The Friday Report: An auto just the same — or is it auta? |

The Friday Report: An auto just the same — or is it auta?

Jon De Vos / The Friday Report
Fraser, CO Colorado

I cannot look at a Chevy El Camino without seeing Brad Pitt. In the 2001 “The Mexican,” he rents one from a Mexican backstreet rental agency. The scene when he first sees it is worth the entire movie. Fraser library has it.

The El Camino was produced from 1959 to 1960, and again from 1964 to 1987 as General Motors’ answer to the Ford Ranchero. Ford also made the Pinto, Time magazines 22nd “Worst Car Ever.” Ford never made a Pinto convertible that wasn’t the result of some unfortunate freeway accident. Pintos were so un-cool that one option was a big white paint stripe down the middle to disguise it as a no-passing lane.

There are so many cars to choose from today, how does one pick? Here’s a little quiz that will be of no help whatsoever. Are you the Continental type, perhaps from Seville or Capri, or do you like to wrap up in Sable? Are you a Swinger? Who are you trying to Impreza? Are you a Charger, an over-Achiva with a lot of Integra? Do you have your own Mystique or do you step-van to your own Tempo? Are you a Marquis or a Villager? Are you Cavalier? Does your Lumina shine like a Topaz through a Prizm?

I’ve just noticed something odd. What do the following cars have in common? We have the Jetta, Festiva, Mazda, Lumina, Impreza, Stanza, Miata, Sentra, Anglia, Elantra, Corsica, Dakota, and the Supra. Figured it out yet? Hmm, what, oh what, in common?

Let’s continue with the Carrera, Acheiva, Aurora, Sonoma, Corolla, Victoria, Cobra, Toyota, Daytona, Celica, Vista, Pacifica, Electra, Nova, Previa, Maxima, Sonata, and finally, the Cressida.

Finally? Ha, ha, just kidding, there’s still the Bravada, Honda, Sierra and Ciera, Targa, Altima, Cordia, Tesla, Lancia, Beretta, Impala, Acura, Integra, and not least, the Sephia made by Kia and the Millenia made by Mazda. I have to ask, “Is it a weird coincidence that all these cars end in the letter “a”?

Some of them only sound like they end in “a”. What does Protégé mean? Mazda named a car that; they must have been thinking of something. Webster says a protégé is one under the care and protection of another. Sounds like it was named by an insurance company, “I’m sorry, but the accident involved the Protégé, we only pay off if you damage the real car.”

Some cars get named after animals like the Impala. But its cousin, the Musk Ox? No way. The Studebaker Hawk remains an immensely popular car today, but I doubt you’ll ever see the Ford Buzzard or the Dodge Loon. The Mercury Cougar, sure, the Kia Polecat, probably not. The Mustang? Definitely. The Chrysler Cow, uh-uh.

Would you like racing decals on that Baboon? What kind of financing can you get on that Walrus? Test drive the all-new, four-door Hyena! Announcing the new Chrysler concept car, the Weasel! Here kid, park my Goose, but don’t you dare get a scratch on it. Of course it’s big, you’d expect that from a Whale, wouldn’t you?

Doesn’t my new Pig look happy with mud all over it?

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