Stand Back, The Editor's About To Annoy Another Group Of PeopleLast month I devoted this entire page to my thoughts on gullwing doors. Then I pressed the 'select all' button and deleted it. I felt I was talking crap for the sake of it, but then I compile this issue and find that two of its main contenders have the same affliction.
Gentlemen, I can hold my tongue no longer. Something must be said before this disease spreads.
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy a Lambo-style door as much as the next man but I feel there's one place they belong: on a bloody Lambo!
I really thought these doors would hit the scene, look stupid on a few Hondas and disappear, but Houston, we have a problem, and it's the show scene that's to blame.
Allow me to explain. Why do our cars have sticker rash? The show scene. Why are there so many big stereo systems in our cars? The show scene. Why are we seeing more gullwing doors? The damn show scene.
You see, it's a competitive system that should encourage excellence, but its simply breeding uniformity.
I asked one reader why he chose to cover his car in vinyl stickers that, in my opinion, obscured the strength of the car beneath. His reply was simple but deadly in its implication; "You get a point for having vinyl graphics at shows." So without graphics his car couldn't compete against everybody else's.
Another owner explained that show judges looked for TV screens. Without any, you lose points. So everybody fits a screen whether they need it or not.
The owner of this month's cover car told me he's going to repaint his GTI. He doesn't know what color yet but a judge told him the metalflake in his silver paint didn't stand out enough, so his Golf will soon be candy red or something, simply to satisfy a judge who's just ticking a box on a sheet, not judging execution or tasteful restraint.
Could we please have some sanity here? What we drive should be a reflection of the owner's personality and his individual requirements. It shouldn't be a checklist for some unlit car show in a conference center somewhere.
So please, car show judges, throw out your photocopied sheets and try to judge these cars on taste and style. I know it's difficult since it's down to personal taste and is liable to upset those without taste, but the alternative is unspeakable: a conference center full of candy colored, turbo'd, gullwinged, widebody cars with a glassfiber dash, sports seats, big brakes, vinyl graphics, etc, etc. I know it sounds like all the cars we've featured in the last few months but we try to find the ones that show at least a spark of originality.
And if you're about to embark on your new project and want to win shows, ask yourself whether you're building a car for yourself, or so a promoter can line his pockets from the thousands who flock to see the car you paid to exhibit in his show.
Obviously, I'm talking more about the large-scale national events here, rather than the smaller VW, Audi or BMW shows that seem to preserve a degree of taste and judgment. After all, we should reward the best car, not simply the one with the most sponsors.
OK, I've probably trod on a few egos here and apologize. These are my personal views and not intended to offend. If you disagree, I'd be pleased to debate anything, so email me at the address below but try to avoid cursing, my mother reads this.Greg EmmersonEditoreurotuner@primedia.com