Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Power Metro

Notice the resemblence?
     My Baby Doll and I call them shopping carts, and we make endless fun of them.  They are those little usually Japanese cars onto which teenagers and stupid people in their early 20s hot glue giant fins, poorly fitted body kits, and all manner of aftermarket grills and lights and accessories, so that they look like something out of The Fast and the Furious.  The problem is that - at least around here - most of them do not have the performance mods under the hood or wherever to make them fierce street machines.  All they have is a resonator on the tailpipe to make their straight stock rice grinder engines sound really loud, which of course just makes them sound stupid.  So, that is what we call shopping carts, because their three-foot tall and utterly useless rear spoilers sort of look like a shopping cart handle.  Oh, and because that is about how much horsepower they pack.
     And we mock them, just like we mock people for having giant trucks that are all jacked up and whatnot, or like we mock people for driving giant and expensive SUVs that never go off the pavement, or like other people mock us for doing the things that we do.  No big deal, right?  That is just how life goes.  You mock and you get mocked.  But anyway, the point of all this is that today on the way to the Worldwide Headquarters I saw the most daft automotive modification that I have ever seen since the first time I saw this thing.  It was a 2000-ish Chevrolet Metro sedan- which is just a rebadged Suzuki - with a giant hood scoop on it.
     It was ridiculous.  Hood scoops became all the rage in the 60s and 70s on the big V-8 American muscle cars because in order to create obscene amounts of horsepower one of the things that they needed was what author Eric Peters described as "huge gulps of cool air" in his book Automotive Atrocities: The Cars We Love to Hate.  It was some sort of plastic add-on, and it was I would assume Krazy Glued on way up on the top of the hood near the windshield, with the non-functional scoop facing forward.  So at least he got that part right, because then it is actually scooping air.

The car looked like this but it was a stately forest green.
      The problems here are numerous.  First, I have a hard time believeing that the hood scoop is scooping any air.  I think it was just nailed on there because someone was trying to look cool, and if you are going to do something absurd you might as well do absurd things to the entire car, like covering it in fur or maybe just rolling it around in a kiddie pool full of sparkles every Wednesday or something.  Second, if the hood scoop is scooping air, I can't think of any real good reason why it should be needed.  It is not like throwing a bunch more air into a 1.3L fuel injected 90 hp engine is going to give it a big boost.  It is still going to suck piss like a girl in an R-Kelly video.  The only reason I can see that a hood scoop might be needed on a 2001 Chevrolet Metro sedan is because you were having problems with the engine overheating, and you wanted to get a little more air flowing across it to help cool it down.  Well, if that is the case, then we have an even bigger problem.  In that case you have major engine problems, and in addition you are a fucking idiot.  That is not an appropriate solution to your major engine trouble in any way, shape or form, because it is going to backfire on you and eventually you are going to spend more money than the car is worth getting your head gasket replaced and your engine block milled.
      But there it was, in all of its nonsensical glory, flying northbound to some sort of destination.  I can only assume that it is a camp for special people who put hood scoops on Chevy Metros.  And probably Geo Metros too, since they are the same car.  And of course for those who mod the Suzuki version, although I suspect that they have their own wing of the building.  In all truthfulness I didn't know where it was going, and I didn't know who was driving it, and I don't want to know.  I can tell you one thing, however, and that is that I couldn't bring myself to truthfully and adequately mock the vehicle because it was just kind of sad, and because I was just a little bit stunned.  I can't wait to see if I see it when I get home.

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