Extreme Road Warrior

by Jonathan Spira
Extreme Road Warrior

I’m writing this from Hamburg, at least I think that’s where I am.  Sometimes trips can be just plain boring.  This one was most decidedly not.  In a 16 day whirlwind tour I would stay in seven hotels and would span 9 cities to cover, however briefly: Munich, Vienna, Munich (again), Hamburg, Flensburg, Sønderborg, Brugge, Düsseldorf, Bremen, and Bremerhaven.  Countries: Denmark, Germany, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Normally my trips last …

BMW’s Brave New World

by Jonathan Spira
BMW’s Brave New World

Visitors to Munich have always thought of the city as a kind of BMW world.  Not only is the automaker headquartered there, but the cars themselves are as ubiquitous as the beer and are even used as police cars and taxis.
As a company, BMW has always presented a distinctive image, from its logo, a stylized spinning propeller against a blue sky, to its buildings, which include the Vierzylinder (Four Cylinder) …

Buick Lucerne

by Jonathan Spira
Buick Lucerne

Refined Touring for the Business Traveler.
“When better cars are built, Buick will build them” went the most famous automotive slogan of all time.  Buick was, for many years, the cornerstone of General Motors, selling a staggering 260,000 cars in 1926 and 514,000 cars in 1954.  It came in just under Cadillac in Alfred P. Sloan’s hierarchical order of General Motors.  Chevrolet was the entry level vehicle, Pontiac eventually became the …

American Airlines New York-JFK to Seattle

by Jonathan Spira
American Airlines New York-JFK to Seattle

I was unable to print my boarding pass from my home computer because the printer had run out of ink, so I had to check in at American’s new Terminal 8.  There was only one passenger ahead of me in the first class line so I waited all of two minutes.  The agent greeted me by name, directed me to the Admiral’s Club, and wished me a pleasant flight.
BOARDING
Our departure …

2007 Volvo S80

by Jonathan Spira
2007 Volvo S80

A rational choice for the business traveler
The Swedish Vikings were among the first business travelers.  While Vikings from Denmark and Norway conquered and colonized to the west and southwest, Swedish Vikings traded to the east and southeast.
The Vikings were also renowned for their shipbuilding abilities, building vessels that were seaworthy and strong.  Today, this ability is most visible in cars from the region, such as those from Volvo, a company …

2007 Jaguar XK

by Jonathan Spira
2007 Jaguar XK

Stunning – my thought upon first seeing the Jaguar XK coupe.  Let’s add breathtaking, just for good measure.  And that was before starting the motor.
This cat purrs.
I immediately headed off to a meeting some 45 miles away, wondering if I shouldn’t just keep going past my exit and skip the meeting.  I was too busy noticing the powerful, naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 motor, the fast throttle response, and the tight …

2007 Audi A8 L quattro AT6

by Jonathan Spira
2007 Audi A8 L quattro AT6

Someone who sits in an Audi A8 quattro L will inevitably feel like a VIP as this auto offers all of the conveniences and amenities one might expect if one were, for example, the Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor) of Germany.
In fact, former Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder picked a very similar car for his official vehicle (the Kanzlerwagen), although his had substantially more armor and security devices than mine did.  (Until that point, …