16. October 2005 · Comments Off on Response To A Disgruntled Reader · Categories: General, Site News, Technology

This is a response to Reader Scott’s comment to this post

Well Scott – it’s nice to see we still have you as a reader. But, if indeed you have been a reader for over two years, as you say, you must surely understand and appreciate the fact that, on this blog, we don’t mince words. If you act as a fool, you will be called a fool.

And all our readers should know that, were I referring specifically to you, Scott, I would have called you by name. But I used the generalization “some idiot” because your comment was typical of many readers (as well as callers, LttE writers, “People on the Street”, etc., to this or any other media) who seem to have a firmly established opinion, despite any evidence of knowledge, or rational evaluation, of the subject upon which they are commenting.

In the automotive field, I recall some idiot commenting on this post (Sorry, comment threads were deleted from the old MT blog.), who claimed his overboosted Supra Turbo was “better” than a Bentley Continental GT. Well, while I wouldn’t call myself an expert, particularly relative to the luminaries I have been in the presence of, I have had vast experience with tuner cars. And I can say, without reservation, that, while that idiotic reader’s Supra might have been “better” than a Bentley Continental GT in some very limited context, there is no way – NO WAY – that it would be an appropriate Bond Car – particularly to the Bond book reader, who knows that Bond’s car is not simply a pursuit and escape vehicle, but also a meditation chamber.

Anyway, Scott: First let me say that everyone is entitled to their opinion on styling. Personally, while I consider the Chrysler 300 to be visually interesting, and hardly offensive, and the Magnum a pretty great job at doing a station wagon (while not as great as the original Ford Taurus), I look at the Charger and say, “gawd, this piece came from the same people who gave us the Mercedes CLS?” So, perhaps we are in agreement there.

But now, when you talk about engineering, it’s a ‘ol difrn’t mata’. Your “fifty year-old” technology citation is, on its face, completely without merit. First, I have examples of crossflow cylinder head designs dating back to the ‘teens. And DOHC 4VPC designs were being done by Offenhauser, Duesenberg, and others, in the late ‘twenties. Bringing this to present-day, the most easily accessible crosspoint is in comparison of the Nissan Titan and the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi (and, if you want to throw in the Ford F-150 – 5.4 Triton, with it’s SOHC 3VPC format, feel free). Obviously, upon comparison of the “technical specifications”, the Nissan’s motor is by far the most sophisticated. But, “when the rubber meets the road”, the comparison is far more muddled. In fact, at another, more obscure, crosspoint – The Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi can lay the Porsche Cayenne to waste.

But, when you talk about It’s a Hemi, you are not talking about technology, you are talking about icons, And I can assure you – my mother had a ’56 Imperial Crown, and I had a ’67 GTX – Hemi is a powerful icon in American car (and popular) culture. And I can also assure you that, in today’s dismal family sedan market (from which America’s PDs prefer to draw their petrol/pursuit vehicles), the Chrysler LX platform (300, Magnum, Charger) stands a good chance of achieving iconic status itself.

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