Comments: Quote of the Day

Ol' Kevin takes that Honda Civic thing a bit too far, but YEAH!

Posted by johngalt at January 3, 2018 3:25 PM

Uh oh. I always use the Toyota Camry and John D. Rockefeller -- am I in trouble?

I also like to compare it to a '72 Ford Pinto for the Krugmanites who think we have stagnated because they compare the 19" CRT color television to a 52" flat screen and the Pinto to the Camry.

Posted by jk at January 3, 2018 4:16 PM

Mea culpa. Carnegie passed in 1919, before the truly great cars appeared on the scene. I was thinking of a Duesenberg Phaeton which wasn't built until the '30s. Rockefeller, on the other hand, lived until '37!

Posted by johngalt at January 4, 2018 3:13 PM

Sorry, man, I'm not buying it.

The Dusenburg is beautiful and I've no doubt a great joy to drive or ride in. As long as the weather is nice. Not too hot, or I'd miss air conditioning. No precipitation please on those non-radial tires (was "bias-ply" extant?). I'm not worried about ice because that baby won't start if it's cold. Hope you don't get lost without GPS, and that your passengers can sing well, because there's no Spotify. The interior looks fab, but in 90 minutes I'd be aching for the Camry's seat.

It might beat the Camry in a 1/4 mile (I would not bet the farm: 265HP in that tank) but the Camry would cream it in any race with a turn.

And . . . I hope you don't crash. Pretty car, but I'll take the Camry.

Posted by jk at January 5, 2018 10:28 AM

Fair comparisons, and I anticipated most of them. Modern cars are clearly superior to their forbears in most respects. And obviously Williamson chose "Honda Civic" (and you chose "Toyota Camry") as affordable mass-market offerings that almost anyone can own.


Cars have a personality. What you drive says something about you."

I have never been a fan of the "compact car." When I bought one, it was to replace one already owned by my fiancée (a, no kidding, Honda Civic) with one made in Germany (an Audi 80.) To me, Japanese compact cars have always been the worst of the worst. Not only compact, but also dull, lifeless, and, due to their unfortunate popularity, ubiquitously impersonal. Maybe it's because they lost the imperialist war they provoked with the free world, but the Japanese compact car says "I want to be invisible." One particular brand - Subaru - goes even further. It says, "I hate the very idea of the private automobile, and resent that practicality forces me to own one."

I'm sure that owners of these cars have a different perspective, but that's mine. And that's why these are the last cars on earth I would own - even behind a 1937 Duesenberg without Spotify.

Posted by johngalt at January 7, 2018 2:09 PM

Fair play compels me to mention that "different perspective" on Honda automobiles I alluded to above. Forbes quotes an official Honda spokesman thusly:

"Honda buyers buy primarily for the trust and dependability they find in our vehicles," says Honda spokesman Chris Naughton. "Typically, highly functional vehicles deliver less image because customers didn't purchase for image."

Cough cough! Fabulous spinmeistery, Chris! I would replace "primarily" with "exclusively" and add "perceived" before trust and dependability. But the real mastery is in the conclusion. Replacing "basic transportation" with the more flattering "highly functional" is barely perceptible, but "didn't purchase for image" is a rationalization for "don't give a crap what it looks/runs/sounds/drives like."

This is just my general attitude. Buy me a couple of beers and I'll tell you what I REALLY think! ;)

Posted by johngalt at January 7, 2018 2:47 PM

Let me throw a little high-octane on that fire.

The Accord V6 Coupe Is the Last Real American Muscle Car

Well, I don't claim to know what the first American muscle car was, but I can absolutely tell you what the last one currently for sale is. It's the 2017 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 with the six-speed manual transmission. Save your angry letters and Facebook comments until the end, particularly if you don't know how to spell each and every one of the words you're planning to use, because I'm going to convince you beyond the shadow of a doubt on this topic.

There might be a rare middle ground between us. I'll concede the importance of style. (Did you ever read that Virginia Postrel book? "The Substance of Style" You'd dig it.) But I don't think a style differential undoes Williams's thesis.

Even on my morning coffee, I must go on about my favorite moment in "Top Gear." The lads come to the States. Jeremy whines about his Cadillac's flaws, May the same for some poor PR person's make and model. Hammond gets a V8 Challenger and waxes poetic about how any American with a job could get this car. It's not a Veyron (or a "Duse") but it is a powerful and fun car any construction worker could own. Not only not true in 1936, but not in the UK today.

Posted by jk at January 8, 2018 11:20 AM

Yaay Capitalism!

Posted by jk at January 8, 2018 11:22 AM

I'm with jk here. This is my style for a high-octane, fancy mode of transportation: but the Civic (although not as stylish) was invaluable. And look who's talking about style now, Mr. "I used to be cool but now I drive a minivan."

Posted by dagny at January 8, 2018 8:24 PM

Alas, I've been "outed." I have inverse "cut the cord" and purchased the PHEV minivan. [third comment] What does this say about me?

"Minivans say that you need nurturance and escape;"

"custom vans mean a need for uniqueness;" (I'm searching for ways to customize, starting with my very own "Importato da Detroit" window sticker.)

"hybrids show off character, doing the right thing as well as having the fear of judgment."

Well, maybe I bought it in SPITE of that last one.

Posted by johngalt at January 9, 2018 2:20 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?