1970: Chevy Corvair owned by my friend Stillman finally gives out with about 250,000 miles on it. With tremendous respect, we take it to the parking lot of Shea Stadium, take off the wheels and put it up on blocks, saying farewell to what was, in truth, the Galapagos tortoise of automobiles. It did very little, but what it did it did incomparably.1978: Pontiac V8. Bench seats. Very comfortable. Solid body, sounded like a tank when you closed the doors. More room than a suite at the Holiday Inn. Went from 0 to 60 in about seven seconds in spite of the fact that it weighed a ton. Got about 12 miles per gallon, 16 on the highway.
The interior is a bit cheesy, true, but hugely capacious compared to the itsy-bitsy Mustang, which makes me feel claustrophobic, and there's Schwarzeneggerian muscle under the hood. Comes in at about $30,000, about 50 grand less than its closest competitor in terms of power and comfort. In the end, I find the T-top a little wearing and wish I'd gotten a convertible. But what a car! I miss it even now. Everybody's mad at General Motors ( GM). And of course it's obvious they've messed things up entirely. Stupid GM! So many mistakes. Perhaps a quick Chapter 11 is the only way to go here; I don't know. I do know one thing, however. GM makes good cars. Have you seen the new 2010 Camaro ? I could lose 1,000 banks as long as mine doesn't fail. Every hedge fund in the world could go under as far as I'm concerned. But we'd better be pretty careful about our good old American car business. I mean, if they go, can the cheeseburger be far behind?