Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Prius Plurality

Back in the day, the Buick represented a sophisticated level of luxury and automotive classiness. It came from a magnificent, mechanical gene pool, and a challenge in 1935 from Buick’s President, Harlow Curtice, to his Chief Designer, Harley Earl, who always drove Cadillac’s.

Curtice told Earl to build a car he would be proud to own.

The result was the 1936 Buick Roadmaster, and the trademark triple port-holes along the upper front fender. Earl never owned anything but Buicks from then on.

Buick’s were always hot cars—fast and sleek.

The Buick V-6 engine, first offered in the 1962 Buick Special, is the great-granddaddy of the spectacular Buick 3800 V-6, reknowned for its power and smooth operation.

Somewhere along the way, however, Buick’s became synonymous with aged, slow drivers. The stereotypical Buick driver devolved to common traits of blue hair, thick glasses, barely able to peer over the steering wheel, and the uncanny ability to maintain a steady 54.5-mph in the left hand lane. Regardless.

If stuck behind a ‘90’s-model Buick Century, for example, I generally always scan the rear view mirrors for traffic, and quickly scoot past.

However, I’ve encountered a new traffic nemesis:
The Toyota Prius.

Now, don’t misunderstand—the Prius is an amazing automobile.
Toyota has captured the market in hybrid gasoline/electric personal transportation in a car that owners fiercely love, and tirelessly drive.

I have friends with Priii (the plural form) with hundreds of thousands of miles on them.

Now riddle me this:
What do a Prius and a Dodge Ram Pick-up pulling a loaded trailer have in common?
They are a devastating combination in morning traffic…especially when the Prius driver is practicing his “hyper-mileage” techniques in the inside lane of the freeway, running along side the lumbering truck.

Honestly—I applaud all you Prius drivers.
Way to go, save the planet, kudo’s to you.
I hope you squeeze 60-mpg out of those things.
But you cannot do it all yourself, and you should not try to impose such frugality on others, especially when you’re sitting in the fast lane of the freeway.

So now, if I’m ever behind a Prius by as little as a quarter of a mile, I immediately shift over one lane—sometimes two—just to avoid the inevitable log jam.

(Want to know how to blow a Prius owner’s mind?
Tell ‘em the Hummer H-2 is actually more earth-friendly to produce and operate than a Prius.
It's a fact, Jack.)

By the way, remember what is shiny…comes in threes and fours, and is usually found on the upper front fender of a Buick? Those three, oval chrome rings that have for decades visually branded Buicks…until now.

What is it these days, with everyone is putting trios of chrome accents on the front fenders of their beloved clunkers.

It is not cool looking, I hate to tell you.
An ’86 Honda Civic with chrome portholes is not a Buick.
A ’91 Toyota SR-5 Pick up with chrome portholes is not a Buick.
A ’98 Dodge Ram with chrome portholes is not a Buick.

A freakin' PT Cruiser with portholes is just... embarrassing.

I will admit, however, you might fool someone by putting a trio of chrome rings on the upper front fender of a Prius!


Nancy said...

Awesome and very luxurious car.

TraderEd said...

Cruiser line ventaports