Posted On: Monday - May 6th 2019 6:34PM MST
In Topics:   General Stupidity  Music  Cars  Curmudgeonry
(The picture here is from a complaint about windows not rolling all the way down,
another valid criticism.)
Cars today are not built very much for "cool" looks or fun of any kind. People just don't want that stuff anymore, especially the young people. That's fair enough, as good gas mileage and reliability are more worthy goals, IMO. Reliability HAS gone WAY up since the 1970's and gas mileage increases would have been a lot higher but for the new heavy mandated safety features.
Fine, but could you not have made these new designs for riding with the windows down, occasionally ... ever? I know that people are spoiled and they want the heat at 73 F on this side, A/C for the passenger, both want their asses heated up, the kid in the back wants it cooler and his DVD turned up ... etc. Electronics can do a whole lot now, until ... well, around the time the warranty expires, and all kinds of troubleshooting and workarounds must be done. You should have sold it by then!
Anyway, it's just that these modern cars must have been tested in the wind tunnels or on the road with windows up ONLY. The kids really wanted the windows down on this long trip, and they can do it with a switch push rather than a crank. Man, the car is NOT made for it, especially for the back ones being down. It was OK at 30 mph, but once near 60 mph, the turbulence became kind of intense. It was a buffeting to the point where I felt like I was under a sudden depressurization in the SR-71. Bang, bang, with a period of about a second or two, it went, ... "we're breaking up, Houston ..." The kids could not hear us tell them to "crank" the windows back up with the effect of this buffeting in all our ears, probably eventually to induce nausea and headaches. Oh, you can do it from the front. Don't panic! Find those switches before tunnel vision sets in!
Even riding with the front windows down above 50 mph has a similar effect, though of slightly lesser intensity. Hey, can't I just take in some fresh air and hear better? (The better hearing makes it much safer driving with windows down too, unless you follow gravel trucks!) What the heck are you supposed to do once you finish your banana anyway?*
It's about the side-mirrors, isn't it? Those things are 4 or 5 times bigger in area than they used to be on those 1980's cars. They've got 2 motors, a defogger, a built in signal light, a glued-on super-convex mirror for more visibility ... geeze, don't break one of these - you're in for $200 USED now. Sure, you can see more in 'em, and you need to because otherwise visibility through the narrow windows sucks in the new cars. Anyway, I believe those big-ass mirrors are what causes the turbulence when windows are down, but the manufacturers don't worry about it.
What a world it is now! Things are built for comfort and (what they think is) for safety, but not for any fun.
Johnny Cougar, from his melon camp somewhere in Southern Indiana, complained about it, but I think riding in the rumble seat would be a lot more fun than being cooped up in the modern boxy constrained contraptions of today.
"I could have a nervous breakdown, but I don't believe in shrinks.
I should be drunker than a monkey, but I don't like to drink ..."
It's just plain old rock-&-roll from Mr. Cougar's mid-80's album Scarecrow, which was chock full of great songs. As for car songs, Peak Stupidity has already featured Rush's Red Barchetta, Paul McCartney and Wings' Helen Wheels, and Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
* I think it would be interesting - annoying, but interesting - to get pulled over for throwing something organic out the window. Is throwing an apple core out into the woods littering? "How so, your honor?" (Course, the cop can just lie about it, if the county needs the money that bad ...)
[UPDATED 5/7 Afternoon:] Added opinion on mirrors.