Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Worst Vehicles of All Time
Time.com gives us a provocative list of the 50 worst cars of all time.
Blessedly, the list doesn't just feature engineering nightmares. It also looks at vehicles as they relate to their time and place, and what they say about the people who bought them.
Take the Hummer, for instance. While I grudgingly applaud its design and marketing, I absolutely abhor what this automobile says about the American way of life, and I can confidently stereotype its driver as (a) gingoistic, (b) anti-environmentalist, (c) insecure, and (d) modestly endowed.
"One struggles to think of a worse vehicle at a worse time. Introduced shortly after 9/11 — an event whose causes were tangled in America's unquenchable thirst for oil — the Hummer H2 sent all the wrong signals. It was/is arrogantly huge, overtly militaristic, openly scornful of the common good. As a vehicle choice, the H2 was a spiteful reactionary riposte to notions that, you know, maybe we all shouldn't be driving tanks that get 10 miles per gallon. Not surprisingly, the green-niks struck back. A Hummer dealership was torched in Southern California. The H2 was also a PR catastrophe for GM, who happened to be repossessing and crushing the few EV1 electric cars at the time. It all contributed to GM's emerging image as the Dick Cheney of car companies."
The Hummer H2: Official Car of the Declining Empire