By on July 9, 2020

The Twitterverse — which is a horrible place, by the way — finds itself rocked this week, torn asunder and factionalized by the mass signing of a remarkably anodyne letter supporting free speech and open discussion. Twenty-six-year-old NYC bloggers are up in arms; here at Casa Steph, the popcorn bucket’s working overtime.

But while these warriors clash in the online streets over the core tenet of liberal democracy, a great number of opinions, beliefs, and offbeat thoughts remain behind lock and key in our own minds. The subjects these thoughts cover are vast in scope, and one of them is surely cars. Yes, cars. And trucks, and those who build them.

Let’s exercise a little free speech today.

Knowing that each and every one of you will be on your best behavior and keep to the subject at hand, never straying for a moment into digressionary topics (and certainly never leveling personal attacks against other readers for their opinions), let’s get started. We will be kind and thoughtful, understanding that just because someone holds an opinion different than ours, doesn’t mean they’re not allowed to express it.

Disagreement needn’t lead to a hurled rock. We’re adults; let Twitter be the children’s playground.

I’ll get the ball rolling, and forgive me if this sounds like I’m kneeling in a confessional. Perhaps the opinions we air today should be ones we’re a little embarrassed about, or at least not particularly proud of.

Try as I might, I’m not moved by ultra-pricey exotics. Not in the least. Call it the product of a grab bag of factors, some of which I should be ashamed of, but that’s the reality. I couldn’t care less that a new Lambo or McLaren or Bugatti or Koenigsegg is somehow faster than the pinnacle of gold-plated motoring its predecessor was. Good for it. I’d sooner watch John Davis don a teal windbreaker and talk about the Eagle Premier.

Yes, designers and engineers toil day and night to ensure such vehicles reach new heights of performance and precision, with exacting tolerances and obsessive attention paid to every last detail, but it’s a pursuit of perfection that elicits a yawn from yours truly. Not because I think private wealth should be outlawed and that we should all be on government waiting lists for a new Trabant (a view that’s increasingly popular among auto writers of a certain age), but because they’re rolling Fabergé eggs. Sometimes, the distance between yourself and a product obscures its appeal.

I can’t even view such a vehicle with the childlike wonder typically reserved for other achievements in transportation, like, say, a Saturn V rocket.

So be it.

Alright, let’s hear something about cars or the auto industry that you’ve kept under your hat, something that might elicit cries of “sacrilege!” from friends and family. Shoot.

[Image: Bugatti]

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119 Comments on “QOTD: Care to Let It All Out?...”


  • avatar
    Don Mynack

    I skip videos where my favorite youtubers struggle to rebuild their McClarens or whatever (looking at you, Tavarish) because I just don’t give a shit about those cars.

  • avatar
    ajla

    0. With very few exceptions, I prefer automatic transmissions to manual transmissions.

    1. The only reason I don’t run straight pipes is because I don’t want to be a pariah in society.

    2. I’m afraid about individually-owned, non-autonomous transportation being outlawed.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I share your number two fear – especially since I’d like to live another 40 years or so. I’ll probably have the money to restore my Mustang just about the time that the government doesn’t want such an unregulated vehicle on the roads.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The tantrums in response to the much simpler and easier request to wear a piece of cloth over one’s face should disabuse you guys of the notion that Americans are ready to sacrifice the tiniest speck of freedom in the name of safety for others.

        I’ve become more convinced than ever that privately owned and operated cars will be with us for a very long time.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @jack4x,

          FYI:

          (“Tiniest speck of freedom”) X 1000 = (all the freedom you ever had)

          You keep giving up those specks (and demanding that people around you also give them up) and very soon there won’t be anything left. That’s what those who’ve been labelled “conspiracy theorist” have been warning us about for decades — sadly enough it’s beginning to look like they’re right.

          Yes, yes, I know, it’s just a tiny speck of freedom…

          Sometimes, I’m glad I’m approaching my use-by date. The amount of actual freedom left is nil. Every time you turn around there is a new rule. Next thing you know it will be illegal to lift a cheek and f….

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The next thing you know businesses will be requiring shirts and shoes or no service… Oh, wait

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            https://news.yahoo.com/libertarian-case-masks-165040359.html

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Interesting article, jack, to add to that here’s a picture from 1918 on how people dealt with the flu pandemic

            https://arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-advancelocal.s3.amazonaws.com/public/U4HWTXG3DNGALG4QN65GLJKNPI.jpg

            They were smarter a 100 years ago :(

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “They were smarter a 100 years ago :(”

            There was still a lot of “anti-mask” sentiment/protesting back then. Google the “anti-mask league of San Francisco” or “1918 anti-mask”

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “There was still a lot of “anti-mask” sentiment/protesting back then. Google the “anti-mask league of San Francisco” or “1918 anti-mask”

            I guess the more things change the more they stay the same :(

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @jack4x, @Lie2me,

          Keep it up guys.

          “I’ve become more convinced than ever that privately owned and operated cars will be with us for a very long time.” — Don’t count on it. But, after all, it’s just a tiny speck of freedom. Giving that up for the common good shouldn’t be problem; it should be an honor to be able to do one’s part. After all private cars have become such a problem and we’d all be safer and more healthy without them. Driving a private car risks the health of people around you…. And, I know you wouldn’t want that.

          (Does the tone of the above sound familiar?)

          Needless to say, you’ll claim I’m being ridiculous>

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            You misunderstand me.

            While I do think mask protestors are being ridiculous, their continued success in illogically resisting a simple task that takes two seconds, costs nothing, and is proven to benefit the public bodes well for my future resistance/protests toward costly, disruptive, and unproven AVs.

            So while in 2020 you are heedlessly endangering the health of my family and me, risking my job by extending the pandemic, and embarrassing the country in the eyes of the world, I do have to begrudgingly thank you for showing me the way forward for 2040.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Needless to say, you’ll claim I’m being ridiculous”

            No, but you are guilty of overreach

        • 0 avatar
          MeJ

          @jack

          You’r3e probably right…Except most of you will be dead from the virus.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            @jack4x,

            “While I do think mask protestors are being ridiculous” As far as I can tell the stylized, hysterical yammering of the protestors is always ridiculous. Sometimes it seems like they are trying to aid and abet the side that they are nominally opposing. They are so abrasive and persistently annoying with their self righteousness that they are a real turn-off. I suspect frequently they do more harm than good to the “cause” they are championing.

            As for the future…it scare the sh*t out of me the way things are going. So, please forgive me if I rant:-)

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Freedom to do whatever one wants means one would have to move out into the wilds to be away from everyone. We are social animals existing in close contact with others. That means we have to take into consideration how our actions affect others. Chosing to not wear a mask puts everyone at greater risk. Politicizing something that shouldn’t be politicized also puts everyone at risk.
          In BC where I live our politicians let the medical experts run the show. We have one of the best COVID-19 control responses in the world let alone North America.
          If we extend our social responsibility to vehicles, that’s why traffic laws exist. That’s why most of us follow them.

          • 0 avatar
            MeJ

            @lou
            I too am from BC and our politicians and doctors are doing a great job. And most people I have contact with daily are respectful of distance. When I watch the news and see the arrogance displayed down south I cringe. There numbers are so high it’s terrifying. I don’t understand why wearing a mask is such a inconvenience to them.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            @Lou_BC,

            Yup, we’ll all wear masks (extremely uncomfortable in hot weather). And we won’t (dare) complain. No one will hear, anyway. And, when they start killing private car ownership, most people will just go along with it. Car enthusiast will be able to make all the noise they want about it. But, no one will hear.

            Speaking of things that are overly politicized, I have seldom seen anything as shamelessly over politicized as the COVID-19 media circus. (Except, maybe, the other big brouhaha of 2020.)

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            Just to save y’all the work of typing all that stuff out about how I’m endangering everybody by not wearing a mask… I do wear a mask, I do use sanitizer (in nomine patrie, filie (sp?) et spiritu sanctu), and I don’t go out much at all, and I stay as far away from others as possible when I go out. So, I’m playing along. As far as attitude goes, getting all upset and stressed out about CV will only weaken your immune system. So, if you don’t want to be endangering the rest of us you should stay as calm as possible — and that is the truth.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Old_WRX you’re funny, do you really think you’re the only one who has to obey rules they don’t like for the good of the whole? Nobody likes wearing masks especially in this heat, but if there’s a chance we can get this thing under control, why not?

            Glad to hear you’re wearing a mask and keeping your blood pressure under control. Sounds like there’s a great wife behind your motivation

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            How does one conflate wearing a mask with loosing the privilege of driving a car?

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            The anti-mask “freedom” fighters are not very good at basic logic.

            How much freedom do you have in an ICU with a respirator tube shoved up your nostrils for three weeks? And how much freedom will you have to give up to pay off that hospital bill?
            Apparently, this “controversy” is here only to distract attention from from the latest moronic screw-up committed by our clueless leader.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Losing the ability to drive and own a vehicle would be very difficult for me to adjust to.
        Assuming “manual” boats were still allowed I’d buy one of those as the best substitute available. In the most extreme I’d move to another country.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @Lou_BC,

          “How does one conflate wearing a mask with loosing the privilege of driving a car?

          a) Not wearing a mask is harming everyone else because you might be spraying germs all over the place. So, how could any decent person refuse to wear a mask?

          b) ICE cars are producing CO2 which is causing global warming. So, anyone who drives an ICE vehicle is harming everyone else. Why would a decent person want to keep a car when they know they’re destroying the environment we all have to live in? You will be shamed and possibly attacked by people who will be justifiably expressing their anger at someone who acts with complete disregard for the well being of others.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            We shouldn’t be so loose with our homonyms, lest we lose our ability to communicate in written form.

            (Not trying to be the resident spelling and grammar nazi… well, I guess I am, but trying to make up for all the canceled middle school classes on reading and writing this year.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @old_WRX – wow. Reaching there.Yes, Global warming trends are affected by vehicles. Our entire society is structured around the automobile so that’s a harder fix. Wearing a mask is simple and easy. Everyone can easily adapt.
            Look at places in the world that have done a good job with controlling COVID-19.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @Lie2me,

          Do I really think I’m the only one obeying rules I don’t like? Now look who’s funny. To answer that question: um, gee, no, never have never will. That, however does not mean that I won’t notice when I think the rules are silly. I hope that will be good enough for you. If not let me know and I will take it under consideration. (Which means I will ignore you.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I don’t care, you do you, just watch that blood pressure with all those clouds that need to be yelled at

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      0. I live in an area that’s growing fast, I hate to say it but I now agree with you. The good news is my left leg is chiseled.

      2. @Jack4x I don’t know- 5 months ago I would never have believed that what happened 4 months ago would happen in the US. Our corporate financial adviser came in in February and told us how we’d really have to watch out for what was happening right now in China. I now think things can change much faster than we think.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’ve found the one annoyance I have with the auto in the CX-5, that it stumbles finding the right gear going into turns, is ameliorated by plopping it into manual mode and selecting 2nd or 3rd so I can accelerate more quickly. However, that is truly picking nits.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I was obsessed with cars my whole life. I had subscriptions to all the car magazines since I was a kid. Then I started selling cars, and they just became a commodity to me. All these breathless articles about performance cars just don’t do anything for me at all anymore.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I’m a car guy with little or no interest in sports cars. There, I said it. Whenever I see sports cars in my daily routine I get cold and clammy at the thought of shoe-horning myself into it’s cockpit faced at seeing nothing but bumpers and wheels my entire drive. Sports cars are not for the mildly claustrophobic

  • avatar
    jack4x

    -Brodozers are cool.

    -Touchscreens are good.

    -It’s not virtuous to buy used or pay cash.

    -Hot hatches and wagons have just as many compromises as a “do it all vehicle” as crew cab trucks do. They are just different compromises.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    It is only a car.

    Keep this in perspective, and all will be well.

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    Oversize wheels and low-profile tires are ruining cars. There’s no reason for a passenger car to have larger than 17-inch wheels. Maybe even 16.

    Fun daily drivers are better than supercars.

    The notion of “Q-Ships” needs to make a comeback.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yes on no more less than about 50 profile tires. Saw a new Alitma with aftermarket wheels yesterday and I had to do several “takes” to convince myself that the guy wasn’t driving on his rims, sans tires.

      Q-ship is a mater of perspective. As an example – de-badge a Charger/Challenger with a large enough engine and most of the public will think you are just driving an ordinary V6 model.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “I had to do several “takes” to convince myself that the guy wasn’t driving on his rims, sans tires.”

        Every time that car hits a good bump it’s like Schrödinger’s flat tire.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      +1 on stupid big rims. 18” is the absolute MAXIMUM size wheel that can be justified on anything smaller than a school bus.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I cringe when I see someone who’s spent a fortune building what should be a decent offroader and then mounts 22’s on it. WTF?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Lou_BC, not a true “off roader” but in that vein. A few weeks ago the dealer dropped off a 2020 Acadia AT4 (the “off road” package). It had the standard wheels for the package which is a 17 in rim with a Cooper All-Terrain tire. It rode like a dream.

        Since it’s the kind of thing my wife would like so I went online and played around with the “build your own”. I laughed when I saw the optional wheels for the AT4 is a 20 in rim with an all season tire. Really? Can’t even have a off road package without a wheel and tire option that completely negates any dirt ability that it had.

  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    1) The new Ford Bronco(s) are of absolutely no interest to me whatsoever, appearing to be over-hyped and cynically presented in advance as ‘leaked’ vehicles.

    2) I also do not care for the JL Wrangler and thoroughly dislike the JT Gladiator. For that matter, I never really warmed to the JK Wrangler. Jeep is becoming more and more dead to me these days, and have left me with no idea as to what the current Jeep will be replaced with next year.

    3) The idea of ‘volume luxury’ makes me laugh, as do ‘luxury’ marques that seem hell-bent on moving downmarket in order to shift more units.

  • avatar
    7402

    The smell of old-car exhaust turns me away from my life-long love of classic cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      If it’s running right there shouldn’t be a “smell”. It may be time for a rebuild, or at least a tune up. Classic cars often had hasty makeshift repairs near the end of their daily driver lives that are forgotten or hidden when transfered.

      Problems with compression, valve timing and actuation, ignition timing and distributor/point wear, build-up in the combustion chamber, fuel that became unstable during prolonged storage, oil that has returned to crude state, linkages partially or fully frozen. carburetors with stuck floats, bad mixture, mis-synched carbs, weird exhaust blockages, worn out oil pumps, and on and on. You really have to commit if you want one to be a fun driver.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        @Pig_Iron,
        “Problems with compression, valve timing and actuation, ignition timing and distributor/point wear, …” Makes owning a classic car sound so inviting:-)

        One thing I did like about the old carburetor/distributor cars was the fun of doing a simple tune-up. It was kinda satisfying pulling into the garage running all rough and pulling out ticking over smoothly.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The world is full of pretty good vehicles that nobody is buying.

    Most people buy far beyond the capabilities they need in a vehicle. (The guy who buys an F350 and never tows anything heavier than a lightweight aluminum fishing boat, the guy who buys a Corvette and never pushes it harder than 5/10ths.)

    Car manufacturers are making lots of shortsighted decisions to please shareholders that are going to come back and eventually bite them in the a$$.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Excellent observations.

      Especially about people buying more vehicle then they really need. I now this makes me sound old (49… so yeah guess I am) but when we were kids my mother had a VW Rabbit and we managed just fine. Yet my nieces are shuttled around in a Cayenne and complain if they have to ride in anything smaller lacking USB ports and iPad holders.

      Also what is the purpose of a sports mode button in you average CUV? Who are they fooling with that?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Since this is supposed to be some sort of “confessional”, I do not like seeing pickups as street queens. I see a lot of one ton dually’s running around empty. Some I see with a trailer in the yard that my F150 could tow.
      I hate it when I see a pickup with an empty box or worse, a tonneau cover pulling a utility trailer loaded with something that could easily fit in the box.
      ARRGGGG.
      I get bored looking at perfectly restored muscle cars or antique cars. Big deal, some dude dropped a fortune on it. I love seeing dad and son projects or anything with a personal story attached to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Add Lightness

        +1

        I just laugh at seeing an $80,000 pickup pulling a little trailer full of junk because they are afraid of scratching their fashion statement. Then they justify having a truck because they need it for work.
        When I was young, a truck worked to support it’s owner, things seem to have reversed now.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          There’s some local lore around two principals who were brothers-in-law. One had an old F150 4×4 from the square bodied 1980s and the other had just acquired a Raptor when those were introduced.

          Raptor owner goes to F150 owner and asks: “Can I borrow your truck?”

          F150 owner replies: “Didn’t you just buy a truck?”

          Raptor owner: “Yeah but I don’t want to scratch it…”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            There was a story floating around my town similar to that. A dude asks to borrow his buddy’s truck to go hunting. The guy replies, “Didn’t you just buy a new truck and put $6k worth of tires and wheels on it?” Buddy replies, “Yes, I don’t want to scuff u my wheels.”

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Lou_BC

        Don’t worry so much about the duallys. It’s the F-150s running around empty (like yours and mine) plus other 1/2 tons and midsize that should have you going insane, bananas, cuckoo, loco, mental ward, etc.

        Most minivans are running around empty too, most of their miles, but we’ll leave that one alone for now. They’re probably transporting drugs and illegal aliens when they are full (yes in Canada too), but again, different topic.

        Most semi trucks and school buses are empty too most of their miles/kms, but different topic once again…

        Except 99.89% of duallys are bought/owned for very specific work/tow related reasons/tasks. The 5th wheel hitch might not jump out and scream at you when bobtail driven with the trailer back at the camp site, or for hotshots the trailer left at the truckstop.

        There’s also lots of oilfielders and others, weekend warriors and whatnot temporarily not hooked up to something or a pallet/pallets of pavers/tile/etc not currently in the bed, or simply not visible.

        I’m sure you’re very familiar with “snowbirds” and others fulltime RV’ers, but you see a tonneau cover and assume golf clubs and picnic baskets. You should know there’s now high capacity generators, air compressors, welders, steam/pressure washers, etc, made specifically to fit under tonneau covers and or not easily seen in an open bed. There’s a couple good reasons for that.

        Otherwise, yeah carry on.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          In my town 1 ton duallies are almost exclusively personal use. They don’t have the capacity or durability for heavy industrial use. Service trucks are usually F450 – F750 size. That’s the same reason why they don’t get used commercially for towing. They aren’t capable enough and for the price they are to close to commercial trucks. I’ve seen the odd “hotshotter” but they were out of province trucks and most were pulling campers for one of the local RV dealers.
          I don’t care if a truck runs empty. It makes no sense to have a pristine empty box and pull a trailer for the same cargo. I buy a pickup for what it can carry not what it can tow.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            They don’t have the capacity? What’s 30,000+ lbs??

            That’s just the trailer and load, more if it’s a regular cab. Yes the F-350 dually, yes that’s legal, and very strictly enforced (unlike Canada).

            The F-350, Ram 3500 duallys are preferred commercially (without a CDL [outside Calif]) since F-450/550/5500 conversions (flatbed or pickup bed) are lots heavier ([axles, brakes, etc]which gets subtracted from 26K non CDL capacity), run much more expensive tires, burn fuel faster, and ride much harsher.

            The F-450 (OEM/factory) “pickup” is de-rated to 14K (truck) capacity, same capacity as 1-ton duallys, so they’re no use for actual CDL drivers.

            F-350s to F-750s fitted with box, flatbed, utility, tow truck, etc, are a different story and obviously one-trick-ponies, with very specific uses.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Once a hotshot or similar outgrows a 1-ton dually (or deck) and or steps up to CDL, they go straight to the semis. There’s no reason to go for or stay in the middle ground.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            To be clear, that’s 26K lbs combined truck and trailer, gross/max for non CDL. 2wd regular cab diesel for the 35K trailer and load, with CDL.

            From what I can tell, Canada just copies US DOT regs, but doesn’t enforce them as tightly.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Denvermike- Pickup based duallie trucks don’t hold up on gravel roads under heavy loads when expected to do the same work as a commercial truck. I don’t see any loggers or mining companies use them to pull fifth wheel or gooseneck units. They even tend to stay away from F350/3500’s as service trucks since the service bodies have to be small. Running down freeways and paved roads is much different than gravel roads or winter haul roads. Even the cattle ranches are adverse to using them in my part of the world.
            As far as licensing goes, if it doesn’t have air brakes you can get a licence that endorses you for heavy hauling/towing. It’s basically the same as our Class 1 licence process but without air. If you have to go that route most just get the Class 1.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            As long as it’s for pay, it’s classified “commercial”, even a 1/2 ton, and all require a DOT to cross state lines (for pay).

            US regs create an environment that’s ideal for (1-ton pickup based) duallys, technically, even if they’re not ideal physically.

            Many don’t plan on ever driving a semi, no matter what.

            Even for highway use, Duallys obviously aren’t built to handle/lug their max capacity, day in, day out. 100K miles with that kind of use and the trucks are done. It ruins the duallys quick, even while under (the factory) warranty.

            Many users are just renting them (from new) from Enterprise and return them at 50 to 60K miles. Then Enterprise disposes of them. It’s about the same cost/loss as buying them new (with max rebates) and selling/trading them yourself at the same mileage.

            Enterprise is (mostly) in it for the insurance packages they sell the dually renters. And of course there’s no credit check.

      • 0 avatar
        Randall CArlisle

        Empty bed pickups with hitch bike rack. LOL

    • 0 avatar
      Randall CArlisle

      75% of the Corvettes sold could have an iron duke clattering away with sound system exhaust. I mean when I see them, they are going like 25 in a 35 or worse, 35 in a 55.

      While I’m commenting – super cars mean nothing to me. There is a Lambo something-or-other here in town. Driven to the Starbucks by a rich someone. I have never seen it anywhere else.

      Turbos? Whatever. How often do you really need it? Now maybe if I lived in a metro area and merging was a big deal? But my drive is “leisurely” every day. 55 mph rural highways. Back roads if I’m feeling my oats.

      I like the idea of being a car guy, but my reality means I’m more of a model car guy. Rock on guys. And gals of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Randall CArlisle

      75% of the Corvettes sold could have an iron duke clattering away with sound system exhaust. I mean when I see them, they are going like 25 in a 35 or worse, 35 in a 55.

      While I’m commenting – super cars mean nothing to me. There is a Lambo something-or-other here in town. Driven to the Starbucks by a rich someone. I have never seen it anywhere else.

      Turbos? Whatever. How often do you really need it? Now maybe if I lived in a metro area and merging was a big deal? But my drive is “leisurely” every day. 55 mph rural highways. Back roads if I’m feeling my oats.

      I like the idea of being a car guy, but my reality means I’m more of a model car guy. Rock on guys. And gals of course.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    Black wheels on blue cars make you look like you are driving a bruise

    Minivans are a much better choice of vehicle for a large majority of people driving CUVs and pick-ups

    I am not sure how much bigger vehicles can get before there needs to be a cross-industry working group between home building companies and car companies to build bigger, smarter garages

    The cost to keep that old classic car running is probably not worth it in the long run

    Old Land Rovers are really cool but retro-modded Land Rovers ID the owner as a tool

    No, you are not such a great driver that you should drive your Mustang in winter on all season tires

    I can’t believe that modern Bentleys are as ugly as they are.

    Old boats (post 1960s, excluding anything wood) don’t get the same respect as old cars. Why not?

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      @istanely

      Wow, I thought I was the only one who thought Bentley’s were ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      @lstanley: “Old boats (post 1960s, excluding anything wood) don’t get the same respect as old cars. Why not?”

      Because cars aren’t a hole in the road into which you throw money. CAR: Create Another Ride. And frequently, the day you sell the car is the SADDEST day of your car ownership.

  • avatar
    amwhalbi

    Lame though they may be, my vents are:

    I cannot understand why anyone would spend anything north of $50,000 (or at least $60,000) on a pickup. It happens and a person certainly has a right to do it, but I sure don’t get it.

    I also don’t get the American aversion to wagons or hatchbacks. They are practical and, almost without exception, more fun to drive than SUVS with virtually the same practicality. Is the elevated command seating position really that intoxicating?

    Every manufacturer has lemons from time to time – it’s just a matter of who produces more of them over time. That said, it’s getting pretty hard to buy an awful new car (design or execution) if you stick to the major automakers. It’s equally hard to buy new car that is truly great, measuring by the same criteria. Every vehicle involves compromises of some sort. You just have to find the compromises that are more minimal to you.

    I liked minivans a lot more when they were truly minivans, before they morphed into today’s van size. Even so, they are incredibly practical, more so than SUVs. I think the whole “soccer mom” criticism is unwarranted. They are a legitimate lifestyle vehicle choice, even if I preferred them in their earlier, smaller version.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      “I cannot understand why anyone would spend anything north of $50,000 (or at least $60,000) on a pickup. It happens and a person certainly has a right to do it, but I sure don’t get it.”

      For the same reason people spend that kind of money (or more) on a luxury sedan or SUV. To get more features, better engines, and an overall more comfortable driving experience. It’s possible to work in or with your truck all day even if you aren’t on a muddy construction site.

      Actually, comparing the depreciation curves of something like an E Class or 5 Series to a Platinum trim pickup, the car is by far the more foolish financial decision.

      • 0 avatar
        amwhalbi

        Well, that helps a bit. I’m not sure I ever will get behind the idea, but I will admit I’m a bit more educated. As I said, everyone has a right to their choice.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I see a lot of loggers in full bling Platinum/Laramie/HighCountry trimmed $100,000 trucks. Some argue that they spend multiple hours per day in their trucks and the comfort is a welcome respite. Contractors get to write it off anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      An aversion to wagons and hatchbacks might depend on where you live. In way too many urban locales (and not slums) anything left in sight will be gone in a couple of hours. I won’t take a hatchback as a rental because I don’t want to empty the car out every time I leave it.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        And yet despite hatches and wagons apparently being crime magnets, crossover sales are booming? Do thieves assume anyone who bought a crossover has taste too poor to have anything worth stealing?

        • 0 avatar
          volvo

          I don’t know about all of them but my 09 Rav4, between tinted highly placed rear windows and cargo covers, has zero visibility into the cargo area. Hatchbacks not so much IMO.
          But to your point yes break a window and you are in there. Not so much with a trunk.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            I can’t think of too many modern hatchbacks that don’t come standard with a cargo cover/parcel shelf – certainly zero visibility into my trunk.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Trunk vs hatchback vs privacy cover is kind of a strange thing. The privacy cover takes away some of the temptation to break into a hatchback but it doesn’t do anything to positively secure your valuables. The same thing is true with most trunks- you can break a window and pop the trunk release.

            Convertibles usually have a key lock that is part of the remote trunk release- do any regular cars have that too? (Honest question, I’ve never noticed it in anything except a convertible.)

          • 0 avatar
            volvo

            Our 95 Avalon and 07 Accord have trunk release lock outs. For the Avalon you turn the trunk key counter clockwise when locking the car on the Accord it is at the cabin latch release.

            I understand that hatchbacks have covers but the window size, window height and rear hatch design just seem to me more tempting than the standard CUV/SUV hatch.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “I don’t know about all of them but my 09 Rav4, between tinted highly placed rear windows and cargo covers, has zero visibility into the cargo area. Hatchbacks not so much IMO.”

            WTH? Hatchbacks have cargo covers. Problem solved. You can also tint the windows on a hatchback.

            Not sure why you think hatchbacks that are a few inches higher are completely different, and immune, than hatchback that are a few inches lower.

          • 0 avatar
            bogardus

            JIMC2, I think trunk lock outs are still fairly common in hardtops. At least they are in our household. My ’17 Accord has one (keyhole next to the trunk release) and so does my BRZ (button inside the trunk).

  • avatar
    volvo

    1. To my eyes almost every new car offered is either ugly or screams boy racer. I am told that CAFE and safety regulations are driving design but then look at the attractive Tesla S and wonder how they get away with it.
    This shift in design over the last two decades has pretty much destroyed my interest in reading about or owning a new car.

    2. I am starting to accept the fact that low displacement turbo engines coupled with CVT transmissions will be the only drive trains available in a few years.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    After I raced in SCCA for 7 years, I lost all interest in going fast on the street. Even doing 90% of what you can do on the track is far too dangerous. And now that I’m old, I have tremendous respect for the guys in their 60s (and a few in their 70s) who were stout competitors back when I was a kid. Yeah they had money for good equipment but they still had to drive it.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    For me, the worst offenders are “trail rated” luxury utes.

    Going to serious off-roading, means toughing it out. Your vehicle will get caked in mud and dirt, inside and out. It also means you are going to bang it, scratch it, bump it and winch it.

    You and your companions are going to get dirty, really dirty, soaked by sweat, rain or fording streams.

    You will feel the rigors of weather. Your body is going to be jarred and jolted by all the bouncing. You’ll learn 50 ways to clench your jaws.
    There will be genuine moments of terror, unsure if you’ll make it thorough.

    The only music you will hear is the motor’s growl, the different noises tires do as they strain to hold a grip on difficult surfaces, the tree branches scraping sounds and the occasional boulder hitting your undercarriage, and if you are really lucky will also hear some wildlife calls.

    Yet……you are going to thoroughly enjoy every second of it.

    By the end of the day, basking in the campfire, you are going to see your battered and filthy ride, and be simultaneously amazed at its toughness and proud to be where it actually took you.

    And not be too overly concerned with the fact that you soiled the interior, as you will pressure-wash it back home.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Going to serious off-roading”

      I have no interest in doing such things but I’ve also seen videos of AWD Explorers and CRVs being foiled by some fairly minor-looking situations.

      It seems there aren’t many “medium-duty” offerings these days. Like you either get an AWD CUV that’s built to handle snowy roads and wet grass or you get the super-rock crusher SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Schmitt trigger – I do find it odd that manufacturer’s pair their premiere offroad packages with the highest trim levels. You get full blinge if you buy a Rubicon, Raptor, or ZR2. You can get a fleet spec PowerWagon or Tremor though. I’ve only seen a few PW’s with clothe seats.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I like cars, I like driving, but they’re bad for cities, and I don’t care for the fear-mongering that any attempt to make them more livable for actual residents will scare off the suburbanites, who apparently make irreplaceable economic contributions with the odd dinner or concert downtown.

  • avatar
    imnormlurnot

    Black interiors. Couldn’t other colors and shades be made available?

    Yes, my car has a black interior – I tried, but finally gave in.

    • 0 avatar
      amwhalbi

      Thanks for mentioning this, imnormlurnot. I don’t like all black interiors, either. Black as an accent color is OK, but I prefer something that’s a little less tomb-like.

      Thumbs up to you.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        I’m down on black interiors too.
        But my buddy the (very prosperous) Chevy salesman says anything else dies on the lot.
        My tastes must be very out of sync with the masses.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      10+. Especially in the sun belt.

    • 0 avatar
      bogardus

      When I was car shopping last year I kept telling salespeople I wanted a beige interior instead of a black one (both to help keep the interior cool and because we have a dog with light hair). Every single one told me I was crazy as it would show stains and quickly look dirty. But they often had cars with beige interiors on the lot. Guess they weren’t eager to sell them (at least not to me).

      I did actually end up with a black interior (in a car that was otherwise somewhat of a unicorn spec for me). Double covered the back seat (dog hammock over weathertech seat cover) and just use sunshades all the time.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    a. Karma is real and eventually catches up to companies as well as individuals. [Now slash my pension again, jerk! I kid.]

    b. “FREEDOM!!!” in the automotive world is huge for me, so I enjoy seeing a wide variety of vehicles (regardless of price). Especially like seeing any vehicle where the owner/driver has customized it beyond mass-market bolt-ons [unsafe mods including bizarre suspension geometry excepted lol].

    c. Pretty much anything that increases the personal involvement that a driver has with a vehicle is a good thing. Trivial example: If you told me that tire shine kills tires, but I see an owner thinking about his/her vehicle while at the store, buying an automotive-related product, and actually kneeling down to apply it and *looking at the sidewall* of the tire while doing so [and perhaps noticing something else, like the steel belts poking out the sidewall], I would say that maybe we’re all better off *with* the tire shine.

    d. Many engine covers are a silly nuisance. Some are well-engineered.

    That first picture reminds me that for a brief moment in human history, “Captain Slow” (James May) held the world record for highest speed in a production car.

  • avatar
    nutbags

    A few items:
    1. I don’t understand the continuous bloat of all cars; size and weight. I mean the current Civic is larger than the original Accord and has been for a while.
    2. The demise of the manual transmission – I have been driving for 35+ years and have never owned/driven (other than wife’s car) an automatic and I commuted in northern NJ/NYC traffic most of those years. I don’t care that a DCT or CVT is faster or more efficient – I want to feel connected and more in control with what I drive.
    3. The inattentiveness of most other drivers out there. Put down your phone and drive that 2-ton battering ram properly – focus on the task at hand.
    4. During this pandemic as the traffic has been reduced, it seems like all driving skill and courtesy has gone out the window.
    5. I recently rescued a 1999 Boxster with high mileage, dings, dents but overall solid and silky smooth engine. I wish I had the knowledge and ability to work on it myself.
    That’s all I have for now….

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Nutbags;
    For #1, the reason is simple: bulkier vehicles usually mean higher profit margins.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    In no particular order of importance:
    1. Sports cars with insane performance capabilities that are meaningful only on a track. “Sports cars” as conceived after WW2 and as exemplified by the one sold in the 1950s and 1960s, were supposed to be fun and about driver involvement. Even owners of Porsches didn’t expect to dust off V-8 powered family sedans at stoplights. They expected to leave them behind on roads like Mulholland Drive and not get seasick doing it. One of the side effects of this is the demise of manual transmissions because modern automatics (DCTs) give more nearly instantaneous 0-60 times.

    2. Nearly every carmaker apeing BMW’s original, “the ultimate driving machine” marketing and development strategy for every type of car. Are there any grownups left? Anyone who doesn’t imagine himself as a latter day Stirling Moss while driving his Mercedes S class down the freeway? Part of this phenomenon seems driven by what the lamented Jack Baruth dubbed “journosaurs.” For them, every car tested seems to be evaluated by same came calipers one would use for an AMG Mercedes. Some cars are designed to haul ass, but some should be designed to haul asses in comfort and silence. When Lexus started by doing the latter, they took a lot of grief from the scribblers. Now, see what they look like. And I won’t even speculate as to what kind of d-bag is thrilled by Benz’s new “open pipes at startup” feature.
    3. The replacement of minivans and station wagons by the assortment of “crossovers” that use more fuel and carry less than the vehicles they replaced . . . and should never be taken off-road. All because people like to sit up high.
    4. The overselling of AWD/4WD for other than serious winter and offroad use. The systems add weight and complexity — which equals more fuel, diminished performance and more expense. Even worse, if you happen to have an unrepairable puncture on one of your tires, with AWD you have to replace all 4 to avoid wrecking the system. The only exception (and the original reason Audi developed the AWD “Quattro” system) is when you have a very powerful FWD car and you want to avoid either wheelspin or aggressive traction control intervention at stoplight drag races. Otherwise, for moderate winters, a set of Blizzaks or similar for the snowy stuff and traction control works just fine. My daughter had our Saab for 3 of her 4 years in college at Madison, Wisconsin with this equipment, and she did just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      As to the AWD question. Here in the west all is cool with winter tires and FWD until the DOT forces you out of the car to put on chains but AWD and all season tires just roll on through the chain control area.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Yes, I’ve seen that. Although I don’t make a habit of it, I drove to Yosemite NP in December pulling my Airstream trailer behind my 4wd pickup. I was not planning to stay in the Airstream; I was just going to dump it at the campground right at the entrance. I had reservations at the Lodge. DoT requirements would have dictated chains on 2 of my truck wheels and on 2 of my travel trailer’s 4 wheels. Since I left the trailer, my 4wd truck without chains was fine. I found it amusing that the fancy 20 inch wheels on my truck preclude the use of chains, per the manual (clearance issues with the brakes), although the 18-inch steelies available only on the “work truck” version would have permitted using chains. What I thought was incredibly stupid was that I saw FWD vehicles chaining up on the front wheels to comply. So, equipped, attempting a hard stop without having the rear end come around would be a severe test of the ABS system and/or the driver’s skill.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          This reminds me of a funny story and how dangerous a lack of knowledge can be. Back in the 60s A family friend bought a new Toronado with the then unheard of FWD. He took a trip up to Lake Tahoe when the chain police directed him off the road to put on his chains due to an approaching snowstorm. He complied and proceeded to put chains on the correct front wheels, the chain police stopped him and told him he had to install the chains on the REAR wheels. He explained that the Toronado was a FWD car and chains on the rear would be pointless. Didn’t matter the law said the chains go on the rear no exceptions.

          He did what he was told, drove a mile up the road and switched the chains to the front

          The more you know :)

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          @DC Bruce,

          Driver’s skill, oh boy. I’ve been watching videos lately of car crashes on U tube. I started watching them at first for the, er, uh, entertainment. One of the things that I observed is the cause of a large number of high speed accidents is the average driver’s lack of ability to handle their vehicle in an emergency situation. Many times this shows in repeated over correction of oversteer. And, I’m sure you’re right that fast stops with only the fronts chained would be a challenge (or worse) for the average driver or the ABS. I think the ABS would probably make things worse for any driver, skilled or not. It would get some pucker factor, tho.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @DC Bruce, I’m placing two bucks in the tip jar for your second point.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I don’t see the point of Jeep’s removable top and doors. The only time it is enjoyable is in town on a sunny day or you happen to be allowed to drive on a beach somewhere.
    In my part of the world top off/doors off while wheelin’ means you are going to feed a billion mosquitoes, noseeum’s and horse flies. It also means mud and water in the cab and branches across the face.
    2 weeks ago I was in my friend’s Rubicon with 4 inch lift/35’s. My son in his old F150 with 7 inch lift/ 35’s. We went down a trail I’ve ridden my DRZ400SM down. A beaver had dammed part of the trail. The deepest part saw water breaking over the hood of the Jeep and was over the headlights on my son’s truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Jeeps with doors and top off sure look like fun, but what a pain

    • 0 avatar
      whynotaztec

      Jeep with no top and doors is an experience like not other. Sure over 60 you are basically in a tornado, but otherwise it’s great. I drove a convertible for years and am still shocked at the difference that removing the doors makes.

      Which leads to my pet peeve – people that have Jeeps and never take the top off. If you can’t go 4 wheelin at least enjoy the convertible, or else what the heck are you overpaying for?

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    170-200 HP is plenty for your average commuter car even those that weigh 3500 lbs.

    Knowing how to drive a manual doesn’t automatically bestow upon a person some great driving ability. For most it’s a slightly more entertaining, or arduous depending on perspective, way to get from A to B. (Yes I can drive one, and have grown out of the notion that I’m somehow more capable than a person who puts it in drive and goes.)

    Every person is allowed his own preference vis-a-vis sedan, hatchback, truck, CUV, SUV. Your preference is only your preference and means less than nothing about anything else, just please turn your brights off.

  • avatar
    bogardus

    I like my hybrid, and I think hybrids have a place in enthusiast garages.

    While I have a BRZ that I love driving around on the 45-mph country roads surrounding us, when I commute through the suburbs and city I much prefer driving our Accord Hybrid. It’s not the BRZ’s manual transmission that bugs me; I drove a longer commute in a five-speed Passat V6 for years. But everything that makes the BRZ fun on back roads–the noise, the high-revving engine, the light weight, and the stiff suspension–just puts me on edge when I’m in rush hour. I find myself unintentionally racing people off the line and squeezing into gaps in traffic that I in no way need to make. Contrast the Hybrid–very quiet except under full throttle, comfortable but competent handling, glass-smooth but surprisingly rapid acceleration. I can put on the local classical station, let the world flow by, and arrive at work or home feeling pretty relaxed despite the slog through traffic.

    It also lets me save the BRZ for the fun, empty roads. And the contrast serves to remind me why I bought the BRZ in the first place. If I drove the BRZ to work every day, I think I might be bored of it, but when I drive it now, it feels exceptionally visceral and direct by comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      I agree about hybrids and enthusiast driving.

      It’s a different kind of experience. When I had one, it was a lot of fun and engaging to blend in with traffic while trying to use as little fuel as possible. You have to pay a lot of attention to the road up ahead, the traffic, and all of our surroundings.

      Some people will think this sounds terrible and the farthest thing from fun driving. That’s fine; it’s a matter of personal taste and there’s nothing wrong with differing opinions.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        I had my Focus ST that I drive “inappropriately” during my evening commute. I got to the point where I was trying to shift/brake the fewest times as possible on the drive home. It was a lot about figuring what gear I’d need so I could coast and speed up as necessary. If anybody is familiar with the 494 loop in Minnesota, I’d once gone between 169 and Cedar avenue – 15ish miles – at the beginning of rush hour (when things were starting to stack up) and only hit the brakes 6 times.

        It was a game of maintaining proper following distance anticipating when someone might squeeze in, and being in the right gear. My best scores tended to be when I was in 4th. Gave me something amusing, to me, to do when avoiding eye contact with people who wanted to play.

        • 0 avatar
          bogardus

          I also enjoy the how-rarely-can-I-hit-the-brake-pedal game: throttle modulation & downshifting in the BRZ; activating regenerative braking in the hybrid. I do worry, though, that I’m going to get rear ended by the driver behind me who is probably staring at their phone and assuming that my brake lights will let them know if they need to slow down . . .

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            I do the same thing. And, I’m not sure but it could actually be illegal — it’s possible that it could be considered failure to signal. But, I’m sure that won’t stop me. Though there are times when I am engine braking aggressively and someone is close behind me — then I may press the brake pedal just far enough to turn on the brake lights but not do any actual braking.

  • avatar
    gsdupont

    1. Is there an idiot test you have to take and score high on to qualify to purchase a Mustang? Sure seems that way.

    2. Vehicles with no hubcaps bother me. Why are all four missing from your 1997 Camry? Why are you driving it that fast?

    3. Subaru WRX owners have identity crisis issues. Every single one.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    An electric powered self-driving Trabant!
    That is also self cleaning/sanitizing. So when a previous rider hurls avocado toast and the latest mixed drink all over the interior you won’t notice that.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Here are mine:

    1. I don’t care about Miatas. Not at all.
    2. I would like to see the giant wheel thing get toned down. My car has 20″ rims on it, but would have got 18″ or even 17″ wheels if it was possible.
    3. I would never buy a manual equipped vehicle, period, unless it was simply to flip it.
    4. I really hate the styling of the C8 Corvette. And almost anything else GM makes now.
    5. I hope FCA or whatever the name ends up being doesn’t totally screw up the next gen Challenger. Same goes for the next Charger, too.

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