By on April 20, 2012

Let me tell you this story about a killer I used to know.

I met him when I was fourteen years old. He worked with my father. I didn’t know anything about him. He was perhaps five foot eight at most. Quiet. Shy. He played folk guitar at a local cafe. At a company picnic, he expressed concern that the pond at the corporate retreat had too many fish. “There isn’t enough food for all of them to grow correctly,” he said, and he seemed sad about it.

A few years later, I was talking to my father about the book “Rogue Warrior” by former Navy SEAL Richard “Demo Dick” Marcinko. Enthusing about it, actually. “If you really want to know what the SEALs did,” the old man said by way of interrupting my babbling, “you can talk to…” and he gave me the name of the shy, fish-sympathetic guitar player.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, he did multiple tours. Saw all sorts of action. He was the real deal.” My father was a veteran himself, and he didn’t hand out praise glibly, but… That couldn’t be. SEALs weren’t thin, quiet men who played the acoustic guitar and ended up doing paperwork in a brokerage business for the rest of their lives. Or were they?

It turns out that KRS-One was correct when he noted that “Real bad boys move in silence”. In the years since then, I have met a variety of people who have survived, or even thrived, in dangerous environments. Combat troops, high-risk workers of all kinds, hardened violent criminals, successful racers, emergency services personnel. The kind of people we used to call “real men“, before that phrase became unwelcome in the American dialogue. Most of them are notable for just how non-notable they are. Our country’s overseas misadventures of the past decade have dumped tens of thousands of these quiet bad-asses into the heartland of America. They fix your car, serve your food, and, increasingly, sit at home because nobody is hiring. You would never know that they’ve survived combat. That they have “seen the elephant”, as gun writer Jeff Cooper used to say. That they have killed, and perhaps even enjoyed the experience.

I don’t see too many of them on the rare days when I darken the door of my local “Urban Active”. Instead, I see over-muscled steroid cases, covered with as many scary-looking tattoos as they could finance, grunting, throwing weight around, and engaging in copious public displays of ass-hattery. They have skulls on their shirts, or bandannas on their heads. Their entire posture is designed to intimidate. They are often fans of MMA, an activity which simulates street fighting for people who have managed to avoid actual street fights their entire lives. Often they are cops or volunteer firefighters, endlessly braying about the dangers of their profession to anyone who will listen.

It occurred to me many years ago that the Venn diagram of “actual bad-asses” and “people who spend all their time trying to look like bad-asses” has a very low overlap. The actual “man’s work” of the world — winning wars, building businesses, feeding families, protecting the weak from the strong — is generally accomplished by men who can’t bench three hundred pounds. That’s not how Hollywood likes to play it, but that’s the way it is.
Of course, “man’s work” isn’t what it used to be. Forget the “war on women” you’re hearing about right now, although it may well exist. There’s been a “war on men” for the last fifty years, and it’s been more successful than any of the Middle Eastern adventurism which has burned up the lives of American men like so much unwanted firewood at the end of winter. A war against the ideas of manhood, fatherhood, responsibility, dependability. The traditional American man — think Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird — has been parodied, denigrated, humiliated, ironized, writen out of existence. It’s no longer pleasant or even feasible to emulate our grandfathers and their unashamedly masculine lives.

Instead, we choose one of two paths. We become “modern men”, sensitive to womyn’s needs, ashamed of our basic desires, never sure whether to hold a door or let it slam shut. Most college-educated men take this path, particularly if they want to succeed in life. The men for whom success isn’t even an option — the rural, the uneducated, the discarded — well, they choose a distended hyper-masculinity. They can’t take care of their children, but they can bench-press a small car. They can’t hold a job, but they can kick your ass under MMA rules. They’ll never ascend above the service class, but if you are walking down a narrow hallway towards them you will guaranteedly have to bump shoulders with them. It is the appearance of masculinity serving in the stead of its actuality, an unemployed gym rat living with his parents and riding a Hayabusa covered with tribal graphics to the 7-Eleven on Saturday nights.

Sports cars and supercars — yes, we are finally getting to cars — used to be real ass-kickers themselves, you know. Think of a Miura blowing down the autostrada at 170mph when the average Italian car couldn’t break a hundred. Or an early short-wheelbase 911 trying actively to kill its driver on the Stelvio Pass. Or a ’69 big-block ‘Vette snarling down Mulholland. Men’s cars. Driven by the men who ruled the world, who had built the world. And created by those men, too. Ferrari himself, sacrificing drivers like pawns and burning the essence of his life to obtain victory. Ferry Porsche, who had to build and engineer a racecar to ransom the life of his own father. David Brown, earning a fortune and then throwing it away so he could put his own intials on the Aston Martin. Ferrucio Lamborghini, who famously started his company because Enzo showed him a lack of respect (or because he found out how much the markup on Ferrari parts was, depending on which story you believe.) These were real men, building appropriate conveyances for other men of means, courage, and accomplishment.

Those men are all as dead as Caesar now. Their famously fragile businesses, which often held together simply on the faith of their workers that “the old man” would find a way to pay them next week, have been plucked from uncertainty and nestled safely within the bosoms of monstrous corporations or the accidentally oil-rich.

And the cars those men made? They’ve been replaced by products, which are branded and marketed to “high net worth individuals”, our infamous one percent, existing within a safety net of corrupt banks, protective governments, and barriers to entry. The “heritage” those men manufactured on the fly has become a precious resource to be doled out by turtleneck-clad designers timidly riffing on the tracks cut by their betters long ago, like a club DJ spinning Parliament in scratches and squeaks because he never learned to play the bass himself.

Worse yet, the “products” themselves have ceased doing the man’s work of the company. Porsche used to live or die by 911 sales, the same way Lamborghini relied on selling the Countach to keep the doors open. No longer. Today, the Panamera and Cayenne drive the business. They trade on the image of the 911 to move the metal, but the 911 itself has become irrelevant. It’s a trophy wife on the arm of the Panamera. It’s there to make the Pano look good.

As the 911 has dwindled from Porsche’s core product to something which is briefly shown in advertisements for mommy-mobile SUVs and offensively-bloated luxo-barges, it has responded the same way your local gym rat has responded to being cut out of the world economy. It’s become hyper-masculine. Each new version of the 911 is more of a parody than the one before it. Spoilers, slats, airdams, monstrous wheels, stickers, an entire lexicon of nonsense vomited across the rear deck in plastichrome. No doubt the time will come when the 911 simply disappears and is just used in advertisements, the way Chevrolet occasionally trots out a Bel Air on television to distract you from the Korean offal they wish to offload now.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when I started preferring Lamborghini to Ferrari. Probably around the time the Murcielago arrived. I like that car: it’s an honest descendant of the Countach, even if it was done with German money. The flat-black ambience and gorgeous detailing of the current cars doesn’t hurt either. Mostly, however, I enjoyed the consistent purity of the product. Everybody knows what a Lamborghini is. You don’t have to explain it. Res ipsa loquitir.

I forgave Lamborghini their corporate ownership because the corporation didn’t seem to want to mess with it. True, the company had gone from a (not quite) self-sufficient operation to a bauble on the arm of a larger company, but you couldn’t sit in a Murcielago and tell yourself it was a corporate effort. The cars always felt individual, special. It would be an achievement to earn and own one. I’m stressing the end of that phrase the way Robert Ringer used to stress “earn, and receive income” in his books, because I think it’s important. When it’s earned, rather than given — by parents, oil wealth, criminal activity — ownership of something like a Gallardo or Murcielago can be enormously, thoroughly satisfying.

I had my concerns, however, when the Reventon arrived, followed by the Aventador. They weren’t beautiful any more. They were merely aggressive. And the Stealth-fighter look of the Reventon wasn’t promising. It had the whiff of an Affliction T-shirt to it, or the former Subway employee getting a tribal tattoo. Somebody was trying too hard. Somebody was about to become somebody else’s bitch.

Which leads me to the new Lamborghini SUV. I think it’s called the Urus, which is some kind of contraction of “Ursus”, which means bear, and “Anus”, which means rectum. Naturally, it’s a complete joke, a pathetic attempt to make a Russian mafia wife’s shopping cart look like Batman’s Murci. It pisses all over the face of everything for which Lamborghini has ever stood, and before you mention the LM-002, I will stop you and say that was ridiculous as well. We forgive the LM-002 because it was a piece of garbage. It earned its Italian stripes by being a completely useless accessory. The man who drove a Miura wouldn’t bother to raw-dog the accessory who drives a Urus in a roadside bathroom somewhere.

And yet the Urus will soon be the man of the house at Lamborghini, the way the Cayamara runs the show in Stuttgart. It will sell to the one percent. The Aventador is now, officially, living in Mom’s basement. It may pump up further, it may experience steroidal 240-mph rage or thousand-horsepower gym prowess, but we all know the deal. Lamborghini is dead. They can’t say that at the color rags, because they still want to fly to Italy so they can drive this piece of shit and pretend the waitresses at the press dinner find them attractive, but you read it here first. Lamborghini is dead, just like its founder. Anything else that happens is just theater, as fake as the “SEALs” that flex their muscles in television dramas and pretend to be related, in some way, to my father’s quiet killer of a friend.

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139 Comments on “Hype and Hypertrophy: How Lamborghini Lost Its Man Card...”


  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Great article, brilliantly written, and absolutely true.

    You should really do more pieces like this and less of the sniping at “Journosaurs” and picking fights with other websites. Please?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “The traditional American man — think Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird — has been parodied, denigrated, humiliated, ironized, writen out of existence. It’s no longer pleasant or even feasible to emulate our grandfathers and their unashamedly masculine lives.

    Instead, we choose one of two paths. We become “modern men”, sensitive to womyn’s needs, ashamed of our basic desires, never sure whether to hold a door or let it slam shut”

    I would hazard that that’s because people withdrew a little bit too much from the social bank and got more than a little comeuppance as a result. The “men” that did this, by the way, weren’t Atticus Finch as much as they were Don Draper.

    You can thank the Dons (or at least the people who wanted to be Dons), not the Atticii, for overdrawing from the collective pool of testosterone and robbing you, me, and anyone else Gen-X or younger.

    Otherwise, I’ll agree that Lamborghini is posturing. But they always have, really, there’s just been more backing it up.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    That ‘thing’ looks like a – you fill in the blank, Lexus, Chevrolet, Lincoln, Mazda, whatever. It looks OK, as in respectable, acceptible, which a Lamborghini should never be.

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      Exactly, if they were going to get Lamborghini back into the SUV game they should’ve brought-back the LM-002.. a vehicle that looked like it rolled off the set of an action movie powered by a Seven-Litre V-12 ripped from the beating heart of a racing powerboat. The LM-002 was absolutely MAD, and that made it a Lamborghini. This, just another interchangeable Crossover.

  • avatar
    V572625694

    “The actual ‘man’s work’ of the world — winning wars, building businesses, feeding families, protecting the weak from the strong — is generally accomplished by men who can’t bench three hundred pounds.”

    Maturity’s a bitch, isn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Yet the “men’s cars” he laments are the ones that bench 300 and have the automotive styling equivalent of neck tattoos.

      Conversely, the cars that build businesses, put food on the table, protect their occupants, etc, are the ones that routinely get panned on these blogs because they aren’t fast enough or uniquely styled enough or exciting enough.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    Just logged into to say “Brilliant”.

  • avatar
    sandmed

    Wow you nailed it

  • avatar
    stryker1

    As unpopular as it is to draw a distinction between earned and bestowed wealth, I’m glad you did it.

    I doubt even a small percentage of those who have an attended an occupy wall-street protest is pissed that Steve Jobs made a billion dollars.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      He made 6 billion dollars for himself and billions more for millions of others.
      But some people still think it can’t be done. I think it can be done but not by the OWS crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        dima

        First and formost, great article. 100% agree with your analogy of modern man. I might add, this is fashionable now to ask “How do you feel about….” rather then ” What do you think about….” now think why is that?
        I could never understand OWS movement. I am not 1%, I wish I was, but… OWS just as part of this problem as those institutions. Were they have been during happy times? Why not protest then and avoid shock of today? This crash was visible at least 3 years before however, why protest when you make money out of it. Now they are protesting with Starbuck coffee in one hand and iWhatever in another. To me it is hypocrisy.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      OWS started as a protest that was against the vulture financial system that brought our economy to it’s knees, was bailed out, and not a single one of those institutions was held accountable. Then there were the douche bag hangers-on who the media used to define the movement and it all fell apart.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        The really Ironic thing is that’s exactly how Tea-Party started, a few concerned folks when the wall-street bail-outs were still a glimmer in the Federal Reserve’s eye who saw them as having the potential of doing more harm than good and sided with others who made it Very politically unpopular.. but then it went-through anyway.

        So the proto-Tea-Baggers started an online movement based around the idea that Washington had proven itself un-trustworthy with taxpayer money and tried to organize some modern day ‘tea-parties’ in various large cities in the US.. and then it fell flat on it’s face from low turn-out.

        Queue the GOP Astro-turfing machine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        I personally still don’t buy OWS. The Tea Party crowd (at least at first) were comprised of ordinary people -with jobs- who traveled on their own time to rallies against the incredible mistakes being made in Washington. The OWS people I have seen are the typical leftist hippie scumbags who show up to meddle -because they have no job- and then gripe for handouts to keep their protest going. They may have valid points to protest but nobody is going to take them seriously because it doesn’t seem genuine and they do not represent a cross section of society.

    • 0 avatar
      Vance Torino

      Just remember, in America… income earned by labor is taxed up to 35%.

      Living off Daddy’s money or hedge-fund thievery… just 15% for YOU!

      14% if you’re a Republican Presidential Candidate and doing both.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        Which I am thankful.

        Unfortunately, not living off of daddies money.. But it gives me massive incentive to save and invest.

        If I were being taxed at 25% on my investments, I’d probably be saving far less, and spending far more on cheap Chinese imports.

        I also gladly take advantage of the tax benefits for home ownership. And that money is reinvested into my home, which benefits the neighborhood, and ultimately in the end is better for America.

      • 0 avatar
        dima

        Why should I be even taxed on gains of my investments, after all, I paid 35% tax on these money. You see, I had a choice to buy iSomthing, vacation, big flat TV or invest I choose the later. When I buy things, I pay (NJ)7% sales tax. so why should I pay 15% on profit?

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Income is income – it all spends the same, so I have no problem taxing it the same.

        I don’t buy the argument that people will invest less if it is taxed more. People who invest do it to grow their money & will put it where it has the best chance of doing so. Even with no special tax structure, investments are still going to be at the top of the heap. If anything, it will drive more people to start their own businesses, with which I have zero problem.

  • avatar
    pharmer

    Jack, your stuff has officially arrived at “must read” status. Great commentary…and definitely food for thought.

  • avatar
    srogers

    Anybody who is worried about losing the “man card” has already lost theirs. It’s not something that a well adjusted person(which includes men) should have to spend time worrying about.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Darn, Jack, you sure can write. And even think :)

    Perhaps not PC, nor even polite enough to pass comment moderation, but “our infamous one percent, existing within a safety net of corrupt banks, protective governments, and barriers to entry” is making it increasingly obvious that the few “real men” who manage to escape undamaged from our publicly funded and mandated cradle to grave indoctrination machine, will increasingly be driving Ryders’ trucks; hauling fertilizer.

  • avatar
    Neb

    HOW DARE YOU MR BARUTH

    First you correctly disparage the idea of a 1% American, and then you make the distinction between earning something and being *given* something, and then you have the gall to suggest we should value one over the other?!?! This is class warfare!!!! To even suggest that the people with most of the money should maybe pay taxes at near the same level as the people who work is OBJECTIVELY SOCIALIST, you Obammunist

    (etc, etc)

    An interesting article, I like it. Though complaining about a war on men while abstaining about a war on women because an unnamed political party you like is the one waging it is dishonest. Also, for me ‘real men’ have always been people obsessed with conforming with some stupid ideal…the gym rats or pickup truck driving engineers who sneer at anybody who thinks differently from them, they are of a type.

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    I’m having a hard time viewing Atticus Finch driving a Miura. As I remember he was a Chevy man.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Now, with everybody and his clueless uncle building vehicles combining off road derived centers of gravity with racetrack tire aspect ratios, how come noone is taking the opposite tack; low COG cars with tall sidewall tires. On current, and even more so future, decrepidness of roads, such thingies would actually be quite useful.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I am not sure I buy this

    Yes the Miura was gorgeous but it was also crap. I’m confused as to how the Countach was not aggressive, its whole purpose was to be outrageous and a bit scary (like a glow in the dark Hayabusa w/Ducati cred). Diablo was a bit tame by comparison and Murc was tamer still. If anything, the Aventador is a return to Lambo’s garish + outrageous roots. The look is menacing and eye-widening. The acceleration is super bike. The gearchange is -nfully brutal + uncompromisingly fast.

    The idea that the Countach was some hero and the Aventador is some guido junkie is absurd. They are kindred spirits separated by NOTHING but time and technology. Do we smite the R8 for being sold alongside Q7s? Was the NSX any less brilliant for being sold in the same room as Integras and RLs? I really don’t see the issue.

    The concepts of automotive “purity” and “heroism” (good God) are nothing more than goofball talking points used by folks who want to rationalize the irrational. I don’t like turbochargers or AWD, but I won’t type a manifesto explaining why the folks who do are “less than”. The whole post was garbage.

    • 0 avatar
      forditude

      I think you are missing the point. Audi and Acura are both full-line manufacturers. Porsche and Lamborghini spent most of their entire history being makers of one type of car (and in some cases, one model). The NSX was a fine car, but much like the R8 and GTR, they will no longer be produced once enough ‘high net worth individuals’ have had their fill and their respective automakers will then move on to engineering the next CUV cupholder. Porsche and Lamborghini existed to produce cars for one singular purpose, and now that heritage is being cast aside so that they can sell mommy mobiles to badge buyers. Witness both automakers’ decision to drop the manual transmission.

      By the way, take a look at the lines of the original 70′s LP400 and then look at the absurd fins, vents, and strakes on the mid to late-80′s version.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think you and Jack are missing the point. Porsche & Lamborghini are businesses that exist to make money. Should they close their doors & end the legacies completely in order to maintain the honor w/folks on the internet who don’t buy anything new they have to offer anyway? Which would also create huge voids in local economies and needlessly kill thousands of good manufacturing jobs…

        Because that is what the outcome of “purity” is. We are seeing it now with Lotus. As much as the internet loves to bitch and whine, I think you have to be pretty obstinate to honestly say a world w/a Lotus that makes SUVs to pay for the cars it has always made is worse than no Lotus at all. And a world w/no Cayameras, as much as I myself detest them, will eventually be a world with no 911s either. I really don’t think it is that serious.

        Plus Jack’s assertions that the 911 grows more ridiculous/”aggro” is also ridiculous. If anything the 911 has been neutered in each iteration, at least in base form. But the lineup has been so developed you can have a 911 any way you want. You want a playboy GT? Base car. Track scalpel? GT3. Highway punisher? Turbo! Actual sports car? Cayman. This is the best time ever for 911 enthusiasts who don’t have sticks up their ass about meaningless “purity”.

        Thank God Porsche does its own thing and listens to the folks that matter. The “run by council/focus group” way of operating a car company is exactly why GM failed so many times. Lambo is Lambo, Porsche is Porsche, they just figured out how to generate the income to stay afloaty. Its not the end of the world.

      • 0 avatar
        forditude

        Since they are just ‘businesses to make money’, then why not shut down the entire sports car operation and just make whatever is trendy? Apparently they should have been doing this the entire time instead of all this ‘purity’ crap you hate so much. Just go for the easy money like everyone else and we can all drive Toyotas with different badges.

        By the way, is the ‘neutered’ 911 you are referring to?

        http://bit.ly/I1hXHL

    • 0 avatar
      Manic

      +1

      Well said.
      Angry(?) Jack is amusing. Seems that purists expect everything to be frozen in time. And “911 is more of a parody than the one before it”, is it? Base 911 is still really simple looking car, or if you compare 930 Turbo to 997 Turbo where is the parody? Both have spoilers, bigger wheels, but general look is not that dramatic. Or RSR versions, those have still same kind of craziness, dictated by needs of track racing going on, either seventies or current model. I would be angry if that SUV would mean end to one of the sports models Lambo makes, but it’s vice versa actually, building SUV’s gives more resources for other models. Let them make money.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Its a matter of integrity, imagine if you best friend said “I’m going to make terrific and unique movies” and did so for a long time only to start making Micheal Bay-inspired stuff, all flash with no substance.

        Thats what this new Lambos is.

      • 0 avatar
        Manic

        Integrity. No for-profit entity can ever start to offer anything new and different, because it will compromise their integrity and dilute their brand? Porsche should only sell 911s, Lambo only something which would bite your head off and everybody would be happy? These are companies FFS, are they prisoners of purists or is it perhaps somehow possible for them to make other similar products, too, without establishing a brand new car company/brand for these. I think it should be possible, it carries some risk and if they are ready to risk it then I’d let them to. Whoring their brand out to anyone who will pay a penny and produce some pointless crap with their logo, is something I hate but that’s different thing.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Exactly. None of these “support” models have interfered AT ALL with the core cars. So the belly aching is self serving and pointless.

    • 0 avatar
      kuman

      I couldn’t agree more with the “Toyotas with a different badges” Businesses need distinction to survive. People used to root for a brand they love, however in this increasingly “homogenized” world, ppl are trying too hard to differentiate them self, they’ve becomes the same. ( ironically when one man said that he is “different”, and everyone said the same thing too, whats the difference then? he is just another “different guy” wannabe ).

      In response to this changing demands and to survive our beloved brands needs to suit the majority want, and they do.

      Some Lambo fanatics rather be seen dead driving Porsche cayenne, but they envy their neighbors who drove a bling2 cayenne to the club house valet parking along with his 7 concubines.

      What we are seeing now Lambo identifies the niche and is trying to serve their needs.

      So if we want to make car companies start building “Real Cars” again then perhaps its time to look inside our societies and get ppl to demand for “Real Cars” once more.

      The thing is, most probably we’re be the one percent on the other side of the statistic ( the cashless end )who wants it. I’m not sure if any car manufacturer would want to cater to our needs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-cars-later

        The trouble is the whole of society isn’t demanding real cars. The Japanese have succeeded in convincing the mainstream ‘beige’ is good, turning them into TCO accountants, turning cars into appliances. When’s the last time you saw any style on a new mainstream model of any non-European automaker? How about the last time you saw any chrome on one other than maybe the wheels?

    • 0 avatar

      I kind of agree with sporty here. While i think Jack makes some great points and this is well written lets face it car companies (like many companies) are here to expand their market share there often comes a point where you have to expand your product line. In this case the only real example left maybe Ferrari (even then all auto boxes really) but Ferrari has a different model they keep the Ferrari brand exclusive to sports cars then license the brand to the hilt for maximum profit. You could also argue that lotus is still pure. Well sure but there also broke so that may not be the best business model. All in all these companies will build “sports cars” to keep their brand perception high but they need to build cars people pay hard cash for to actually survive.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Nicely played Mr Baruth. An epic and highly entertaining rant.

  • avatar
    Eric the Red

    Incredibly good/enjoyable/readable/truthful editorial.

    If I could disagree with one point: “That they have killed, and perhaps even enjoyed the experience.”

    I haven’t met the real men that have been to WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm I & II, Afghanistan, etc that have ever confessed to enjoing the act of killing. I am sure a few do but not many.

    Keep On, Keep On

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I read this whole article without even taking a breath. I love it! A masterpiece of automotive writing.

  • avatar
    timmruss

    This, gentleman is a masterpiece article…

    Congrats to Jack for nailing it once again and I salute him, his observations give you the issue at CORE…always.

    And, we look forwrd to read his commentaries about the cars that will inspire the “real”car guy; not high networth individual targeted prducts.

    Unfortunately that still is a 991 vs 993 or 997 comparo.

    Will we ever get something like that?

  • avatar
    RGS920

    Brilliant!

  • avatar
    sean362880

    Jack, I enjoyed reading your post, even though I think it’s pretty much complete bullcrap.

    It all fits a little too neatly within the fallacy that each new generation is worse than the generation that preceded it. Someone asked my grandfather (WWII vet) about the Greatest Generation once, and he replied “there were at least as many sons of bitches I knew then as there are now, probably more.” As you point out, there are still many heroes who, perhaps unfortunately, are being tested every day (see cmohs.org). Comparing your father’s coworker, who was by all appearances an honorable man, to roided up gym rats is prejudicial to say the least.

    Would any of us really prefer to live in the world of Atticus Finch? Racism? Widespread poverty? Worldwide conflict, followed by the existential threat of nuclear war? The near total lack of sexual parity? Their world was worse than ours is today. To deny this is to disown the change they struggled for, and it seems downright ungrateful.

    And what’s with the cheap shot on cops and firefighters? Their jobs are dangerous and they do put their lives on the line, even if some of them are assholes. Yes, MMA is stupid, but so was boxing a century ago, and medieval jousting a millennium before that.

    Buying or building a great car, whether it’s a Miura in 1967 or a 458 Italia today, has nothing to do with the quality of the person doing the buying or selling. They are just completely unrelated.

    The Urus is crap. Let’s leave it at that.

    • 0 avatar
      jkumpire

      Sean,

      Every archtype is not a perfect representation of reality. In your second paragraph you do the same thing you accuse him of doing, idealizing a certain time period as being good, or in your case, bad in comparison to all others.

      Jack is saying life and expectations of people are changing, and in many significant ways for the worse. It’s hard to deny that when you do anything more than take a glance at the news in whatever form you wish to do so.

      I mean, a Vega was classified as an automobile, but does anyone think it was a great example of what a car is meant to be?

      +1 Jack.

    • 0 avatar
      pharmer

      Love this comment….I enjoyed this article for the reason that I am really enjoying all of Jack’s stuff these days; that is, I can’t tell if I agree or disagree with just about every word he wrote. I feel like a lot of us that follow TTAC are in the same boat.

      This article elicited an emotional response in me. I simultaneously wanted to punch a wall, listen to Springsteen, make something with metal, vote Democrat, vote Republican, watch a John Wayne movie, find my wife and make a baby, and have one last talk with my long dead WWII veteran grandfather while reading it. So yeah…a good read.

      And I think we can all agree that the Urus is ugly, they should be ashamed. The Koreans are making better looking stuff these days.

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    Very well written Jack. I will send this to my Italian tool-maker father and he will probably shed a tear.

    This really does speak to an internal struggle for myself and every other 20-35 year old man who was raised to value morals (whatever they may be), intelligence and hard work. The fact that you connected this pattern of identity dilution to your passion for cars was very well done.

    I bring the values into this discussion, because I am also utterly offended by this type of dilution when I come across it, but people think I’m getting overly emotional. I grew up with Miura and Countach posters all over my wall. I wouldn’t grace my toilet paper with the silhouette of this monstrosity.

    People think Britney Spears is a success. People consider her a genius. I reply “It took 19 people to write, produce and finance her latest album. I don’t think genius applies here.”

    The Reply? “She sure has made a fortune out of it though!”

    My reply? “I guess if that’s what you value and what you consider genius, there is no arguing then is there?”

    Now lets change the format and insert Lamborghini:

    Statement: “A Lamborghini SUV? That’s genius!”

    My Reply? “It is a stunt catering to self conscious wealthy people desperate for a more ostentatious SUV to set themselves apart. It isn’t close to anything the brand stands for.”

    Their reply? “But they sure will make a bunch of money!”

    • 0 avatar
      THE_F0nz

      I have had this argument with pretty much every person I know that obsesses over pop culture and loves/accepts what is fed to them.

      You can pretty much insert any pop song, “Real Housewives of Albuquerque”, Jessica Simpson, Kardashian or Jersey Shore show on television into this argument. The conversation is exactly the same every time.

      And I remain the overly emotional one at the conclusion every time.

      :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      I’d call it “Something for people with too much money and not enough taste who think they’re too cool for a Range Rover.” :)

    • 0 avatar
      Ar-Pharazon

      +1

      It irks me every time I see a comment like “No, Company A isn’t here to do XYZ, it’s here to make money.” What a weak philosophy. I think there’s a word for someone who sells out their integrity for cash.

      Perhaps it’s unavoidable if you want to reach a certain level of size or success. But I would feel a bit dirty saying this about a company I ran; I certainly would not boast about it.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Don’t care too much about the lambos and ferraris of the world or the people who feel they must drive them. Your essay with reference to the real men of the world is right on. As a 20 year sailor and a submariner who has operated with seals I can tell you that they obsess with getting the job done and couldn’t care less what someone might think. Having met a great many from other services that seem to fit the same stereotype I can say that your observations are correct.

    I normally say that generalizations (just like this one I am making) are generally worthless. However, you made a couple that I would take to the bank.

    Good job.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    You, sir, are firmly in dinosaur territory. The greatness of our society is that you and I have more in common than not, despite our diverse views. I am diametrically opposite of the tea party contingent, yet we both value our children, want satisfying work, security of person and property and to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with these attributes. And yet, I find myself smiling like the village idiot every time I read your work. You would still be welcome to your beverage of choice in my home. Or several…

  • avatar
    George B

    Real men get the job done. They don’t make excuses why it can’t be done or how it’s someone else’s fault. Sometimes they’re quiet, sometimes they’re loud, but the focus is always on the job and not themselves. I guess the car equivalent to real men would be a car that works well within it’s segment without pretending to be something else. That’s hard to find now as cars, like the gym rats, try too hard to be something they’re not.

  • avatar
    b612markt

    I thoroughly enjoyed this read. The image hover text was a nice easter egg!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I bet most people think this article was about the evoloution of cars as viewed theu the lens of masculinity.

    Another keeper, thanks Jack!

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    We had a guy at our church in CA that was about average height and fit, quiet and shy. One day after church he and some of the kids from the youth group were messing around and one of the kids who was a future pro lineman wanted to wrestle and it was about 30 seconds before the kid was upside down on his head crying uncle. The guy is somewhere in south america at the moment. There are still guys like that SEAL.

    The LM-002, I would not turn one away. Sure they are finicky and the leather smells like gas and there is no room, but it would do 120 in the sand while looking like Lord Vader himself would step out of it.

    The new vehicle looks like a Kubayenne.

  • avatar
    forditude

    Utterly awesome piece. I could go on and on about the death of the real man, but I’ll stick to the topic.

    This article could have also been written about BMW and Mercedes, also branded and marketed to a certain lifestyle. Once cars for the unassuming connoisseur, today’s 3-Series and C-Class buyers are 20+ year olds willing to finance $650+/mo (at 72 months) for a certified pre-owned and wouldn’t know the difference between a straight-6 and a straight razor. They have now flame-surfaced their way into huge sales numbers, and I’m sure they get a lot of free advertising from owners who casually name-drop the name of the marque at every available opportunity, but at what cost has this success come?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      You could say the same thing about Cadillac as it went from large stately somewhat flashy automobiles that had power to spare, to cheap little FWD “also ran” cars, to the current models that are simply BMWs that swill Pabst Blue Ribbon.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Nostalgia is a bitch, ain’t it? As countless authors more literate that either us (Proust, Nabokov) have pointed out in great and entertaining detail, the “past” as we know it is not the past as it was. Rather the “past” as we know it is a rational framework thrown around disparate past events, often selectively and usually imperfectly recalled.

    I put it to you that the “men” as you define them are no less numerous today than they were in “the past.” The difference is that they are less celebrated. Instead, as you say, they are frequently mocked in popular entertainment. And the biggest single failure, is the failure to take responsibility for one’s actions and statements, an affliction that seems particularly virulent among those in public life . . . from either party.

    But, as you said, “let’s talk about cars.” In the past that you describe, cars were far simpler machines than they are now; and the regulations that governed them were far fewer. As a result, the barriers to entry into the car business were far lower than the are today — see the struggling examples of Tesla, Fisker and even the late somewhat lamented Saab and contrast them with the many small manufacturers of the past, remembering that “MG” stood for “Morris Garage.”

    I was privileged to come of age in the “golden era” you describe and, although I was not privileged to drive some of the Italian exotics mentioned in your piece, I managed to get my butt in the driver’s seat of a number “classic” sports cars: TR-4, MGB, E-Type, TVR, Fiat 124 Spyder, Austin-Healy 3000, Porsche 911S, Porsche Super 90., 1962 Corvette, as well as a few “muscle cars”: SS396, Dodge 440 Magnum. The characteristic that these cars had in common . . . was that they were all very different, and felt very different to drive. Things you could do without fear in one car, would be lethal in another (see “911S”). Each of these cars had a very distinct personality or character. The modestly powered cars were fairly tame and safe; the higher powered cars were definitely not tame. So, to that extent, you had to be a “man” to drive them aggressively and live to tell the story. (The 911 could kill you even if you weren’t driving particularly aggressively.) Driving one of these fast without incident was a skill to be mastered and not the product of some good software engineering in a dynamic stability control system.

    So, what’s happened with complexity and regulation (not that I’m complaining about that) is that these kinds of cars are either fabulously expensive (because they are so costly to produce in small volume) or they are homogenized to a degree necessary to sell in sufficient volume to not be insanely expensive. Because all of them have to be OBD-II compliant, etc.

    In that sense, sure, it’s fair — but only a little bit — to complain about the devaluation of the brand of some of these cars. If Porsche sold nothing but 911s, it would not exist . . . or it would sell 20 911s a year at a quarter million dollars each. As for your complaints about insane styling and performance — what about mom’s Toyota Camry V-6 that would smoke all but a handful of 1960s muscle cars in a drag race? Isn’t that insanity on a mass scale?

    And while we’re talking about devaluation of brands, I can remember when an “Impala” was the Chevrolet every high school kid wanted to have to take his date out on a Saturday night, after the football game. An Impala in 1965, fully fitted out would have the V-shaped checkered flag emblem with “327″ above it mounted just behind the forward end of the front quarter panels. The 327 cubic inch V-8 under the hood would have a nice Holley 4-bbl. carburetor and dual exhausts. It would not be loud, but it would project a sound of authority. An Impala in 1965 would have bucket front seats with a shiny metal console between them with a 4-speed shifter coming up from the center. It would be painted in bright red, or white (not silver, grey or black). It would have white sidewall Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires. It would not be a screaming hot rod, but it would be, by the standards of the day, “nice.”

    Now, as you or your colleagues have written, an Impala today is just a rental cockroach car.

    That’s what makes me sad. (Nice piece, BTW. Thanks!)

    • 0 avatar
      schmitt trigger

      “So, what’s happened with complexity and regulation (not that I’m complaining about that) is that these kinds of cars are either fabulously expensive (because they are so costly to produce in small volume) or they are homogenized to a degree necessary to sell in sufficient volume to not be insanely expensive. Because all of them have to be OBD-II compliant, etc.”

      And let’s not forget cheap gas…the earliest I can remember is 100-octane at about US$0.40/ gallon. Who cared if your vehicle consumed more fuel than an aircraft carrier?
      Those days are long, long gone and are not coming back.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Jack: Perfect.

  • avatar
    amac

    Hear! Hear! Well done.

  • avatar

    Whoever did the CGI on that “photo” above must have learned about lighting from Thomas Kinkade. That has some of the most unnatural looking reflections that I’ve seen in a while.

  • avatar

    If I could write as well as Michael Bloomfield or Jeff Beck could play guitar, then I’d feel the way they both did after seeing/hearing Jimi Hendrix play for the first time. Neither could touch their guitars for a week.

    Leonard Setright smiles.

  • avatar
    Ringer

    Outstanding.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Great article, its too good for this stupid new Lambo.

    When I saw this thing I asked myself “forget off-roading, this thing won’t even carry groceries! what kind of SUV is that?”.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Jack,
    write a short story or lose your man card. I’m getting tired of waiting for it.

  • avatar
    jco

    we are the problem. the market for these SUVs is our own creation. the wealth that this country has transferred overseas by purchasing oil (middle east) and labor (china) is creating new wealth demanding these ‘brands’ in places where our preconceived notions of what cars and trucks are and aren’t mean nothing. it used to be that American tastes drove most (not all, of course) world car production. that’s over. Mr Baruth has repeatedly referred to the Panamera as the PanArabia, an accurate assessment..

    • 0 avatar
      timmruss

      “American taste” is an oxymoron. But yes the market for these SUVs are US creation, something that started, become popular and spread over to every corner of the globe due to tasteless rich that exist in these countries.

      So in essence American taste is to blame for the quazimodo pictured above.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Jack…that was a great article.

    Reminds me of my dad; he said the biggest disappointment of his life was the end of WWII.

    It’s an article that people will ‘get’ or not all. If they get it they, like me, look at their lives and compare it to their fathers and want to unleash a primal scream.

    • 0 avatar
      American Refugee

      Yeah, how fucking disappointing, the end of a war that wiped out 30 million souls and ripped Europe to shreds, a war of horror beyond belief, of cities of dead children and the grinding stone of hunger. Let’s have more of that, so that a new generation of Americans can have fun adventures to validate their masculinity.
      Fine, go ahead, indulge in your final scream. The people of Leningrad will stand by patiently while you do.
      Just because an impulse is in the DNA, doesn’t mean we should indulge it.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    The title. The title is misleading. I did not expect such a poignant and well written article, with that title. And I very nearly passed over this beautiful piece of writing because of it.

  • avatar
    jonnyguitar

    One word for the modern man, “prenup”

    • 0 avatar
      jonnyguitar

      Second word for modern man, also starts with a “p”

      • 0 avatar
        Nick

        Sadly, society and the law squeeze ‘us’ into that box. Recently, an a’hole with next to no provocation called by wife a c**t. I am a pretty calm guy, but I have my limits. I got out of the car and confronted him. Chatting with a lawyer friend later, he told me I shouldn’t have done that because if it had ended in violence it would have been my fault. According to the law, you just have to sit there and take it. Welcome to the neutered era.

  • avatar
    28-cars-later

    *claps*

    Bravo.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    This is the best article I’ve read all day. Nicely done.

    • 0 avatar
      Turbo Indicator

      Why can’t I be a cool ww2 soldier who epically killed nazi zombies and definitely wasn’t racist for the royal win. *blogs about downfall of civilization caused by RamboLambo 2.0 on ipad from lime green audi*

  • avatar
    squozen

    Tremendous writing, sir.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Way out of my bohemian, blue collar, bucolic, Belgian beer guzzling, old BMW driving, league. In my travels, hither and yon, most of the Ferraris and Lamborghinis I see are on ramp trucks. When I commuted into Boston , I used to see a Ferarri come up from Neponset Circle and merge at 5 mph into the stall and crawl. The engine musta been screaming ” Helllp meeeeeee. So, if you want to daily drive your exotic into Boston, a gazillion speed automatic mightn’t be a bad thing.
    Just saying is all.

    When the ship yard was going, I worked with all sorts of veterans , WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. Louie enlisted in the Alpine Division right after graduating from Quincy High. He wound up in Korea getting over run by human waves of Chinese and North Koreans. Louie was a light machine gunner. . At home he lived with his mother and 2 older sisters and built furniture and worked with me 3:30 to midnight building ships. After the ‘Yard closed and we were laid off , Louie hit the lottery for 2 million bucks. Dino , a real fine guy who grew up in the Udine . In 42, he was drafted into the Italian Army . As soon as he was given a rifle, he went over to the partisans.
    Down in Carver, is an old Finn,who was one of the 5000 Finnish Army troops that stopped the Russians in 1939.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      One of the greatest travesties of WWII is that Finland was forced to pay “war reparations” for semi-successfully resisting a Russian invasion.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      One of the greatest travesties of WWII is that Finland was forced to pay “war reparations” for semi-successfully resisting a Russian invasion.

      p.s. the Nazis stole the swastika from them, not the other way around.

      • 0 avatar
        mattstairs

        So few people know about the Winter War, the Finns fought so valiantly against a country 50 times its size.

        The Soviets got away with aggression in Poland and Finland, as well as war crimes (Katyn, e.g.). Total winner’s justice.

  • avatar

    Funny you should write this article. Tonight, I was with my girlfriend and saw a Murcielago while we were on our way to dinner… SO NATURALLY, I FOLLOWED IT. Incredible car. I have to say though – after seeing a Veyron in person, I’d rather drive that.

  • avatar

    I disagree on “purity”.

    Fermat’s Last Theorem has finally been solved after too many obituaries.

    And it’s to 1) Hitch your wagon to a Daily-Bread brand that has a lower market Beta. and 2) To sell more by fleshing out the lineup.

    .
    ++Your piece comes off abit as Hipsterism about vinyl.

    “Three of us liked this indie-folk band to feel superior. But Now check out all the other people we looked down on going to their shows…”

    Most of the (no-doubt sepia-toned) cars you cite and imply were unreliable, dangerous POSs, that were Still marketed to Sophia Loren and the Shah of Persia. -They just used different MBA buzzwords back then.

    And today’s iteration of the Eternal Douchebag Narcissism as a whitewash over Insecurity or not, the new-money-bourgeois you decry buy the stuff and it keeps the lights on.

    .
    Yeah yeah, we’re in a Vichy-Republic of peak-vagina-event-horizon,

    But the lasting truth is: For all intents and purposes women do not have frames, and there is No Such Thing as qualifying for one anyway; each is who they’ve been beforehand and pleasantries change Nothing; done.

    The trick is to identify and reject as many False Paradigms as possible; ex: teen-movie bs, chivalry bs, being externally-validated, and be your own Derek Flint regardless of the social chemistry experiment results.

    It’s just trickier now. And many women still Do want that guy; esp. viz. the difference between what they Say & what they Actually Respond To.

    To quote a Neil-Youngian-scale self-righteous grumpy old man, “It’s Evolution Baby!”

    .
    But it’s PC, unscrupulous attorneys, womens’ lack of reason & their quest for gender-revenge “more-than-equal” rights that’s been the death of Robert Mitchum, all served up to Herod on a plate by the Liberals.

    .
    …I sometimes wonder what’s next after Matriarchal-Stalinism… -at least most of us’ll be getting laid a lot more in the meantime. There’s a plus that’s already beginning.

    .
    Otherwise: He would still redline & make you rewrite it a few times, but I think Jack London would still give you a good-natured punch in the shoulder,

    while holding a fistful of brass tacks.

    -Good writing.

  • avatar

    So which buff book will have the first long term comparison test of the Cayenne, Kubang, and Urus?

  • avatar
    Dubbed

    A long rant based in romanticism for one brief era in an ever changing world. In which a good deal of it lacks what can be described as rational thought. I wonder does that have anything to do with today being 4 20. Don’t know if this long rant is a product of todays celebration or else but of all people Jack please drop these romanticized notions of a time long ago.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I would recommend Susan Falluci’s excellent book Stiffed. She makes a rational case for attack on real masclinity.

    With respect to 911s, I have no desire to own any current Porsche product. Some of them may be exceptional, but they just don’t do anything for me. Yesterday I was standing on the corner of 1st Avenue and a lovely black late-70s 911 Targa was making a right turn in front of me and I found myself envying the young man (well, younger than me) at the wheel. t was the first time in many years that I thought I would really like to own that Porsche.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    When I stumble across tumblrs that show candid amature shots of MILFs I usually expect to catch a glimse of Baruth in one of the random mirrors that seem to appear in hotel rooms.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Great article. I went to college, became educated, and work as a diesel technician, and always worked some sort of mechanics position while attending classes, even in business school. My college peers had no desire for such work, I mean, getting dirty and all….. Shame, because the field could use a few more smart people.

    I’ve always liked my fast cars plain, understated. Simple colors with simple lines. That’s about gone now, especially on the high end.

  • avatar
    beach cruiser

    This is one of the best pieces of writing I have seen on this website. The car rant was great but the bit about the SEAL member really struck home for me. The quiet gentleman that has worked on my truck for the last 20 years is an ex Navy Seal from the Vietnam era. I will spare you the anecdotal stories I have about him and just say that in the time I have known him, I have learned that the Seals, in many cases, are a very special breed. Really nice work here, Jack.

  • avatar
    majo8

    Nice job, Jack. The Parliament music reference is spot on.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    My 2 cents: Does Konigsegg make an SUV yet? There have never been so many affordable sports cars. The current crop of muscle cars is the best ever. Real men are all over, participating in their families lives, and being available in many more ways than ever to their children. Ex-special ops are mostly haunted husks. They do a valuable job most never could, but it takes a real toll. A thousand yard stare and an inability to trust are not conditions I aspire to.

    Jack isn’t the best writer I’ve read this week, but I’d pay for a book, and hunt down a magazine with a short story. Writing like this is why I come to TTAC via “/author/jack-baruth/” every day.

    Thanks Jack.

    • 0 avatar
      Advo

      Wrong sub-thread, but I do agree that real men are everywhere, and probably not those macho types but those who are coping with life and family. It’s hard enough to do that, earn a living, and deal with the challenges life throws at you.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    I’m no SEAL, but I have served three one-year tours in Iraq and another in Afghanistan. Here’s my take on this article:

    1. Men are becoming pansies. (I agree completely.)
    2. Lamborghini used to be cool…
    3. …until they decided to make an SUV.
    4. *sniffle* WAAAAAAAH!

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Nice article, but I don’t think the lambo analogy works. real men by your definition probably drive camries.

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    Bravo.

  • avatar
    Maniacmous

    Damn fine read there. Next time I’m in central Ohio (rather than out here on its fringe), I really need to track down Baruth and buy the man a drink.

  • avatar
    Toucan

    Jack, you write better about cars than Jeremy Clarkson does.


    About the car. It looks like the Empire of Volkswagen wants to play the same card in the überpowered super luxury SUV as they do in the compact car segment and, frankly, anywhere else. They win because they sell the Golf+A3+Octavia+Leon while Ford only does the Focus.

    There is the Cayenne Turbo+Q7 V12, ML AMG and Range Rover Sport here. Now there will Cayenne+Q7 V12+Lambo+Bentley SUV.

  • avatar
    Advo

    Von Mises mentioned the “principle of violence” in his writing: the gist of it is, as I recall, about how people use violence and the threat of violence throughout history to get their way and that the biggest violators were the state (or what passed for one in those fluid days) who can have a powerful monopoly over its use AND abuse.

    That’s sad and pathetic because it’s the basis of so much of recorded human history: violence against fellow man and using it as dominance over women to get one’s way when clearly it’s more perferrable to co-operate, compromise, do productive work to gain wealth instead of taking it by force and inflicting misery, and negotiating a generally accepted set of rules instead of being subject to arbitrary justice.

    So maybe this is the way society should go. There will be less opportunities for “real men” to strut their stuff – or the poseurs – yet very hopefully that means that there is less violence and intimidation to threaten us from both other countries or from within our own.

  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    This is a wonderfully written, well thought out article that resonates with me on many different levels. It is one of the best things I’ve read in the past few years.

    Keep up the good work!

  • avatar
    vanderleun

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED!, that everyone here so far has missed this:

    “Urus” = “Uterus”

    Just that simple and you know the marketing eunuchs had that in their peabrains.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    This is a beautifully written piece. Too bad that it’s wrong.

    The past just wasn’t that different. They, too, had their loudmouths who blabbered and strutted but who otherwise did little, and regular people who got things done without constantly trying to impress others. Losers are nothing new — for example, Prohibition was a byproduct of the temperance movement, which itself was largely driven by women who were tired of their ne’er do well drunk husbands who couldn’t hold down a job and who would treat their significant others like punching bags. (For what it’s worth, we do have better weight training equipment and protein powder now than they used to.)

    Garish, over-the-top cars have been around since way back when. Hot rods weren’t exactly subtle, nor were muscle cars. The Countach couldn’t be described as a Q-ship that went about its business quietly. http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-jkl/Lamborghini-Countach-Rear-Angle-Red-4-st.jpg I don’t particularly care for SUVs, but I don’t see how they are any more cartoonish than that.

    Romanticizing the past can be fun, of course. But wearing rose-colored glasses while staring in the rear view mirror is going to cause you to see differences that aren’t really there. If you don’t want to crash, then you’d be better off spending most of your time looking ahead of you.

    • 0 avatar
      vanderleun

      That was a beautifully smarmy self-impressed response. Too good that it’s wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Why is it that all of you “The past wasn’t so great” types love that phrase “Rose Tinted Glasses”?

      Better yet, how can you pass judgement on an era that you probably didn’t even live in?

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        1) It’s an idiomatic expression.

        2) a) So historians are all deluded, their profession unnecessary or impossible?

        b) Idunno how old Pch101 is, or you, Ryoku75 (unless that’s a hint; are you 37 this year?), but I am fairly sure that Jack Baruth was not around (at least not with anything near an adult mind) in the original musclecar era. So how come you don’t seem bothered with HIS presumtion in passing judgment on an era he DEFINITELY didn’t live in — just because his judgment is positive? That doesn’t make it any less of a judgment.

  • avatar
    robc123

    Excellent writing, probably the best writing I have seen on TTABC yet. I agree with the underlying thrust of the article but the whole is really about getting older. Yes, everything is crap, nothing is original we peaked in 1973.
    But the rant is misdirected, no real men, working men ever bought a Ferrari or a Lamborghini (except the tractors) with money they made by working honestly. These symbols are hollow- they mean nothing. These were always playthings of the rich who made money off the backs of people who instinctively knew that working 100 hour weeks and doing nothing else but work was hollow. Hence these cars are hollow. Lamborghini has always been marketed to the big fat chest beating hairy thug with no taste.

    The demographic of eastern European playthings who get this bought for them are called whores.

    Read the book “the way of the superior man” it cleared up a lot for me.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    it’s all true, but do you know what real men do? We build our own cars, or maintain our old ‘man-cars’ :P My integrity won’t be let down by whatever any car manufacturer decides is best for me (even if I also own a new-ish Honda)

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    The way the contrast was drawn between quite achievers and loud pretenders was brilliant, but doesn’t really have a thing to do with Lamborghini.

    Lamborghini sports cars have never stood on their own. They started being supported by tractors designed to pull hoes, and now they are going to be supported by rebodied Touregs designed to carry ho’s.

    A self made person looking for a unique, truly special car can call McLaren or Morgan.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    It’s still my all time favorite movie (followed closely by Unforgiven and Dr. Strangelove).

    Silly vehicle. Being loud and obnoxious seems to be the fashion nowadays…

    Great piece, Jack.

  • avatar
    Sardondi

    A sidenote about the Urus, which has to be one of the worst names ever assigned to a product – it is also another name for the “auroch”, which was an ancient ancestor of cattle and oxen. The bovine urus was big, bulky and had large horns: sort of an ugly, ungainly model of bovine that didn’t really work and so because of extinction can’t be found today.

    Who says history doesn’t repeat?

  • avatar
    American Refugee

    If everything you said about masculinity is true, everything you said about Lamborghini, and show-off cars of their ilk, is false. Sports cars were always, always the tribal tattoos of the automotive world. Sure, when you were a younger man and more in thrall to testosterone, you fell in love with them. But now, you see them for more of what they are and feel shame and anger for being fooled.
    Your quiet killer friend probably rode a bike. In winter. Happily. Or if he had kids, maybe he kept an old station wagon running safely. He certainly never needed the ego validation of driving a Corvette down Sunset Blvd.
    Take care of yourself. Take care of your family. Take responsibility for your actions. Tread lightly, as it’s the responsible thing to do. What the hell does this have to do with the Countach?

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Oh. My. God.

    Best piece I’ve read in… any magazine, since…I don’t remember.
    This article should get more publicity, TTAC could sell it to some well known magazine with national coverage. Or this level of attitude, sharp-witty-pure-and-true social criticism, sincerety and honesty is only possible in online independent media?

  • avatar

    Silly Lamborghini…making a vehicle that’ll sell well.

  • avatar
    grinchsmate

    When I was a kid we used to walk the 10km to school barefoot. Society has really gone to the dogs hasnt it.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I don’t know, my father entered the Marines at 32 years old when WWII started. I had 3 uncles that all enlisted and fought too. None really talked about their experiences except for the funny stuff about basic training boobs that got extra duty for screwing up. Their generation lived through the great depression and knew the value of a dollar. They had strong moral values and worked hard. Times were tough, much more physical than today. So, is today’s male less of a man? It’s a tough question, maybe in a simpler time things were more defined, people had expectations of what was right and would not tolerate any sass or back talk.Personally, I hate the PC correct, lawyer based society we have, I think at some point there will be a big back lash and quite a few folks may get rode outta town. All I know is that the only way to bring about a positive change is the way you raise your kids, they’re the future, they’ll decide where your old rusty butt ends up, they’ll be the ones that look back and say what bunch of (fill in the blank) we were. The Uranius is here, deal with it.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    Heh, “the Pano”…

    http://translate.google.com/#fi|en|Pano

  • avatar
    Alex French

    That was very well written, and I did enjoy reading it, but I want to point out that the gender policing in your article is just as much a part of “the war on men” as anything else you mentioned.

  • avatar
    Pan

    Great piece of writing. Glad to see that not all writing and thinking skills have been consigned to the ash heap.
    Time to take on the ridiculous trend of so many cars offering 500 plus horsepower vehicles.. Where and why exactly will we drive them? The ability to top 200 mph. seems silly when most of us never top 100 mph.

  • avatar
    robknsf

    Really enjoyed the writing, it is uncommon to find such skill on a website dedicated to automobiles.

    IMSHO: As far as the debate on subsidizing super cars with vomit inducing, but marketable SUV’s, it does seem to be the result of our economic paradigm. I know this makes me sound like a communist, hippiescum OWS’ers but publicly traded takes its toll. Volkswagen Group, and all the big companies, are wedded to their shareholders and the thirst for ever profit. A truly pure Porsche can’t be publicly traded, because then the concern changes from paying the workforce to dividends for shareholders. Shareholders won’t hang out and hope that they’ll get paid next week, they will flee in mass until Volkswagen Group turns into Iceland.

  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    “Korean offal?” As a Korean I find that highly offensive.

    *waits to see how many people will guess I am joking, and how many people will guess I am not*


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