Don't be April fooled
Hawaii Motorbeat Monthly
Being a car guy carries some
responsibilities. Beyond your own vehicular passions, it seems that
your neighbors and 'ohana all feel you must know everything about
"Eh, you know about cars, yeah?
How come my transmission's not shifting right?"
Don'tcha just love those questions?
They leave you wide open for either verbal malpractice or just plain
looking stupid. I'll generally move them along with a referral to
someone I know in the biz - "Call Vic at Transmission Technology",
and I'm out of that loop.
Not that easy for the, "What's the
best car?" query that you're supposed to have the answer for. You
try to ask them, "For who and what purpose?", but most are just
daily driver requirements. And for the last couple of decades my
standard answer in that area has been "Honda or Toyota".
Yet, that perception is changing
rapidly. Ford is building great, very hip, cars and Caddy is kickin'
in the luxury/performance door (who'd a thunk!). But there is no
denying the customer satisfaction that Honda and Toyota owners have
shown for their brands. And why not ~ they've earned it with quality
products and service.
"But what about those runaway
Toyotas?", some may exclaim. Well, if you're a Hawai'i customer
you'll be happy to know that there has never been any instances of
accelerator/braking problems with any Toyota sold here. Why? Most of
them are manufactured in Japan and shipped directly to us.
Toyota's 6 million car recall is big,
but no record-holder. Ford has that honor for its 2008 recall of 12
million '93-04's with fire prone cruise controls. Heck, GM pulled
back 6.7 million models that had faulty engine mounts in '71. A
loose engine will give you lots of thrills while driving.
So, take about half of the 'runaway'
stories with a grain of salt. Many, like the California dude who
claimed his Prius was running away with him at 90+mph and needed a
Highway Patrol car to stop, are opportunistic types that are just
elbowing their way up to the lawsuit payout trough.
So, it may be April, but don't be a
fool when it comes to media-fed auto safety hysteria. Do a little
checking and you'll soon be referring business to our local Toyota
dealers again, too.
Yes, I'm an unapologetic Muscle Car fan. The performance cars of the
60s-70's were scary-fast straight-liners that gave mothers and Ralph
Nader heart palpitations. Us, too, for different reasons.
Somehow, amidst all the recession
doom-and-gloom, muscle cars are back from the 'big' three. On deck
at Kama'aina Motors in Hilo is a 2010 Challenger with a 376hp Hemi
with 16 valves, 6-speed and handling package that eats curves alive.
Probably ten-times the capabilities of '60s original Challenger ~
and about 10 times the original cost. Bring 35 large and this new
generation of American Muscle is all yours. Store it away and it
will bring a million dollars at auction in 20 years ~ or drive the
whiz out if it now and love every second! I'd choose 'B'.
Have a great April! ~ PM
Hawaii Motorbeat Monthly
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