BMW. Jeep. Aston Martin. These rides are for babies. [Virginian - Pilot]
(Virginian - Pilot Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) By Phil Patton |
The New York Times
Let's make one thing clear: McLaren, the British maker of racecars and supercars like the new P1 is not the same company as Maclaren, the British manufacturer of premium baby strollers.
But there is an automotive connection at Maclaren: Its new BMW Buggy model, developed jointly with the German carmaker, even bears small windows in the shape of a BMW kidney grille on the canopy - the hood, if you will.
Baby strollers and carriages carrying the brand names of automakers are new territory for some of the companies that market to nameplate-conscious parents. Even the most famous baby of the moment may ride one soon: Silver Cross, long a supplier of strollers to the royal family, is producing an Aston Martin model that may be just the thing for Prince George, the new royal infant. (Black-and- white film of the young Prince Charles shows him in a Silver Cross stroller.)
The brand marks on the Maclaren BMW model, under license from the automaker, are tasteful and discreet: There are BMW roundels on the hub caps of the auto-style wheels and one on the buckle for the seat belt. The BMW stroller is part of a series of strollers called Objects of Design that have included models branded Bur-berry, Juicy Couture and Lacoste.
The original Maclaren, according to the company history, was designed for a grandchild by Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer and test pilot who had designed the landing gear for the Spitfire fighter plane. The BMW Buggy was designed by Carolyn Komminsk, Maclaren's chief of design, and comes with a reclining seat and removable seat pad.
The designers visited BMW studios and even the automaker's museum in Munich, Komminsk said.
Accessories include an expandable foot muff, a park blanket, an umbrella and, of course, a cup holder. The BMW Buggy is available in black, silver and blue for $385.
Even more prestigious child transport is Aston Martin's new Silver Cross Surf stroller built, like a Vanquish or Rapide, on a chassis of aluminum and magnesium. Inside is Aston-level Alcantara fabric and leather. The name Aston Martin is rendered on the push bar handle in gleaming metal letters so large no rival nanny passing by is likely to miss the association.
Aston Martin cars are favorites of Prince Charles and his son Prince William, the proud new father. William and his wife, Kate, were seen leaving their 2011 wedding in a 1969 Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante, lent by Charles.
The shape of the wheels on the new pram echoes the twin-spoke configuration of the wheels on the Aston Martin One-77 supercar. That model, priced around $1.4 million, was limited to 77 deliveries; the pram is limited to 800. It is priced around $3,000 and is available through Harrods.
Silver Cross is a noted brand in the world of prams, citing origins dating to 1877 when, it claims, William Wilson, an inventor, created the first baby pram.
More affordable are Jeep-branded strollers, which come in many models, found at Babies "R" Us and other stores or online at such sites as allthingsjeep.com. Strollers are part of the lucrative licensing of the brand's rugged, go-everywhere image. (No separate stroller figure is available, but sales of licensed Jeep products totaled about $550 million in 2008.)
Jeep strollers include the tough Jeep Liberty Limited Urban Terrain and the Jeep Liberty Sport X All-Terrain. Parents who want to keep in shape while spending time with the baby can try the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller. They are often sold at Wal-Mart and other stores and at several online retailers for about $200.
fit for a prince
Silver Cross, long a supplier of strollers to the royal family, is producing an Aston Martin model that might be just right for Prince George. Aston Martin cars are favorites of Prince Charles and his son Prince William.
Baby strollers and carriages carrying the brand names of automakers, such as this Maclaren BMW Buggy, are new territory to companies marketing to nameplate-conscious parents.
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