Hatin’ on the Chevy Volt

The One drives the Volt 10 yards:


Some commentators are getting all pissy about what the Volt is and does, but baby steps. GM has fucked me over numerous times (’81 Buick Skylark, ’81 Buick Regal, ’84 Olds 88 wagon), but I’d still buy a Volt and drive it with pride. We built something good, dammit. Sure it’s been a while, but this is proof even GM can change. At least I think so … what do you think?


Piece of shit. There is no reason an electric car can’t do 0-100 mph in 3 seconds. That’s what America wants and needs. A fucking car to rip the fucking meat off of your face while you’re chugging down an icy fucking Leinenkugel and blowing the doors of the statie’s patrol car. This thing’s a fucking shopping cart. What America wants to see is Obama jump into the car with a bottle of good beer, crack the cap off with one of the radio knobs and push his foot into the firewall winding out the puppy to 100+ in under four seconds, grin, turn to the camera and down the beer in one blast, hurl the empty out the window and give deliver a diatribe on the new conquest of the automotive market by incredibly powerful, dangerous American electrics. Who does this asshole’s PR?

@FlyingChainSaw: I think they showed your 0-100 electric car on not-Rachel or not-Keef the other night. Part of a geek engineering contest.

@nojo: There is a professor from an engineering school who shows up regularly espousing the need to deliver performance cars to give people a reason to care about electrics. Typically, he looks like an extra from a Rat Patrol rerun because he drives most of his experimental stock without windscreens or doors and ends up driving around in goggles.

@FlyingChainSaw: Agreed. Electric motors have all their torque available at 0 rpm. For myself, I care little about top speed but everything about acceleration up to, say, 100. Gasoline-engined cars have worked out the traction thing so some can do 0-60 in under 4 seconds; the Tesla roadster claims 3.7, so let’s go, already.

@Dodgerblue: There’s another argument I’ve heard lately for high-performance electric cars: Getting onto the 405.

@Dodgerblue: @FlyingChainSaw: The Tesla is supposed to do 0 to 90 in five seconds. Too bad it’s over a hundred grand.

@nojo: You friggen SoCal’ers and your damn “the 405” and “the 10” for the highways. No need for THE! Is it Santa Barbara or SLO County where the “the” drops away into NorCal usage?

@nojo: The I-110 southbound in Pasadena is more fun. They have stopsigns at the foot of the onramps.

@SanFranLefty: The roadster is built on a Lotus chassis so small that a guy my size can only look and drool.

@SanFranLefty: East Coast usage also omits the “the.” Because they don’t know shit.

@SanFranLefty: Somewhere you don’t have a dozen numerically named major freeways to contend with, yes.

@Dodgerblue: Texas usage (or at least the part of Texas I’m familiar with) is to include the type of road in the description. So it’s “I-35” or “I-H 35” (remember that the letter I has three syllables in Texas) or “FM 1479,” etc.

@Dodgerblue: OH!

@SanFranLefty: No shit! 280, 101 (prefer 280 myself) — the rest is a waste of breath.

This is not Germany. We don’t drive the autobahns. We have speed limits. 55-65 on most roads. So we need a car that can scream to 1oo in 5 scs because…? We think we are in Star Trek?

@SanFranLefty: In Oregon, it’s “I-5”. Not that there’s anything else to compete with it.

@nojo: Wait. Whatchoo got? Um, 15 to 415?, 5, 8 (?), is that right? You’ve got like three highways down there. Maybe 408 (not sure). Pfft. If you guys can’t keep, what, three, or at the most, five roads straight without the use of an article. That’s just peeteefull.

ADD: Yeah, those are just the N-S roads. You gotta ton of beautiful teeny E-W roads, but you really don’t need the word “the” too keep them straight. The do have numbers and shit…

@Dodgerblue: For people who live in the midwest, a top speed of 300 MPH is a necessity since they have to drive 150 miles to go to a movie and shit. The engineer is right. Niceness and environmental concerns won’t sell these cars. They need an outlaw edge, cops should be condemning them as terrorist projectiles, etc.

@JNOV: We have The Five and The Eight, which copulate a mile north of Stinque World Domination Headquarters.

We also have The Fifteen and The Few Others, but since I never take them, I’m not on a reified basis with them.

@nojo: Just had to throw that “The” in there, didn’t you, Nojo? I thought if anything, you were about word economy.

@Benedick: Because it’s the states and the facts have nothing to do with anything and the fantasy of the lawless, unchained life of wanton, cackling excess that is our birthright and the only thing that stops us from waking up and realizing the lives of horrific impoverished oppression we live, controlled by diabolical corporate oligarchs who keep us indebted, desperate and pathetic and finally setting cities aflame.

Oh please – as a runaround, this car is pretty decent. Remember when everyone was making fun of the Prius? Live and learn.

@blogenfreude: The Prius is emetogenic. Everyone is still laughing. We want wanton excess, yes, we need to bring Kawolski back from grave in a performance electric to outrun the Nevada staties with an armed nude harem whose members squeal in delight when they pick off a cop car with high powered rifles. That’s an ad that would sell cars.

@blogenfreude: New Yorkers Just Don’t Understand.

@Dodgerblue: The only “the” we use here before an Interstate number is for “the Perimeter,” referring to 285 and the dividing line between the blue dot of the city proper and the red suburban abortion that gave America Newt Gingrich, John Linder and other assorted fuckwads. We generally leave off the “I”s or “U.S.” or “Georgia” in referring to roads, either.

Also, Stinquers, I need your (serious) opinions: I will hopefully, as a graduation present to myself next year, buy a new or a new-to-me car. Natch, no SUVs, no trucks (southernness notwithstanding) or vans, price range $14000 – 17000. Suggestions?

@JNOV: Fuck yeah, right? They are so hot when they talk like that.

@rptrcub: I remain very happy with my Cheapest-Jalopy-On-The-Lot Civic.

@rptrcub: Pay a little more and get a mini Cooper. Small and cute gets you laid, broheim.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: And get Silent Creative Partner a mini while you’re at it. He resorted to painting a Geo a few years back, but it didn’t quite work.

@rptrcub: Prius. Or you might go with a Prius. Failing that I’d suggest a Prius. The perfect city/suburb car. And pretty damn good in the country too. We bought ours with 63,000 miles on it for about $12,000. (Don’t forget you have to pay sales tax on a used car to get a registration) It now has 153.900 and still feels new. Can’t recommend it too highly. Perfect size, great maneuvering, fun to drive and great mileage. I’m driving to Florida next week. It’ll take about three and a half tanks of gas. Approx 42 gals. Plus, I love how quiet it is.

I liked our Civic but no comparison to the Prius. My fave car was a 4WD Subaru hatchback but they make it any more.

PS. Pay no attention to Catt. He lives in CA. It’s all about surface.

@rptrcub: How are you going to use the car? I’m with Benedick on a used Prius if it’s just for city/suburb driving.

I don’t know if they have it in Atlanta (I think they do) but I have a business account with ZipCar because the SFL household jalopies are gasping their last breath. As a result, every time I have to drive out of the City and County of San Francisco for work-related reasons I get to test drive lots of different cars and get an idea of what I like and don’t like for a future car. Honda has a really nice hybrid Accord (or maybe it’s a Civic), and my preference is the Prius. I didn’t like the Mini Cooper because the controls were all wonky and you’re supposed to only give it fancy gas. A nice little compact that I rented last weekend was a Ford Focus. Solid car – I got it up to 75 or 80 on I-5 and there was no rattling or wheezing or shaking. Got good mileage too.

I can’t complain about my 90s-era Saturn sedan. Got it used for less than $8K and have put over 125K miles on it. It’s been a great workhorse with 35 mpg, I’ve driven the hell out of it, and I’ll be sad when it goes away. Unfortunately they don’t make Saturns any more, they were the best car put out by American manufacturers in the past twenty years IMHO.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Man, even I can’t fit into a Mini Cooper. Great for zipping around double-parked assholes in teh sitaay, but unless you like driving with your knees under your chin (I said DRIVING, mmmkay?), then it’s cute but worthless. Fucking clown car.

@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: He will be mine, Oh, yes, he will be mine. Like maybe for a week…I bore easily.

@nojo: Wait. SCP painted a Geo in Mini Coop colors or just painted the Geo cuz it needed painting?

@rptrcub: Get a 1987 Subaru GL Station Wagon with the stock 1.8L and fix it up. If it has no rust, it will run forever with maintenance. Last car you will ever need and with 4WD will be useful when cannibal anarchy descends and the roads fall into disrepair.


Gas mileage shouldn’t be the only deciding factor, and you can find some absolutely bitchin’ used cars in pristine condition out there for way less than your current budget. Consider it part of the reuse – recycle part of the equation. Might I suggest something like:

1991 Pontiac Firebird Formula

Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… even better

1978 Lincoln Mark V Series Cartier

Credit unions will often finance older cars in good condition. And you wanna talk safety? A Mack truck could hit that Lincoln and you likely wouldn’t notice it for a week.

@JNOV: He turned a white Geo into a white-top red mini-wannabe.

@JNOV: Hmm, these guys don’t seem to have any problem getting in and out of their Coopers.

@SanFranLefty: LOVE Zip Car! They also have city specials where for approx. $20/month, you get to rent cars during the workweek for half-price. The only problem with Zip is that (here, at least), it’s treated as a rental car company, so there are all these local and state taxes and fees. But $4/hr for a Prius, free gas, free insurance (and continuity of coverage should you purchase your own car), free time added to your account if you wash the car (and you get reimbursed for the wash), it’s not a bad deal.

@JNOV: The new Cooper Mini is a monster compared to the original. I remember jumping in one, a lorry version with doors on the back, on the South Island of New Zealand being used for deliveries by a strawberry farmer. It was like being in a slipper with wheels built for two.

@Nabisco: YOU AND THE FUCKING STEELERS AGAIN! Ugh. You know, I was seriously considering making them my team from now on, but you’re pushing it, Skippy. You’re pushing it…

@nojo: BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We need pictures of this thing! You didn’t try to talk him out of it? Shoulda just tried to turn it into a barber pole or something.

@FlyingChainSaw: I just tried to see what year MINI I drove — I’m not sure. It had a key fob (ETA: push-button ignition), but I don’t know how long they’ve been using those. Seriously, that thing was TINY. I know it wasn’t a new one — what year are you talking when you write “new”?

Meh. I drove it for a day. It was reasonably fun. I’ve had my fill.

@Nabisco: I’m not done with you. Remember how you refused to root for the Phils even though the Pirates (and I mean, Pirates? WTF? Do pirates routinely sail into Pitt from Lake Erie or some shit? Pirates?) kinda sucked ass. But I guess you’re used to that by now.

@FlyingChainSaw: I’m on board with this idea. The main problem we have here with older cars is the salt used on the roads during the winter leads to car cancer and all kinds of undercarriage issues, plus we have potholes galore (again, cuz of the weather and shitty road maintenance). In warmer climes, you can grab an older model and drive the hell out of it.

Speaking of teeny cars, anyone ever drive a Smart Car? I first learned about Smart in maybe ’04, but you couldn’t buy them in the US — only in Canadialand. Since then, I’ve seen maybe three of them on the road. I’d squeeze into one for the helluvit, but I sure wouldn’t want to be in an accident in that thing.

IIRC, even though this car is no bigger than a minute, there were some emissions issues that prevented them from being sold here. Ummm…I still don’t get it. I’m betting that was some sort of BS reason the gummit gave for not allowing them to be sold here.

Anyway, if SCP ever gets the itch to change the color of his car, the panels pop off, and you can make the damn thing look like a Mardis Gras float.

@JNOV: The Smart Cars are everywhere in my ‘hood. They’re as ubiquitous as Mini Coopers were four years ago. You can park them on the street engine-in and not be sticking out anymore than a SUV that is parallel parked. The problem, of course, is that they’re a two-seater. The problem with bringing them to the US – I fell in love with them when I saw them in Italy in 2004 – was not the emissions, it was that the safety commission was concerned about how they’d hold up against a big car in a collision. They did a steel cage for them, I believe, so now they’re pretty safe.

@FlyingChainSaw: I love the ’80s era Subaru wagons. When my grandma went to the nursing home a few years ago, my parents had her Subaru wagon. The logistics of getting it from them cross-country to me was too crazy so they sold it. She had a 1986 wagon and since she never drove it anywhere than to the Von’s that was a mile and a half from her home, it had only 45 or 50 thousand miles on it. I kick myself for not just flying cross-country to retrieve it. Only drawback was it didn’t have airbags, which makes me nervous.

@JNOV: Anything in the states running around now is the New one by BMW or whoever licensed or bought the marque. The one I was in was vintage late 1970s. Smelled like oil, cattle shit and strawberries and road like a shopping cart, only without the really good shopping cart suspension.

@FlyingChainSaw: That actually sounds like a lot of fun.

@SanFranLefty: Airbags? When I was a kid, my parents tag teamed cigarette smoking with the A/C at full blast while we literally rolled around in the back seat, popping open cans of Pabst* for my Dad between rest stops on The Turnpike. We didn’t even use the lap belts, let alone have airbags.

*That part isn’t true.

@FlyingChainSaw: I know that Blog hates them, but I lurved all the Morris Minors still puttering around the Lotus Island.

ADD: @JNOV: How them Fils doing now, hun? Are they even in the hunt for a freaking wild card?

@SanFranLefty: The things had great crushing resistance. I was rear ended in mine while stopped in stall and crawl traffic by a lady going around 40 MPH, pushing me straight into a truck in front of me. Drove it away. That’s a car. In California, it would have been good for 500,000 miles. In two-wheel mode, it had incredible mileage, in part because the 1.8L was about the same size as a lawn mower engine. You did not want to be running one on a highway when you needed to use the air conditioning. They had a lot of nice features, too. Dashboard annunciator told you exactly what door was ajar and the gear you were in so you didn’t have to look down on the center console and this bizarre super-cool setting on the air conditioner that would blast the cabin frigid but take most of the power of the engine. You could tune it with two tools. Only genetic traits that were troublesome were a proclivity to leak oil, a problem they overcame with the 2.2L engine.

@Nabisco: In progress, bottom of the 6th: Pitt Wannabe Ninjas: GOOSE EGG; Cards: 4

Oh, and there’s that 17 (wait, let’s see, SEVENTEEN. Hmmmm. That’s longer than it takes for a newborn to get her driver’s license) consecutive losing seasons thing. But it’s all good, Hun.

ETA: Oh, my bad — middle of the seventh. That stretch ain’t gonna help your boys…

ETAA: Steve Jackson does have sexy ears…

@JNOV: Just wait until next year April!


Well, the suburbanites need *something* to make up for the fact that pr0nz0rs have apparently rendered them all impotent. It’s the same reason that people far too prissy to ever drive off-road need giant 4WD vehicles and Hummers. And don’t even get me *started* on the wanna-be pickup trucks with a 3 foot long “bed” that can’t actually hold fucking anything.

@JNOV: You don’t talk Silent Creative Partner out of anything. Usually he’s the one who talks me into something.

Oh, and the GeoMini is long gone. Towed. Long story. It’s always a long story with Silent Creative Partner.

@nojo: I rented one once for a long-distance industrial assignment in like 1992. Put two canisters of Fireball 104 octane boost into it and red-lined it for like 1,000 miles each way. Always fun to drive a car to nearly ripping its engine off of the motor mounts for days on end.

@Nabisco: Well, at least you didn’t get shut out. 11-1. Meh. I’ve seen worse. Like in t-ball where they don’t keep score, such as.

@Skippy: Hmmmmm…”Pit-ballt-ball” I think I’ll work on a slogan for you guys in case you have a winning season before I die.

Speaking of people who just Lost The Game:

Oregon Tea Party kicks the hornets’ nest (ED link; ads not remotely SFW)

Apparently, some teabaggers in Oregon thought it would be a good idea to “borrow” Anonymous’s slogan. And then, when this was pointed out, *threatened* Anonymous.

Anybody got popcorn? :)

@al2o3cr: Oh — my kid linked to this recently. I might have another link…one sec.

ADD: Yeah, here it is on the Daily Markos (I hate calling dude, “Kos”). My kid says it’s a sign of The End Times or some such.

ADD: It sucks to herp derp ur derp.

@JNOV: My kid says it’s a sign of The End Times or some such.

If you properly understood the horror that could come of teabaggers taking queues from the most hateful script kiddies on the internet, you’d think so, too.


I think the most hateful script kiddies on the internet (and I’d totally be one if I were like 11) are a million times smarter than the t-bag douches. They might be trying to act like Anonymous, but you know they don’t have the brain cells to pull it off. I mean, they probably are still using AOL dial-up two tin cans and a string.


I’d also recommend one of the most sophisticated, stylish and downright sexiest cars ever produced:

1987 BMW 635 CSi

@Original Andrew: I’m on Team S-Class, but I’m thinking around 1987ish the S-Class had little wiper blades on the headlights. Heh.

@al2o3cr: Yeah, Junior sent me a tip Friday, but I feared it would take five pages just to explain the backstory.


THOSE ARE AWESOME! I’m partial to used Mercedes myself, and those were some of the greatest cars ever produced, period. Luxurious, tank-like and almost indestructible, I still see well-cared-for examples all over town. A timeless classic.

@nojo: Heh. After the last mention of /[letter]/, I wasn’t sure if you thought those brats might come crash your server.

@JNOV: No, it’s a great story — especially the Oregon angle. But we’re dealing with a crowd that’s mostly unfamiliar with /b/, let alone Anonymous, so you really need to go all Calvin Trillin and patiently lay the groundwork to explain the punchline.

In other words, there’s William Holden face-down in the swimming pool. And we still have 109 minutes to go.

bought one for bakette in high school. i can’t recommend them highly enough.
that is all.

@baked: I rented one in CA. I took a few days to drive up the coast and through the mountains. Coming round a corner towards a tiny tunnel I almost ran head-on into a truck that came screaming out, straddling the road. There was no room for me to get past it and the choice was either to slam into it, go over the side of the mountain, or drive in to the wall. I drove into the wall. I thought the car would be creamed but all that happened was that the light covering was cracked. All the rest popped right back. Saved my life and kept on ticking. Needless to say they don’t make them any more.

this happened to me yesterday. wanted to pass a cement mixer that was going 3 mph on a 2 lane. i passed him, and being an asshole, he sped up so that i was facing an 18 wheeler. i thought, eww, this is gonna be messy.
i managed to slip in, between asshole and big ass truck like a tetris piece, with an inch to spare. love my jeep! btw, i LIKE driving on the left like a limey.
and your story is eggactly why i got her that car.

@nojo: Oh! Sunset Blvd AND Floater? Seen the movie; gotta read Floater, Bud. I’m seeing an obvious connection between the book and the movie (assuming we’re talking about the same book), but I bet there’s something more…

@SanFranLefty: They have ZipCars here, parked at MARTA stations (which soon, ZipCars will probably become the only semblance of public transportation still left in this town after budget cuts become more severe with every year). Never tried one.

I hate to say this but right now in 100 effing degree heat with heat indices making it feel like Venus, my primary criterion is air conditioning. I like the Focus, too, but my sister had to have an engine replaced on a ’99 model, so I’m a bit hesitant.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I think, too, I’d like OA’s suggestion of the 1978 pimpmobile.

I don’t want to hear any bitching about highway names–you have no idea the clusterfuck they’ve created in Chicago by giving every stretch of freeway a name. For example, I-94 is known alternately as the Dan Ryan, Kennedy, or Edens, depending on what stretch of it you’re talking about. Scroll down and check out this jaw-dropping guide to the names. The morning traffic report is absolutely insane.

However befuddled the regular drivers are though, we infrequent drivers are fortunate enough to have two car share companies: Zip Car and I-Go. I'm a member of I-Go, which is a Chicago-based non-profit. Their car selection is not quite as flashy as Zip Car's, but it's still pretty good. I usually use a Prius near my apartment and just yesterday I used a Civic Hybrid for the first time. Every once in a while there are frustrations (a car that inexplicably won't unlock, no one answering the customer service line) but for the most part it's a beautiful system and I'm grateful to have it as an option.

@flippin eck: Yeah. We used to have a non-profit car share, too, but I’m afraid they’re going under. I tried to join them first. Alls we got is Zip now.


The only teensy downside is that it gets about the same gas mileage as a Star Destroyer.

Otherwise, go for it, cubbie! Mark V Cartier all-the-way!

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