All you movie-goers must have certainly noticed the trend in car-related films. These films range from Gone in Sixty Seconds, to Driven, to The Fast and the Furious. I happen to take issue to the latter of the list.
The official website, (www.thefastandthefurious.com), describes the film as "...a frenzied look at rival Los Angles street gangs who use street racing as a means of establishing power." It already sounds crappy.
The trailer treats the viewer to a bunch of idiotically painted Civics, and other ricey Japanese cars, going at speeds unattainable by a foolish 4-banger economy car. You also see a foot of flame spew from the 6 inch exhaust pipe of one these cars. How realistic is that? Gawk at the fire coming out of the blower on an old Charger. Now wait, nothing comes OUT of a blower. Air comes in!!!! I could make an entire site debunking the foolish "stats" of the cars on the homepage for this pile of celluloid garbage. I thought the "Culture" section of the page said that the director researched the auto-racing scene. Where did he do this research? Loony Toons?!?!?
It also provides a soundtrack featuring the obligatory (c)rap music by a guy named "Ja Rule" who commands the vocabulary of a fourth-grader. What else can you expect from a fellow who would christen himself "Ja Rule?"
Why take it from me? Go to the site and see for yourself. Be careful though, its filled with bad rice and worse "music."
It's been quite a while since I wrote anything, but noting really interseting has happened. Well, yesterday I was pulling an 8-Track player out of "Jenny" (see the "Parts Cars" page). The odd events involved with this operation led me to divludge the secerts of my trip.
As you might know, Jenny has a Volvo on top of her. This incumberment prevents the driver door from opening, and a tree carelessly growing next to the other door poses a grand problem. We managed to cut down the tree, but the stump still prevented the door from opening. As luck might have it the door opened enough to allow us to shove a steel pipe over to the window handle to roll the window down. My brother crawled into the car Dukes-of-Hazzard-Style and determined the tools that we would need.
After we got the tools, I crawled into the car to try to remove the electronic jewel. At this point it is importent to tell about the contents of the car. On the floor, I found a box of Favorite Market fried chicken next to a bottle of fat-burning pills. Also the the car was littered with broken glass. I was reluctent to break the panels around the radio, but it became necessary. It took almost an hour of plier work to break up enough plastic to pull the ancient technology out, we even had to employ a saw at some points. As I was pulling out the 8-track player, a shiny object fell out from inside the dash. I looked down, and it was a 20 guage shotgun shell. It hadn't been fired and wasn't rusty inside. I thought that it had been in the glove compartment and been shoved under the dash by the force of whatever impact had gotten the poor Cougar there in the first place, but the glove compartment and dashboard were undamaged. I can only assume that the driver had placed it there intentionally. I aslo found the owner,s paycheck for $205. I don't think she needs it anymore.
It's a sad thing, really. I was walking into the kitchen this fine Christmas day, and on the television (yes we're one of those weird families with a TV in the kitchen) was an old "Charlie's Angels" rerun. I don't know what episode it was, but I glanced at the screen and something caught my eye.
This particular scene found the heros at a junkyard, standing outside an office of some sort. Behind them, amung the stacks of dead cars was, yes it was, an old '67 Cougar. It was the most beautiful shade of blue I'd ever seen on a Cougar before. Unfortunately, it was stacked about five cars high and smashed flat as a pancake.
This scene led me to wonder about how many good cars are wasted to make a film or TV series. I know the cars in the junkyard were probably dead to begin with, but what about all the Chargers who lost their lives to make the "Dukes of Hazzard?" What about all the Crown Vics killed in the making of the "Blues Brothers" films? While both of these examples are personal favorites of mine, it is a sobering thought.
One interesting thought about "The Blues Brothers" movie, the script originally called for Elwood and Jake to go crashing about a Rolls Royce dealership in their old Crown Victoria. When Rolls Royce caught wind of this plan, they said that it would be a terrible carnage of fine automobiles and refused to sell the filmakers any of their cars.
This isn't much of a story when you hear it, but it sure was interesting to be there. I was driving to the video rental place, and it was late, dark, and a heavy mist of freezing rain had descended onto the road. My windshield wipers were frozen stuck and the heater simply couldn't stop the icy onslaught.
About this time, a car went by in the other lane, and did't turn his high beams down. The glare on the frosty windshield blinded me and I put on the brakes.
All of a sudden, I feel the car shaking, it was halfway off the road and I could barely see. Then there was a series of thumps and a I saw several orange masses in the way of the car. I pulled on to the road for a few feet, then pulled over and stopped. The soft rubber road cones hadn't damaged the car, and everything seemed ok.
I got back in the Cougar and continued to drive. To my dismay, however, there was a upsetting sound eminating from beneath the car. I pulled over, and upon further inspection, discovered that a cone was jabbed under the car in a way that made it impossable for me to remove it.
My brother, who was riding with me, suggested that we continue going and see if the cone didn't remove itself. A mile later the noise had stopped and we were at the video place. I looked timidly at the beast's underbelly, and found no trace of the cone and no damage to the car.
I looked at the road as we drove, with working windshield wipers this time, back home. We passed by a melted, sticky, orange mass that I presumed to be the reamins of the vile cone. Trailing behind it, like a big tail, was an orange streak where the thing had rubbed on the pavement.
We got to the site of the incident, which was a scene of havoc. Poor little cones and barrels were strewn everywhere, and cars were having a time avoiding them. It was like some strange circus.
Cougar Problems and Recalls
The Cougar, being built by people isn't perfect. It has problems like all cars. Here are a few of the problems that you might encounter.
Accodring to the Used Car Reliability and Safty Guide, Cougars built between 1987 and 1992 may experience sudden accelerations in speed. This is rare but dangerous, if you feel that your car might have this problem, you can take it to your Ford dealership or to a good mechanic and consult them about this problem.
Many Cougars are reported to have problems with the fuel injection. This can cause the car to die at stop lights or in the middle of traffic, or in very rare cases, Cats have been known to catch fire. As with the acceleration problems, you should see a mechanic if you are worried about possible fuel injection difficulties.
Cougars built between 1987 and 1993 are known for their notoriously undersized brake rotors, causing problems. These problems, while usually consisting of soft brakes, can also be linked to accidents. You might just have to change the brake shoes more often, and when buying a used car, listen for squeaky braking and leaks. These are indicitive of the problem.
-TFI Module Warning-
The TFI module, which is crutial to controling the spark, can stop working on some models of Cougar. This could be a big problem, and might be the cause of several accidents. I don't know much about the module, so go to this site for more information:
CoolCats.net - TFI Module Warning