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And life is grand

I don’t necessarily have anything against cars. Global-warming-loathing hippie mudhead that I am, I think we’re overreliant on them as a culture, and I really wish we were willing to do something about our catastrophic oil addiction. But, that said, I love to drive, and as a rule, our car culture is something I have enjoyed as much as deplored.

But we need to put an end to this habit of marketing people slapping the “touring” designation on whatever model of car they feel like charging an extra five grand for. The “touring”, “Turismo”, or “GT” label conjures up images of European gentry, roaring around the dusty back roads of a newly reborn West, free of fascism for the first time all century, stopping occasionally to over-tip some lucky café owner or petrol attendant, with nothing ahead of him but possibility. It should not conjure up images of Mom driving her kids to the Sonic for cheese tots after the tee-ball game.

“I say, Rotney! Grease up my PT Cruiser Touring Edition, and fetch me that wonderful Scottish tweed scarf I picked up in Orkney last summer. Oh, and my spectacles, and a Guide du Michelin. I’m going touring to the Valero station for a Tabasco Slim Jim! After that, dependent on my social calendar, I may tour the retail establishments of San Marcos and pick up a new shoe buffer. And after that, strike me if I don’t tour on over to the office and FAX some contracts! Shall I tour by KFC and acquire a picnic lunch, darling? It’s only a short tour away from the store where I get personalized golf tees! THE TOURING LIFE FOR ME!”

Comments

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archaica
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
No Hyundai Elantra (such as mine) deserves the marque "GT".
ludickid
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
No Hyundai anything deserves it.
janehex
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
What if you're actually on tour?
ludickid
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Like, with a band? Who tours in a PT Cruiser? I mean, if you wanna call your Ford Econoline a Gran Turismo, I guess I won't bitch.
calamityjon
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
G.G.Allin had a PT Crusier.
ludickid
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, my God, that icon
Yeah, but the PT stood for "poontang".
ortho_bob
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Your fortune awaits if you can come up with some more appropriate names for 21st century automotive models. Instead of the "Explorer" or Navigator" something like the "Chainsmoking Fiftysomething Divorcee Who's Thinking That Realtor License Was A Waste of Six Hundred Bucks And Will Die If She Can't Find A Starbucks Like Now Mobile," only snappier.
datlowen
Nov. 8th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Didn't the designation "touring" originally have motor racing implications? I might be making that up, because (as not enough people know, but you probably do) the O in GTO stands for Omologato, meaning that the car is being produced essentially so the car can be raced in certain series--but doesn't the touring car designation have some kind of motor racing meaning?
calamityjon
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
The Touring Car is essentially a sedan, and variations on it have been around since Ford started making the Model T. Touring Car Racing is just any form of racing where the autos use a standard, mass-produced chassis. The term "Touring Car" natch precedes the racing by a few decades ...
hipsterdetritus
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Coming soon: the Ford "Boss" Taurus, the Mitsubishi Endeavor EVO and the Dodge Grand Caravan Super Bee.
ludickid
Nov. 8th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
The Dodge AstroVan, Bobby Unser edition.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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