Visiting different places is always an opportunity to see different cars. This is obvious when going to other countries or even continents, but even a one-hour journey to the nearest bigger city can prove interesting.
After having lived for twelve years in an Alpine setting, I know that the taste for cars here is rather conservative. You will find the most mainstream brands (which nowadays often are the ‘premium’ ones) and everything that offers cheap four wheel drive. Colour-wise, people will stick to greyscale, blue or red. When I recently had some time for a walk in Zurich, I wondered if I’d find more inspiring cars than I usually encounter on our streets.
As a matter of fact, my search was rewarded.
While far from being bright-coloured, this Audi A7 sets itself apart from its peers by a pleasant dark green. Almost black or bluish in most of the shadier parts, the sunlight turns out wonderful green highlights. I wonder how much green will be left on a cloudy day, though.
The Lexus SC430 is a car I wanted to write about since I once had it in front of me in a traffic jam. Besides the odd proportions, what struck me most was the mess of shapes at the back. Roundish, drop-shaped main light clusters (divided by an ugly straight line), elliptic side markers, rectangular fog lights and sharply cut, ‘new edge’ style reversing lights. Is this a conglomerate of Toyota’s parts bin or a conscious decision from a designer? The example I spotted here was dusty, but at least had an unusual colour. By the way, I saw a second SC430 a few hours later. So it seems that Zurich really is a good place for odd cars.
It also is a good place for earning money. I was astonished by the amount of Porsches I saw. We ate outside a restaurant in an area notorious for its gentrification, and I saw them driving by every minute. Macan is the new Golf here. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, better opt for a flashy colour. This lady chose a bright turquoise for her 911, and it made me smile.
Ironically, the next sighting wears a numberplate of my home region. Old cars are always a good reason to pull out the camera. I also saw a bright yellow Renault 17 (with white, ‘sporty’ wheels) later that day, but the camera was buried deep in my bag by then.
The last photo isn’t from Zurich. I stumbled across this C3 in Locarno. That was the first time I saw ‘Almond Green’ on the street.
Unlike in the photos I know, the colour didn’t look greyish, but very light, fresh and milky, a bit like pistachio ice cream without artificial colouring. Probably this impression was helped by the bright, mediterranean sun of southern Switzerland. I could imagine ordering this car in exactly this colour; it seems the most interesting one they offer. Oh, and could you also use it on the A-pillar, please?
All photos by the author