Friday, April 29, 2011

Need a new car? Let me save you some time.

Thumbing through an old copy of Car and Driver in a waiting room, I read an article by John Phillips that basically stole all my reasons for reading car magazines. Well, some of them anyway.

 I frequently read passages of car descriptions out loud to whoever's home, as I think the writing is extraordinary. My fav interactive mag is Winding Road. I talk about it here.

The Phillips article left me chuckling... funny enough to make me rip out the page. Sorry, next dude who wanted to finish that article on Cash for Clunkers.

So, because I want to save you a few hours of research in your car purchase situation, here are a few insider views on cars you may want to avoid..or not. Compliments of John Phillips at Car and Driver.


Of a BMW 3-series’ shifter: “As slick as the jumpsuits worn by the Captain & ­Tennille.”
Of the Pontiac Aztek: “A body that resembles Janis Joplin’s during her most devoted heroin years.”
Of the Hummer H2: “A professional tailgater’s vehicle that can be driven strictly by feel and sound, with road rage offered as standard equipment.”
Of an Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser: “It should have been called the Emetic because the body motions will induce the sort of vomiting necessary to save the lives of recently self-poisoned persons, namely this vehicle’s buyers on or around the date of their third payment.”
Of the Daewoo-built Pontiac LeMans:“Sufficiently awful that it will cause you to abandon your family and open a souvenir shop in Tucumcari.”
Of the Chrysler Concorde, whose front wheels intruded on the footwells: “The dead pedal’s position will suit those who have recently received a prosthetic left leg made in Somalia.”
Of the Plymouth Prowler’s stiff ride: “Great car if you enjoy viewing the passing landscape in moirĂ© patterns.”
Of the Chrysler Crossfire’s similarly unyielding ride: “Very much like an epileptic seizure, except you unfortunately remember every single detail afterward.”
Of the Geo Metro convertible: “All the structural integrity of hollandaise sauce atop filet of eel.”
Of an early Porsche 911 Turbo: “A particularly spirited drive in the hills will necessarily be followed by a week of prunes and Quaker Oats.”


Of a Renault Le Car (one of my first reviews): “Guaranteed to end your social life and lead to a lifetime of bed-wetting interrupted only by savage bouts of window peeping.”
Of an Alfa Romeo Spider: “With steering this sloppy, expect to crash minutes after departing the showroom, although the car will likely self-immolate or rust into fine red dust before it can truly maim you.”
Of the first Oldsmobile Bravada: “I memorized the rollover warnings on the visor and performed every banned maneuver in hopes of wadding this rebadged armadillo into a metallic pellet that could be readily gathered by a pooper-scooper.”
Of the Bugatti EB110: “Exuding all the charm of an industrial air conditioner, it nonetheless will remain rare because no one will want one, no one can afford to maintain one, and the company’s likely swan dive into receivership won’t leave enough cash to buy an industrial air conditioner.”
Of the Bugatti Veyron: “It won’t enhance your sex life because it causes all of the blood to rush to your head.”
Of the GMC Typhoon: “Less a typhoon than a tsunami of hurry-up engineering guaranteed to leave in its wake a tidal wave of shrapneled valves, rods, cam lobes, and neighbors who finally feel it’s safe to let their kids out again.”
Of the Daewoo Nubira: “Like a George Foreman grill but greasier.”
Of a Caterham 7: “Like driving a rural-route mailbox into which vandals occasionally toss lit cherry bombs that first deafen and then somehow induce pneumonia.”
Of the Dodge Shadow: “Who would have thought that someone could create a car guaranteed to make your wife shout, ‘Wow, my mother was right!’ ”
Of a Ford Bronco: “It’s like a morbidly obese NFL defensive lineman with 14 concussions and 12 knee operations and his 42nd birthday a week off.”
Of the Factory Five Roadster: “In the rain, it exhibited all the poise of a Zamboni on the Rubicon Trail.”
Of the Merkur XR4Ti: “It looks like a ­geothermal event bulging up through the tarmac.”
Of an early Maserati Quattroporte: “The dash and its attendant control layout resemble a trailer park following an Oklahoma ­tornado.”
Of the Daihatsu Rocky: “One of the few cars apparently capable of simultaneously summoning dive, squat, yaw, understeer, oversteer, a trade deficit, acid reflux, impotence, and a military coup in Ecuador.”
Of the cockpit smell in a Hyundai Pony: “A curious mixture of wet dog, WD-40, and 
liquid Maalox.
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