The nineteenth century novelist Margaret Wolfe Hungerford famously wrote that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (yes, Wikipedia is my new best friend). While an even wiser person than Maggie remarked that opinions are like bellybuttons (or perhaps other unmentionable orifices): everybody has one.
For many years I thought mankind's greatest asset was American Idol creator Simon Fuller. But instead it might just be the free will which contributes to our wildly incongruent opinions, beliefs, convictions and whatnot that sparks bench races, water cooler banter, Islamic comic protests, and-on a much more horrifying scale-war.
On a far, far, far less significant-even insipid-level here at the office the debate raged as to whether or not the Tamon Design RX-7 on this month's cover was even worthy of such prominence. There's no doubt that with a 450hp 13B and the brilliant Jade Orange paint this car is cover-worthy. No, our dissonance was focused squarely on the free form lines of this FD's body. Some thought the car was aggressive and alluring while others felt it had a, dare I say, Spo-Com feel to it.
Ultimately the decision rests on the shoulders of you, our loyal reader, as to the kind of impact such a car will make on the newsstand. Regardless, Wes was in his usual fine form with the shots of this car and our boy Carter wrote a great story even though he would sooner rock Z3 fenders than put a Tamon kit on his FD.
This reminds me how quickly the tide of public opinion can turn. It seems like just yesterday we were all about Altezza corners and big mouth front ends with chain link grilles. As part of Super Street's tenth anniversary celebration our list of the top ten trends of all time should prove to be a delightfully convoluted stagger down memory lane.
Trends are tough to define and tougher still is the job of a product planner at a major automotive manufacturer. Credit the Scion bandwagon or even Hummer backlash (not a medical problem, you perverts) for the heating up of the subcompact segment. Whether we of the sport compact tuning community will feel this heat remains to be seen. It also hinges on exactly which car said planners will anoint for US production. For the Japanese-based OEs the options are more plentiful because this B-segment was essentially created by them. In fact such cars as the Honda Fit, Nissan March, and Toyota Vitz all enjoy strong sales as well as some serious aftermarket tuning support in their home market.
But Nissan and Toyota are of the opinion that they don't want our business. Nissan's Tiida is known as a "secretary's car" and the Yaris does not have any of the tuner cred of the Vitz. These OEs are content to chase the empty nester demo (AKA the electric scooter set). For this reason I think the Fit will clean up.
But what do I know? I thought our friends-and-family-plan Super Street sticker would be a shiny happy tribute to our fun-loving style. But apparently it created some kind of controversy within the industry. We may not be Paul Frank but we seem to be big in Japan because this same sticker was a hit at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Finally you may have noticed our new look. Consider it a minor tune-up on the Super Street machine. But I'm just a ground-down cog in this machine. What really matters is your opinion-do you like it, do you hate it? Send us your feedback. We're going to continue to make slight tweaks in the months to come in an effort to make this little rag the best that it can be. But that's just my opinion.
Hey, at least we're not dressing up in drag anymore-well, as far as you know.
- John Naderi