December 29, 2008
I had just merged onto the freeway this morning when a car went by in the lane to my left. Nothing special in that, of course, except this car was white with smallish black spots that looked like someone had let a detail-oriented child loose with a can of spray paint. I was still pondering that somewhat unusual sight when a second one went by, then a third, and finally a fourth. Aha, prototypes! I have a theory that auto companies camouflage new models during testing not just to discourage leaks and spy shots but also to give ordinary folks like me a little thrill when we see them out and about, adding a tiny taste of intrigue to our normal routine. Because traffic was light (a fair few facilities around here are on holiday shutdown this week), I was able to get over into the far left lane on the other side of the spotted vehicle parade and drive by to get another look. These prototypes weren’t wearing bras front or rear like they sometimes do, so I could see the Ford badges on them; that and their overall size led me to guess they were Fusions, maybe the successor to what I hope will be my next car. I noticed that the spots weren’t painted on but were printed on white film that was attached to the painted surfaces; I wonder if I could buy that somewhere and mess with people’s heads by putting it on my by now old news Focus.