Sunday, December 24, 2006


I heard on the news that in 2007 Toyota will surpass General Motors as the world’s largest automobile maker. Good. Serves them right. It reaffirms my faith in the marketplace. Consumers (and voters) are a lot smarter than businessmen (and politicians) give them credit for.

I’ve had lots of cars over the years. I got my first car at age 14 and just like J.K. Rowling’s friend it was a little English Ford called an Anglia. I also had a British motorcycle that was a clone of the Triumph Bonnevelle a 650 BSA. I rode the BSA non-stop from El Paso to Southern California, which is a distance of 1,325 kilometers (829 miles) one-way.

From General Motors in America I’ve had three outstanding Chevy’s including a '56 Chevey hot rod with two four barrel carburetors, a really nice 1965 Impala that my Sister and Brother-In-Law gave to me absolutely free because I was poor, and later a beautiful Corvette Stingray which was painted in yellow polyurethane and was called the Sun Vette (I bought it from a beautiful young lady named Suzie who later became the mayor of El Paso). Then I had a beige, six cylinder, 3-speed-manual-on-the-column GMC ½ ton pick-up truck with a camper shell. My Dad was a "Ford Man." So I also tried three cars from Ford including a top-of-the-line black Ford LTD with a vinyl top and a massive 429 cubic inch displacement V8 with a compression ratio of 12.5 to 1. It ran on either gasoline or LPG. In 1967 I owned a classic 289 cubic inch 1965 Mustang. A few years later I had an Indianapolis Pace car Mustang that was the hottest car I ever owned. On my way to Austin, Texas I once got it up to just over 140 mph (225 kph).

From France I’ve driven a couple of Renaults, a Simca, and a Peugeot. In general my perception is that French cars are really innovative and equally poorly engineered. So they are not very reliable. The Italians made my Fiat Uno (the same model that was responsible for the death of Princess Diana) and they also made the wonderful little Vespa moped that I drove all over the place in Europe. Motor vehicles that are made in Italy certainly have Bling!

From the frozen wastelands in the far north of Europe I had the misfortune to own a Vulva. This is the only car I have ever had that developed corossion problems inside of the engine block, so the coolant began contaminating the lubricating oil. So another urban myth was dispelled for me. This one about how well engineered Volvos are. And now due to a combination of arrogance and generalized Sweedish incompetence they have had to sell out to General Motors.

From Germany I owned a classic air cooled Volkswagen when I was in graduate school. I recently had a really fine black V8 Mercedes Gelaendewagen with heated leather seats and satellite navigation which cost in excess of $100,000-. One time I drove it to England and got some off-road driving instruction from the top instructor for the British Land Rover Society. Unfortunately it was somewhat poorly engineered. So I got to know the mechanics at the Mercedes garage over in Aachen, Germany a good bit better than I would have liked. This G500 is the same model of Merc that Bill Cosby, Macy Grey, Arnold Schwartzenager, and Kenneth Lay had. I bought my third (and final) ex-wife a cute little BMW which I ended up driving a lot. Beemers are a little bit overpriced for what you get, but they sure are well designed and they are a genuine pleasure to drive.

From Japan I’ve owned a lot of vehicles including a 350 cc Yamaha motorcycle with a two cycle engine and a red hatchback Mitsubishi which my first ex-wife got. To pull the horse trailer to the dressage competitions here in Europe over time I owned five different Nissan four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicles. Good cars, for sure.
The longest-term girl friend I ever had drove a Honda which I had the pleasure of driving thousands of miles. Another lady I knew was going through a divorce and was heavily medicated, so she asked me to drive her the 2,289 kilometers (1,419 miles) from El Paso to Atlanta in her Mazda with the Wankel rotary engine.

In the Toyota brand I’ve had a white Tercel, a white van (which the second ex-wife got), and two white Celica GTs both of which I loved dearly. I ended up shipping the second Celica over the pond to Europe when I moved over here. Here in Europe I bought the so-called "executive model" of Toyota Avensis. It was just perfectly happy to roll along in cruise-control at 130 mph on the German freeways. Yes that is miles per hour, not kilometers per hour. And really perfectly safe too. The freeways in Germany are designed for high speed travel. They have a road bed which is more than double the thickness of the American Interstate Highways, and the curves have a far longer and gentler radius.
The final Toyota I bought in Europe was a Prius which usually got around 50 miles per gallon. The Prius was comfortable, quiet, and had a great sound system. When you put the pedal-to-the-metal both the gasoline engine and the electric motor joined together making it surprisingly fast for short bursts of acceleration. I have nothing but the highest praise for the Prius. If you were to do a full accounting for the environmental cost of mining for the minerals, building the batteries, and later recycling them it is a little less green than it appears on the surface, but it still is the most green vehicle one can currently buy.
Back in the late 1970's when I was working for Concorde Insurance (between wives No. 1 and No. 2) I had a beautiful blonde girl friend who worked for Aetna insurance in El Paso. She was originally from Abilene and had fine hooters. Her name was Carolla and she owned a yellow Toyota Corolla. While it was parked in the garage of her house in the upper valley we reclined the seats fully in her Corolla, and Carolla and I made wonderful passionate love together. It seemed appropriate to me getting Carolla off in her Corolla. She thought I was maybe being just a wee bit strange, but she was perfectly happy to give it a try. And she ended up really enjoying herself. Me too.

All of the car companies make pretty darn good cars nowadays. Really. And Toyotas do cost a bit more than other cars. So why would any fool pay these prices?
Well there must be some reason since Toyotas are now both the most popular brand of cars in America and also among Islamo-Terrorists all over the 3d world. It is because Toyotas are better. That's why. Hands down, no comparison. Honest Injun. Or as we say using the Texas dialect, No Shit! Toyotas generally get pretty good fuel economy, and they really are more reliable and dependable than the cars made by any of the other car brands.
This is a link to a really fun video from the BBC's Top Gear which studies the reliability of Toyotas: and here is the second part of their analysis:
There may be only one thing that both Islamic Terrorists with AK-47s and us well-fed Americans agree upon. As Jeremy Clarkson puts it Automotive Greatness...

----------.......- TOYOTAS .RULE!!