Curbside Curmudgeon: The Cars We Love to Hate

We who contribute to CC, whether as an author or as a commentator are passionate about cars.  But sometimes that passion has a dark side.  I was reminded of this when David Saunders shared his great find of a gathering of Chevy and Pontiac F bodies (here).

For reasons that I cannot really explain (and which may be discoverable only through long-term therapy) the GM F body is a car that I simply hate.  There.  I said it.  I hate F bodies.  Looking at David’s very nice pictures created within me a very different reaction than normal.  Some sort of visceral, pavlovian response that makes me want to say unkind things.

Why is this?  You all know that I have never really been a Chevy guy.  Back in the 1970s, most car-people (at least in the midwest) were Chevy guys.  Gather around with some car guys in those days, and the conversation would invariably involve small blocks, Muncies, and Posi-s.  All of these things were always found in modified Novas and Chevelles and Camaros.  You would find an occasional Ford guy whose Mustang-love would be tolerated, though not encouraged.  But bring any Mopar-speak into the conversation and the room would fall silent for a second, before the conversation would resume, usually with something involving a Z.

When the second generation F car (how appropriately named) became common, it became the universal object of youthful desire.  Whether the youth was a diehard gearhead or an insufferable airhead, the F body was THE car in the performance-hampered late 1970s.  Somehow, the F body served as a great democratizing equalizer, bringing together the grease-stained installer of headers and high-rises and the status-conscious child of privilege whose parents bought for them the object of (almost) universal teenage automotive desire.

Sadly for me, it was not as though either Chrysler (or Ford, my usual second option) gave me much with which to debate the F people.  Sure, a 360 Volare could be pretty fast, but it was still a Volare – a quality nightmare built by a company going down the toilet.  The Starsky & Hutch Torino was there, but only for the airhead half of the room, as no gearhead could never really take that one seriously.  So, I have to admit that the Chevyguys certainly had some basis for their insufferable sense of superiority and entitlement.  Which made them all the more difficult to be around.

So, when I saw the multiplicity of Camaros and Firebirds, old, long forgotten emotions boiled to the surface.   Now I understand that we are in a new century.  A new millenium, even.  Nobody wants to be a hater, me included.  Having not found any sort of a twelve-step program to deal with my deep-seated F body issues, a long-term program of self-help and self-improvement is called for.  And isn’t the first step always to recognize the existence of the problem?

So, lets all come together and admit our problems.  Hi.  My name is Jim.  And I hate F bodies.  But I want to get better.  So I am going to try not to hate any F bodies today.  I understand that they have much to recommend them, and I am going to focus on their good points today.

Now my friends in the Curbside Commentariat, it is your turn.  What are the cars you love to hate?   Not just the ones you find unattractive, or some garden variety model that somehow did you wrong.  I am talking about real, unadulterated, irrational hatred for each and every one of the genre.  The kind of hatred that would make you want to scream at your best friend in all the world that he is a pathetic loser, should he buy one and proudly drive it over to show it to you.  Now is your opportunity to spew a little venom towards your most hated cars (but not, of course, the other commentators).  Remember, this is only for the laudatory purpose of cleansing your souls and making the world a better place.  Even for people who like F bodies.  Oops.