Aug 23, 2011

Irritating Follow-Up

Edmund's InsideLine followed up my comment on automotive boredom with a list of "The 100 Greatest Cars of All Time." I agree with exactly 10 of their choices (the numbers are theirs, the comments are mine):

4. 1938 Volkswagen Beetle: Edmund's comment was that this car "May be the most beloved car ever." I would still consider owning and driving a '67 Beetle if I didn't live in the Rust Belt. If I were going to drive the South American Pan-American Highway, it would be in a Beetle. This car was in production for 65 years with minor improvements. If this isn't the greatest car ever made, the standards for "greatness" are stupid.

9. 1908 Ford Model T: This is more of a political choice, for me, than engineering. The Ford Company was beginning to become something democratically revolutionary, inspite of the company's fascist owner. "It was the first car most people could afford." The people behind and on Ford's assembly line created America's first middle class. They are still doing it, too.
15. 1964 Ford Mustang: The original car was just a screwed-up Ford Falcon and how it "made Lee Iacocca an icon" is more about how modern management pulls credit up and pushes blame down than saying something about Iacocca's "vision" and leadership. Since the Falcon wasn't on Edmund's list, I'm left with the residual choice. I like the Falcon better, though.
24. 1949 Ford: My first 4-wheel ride was a '54 Ford convertible, which was definitely one of the models that Edmund's said "would follow" the '49. Solid car that proved it could run without an air filter for longer than it should have. I was a dumb kid.
27. 1990 Acura NSX: I don't lust after sports cars, but I always lusted for an NSX. If I won the lottery, I might have one. Probably not, though. I'm too old now.
34. 1984 Honda Civic CRX: Edmund's silly comment, "The first fun economy car" just shows how out of touch their writers are with history. The VW was fun, especially the convertible. The VW Karmann Ghia was fun. The original 1972 Civic was fun. The CRX is unnecessary, for me. Honda made a mark with the introduction of the Civic and has been denting the auto industry since.
46. 1992 Toyota Camry: This was the 3rd version of the Camry, but I thought the original '82 Camry was pretty "standard" setting. I owned a '73 Toyota Hilux at the time and was already sold on Toyotas.
45. 1976 Honda Accord: Nothing to be said here. A nice, Americanized Japanese car that everyone wants to own.
74. 1946 MG TC: Like all MG's, this is British crap, but it was fun crap to drive when it worked and sort of fun to work on (which owners had to do all the time).
79. 1950 Volkswagen Type 2: The VW microbus was the original do-everything vehicle. I loved mine, low mileage engine and all. You could camp with the family or bag up your 125 and drive to the motocross in a VW Bus. This vehicle started the whole mini-van business.
97. 1968 Datsun 510: A cheap, sort-of-sporty car that got good mileage and held up during every challenge except Midwest salted roads. Had one, liked it, thanks Doug.

My additions to the list:
A. 1986 Nissan Pathfinder: the only real SUV Japan ever made.
B: Datsun 520 Pickup: the Japanese break-through vehicle to the US market (mostly in California).
C: 1973 Toyota Hilux Pickup: The single toughest vehicle I have ever experienced.

 I probably don't disagree with Edumnd's about the other 90 cars, I just don't care about them. The whole "great car" argument is lost on me. Cars have two too many wheels and make driving so simple even the simple can do it. When it comes to driving, I'm an elitist; if you can't do it well, you should be on the bus. When it comes to expensive and mostly useless cars, I can't generate enough interest to even look. Cars are for carrying people and stuff you can't carry on a motorcycle.

That is all I have to say about cars. Let us never speak of this again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, what about the 1974 Plymouth Duster with the slant six engine and three-on-the tree? That was of course my first car, purchased used for the princely sum of $800. Had many great driving experiences in it, but the best was the time I was on a muddy back road and came up upon a jacked up pickup truck with huge tires that had sunk up to his axles and was stuck. As I glided by at speed in the Duster with my wheels spinning and throwing mud in all directions I waved and smiled at the redneck in the stuck truck. The look on his face was priceless.