Pondering the Ponderous

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Why is so much rhetoric, effort – and expense – put toward making vehicles “fuel efficient” when it would so easy (and inexpensive) to just make them lighter?

Or – for that matter – less uselessly powerful?   

There is something both ridiculous and sad about all these 300-plus horsepower “luxury sport” vehicles puttering around at speeds that need half that power to putter around as they do – while burning probably twice as much fuel as they do. A 1981 Aries K Car (for those who remember) was the farthest thing from speedy but it was very light – and very fuel efficient. It was capable of averaging more than 40 MPG – better mileage than any new car that’s not a hybrid car today – and that was 40 years ago.

Put another way, hybrid technology isn’t necessary to get a car to average 40 MPG or higher. It is wasteful – and expensive. Also, hilarious – in that you add the weight (and expense) of an electric motor and battery pack to offset the fuel efficiency penalty of the weight of the car, before it was hybridized.

The current Toyota Prius – arguably, the definitive hybrid – weighs an alarming 3,010 pounds. Well, it’s alarming – if you care about efficiency. A 1981 Aries K car weighed 2,300 lbs. or almost 1,000 pounds less. And that’s why it approached the fuel economy of a modern hybrid – without needing to be a hybrid.

A 1985 Honda CRX weighed just over 1,800 pounds – which is why it was capable of matching the fuel economy of a modern hybrid, without needing to be one.

Such cars weren’t ludicrously speedy, of course. But they didn’t need to be – because what would have been the point when the maximum speed limit at the time was 55 MPH? They got you where you needed to go, efficiently and inexpensively. And now, they’re all gone – notwithstanding this almost-religious mania about “efficiency” that’s as silly as the one about “vaccines” that don’t prevent people from catching colds – and spreading them to others.

Silly – as regards “efficiency” – because it’s plain that few give a damn about that, much as many of them posture about that.

But the speed limit’s not 55 anymore! True. It is as high as 75 – on a few highways. And on many of them, faster than 80 can get you arrested on the spot and will result in massive fines and serial insurance mafia mulcting, upon conviction. Which probably explains why so many drivers of modern “luxury sport” vehicles are hesitant to drive them that fast.

Besides which, an ’81 Aries K was quite capable of attaining and maintaining 75 MPH. It may have taken longer to reach that speed but then the same is true today – though not on account of any lack of power to do so.

So many people drive their powerful modern cars – and trucks – as if they were driving an ’81 Aries K car with (literally) half or less the horsepower. In fact, it is almost a mathematical axiom – a thing that can be depended upon – that if you roll up behind a “luxury sport” sedan or massive truck with more than twice the power under the hood than was under the hood of an ’81 Aries K car, its driver will be driving it as if it had the power of an ’81 Aries K car.

The light goes green and – after a moment or two of reflection by the driver – the “luxury sport” sedan or massive truck will begin to creep forward, as if there were a newborn baby’s fontanel under the pedal.

Excellently replicating the performance of an ’81 Aries K car, it will gradually accelerate to a speed just under whatever the posted speed limit is – which on almost every secondary (non-highway) road in this country is no higher than it was back in 1981. The thing may be fully capable of rocketing from rest to 60 in six seconds or less – common capability for “luxury sport” sedans and today’s massive trucks, many of which are hypothetically capable of out-accelerating the quickest V8 performance cars of the ’80s.

But one rarely, if ever, witnesses that hypothetical capability being used. The driving public having been conditioned to not using it, having been conditioned to regard the use of it as “unsafe.”

One does see these vehicles stopping on merge lanes – the driver signaling to be let in rather than using the acceleration his rig is capable of to reach merging speed and then merge.

So what is the point – if the point is (supposedly) “efficiency”? Why not be actually efficient, instead?

The answer, of course, is because it’s all for show. Like the “masks” so many wore during the “pandemic” that wasn’t, except insofar as so many people were led to believe (some eager to believe) that there was one going on.

If “efficiency” really mattered, there’d be more of it. There certainly would not be this bum’s rush toward even-speedier, even-more-powerful electric “luxury sport” cars and massive trucks that weigh even more than their non-electric equivalents (e.g., the Ford F-150 Lightning, which weighs 6,500 lbs. or 35 percent more than its non-electric analog) and for that reason are even less “efficient.”

Never mind.

“Masks” work, too.

. . .

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  1. EVs Take Another Major Hit with Big Change to Tax Credit

    a whopping 70 percent of electric vehicles currently on the market would be ineligible for the $7500 tax credit

    there are 72 EV models currently available for purchase in the United States including battery, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. Seventy percent of those EVs would immediately become ineligible

    ….and when the bill passes and none would qualify for the full credit when additional sourcing requirements go into effect. Zero.none…..lol

    More components have to be made in America and batteries can’t be sourced from China after a certain date; it’s one of the actually good parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, as it would at least pull some manufacturing away from Red China.

    To qualify for the credit, the manufacturers just need to make the parts and mine the materials in North America. Why should we subsidize Red China’s mining sector?


  2. These huge over weight EV’s cost more to own and drive…….

    Comparing fuel costs for 12,000 miles in an EV compared to an ice diesel

    I saw rates somewhere at $0.14 per kwh at home, that is due to probably triple very soon.
    I saw rates nation wide at chargers outside home at $0.40 per kwh

    What test drivers are actually getting driving in the real world driving EV’s is they are getting 2.4 miles of range for every kwh

    At 12,000 miles per year = 5000 kwh x $0.14 = $700.00 at home
    At 12,000 miles per year = 5000 kwh x $0.40 = $2000.00 at chargers

    An EV just sitting loses:
    tesla says a daily 3%-5% stationary range consumption.” (just parked)
    90 kwh x .05 = 4.5 kwh lost per day x 365 days = 1642.5 kwh x $0.14 = $229.95 per year just parked
    So Tesla says it’s normal to fully discharge itself in under 3 weeks. Keep this in mind when parking it somewhere 90kwh @ $0.40 per kwh = another $36.00 per 3 weeks lost just parked…lol

    Plus the cost of the battery, which is huge, you have to store the electricity in the very, very expensive battery, that is the killer for EV’s right there, the expensive, rapidly wearing out battery.
    the tesla $22,000 battery is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles. In a very hot or cold climates the life is shorter.

    ATTENTION: this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery.
    12,000 miles x $0.22 per mile = $2640.00 per year for the battery use

    NOTE: If you use fast chargers a lot it will ruin the battery in your EV, it will lose 50% of it’s range, if you don’t use fast chargers it takes forever to recharge

    NOTE: you can only use 60% of the battery capacity…… between 30% and 90%. using the battery below 30% you can damage the battery, charging above 90% can damage the battery and cause a fire. So you can only use 60% of the range advertised…..

    Fast charging?…start a fire….lol
    Extreme fast chargers, for example,can push battery pack temperatures to 270ºC/514ºF after just a few minutes of charging.

    $2640.00 for the battery use plus $700.00 for the electricity = $3340.00 for 12,000 miles…….not including the electricity lost while sitting.

    Ice diesel:
    The 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S. it has a 971 mile range, the perfect car.

    Driving 12,000 miles in a 73.5 mpg diesel at $4.00 per gallon = $653.00
    Driving 12,000 miles in an EV = 5000 kwh x $0.14 = $700.00 at home charger

    Just in fuel costs alone the VW diesel is cheaper.

    The total cost of driving the EV for 12,000 miles costs far more though
    ……$2640.00 for the battery use plus $700.00 for the electricity = $3340.00 for 12,000 miles…….not including the electricity lost while sitting. Plus In 12,000 miles the EV had an extra $636.00 in tire use costs.

    Tire costs
    The tires on EVs tend to wear out faster due to the additional weight and extra torque that hits the road. Plus, EV tires typically have less tread to improve range and decrease noise, they need special more expensive HL rated tires.

    Tesla tire size 235 35 20 $391.00
    VW Golf tire size 225 45 R17 $119.00

    In 100,000 miles if the tesla needs 4 replacement sets = $391.00 x 16 tires = $6256.00

    In 100,000 if the VW Golf needs 2 replacement sets = $119.00 x 8 tires = $952.00

    EV tire cost for 12,000 miles $750.00
    VW Golf tire cost for 12,000 miles $114.00

    In 12,000 miles the EV had an extra $636.00 in tire use costs

    Plus the EV costs $50,000 to $70,000, the VW diesel costs $24,355

    The EV depreciates faster, there is another huge hidden cost and costs more for maintenance and repair (one example it weighs 40% more so it eats tires = more expense)

    • Pollution note………
      NOTE: The biggest pollutant emitted from new cars because they have so low emissions are from tires wearing out while driving, tiny tire particles, polluting the air.
      ATTENTION: Electric cars weigh 30% to 40% more than gas powered cars so have higher tire wear, so EV’s pollute more.

  3. just a tidbit about those k cars, I used to work on them, and what I remember is coming away with bloody hands and I was like WTH? Turns out the sheet metal didn’t have a finished edge, just cut and left to cut mechanics hands. only other memory was one needed a steering rack and we couldn’t get it out without removing the engine, so the owner didn’t want to pay for that and allowed us to cut it out! and re-weld the sheet metal holding it, !!!.
    My bud reminded me of this a few years ago when I bought my first chysler (300), “but you’ll get bloody hands!” haha, I don’t think so anymore, and I don’t work on them anymore either.

  4. I have fond memories – not!, of the red Aries K wagon our family had for a little while with red vinyl interior when I was a kid. Screw seat belt safety, which wasn’t required at the time, be careful not to BBQ your bare skin on the devil’s vinyl.

    I remember as a kid thinking what a lame car it was compared to our neighbor’s Dodge Daytona. Forgive me, I was a child. I had no idea how bad the Dodge Daytona was as well.

  5. My favorite car of all time was a very fuel efficient, lightweight Miata. Fun ratio super-high due to awesome handling and top-down cruising. Now I drive an old-ass Jeep and “fast-time ya-ya’s” are on my motorcycle… 😉

  6. I agree with Eric, there is no reason that fuel efficient cars can’t be made, like they did in the 70’s and 80’s. But all this bad mouthing of the big trucks has got to stop! It’s making me cry!
    I got ‘car fever’ in the late summer early fall of 2020. Reading all of Eric’s vehicle reviews, I would change my mind and want the one he was reviewing in that article, car or truck. He reviewed the Tundra 2021 that year, sounded good. One day went to the Toyota dealer, drove right to back of lot and sitting there was a 2021 white Tundra, she was/is beautiful. I knew I would be driving her home. I think there was actually a shaft of sunlight shining straight down on her. I did and have not regretted it. Terrible gas milage, a fortune to fill up, I don’t care.
    And yes, I do call it a ‘her’ and I have never told her she is a truck. She thinks she is a fancy car, just like I think I am younger. I do have my late husbands old truck for ‘dirty’ work. The thing is, when I am driving her and have my music on, I know, I know, I am cool, the coolest person on the road. Of course I am also happily delusional at those times, lol.
    I have to drive to Frankfort, Kentucky from Alabama fairly frequently on I75, six hour drive. I’m always glad to be driving it. It has the power I need and I know how to merge. It is just a comfortable ride. I did have to haul some stuff up there on one visit and was glad to have a truck, could do it by myself and not have to ask someone to help me by borrowing their truck.
    It’s not practical, don’t really need it, way more vehicle than I need but probably close to the last vehicle I will own, so I don’t care. I just didn’t want to look like all the other church ladies, all of them driving those SUV crossover type vehicles. I get tired of looking at them, they are everywhere. All the big trucks are everywhere too and I agree, their size has gotten ridiculous. The Tundra doesn’t really seem all that huge, maybe just used to driving it.

  7. Having lived in the south (Al, GA) I’ve noticed most people take off slow from Green light because the Clovers are Running the Red lights constantly. That said I owned a new 1976 pontiac RWD Sunbird with the 231 2bl and 5 speed. On a cross country drive I got 30 mpg though the advertised mpg was only 20. It weighed 2100 lbs.

  8. Back in 2017, I was fortunate enough to acquire a 2001 Ford Excursion. The V-10 engine. Got an average of just over 14 mpg in it. I REALLY liked that vehicle. Unfortunately, back in March 2021, a young woman wasn’t paying attention to traffic and caused a 4 car crash. My Excursion was one of her victims. Totalled it. Fortunately, I wasn’t injured.

    But I can’t recount how many times I was the first off at traffic lights despite being in the Excursion. Never could figure that out. My current set of wheels is a 2009 GMC Yukon with a brand new engine. Haven’t had it a full month yet, but it wants to GO. Have to watch the speedometer to avoid speeding in the wrong places. Don’t understand those people who get in their vehicle and are afraid it will go somewhere and THEY’LL BE IN IT!

  9. A lighter vehicle? Makes too much sense. I know they use lots of plastic and ultra thin metals on today’s cars and you have to wonder why they are still relatively heavy. I can push on sections of my Ford Escape and I think I could total it out using my hands and feet. No hammer necessary.

    You are forgetting about fake global warming and the rise of monstrous weather. With more severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes, all those lightweight cars would blow all over the place. No worries with an EV…they come with a stationary built in weight.

    My car insurance just escalated 15% for no other reason than I am breathing. Since I am retired, I don’t drive as much but I still have a car payment for another 20 months, gas is no longer cheap, maintenance is expensive, tags, insurance…my monthly car expenses are more than my rent.

    I was thinking about ditching the car but that would play into the leftist’s/climate thug’s hands. So I will keep it even if it breaks me. We can’t let them win.

  10. great article, I’d like to hope common sense will enter the national picture and allow detroit (or who ever is left) to manufacture REAL light cars with light in line 6’s ……….
    imagine the possibilities with modern lessons far exceeding what the 80’s wrought.

    • Thanks, Jim!

      And – I’m with you. It’s nothing shy of tragic that there aren’t 60-plus MPG cars that cost less than $15,000 … because there’s no good reason why there aren’t any.

      • It comes down to the same problem. Government, especially at the Federal level, has gone well beyond its Constitutional authorizations, presuming to dictate the choices available to the American motoring public. Sure, if you were driving some little 3-banger “Donald Duck” car that seated only two, weighed 1,500 curb weight, that got 50-55 mpg in a city driving cycle, and you got creamed by a “Konigstiger” SUV, you’re “Spam in the can”, but that should be the risk you’re WILLING to assume. Or drive the “King Tiger”, with a turbo diesel so it’d actually pull a large boat up a decent grade, and if it averages but 15-16 mpg on diesel, so what? IT’S YOU MONEY.

        It’s time to rid our country of these control-freak sociopaths.

      • Hi Eric

        There was lots in Europe 60 mpg cars, but more then $15,000…all banned now…lol

        Banning ice powered vehicles to be replaced with EV’s that use twice as much fuel (20.8 mpg), = insanity.

        This is what test driver’s of EV’s get in the real world….
        travelling 100 miles in an average EV uses 1.20 gallons equivalent of fuel = 41.66 kwh of electricity that is the net amount, but….at the power plant 4.80 gallons of fuel were burnt to get a net 1.20 gallon of fuel equivalent 41.66 kwh used by the EV.

        travelling 100 miles in an average EV uses 1.20 gallons equivalent of fuel = 41.66 kwh of electricity @ $0.40 per kwh = $16.66, back at the power plant 4.80 gallons were burnt to get the net 41.66 kwh of electricity. NOTE: 4.80 gallons were burnt to go 100 miles. = 20.8 mpg

        There is an additional cost for the EV owner: the tesla $22,000 battery is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles. this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery. Total cost: $16.66 plus $22.00 = $38.66

        EV owner uses 4.80 gallons to go 100 miles, that is 20.8 mpg, lots of ice cars get better fuel economy.

        travelling 100 miles in a 50 mpg diesel uses 2 gallons of fuel @ $4.00 per gallon = $8.00 and it has a huge range……

        Should be still selling these:
        the all-new 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S.

        should be driving these cars:

        Model HP Avg. cons l/100km mpg U.S.

        Fiat 500 1.3 JTD Multijet 16V Pop DPF 75 4.2 56
        VW Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion DPF 105 4.1 57
        Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI GreenLine DPF 80 4.1 57
        Opel Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFlex CO2 Pack DPF 75 4.1 57
        Audi A3 1.6 TDI Attraction DPF 105 4.1 57
        Toyota iQ 1.4 D-4D DPF 90 4.0 59
        Renault Twingo 1.5 dCi Rip Curl 84 4.0 59
        Volvo S40 / V50 1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop DPF 109 3.9 60
        Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop DPF 109 3.9 60
        Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid 136 3.9 60
        Mini One D DPF 90 3.9 60
        VW Polo 1.6 TDI BlueMotion 90 3.7 64
        Seat Ibiza 1.4 TDI Ecomotive DPF 80 3.7 64
        Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic DPF 90 3.7 64
        smart fortwo coupé 0.8 cdi pure softip DPF 54 3.4 69

        VW made a lightweight diesel hybrid that got almost 300 mpg, that was a better solution then EV’s, that get 20.8 mpg…lol….

        Volkswagen XL1 Diesel-Hybrid 300 mpg highway…


    • Never going to happen until the ponzi scheme blows up. More than likely, as the ponzi scheme advances to disaster, people will start just doing whatever they must to drive ‘something’, and it won’t be new cars.

  11. Consider the bait and switch:
    Tesla ModelS Plaid can do 0-60 in 2.3 seconds.
    Tesla is close to solving true autonomous self-driving.
    Tesla has plans to manufacture vehicles with no steering wheel, no pedals.
    This points to a future where your car will take you to a destination approved by the car, at times allowed by the car, at speeds dictated by the car. And those speeds won’t include 0-60 in 2.3 seconds, ever.
    The future driving experience will become exactly like riding on today’s public transportation.

    • Exactly, Grim –

      As crazy as it all sounds, the end point is to get people out of privately owned and controlled cars and into the passenger seats of government-corporate controlled “transportation.”

      • Government-corporate controlled everything, available to all, “free”.
        What could be wrong with that?
        Well take a look behind the headlines at current communist china banking scandal and debacle. The banks are having a run on cash by depositors, with riots in the streets due to ATM’s be “temporarily out of service for planned maintenance”. No cash available to depositors now, and maybe never, as their essentially bank-run Ponzi schemes are collapsing, leaving hundreds of thousands of older depositors bankrupt.

        And get this, if you are too rowdy, too upset about your bankruptcy, if you peskily keep trying to withdraw funds that used to belong to you, the government will change your Social Score status to “Positive for Covid”, and you are electronically forced to self quarantine. You will not be allowed to travel, or make purchases, or any other activities which are monitored and controlled by the government through your electronic Social Score.

    • CA. is currently suing Tesla for false advertising, for touting their semi-self-driving feature as “auto-pilot” since it is not really capable of self-driving. One of the Jap car companies has thrown-in the towel on developing “self-driving” cars, as have also at least two technology companies. It’s just not possible…and some are finally starting to realize that fact. Notice, ya haven’t been hearing much about “self-driving” lately.

      Tesla aslo recently cancelled the “Cyber Truck”.

      This stuff is all pie-in-the-sky showmanship and an excuse to redistribute billions of taxpayer dollars to favored cronies…anmd perhaps drive the lesser car companies to bankruptcy, as they waste billions of their own money pursuing this BS which will never materialize.

      [Read in GWB [shudder] voice]: “Read. My. Lips: There will never be self-driving cars without a nationwide road infrastructure specifically designed to accommodate them; and as long as humans can also use the same roads autonomously”. (Although it seems that the latter may be going away!)

  12. Great column Mr. Peters, as usual.

    You are so right about the K-car. My father was an executive at Chrysler throughout the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. He ordered two new cars each year under the executive lease plan. In 1981 he ordered a Dodge Aires two door and allowed me and two buddies to take it to Key West from Detroit, for Spring Break. We each agreed to drive a tankful, prior to departure. It couldn’t be done. The tank held something like 20 gallons and at over 40 mpg, none of us could drive that long.

    • Thanks, Paul!

      It is deeply regrettable – because utterly unnecessary – that cars such as that, modernized, are no longer available. With an overdrive transmission and EFI, plus the weight-saving possible with modern materials and techniques, a 2022 Aries would surely be capable of 55-plus MPG and cost less than half what an electric car does.

        • Hi Paul,

          It’s just common sense – which unfortunately isn’t so common anymore. That and an effort to be logical, to ask pertinent questions and want them answered. This is what journalists once did. Now, all too many of them are PR people, if not outright propagandist for various interests.

  13. My 2018 4Runner serves as my daily and our ‘Get out of Dodge’ vehicle. Yes, it’s lifted, armored, winch, dual batteries, fridge ect. I did all the work myself as I don’t trust anyone but me to get it right.

    It’s purpose is not gas mileage or speed. It’s to get us clear and away from any obstacle. Off road or on. I’m currently restoring a 1967 Stevens M416 1/4 trailer to further that capability.

    Some 4Runners will install devices such as ‘Pedal Commander’ to overcome the sluggish pedal response times that is factory. I just kick the horse hard in the sides and it will go, but the Gen5s sure would be better with a V8!

    Going with the horse theme which would you rather have? A horse that can only run on soft grass or a tall horse that can scramble over anything?

    Owning a POS Miata Death Coffin would not be my answer.

  14. Excellent article, I’ve long had similar thoughts. The Japanese cars of the 80s that I grew up with were cheap, reliable, and got excellent gas mileage, better than most cars today, and without the annoyance of shutting the engine off at stops signs.

  15. One of the sad things is that as was said it matters little that a new car can accelerate like a pro stocker if it’s driver is fornicating with it’s phone at every light and then just slowly oozes away. My cars might not be the fastest but at least I go when the light turns green. As for saving the planet with two ton electric cars that destroy tires and roads faster than a fat kid at a Golden Corral Buffet can do the same there. As for the experts saying that the coming new battery’s will be lighter, cheaper and charge faster well didn’t that guy with the funny mustache tell his people that the “Wonder Waffens” would save them too? Interesting times we are living in these days.

  16. Re: The over weight Porsche in the picture

    The new 911 is 3500 lb what a joke, Porsche used to make small light cars like the 1956 550 Spyder which weighed about 1200 lb., one sold recently for $5 million.

    Lotus when Chapman owned it used to make small light cars their Super 7 was about 1200 lb., it is now owned by the Chinese now they make a 4000 lb EV….lol

    One company still makes small light sports cars, Donkervoort makes a Super 7 clone that weighs 1500 lb. it is also fully analog, more analog then an F1 car, a real driver’s car. it is the only street legal car that pulls over 2G’s in corners.

    Donkervoort is making light weight fast Sevens because Lotus won’t…

    Devotec + Donkervoort D8 GTO + Radical // SPA Tinseau 04.17

    At 3:30 watch the Super 7 clone the Donkervoort GTO eat/walk away from the Porsche 911 GT3, the Donkervoort is a very fast seven. It is the quickest car sold in Europe now…..the only street legal car that pull over 2 G’s in corners…
    695 kg. 1532 lb…..lightness matters….

    Lotus should have kept making/developing the seven and made this car…..


    • You don’t have to buy these huge over weight new sports cars……

      Another Super 7 clone that I like is the HKT RS

      Want a quick analog car with no computers driving the car? Buy an HKT RS Supersport

      Super 7 clone the HKT RS Clubsport, 1500 lb. only $80,000, quicker to 125 mph then a Porsche GT2 RS, which is one of the world’s quickest street legal cars.

      HKT RS Clubsport powered by a 4 cyl. 400 hp Audi 1.8 20vt engine.

      0 to 200 kmh in seconds

      Porsche GT2 RS 8.3

      Caterham 620r 313 hp 10.1

      Donkervoort gto 5cyl 370 hp 7.8
      (Super 7 clone)

      HKT Super 7 Audi 1.8 20vt 400 hp 7.5
      (Super 7 clone)

      Ford 427 Cobra 11.2

      tesla plaid 6.3

      Bugatti Chiron 6.3

      Mclaren senna 6.8

      c8 Corvette 12

      F40 Ferrari 10.4

      Porsche 919 hybrid EVO 4.5

      VW ID R electric race car 5.0

      F1 4.1

      F2 6.6

      F3 7.8

      Donkervoort (a Super 7 clone): nurburgring record lap time 7:13 with an Audi 1.8 20vt 4 cyl. 400 hp. engine it had ring record for street legal cars in 2003 and 2004. The Super 7 is quick. the closest thing to an old F2 car for the street


    • All new cars are all way over weight whales

      For people who like driver’s cars they say there was one close to perfect car

      1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

      The RS is the ultimate 911 and is special because of the way it drives. Sure it is rare and expensive, but it is the driving experience that elevates the 2.7 RS to icon status. The sound, the acceleration, the free-revving engine, the feel through the steering and chassis, the cornering poise, the wieldy dimensions, the look and smell of the thing. It is engaging, fun and it just sucks you in. Sure, 210 bhp and 188 lb/ft of torque doesn’t sound like much today but remember the RS Sport weighs only 900kg (2000 lb.) so that power is more than enough.

      It is genuinely fast, in both outright acceleration and point-to-point pace. It hits 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 155 mph. It is small and narrow with deep windows and slim pillars, so there’s road to spare and you can see it all, it feels faster and the speed is more encompassing than in today’s models.

      You can do 100 mph in a McLaren 720S and not even blink an eye. Doing 60 mph in the 2.7 RS it feels like 100 mph and you are enthralled by the experience. Too many modern cars of great pace slip up here; the 911 RS 2.7 is more usable and enjoyable than any of them.

      It’s such an easy car to drive fast too. The rear engine and the plentiful high-revs torque simply make this a car steerable on the throttle. The sound is unmistakable – a deep bass driven yowl overlapped with fast-paced tapping and the rush of accelerated air. The higher the RPM, the better it sounds.

      The Carrera RS earned a reputation as the ultimate driver’s 911. Even today, superlatives like thrust, pointability and adhesion are levelled at the Carrera RS driving experience. It’s raw, unadulterated air-cooled 911 at its most focused. The signature flat-six wail, as it passes through the 4500rpm mark on its way to the redline is one of the more iconic soundtracks and, with such low weight and respectable power, it’s still quick by today’s standards

      the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 won world championship races including Targa Florio and the 24 Hours of Daytona where it beat all the prototypes.
      The Porsche Carrera RSR had proven its worth in its first race at the Daytona 24 hr. and would dominate GT racing for several years and become one of the most successful GT cars ever. The 2.8-litre engine would quickly be replaced by a more powerful 3.0-litre unit. The RSR would win Daytona again outright in 1975 and 1977 as well as Sebring in 1973, 1976 and 1977.

      None of the new cars including the supercars/hypercars can give you the same experience they are all over weight.
      The quickest cars in the world usually weigh 2000 lb or less, a modern 3000 lb to 4500 lb supercar/hypercar will never be as fast, you can’t overcome that much extra weight.

      To overcome the weight they add huge hp, this makes the car unstable so they control it with, stabilize it with AI, computers, they drive the car you don’t. These aren’t driver’s cars you are just along for the ride….
      The new EV’s are worse they are all far over weight and they lack any emotion, you can’t hear, smell or feel these cars.

      One auction result: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Lightweight 9113600883 – sold for $1,402,500.00


  17. My first car was a 87 Honda CRX HF which I always took to mean half as fast! I didn’t realize at the time that it was one of the most fuel efficient vehicles sold in the US for decades. I think it was like 50 horsepower.

    • Anon: I had an ’85 CRX Si. I loved that little appliance. I never had a problem coming up with the cash to keep it gassed up when I was usually broke back in the day. I appreciated its reliability along with its MPGs. But it was still an appliance. Later in life, I would own a Miata for 19 years.

      H Had
      O One
      N Never
      D Did
      A Again

      • Had one too J, late 80’s, CRX Si, loved it at the time. Until I found out that a FWD didn’t go around corners ‘on the power’ as good as a RWD car. Rear swapped around, and headed for a pole at 45mph? center punched it. my head dented the steel sunroof as I stiff armed the wheel, of course we didn’t where seatbelts in those days, at least I didn’t.
        My favorite thing with that car was commuting down I95 outside of Philly at 3-4AM everyday for months and there was a huge roller that I could get air-bound on. Kept trying to outdo myself, what fun that was.
        Love your acronym, was my last honda too. 🙂

        • ‘72 Cutlass; same experience… current car 3.5L crossover has good accel and handling but not the RWD. I choose on this metric: performance/reliability/comfort. Living in Texas I am forever getting away from being boxed in by overbuilt trucks driven by chowder heads

            • My brother thought he could raid my street version for parts for his 442. Finally gave up and bought a boat, then years later, a ‘90 Aurora, my dream ride… 4.7L, you could smell the combustion through the floor boards… intoxicating. As well he converted his ‘67 Chevelle’s carburetor to run on Aviation fuel, which kept him employed at United until they crimped.

        • Hi Chris

          I had a 1989 Honda Civic SI, same as a CRX SI but with a back seat. It could bury the speedometer off the end, 124 mph, it was almost as quick as the now collectible 1989 VW Mk2 GTI 16V, I wanted the GTI but it was a lot more expensive. The Civic was trouble free, I had it 5 years, it was a real driver’s car (but RWD is better), totally analog and light, about 2000 lb. One car I still own is a 1995 VW GTI with an Audi 1.8 20vt engine swap, stage 2 tune, 240 hp, 2300 lb. fully analog, no airbags, that car is quick, I will race teslas or anything at lights…….

      • J,
        For twenty years, a Miata was my daily driver. What a great stress reliever driving it home from work every day. Of course I did have a 97 4WD Tacoma, for snow deeper than 3-4″.

  18. The answer is much more sinister than that of being just for show. The picture has become very clear that the true intent was to so complicate cars as to render them non-viable much after the warranty is up- and we are now to that point. All in the name of stripping the average person of the ability to travel at will and autonomously in an affordable durable vehicle which does not obligate one to surveillance and control (Beyond that of any pigs who may be in the immediate vicinity).

    Every system, every item on these new cars is computer-controlled- even the power windows. Engines laden with twin turbos and VVT; loads of plastic parts which deteriorate in a few years and or break when thgey need to removed for repairs. Miles of wiring, and literally hundreds of sensors and modules; everything operated via software and touchscreen. One thing breaks after warranty, and it’s almost guaranteed to be a repair well over a grand- and things are breaking often-0 often to the tune of several grand per repair- not to mention manufacturers often not even honoring warranties lately, or keeping the cars for months before returning them.

    And this when the vehicles are just a few years old. Forget about 10 or 15 or 20 years of service.

    Driving my 20+ year-old vehicles, I’ve seen many cars much newer be boirn and die and end up as soda cans while mine old “jalopies” are still going strong.

    The MPG ruse is just a way of outlawing ICE vehicles covertly- before it is done overtly- as is the EV ruse, which will leave many people broke and car-less sooner than they think- and forget about used cars in the near future, as all of the good old reliable sustainable ones either gone or already, or nearly so…or if not, then they garner ‘collector’ status and are too expensive to actually drive.

    Seinfeld had The Soup Nazi…
    We have Uncle, The Car Nazi: “No car for you!”.

  19. “…an ’81 Aries K was quite capable of attaining and maintaining 75 MPH. It may have taken longer to reach that speed…” -Eric

    That ’81 Aries K is aerodynamically filthy. Wrap it in a more fluid body and acceleration will benefit at 60+ MPH speeds as well as MPG.

    Throw in even more weight saving metals and materials here and there and… Never mind, I’ll stop babbling now.

    • Pedo Joe thinks a fontanel is a urinal that doubles as a water fountain.(And yes, Joe, you can have that particular cake and eat it too!)

  20. Look at the light beautiful shape of a 90’s air cooled 911 compared to the bloated, heavy liquid cooled car it became in the 2000s. Ferraris too, etc There’s real beauty in lighter cars along with much better handling (can’t fool physics)

    • Hah!! The nineties Porsche 911’s were slow pigs cmpared to the late sixties models. room mate I had bck in the early 70’s wanted to race one, could not afford to pick up a retired SCCA 911 Cararra which is what he wanted to drive. SO– he picked up a 1967 911E that had the fenders pretty well rusted, and the suspension was well worn. He popped the engine out (had only 125K on the clock), tossed the factory little old lady “E” seeries bumpsticks, moved up to stage three Carerra lumps. Tossed new timing chains in while he was in there. Did not even pull the heads!!! Had a qualified body shop snip back the rust bugs then lay in a nice set of four made to order ‘glas flared fenders just like on the Cararra model. New torsion bars, Konis 3/4 hard, I got him the set of four Michelin XVR race tyres, the first sold in California at the time. Put the street tyres back on, drove to Riverside for the race driving school in HIS OWN car. Raced his first time the Saturday, middle of the pack. His car was VERY fast but he was driving conservatively to learn the car better. I had a ride in that thing once he got back.. with the street tyres under. We pulled out to pass a line of five cars and the old Ford bobbling a travel trailer along behind it, “slow to 25” right hand non-banked turn. The line had been doing about 20 maybe 25, he dropped it into first, buried his right big toe, the tach snapped to 8500, he snagged second, did it again, then third. We did a four wheel power drift round that “slow to 25” turn showing 909+ on the clock. I looked behind, the cars we had passed were all scramblinb to try and avoid the certain death the huge crash would visit upon the lot of them. I think he brought it up to 120 up the slight hill after the turn, then got out of it and down to 70. I was VERY glad he had fitted a full on racing seat with five point harness for me. necessary for the driving school he’d taken it through. He later went on to race that car rather successfully at Laguna Seca,Sears Point, back at Riverside His budget race car would still be VERY fast today, and I believe competitive in class. I don’t think he had ten grand in it.
      Oh forgot one detail.. he managed to cadge a pair of the Weber triple choke carbs that came stock on any 911S of the day, and then rejetted them to match his wild camshafts, custom advance curve on the distributor, barely street legal exhaust I seem to remember he put that car on the track for a total cost of about $8K in 1973.

      Nah, the bone stock PorkChops of the nineties were wimpy cars. Larger displacement engines did not turn as high nor did they put out the power. The cars were significantly heavier thanks to Uncle Stupid even in his early days of meddling where he oughtn’t.

  21. I’ve heard you complain quite a bit about drivers, and I’d like to bring something to your attention that you may not have thought of. A friend and I were discussing IQ not too long ago when it occurred to me that I’m smarter than over 95% of people around me (I measure somewhere north of 130, based on IQ tests and college/grad-school entrance exams). Since you’re a journalist, most likely you have a college degree and therefore have a higher IQ as well (the average IQ for a college grad in the US is 111, I’d guess you’re likely higher than that). That puts you at least 1 standard deviation above the US average IQ (98 – I’m 2 StDev’s above). That means a majority, probably even a large majority is nowhere near as smart as you are. Well, guess what? That means the large majority of drivers you encounter on the road aren’t as smart as you are (and in fact, they even could be quite dumb). Do you think that could affect the shitty way they drive? Something to think about. I have to remember that constantly when I deal with people who don’t do things the way I would, from drivers to grocery clerks to people I socialize with. It’s easy to forget.

    And of course, there’s vaccine injury, laziness, or inattentiveness on the part of the other drivers, distractions from sail fawns, inexperience behind the wheel, etc. I’ve had lots of driving experience in unusual conditions that required performance driving ability (in the military, if I told you about it I’d have to kill you) and training as a CDL holder. Most people don’t have that experience.

    • Jim,
      “you have a college degree and therefore have a higher IQ”
      Ease up there Jim. I never went to college. IQ like yours 130+, with mechanical aptitude in the 99th percentile. Air force recruiters came to my home, twice. I didn’t go for it. On top of that, I’ve known a number of non-college people who were outstanding drivers. College has nothing to do with it. You would have to have a pretty low IQ for it to be a factor in driving ability. On another hand, I’ve known quite intelligent people I was afraid to get in a car with a second time. It has far more to do with attitude than intelligence. Focus on your own little world and crashes may ensue.

      • Ditto, John! If their tests mean anything…I’m a HS drop-out and I’m a 162 in their scheme. [Guarantee ya, though I’ve triple checked it, by the time this posts, there WILL be a grammar or syntax error! :D]

        I don’t pay attention to their tests, but if there’s one thing that might substantiate me being above double-digit IQ, it’s that I at least had the sense to opt-out of their indoctrination as early as I could. One of the three best decisions I’ve ever made.

    • MA/CA x 100 = IQ

      If you are age one and have the intelligence of a two-year old, your IQ is 200.

      If you are 30 and your intelligence equals that of some 60 year-old homeless stupid fool, your IQ is 200. har

      140/70 = 200 intelligence quotient.

      If you are almost 80 and have the intelligence of a two-year old, drooling on your bib, in need of constant care, incontinent, your IQ with the numbers 2/80 x 100 will be an IQ of 2.5 and maybe less than that.

      Joe is there now.

      • First of all, I suggested that Eric is likely a lot smarter than most people on the road, which is likely true. I’d also suggest that he’s much more experienced and probably better trained (as am I) than most people on the road, which is also likely true. So don’t expect so much out of the other drivers.

        But since people don’t want to accept that, then I’ll give you the libertarian argument. The late Harry Browne, former Libertarian presidential candidate and author, wrote an essay entitled “A Christmas Gift for My Daughter” which can be accessed here: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2002/12/harry-browne/a-christmas-gift-for-my-daughter/ In that article, he said one thing over and over again – No one owes you anything. No one owes you respect, no one owes you courtesy, and no one owes you driving the way *you* want them to drive (especially if you’re not buying their expensive gas). The sooner you (and I’m talking to all of you who complain about the way people drive, particularly how fast or slow they drive) get this into your head, that they don’t owe you anything, the sooner you can let go of your frustration and quit bitching about how other people drive.

        I’m done with this topic.

        • Jim,
          Bitching is not the same as holding a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to do, or not do anything, so it has little to nothing to do with libertarianism. We’re just as entitled to bitch as they are to drive sloppily. Until they hurt or kill someone, or get someone hurt or killed, and their entitlement ends.

    • Almost half the people someone of average IQ run into every day are below average, so we are all in the same boat, or car if you will. Given that, most of this worlds’ major problems are caused by very smart people, so I believe it all comes out in the wash. Looking down on this world from your lofty perch, you will perhaps deign to point out my error in reasoning.

  22. Banning ice powered vehicles to be replaced with EV’s that use twice as much fuel (20.8 mpg), = insanity.

    This is what test driver’s of EV’s get in the real world….
    travelling 100 miles in an average EV uses 1.20 gallons equivalent of fuel = 41.66 kwh of electricity that is the net amount, but….at the power plant 4.80 gallons of fuel were burnt to get a net 1.20 gallon of fuel equivalent 41.66 kwh used by the EV.

    travelling 100 miles in an average EV uses 1.20 gallons equivalent of fuel = 41.66 kwh of electricity @ $0.40 per kwh = $16.66, back at the power plant 4.80 gallons were burnt to get the net 41.66 kwh of electricity. NOTE: 4.80 gallons were burnt to go 100 miles. = 20.8 mpg

    There is an additional cost for the EV owner: the tesla $22,000 battery is used up, worn out in 100,000 miles. this works out to $22.00 per 100 miles it is costing you for the battery. Total cost: $16.66 plus $22.00 = $38.66

    EV owner uses 4.80 gallons to go 100 miles, that is 20.8 mpg, lots of ice cars get better fuel economy.

    travelling 100 miles in a 50 mpg diesel uses 2 gallons of fuel @ $4.00 per gallon = $8.00 and it has a huge range……

    Should be still selling these:
    the all-new 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S.

    should be driving these cars:

    Model HP Avg. cons l/100km mpg U.S.

    Fiat 500 1.3 JTD Multijet 16V Pop DPF 75 4.2 56
    VW Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion DPF 105 4.1 57
    Skoda Fabia 1.4 TDI GreenLine DPF 80 4.1 57
    Opel Corsa 1.3 CDTI ecoFlex CO2 Pack DPF 75 4.1 57
    Audi A3 1.6 TDI Attraction DPF 105 4.1 57
    Toyota iQ 1.4 D-4D DPF 90 4.0 59
    Renault Twingo 1.5 dCi Rip Curl 84 4.0 59
    Volvo S40 / V50 1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop DPF 109 3.9 60
    Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop DPF 109 3.9 60
    Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid 136 3.9 60
    Mini One D DPF 90 3.9 60
    VW Polo 1.6 TDI BlueMotion 90 3.7 64
    Seat Ibiza 1.4 TDI Ecomotive DPF 80 3.7 64
    Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic DPF 90 3.7 64
    smart fortwo coupé 0.8 cdi pure softip DPF 54 3.4 69

    VW made a lightweight diesel hybrid that got almost 300 mpg, that was a better solution then EV’s, that get 20.8 mpg…lol….

    Volkswagen XL1 Diesel-Hybrid 300 mpg highway…


  23. When ramping onto a dual lane highway, I typically try to accelerate to faster than the speed limit, if no one gets in my way. Your brakes are much more effective in changing your delta V than your throttle is. Far too many think “merging” means creeping down to the end of the ramp and changing lanes. Regardless of surrounding traffic.
    The bastardization of vehicle size and weight, demanded by “regulations”, not law, is an obvious demonstration of the utter failure of such “regulation”, that often works to cross purposes. Must be heavier, for safety. Must have better gas mileage. Again, years ago, a close friend put his 16 year old new diver son in a pickup truck, which was safer for him, of course. I asked him, “what about the people he might run into?” Crickets.

  24. I’s preposterous. I recall pulling up next to a car in my Miata a number of years ago, and being shocked when I looked at the badge, and discovered it was a Nissan Sentra. It looked huge. Having owned one back in the ’80s, it was a small car then, not a whole lot bigger than my Miata. And pickup trucks are beyond absurd. All jacked up to look like 4WD off road rigs, whether 4WD or not. Once got run off the road into the median, and spun out, probably would have rolled in any other car, on a dual lane highway. Probably because the one who changed lanes and did the running off the road, couldn’t perceive I was there, because my Miata was so much smaller than other cars on the road. Many years ago, I had a ’67 Dodge pickup. the cab was extremely spacious, and so was the bed. It would literally hold a full chord of wood (4’X4’X8′). Yet smaller than modern pickups with cramped cabs, and 6′ beds common.

    • Have you seen a Subaru Forester lately?! Wow! It’s nearly a mini-van (in size)! I would like to see somebody line up the Forester or Outback models, year-by-year to see how big and stupid they’ve become!

      I used to dig the Outback and Forester as a second (smaller cargo) choice. Not any more!

      Same thing with Volvo wagons! They’re not wagons anymore! Same model numbers (IIRC) but they’re huge SUVs now. The old Volvo wagons, I really dig. They look cool, would love to have one. Those newer Volvo SUVs put in there place?! Hell no. NFW

    • I have two simple rules for cars that I would consider as daily drivers — based wholly on my crazy driving habits of course.

      1) if it’s taller than it is wide, I don’t want to drive it
      2) if I can’t easily see over the roof standing next to it, I don’t want to drive it

      If I don’t want to drive it, then I sure in hell don’t want to buy it! Seems like most cars these days violate one or both of those rules. Used cars forever!

  25. Lets be honest, the main reason most people buy an EV or hybrid is virtue signaling. ‘Look at me, I love my Mother Earth.’ Which we all know is BS. These are the same people would poop in someone else’s garden, or dump used motor oil down the gutter. As with most bad things these days, its the capturing of the simple minds that made it all possible.

    ‘The luxury sports sedan or massive truck will begin to creep forward, as if there were a newborn babies fontanel under the pedal.’ Thats a hilarious line Eric, yet sad in that it truly describes the average boobus Arizonian driver to a tee.

    • If I could literally drive one of those open-air golf carts, battery charged, to work or the store in the summer — even on the side of the road — I would do it!

      On the road, encased in however many tons of shit, for stupid money, with stupid prospects for future maintenance, when gas it clearly the better choice… NFW!

      The planet will take care of itself. My lifetime and my so-called “carbon footprint” is like the shit from a single ant compared to a pig farm… if even that. I’m proudly the anti-virtue, IDGAF about your green fallacy guy from hell.

      • “The planet will take care of itself”
        As I’ve pointed out often, even IF a severe change in climate was caused by emissions, it’s a self correcting problem. People would die off and the emissions decline. Just like rabbits and coyotes. More rabbits, and the coyote numbers go up, until there are fewer rabbits, and then fewer coyotes. Nature adjusts.

      • I agree with you EM, the planet will take care of itself. And if it doesn’t it will reject those life forms not suited to its liking, until an equilibrium is reached. At some point I might just get an electric golf cart with extra batteries and some solar panels, I could use it for getting around my town of 3000ish.

        I was thinking of my carbon foot print the other day and realized those PTB should be paying me royalties. All the trees I planted working summer landscaping jobs in high school, now lining the side streets of the valley of the sun. Hundreds of feet tall. plus the hundreds of trees I’ve planted on my properties ever since. I’ll tell ya, if I was a senators son or a golden slacks alumni I’d be gettin paid.

        The thing that grates me most about these limousine liberals, and their wanna be toadies, is how they stand atop their huge shit mountain and prattle on about everyone else’s tiny pile.

        • Norman,
          If you find a way to get the greenies to pay for planting hundreds of trees on your own place, please advise. I’ve planted thousands on mine. True, they were seedlings, and half or more didn’t make it. Except the Pin Oaks, which survived close to 100%.

          • Hi John,

            I will let you know. If I was younger I would take a do over and grow my own forest somewhere. There is that old thing about an optimist, an old man who plants a tree, of which he will never luxuriate in the shade, or never taste the fruit.

            We took our seedlings, planted them in 1 gallon pots, then moved em into bigger pots. It was about 1-2 years before they were moved to their forever homes. Once the caliper was 1″ plus gave us a high success rate. The only ones that are 100% around here are the Arizona Cypress. Wonderful tree that one, once established it puts on two to three feet per year.

        • We are oxygen/carbon based units so in effect, everyone has a carbon footprint. The idea of net zero CO2 speaks of intellectuals beyond stupid.

  26. Gotta love the dichotomy of how the PTB are pushing “efficiency”, ratcheting up CAFE regs, etc. and at the same time crying about they’re not collecting enough money off the gas tax……because people are using less gas. Duh! Just another way to get everyone into being taxed by the mile.

  27. In my youth, the only people that had Suburbans were the giant Catholic or if you’re out West, Mormon families with 6 or more kids. Now Tahoes and Suburbans are everywhere, along with F-150s and Silverados. I get it, people want the big, cushy ride like in the American land yachts of yore. But when the gas prices go way up, the people who drive these porcine monsters get such a sluggish touch on the accelerator pedal, which is infuriating. I don’t have to deal with it much living in the country, but every time I go to Panama City (closest city to us) or Tallahassee, it drives me up a danged wall.

    In my misspent youth, I did a Dale Earnhardt “pass in the grass” on the median when there was a huge jam on the interstate because a seasoned citizen in a Buick was passing a line of trucks in the left lane at 0.0001 mph above the speed limit. There were 20 cars piled up behind that blue hair and I lost my patience. My Trans Am WS6 blasted a rooster tail of grass and mud as I flew past them, the live axle back end bobbing in the weeds like a twerking stripper.

    I had a 96 Civic hatch with roll-up windows that was so light it didn’t have power steering. What a car. Installed a B18 out of a wrecked Integra GS-R and the VTEC mill would get 40 mpg in fifth gear all day long. No hybrid gimcrackery required.

    • Dr T MD,

      Out here in the sticks of SOMD, there so many shiny 10′ tall trucks in the parking lot where I work, day after day. These are guys that sit at a desk, all day, every day. I’d be surprised if those trucks ever touched a dirt road.

      The other feature out here is there’s two kinds of “good ol’ boys” driving their stupid large trucks — whether they use ’em for work or not. One set drives like flippin’ maniacs as though its a sports car and the other set drives 10 mph under the speed limit and pulls out in front of anybody at any speed because “fuck you I’m a truck” mentality. Not sure which are more annoying.

      And yeah, Suburbans and Denali’s driven by 4′ ft little ladies to work… no troop of kids… left and right.

    • I know what you mean, Doc. Raised Catholic (with a bit of Jewish ancestry thrown in for kicks) in the Rust Belt during the 70s and 80s.

      The vehicle of choice for the great big Catholic families I grew up with was the full size GM (Caprice Estate, Custom Cruiser, Grand Safari, Electra Estate Wagon) or Ford (Country Squire, Colony Park) station wagon, or the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager/Chrysler Town and Country minivan, and a few had big passenger vans like the Ford Econoline Club Wagon.

      Everyone else had sedans/smaller wagons. In fact, there was a plethora of intermediate/compact/subcompact station wagons from not only Ford/GM/Chrysler/AMC, but the European and Japanese car companies.

      Those in my mind would be far more practical than all those crossovers/SmooooVees. You have extra cargo and passenger capacity while still having decent fuel economy.

      I bet if someone made compact station wagons, they would sell like hotcakes…or maybe not.

  28. Just saw this phenomenon over the weekend.

    Driving home from a long trip across Arkansas on Sunday, I caught a lot of anger from the driver of a 4Runner stopped in the merge lane when, instead of using the acceleration his vehicle was capable of delivering, he was waiting for someone … specifically me … to signal for him to proceed in front of me.

    I know what that vehicle was capable of because we used to own one until we foolishly traded it not wanting to deal with a bad rack repair.

    • H Roscoe,

      Yup. deal with this regularly. There is a long merge lane from Electric Road in Roanoke to US. 220/581. It probably a half-mile long. People habitually stop – signal on – at the junction of the merge lane and then wait for the traffic on 220 to let them in… it makes my teeth ache.

      • A newish 4Runner like the one I saw is easily a $70,000 vehicle right now.

        Something else from the article I just observed — I came home with a big dent in my right rear passenger door resulting from my inability to properly maneuver out of a tight parking lot in Downtown Memphis filled with US-made behemoth trucks which limited both visibility and “wiggle room”.

        $1600 and the inevitable ding from the mafia when repairing the other guy’s Escalade bumper gets paid

        • Hi Roscoe,

          Yup. I was talking with my girlfriend about this very thing the other day as we were driving around in the press-loan Tundra. I am a pretty big guy; 6 ft 3 and 220. But I feel awkwardly small relative to this behemoth, which requires climbing into and – once aboard (just the right word) – one feels as if one is piloting a 3500 dualie. These things take up practically every inch of the travel lane and are so wide that – when you park them in parking lot – it is often the case you can barely exit the vehicle due to the door being so close to the vehicle beside you.

          I could never live with one of these things.

          • ‘this behemoth, which requires climbing … aboard (just the right word)’ — eric

            In Cajun country — south Louisiana — drivers ‘get on’ (rather than ‘in’) their vehicles.

            Maybe the expression dates from the 19th century — getting on a wagon. Or maybe it’s a direct translation from the French verb monter.

            In any case, those ancient days are back, now that we have great honkin’ he-man pickups with 18 inches of ground clearance. But they won’t last long …

      • These halfwits have no spatial skills or decision making capabilities. My favorite is picking your merge spot and looking up and seeing another driver locked up at the end of the on ramp. I have merged numerous times and they are still sitting there. Mario andretti tried to over take me on the on ramp just last week as i was going 70 mph…. not happening I employed the Dale Earnhart blocking procedure. Braking for no apparent reason also grind smy gears

      • Had someone lose their ever-loving mind on me for not allowing a two car merge. If they had a gun I would probably not be here to type this. I would no more allow that second car to merge as I would to willingly jump off a bridge. Merge means merge.

      • A few years back on a long road trip I had to exit onto a ramp that was also used as an on ramp for the interstate I was getting off of. Once I signaled and was making my move there was a car beside me that was attempting to get on the interstate that would not speed up but kept slowing down and stayed right next to me, blocking my exit. They would not accelerate to speed and at the last second I had to jamb the brakes to clear them and make the exit.

        I’ve always detested the combined on/off ramps.

        • Hi Copperhead,

          The “drivers” you describe I style Clovers. They are a combination of incompetent and passive-aggressive. It’s not merely that they drive timidly – slowly. It is that they are indifferent to the effect of their timidity/slowness upon others. I sometimes have to drive slowly, as when driving my old truck with a full load in the bed. But I do my best to yield to faster-moving traffic, even to the extent of pulling off onto the shoulder if necessary to let cars behind me get by me.

  29. Dealers used to say “people buy paint.” But in the 1980s and 1990s the Yuppies all got obessed with measuring. So the salesmen began talking up performance instead. Didn’t matter that no one knew how to properly drive a 3 series, the fact that they knew all the numbers is all that mattered. Most of the people driving them would have been happier with a Cadillac or nicer Japanese build, but had to have the BMW to fit in. Reminds me of the endless audiophile wars, where everyone has their favorite metric that they swear they can hear. Back before the Internet, every stereo shop had their “expert” who was happy to explain how THD mattered more than peak power, or vice versa, depending on what model was taking up the most space in the storeroom.

    No one knows anything about HP to weight ratio, because that’s hard to explain. For sure the salesguy has no idea. The Europeans figured it out with the hot hatches of the waining days of the 20th century, but they never really made it here to the US. Of course the Japanese knew all about it too, pulling every Watt they could out of a drop of gasoline, but ricer performance stayed pretty much with the drifter and sleeve tattoo crowd. And all the NHTSA side impact rules, rollover rules, bumper rules, airbag rules, adult car seat strap-in rules and pretty much anything else means any HP gains are going to be tagged for use by NHTSA first anyway.

  30. The K-car also didn’t have government mandated weight for side impact, rollover, rear impact. Nor did it have government mandated airbags, back up cameras, and the annoying fucking nanny that cries when you’re not wearing a seatbelt.

    • Hi Mike,

      Absolutely. The irony, of course, is that they very government that endlessly sermonizes about “efficiency” is directly responsible for making cars much less efficient – via the regs that have added so much weight. Some wll say – but, safety!

      Well, okay. But in that case, “efficiency” isn’t so important, is it?

      • Absolutely, but who cares about fuel economy if you are dead. Modern cars are remarkably safe; in the 80’s and 90’s if you wanted safe they told you to buy a Swedish vehicle. Subaru is seemingly the only company to have leaned in on marketing safety. It would have been interesting to see how things would have shaken out left to their own devices. Alas, we’ve been done with informed consent for quite a while.

  31. On a more sober note, I have often wondered how and why these major corporations with billions of dollars and scientists haven’t been even been able to get back to the MPG that we used to have, never mind increase the MPG past the old days. Now I know… from reading this site!

    I think somebody commented on one of your articles that, if cars were like computers, a Cadillac would cost $25 (dollars not thousands) and go 0-60 in one second. That’s what I’ve been expecting, i.e., lower cost after decades of manufacturing, quicker, higher speed, *while* being more efficient.

    And these same geniuses want us to believe that new battery technology is right around the corner?! The fuck if it is! They’ve been studying battery tech for how long now?!

    If battery technology kept up at the rate of computers, they’d be wafer thin, could wirelessly recharge in a few minutes and last for weeks! And be a simple matter for even the brain deads to replace in a couple of seconds without being kilt!

    • And OBTW… my big fat V8 4.0T in the A8 has 4-6-8 technology. On any long drive, it’s getting MPG just about as good as my duddy A4 with a stupid little I4 2.0T. Well, as long as I’m not in race mode or juts let the wife drive. TBF, not the same but just under the A4’s MPG on the highway. That 4-6-8 technology is pretty cool.

      In the city, not so much, but to compare, it does get about the same as my ’02 A6 Avant with a V6 3.0NA in the city. The A8 outdoes the A6 3.0NA on the highway in terms of… well anything.

      It’s a damn shame these lunatics are gonna walk away from all that cool shit based on some fallacy.

    • Hi EM,


      I’ve mentioned this before, but – again: My ’76 Trans-Am is about as “efficient” as a new Camaro SS in that it averages about the same miles-per-gallon as the SS. The latter has the advantage of an aluminum, fuel-injected engine vs. my car’s cast-iron, carbureted engine. If my car had an aluminum V8 (and so weighed about 300 pounds less) and had EFI, it would get better mileage than a new SS…

      • You COULD, if that 455 (right?) mill is ready to come out for a rebuild, get a multi-port FI kit with appropriate manifold and plenum, and, while you’re at it, change the “gingerbread” over to a serpentine belt drive. That’s add about $3K to the rebuild itself, but you’d have a state-of-the-art fuel delivery system and accessory drive. But would it be the T/A you’ve known all these years? No, it wouldn’t, and save whatever you did with the internals of the engine (like a different cam and headwork, plus a compression increase), the power output isn’t going to be all that much different. Or you could save your money, just rebuild that Q-Jet with a kit meant to handle today’s adulterated fuels, bump up that compression ratio to at least 9:1, and maybe use a cam with better low end and increased overlap to give it better low-end torque, something you’d actually notice on the street! There’s just something about trying to keep it the way it was when it first left the dealer’s lot in ’76 that’s sastifying.

        • Hi Douglas,

          In the event I ever have the money to do it, I’d go with a set of earlier D Port heads to raise the CR to about 9.5 and use a hotter (but more streetable) roller cam in place of the flat tappet cam in there now. That would likely give me about 50 horsepower over what I have now – so probably around 350-375. Which would be plenty enough to make the thing live up to its looks!

      • Hi Eric

        NOTE: Re: speeding and safety

        Speeding has nothing to do with safety, the problem is the unsafe road designs built by the government, they blame accidents on speeding, so nobody will figure out it is the government’s crappy road designs that causes accidents, that they should be sued over.

        The other problem is the horrible drivers on the road, they make it very very unsafe, they should be banned from driving, they should be removed to improve safety.

        F1 race cars have higher average speeds then any other cars, they are the quickest cars in the world on a race track. Driving on an F1 track is the safest place to drive but has the highest speeds.

        The reason high speed F1 tracks are so safe is because they are designed for safety, public roads are the opposite, very dangerously designed, with added bike lanes they have become worse now.

        The other reason F1 race tracks are so safe is because of the very very highly skilled drivers, this makes them very safe compared to driving down the street filled with morons texting….lol.

        Fangio the greatest, best F1 race car driver in history, would not drive on public roads because they are very dangerous, he didn’t want to die, the horrible drivers on the road were the main reason. Fangio lived a long time, it worked.

        Lewis Hamilton one of today’s best F1 drivers does not like to drive on the street.

        The safest place to drive is a race track at very high speed, speed = dangerous is bs.

        • It got worse…

          The other problem is the horrible drivers on the road, they make it very very unsafe, they should be banned from driving, they should be removed to improve safety.

          Now they have sent these morons out on the road jabbed with poison, having health emergencies at 70 mph….lol, that should increase the death rate on the road…..lol more depopulation….it works….

  32. Fontanel! 🤣 Love it! The other reason that I’m alarmed about a freaking Prius (or other EVs) weighing so god damned much is because one of the morons driving it might plow it into me. I’ve been hit at least 3 times, 2 of which were pretty concerning.

    I had my A8 past 120MPH up around Frederick, MD on the 270. Yeah, I could’ve got in BIG trouble. Probably not doing that any time soon again. Up on the 83N just past the MD line, everybody is doing 80+. I’ve had the A8 around 100 up there. Again, that’s a very not smart thing but I had to try it out a couple times. That V8 4.2T is pretty bad ass.

    On my duddy little A4 Allroad, I’m off the line every single time to see how far back I can leave the brain deads before cooling my shit just under 65. Had a lady take me up on it the other day, right before a speed trap. I cooled down, she didn’t, and got a roadside meetup with the local constabulary. Right near my neighborhood too.

    The other thing that I do with the duddy like I4 2.0T Allroad is that I constantly see how fast I can take various corners with that wonderful Quattro technology. As long as some brain dead is not in front of me, the last turn right before work, I’ve managed to get up close to 50mph with the right combo of steering and acceleration. Posted limit is 30MPH.

    I had a whiny liberal fag complain to me when visiting Virginia Beach that I supposedly “cut him off”. I’m pretty sure I didn’t cut anyone off so, much to his surprise, I thought about it for a second and said, “well who the fuck are you anyway?! I mean *which* car? I didn’t cut anyone off.” He walked away bleating about how “we don’t drive like that here…”, blah, blah, blah.

  33. ‘[The K-car] was capable of averaging more than 40 MPG – better mileage than any new car that’s not a hybrid car today – and that was 40 years ago.’ — eric

    Even if one accepted the goal of reducing hydrocarbon consumption in transportation, reducing the average weight of the fleet is the obvious first priority. It requires no new technology, no new infrastructure, and secondarily cuts consumption of materials (steel, rubber, copper, glass, hydrocarbon-derived plastics) as well.

    AND it’s done elsewhere. In densely-packed Japan, one can’t buy a car without proof of having an off-street parking space. Even a tiny plot not much larger than a picnic blanket will do — and mini-cars exist to fill such spots. As do mini-flatbed trucks, which occasionally turn up here as JDM imports.

    Yet the trend toward gigantism in American vehicles continues. Increasingly pickups are styled like this ultra-bad-ass Lego Raptor, for big boys who never quite grew up, as well as a few self-sufficient ‘don’t mess with me’ femmes:


    Today the Slimes laments that climate change is ruining outdoor summer theater performances … for upscale, postgrad Americans who drive there in five- and six-thousand pound monster vehicles.

    Cognitive dissonance, comrades: it’s how you induce learned helplessness, in which the lab rats finally just lie supine in the cage, baffled and defeated.


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