Today is Machinery Day in Japan. The holiday was established by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers to consider how machines can be created responsibly to benefit society, as well as to spur interest in the field of mechanical engineering. If you think about it, the whole of human achievement is one unbroken chain of using crude tools to make ever more advanced ones. Even the most state-of-the-art microchip owes its existence to someone banging a couple of rocks together. In honor of this holiday we’re going with an ultra-meta question this week. We’re presuming that if you’re interested in cars, you’re likely interested in other mechanical objects as well. Answers don’t have to be automotive in nature, though they certainly can be.
What was the most important machine ever invented?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car would Barbie drive if she went ‘JDM’?“.
There were so many good answers this week it was really hard to choose. In researching these answers we went down a rabbit hole and discovered that Barbie has had an insane number of cars over the years. There was something for nearly every version of the doll and all her various occupations, making it really hard to pick just one.
If you want to go with the classics, Barbie’s very first car was an Austin Healey 3000-esque roadster released in 1962, though it wasn’t branded as such. That would have been a perfect era-appropriate analogue to Lakdasa‘s choice of a Nissan Fairlady SPL212/3. Mattel followed that up with a Mercedes 190SL, which makes Lee L‘s Toyota 2000GT convertible a fitting choice.
Of course, Barbie’s most memorable cars were her various versions of the Corvette. In that vein, other iconic 80s sports car options like Jeremy A.‘s pick of A70 Supra, Chet Manley nominations of Starion or Impulse, and Ian G.‘s suggestion of an AW11 MR2 all seem apt. The Toyotas could’ve even been made with Sport Roof or T-top versions.
We also learned that in the 80s Barbie had not-so-high-end rides like the VW Cabrio. That would make Dove‘s selection of the Honda del Sol or GeorgeL‘s vote for the Honda Beat suitable options. On the other hand, Barbie also had a Porsche 964 and a Ferrari 328 GTS, so CycoPablo‘s pick of a blue chip car like the Lexus LC makes sense as well. Additionally, Barbie’s had more campers than the infield of the Daytona 500, so Jonathan P.‘s Toyota HiAce camper works out as well.
In the end, we couldn’t decide so we left it up to the commenters, and Fred Langille‘s early mention of the Figaro got the most support (However, we should also mention that Richard pointed out a Nissan Figaro was actually used in a parody of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” song). Congrats, Fred!
Easy … a Nissan Figaro! It already is in the sort of colors expected for her as per the seasons so, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine a Barbie Pink Figaro with the signature white interior. Also, the roll back top makes it easier for her to play, Ken? Hmmmm … that’s why this car is good for Barbie-land … he could have the Summer Blue version so they’d match! I’d better stop before a need an insulin shot.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!