Articles by David Swig
Articles written by David Swig
David Swig has been writing the monthly automotive column in the San Francisco Nob Hill Gazette since 2012. Scroll through the years below….
Nob Hill Gazette
The Most Expensive Car in the World – Redefined
Its paint was chipped. The seat belts looked stained and worn. It had suffered numerous collisions—including one that was fatal. But in August, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $38,115,000 at auction in Monterey, making it the most expensive car in the world ever sold publicly.
The Hunchbacks of Bavaria
Porsche’s Panamera GTS is, by any measure, an impressive machine. It manages to spectacularly belie its physical dimensions to offer a true sports car driving experience—not merely another vague attempt at creating a “sporty” sedan for the family. Quite simply, it’s the most agile and poised sedan of this size that I have ever driven, and it left me begging for more.
I’ve always been a fan of German cars. Germany is a country that has fully embraced the automobile and elevates driving to an art. Its automobiles, with supple powertrains and an inherent feeling of solidness, have always drawn this writer. It’s no wonder that you see so many Audis, Porsches, Mercedes-Benzes, and BMWs populating San Francisco and surrounding regions—it seems I’m not alone in my preference.
Old English Charm, New-Normal Toyotas
Most new cars you see today seem to be painted in some variation of grey or graphite. Why is that? Black and white cars are also popular, of course, but, for the most part, the rest of the color spectrum has been mostly forgotten. Apparently, we like to blend in. Enter the 2014 Jaguar F-Type. It is in every way the spiritual successor of the 1961 Jaguar E-Type, the model that one British publication famously called, upon the car’s introduction, “the greatest crumpet catcher in the world.” Reportedly, even Enzo Ferrari referred to the original Jaguar E-Type as “the most beautiful car ever made.” High stakes for a successor to live up to, that’s for sure.
Father’s Day Car Memories
Do you remember the first time you drove a car? My first time, as with many children, was with my father. I was thrilled to learn that at the tender age of 10 years old I was about to learn how to steer—the most important element of driving, according to dad. Early one Sunday morning back in 1994, he sat me on his lap and worked the pedals while I eagerly peered out over the top of the steering wheel. Oh my! Holding that wheel in my hands for the first time was wonderful!
Cars as artwork; is this a ridiculous concept? “The Art of the Automobile,” a collector car auction featuring cars displayed under studio lighting and placed on pedestals—in a manner befitting sculptures by Auguste Rodin or Michelangelo—was recently held in Sotheby’s downtown New York City galleries. The message was clear: beautiful and rare cars can and should be seen, not only for their function, as automobiles, but also for their form, as artwork.
Ridiculously Good New Car Values
Today’s new car market is absolutely saturated with great options. How do you choose? The number of new models and genres is staggering, and overwhelming. I wouldn’t know where to begin if I had to actually buy a new car! For most of us, that new car is an investment, of sorts—and what we tend to look for is value. Most of us need four doors, and we might also want a little style with our day-to-day. This month, we’ve driven two not-so-obvious new models that do just that—offer great value and economy with a dose of class and style.
Standards Of Luxury
During these winter months, who doesn’t appreciate a car with as many amenities as possible to enhance coziness? Comfy heated leather seats and steering wheels have become the name of the game, and it is one of the guilty pleasures of this job to receive such cars for review on a semi-weekly basis. Here are two that recently left a warm impression to counter the season’s chill factor.
Ring In The New At 7,000 RPM
Against the backdrop of the Academy of Art University’s stunning Twentieth Century Cavalcade of Cars, we rang in the new year early at a favorite car party among many: the annual cocktail gala at Moscone Center for opening night of the 56th San Francisco International Auto Show.
Nob Hill Gazette
• December 2013: Wheels Of Progress
• November 2013: Goodwood Revival And Other European Motoring
• October 2013: The World’s Most Expensive Cars
• September 2013: Racing With The City
• August 2013: Alternative Energy Rides
• July 2013: Road Trip Magic Carpets
• June 2013: Cars For Dad (by Howard and David Swig)
• May 2013: The Germans Versus The Brits
• April 2013: Silicon Valley Reinvents The Automobile—And How!
• March 2013: Cheap Wheels: New Fords And Used
• February 2013: Japanese Cars: Future Collectibles, Market Leaders
• January 2013: Sport Compact Renaissance (by Howard and David Swig)