Worse than rice

New Found Glory civicWhile I’m
no big fan of souped-up and tricked-out
Japanese cars, I do appreciate
that the fans of that style of car put a lot of effort and money into
their rides to try to conform to a consistent standard.

With that in mind, a word to the wise: No matter how much a
fan of New Found Glory or Good Charlotte you might be — and look,
folks, that’s not exactly saying much already — you will be neither
cool nor popular in your shiny new

As a promotion, ok, I understand — but people can win those
things and would then be expected to drive them around. I suppose
a new paint job is cheaper than a new Civic Si.

4 responses to “Worse than rice”

  1. i don’t know anything about the new japanese car craze but i do know that in the hot-rod, lowrider and motorcycle cultures it wasn’t (and isn’t) a matter of “conforming or keeping a consistent standard.” it was about having a cool ride with something new and innovative to show off as a means of artistic (and financial) expression, inside and out.

    i must admit, most of what’s done to those japanese cars on the outside doesn’t look very creative to me but i haven’t really seen what people, other than the ones who buy the kits, have been doing. i don’t think it’s like the other car cultures where people really, really work on their cars, but i’m probably way wrong.

    i would say though, no matter who you are you’d have to feel like a dork riding around in that promotional car!

  2. Yeah, but still, everyone knows what a muscle car looks like because there’s a general consensus about what makes a car a muscle car, and people that restore/maintain/drive/race muscle cars tend to do the same things to their cars. For instance, you could get enough horsepower and torque out of a four-banger with a sufficiently huge turbo to get the sort of performance you’d expect out of a Charger, but putting a turbo 4 in a muscle car just isn’t what you do. There’s a lot of variation within the category, but there are definitely unwritten guidelines about what is and isn’t a muscle car.

    That doesn’t mean that there’s no effort involved — but what you decide to spend time and money on will tend to be things that makes your car closer to what everyone else interested in the hobby tends to appreciate.

    Same thing with customized Japanese cars — lowering, big wings, ground effects, minimal wheels, drilled rotors, NOS, things that glow and heavy-bass stereos are all part of the consensus within the culture about how to make a car great. On the other hand, a lot of the cars you see on the let’s-laugh-at-rice-cars pages are those of people who don’t understand what the consensus is amongst import enthusiasts, and their misunderstandings are what tend to make those cars funny.

    (On the other hand, no-one could describe what a generic “art car” looks like, because there’s no consensus about what makes an art car. There really isn’t a consensus there except for “make a car into a work of art”, so you don’t find consistency amongst art-car enthusiasts like you do amongst muscle-car or import fans.)

    As an example, picture an AMC Pacer whose owner had made it into a “muscle car”. Incongruous, but you probably still have a rough idea of what it might look like — big rubber at the back, a big engine sticking through the hood maybe with a blower, and so on. Then picture a Pacer whose owner had made it into an import racer — just as incongruous but still easy to visualise — now it has a wing and ground effects and blacked-out windows and a coffee-can exhaust. Even though there’s a sufficiently large repertoire within either genre for individualizing a ride, there’s still a bunch of stuff that makes the genre, even when you’re trying to apply it to a base car that doesn’t fit in either.

  3. Think of what a sucker-punch the resale value on that is though. I’d love to win one, and I don’t drive at all, let alone one of these!