Sunday, January 09, 2005


I’m not sure who designs automobiles these days, but they sure seem to have a sense of humor.

By now, most of us have become accustomed to the sight of the PT Cruiser, which was a dramatic retro-styled departure from pretty much everything out there. Me, I wasn’t impressed. I rented one once and found that, while the thing drove well enough, the controls were clumsily positioned. And the design, which seems to hearken back to something-or-other in the 1930’s, just looks bizarre in the opening years of the 21st century. This wasn’t what cars were supposed to look like in the New Millennium, was it?

Let’s face it: The PT Cruiser is the perfect hearse for Mickey Mouse’s funeral. It’s cartoony!

But when it comes to strange car designs, I don’t think you can beat the two latest Boxmobiles from Japan. I’m talking about the (Toyota) Scion and the Honda Element.

There’s something about the squared-off, boxy designs of these...are they cars? Are they SUV’s? WTF are these things? Whatever the hell they are, they look like they were designed by the same folks that brought us Stalinist Russian Concrete Blockhouse Apartment Buildings.

And who comes up with these names? Scion? What happens if you cross a Scion and a Prius? Do you get a Prion? Yeah, I want to drive a car that’s named for the infectious agent that causes Mad Cow Disease. Thankyewverymuch.

But yesterday, as She Who Must Be Obeyed and I were on our way to shul, we saw a Honda Element that made us both laugh hysterically.

On the rear of the car, right under the word “ELEMENT,” in smaller, matching lettering, were the words “SCREW AERODYNAMICS.”

Truth in Advertising. Hah!

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