Diatribe

Seating capacity ends at two

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    

It doesn’t make any difference if a car is a sedan, crossover, coupe or convertible; if the seating capacity is listed as “5” then deduct 3. If it’s listed as “6” you can deduct 4. And if it’s shown as “4” you can legitimately deduct 2. “This has angered me for some time. You may ask, “Why, Mr. Al, does this anger you so? Let me tell you why it angers me so.

Open wide and say 'Ah'

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     

As an automotive journalist, industry observer and all-around nudge, I’m constantly looking for things to comment on (read, “complain about”). This past week has given me all kinds of new material. This column will be on how far rear doors open. For all you Mensa applicants another way of putting it would be to wonder how close to 90 degrees that door is going to expand.

Looking back on rearview mirrors

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    


It’s time for another chapter of “I remember…” The subject for this one is rearview mirrors. Not the ones inside your car. I’m talking about the ones outside, sometimes referred to as side mirrors.

'Venting' my spleen

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     
There are a lot of things I miss having in cars. Among them are high-performance V8s with multiple carburetion, glass- or steel- packed mufflers, four-speed manual transmissions and solid-lifter cams. But one thing I think I miss more than all those other things are vent windows.

Does anyone really know what time it is?

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     


For most of my life I’ve been a gadget freak. Truth be told I have no idea how most of it works but just like selecting software for my computer my criterion is simple — if it’s pretty I’ll use it. Fortunately, most of the major business software (Word, Excel, etc.) fits this category so I don’t have to worry about adapting to some program that was written in Bujumbura. The same concept goes for clocks — particularly auto clocks — the only difference being how to achieve the display.

Rollin, rollin, rollin … flat!

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour      


There are few things automotive that are sleeker-looking than low-profile tires. I don’t know exactly what year they entered service but they’re used on all high-performance vehicles and a goodly number of “civilian” cars and SUVs as well. They give the appearance of a predator that’s crouching before striking out at its prey (meaning the highway) just like a lion or a tiger (or even a rabid raccoon).

Gear jamming is an honorable profession

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour  


Usually I bellyache about a lot of things….and I’ve got the belly to do it, believe me. However, every once-in-a-while a group of road warriors deserves recognition and I’m just the man to do that, too. Today’s (rare) plaudits go to those Knights of the Highway and occasional blockers of the left lane – America’s truck drivers.

For crying out loud — turn already — you miserable…

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   


The other day I received an e-mail from a reader I’ll call “Rose Marie” (because that happens to be her name). She told me about her pet peeve — drivers who practically come to a complete stop before they make a turn.

My first thought was I’m being pressured from somebody who has more vile thoughts than I have but upon further reading I realized I can be the mouthpiece for this nice lady to the world through my weekly rant column.

Driving while octopus

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour 


The other day I was passing a vehicle on the freeway and I happened to look at the driver as I went by. At first I thought I was looking at another poor soul who had been beaten severely with an ugly stick. This woman looked a cross between the Sea Hag and Alice the Goon.

Sometimes a mind is a terrible thing to use

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DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   

A consequence of our business is the number of hours I spend behind the wheel. It affords me the opportunity to observe the traits of my fellow drivers and to critique the vehicles I and those around me drive. Two findings readily come to mind: the tremendous amount of vehicles that were obviously manufactured without turn signals; and how many vehicles do not contain sunglass holders.