Took a trip to NYC today and meandered about the auto show with my father (the one responsible for giving me the car bug). We had a great time checking out the various offerings and my dad decided he wants to sell his Benz and buy a Lexus LS430. Can't say as I blame him, the LS430 is quite a car and 30 grand less than the big 430 Benz sedan. That's a no brainer to me. Anyway, some notables (at least for me) were; Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang to be released in 2006. Whew, simply beautiful and 450 hp, glove soft coah like leather interior expected to list at $40,000. The muscle car era is back and better than ever!!!! Shelby GR1 concept...all completely polished aluminum body. Strikingly beautiful! 427 ci, v-10 motor pumping out 605 hp!!! Chrysler Firepower...a stunning roadster slated to get the big bad SRT version of the new hemi. Holy cow, what a gorgeous car and the interior was to die for! As a lifelong Ford man I have to tip my hat to the boyz at Chrysler/Dodge, they are really stepping up to the plate with some great designs. The new Lexus IS350 (redesign of the IS300) due out in October. Extremely nice, sporty and clean look. Conspicuously absent of any plastic, boy racer body work, the fit and finish of both interior and exterior on the IS350 is among the best I've ever seen. 300 hp, 3.5 ltr 6 banger also available as an IS250 model with 2.5 ltr 6-banger pumping out 200 hp. The IS250 and 350 are identical sans the different motor. The 250 will not be a stripped down 350. Unoficially, I was told to expect pricing to be competitive with the Acura TSX and TL. Both the IS250 and 350 will be rear drive and offer AWD as an option. If I were in the market for a new car, the new IS would be on my short list! Now for the exotics....I am in love with the Aston Martin DB9 and Vanquish S. Oh, be still my heart! The Vanquish is more the supercar, exotic racer than the DB9 and probably wouldn't be the most comfy or practical thing to be driving around all the time. The DB9, while every bit as drop dead gorgeous, seemed a bit more every day capable (as if any of these cars will be daily drivers ). Oh boy, I really want an Aston DB9! Bently Continental GT...a super COUPE from Bently! 500+ HP in a bonafide supercar, autobahn burner from the tea tottling Bently boyz! The Continental GT is no lightweight, small, two seater coupe. After all, it IS a Bently! It has got to weigh in well over 4000 pounds and is long, rakish and high off the ground (as super coupes go) but it is still has the looks (and power) to stop you in your tracks to get a better look. Nicely done! The usual Ferraris, Maseratis, etc etc and all the other more hum drum cars were there. If I had to pick something to dream for it would either be the Shelby GT500 Mustang or more of a pipe dream would be the Aston DB9. The Aston has become my new dream car. It's Bond, James Bond....shaken, not stirred.