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Dave and Jan's travels:
Cars and the American soul

Cars are, of course, central to US mythology. For this reason a few of our US readers were quite concerned that we might not have bought one of Detroit's finest. Fortunately - I hope - we selected a vehicle that America can be proud of. The following exchange between Mark Leonard and myself should make clear the critical role that the car holds in the US citizen's heart, as well as providing a little more insight into the nature of the beast that Beluga is.

Mark wrote:

  • ...I know that Jan and you lived in Manhattan, the only place in all of the United States in which a car is optional.  Because of this you may not understand the important place that the automobile holds in American culture.  There are fathers who can tell you the length and weight of their cars but not their children.  There are women who know the make of the first car in which they made love but not the name of the lover.  The one thing that all Americans know, though, is that American cars are better than Japanese cars - all evidence to the contrary.

    So what all Americans, myself included, need to know is - did you buy an American made 4x4?  Please, we must know.  And, if you plan on touring the U.S. below the Mason-Dixon Line (a term you no doubt learned on your trip to Washington D.C.), does this truck (the proper term for this hulking manly piece of machinery) have a gun rack (and, perhaps, a Confederate flag for your antenna)?
Dave's reply: 
  • ...You can relax, for we have invested in a Ford Bronco. What's more, it is what I believe is known as the "full-size version". Roughly speaking, as I understand it, there is a vehicle known as the Ford Bronco II. This sad excuse for a motor vehicle has a puny 2.8 litre engine, weighs less than half a ton and might well not survive a direct hit from an Exocet missile. For all these good reasons it is apparently disparaged by the cognoscenti (aka GOP-NRA-KKK-...). Stop me if I've got any of this wrong...

    In any case, we have the full size 5 litre V8 mountain-towing tobacco-chewing commie-squishing variety, so you should still be able to hold your headup down at Hogs and Heifers whilst mentioning my name.


   (click thumbnails for a larger picture)

Jan and car...

David and car