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DanBuck

THE CAR THREAD

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Not as far as I'm aware though there is a small incentive in reduced road tax for people driving green vehicles. I have to say, though, as my vehicle of choice is a bike I wouldn't know a hybrid if one ran me off the road.

Overall though I suspect that people worried about fuel consumption are more likely to use their car less, or trade in for a cheaper more fuel efficient model, than spend money getting an expensive new car. At least that's what seems to make sense to me, both financially and environmentally.

Edited by gigi

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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WOW! This thread has gotten to be a lot of fun. I love this inter-continental dialogue. Full disclosures: my car at the moment is a '97 Sable wagon with aftermarket custom wheels (oversized) and low profile (not the "skinny tires" that are all the rage, more performance mid-profile tires) tires. I bought it that way and it's cheaper to keep playing along rather than go stodgy and buy conventional rims and tires together. I love the car because it handles as well as the corresponding sedan/saloon and handles REAL well with the aftermarket rig. It is relatively low slung for its size,hence the second disclosure. My preferance ideally is for a small roadster, the perfect ideal. Boxster or Miata sort of thing.

Yeah, I found this to be really annoying too. In the UK, you switch lanes and you can generally see what's coming up ahead. In the US, it doesn't make a difference. And this is compounded by the tendency to drive with - if you're lucky - 3 metres distance between cars AND no-one trying to squeeze into that space. Have Americans never heard of the 3 second rule?!

Mike alluded to two causes, driver ed and lousy speed limits(the latter you acknowledge. What makes things worse are the scolds who insist on marking the speedlimit or less in the "fastlane" making reasonable speeds almost a slolum course. Here, speedlimits are really only municipal fundraisers, not tied to any real safety or trafficflow logic. Drivers respond accordingly.

I ain't got a problem with SUV's for people that need SUV's. It's just that most don't. I wonder if the US tendency towards large-car sizes isn't also the result of an early 1950's status hangover. Where the US had a post war boom, the UK was still rationing for a while after and car production, where it existed, would have required practicality and efficiency. Metal, I imagine, was in short supply, ergo smaller cars. I'm speculating here. I know jack about the history of car design.

I'd say no. If anything, the holdover from the fifties would be those large "land yachts" as we call them. "Fullsize" models that must look like limousines to Europeans. SUV's being trcks, have less pollution filtering equipment that make them more efficient pound for pound in some respects.

I don't go for your Yaris logic. Only evasive action will make it safe at all. In any sort of crash with an SUV or even a fullsize, the Yaris will be crushed. Evasion is really all you have. This is the reason most Americans feel safer in them. Me, I hate trucks. My fantasies go more towards Formula 1 and Le Mans, not offroading. I would never DREAM of doing anything with a Yaris other than tool around town. Never more than an hour's trip in something so cramped and noisy (sound deadening in such a small vehicle is pointless, it would be too heavy). And I'd never do an automatic transmission in it. Still, I'm impressed with your stated driving skills and the way you think on the road. Lemme know if you ever get near Detroit.

Matt: I'm sure that many folks have my family experience. We are a migratory people within our own nation. Not all of course. Here in Michigan, when I moved here, I was shocked at how few had never been out of the state ever except to Windsor, Ontario or Toledo, Ohio where the drinking age was a bit younger. However, everyone had a little cottage up north like where my brother lives. So they were still moving around a lot even while staying in one place, sort of. Everyone has family elsewher though. My inlaws live outside of Chicago. I HATE Chicago traffic and Chicago sports. Two reasons to not ache to go west with a few free days. Better to go north to my brother's. He drives a minivan. Riding in his convinced my wife that she wanted one just like it. He uses it for his piano tuning and rebuilding business. His wife drives and SUV, midsize. Heh, neither of us have children.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to fly. I once flew to Chicago for Thanksgiving BEFORE 9/11. The wait for flights and to get off the ground made it equivalent to driving as far as time spent is concerned. For flight, Detroit and Chicago are so close that as soon as you reach altitude, you start to descend. And then there is transportation once you get there. That's a factor flying anywhere. I fly to Dad's because to drive would be the better part of a week for there and back. Rather spend it with him. Fortunately, there is a huge demand for flights between Dtroit and all points Florida so there are many flights and they are cheap. And you get what you pay for. The insides of the planes used are barely better than airborne jitneys (American term for black market taxi cabs) and cramped in all directions. You'd hate it.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Here in Michigan, when I moved here, I was shocked at how few had never been out of the state ever except to Windsor, Ontario or Toledo, Ohio

I don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but I'm shocked. This is the first instance I've found in my 54 years where individuals have traveled to Toledo, Ohio willingly.

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I don't go for your Yaris logic. Only evasive action will make it safe at all. In any sort of crash with an SUV or even a fullsize, the Yaris will be crushed. Evasion is really all you have. This is the reason most Americans feel safer in them.

Actually, that's what I was saying. Better no accident than any at all. Especially if, as you say, an SUV will crush other vehicles that aren't SUV's. Personally, when I think about safety on the road, it's as much about avoiding injuring others as it is about causing injury to myself or passengers in my car. If someone was seriously injured or died as a consequence of my colossal vehicle crunching up their smaller (reasonably sized) car, then I know I would feel hugely guilty about that, in the same way that I would if I had caused the accident through bad driving.

I wonder if there are statistics as to how effective small cars are at avoiding accidents in comparison to larger vehicles. The only way of doing this would be to compare the percentage of small cars on the road with the percentage of accidents, though I can't imagine that's particularly accurate.

As for the speed limit thing. It's ludicrous. Dangerous, as you say. But more than that: by criminalising everyone it gives too much power to an individual officer with all their respective biases.

Edited by gigi

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic" - Vladimir Nabokov

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I don't go for your Yaris logic. Only evasive action will make it safe at all. In any sort of crash with an SUV or even a fullsize, the Yaris will be crushed. Evasion is really all you have. This is the reason most Americans feel safer in them.

Actually, that's what I was saying. Better no accident than any at all. Especially if, as you say, an SUV will crush other vehicles that aren't SUV's.

The benefit simply doesn't outweigh the risk when you're talking about flinging 2-4K lbs of metal down a road at 75 mph with only a few inches of sheet metal protecting occupants from intrusion inside. There will always be a disparity between larger cars and smaller cars, because of cargo and passenger needs. You couldn't fit my entire family into a Toyota Yaris, much less most of the little Multi-Purpose Vehicles you have over in the UK. And, when you're 6' 5" like me, little cars can simply be too small in which to feel comfortable. There is a happy medium between efficient use of space, and allowing for the space needs of the driver and passengers, and manufacturers are finally getting there. We have a lot of valid crossovers in the market right now.

For instance, if you drive a smaller car-like SUV such as my parent's Honda CR-V, you can have your cake and eat it too. It's zippy and easily manageable, even though it's tall and roomy, and has a good amount of ground clearance for the snow. And on top of that it can get upwards of 30 mpg (with careful driving). This isn't really an either/or issue. Sometimes I think the SUV gets a bad rap simply because of it's identity, when in fact there are some great advances being made in that particular class of vehicle.


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I don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but I'm shocked. This is the first instance I've found in my 54 years where individuals have traveled to Toledo, Ohio willingly.

I knew you'd pick up on that. Knew it. However, Michigan was "21" and Toledo had some wierd 3.2 beer exception for 18 year olds. All concerned were agreed that it was horrible beer, but also agreed that it was, "BEER!!!" I was a fundie, under-age tee-totaler at the time.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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: Matt and Gigi, are there a lot of hybrid vehicles on the road in the UK?

Not really, though I once drove 100+ miles in a van powered by natural gas. LPG seems to have come and gone, and not much has filled the void. Don't see many Priuses (what's the plural of Prius? Prium?)

Rich, thanks for your insights.

Matt

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I once drove 100+ miles in a van powered by natural gas. LPG seems to have come and gone, and not much has filled the void. Don't see many Priuses (what's the plural of Prius? Prium?)

You know, we have the same problem with LPG. I have a friend who was heavily invested in the low-gas-cost '90's. As the low prices continued, the company dumped him and consolidated east. They had some real cool retrofitted cars at the time. Even performance cars. I believe that Britain has huge deposits(?) and I know that we have exploitable natural gas all over the west as does Canada, yet "alternative energies" with no real possibility of exploitation in the near future are all the rage.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I don't go for your Yaris logic. Only evasive action will make it safe at all. In any sort of crash with an SUV or even a fullsize, the Yaris will be crushed. Evasion is really all you have. This is the reason most Americans feel safer in them.

Actually, that's what I was saying. Better no accident than any at all. Especially if, as you say, an SUV will crush other vehicles that aren't SUV's.

The benefit simply doesn't outweigh the risk when you're talking about flinging 2-4K lbs of metal down a road at 75 mph with only a few inches of sheet metal protecting occupants from intrusion inside. There will always be a disparity between larger cars and smaller cars, because of cargo and passenger needs. You couldn't fit my entire family into a Toyota Yaris, much less most of the little Multi-Purpose Vehicles you have over in the UK. And, when you're 6' 5" like me, little cars can simply be too small in which to feel comfortable. There is a happy medium between efficient use of space, and allowing for the space needs of the driver and passengers, and manufacturers are finally getting there. We have a lot of valid crossovers in the market right now.

My new Honda Fit is amazingly roomy - I bet it would fit your 6'5" frame, if not your family - and is a direct Yaris competitor. Great gas mileage. Lots of space. And a great safety rating - maybe won't help if I get plowed into by a hummer, but like I told my wife,

And if a ten-ton truck

Kills the both of us

To die by your side

Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

Yeah, I'm kinda in love with this car... ::blush::


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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My view of the "6" is that it really came into its own as a hot smaller car around '03 or so, so I'm curious as to what you think of your particular vintage.

Mazda sent me an e-mail promoting a recent honor for the 6 from the Wall Street Journal. It tauts the redesign, but refers to my earlier version of the car as "a frisky puppy."

Woof!


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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My view of the "6" is that it really came into its own as a hot smaller car around '03 or so, so I'm curious as to what you think of your particular vintage.

Mazda sent me an e-mail promoting a recent honor for the 6 from the Wall Street Journal. It tauts the redesign, but refers to my earlier version of the car as "a frisky puppy."

Woof!

Wow, I drive a feral car with sleek, swoopy sheet metal, bulging wheel arches and cat’s-eye headlights, and I didn't even know it. But it kind of fits the image I want to project. Call me Puma.

I love my Mazda 6, but I do agree with the commentary that the dashboard is hard to read, mainly because it's hard to see. The steering wheel effectively blocks my view, and I have to put my body through some fairly rigorous contortions to ensure that I'm driving the speed limit. In contrast, my wife's new Honda Civic has a big, bright blue digital display right below the windshield. It's a great innovation.

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I love my Mazda 6, but I do agree with the commentary that the dashboard is hard to read, mainly because it's hard to see. The steering wheel effectively blocks my view, and I have to put my body through some fairly rigorous contortions to ensure that I'm driving the speed limit. In contrast, my wife's new Honda Civic has a big, bright blue digital display right below the windshield. It's a great innovation.

I have this problem with almost any car I drive because I like the steering wheel almost down in my lap. I routinely lower the wheel all the way. Just curious, but because you are a little shorter than I am, I was wondering if you had thought of experimenting with steering wheel adjustment? It might help.


"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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I don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but I'm shocked. This is the first instance I've found in my 54 years where individuals have traveled to Toledo, Ohio willingly.

Toledo has an excellent art museum, a very good zoo, and a fine paved oval stock car track.

I go there often!


Yours truly,

ABP

No one with a good car needs to be justified. -- Hazel Motes

In the final end, he won the wars, after losin' every battle.-- Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind

Hot Rod Anglican blog ...

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