Ha, Ha, Right!

17 07 2011

How could the same people who make the "Vette" make this?

Well, I had a new experience this past week. In 43 years of driving, I drove what I think is the worst vehicle I’ve ever parked my butt in-and that includes my friend’s 196o Ford Falcon. I’m sure there are worse cars out there, I just haven’t driven them. I have tried to be positive but this car has few redeeming qualities and there is little good I can say about it.

You’re probably wondering what this wonder machine is so I won’t keep you in suspense. It’s not anything your 16-year-old will be proud to drive. It’s the Chevy HHR Panel. Although this car handles reasonably well, it has the comfort and power of a John Deere riding mower and the amenities of a Louisville Slugger. Getting onto the interstate was a challenge. Halfway down the ramp, I kept looking down waiting for the floor to open up so I could kick

The Falcon

off my shoes and do my Fred Flintstone power run. But what this shoe box on wheels lacks in power and comfort, it makes up for in ugly. Yes, ugly. It may not be the ugliest car I’ve ever driven but it does make the short list, somewhere between a fork lift and 1951 Hudson Hornet.

Upon first sight, it reminded me of one of those tiny cars you see in the circus that parks in the center ring and then 200 clowns climb out of it. I looked around but I didn’t see any clowns inside.

In spite of its unsightly appearance, the worst thing about this miniature pie wagon is that it is unsafe. I can tolerate the stares and the snickering and ribbing from my kids, but I have serious concerns about an inability to see anything from the driver’s seat. The biggest features about this milk truck are the huge blind spots. Driving this car is like driving a cave. All you can see is what’s in front of you. You look over your left shoulder to change lanes but all you see is the inside wall of the car. You look to your right to see if anyone is coming before you back out of a parking space and all you see is the inside wall of the car. I think the reason they named it HHR was because the car naming gurus at GM couldn’t spell POS.

As I drove, I wondered what the early design meetings at GM must have been like. Probably went something like this:

Present:

    • Chief Engineer: Marion Beekman
    • Senior Design Engineer: Hiroki Kamatsu
    • Chief Designer: Werner Von Steinway
    • Marketing Director: Bubba Wishbone (Chairman)
    • Chief Car Naming Engineer: Bertha Mingleshifter

View over left shoulder

    Bubba: Okay, ya’ll, we’re gitt’n our butts kicked by that Chrysler PT Cruiser. We need to come up with something that’ll compete. We want to come up with a totally new design; something no one has ever seen. So we can’t make it too much like the Cruiser, ya hear? It needs to be fuel-efficient since gas is still higher’n Charley Sheen at a frat party. Anybody got any brilliant ideas?

Beekman: People are into retro so why don’t we bring back something really cool and give it the body style of the Pacer or Gremlin?

Bubba: That’s not something nobody’s never seen. Besides, the Pacer and Gremlin both sucked.

View to the right

Von Steinway: Vell, eef zee Cruiser es zoe popular vie jange? Vie not duplicate it?

Bubba: Ya might have sumpthin thair, Steiny. Maybe that’s worth consider’n.

Beekman: I agree. The tooling won’t take much, so we can make it on the cheap, especially if we leave out all the bells and whistles. And I got a cousin in Toledo who can hook us up with a sweet deal on an unlimited supply of World War II surplus 4 cylinder, CJ-2A Jeep engines. Put in a half-size front and back windshield and tiny driver and passenger windows and I think we can make this thing for a song.

Bertha: We’ll need to come up with a name.

Hiroki: How about Rancer?

Bubba: What the heck is a Rancer?

Hiroki: No, not Rancer-Rancer.

Bubba: That’s what I said. What’s a Rancer?

Hiroki: No. L-a-n-c-e-r. Rancer.

Bubba: Oh, you mean Lancer. We can’t do that ‘cause Mitsubishi already has a Lancer.

Bertha: If we’re going to copy the PT Cruiser body style why don’t we copy the name?

Bubba: GM can’t make a PT Cruiser.

Bertha: No, tuna breath, I mean keep it short. Use letters like Chrysler did-something like PT Crusher.

Bubba: That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard of. It’s too much like the Cruiser.

Bertha: Who you calling dumb, you red neck. I didn’t get to be Chief Car Naming Engineer by creating stupid names. I’ll have you know I came up with the name Fusion.

Bubba: But, that’s a Ford.

Bertha: So I do a little moonlighting. I’m the best car naming engineer GM ever had.

Bubba: Ha, Ha, right!

Bertha: That’s it. That’s the name.

Bubba: That’s even dumber than PT Crusher. You can’t name a car Ha, Ha Right.

Bertha: No, toe-jam brain, drop the “a” and the “ight”. HHR.

Bubba: Hey, that ain’t bad. What do the rest of you think?

Hiroki: I rike it.

Beekman: My kid’s got violin practice in an hour. If it’ll get us out of here I don’t care if you call it Snoop Dog’s Pimp Mobil.

Von Steinway: Wunderbar. HHR. Zat es good!

Bubba: Good. It’s settled. HHR it is. Meeting adjourned.

And we wonder why GM went under.

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2 responses

15 08 2011
Cira Greaney

You are a very intelligent individual!

16 08 2011
Bill Taylor

Hey, it takes one to know one.

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