee a bit of exclusivity, meaning you’ll probably be the only one on your block who owns one. Which, really, if we’re honest, is what a luxury car is really all about.
Also, if anyone is looking for a birthday present for me… it’s in fifteen days. Hint, hint, hint.