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When I was in college, I had a girlfriend here in the U.S. who was an exchange student from Nottingham, England. She once showed me a photo of her car back home. I think it was a Morris Mini Rover, four feet wide, ten feet long and weighed 200 lbs. I weighed 220 lbs. at the time and I told her “I could never ride in a car that weighs less than me.” That has been one of my rules in life.
I grew up with big cars. The first car I drove a lot was my Dad’s ugly green four door 1968 Dodge Monaco. It was over 18 feet long. It was so big you could land a helicopter on the hood and the trunk at the same time. Inside the trunk you could sleep four adults comfortably. The Monaco trunk was a favorite of Mafia hit men used for transporting clients. It had a big fat V-8 engine with 330HP. As my Pennsylvania Dutch Dad said, it had “schwoop.”
I do not understand any attraction to the teeny weenie cars we see on the roads today. Micro cars, bubble cars, super-minis, Mini-Coopers and Smart Cars – what is smart about riding in a $17,000 SPAM can? Oh yeah, I know about all the save the planet, save the whales, hug a tree, reduce your carbon footprint stuff. But will you really feel better about the environment while being crushed to death in an accident with an 18 ton recycling truck? Will your last thought be “I’m so glad my Smart Car reduced CO2 emissions … aaaaahhh!!! SQUASH.”
Please don’t tell me about electric cars. I won’t even acknowledge that they exist until the day they have their own small nuclear reactors to power them.
I remember a TV commercial from years ago featuring a car called “The Spec.” It was a commercial mocking little rental cars for business travelers. The little “Spec” car was so small you could park it in your hotel room with you at night.
In my long time ago youth, my guy friends and I would lift up cars and move them as a prank. Today we would be able to pick up the new breed of little cars and carry them around, upstairs, into a house or throw them into a swimming pool. If I had a little car today I think I’d have to chain it to something like a bicycle rack, a parking meter or a tree.
There must be a lot of anxiety for small car owners. Fear of having your small car crumpled by a stray rolling shopping cart in a parking lot. You certainly would not want anyone to lean against your mini-car and collapse it. If the air bags go off will it push you through the back window? In a small car I’d be terrified with a 13 foot tall semi-trailer truck behind me who can’t see me over their 5 foot long engine hood and drive over me turning me into a car mat.
In a car accident I’d like to at least have a fighting chance, not crushed like a thin aluminum beer can. My ideal safety car would be a Brinks Armored truck.
John C. Bieber can be contacted on Facebook.