Demonizing the Demon (Again)

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People who are jealous of their right to own firearms know how important it is to mercilessly stomp even the slightest suggestion that their right to own a gun be restricted in some manner, no matter how trivial it may seem.

Because the principle at stake is critical.

If it is acceptable to chip away at a right because of this – then surely that will follow. It is like the income tax, which people were assured would apply only to “the rich” when it was first proposed.

Now, of course, it applies to everyone.

Portrait of an “automotive journalist.”

Because the principle of taxing people’s earnings was accepted. Once that was accepted, it was hard to make a principled argument against taxing anyone’s income.

Which brings us to Larry Vellequette.

This guy – a writer for Automotive News – is having a conniption fit over the Dodge Demon.

He believes it is too powerful, too fast; that it is irresponsible for the government to allow people to own it.

True, it is very powerful – 840 hp.

The current Corvette’s “summer” tires… not the ticket for winter, either.

And it is extremely quick – capable of a single digit quarter-mile run.

And.…?

His argument amounts to the same argument used to peddle “sensible” restrictions on the right to possess firearms. Someone might run amok – ergo it must be presumed that everyone will run amok.

Does anyone need 840 hp?

Does anyone need a rifle that holds more than one bullet? Arquebus, anyone?

How about 270 hp?

A current-year V6-powered family sedan like the Honda Accord has that much and it is quicker and faster than most Ferraris and Porsches were back in the ‘70s.

Do families need such performance?

A modern liter class sport bike is at least as quick as the Demon – and they are priced such that almost anyone can afford to buy one, too.

No air bags, either.

Ban them, too?

Wait.

Vellequette “…take(s) great issue with the nearly treadless Nitto drag radials that come standard on the $86,090 Challenger SRT Demon.” He sweats their single-minded design, which – though DOT street legal – makes them not-so-great in wet and wintry conditions.

As if this were something  . . .  new.

Why not also “take issue” with the “summer” ultra-performance tires that are just as single-minded and compromised and also commonly available as factory equipment on numerous other cars?

And have been for years?

How about the ultra-soft, ultra-performance tires installed on liter-class bikes? These last maybe 2,000 miles and are designed for high-performance use only. Of course, people who ride sport bikes realize this and don’t ride in the snow – just as as people who buy the Demon understand it is not an AWD minivan and don’t expect it to perform like one in poor weather.

Why the selective umbrage? It is based on specific ignorance.

Vellequette quotes the paperwork that comes with the Demon: “Drag tires are not recommended for driving in wet weather conditions where there is a risk of hydroplaning.” He also mentions the very short tread life, a function of the soft compound used to make the tires.

The same warnings accompany “summer” tires – as well as other purpose-specific equipment. Why no warblings from Vellequette about that?

Mustang has launch control, too.

Wait.

He also “takes issue with the Demon’s launch control” – which is an electronic feature that numerous other performance cars, including the current Chevy Corvette, the Camaro, the Ford Mustang and many others also have and which does exactly what it sounds like it does: It uses the car’s electronic systems – in particular, the traction/stability control system – to modulate the engine’s power delivery for the smoothest/quickest launch and maximum acceleration.

In other words, it is a de facto safety system, designed to keep the car under control vs. fishtailing all over the road.

Vellequette regards this as “unconscionable.”

I find his ignorance even more so – almost as much as his condescending pre-crime control-freakism.

Vellequette favors “ . . . a two minute delay before the launch control would be fully engaged.” That way, the driver could launch the car in an uncontrolled manner.

Yup. Really.

This guy – an automotive journalist writing for a publication called Automotive News – does not grok what launch control is. Much less how it works. His worry is that with launch control, “consumers” – loathsome word, suggestive of Jabba The Hut-like creatures gorging at a trough – will be able to “unleash the Demon’s full horsepower every time they pull up next to a Corvette or a Tesla.”

Well, Larry (who clearly unleashes his unrestricted appetite at every press event chow line) here’s some news for you: The Demons’ full horsepower is “fully available” with the launch control off. The system merely optimizes the rest of the car to take fullest advantage of it. It is designed specifically to limit wheelspin – which is the enemy of acceleration – in order to keep the car pointed in a straight line rather than going sideways.

In other words, the car is safer with the launch control engaged.

Vellequette’s editors apparently don’t know this news, either.

The words of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies come to mind: Why must I be surrounded by idiots?

Larry goes on to bemoan “… amateurs who endanger the motoring public every time their manhoods (are) challenged at a stoplight.”

Sounds like Nancy Pelosi talking about firearms, doesn’t it?

And he is just as dangerous.

If the suggestion that a car more powerful/faster than people “need” (that “need” to be determined, one assumes, by experts such as Larry Vellequette) must not be allowed isn’t stomped to below pavement level before it gets a chance to grab traction, a vile principle will have been established and before long, we won’t be allowed to drive anything more potent than a Prius.

Which, for the record, also has substantially more power and speed than anyone “needs.” It can do at least 115 MPH (trust me). Given that no one needs to drive faster than about 80 MPH – the highest legal speed in the U.S. – why should anyone be allowed to buy such a potentially dangerous car?

Let alone a Corvette.

Or for that matter, a V6 Accord.

Send Automotive News mail. Most especially, Larry Vellequette’s editors.

It’s time they got an earful from us “consumers.” 

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Reading this article really worried me…… a brief google search reveals there are quite a few articles, from many “respectable” publications talking about why this car should be banned!

    The most miraculous thing I see about this car (and many American cars) is not how powerful it is, but how it makes that power (somewhat) affordable to the (relatively) average person (with a bit of luck in life). What none of these writers who want to ban this ever seem to realise is there are many cars in the 6 or more figures which can easily outperform this car…….. the real issue seems to be not that cars this powerful exist…. but the fact that the plebs can dream of getting a car with this much power!!!!

  2. Automotive News has always been a prime example of anti-automobile statists writing about the auto industry. I’m sure they couldn’t be happier with the current and future state of the auto industry. Of course they’d bash misfits like FCA.

  3. People are intentionally made into permanent adolescents and a geared to forever live with parents. People calling for the arrangement either see themselves as the parents or feed the need to have them.

  4. Funny how cars like the Hellcat and Demon go for far more then list price and often have waiting lists. And these are cars, even at list price, most people can’t afford anymore. Imagine if there were cars like this still in the affordable range.

    Meanwhile, the cars our “leaders” want for us sit unsold, unwanted, and often nearly given away because nobody wants them after being paid for by taxpayers.

  5. Let’s mandate that this lard-ass clover LIMIT his daily caloric intake to 1,500 calories. For his own SAAAAAFFEEEETYYY.

  6. Folks should be able to buy what they want if they are able. It’s out of my price range so that will limit me just as effectively as any government mandate. You would think an auto writer in an auto mag article would simply be evaluating the performance and not politicking.

    • “Folks should be able to buy what they want if they are able.”

      Skeptic, the freedom of choice you speak of does exists…you just have to move away from the United States to find it.

  7. Only in journalism.
    I recall some consumer magazine many years ago testing the Honda CB 750. The author said it was difficult to ride it in an adult manner, what with the temptation to frequently goose the throttle. I had this mental picture of some desk jockey, tie flopping in the wind, gingerly riding the Honda around while trying to control his urge to crack the throttle now and then. It was hilarious.

  8. People like this are genuinely amazing in their ignorance. From anti-F’s comment I surmise others have been lighting up this idiot too.

    Nothing like a SJW in the automotive ranks to tell us what we don’t “need” and shouldn’t have. I’m guessing his nads were overwhelmed decades ago by his appetite.

    The SJW’s are always the last to know ANYTHING but just let something come to their attention(somebody informs them of something)and it’s Katy (Perry) bar the door.

    Just wait till somebody like a pigster gets shot by somebody with a Slide Stock AR and they’ll learn a new phrase or word and go after that. Then the BATFE will reverse their ruling and literally hunt down everyone with a credit card record of buying one and kill them if they “feel” they must to get it back.

    Someone with a fair amount of money could easily kill off Vellequette with a “eat all you can” BBQ near him. Uh-oh, there I go not being PC and taking him to task. Automotive News would never allow that comment……now. This is something that back when accurate reporting was the most important thing to a mag or similar. A half-ass editor not eaten up with SJ would call into question the competency of a dick like Vellequette but NOOOOOO, now we have so many clovers wanting to deny anything they think might bring someone else some pleasure they must get on their soapbox and howl at something they can’t tolerate such as freedom.

    • Such writers, and others, as this SJW are mouthpieces for the unspoken agenda of the Uniparty and the Deep State. It is easy to read the intent of our oppressive regime and then fall in line with it. This is what politicians do every day. It all goes to just which herd the person wants to associate.

      Currently the Gynocentric meme intends to destroy all expressions of masculinity and that includes guns and fast cars and motorcycles. We must be brought under the iron fist of our rulers, or eradicated.

      All sorts of public opinion molders know this and write accordingly. Same for elected and regulatory officials, and of course, the police.
      “It is too late to fix the system from within, and too early to start the shooting”

  9. If Vellequette has children, especially male children…too bad the poor little bastards don’t have a real male for father.

    Let’s buy Larry a “romper”.

  10. consumer etymosphere…

    consumer (n.)
    early 15c., “one who squanders or wastes,” agent noun from consume. In economic sense, “one who uses up goods or articles” (opposite of producer) from 1745. Consumer goods is attested from 1890.

    consumerism (n.)
    1944, “protection of the consumer’s interest,” from consumer + -ism. Also, “encouraging consumption as an economic policy” (1960). Related: Consumerist (1965, n.; 1969, adj.).

    producer (n.)
    1510s, “one who produces;” agent noun from produce (v.). Of entertainments, from 1891; in political economy, opposed to consumer, from 1784 (Adam Smith).

    consume (v.)
    late 14c., from Old French consumer “to consume” (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere “to use up, eat, waste,” from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere “to take,” from sub- “under” + emere “to buy, take”
    Naderism (n.)
    1969, in reference to the methods of U.S. lawyer and consumer advocate Ralph Nader (b.1934) + -ism.

  11. The guy with $86,000 plus his taxes to spend employing people to build him a two door happy wagon is going to give a flip what Larry says? Not.
    Does Larry shoe horn himself into a Nissan leaf or walk to work to save humanity from harm?

  12. Why is it that we end up with these armchair experts and limousine socialists being the people who write the articles and set public opinion rather than experienced people who know their stuff?

    Here where I live in Commiefornia, half my neighbors are this kind of busybody. I’ve been chewed out in supermarket parking lots over driving a V10 engined car, or lectured about safety after my car exhaust backfires a bit when the turbos blow off – by my freaking neighbors! Where does this holier-than-thou attitude come from? Jeez. I can’t believe that I fled commies on the other side of the iron curtain only to have them start taking over in the US. Maybe CA is making it seem worse than it is, perhaps it’s time to move to NH or WY.

    • Op, it’s time to move away from neighborhoods I’d say. I have friends who live in a small town near Houston and their clover neighbors never get tired of jacking with them over the most mundane things. Well, I have no pity for them. They should have known from experience anywhere you live that requires your signing a contract with the building association you have to play politics. They were recently fined for leaving a 5 foot ladder against the front of their house overnight. They were going to build a privacy hedge in front but that’s against the “law” too.

      Move to any rural place and avoid this hassle. I was recently watching a YouTube of a 40s fat wifey coming over to a guy with a new crewcab pickup and giving him hell for letting that huge polluting thing run, choking her out a few spaces away in her…….Prius. The GoPro scans the lot and there’s parking way away from where she sits. It’s a new pickup so you know there’s no smell but there was in her self-righteous minds.

      Move somewhere like I am and your “neighbors” won’t ever say a word to you no matter how much criticism you have for them…..and they’ll roll over and turn on the fan to drown out the noise of fire trucks when your house burns in the night. The only criticism you might get here is if you don’t leave a gate as you found it. Typical text with my closest neighbor(3/4 mile) “ju shoot?”, “yep, coyote(accompanying pic)”. “Thanks”. Last text, him: Turkeys in the east field. me, thanks

    • “… perhaps it’s time to move to NH or WY.”

      “The Free State Project (FSP) is a political migration, founded in 2001, to recruit at least 20,000 libertarians to move to a single low-population state (New Hampshire, selected in 2003) in order to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideas.”

      https://freestateproject.org/

    • “Here where I live in Commiefornia, half my neighbors are this kind of busybody”

      OL, I was there in ’70 and most of the Californians I met were like that back then. It’s a common trait in that state.

  13. “80 MPH – the highest legal speed in the U.S.”

    well, 85, actually:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States

    • As of last March I 10 in Texas an hour or two west of San Antonio posted 85. It was there two years before, as well. My van can DO it, but I prefer not to subsidise the oil companies more than I have to, even though they are no longer bought and paid for my OPEC and their mozzie friends…. HATED to pay them back then.

  14. I’ve taught economics. We *never* use the word “consumers.” It’s always CUSTOMERS. This is to suggest that not only may they go elsewhere if they’re dissatisfied, but that their custom is an act that generates wealth.

    • Hi Brother John,

      It is very interesting to me that certain words have gained currency lately – “consumer” being one of those. I agree with you that customer is more respectable; buyer is fine, too.

      • I agree Brother John and Eric. There also was a time when we were referred to as citizens or people. Now we are usually referred to as taxpayers, and politicians are called lawmakers even though they do nothing of the sort. There is natures law (ie, gravity) ans natural law. Congress-critters merely make new diktats.

        • “Taxpayer” is a very specific legal term (generally in conjunction with the income tax). The truth is that most American citizens are non-taxpayers as we are not liable for the income tax as we receive no profit from any government privilege. Simply put, the income tax is an excise tax on certain privileges provided by the government (foreigners earning US sourced income, citizens working abroad, certain federal employees, etc). Unless you fall into one of those categories you do not owe any federal or state income tax, period. Here is a very basic primer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD9D9rMaKss

      • The verbal shuck & jive fully bloomed when the name of the department was changed from “Personnel” to “Human Resources”. It’s degraded even further as it’s now just called, “HR”.

        I’ll save you the long rant that goes with the pull quote above…just roll it around in your head for a while.

      • I remember when TCI changed the internal language in a misguided effort to improve customer service. We had to stop referring to the people at the other end of the cable as “subscribers” (always shortened to “subs” as in “sub called in w/no picture or sound”) and begin referring to them as “customers.”

        The idea was that using the word sub to describe the customer was a reason for bad customer service. No, the lousy call centers and the horrible management that spawned them were the reason for bad customer service, not the shorthand industry term.

  15. These self appointed “experts” make me gag, they’re of the same ilk that shipped my sorry ass to Vietnam to “fight the commies there so we wouldn’t have to fight them here”….. too bad our gunvermin is worse than the commies, the Stasi could only dream about the surveillance/police state we have today in the good ole USSA.

  16. The sad truth is, the majority of the people who do not buy this machine are the clover-minded morons just like the fat bastard “journalist” trying to shoot it down. If I had my way “rap” and head-banging “heavy metal” and all the “grunge band “crap would be outlawed, too. But my narrow view of music would probably impinge on 90% of the rest of society, and is merely my opinion. I listen to what pleases me, and let others do likewise, somewhere the hell else. But it appears that “live and let live” is just not good enough for an increasing number of fat, bored, overpaid, undereducated, pea-brained, busybody, do-gooder, assholes out there. 40 years ago, no one with any self-confidence and individual personality would have listened to this pig-faced buffoon. I feel sorry for my children and the facade of society they have inherited.

    • Hat tip gtc, you summed up what I was going to say so I will just add that these self appointed “experts” have done their best to destroy any vestige of freedom and personal responsibility in the USSA. They got my sorry ass shipped to Vietnam to “stop the commies there so we wouldn’t have to fight them here” and voila! we do have to fight them here because they’ve morphed into bureaucratic nannies at every level of society.

      • This was my post, disappeared while I was typing it so started over above; not sure how it ended up posted as “anonymous “… technology 😝

    • gtc, “fat, bored, overpaid, undereducated, pea-brained, busybody, do-gooder, assholes”. I was impressed with the accuracy of your description and tried to create a new acronym……but it doesnt really roll off the tongue.

  17. That’s right, silence the detractors and the nay sayers, and all you have left is praise, or silence. The latter of which will always be interpreted as non-verbal approval. I wish I could believe that just one look at the bourgeois pig in the video would convince any rational reader that he is full of shit. Then I think about how ignorant the non-aviation TV New reports on small aircraft crashes……like official fact-finders and authorities, when, in fact, every word out of their mouths is inaccurate, uninformed, and outright ignorance.
    Eric has to remind me constantly that just because I am a sensible, rational, pragmatic business owner and mechanic, that does not mean the general public won’t hesitate to follow the next stupid idiotic fad that everyone else is, even if it means their own loss of liberty, or outright death. It appears the same is happening in just about every profession, regardless of the decades of experience that have proven otherwise.

  18. I don’t give a f*** about what automotive news has to say about the car. I also suspect potential buyers will not care what Clover V. has to say.
    Biggest let down from my perspective is that for $86k+ the car won’t pass tech at the dragstrip…

  19. LOL – It looks like they have already been getting lit up.

    I guess they don’t like hearing from us Mundanes.

    “ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.”

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