The SSO Awards: 2020

As the final article of what has been an unprecedented year hopefully never to be repeated, at the goading of a good friend, I’ve put together a short 2020 awards list covering the automotive universe in general.  In putting the awards list together, I would like to first acknowledge that I have no real basis to be doing so (that’s better left up to the professional journalist who actually know what they are doing) and therefore I’ve taken a different approach that may just amuse only me.  Please excuse some of the more esoteric references.

Sean Spicer Inaugural Crowd Size Award goes to Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman of Aston Martin for his claim that “demand right now is phenomenal” while offering zero facts to back it up. (Spicer was Trump’s first Press Secretary)

Margaret Thatcher Unceremoniously Dumped Trophy goes to Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari.  Ferrari had decided to move on from the four-time world champion well before he was informed that they would not be offering him a new contract after this season.  Just to add insult to injury, Ferrari tried to spin it that the decision to part ways was mutual. (Thatcher was dumped as Prime Minister by the Conservative Party after a 10 year

The Marshal Blücher Battle of Waterloo Award goes to the Aston Martin DBX, unlike Marshal Blücher, who’s timely arrival on the field of battle turned the tide in favor of the Duke of Wellington and the Allied Armies, it’s still unclear if the DBX will save Aston Martin but at least its finally shown up…….….unlike the Valkyrie. 

The Coco Chanel “Imitation is the highest form of flattery” Pin goes to Ferrari for the Roma.  The Roma has to be the best looking “Aston Martin” launched in the past decade. 

The Dutch Tulipmania Balloon goes to Tesla.  Tesla’s market cap of $669 Billion is now more than GM, Ford, FCA, Toyoda, Nissan, BMW, and Daimler AG (Mercedes Benz) combined. Tesla has roughly a 0.45% share of the global new car market.

The David vs. Goliath Award (also known as the Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady Superbowl Trophy) goes to Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus for not only showing up at this year’s 24 Hours Nürburgring race with the SCG 004C which had just been built, but also announcing they would be racing at Le Mans in 2021 in the new top class LMH category with the SCG 007.

The Chris Harris Ferrari Treatment Plaque (see: Harris Banned by Ferrari) goes to the McLaren 765LT.  On a side note, it seems like Chris has been less complimentary of McLaren’s new cars since he moved at the beginning of 2019 from racing a McLaren 650 GT3 to an Aston Martin Vantage GT3.



The Chrysler Building Award goes to McLaren for putting the McLaren Technology Center up for sale.  (Chrysler sold the iconic Chrysler building the year after it was completed).


The Golden Turtle goes to GM for the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette.  It took GM only 47 years to make the same transition from front to mid-engine supercars that Ferrari undertook when the 365 GT4/BB replaced the 365 GTB/4 Daytona in 1973.  The runner up for the Golden Turtle is Aston Martin with the V12 Speedster. Making sure that it is not only coming “last” but also making sure its “least”, coming after both the Ferrari Monza SP1 & SP2 and the McLaren Elva.


The Golden Rabbit goes to McLaren which churned out an unprecedented number of new hyper and limited-edition cars in 2020 including the Elva, Speedtail, Sabre, and 765LT. 


The Jamie Dimon Award for Getting Fired and Moving Up goes to Sergio Perez who after getting dumped by Racing Point, now finds himself in a Red Bull seat for 2021. (Jamie Dimon, currently the Chairman & CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was fired by Citibank in 1998.  JPMorgan Chase is the largest of the US Big Four Banks and Citibank is the smallest)


The Dwayne Haskins Metal for Underwhelming Performance (formerly the Ryan Leaf & Johnny Manziel Award) goes to the BMW i8 and Alfa Romeo 4C. Like Haskins, both have been cut by their manufacturers in 2020 after not living up to their launch hype. (Haskins, Manziel, & Leaf are all American Football Quarterbacks)

On a slightly more serious note, there are a few supercars that have been launched this year that definitely caught my attention for better or worse:


  • Czinger 21C Hybrid: not sure yet if this is genius or madness but 3D printing a hypercar is definitely breaking new ground.


  • McLaren 765LT: A number of the press reports complained that the 765LT is edgy and will bite you at the limits. Personally, I like a bit of character in a car.  A friend test drove one recently in the wet on normal roads and was highly impressed.  The 765LT is one of the top 3 cars I am looking forward to driving as soon as I can in 2021.


  • Koenigsegg Gemera: Strikes me as the answer to a question no one ever asked. Is there really a need for a four seat Koenigsegg?  Is a Koenigsegg SUV next in the pipeline?


  • Ferrari SF90 Stradale: The SF90 on paper is a very impressive piece of technology and well ahead of its time. So was the Apple Newton. 


  • Ferrari Roma: Clearly Ferrari smells blood in the water when it comes to a key competitor. Despite a decade of playing catch up, the latest model Ferraris are still one step behind McLaren when it comes to performance.  Not the case with Aston Martin though and with the Roma, Ferrari has made case for buying any Aston Martin just that much harder.


  • GMA T.50: While the fan feels a bit gimmicky, the rest of the T.50 on paper is pure supercar heaven. A high revving V12, manual gearbox, central driving position, and carbon fiber tub as what petrolhead dreams are made of.

And so, 2020 finally comes to a close.  To use a past quote from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, this has been a Annus horribilis.  We wish everyone a better, happier, and healthy 2021. 


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December 2020

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8 Thoughts on The SSO Awards: 2020
    Gary Milgrom
    1 Jan 2021

    Great stuff thank you. I would love a driving report on the new Corvette.

    2 Jan 2021

    Great reading – especially love that you don’t hold any punches. Refreshing compared to journalists who mostly depend on the car companies good graces. One question… lately your writing on Aston Martin is sounding increasingly like that of a jilted ex-lover. Is there a story there – maybe a future post?

    2 Jan 2021

    The Roma is the best Aston Martin they have never built!

    As a long time Aston Martin fan I was discussing this with a friend before Christmas. I said to him there’s not a single Ferrari I wouldn’t want in their current line-up, and not a single Aston I’d buy. He was shocked, but then he said “I’d agree, their current designs are awful”. We then got in his car and drove around Glasgow with his sports exhaust sounding like a drive-by shooting.

    To save Aston Marek Reichman must be sacked. If Tobais Moers can’t do it, find someone who can.

    I did say that the million pound supercar market was getting saturated. The virus has only brought the collapse of this sector forward, and maybe by only months. McLaren are also spending beyond their means on F1 to trying and regain their position. It may work for them, but if results don’t follow they’re in trouble. To be honest, with Seidl in charge rather than Brown I think they have a good chance, and definitely helped by the Mercedes engine.

    McLaren may spoil Racing Point’s party as they become Aston Martin. A “works” team that the manufacturer provides no engine and no technology transfer. It’s vacuous marketing by Stroll. F1 fans are smart. F1 fans know this.

    Has anybody else realised that Mattia Binotto looks very much like Harold Lloyd? He’s definitely running the Ferrari F1 team like a Harold Lloyd film.


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