Originally published March 26, 2016 on autoTRADER.ca
Best in Show
Peter Bleakney: 2016 Porsche 911 R
For me, the best car in show is not the most exotic, most powerful, best looking or rarest. But it surely is sensational to drive, and unlike just about anything else you can buy, this sled will appreciate in value. I’m speaking of the 2016 Porsche 911 R, the limited edition rear-drive, six-speed manual only dream-Porker that weighs a paltry 3,020 lb (1,369 kg) and is shot down the road by the naturally-aspirated 500 hp 4.0L screamer from the GT3 RS. And it’s almost attainable… oh wait. Just heard all 991 examples are spoken for. Damn.
Evan Williams: Buick Avista Concept
Yes, I know it’s not new (but they did show it in a new colour in New York). Yes, I know that Buick said they won’t build the Avista Concept. But I’ve heard that line before. It’s the concept at the show that’s not being built that I would most like to see built. I figure if we keep talking about it, it keeps improving the odds that maybe they’ll build something like it. Because I would love to see them on the road, and I think it would really help Buick’s rebranding.
Nissan GT-R Heritage Display
Dan Heyman: Yes, there was a new Nissan GT-R revealed – which will be a fine automobile, I’m sure – but it was what surrounded the Nissan booth and its bright orange GT-R that really did it for me. Instead of just a fancy video displaying the timeline of the Nissan Skyline/GT-R, Nissan – and some very generous owners – went all out and actually had the lineage there, in the metal. Every generation except the original Skyline was represented, ranging from 1969 all the way up to a 2013 example of the latest car. The 1969 is the star though; for someone who has only ever seen this car on screen, the plastic fender flares, Minilite wheels and fender-mounted wing mirrors look so much more spectacular in person.
Simon Hill: To give context to the debut of its refreshed 2017 GT-R, Nissan brought in a bevy of Classic Skyline GT-Rs. The silver 1969 and 1973 models were arguably the most beautiful cars at the show. Classics for the win!
Lesley Wimbush: Volvo P1800
Soaring high over the Volvo booth at the New York Auto Show, the classic P1800 outshone many of the cars below it. Introduced in 1961, the P1800 was a breath of fresh air for Volvo. Sophisticated, stylish design on tried & true Swedish running gear added up to a winning combination that attracted many new customers to the fold. Cast as the hero’s distinctive yet offbeat wheels in television’s “The Saint”, that role gave the P1800 cachet as a status symbol. More boulevard cruiser than sports car, the P1800’s “2+2” designation (two seats up front, two behind) and large trunk gave it an air of practicality and its live rear axle and drum brakes were that of a sedan. The 1.8L, 100-hp four-cylinder was meagre by today’s standards but enough to hold its own in its day.