Thursday, July 9, 2009

Obama to GM: Bring Back the Chevy Vega

As everyone knows by now, General Motors has ceased to exist as a privately owned company. Having succumbed to the siren song of free taxpayer bailout money, it's now effectively owned by the UAW and the federal government.

That means that the people who so efficiently deliver your mail are now in the business of providing you with GM automotive offerings.

So it should come as no great surprise that one of the first federal dictates to the once world leader in car production, is to bring back the Chevy Vega.

For those too young to remember the Vega was GM's response to the American consumer's fascination with gas sipping small cars during the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s.

When gas prices soared as a result of the OPEC oil embargo (their response to US backing for its Israeli client during the 1973 Middle East War) GM went right ahead producing it enormous, lumbering gas-guzzlers. US Consumers then began buying small German Volkswagens, and previously unheard of little cars with funny names like Toyota, Datsun, Honda and Mazda.

GM's response to this unforseen development was the Chevy Vega.

It was a small subcompact with a revolutionary new all aluminum engine bloc design. In fact it was so revolutionary, that the engine would not contain the lubricants and flammable fuels that non-revolutionary engines normally contain.

As a result, the Chevy Vega's engines had an unhappy tendency to spontaneously burst on fire.

You could be driving along the Edens Expressway at 55 mph in your Vega and -- poof-- your engine would bust into flame.

Aside from its revolutionary engineering qualities, the Vega was a very ugly car.

It had kind of a pointy front end that reminded one a bit of Groucho Marx's nose. Perhaps this was intended by the GM car designers, because, after all, the Vega was a colossal joke.

It seemed to be available in two principal colors-- puke green and taco sauce burnt orange. This was someone at GM's idea of being hip.

But the Chevy Vega did get very good gas mileage. Of course it's kind of easy to get good gas mileage when your car is always hitched to the back end of a tow truck.

So eventually, things settled down in the Middle East, gas declined a bit in price and GM phased out the Vega and went back to producing its gas guzzling monstrosities.

The only one of my childhood friends to ever buy a Vega was an Italian kid named Jimmy. He knew absolutely nothing about cars and bought one of the ghastly burnt orange models. He is now an attorney for the IRS.

Any day now I expect to hear that he has been transferred to another branch of the federal government to oversee the production lines of the revolutionary new Vega II.

Why not?

And I have an idea for the ad campaign:

The Chevy Vega II
--- A car we can believe in.

And the driver will get into the front seat and just hope that it starts for a change.

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Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.