If we Americans love one thing almost as much as we love our cars, it’s making fun of other people’s cars. From the jacked-up dually with smokestacks to the tye-dye spray painted old Subaru to that obnoxious lowered Honda Civic, beer can muffler and all, poking fun at cars could give baseball a run for the all-American pastime. While a poor choice of aftermarket parts can be chalked up to a character flaw, compensation, or too much disposable income, a car really merits ridicule when it can be made fun of straight off the production line. Now that the automotive industry has (sort of) recovered from being bailed out like a leaky lifeboat, it’s time we poked a little fun at Detroit.
Hate to choose between buying a luxury sedan and rugged pickup truck? Fear not, the Lincoln Blackwood is here. Or was here. For a very, very short time at least. Made from only 2001 to 2002, the Blackwood wasn’t so much a truck as it was a coupe with a long, long trunk. The bed, er “cargo box,” was carpeted and lined with genuine imitation wood and LED lights, which would perfect for hauling a manly load of mink coats, Ed Hardy shirts, or part of Liberace’s wardrobe if it weren’t for the bed cover.
Ah yes, the bed cover. While it kept your load of whatever safe and dry, the bed cover seriously limited the Blackwood’s carrying capabilities and ruined the fun of piling your buddies into the back. Unless all your friends were either used to riding in clown cars or, as was most often the case with Blackwood drivers, imaginary.
What do you get when you cross a convertible with a pickup with a sedan and sprinkle the whole thing with corporate imagined “hot-rod” style? I can see you cringing now. The Chevy SSR may actually be more awkward looking than my junior prom photos. In fact, they have quite a bit in common: Confusion, desperation, and a controlled, corporate illusion of freedom to name just a few.
A Retiree’s Dream
Produced from 2003 to 2006, the SSR was originally imagined as something of a hotrod, but became senior citizens’ vehicle of choice for trips out of range of their rascals or golf carts. Even the SSR’s 6.0L V-8 couldn’t save it from going down in history as the world’s ugliest way to get to your shingles vaccine appointment.
I’ll admit it, I’m really beating a dead horse here, but vanity and pride have me (probably falsely) thinking that I’ll say something new and interesting about this flop to end all flops. You could probably write a book about how big a failure the Aztec was, but I wouldn’t, because there’s a good chance one is in the works already. Produced from 2001 to 2005, the Aztek not only managed to misspell and malign the name of a minority ethnic group, but also precipitated a wave of gimmicky van/SUV crossovers so loved by hopeless socks-and-sandals wearing dads everywhere.
From Soccer Practice to Existential Crisis
If the HHR signaled retirement and imminent senility, then the Aztek screamed midlife crisis. Like the hands of a drowning man flailing above water, the Aztek heralded the arrival of the inevitable: One last gasp at a fulfilling and interesting life before plunging into a deep midlife crisis. The producers of Breaking Bad even used the Aztek as a symbol of desperation and defeat. In fact, the only thing the Aztek’s tent package was really good for was cooking meth anyway.
While the Fiero has gone down in history as a spectacular failure, I think it was perfect for its target market, but that target market was simply too small. You see, the Fiero seems to have been designed exclusively with cocaine dealers in mind. The powerful, mid-engined design was perfect for outrunning the fuzz, and the trunk was big enough to stash plenty of product with extra room for guns and bodies. The locking secured glove box would have been a great place to stash bricks of ‘caine, handguns, and ridiculous amounts of cash.
Snow White’s Carriage
The fact that the Fiero was plagued with design flaws wouldn’t have been much of a problem, as I imagine the lifespan of most drug dealers is considerably shorter than that of most cars. Unfortunately for Pontiac, but thankfully for the rest of us, there weren’t enough Tony Montanas to support Fiero sales.
About Author: The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @CustParadigm. If you are looking for the best Colorado Brake Repair, be sure to visit AAMCOColorado.com.