When I was little I had a crush on a Fiat Spider. My tennis instructor was a gorgeous Italian glamazon who lived up the street from my family, and (to me, anyway), the most fascinating thing about her was that she drove around town in a hunter green Spider. When September would roll around, she would show up in my driveway and announce that we were going school supply shopping. On that day every September I felt like the most sophisticated and cool girl in the world as I sat in this delicately muscled machine with it's nutty wood trim and buttery leather seats. My instructor handled the car as if we were in Monte Carlo road race, and all was right with the world.
I read today that Fiat's attempt to purchase a 35% stake in Chrysler has been delayed because, well, Chrysler is having a bit of an accountability issue, as we all know. We can all argue back and forth (and please do!) about the advantages and disadvantages of foreign interests buying into classic American companies. As sad as it is that these companies are losing ground on the international stage, they have repeatedly failed to prove themselves to the market over the last several years, and are now reaping the consequences of failing the American public (before you argue with that think about where your tax money has gone).
I like to imagine, however, that Fiat having a stake in Chrysler will at least bring a little sophistication back to the American car market. I love a gorgeous car. If anyone has a 1968 Jaguar XK-E that want to give away, I'll take one in red, by the way. Why can't cars be works of art anymore? When did American cars become the equivalent of that bonehead 'roidmonger at the gym who starts every sentence with "Uh... dude..."? Or worse, the equivalent of that girl who sat behind all of us in high school who tried her darndest to assert herself as an authority figure, but every statement she made was idiotic and her clothes never fit her correctly? She was all show (and a bad one) and little research. While an Italian stake in the market will probably not inspire some sexy curves and purring engines given Fiat's latest models, maybe it will at least inspire a little extra thought in the process.