Epiphone guitars of the 1960’s were made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but the company proudly infused Mediterranean styling and influence in the tradition of Greek founder Anastasios Stathopoulos and his son Epi Stathopoulos – for whom Epiphone was named – into the exotic looking solid body electrics of the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
The 1964 Epiphone Crestwood Custom is in many ways the pinnacle of Epiphone style, build quality and playability. The lightweight mahogany body and set neck combine with the patent pending mini-humbucker pickups and Epiphone Tremotone with spoon handle inspired vibrato bar to create an amazing sounding, smooth playing instrument that begs to be played, but is collectible enough to be kept in a climate controlled display case.
Plugged into a vintage tube amp the Crestwood roars to life. A vintage blues monster, the mini-humbucker in the neck is warm, thick and fuzzy, the bridge pickup is spanky and mean. Together they create a sweetly balanced tone that is perfect for comping, and with some overdrive, holding down the fort for aggressive rock tunes.
The 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio is a tiny Italian beauty that also packs a punch. The Abarth inspired styling, complete with bold yellow and red scorpio – the Italian founders astrological sign- logos complimenting the shapely design, bright red calipers, and 17 inch forged aluminum hyper black wheels.
“Driving the 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth is an absolute blast. Handling is tight, braking is aggressive, the 5-speed is just where you want it, the clutch is compliant, and under full throttle the turbo boosts, according to the extremely cool steering column mounted gauge, at a vigorous 18 psi. The horsepower and torque numbers may seem conservative by today’s sport and muscle car standards, but the Fiat’s bantam curb weight of only 2545 lbs means that more of the power is available to make the car go fast, rather than just go.
The full boost induced torque steer adds to the driving excitement, as does the Abarth’s exhilarating exhaust. Originally known as a boutique high-performance exhaust manufacturer, the 500 keeps the Abarth tradition alive and well. From the ill-tempered snarl at idle and irascible growl at full throttle to the giggle inducing snaps and pops elicited while ratcheting through the gears, the Abarth’s exhaust belies the car’s tiny frame.” (An excerpt from our review)
Both Mediterranean’s are beautiful, sound fantastic, and excel at breaking free from the status quo.