Monday, September 15, 2008

Manhattan Motors Competition - Began today

Today the entry time for "Manhattan Motors" began. With $2000 in cash prizes and status for the winning designer in the LM community on the line, Manhattan Motors took stage as the central focus of the next couple of weeks.

Already the first entries are being honed in checkup and there appears to be a fundamental excitement about the prospect of what such a vehicle and what such a paradigm means.

It did not occur to us (and certainly we could not have known) that launching this competition for entries was going to coincide with a day of relative financial crisis in Manhattan.

But perhaps it is a signal. New York is today a town of arts and finance and real estate...These last two have suffered in the throws of the US credit contraction, but perhaps this means that at least another business could be started in Manhattan, a business which offsets the linkage of success in the city to only the performance of a group of banks.

Perhaps this is an unlikely dream to some, but I don't believe that Wall Street is all that exists in the Empire city. Main Street is still there somewhere when you look closely, and Local Motors would like you to take a drive down it in style.

Some of the resonance with days gone by is most interesting. Take for example, this connection:

Vincent Astor, philanthropist and descendant of Manhattan real estate impresario, John Jacob Astor, used to tool around in Manhattan in this rare model of car.....

a 1934 Brewster-bodied Ford Town car

As it turns out the Brewster was sold to him by entrepreneur J. S. Inskip, a famous Manhattan automobile dealer, whose name lives on in the Penske Auto Group location in Warwick Rhode Island. And as coincidence would have it, it is this very Inskip where Local Motors has sourced the majority of its engine parts.

So if Manhattan Motors comes to pass, once again, Inskip parts could be trolling around the streets of Manhattan driven perhaps by the likes of modern day Astors, but definitely by more "normal" New Yorkers.

Come check out and vote on the entries as they come in during the week. Voting continues for two weeks.


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