Project P.U.M.A. The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility. Apparently General Motors and Segway have teamed up to create an electric wheelchair with a roll cage. Would have company head honchos who'd green light a lemon like this, it's game over.
How trendy. There's almost room on the thing for the driver to carry a Mac laptop or iPod. Looking at the P.U.M.A., one can just imagine it navigating the streets of Seattle, falling into potholes, with the driver drenched in our torrential November (or March or July) rain. Wonder how it handles in the snow?We've all heard the conventional wisdom that American automakers have to get with the program and make cars that are environmentally friendly. Because that's supposedly what the American public wants. That's a steaming pile of Gremlin droppings. People drive Hondas and Toyotas because they have the reputation of lasting 200,000, 300,000, 500,000 miles. Whereas the transmission or head gasket will blow in a Chevy after 80,000.
And if you've noticed, both companies have been making bigger - and better - cars since they first broke into the US market during the 1970s.
But since GM wants to toady up to certain members of Congress and the current occupant of the White House in order to cash in on a little federal bailout lucre, the company is going to continue to pedal dinky little rigs that are friendly to the Earth Mother Gaia but nobody wants to drive.
The one positive thing going for the P.U.M.A, however, is that if enough ecos buy them, there'll be more active organ donors for recipients badly in need of a transplant.
Here's the secret to American's love affair with the automobile. It's got to be reliable. Fun to drive. And be big enough to make kids in - and later take them to school. And if car companies start doing this again, it will be good not only for the United States but good for General Motors too.
Easter Special: People have asked me, and there are the crop of bumper stickers going round, what vehicle would Jesus drive? It's supposed to be a dig at SUV driving churchies, lording their riches and polluting God's creation.
After a good deal of research, the answer turned out to be quite obvious.
The 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS with the 454 TurboJet V8, four speed manual, factory air and automatic load-leveling rear suspension.
If you're rolling into J-Town to throw out the money changers, you have to do it in a ride that gets some attention. With a 116-inch wheelbase, the Monte Carlo had enough room for all of the Disciples. Plus plenty of room in the trunk for fish and bread to feed the faithful masses.