Merging old and new isn't just a matter of throwing parts together slapdash. Just as a racer selects parts based on their compatibility, Claude chose parts that met at a common ground. The wheels, for example, evoke the disc-type Ford wheels that were popular in the '60s, which was primetime for redline tires and Cobra Blue paint. Those elements that tie the car together meet on yet another plane: each is a modernized interpretation of an old standard. You could say they're the point where old and new make amends.

Some would say that Claude built a car that's relatively timeless. In the sense that '40-style wheels, redline tires, punchy metallic colors, and Greek-style stripes won't ever go out of style. They're right. But this car very much has a time: This is a today car.

To paraphrase automotive artist Steve Stanford, right now we live in probably the greatest time in automotive history. We have a whole century of automotive styling at our disposal, each trend every bit as cool as the other nowadays. What's more, there's really nothing saying that we can't pick and choose among them. We couldn't do that yesterday.

True, there are still rules. But, as any pioneer in any field will tell you, rules were meant to be broken.