The mirror-bright cars which fill the eight color pages beginning on page 29 of this week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED reflect in the names of their body styles—victoria, cabriolet, phaeton, landau, runabout—an era of classic car design not long past. But they reflect also in their magnificent grooming a sporting spirit which is independent of any period. It expresses itself equally well in the enthusiasm which greets today's most modern advances in the world of sport and in the proud care which painstakingly preserves the best things of yesterday.
A fisherman may have used a hundred fishing rods: but he remembers, honors and keeps bright the great ones, and still anticipates with pleasure the next new one he will hold in his hands. And the affection of a hunter for the oldest gun in his collection only increases the zest with which he appraises tomorrow's latest model.
Comparisons between the old and new naturally suggest themselves. But the fact that today's automobiles represent extraordinary improvements in performance, comfort and reliability—through developments like automatic transmissions, power steering and pushbutton windows—simply adds to the sportsman's appreciation of the forerunners like those in this week's folio of fine cars. And names like hardtop and convertible take on an added luster because names like phaeton and runabout are in their background.
As I looked at these cars I thought that many of our readers might agree with me that they show a wonderful part of the sporting spirit: a recognition and enjoyment of perfection and a desire to see the best of its kind kept fresh.
It is the sporting spirit, I think, which everyone can share with the sportsmen seated in these cars. Surely it's a spirit which goes back a long way, and I rather imagine, for instance, that it must have been a proud sportsman some years ago who drove the surrey with the fringe on top—and kept it polished.