Diatribe

Designer-speak…Bela Legosi without the accent

Tags:
DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour        
 
Attending a lot of automotive press conferences I get the opportunity to listen to many a designer as they go about describing their inspiration for, and what they hoped to accomplish with a particular project. And what I’ve been able to deduce after decades of oral absorption is this: these folks are awfully scary.

Signal your intentions you idiot!!!

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour            

It’s been awhile since I last did a rant against people who refuse to use turn signals. It’s not that I’ve lessened my hatred and disgust towards them; it’s just that I wanted to give my last few diatribes some time to see if the idea of actually using a device that’s given free with the purchase of a vehicle (and one whose use is mandated by law) caught on. The truth-be-told I’ve always been thought of as a balloon-headed dreamer and once again that description has been validated.

Hey, Mr. Car…What’s Your Name?

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour       

Growing up in Indiana there were two things that were common — swapping baseball cards and sitting alongside the highway identifying car types as they sped by. (Actually there were three if you added cow-tipping to the mix.)

Hold on there…you’re not going anywhere Jack

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour         

With no exaggeration I’ve probably made the drive between Chicago and Detroit a minimum of 500 times. There aren’t many things about that trek that surprise me. However, this past week may have broken the mold.

We accompanied my beloved twin-grandsons and their parents from Detroit to Chicago to spend a week of sightseeing. I lived in Chicago for 22 years before moving to this third-world atoll so I know my way around the Windy City pretty well.

Four-wheeled geography

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     

The other day I saw a news item on one of the internet sites that listed car names that are the same as geographic locations. I didn’t read it but I thought it would be a great idea to steal and write a column of my own. So I’m going to divert from my usual hatred-filled diatribes and see how many of these past and present vehicles I can remember. 

Are you burning oil or spraying mosquitoes?

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour     


At one time it was fairly common to develop a lung disease from working in steel mills, a coal mine or smoking heavily, living with smelly people or something as simple as driving down the highway. If anyone has ever seen movies of a cell of B-52s taking off at 20-second intervals — especially early-model D-Series — then they can visualize what the average busy highway looked like in the 1950s and 1960s.

Shine your light on me

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour    


I spend a lot of time in traffic and being an auto writer the voices in my head tell me I am to notice those cars around me. I was sitting at a stoplight the other day and was looking at what can only have been a one-time police car. It was a ‘70s Dodge Diplomat with the tell-tale wide tires and small hub caps.

Take your rpm and stuff it!!!

Tags:

DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE
By Al Vinikour   

I’m a Hosier by birth and a Michigander by choice which might explain my thinking throughout my life that there have been a lot of worthless devices some of which I never understood. Among them was my Pet Rock, my comic book collection of World War II soldiers on Pacific Islands that were inhabited by dinosaurs and my ex-wife. However, collectively none of them are more unnecessary to so many people than modern vehicles with tachometers.

Seating capacity ends at two

Tags:

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'

Tags:

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.