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A couple of weekends ago, our good friend Pike had organized a pre-release cruise featuring 10 (yes, ten) of the new Nissan Cube's, and it was a blast. We hit a couple of area dealerships, then hit the road to the Pavillions in Scottsdale (great Saturday cruise spot if you're visiting the East Valley), where the impressive lineup of geometric people movers grabbed a ton of attention on the freeways. Suffice to say, the lineup was a smash at the cruise, and Pike even brought along a GT-R (more on Godzilla later... words fail me yet, and that was one hell of a Saturday night cruise around the Valley) and an as-yet unreleased Infinity G37 convertible just to round out the playing field.

My first reaction when seeing a Cube a couple of years back (don't forget, these have been around overseas since '98) was "not too sure about that". Don't get me wrong, I was impressed as all get-out that anyone could pack that much room into such a small-looking package, but the look was odd to me.

Fast-forward ten years, and my how things have changed. My first moment sitting in the Cube was a wild time... Headroom galore, great sight lines, and just enough legroom for even my lanky appendages. The dash is minimalist, but laid out in a tremendously intuitive way, and all controls are easily understandable and useful. Too cool.

The ride was incredibly comfortable, stable, responsive and above all, QUIET. It was that last fact that kept me stunned. The Cube is damn quiet on both highway and city pavement, and just felt "right" somehow. Aside from the constant stares from other drivers, I have to say, I'm giving this little machine SERIOUS thought (more on THAT, too later!).

Design-wise, I have to say it has me hooked. If you know me, then you know my love for asymmetrical design, and that rear window treatment NAILS it. A wrap-around side glass on the passenger side meets a thick pillar on the left, and it (again) just feels "right". Couple this with tall slab-like side panels, rounded corners all over, and a very trick windshield shape (oh, you'll be seeing this on a few designs of mine to come), and we're getting someplace. But oh that tail light... It was an instant love-fest for me. I have about thirty cars I want to use that in, and it's not coincidental that I like it so much when it shares a similarity to a certain Thunderbird production run. It just says "custom car" all over (hell, even the headliner is sculpted already!)... and I dig the Cube for that immensely.

Naturally, I began sketching ideas for these Cube's as soon as I laid eyes on them, and I'll give a few hints to where it's all going for me, prior to laying out some drawings for you.

As an Alexander Brothers fan, I've always enjoyed a certain "quirky/futuristic" aesthetic when it comes to a kustom, and that taste is finding it's way into the artwork in a huge way.

Think "Deora meets the modern day", and you're getting warm. Throw in some healthy Ed Roth influence, and by golly, we're getting there....

Top it with some Winfield and Cushenbury asymmetrical appeal, and man, it just gets wilder by the second! It's been literally years since any new car has trapped my attention like this, and I'm stoked about it... Hope you are, too. and that you'll stay tuned as I play with a bunch of combinations and styles on this cool ride from Nissan...

More, as always on my site: