QOTD: Your Guiltiest Pleasure?
We’ve all got ‘em. Whether it’s that vapid ear worm song from the ‘90s or a TV show you won’t dare tell anyone you watch, we’ve all got some sort of vice in our closet.
Being gearheads, we’ve a few cars to count among our guilty pleasures too. Mine? Well, it has to do with General Motors … and a whole lot of electronics.
Back in the ‘80s, Detroit was running scared from the Japanese. Assailed on all sides from compact cars to luxury land yachts, the Motor City turned to electronics in a bid to lure buyers. After all, they couldn’t bank on quality, and a race to the bottom on price helped no one.
At the time, expensive Japanese home entertainment systems that made Bryan Adams sound as if he were standing on your fireplace mantle were chock-a-block full of identical tiny little buttons. Sure, you needed fingertips like swizzle sticks to operate any of it, but the sound — and quality — was real.
So the domestic manufacturers copied the style. Soon, dashboards were awash in row upon row of Chicklet-sized buttons, controlling everything from the stereo to the power seats. Not that you could tell by touch, naturally. They all were the same.
Witness my guilty pleasure — the interior of an early Cadillac Allante. It’s a friggin billboard of rectilinear shapes and identical buttons, not to mention a vertical cassette tape player for good measure. I think it’s glorious. Don’t tell anyone.
There are many other GPs existing in my brain for the same oddball reason: excess buttons. The 1992 Bonneville SSEi, with it’s weirdo CRT compass and nine-button seat adjustment (but no memory!) is another example.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Automotive, of course.
Pb35 on Feb 27, 2018
My dad worked at a Dodge/AMC/Jeep/Renault dealer in the 80s and as a result, we had a parade of Fuegos and LeCars in our driveway. I recall the sumptuous smell of the brown leather in the Turbo Fuego that we had for a few weeks. And the LeCar was just weird and fun for my 15 year old self. I didn't have a license yet but I drove it up and down my block. While I realize that all of these cars have turned to dust, I would love to see/drive a clean example for a day. Too bad they have all turned to dust by now.
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