Automotive Atrocities
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! R17G's Avatar
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    Default Automotive Atrocities

    I have recently picked up the book 'Automotive Atrocities, The Cars
    We Love To Hate' by Eric Peters published by Motorbooks International.
    I am afraid it is not good news for french car fans. So ok the book is american and basically he seems to think anything with less than 300 bhp and 6.0 L is useless.
    These are the french cars mentioned:
    Renault Fuego Turbo Which had a 'ungainly mollusk-like appearance,...reminded one of a slug struggling across the asphalt'.
    Renault Alliance GTA (R9?)
    Renault Le Car (R5) 'only a few remain roadworthy-and they're easy enough to catch and smash'
    Citroen 2CV 'only a few were brought over- mostly to provide yet another way of making fun of the french'.
    Peugeot 505 'A true road toad......Beret optional'

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    He also thinks that any diesel luxury car is crap. He himself drives a Trans Am. It is a worry that he is an automotive columnist for America Online, Netscape and Compuserve.
    Hmm this from a country that buys more Fseries trucks than anything else.

    ISBN: 0-7603-1787-9
    A Gordini is still a GORDINI!!!

  2. #2
    Tadpole Deadeye's Avatar
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    Oh man... this is the kind of thing that makes me want to write a book...

    Something along the lines of:

    Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, a Renault was being sold at a dealership. In a time when disc brakes were emerging and techinical leaps and bounds were becoming common in European cars. On the other side of the world, in a Ford dealership, the salesman asked the customer if he would like the carpet and heater options in his new Ford.
    This one paragraph sums up the European vs American/Australian car debate.

    Basically, there's a definate lifecycle of new features. The euro's invent it. The japanese rip it off and and a clock to it, and then the Australian and American manufacturers offer it as an option 10 years after the japanese have ripped it off the euros.

    You can whinge, bitch and scream about your precious American tank all you want. Bring it down to any good racetrack (one with corners, not just a straight line built for pussies) and we'll sort you out.
    Last edited by Deadeye; 10th April 2005 at 06:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R17G
    I have recently picked up the book 'Automotive Atrocities, The Cars
    We Love To Hate' by Eric Peters published by Motorbooks International.
    I am afraid it is not good news for french car fans. So ok the book is american and basically he seems to think anything with less than 300 bhp and 6.0 L is useless.
    These are the french cars mentioned:
    Renault Fuego Turbo Which had a 'ungainly mollusk-like appearance,...reminded one of a slug struggling across the asphalt'.
    Renault Alliance GTA (R9?)
    Renault Le Car (R5) 'only a few remain roadworthy-and they're easy enough to catch and smash'
    Citroen 2CV 'only a few were brought over- mostly to provide yet another way of making fun of the french'.
    Peugeot 505 'A true road toad......Beret optional'

    He also thinks that any diesel luxury car is crap. He himself drives a Trans Am. It is a worry that he is an automotive columnist for America Online, Netscape and Compuserve.
    Hmm this from a country that buys more Fseries trucks than anything else.

    ISBN: 0-7603-1787-9
    He's a Yank; what did you expect; something sane??

    Send him a copy of an exploded view of some of my Briggs & Scrapiron engine (Made in the USA) ..now there's a piece of 21st Century engineering for you; makes Fred Flintstone's "Rockmobile" look advanced.


    Alan S
    Last edited by Alan S; 10th April 2005 at 06:44 PM.
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    What a tool... the 2CV was a great piece of innovation and deserves it's place in automobile history.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! bigbadbyrnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye

    Basically, there's a definate lifecycle of new features. The euro's invent it. The japanese rip it off and and a clock to it, and then the Australian and American manufacturers offer it as an option 10 years after the japanese have ripped it off the euros.

    You can whinge, bitch and scream about your precious American tank all you want. Bring it down to any good racetrack (one with corners, not just a straight line built for pussies) and we'll sort you out.
    that is the best rant this forum has ever seen.


    The thing is, yanks never had to be efficent or creative in their auto manufacturing and design. They seem to have been hell bent on delivering more and more and more and more BHPs... and so, as they had so much oil, they simply built bigger engines to burn more... while the european makers wrestled oil shortages (like the one that gave birth to the mini) and tried to improve all aspects of the cars driveability and performance - brakes, suspension, lights, etc etc.

    yes, American cars really are not good.
    '87 Camry 2.0ltr injected---------5min 11 sec
    '85 Charade turbo 700cc----------5min 06 sec RESPECT
    '99 GX Impreza 2.0ltr-------------5min 02 sec
    '99 WRX w/ hi-flo exhaust------4min 46 sec
    Byrnesy's 172---------------------- 4min 25 sec

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Craig,
    How many Yank cars are on the list??
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  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! GavinS's Avatar
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    Guys I'm guessing this dude wants to sell his book. USA would be his main market; not France for his book. He comes from the land that renamed French fries to freedom fries but thatís politics so lets not go there, know the story and how its going.
    So a bit of a cheap shot at an outsider from a country being a bit pesky at the moment is safe and may generate some publicity, a bit of a laugh. That a separate group of outsiders from Asia are taking over the home market can be forgotten for a moment.
    The last thing I would expect is a book too critical of the home product as most are on the last lap of the bowl before exiting down the tube and donít need an extra kick. If only a way to get out of the messy manufacturing could be found while keeping the finance part of the business.
    Every nations cars are determined by home market conditions, just happens USA has cheaper gas, smoother wider roads, a well fed population (gourmet?) and like us long distances to travel and commute. Europe has medieval cities narrow roads no where to park cobbles all the way to autobahns, gas is an arm and a leg and pollution is taken seriously along with tax.

    Cars are cheap in USA and the bang for buck is huge, total cost of ownership just goes on the credit card for now. Who cares what others say about cars most have not driven, seems like a PR pre-emptive strike against more potential euro competition a cheap and effective way to scuttle them.
    Cheers- GavinS 25 GTX 1987 build 2165cc auto - TBR. Renault is properly pronounced "Rhen-oh."
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  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! R17G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    Craig,
    How many Yank cars are on the list??
    Quite a number, diesel Caddies and Lincolns, Mustang II, Ford Pinto, Amc Gremlin, Delorean (irish-american). Some more non US cars too. Suzuki Swift (sold under a GM brand), Daihatsu Charade, basically any compacts, Mercedes 190, Diesel Mercs. Did have to agree with the Datsun 120Y though.
    A Gordini is still a GORDINI!!!

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    As I said before, I can't agree with the 120Y being on any such list. Nor the R5. That was a ripper little car. And the 505 was a fine device.
    Like Gavin said, those comments are all for book sales in one of the most Ethno-centric markets going round.
    I despise most cars that have come out of the states in the last thirty years. And all they stand for... you know, big is better..... I'm tuffer than you etc etc.
    The Yanks just got eccentric in the late 60's. But lets not forget, they were certainly capable of good stuff in the old days; like fancy electric convertible roofs; fancy electrics, air-con, power steerage etc in the days where Europe produced precious few luxuries in cars. And the Yanks made cars with genuine style and brilliance.
    I don't think the Yanks are incapable of engineering good cars at all. However, their market is probably even less discriminating than the North African market so that will ensure that they produce whatever cars that will make them money. I.e. complete crud.
    A country will produce the type of products that their people demand. In the matter of cars we are becoming more like America every day, which I find regretful.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  10. #10
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Does a 3 cylinder 4 speed auto Daewoo Lanos make it to the list? Now that is a fine motor car.
    Regards,

    Simon

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  11. #11
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    Default Horses for courses

    I suppose you have to credit the USA with production engineering techniques that produced interchangeable parts and lazy long stroking motors and soft springs.

    If you are born to believe in the muscle car and have no other excitement in your life, then you will clearly favour that style of car, with maybe a Hummer H2 to declare your individuality

    My own self I prefer a car that when you drive it, tells you why you love to drive it, power, performance, ability to go where you want to put it no matter the Hills, the curves, the sheer delight of driving a driver's car.

    I recall years ago my mate driving his small european car, overtaking a yank tank and the driver taking umbrage against our small car passing him. yes he had the ultimate power to top our top speed on the straight road, but had to back off so sharply on the minor bends my mate just sailed past him at his top speed of 104 mph - the more curves the further we left him behind as his car wallowed all over the road.

    Finally we got onto a long straight stretch of road and I reckon he had his tank up to near 200 mph to catch us, just as we came to the next slight curve in the road just as he overtook us and he almost lost it to the point that we made up our minds to just let him go, lest he kill himself.

    yeah it was legal then to drive safely at speed, but that dill was way outside his vehicles safe capacity and ego and brain both over rated!

    Muscle car, drag racing - lots of horsepower smoke and smell, but little else to appreciate IMHO.

    Ken

  12. #12
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I think he also mentioned a lot of Lada in that book and i think (if im right) the FSM Miki got a mention too......

  13. #13
    Banned renaulturbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    I think he also mentioned a lot of Lada in that book and i think (if im right) the FSM Miki got a mention too......
    U mean the 650 cc little Nikki?

    If the Nikki had a 7 litre V8 and weighed 4500 'pounds' more he wouldnt have included it...

    We already bagged this guy a few years ago here
    French Cars Best Forgotten........

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Fiat 125 V Chev

    Back in the Fiat 125 days the big Chev had a two stage auto.

    One decided to pass Dads 125 and give him the fingers. Dad raced after him and had the enjoyment of seeing a v8 explode trying to beat a 1608cc 4cyl.

    Last he saw was flames from the bonnet and a fire extinguisher in action lol lol. The gent giving the fingers sign had lost all resemblence of composure!


    Graelin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    Back in the Fiat 125 days the big Chev had a two stage auto.

    One decided to pass Dads 125 and give him the fingers. Dad raced after him and had the enjoyment of seeing a v8 explode trying to beat a 1608cc 4cyl.

    Last he saw was flames from the bonnet and a fire extinguisher in action lol lol. The gent giving the fingers sign had lost all resemblence of composure!


    Graelin
    Aussie writer Tony Davis published a book on automotive lemons last year. Too many cars are easy targets.
    In defence of Yank Tanks, they are by and large (sorry) luxurious, well equipped, fast and very cheap (in the US). They offer a DIFFERENT set of attractions to French cars. Different does not mean bad.
    My Cadillac offers a ride bettered only by my old Citroen DS, it is as comfortable and luxuriously equipped as my Mercedes 560SEL with features such as power seats, climate control and central locking - which they've offered since the 1950s. I don't pretend it's an economy car or a sports car or any other kind of compromise and enjoy it for what it is - a big, stylish, comfy cruiser. Unless you've really experienced a big Yank Tank (and not a ride around the block), you won't know what they're all about. Yes, I do still like French cars and I've enjoyed owning over a dozen...
    PB

    BTW my cars include French, German, Italian, American, Japanese & Aussie - yes, my Australian car is the worst car ever made (a Zeta!). Bet it doesn't feature in the American book.

  16. #16
    Banned orestes's Avatar
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    I to agree there is to much bashing of yank cars here, but being a French car forum it's to be expected.

    Looking back at muscle cars there are quite a few that i would like to own, and quite a few that are good cars. Yes America produces a lot of lemons in amongst the good, but tell me that most of you wouldn't own a mustang, charger, thunderbird, or GT40, or even for modern times a viper, if you were given one. I'd even own a hummer if i were given one.
    Last edited by orestes; 28th April 2005 at 04:01 AM.

  17. #17
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    Youre kidding about the Tbird, right ?? and most Mustangs are just saloons in pretty clothes.

    A GT40 would be lot of fun, but then it didn't start out as Yank design anyway.

    I have driven an 80's Linclon extensively, and apart from more cabin room and some fancy electrics, didn't offer much more than my DS, except for guzzling twice as much fuel.

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    Banned orestes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petermelb
    Youre kidding about the Tbird, right ?? and most Mustangs are just saloons in pretty clothes.

    A GT40 would be lot of fun, but then it didn't start out as Yank design anyway.

    I have driven an 80's Linclon extensively, and apart from more cabin room and some fancy electrics, didn't offer much more than my DS, except for guzzling twice as much fuel.
    no im not kiding about the thunderbird, for my mind it's one of the beter american car designs. About the mustang, i doubt you'd be saying that a shelby GT 350, or 500 is "just a saloon in pretty clothes". Modern mustangs aren't very nice but a 1967 model GT 500 would go very nicely in my garage.
    Last edited by orestes; 29th April 2005 at 05:54 AM.

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