As I sift through teaser photos of the 2013 SRT Viper looking for clues before its debut this week, I'm reminded of the words of Chrysler's Ralph Gillies who compared it to "a naked woman on the beach" — mostly because Bloomberg mentioned the nude woman thing in one of their headlines again. Those traffic whores. (Coming from us, that's totally a compliment. — Ed.)
But it does bring up one interesting point about the obsession of male designers (and auto writers) with the female form. Specifically, how obvious and completely one-sided the obsession is.
Here's what I mean. A common adjective for trucks is "masculine," but no one ever says "I was looking at pics of Jon Hamm's shapely torso on the Internet and I thought that would make one helluva pickup."
What about female designers? Well, for starters, the field is predominately, but not exclusively, male. Do female car designers imagine a nude phallus when penning a gear-shift? Do gay car designers? A few of the new Jaguars, if we're being honest, sort of look like a massive aluminum penis. And if they do, they never say it, while at the same time, male designers can run around talking about nude women all they want.
Brie's approval and humor aside, my friend was right in pointing out I wouldn't think to compare a car I found sexy to a man. Goofy? Sure. Ugly? Of course. Physically attractive? Nope. (The one exception to this rule is the BMW M Coupe, which everyone agrees looks like a man's twig and berries).
Chrysler's showing off their new 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks alongside the new-nude-woman-on-a-beach Viper this week at the New York Auto Show. I'll be listening closely for any mention of David Beckham, Javier Bardem or any other men who could have inspired its rugged form.
Photo Credit: Getty, Shutterstock/Olly