Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hope he likes the taste of shoe leather,

I'm beginning to think Kim is watching too much Top Gear, and is getting to be rather like Jeremy Clarkson; full of bits that read and/or sound well regarding things he should know something about, but every once in a while, just like Clarkson, he sounds off and makes his ignorance known. So, Kim, like Clarkson, thinks the 'Vette doesn't handle well, and this sort of thing is best left to the proper corner carving models of the European persuasion, I'm to believe.

I couldn't disagree more.

If one is to look at the history and facts of matters such as this, it is clear that the Americans can, and have, done several things to embarass their European counterparts in the field of motorsports, and even on the street, with privately financed teams, starting with Dr. Dick Thompson, American iron has had more than a few technological features that were rather groundbreaking. Yes, yes, those may be "leaf springs, (and) rides like it’s running on wooden tyres," as Clarkson puts it, but those leaf springs are a design feature, not a flaw, as they save space, and weight, if that dolt Clarkson would open his eyes and see the brilliance of the design. It just works.

I've wrenched, by choice or necessity, on a bunch of vehicles since I was in grade school, doing not much other than observing my dad, sitting on the pulled wheel at about age 5, graduating to wrench turning here and there, his skillful eye watching me the whole way. Then came handing him tools or a shop light not long thereafter, to doing oil changes by age 8, again with close supervision.

The shifter tube on the three-on-the-tree F100, in the middle of January wasn't long thereafter, and the steering nut at the top of the column didn't come easily. We swore at that one for a good long while. The clutch and pressure plate on the same F100 was a year or two later. My sister's Buick lunched a head gasket in high school, and Buick 350 heads are heavy sonsabitches, let me tell you. Oil pump on my Mom's Isuzu Trooper, oh, I forget when. The head gasket on my 2.6l Montero let go at about 102,000 miles, which was fairly common, and Dad and I fixed it in one evening's worth of work, again in January. Since then, I've probably diagnosed and fixed more cars than I can remember actually laying a wrench on. I've even restored a piece or three along the way as well.
I suppose there will always be poseurs who open their mouths about things they know nothing about, especially on any kind of practical level, and there will never be any remedy for it, but jeezis, if people are gonna give me their god-damned opinion on something, they just need to tell me the truth about why they like it, or don't, instead of playing it off like they actually know anything about the subject matter at hand.

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