Splendid Isolation

Hard Choice?


Not even close.  Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, by six lengths, with Magnum’s Ferrari 308 a distant second, and Vice’s Testarossa even further behind. All the rest are fugly beyond words

Your agreements / disagreements in Comments.

Driving Fun

I have frequently referred to Jeremy Clarkson as the Greatest Living Englishman, because he is.  Not only is he unrepentantly un-PC, he’s wonderfully talented as both a writer and a TV presenter.

The fact that he and I agree on practically everything — about cars, politics, social life and society, whatever — doesn’t hurt, either.

So sit back and enjoy a partial retrospective of his 30 years’ work as a car reviewer for the Sunday Times.  And just to whet your appetite, here’s a little excerpt from one:

Many years ago I refused to road-test the Vectra on Top Gear, arguing that if Vauxhall couldn’t be bothered to make the car interesting in any way whatsoever, I couldn’t be bothered to drive it.

To understand just how dull this car was, you need to visualise a chartered accountant in a tweed jacket with elbow patches, playing cricket, in a period drama by Jane Austen, in Belgium, while reading out details of the Enron scandal in a Birmingham accent.

This car was Mogadon in metal, hypnotherapy with a hatchback. Driving it was as interesting as listening to the details of someone else’s dream, and thinking about it had exactly the same effect on your neck muscles as that moment at school when the master dimmed the lights and said: “First slide, please …” You immediately nodded off.

They said, remember, it was a car for the new millennium. And how far did it get? Well, it’s only 2002 but already it’s gone.

I can’t stop with just one.

I have read hundreds of surveys in women’s magazines about what women look for in a man and usually it’s a sense of humour or nice eyes. Not once have I ever heard a girl say that what she wants, more than anything, from a man is an ability to do power slides.

It needs to be explained to Gary that, when he’s doing 100mph round the bypass, with jungle noises bouncing the doors off their hinges, his girlfriend is not sitting there thinking, “Gosh. This man’s car control is exemplary and I hope that later he will perform similar miracles with me.”

She is thinking: “Bleedin’ Ada. We’re going to crash and I wish this plonker would slow down.” But of course she can’t say that because then she’d find herself at the side of the road, in the rain.

We need the people who did those amazing Australian “If you drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot” adverts to pick up the baton on this one. And I think I have the tag line already. “A smooth ride: if you give her one, she might let you give her one.”

Brilliant.  Like I said:  the Greatest Living Englishman.  Here’s his smooth ride.

Bygone Broads 4

Here we go with another “pairing” of a bedroom-poster-worthy car and a woman of similar value.  This time, it’s the De Tomaso Pantera:

And Morgan Fairchild:


And yes, she got older and plumper (but in all the right places, if I may say so):

I have no words, either way.

Mass Stupidity

Indefatigable Contributor Mike L. sends me this report from inside Deepest Blue America:

With Memorial Day just one week away, millions of people are expected to hit the road this upcoming holiday weekend.  AAA has predicted travel to hit pre-pandemic levels and are urging drivers to make safe driving a priority as car accidents are at an all-time high in Massachusetts.


A forced lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many people from traveling. Drivers we spoke with believe that the roads are more dangerous today than they were before the pandemic.

Why is this?  Have they forgotten how to drive — or, more importantly, if this is the case — why is it taking Massholes so long to get back into proper driving?  This may be the answer:

“We talk a lot about the laws and regulations, about the hands-free driving law, which was instated right after quarantine,” said Juniper Holmes, director of Ja’Duke Driving School in Turners Falls. “They’re not allowed to actually hold their phone in their hands. They’re supposed to use a Bluetooth device to talk on the cellphone or, if they are over 18, then they can talk to Siri and use Bluetooth, but texting in Massachusetts is illegal while you’re driving.”

Holmes told us that distracted driving is a common issue they see on the roads while conducting their driving lessons, and it is something they are stressing now more than ever.

“People are staring at their laps, and when you see people whose eyes are not on the road, their eyes are straight down on their laps, you usually think that they are texting or they’re on their phone, and the law also states that you’re not allowed to be texting or making phone calls at a red light or stop sign, either,” she said.

Clearly, the answer is MOAR LAWS (which is the usual response Up There).  Or maybe — gasp! — stricter enforcement of and higher penalties for said laws?

Nah… that would be rayciss or transphobic or something.

By the way — and I admit that I haven’t driven in Boston or anywhere in Massachusetts in a long time — I’ve found that Boston’s drivers are the most aggressive and impatient assholes in the entire country.  They make Texas rednecks and New Yorkers look positively polite and British by comparison.

Bygone Broads 3

Seems like the combination of bedroom-poster-worthy cars and women is becoming a fan favorite over on this back porch of mine, so here we go with another “pairing”.  This time, it’s the Sunbeam Tiger / AC Cobra 427 and Ann-Margret.

And another lil’ red thing:

And a little while later:

Lemme tell y’all:  it was pure hell trying to decide which A-M pics to feature here.  There may have to be a Part 2 at some point…

Bravo Scuderia

Finally, a ray of hope amidst all the gloom of Global Warming Climate Cooling Change:

Legendary Italian car maker Ferrari has no intention of phasing out combustion engines and going fully electric or hybrid anytime soon, promising Sunday to keep making the eight and 12-cylinder engines it has made its trademark at least until the end of the 2030s.

The chief of the Italian manufacturer told the BBC in an interview it would be “arrogant” to dictate to customers what they can buy while at the same time walking away from the company’s heritage.

Ferrari instead wants to honor its history of high performance cars using traditional methods of propulsion.

Of course, they’re dealing from a position of strength because they can’t make enough Ferraris to satisfy the huge market of people with more money than sense and no resistance to brand snob appeal.

That said, their 296 hybrid is pretty sexy:

…albeit still overpriced, like all Ferraris.

But let me not be too grumpy about this because they are to be congratulated for not capitulating to the Watermelons, and keeping their Rosso  where it belongs:  on the outside.