They had it coming.
Over the past three years, more brands of cars — and specific car models — have been sent to the glue factory than at any time since the early '30s, in the wake of Great Depression 1.0
But did they deserve to die?
* Saturn Sky
Based on GM of Europe — AKA Opel’s — GT, the Sky (and its late lamented Pontiac stablemate, the Solstice) was a stunning car to look at; much more dynamic and stylish than, say, a Mazda Miata.
But unlike the Miata — which was a great car to drive — the Sky and Solstice weren’t great cars to drive.
For one, the engine sounded terrible — like a high-miles economy car four-cylinder equipped with a cheap aftermarket “fart can” muffler. While other sports car engines sang when revved, the Sky’s cleared its throat like a phlegm-laden old trucker.
Handling was clunky, too.
But the worst offense was the ‘69 MGB body integrity. The Sky’s convertible soft top fit poorly and leaked both air and water, which dribbled down onto the door side panels. It was impossible to hold a conversation without shouting at speeds much above 60 mph. The power window switches were located so far back on these panels it was almost impossible to use them while driving. Ditto the cupholder, which was mounted on the very rear of the center console, making it all-but-unusable while the vehicle was moving. The gas gauge was dime-sized and buried a foot deep in the gauge cluster, making it a guessing game how close you might be to empty.
Verdict: A pretty car whose comely exterior hid numerous unattractive flaws. Looks alone won’t cut it — and didn’t.
an>* Hummer H2
You could make a case for the H1.
It was a civilianized version of the military Humvee — and if you needed an unstoppable off-roader, it fit the bill.
But the H2 was nothing more than a Chevy Suburban with a Tonka Toy Hummer truck shell draped over it. And thus, a fraud. A big, stupid, ugly, pointless, gas-guzzling, crappy-handling — and not even good for off-roading — fraud.
Circa 2003 I got one to test drive. I called up three buddies and we headed out to try the thing off road. At the entrance to the area where we intended to do some mud-bogging, there was a puddle maybe three or four inches deep and about three or four feet in diameter. I drove over it at a moderate speed. Immediately, multiple lights on the dash went off and the engine dropped down into “limp home” mode. It ran, but barely. Unable to get the H2 going faster than about 25 mph, we creeped it home on a very busy Northern Virginia highway, a half-mile of angry motorists stacked up behind us.
I wrote “I love global warming” with my finger in the dust on the liftgate glass.
The H2 was good at just one thing: Demonstrating (once again) that PT Barnum was right.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?