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My take on Cars…

November 15, 2010


Being a designer and a lover of things automotive is a very difficult place to be.

Especially if you are a designer in my mould, which is, shall we say, deviant? 🙂

To my eyes, these cars I love so much, present some of the worst dysfunction of this design dystopia we all exist in.

So when I come across articles such as these, with titles such as these…

How our cars became like home

Part two of our Telegraph Motoring/AXA survey shows that we love driving alone in our own space.

Or worse yet…. this, by one of the world’s leading authorities on automobiles (from the press anyways)…

Baffling Bach has left me a bit


‘Am I being thick? Nothing else on the computer or telephone has beaten me’. James May battles with in-car entertainment

which babble inane, paradigm supporting logic for why we should or apparently do love this dystopia of ours…, I tend to respond like this…

My comments, unedited for mis-takes etc…

In response to Car like Home…


Wow! Perfect. Just what automakers want you to feel like.

Here, see this chair, uncomfortable at best, back-breaking at worst? Let me put it  in this metal box, slightly smaller than your living room, but so what. In fact, I’ll just load the 3-piece sofa set in. How’s that? Hmmmm… I thought so.

Hmmmm, next, windows. Of course, what is a living room without windows? Okkkay, windows all around. Really Mr. Designer, glass on the outside of a metal box going 100 KMPH? Really?

Oh yes, of course, perfectly safe, you see, it is toughened glass, there! Feel better?

Now, music, of course, lot’s of music. Speakers everywhere. Need to keep the living room feeling eh? There! Super bass, steering mounted controls…. go at it. BE deaf to the outside, it’s okay.

Too much sun you said? Tint the windows Charlie.

Too dark to drive safely at night? Well, cannot have it all, can you?

Here is a holder for your cup, your phone, your laptop, your Trash, your GPS, your make-up kit, well lit, your newspaper, magazines, games for the three in-car screens……

There, now drive and wrap yourself and your car and anyone else unlucky enough to be in your metal box with glass window living room, with 400 kg’s or searing hot metal just a “firewall” away, over a cliff or around a lamp-post.

We’ll just call you collateral damage in the quest for the perfect, mobile living room!




And to Mr. May’s troubles with his Music selection, which in his article, he mentions he uses while at stop-lights etc., obligatory crap. Think any of his gushing “fans” paid attention to that part?


This is somehow about cars?


Such a sign of the times. Engine? Shhhhhhh……

Gears? Paddle it…shhhh…

Handling? Electronically assisted, just drive, shhhhh…..

Disambiguation, dis-connection, dys-function.

When you drive, you drive. Pay attention, be aware, feel the steering if your kind automaker left any feel in it at all.

Sure, use the scroll function on your Icrap and find yourself and your car wrapped around a pole.




And my take on the latest trend of Car Companies announcing high end electrics/ hybrids, as if that is the only way technology can trickle down, top to bottom, especially hybrid technology, which a group of boys and their hobby teacher had cracked back in the late 90’s in a garage, with an old Honda Civic and store bought parts. They and all evidence of their “work” has disappeared.

So BMW breathlessly unveils it’s Hybrid Supercar, all pretty and arty and clearly in Tesla Electric Car territory, ridiculous….and people are gushing that they will be allowed to gawk at this in 2013 for possible production in 2018…


Hey Lookee here folks, the latest gizmodo, a tribute to your never ending fascination with things you cannot really have, yet!

2013! 20 friggin 13 and folks are getting their knickers in a twist.

While I see a form oriented art piece, probably functional, but boy, at a price eh? Sorry, only James May will be able to afford it, but so what, at least you can exchange funny banter with his assistant about it on his blog or call in to his radio show while  driving your 1987 Vauxhall down the M5.

The car buying public is amongst the most programmed in the world, taking  whatever the makers throw their way in terms of “improvement”.

Wake up, go kick a tire (carefully though, it might spoil the artwork).



Like that. The life of an automotive mal-content!


Drive safe! It can be a Killer Machine, that’s got Eeeeeevrything…

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:09 pm

    All fun till the money runs out. I have poured all Ive made into vehicles, all my adult life. Seems a cyclic thing where you work and save and work some more to get the beast running just the way you want and BAM! a crushing blow leaves you stranded shivering bewildered and suddenly very introspective. Going through it right now for about the thirty fifth time. I have a beautiful Crown Victoria sitting out back with just about all new parts, fully insured, but empty fuel tank. Slow times at work with nothing on the horizon, I once again question my priorities. Fun to go sit in it and make brem brem motor sounds late at night though. Can’t smoke in the apt bldg so its now the designated ‘smoking section’

    • November 16, 2010 3:26 am

      I hear you Bruce. A Crown Vic, eh? A Police special? It’s the only one I ever wanted. With the searchlight and all! 🙂

  2. Bruce permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:35 am

    No searchlight, Its a 97 p71 ex cop car/ taxi 600,000 kms. My third one. I need a big car for floorlaying, carry a lot of tools,shopvac etc. Have had tearout jobs where I’ve fit 100 square yards of scrap carpet and pad into it (STINK) Yeah, big beautiful cars. You should be able access my entire Tinypic album somewhere in with the raccoons. The Primer color one with yellow stripe, bottom of the doors. Lots of pics of other Vic’s in there too, I do the occaisional funny photoshopping for online friends. Yeah the store I work for has new owners,work is so slow, plus at 52 am getting worn out, Its hard work, construction. Different addresses daily grinds a person down fast. The days of burning up the boulevards are over, I stay home, mostly. My mom 85, dad 80.

  3. Auntiegrav permalink
    November 19, 2010 1:47 pm

    The cars are the news, and the news is only there because it sells cars.
    Current project:
    1980 Comuta Car

    • November 19, 2010 2:02 pm

      Hey, thanks for the intro to the incredible Comuta Car. Awesome!
      I’m in the process of adding a hybrid drive train to my restoration project, the Premier 118 NE (which was the Indian licensed version of the Fiat 124).

      Good fun. If you have a project page or site or some such, please share.

  4. pbwe permalink
    November 24, 2010 3:17 pm

    Driving in your own space …

    My approach is to put a set of those foam earplugs in and drive with the music up loud. This protects the hearing, maskes the mechanical noise, and driving becomes like a roller coaster dream immersed in music. Having done this for years, I cannot say that this is dangerous, for me.

  5. leo permalink
    December 26, 2010 12:17 pm

    cars:stable,bad smelling,noisy,heavy,rigid,feels like a fish in a can.
    you better try a skateboard,you’ll feel better.

    • December 26, 2010 12:32 pm

      Working on building the alternative. Current designs are awful.
      Skateboards, not big in India while I was growing up, but that mechanism that makes the wheels turn is beautiful engineering.

  6. Stephen Baze permalink
    March 26, 2011 11:14 pm

    Yes the Americn relationship with automobiles is a powerful love affair and horrible marriage all rolled into one. Personally I think autos are a complete waste of money and energy and I have owned many. The absurdity of adorments and amenities is quite bizarre these days as we are supposedly observing austerity. I own a car and a truck. A bicycle and a 1976 Honda 49CC motorcyle which gets 100MPG. I hardly drive anymore but enjoy the Honda and bicycle by far. No GPS or bells and whistles on any.

    • March 27, 2011 5:09 pm

      I own a bike (with a 6 moth flat tire), a 95 cc Scooter and two old cars (which I love, but now hardly use). I was a petrol-head who hgot a head job while in the US. In the end, filling up my gas tank just felt plain wrong.
      I guess, like all things, we took the wrong turns on what could have been a good thing.

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