Friday Free For All

My heartfelt condolences to my good friend Bob, whose father died on Wednesday night.

 

I think C/2 had a great idea with Cars A To Z, but the posts receive fewer views than the average post. As I am going to finish the series, I would like to “hear” suggestions how to improve readership.

 

This CNBC piece is about Jim Cramer’s belief that “it’s impossible to recommend Chinese stocks in a hostile communist regime.” The naivete of so many Americans who admire the Chinese government is hard to fathom. Maybe it’s “worse” than naivete.

This CNBC piece reveals Apple co-founder’s Steve Wozniak’s earnest advice: Get Off Facebook. He has been off the “platform” since 2018. He said, “…[T]o many like myself, my recommendation is — to most people — is you should figure out a way to get off Facebook.” Amen!

 

From this Archon’s Den post, some one-liners:

 

I was reading this book today, The History of Glue….
….I couldn’t put it down.

I hired a handyman to do some odd jobs around the house….
….He did every other thing on the list.

I made strawberry jam today….
….It was a jarring experience.

Women only have two problems….
….Nothing to wear, and no room for all their clothes.

Life is like a helicopter….
….I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.

I’ve heard of a lot of dumb criminals….
….But bakery robbers take the cake.

I think I need professional help….
….A chef, a butler, and a maid should do it.

******************

This recent article from Classic Cars reveals Goodwood’s list of ten of the ugliest road cars ever. The inclusion of supercars like the Lamborghini Venemo and the McLaren Senna might come as a surprise to some, but as I have written I am not a fan of cars with pod-like styling regardless of performance, which is not to say I agree with the supercars Goodwood included in their list. I don’t think the Venemo is ugly, per se, just overstyled. What do you think?

 

 

Lamborghini’s designers would probably argue that every styling feature on the car serves a purpose. That may well be the case and while I believe that form should almost always follow function, styling matters. I think I object to the large wing more than anything else as I am not a fan of large external air forms on an automobile.

Two cars on the list that many would agree are ugly are the Pontiac Aztek and the Chrysler PT Cruiser. I don’t really want to spoil your (or my) morning by showing one or both of these cars, but here goes:

 

See the source image

 

In this post I shared the exposition of Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist Dan Neil who named the Aztek one of the 50 worst cars of all time. Neil wrote, “the Aztek violated one of the principal rules of car design: we like cars that look like us. With its multiple eyes and supernumerary nostrils, the Aztek looks deformed and scary, something that dogs bark at and cathedrals employ to ring bells.”

The US car-buying public didn’t like the car, either. General Motors expected to sell 75,000 Azteks a year, but never even reached 30,000–its reported break-even level–in any year. If beauty is only skin deep and ugly is to the bone, then the Aztek is a skeleton.

I won’t show a picture of the PT Cruiser (I’ve tortured all of us enough already), but I think it looks like an upside-down bathtub with wheels. Unlike the Aztek, the PT Cruiser was popular with just over a million sold in the US during its ten model years in production. There’s no accounting for taste?

Feel free to submit a few of the cars that you think fall short in appearance.

 

#FridayFreeForAll

#Don’tInvestInChina

#UglyCars

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Contrary Opinion

Although I am not shy about expressing my opinion, who would want to read empty-headed pap (watch yourselves, people), I almost always write about cars I like or in which I have interest. So far in this blog I have not written about cars I don’t like, except Volkswagen, which has to do, of course, with the company’s origins and not, necessarily, its products.

During the recent visit to the AACA Museum, my wonderful wife and I visited the overflow building where cars not on display are kept. (Apparently, this building is only open to the public a few days a year.) The vast majority of these cars were interesting and/or beautiful. A car like this, however, was an exception:

 

See the source image

 

From cargurus.com a picture of a Chrysler PT Cruiser. I think these are UGLY! To me, they look like an upside down bathtub with wheels. I also despise the “Woodie” treatment on any modern car. (I know not all PT Cruisers had this, but showing this was showing the ugliest of ugly.) This car was designed to fit the NHTSA criteria of a light truck in order for Chrysler’s truck fleet to comply with CAFE standards. Yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The next one is not exactly a car, either:

 

See the source image

 

From automoblog.net a picture of a Pontiac Aztek. Feh! (That’s Yiddish for “Ick” or “Yuck” but “Feh” sounds much better to me!)

From TopSpeed:

 

See the source image

 

A Bugatti Veyron, which I think is an unbelievably hideous vehicle. Maybe my anti-Volkswagen bias is subconsciously at work; after all, the modern Bugatti is just a Volkswagen in a different dress.

From this article comes a picture of another ugly vehicle:

 

Nissan Cube

 

From unlimitedrevs.com a picture of a Nissan Cube. Really?

OK, only one car so far, what can I show here…

 

 

See the source image

 

From Uncrate a picture of a Lamborghini Espada. The rear part of the car reminds me of Gazoo’s head from the Flintstones (an unintelligible reference for millennials). It’s almost as if two or three different cars were mushed together. Even Lamborghini doesn’t bat 1.000.

OK, time to stop. It’s not my intent to offend although I often remember something Bill James once wrote about every now and then it’s OK to spray a little acid around (figuratively, not literally) in order to keep people awake and keep them honest.

Once again, I am asking for your views. What cars make you cringe when you see them?

 

#uglycars