Monday, January 5, 2009

Jason's Guide to Not Being an Automotive Idiot

Okay, I may not be THE coolest guy around, but I have some strong opinions backed up by engineering geekiness. Here's what to avoid when making automotive decisions.

1) Ditch the wing, Batman.

The number of these things that actually function is very, very small. Most are nothing but aerodynamic drag and extra weight (non-nerd translation: this means worse fuel economy... and you paid for the privilege.) You're not getting any downforce back there and if even if you were it's not needed on your nose-heavy front wheel drive car anyway. Ditto on that $50 Ebay monstrosity made in China that the ricer kids fasten down with deck screws. Face it, your car looks stupid and you're not fooling anyone.

Wanna see how big that wing would have to be to be effective at legal highway speeds?

There you go. Any takers?


The wing pictured above, which have been used on the back edge of SUV's and stationwagons for decades is actually functional. It keeps water and ice from accumulating on the back glass when the vehicle is moving. Notice most of them are small. The older ones were painted flat black so they wouldn't get noticed. Sorry, no downforce. No douche-baggery either though.

2) Bras are for the ladies. And flabby dudes.

Honestly, do you really car about avoiding rock chips on the front end of your car? If so, then why do you leave this goobery padded pleather cover on the front end for years at time, holding moisture, dust, and sand against your paint finish? Ever seen what it looks like under there after a car bra has been in place for a few months or years?

Don't pay to destroy your car. At best you look like an old man hoping his 2001 Oldsmobile Alero with rubber steering wheel cover wins first place at the big car show this weekend. At worst you look like a total follower. The only remedy is a big black cover on the back bumper (aka 'car panties'.)

3) Air freshners, rubber steering wheel covers, ricer-boy shift knobs, bobble head dolls, and stuffed animals are not custom car touches. You look like an idiot.

If this is how you want to express yourself you ought to hold it in. No, we do not think you are 'spunky' or creative. Or inteligent.

4) Your Pontiac is not sporty.

Hey people over 35, this one is especially for you. Back in the good ole days, Pontiac successfully marketed their cars as youthful sporty machines. Some of them actually were. But this hasn't been true since the 1975 Firebird 455 Super Duty edition. Unfortunately I still hear people older than 35 professing to the sportiness of their lame front wheel drive Pontiac with a V6 and an automatic transmission. Unless you own a new G8 (400hp V8 rear wheel drive) or a Solstice GXP (260hp turbo-4 rear wheel drive roadster), you're driving a re-badged Chevrolet/Buick/Oldsmobile(R.I.P). All of those cars have the exact same engine, transmission, chassis, and suspension. The only difference are the plastic front and rear fascias and the body cladding. Your Pontiac isn't any sportier and it's not fast. Come on back to reality. You paid extra for a gussied up Chevy Berretta if you own the car pictured. You obeyed the programming.

MINOR EXCEPTION: If you own one of the supercharged Bonnevilles they are faster than the regular Chevrolet/Olds. But they're the same as the supercharged Buick that grandpa's driving. Yeah, you're still a sucker. Don't take the marketing bait next time.

Well that's enough vitriol for tonight. Stay tuned for future installments on this topic. There are a lot more automotive wrongs out there that need to be called-out.


Kim from Kansas said...

So a Pontiac being sporty has nothing to do with the number of doors?

Also, am agreeing with the "car bra" statement. I had a bra for my '88 Mustang, and it was a pain in the buttocks.

And...thank you for including the over-35 population into your blog census accumulation or whatever. As you might guess, it's hard to get used to the new terms for "hoodie" and "thong". And who coined the term "hottie" anyway?

Melanie-Pearl said...

haw-haw, funnyman. thanks for educating the masses. i've always hated the giant spoilers. when i spot them i pretend to pick them up with my fingers (think Martin Short "i am squashing your head")and throw them.

i have a mini spoiler. That's okay, right?

Jason R said...

Well, it is still a fake wing, Mel. It's not just the big goofy ricer wings, it's all of them. I do have to confess though that my nearly-antique BMW has a tiny add-on lip on the back of the trunk. I think it's largely just for styling. Therefore I'm a dork according to my own rules.