First step to tyranny

A look back at the origins of the ever-metastasizing societal plague that is Safetyism.

Americans’ love affair with the car has cooled off but not because Americans don’t love cars. Rather, it is because of what cars have become.

Once, they were like the pretty girl who smiled at you in class, back in high school. They made your pulse uptick, filled your mind with happy possibilities. You wanted one. And – once upon a time – the one often led to the other.

Or at least, helped.

Now, cars are like a sourpuss pants-suit-wearing wife who long ago stopped smiling at you – and bats away your hand when you try to hold hers. You don’t want to see – much less hear her anymore – and wish you could get away from her, but you need to stay married for the sake of the kids or so as to avoid losing your shirt.

This transition occurred because of the sourpuss, pant-suit-wearing types, not necessarily your wife – which makes it even worse.

Pants-suiters such as Joan Claybrook – the old sourpuss who headed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (italics added for the should-be-obvious reason) back in the ‘70s, when saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety – as defined by some old sourpuss – somehow became a function of government, formerly concerned with ensuring that people’s rights were respected and dealing with people who caused harm to others.

Claybrook was a disciple and acolyte of another pants-suiter who happened to be male, nominally – Ralph Nader. He was the John the Baptist figure of Safetysim, the cult which first ruined cars and is now ruining everything else.

Nader anointed himself a “public citizen” and began to “represent” the “public,” despite not one member of the actual public ever having voted to give this man proxy power to “represent” them or anyone else. He and his termagant protege began to agitate for the government to impose (via regulations) “safety” standards upon new cars; which is to say, to impose them upon new car buyers – most of whom had previously expressed no interest in them, as via a willingness to pay for them. And who may have had a very different view of what “safety” constitutes.

For some, “safety” meant a car that was road-worthy, free of defects in design or manufacture that rendered it dangerous to drive  – controlled by a driver competent to sit behind the wheel.

For Nader and his heirs – including Claybrook – it meant a car that idiot-proofed against a driver who probably should be a passenger.

Nader became famous by smearing the Chevrolet Corvair, which was an unusual car for an American car of the early ‘60s. It was rear-engined, like a Porsche – which made the front end light and also made for easy steering without need of power steering. It was a very nimble-handling car, which was also very unusual for an American car of the early 1960s.

But it was important to read – and follow – the tire inflation pressure recommendations, which were not the same, front-to-rear. And that was also unusual, for an American car. The sticker was right there, but some people didn’t read it – and inflated all four tires to the same PSI. This worsened the lift-throttle (in a curve) oversteer tendency that all rear-engined cars – including the same era Porsches and VW Beetles – were prone to. Just as front-drive cars today tend to understeer when put into a curve at high speed.

Ralph who-didn’t-drive and who dislikes cars blamed the car – describing it (though not the fundamentally similar Porsche or VW Beetle) as Unsafe at Any Speed. His fame – and influence – spread. Abetted by an if-it-bleeds-it-leads media, corporations were browbeaten and government was empowered.

Cars were festooned with ugly “5 MPH” bumpers, ruining their looks like braces mar the face of an otherwise pretty girl. Seatbelt interlocks were ordered. You had to “buckle up” before you could drive.

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety became policy. Not roadworthiness. Not competence. Beauty – and fun – took a back seat to how fast you could drive a car into a tree and live. Every time someone did something idiotic, everyone else got idiot-proofed.

Well, naturally. I mean, surely you’ve heard the eternal Safetyist war-cry: IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…!!!

Had a conversation with my brother a few days back, wherein we were running down all the truly wonderful things that have been taken from us, as well as the many more things that will be gone for good as the result of the Coming Unpleasantness and its aftermath. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sentiment of sadness, puzzlement, and regret for these collective losses (or thefts) expressed better than the way Jack Nicholson does here:



Really says it all, don’t it? I’ve run this clip here numerous times over the years; perhaps the most frightening thing of all is how, as time goes by and our losses keep mounting, the sting of truth in the words of George’s brilliant soliloquy only becomes more haunting, more painful.

12

Step on it!

Peters mourns the passing of the late, lamented passing gear.

The average new family car has more power and potential performance capability than the average performance car of the ’90s. A 1995 Mustang GT’s 5.0 liter V8 made 215 horsepower; the car could do zero to 60 in about 7 seconds. A 2021 Camry with the standard 2.5 liter four cylinder engine has 203 horsepower and gets to 60 in just over 7 seconds. With its optional 301 horsepower 3.5 liter V6, the Camry can make that run 5.6 seconds, easily blowing the doors off the ’90s V8 GT. Which was one of the top three fastest American cars available back in the mid-’90s.

But back in the ’90s, people who drove Mustang GTs used the performance they were capable of. In the today, people who drive family cars like the Camry with more performance capability seem afraid to use it. The new Camry looks really angry, though – much more so than the ’90s Mustang. Probably because it is so frustrated by its driver.

Anyone who still drives will affirm this observation.

One can be driving a vehicle with very little performance capability; for example, my Old Steady pick-up, a nearly twenty-year-old truck with a four cylinder engine that does not get to 60 in either 5.6 or 7.9 seconds, regardless of my best efforts. In fact,my ’02 Nissan Frontier has about the same performance potential as a new Prius. But I use every bit of potential it does have and that makes me faster than most new car “drivers” who are behind the wheel (sort of) of vehicles with twice the performance potential.

It’s like a guy in a wheelchair winning the Boston Marathon.

A natural consequence of the Risk-Averse Society they’ve foisted off on an effeminized, no-ball nation. Eric is way off with the next part, though.

When these gimps-behind-the-wheel “pass” another car – if they even make the attempt to pass another car – it is done with excruciating lethargy,  kind of slow-motion Safety Dance on four wheels.

First, the wait. These non-driving people have to think about it a bit before they initiate any action.

Then they signal. Always the signal. This having been bored into their minds as the Most Important Thing to do when passing, rather than competently executing the actual maneuver.

Waitaminnitwaitaminnitwaitaminnit. They DO? You mean to say you’ve seen drivers actually bothering to activate a turn signal, not just before passing somebody, but EVER? At ALL?!? Things must be quite different up Roanoke way than they are ’round these parts, because I can assure you that signaling a turn, lane change, or pass is something that just doesn’t happen here, unless I’m the one doing it. In fact, I’ve been wondering if they’d made moving the turn-stick illegal in NC or something.

Then again, just about the only people you see slingshotting around Ma and Pa Kettle on a two-lane road these days are teenagers in Charger Hellcats or 5.0 Mustangs, so there’s that. Most everyone else limits the indulgence of their more adventurous sides to constant tailgating, posting selfies on Facebook the whole time.

2

Death by electrocution

Somewhat unexpected riffage from car guy Eric Peters, now duly if belatedly bookmarked and blogrolled.

A car is fundamentally an appliance.

While a few are bought and kept for the fun of it or because the buyer likes the looks of it, at the end of the day, a car is about getting from A to B affordably, comfortably and practically for most people who buy them.

Motorcycles are fundamentally about fun; their practicality as transportation is a perk but not the point. Most people who own a motorcycle also own a car. They ride the bike when they can – for the fun of it.

Electrification will put an end to that.

Because electrification takes away almost everything that makes a motorcycle fun – and affordable and practical, too.

The firing up of the engine; the feeling of it vibrating and the sound of it roaring. The shifting and clutching; the using of both your hands and both your feet to control the action, simultaneously – involving you in the action as an integral part of it.

And that right there is where it starts to become apparent that Peters, bless his heart, is not JUST a car guy. Follows, more toothsome stuff wherein he characterizes electric motorcycles as being the two-wheeled equivalent of those baskets of plastic display-fruit strewn about in stores peddling kitchen furniture and the like.

They are both ersatz things. Not the genuine thing. Substitutes. Frauds, even.

OHH yeah, more than just a car guy for sure. Onwards.

Non-electric motorcycles also have the virtue of being different – also part of the fun – whereas electric motorcycles are fundamentally the same, other than size and color (like drills, again). A real Harley has a big V-twin and makes a sound that only a Harley makes. A 14,000 RPM-capable Kawasaki inline four makes an entirely different sound. As does a twisted twin or a single.

Bikers know all about this.

Damned skippy we do. Preach it, brother.

Real motorcycles also have entirely different power bands and other characteristics, which give them each a different personality and so different reasons for buying one rather than another vs. the same electric NPC non-personality you get with a bike that hasn’t got an engine at all.

Or gears.

Or a clutch.

Just . . . whirrrrr.

Amen to that. Further betraying his status as red-blooded, old-school scooter trash, Eric mentions a little thing reverently examined in honest-to-HD biker rags—a favorite hobby-horse of Iron Horse magazine in particular, back when David Snow was running it—rider involvement. The term may not resonate much, or at all, with cake-eating non-Harley civilian types. But for us scruffy diehards who have 60-weight coursing through our veins, it means absolutely everything. In fact, rider involvement is one of THE primary attractions that always seduced people onto Harleys in the first place.

Motorcyclists ain’t necessarily bikers, see. It’s an important distinction to be aware of and to understand. Bikerdom isn’t a hobby, a pasttime, or a casual interest. Despite the unwelcome rise, somewhere back in the late 90s or so, of the species known as RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers), for-real bikerdom is a lifestyle, nothing less: a unique, rich, and surprisingly diverse sub-culture that tends to suck in those who are susceptible to its offbeat charms totally, gradually transforming those who stay with it long-term in perhaps unlooked-for ways.

It’s a hoary old cliché among biker folk that you can buy the Harley, the leather jacket, the boots, and the T-shirts. You can grow the hair and beard; you can get the tattoos. It will avail you nothing; a biker is born, not made. In fact, most of them probably couldn’t be anything else even if they wanted to. The authentic biker soul can’t be purchased, adopted, or convincingly faked for very long. One either IS, or one is NOT.

Mopeds and scooters (basically, larger mopeds) also have the advantage of being considerably less expensive than motorcycles, making them more practical than motorcycles for people looking to get from A to B as inexpensively as possible.

Plus, almost anyone can ride a Moped or Scooter, there being little skill required.

Electric bikes, on the other hand, cost much more than real motorcycles – and thus are much less practical than Mopeds and scooters – and for reasons that go beyond their much higher cost.

In addition to the cost of the fun you won’t have because of the skill – and rider involvement – not required.

The Harley LiveWire, for example. This two-wheeled equivalent of plastic food starts just under $30,000 – which is about twice as much as a generally similar “standard” non-electric bike and more than most family cars cost – while limiting how far you can ride on the highway to less than 100 miles before you run out of juice and are forced to wait for hours to get back on the road.

I know a lot of guys who wouldn’t even bother saddling up at all with that pitiful limitation; I’m talking here about serious ironbutts who think nothing at all of covering two or three times that distance just to grab lunch, ferchrissakes. For them, AFTER lunch is when the real ride starts. The idea that such stalwarts would even contemplate dropping great wads of their hard-earned on a contraption that can barely get around the block before needing to RTB, lest it suddenly become an overpriced boat anchor, is just silly.

This means you dare not ride the electric Harley much farther than 40 or so miles from home (and plug) without risking being unable to get back home to plug. It’s actually less than that because unlike a non-electric bike, which runs the same until you run out of gas completely, the electric bike begins to run weakly as it gets close to running out of range. It slows down, as the software tries desperately – pathetically – to keep it at least moving for a little while longer because once it stops, you are stuck.

So much for the open road. So much for fun. So much for the point of it all.

Amen again, my brother. I laughed right out loud at this next bit.

Which is why electric bikes aren’t selling.

Hilariously – sadly – Harley says its LiveWire is the “best selling” electric bike in the U.S. Which is true – because there are almost no other electric bikes for sale in the U.S., other than a bike called – appropriately – the Zero. Which has sold a few more bikes than that, but not many.

From there, Peters of course gets into the political aspect, which is every bit as solid as the rest of the piece. This one is an atypically lengthy outing for Eric, which is another giveaway to the man’s gin-yoo-wine Biker™ inner self. Whether you’re of a similar bent or not, you definitely want to read it all.

Control over power

Muscle car power, that is.

The first (method for getting rid of muscle cars—M) was to strangle them via emissions controls they couldn’t comply with – and didn’t, at first. Those first generation muscle cars of the ‘60s and early-mid-‘70s all had engines designed back in the ‘50s – i.e,. designed without emissions control in mind at all. The only way to make them “compliant” with the emissions regs passed decades after the fact was to cripple them by grafting clumsy emissions controls onto them.

These made them run poorly – and gradually killed off the muscle, too.

It only took four years – from the passage in 1970 of the Clean Air Act  – to eliminate literally every muscle car except the last one, which happened to be a Pontiac, too. It was the 1974 Trans-Am equipped with the 290 horsepower SD-455 V8. Just a few hundred made it through the noose and by the following year – 1975 – the Trans-Am’s strongest engine was a 185 horsepower 400 V8 geezing through a catalytic converter and single exhaust made to look like two.

But just like the Terminator rebooting himself after receiving a shotgun blast to the guts, the muscle car only seemed dead. Gradually, performance began to return. Clean performance, too – via engines designed to be “compliant” and powerful.

By the ’90s, performance had returned to what it had been in the late ’60s and soon exceeded it.

So that had to be stopped, too.

This time, the method applied was unanswerable. Federal fuel economy fatwas descended. It no longer mattered that muscle wasn’t dirty. It now had to be fuel-sippy and that is like making a ribeye without the fat.

The fuel economy fatwas also served to attack mass-market large cars, which went the way of the muscle car.

By shifting the meaning of fuel efficiency to mean “emissions” once again – though this time, not pollution. The new meaning is “greenhouse gasses,” which don’t smog the air or foul the lungs but are asserted to change the climate.

Whether it does or does not is a matter for another column.

What it unquestionably will do is achieve the goal which has been their goal since at least the 1960s. That goal, of course, is to get rid of not just the muscle car, not only the large car and not merely the SUV but every car.

By making it impossible to make them compliant. So as to get people into other forms of transportation, under their control.

Regardless of what they may say, control is ultimately what it’s really all about—each and every time, without exception, whatever the issue or context. The Progtard lust for absolute, untrammeled power is in full effect 24/7/365, a sort of Universal Constant that goads them in a mindlessly eternal quest for MORE.

They never sleep; they never relent; and they never, ever, ever stop. It’s a resounding testament to the adaptability of the internal combustion engine, as well as to the creative genius of American auto engineers, that workarounds have somehow been found to blunt the bitter Leftist assault on the venerable American muscle car and the rebellious freedom they so perfectly represent. So far, anyway. It’s no mystery why Proggy hates them so fanatically, and wants them gone for good.

Death never sleeps

The Reaper stalks Cadaver Joe.

While Joe Biden has been handling a light schedule of morning campaign stops and basement naps, his campaign bus has been driving throughout the southern US.

In Houston, one Trump supporter decided to troll the Biden team by driving a hilariously decked-out hearse behind the bus with MAGA-approved branding.

The majestic vehicle has some generic Trump 2020 decals, but it’s the other messages on this baby that takes it to that next level of trollery. Here are a few of them:

  • “Collecting Democrat votes one dead stiff at a time.”
  • “Dig ’em Deeper, Bury ’em Cheaper Funeral Parlor”
  • “Clinton Foundation Suicide Limo Service – 1-800-HANG-URSELF”
  • “Official Democrat Cemetery Vote Collector”

At every campaign stop Gropey’s Griftermobile makes, the hearse stops close by and sets up a display featuring an open casket—which ones imagines is beginning to look downright inviting to Cadaver Joe at this stage of his self-inflicted ordeal—along with a big sign admonishing, “Don’t forget 10% percent for the Big Guy.” According to the article, the Griftermobile has even resorted to blowing through redlights in a desperate attempt to ditch their tail, apparently with no joy so far.

Yes, there are pictures and video included, and they’re hilarious. But they’re embedded in Tweets, which I’m trying to stay away from posting as much as I possibly can from here on out, just on principle. Anyways.

The driver of the hearse indicated that local law enforcement had shown support for the hilarious display.

“Been getting thumbs up from all the cops around here,” said the man. “At least we know we got their support. Even though they can’t say nothing, they still support us.”

At the time of publishing, the Biden bus had reportedly pulled away from their campaign stop after no supporters showed up. The hearse team seemed to be in hot pursuit. We look forward to updating you on any further hilarious developments.

No wonder poor Gropey seems kinda jumpy and out of sorts of late. Or more so than usual, let’s say.

Is that a tin cup I hear rattling?

Could I possibly pick a more inopportune time for a Fall Fundraiser? What with the on-purpose and with-malice-aforethought derailing of the Trump economic juggernaut via unnecessary lockdowns; widespread civil unrest and violence; open revolutionary maneuvering from the more treacherous of our two political parties, and such-like unprecedented national angst, mounting a successful fundraiser would seem to be an extremely dubious proposition at the very best. For anybody, much less me.

But needs must, alas. Among other calamitous modern problems currently dogging the Casa CF balance sheet, I have an automobile engine-swap that badly needs doing most ricky-tick, something I dasn’t tackle my own self—lacking as I do both the equipment and the upper-blody strength to pull the job off without ending up squished flatter than a Joe Biden speech, a Ford 2.0-liter i4 cuddling snugly atop my chest and/or skull. I’ll have to hire the job done, to my eternal shame and disgrace as a proud, lifelong gearhead.

On the brighter side, I’ve been checking the local salvage yards, and there are a few compatible junkyard-mills to be had for as little as three hundred bucks. These motors all come with the reassurance and peace of mind that only an ironclad thirty-day guarantee can bring, so assumedly aren’t cursed with any of the same broken timing chains, bent valves, and maybe even holed piston-domes that combined to leave me stranded and forlorn on northbound I-85’s Brookshire off-ramp just over a month ago.

So yeah, we’ll just plunge on ahead with Ye Olde CF Blogge’s Fall Begathon nonetheless, and be damned to omens heralding the possibility of a lackluster outing. I didn’t do a Spring fundie the last two years, an event that had been more or less of a regular thing in years previous. So what the heck, this one’s actually overdue when you really think about it, right?

The PayPal “Support” link over there in the right sidebar awaits whatever alms y’all generous souls might be able to scrounge up and toss into the battered ol’ hat, even the most miserly of which will be very humbly appreciated by Ye Olde Blogge Hoste. I’ll leave this announcement up top for the remainder of the week, and hope for the best. Thanks, gang!

The long, HARD way home

Ed links to the greatest road-trip article EVAR.

The car in question was a Nocturne Blue 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, complete with the WS6 handling package. It was a non-T-top car with stunning paint, a perfect Camel Tan vinyl interior, gold 15 x 8-inch “snowflake” wheels, and A/C, and it was located just a few hours from Chris’ home. Now, I’ve no doubt that when he forwarded me the classified listing, he knew his life was about to get complicated. I was 2,000 miles away in Northern California, while he was basically within walking distance. Friends, however, are friends, and when they’re good ones they’ll go above and beyond to help a buddy out.

I’d been looking for another second-gen Trans Am ever since I sold my 1981 Turbo T/A a few years ago. It was a true Y84-code Special Edition WS6 T-top car with just 34,000 miles, and it was about as clean as they get. With so few miles on the clock though, I just never felt comfortable driving it, thus it was sold with the idea that I’d one day find another. My parameters were simple: I was looking for either a 1979 Silver 10th Anniversary Limited Edition or one in Nocturne Blue. Chris located the latter first.

After a thorough inspection, I struck a deal with the seller and the T/A was loaded onto a carrier bound for Chris’ house. Being overly critical about vehicles is what Chris does—it’s his profession—so when he said the Trans Am was a good car, I knew it would be.

The combination of Nocturne Blue paint, gold snowflakes, and that Camel Tan interior was a match made in heaven, and is perhaps the only combo that can soften the Trans Am’s mullet vibe. There were a couple of miniscule nicks and some minor swirls, but for the most part, many people would have considered it to be a show car. More exceptional still was the fact that the Trans Am was completely stock, showed just over 76,000 miles, and everything (except the damn clock) worked.

Heh. The old analog clocks in cars from that era almost never worked, seemed like. They went on the blink permanently the moment they rolled off the dealer lot, most of ’em.

For some, the prospect of clicking off a 700-mile day in an untested 41-year-old Pontiac might seem a bit unnerving. But Chris and I are two of the most optimistic automotive masochists you’re ever likely to meet, so for us, it was just another Wednesday. This is the type of experiential stuff we live for. Sure, you can do a road trip in a modern car, but, let’s face it, that’s just lazy. Plus, nobody gives a damn when you pull into a fuel station with a new car. A vintage Trans Am, though, is a whole other story.

Try it in a 56 Fairlane sometime, bub. I swear, half the fun of driving mine was the conversations it would spark with perfect strangers. That, and all the honking and waving and grinning as I cruised on down the highway.

On the road, the T/A confirmed what I already knew: that GM F-bodies are some of the best-driving cars of that era. They sit low, offering great comfort and road manners, and, when equipped with the optional WS6 suspension, they handle like a dream. Powered by the original 403-cu.in. Oldsmobile engine and backed by a three-speed TH350 automatic transmission, the Trans Am ran like a top. That is, until it didn’t.

Ain’t it always the way? Click on through for a damned enjoyable read. For some of us geezers, the fabled American love affair with the automobile will never dim or fade.

I turned 16—legal driving age in NC back then—in 1976, and had spent most of the entire year previous trying to wheedle and cajole my dad into getting me a Nocturne Blue ‘Zam—powered by the mighty 455ci Pontiac engine, thanksveddymuch—which sold for a whopping, unattainable four grand. I mean, I wanted one of those badass beauties so bad it made my hair hurt.

My dad, though, patiently reminded me again and again that he wasn’t, and I quote, “made of money,” that I would have to take what I got and be glad of it. Which, naturally, I did and I was. Being a great dad and a car geek himself, he did chaffeur me on repeated weekend trips to various local Pony-ack dealerships, where I collected all the sales brochures and posters I could carry for expansion of the ever-growing Trans Am shrine my bedroom had become.

So no, no Trans Am for me, alas. I ended up with a beautiful, pristine appliance-white 66 Mustang instead; my pop bought it off the auto-mechanics teacher at my high school, who had meticulously maintained and tweaked it over a good few years. I spent the next year or so that faithful little car mercilessly: drag-racing it up and down Franklin Blvd in Gastonia (where my sturdy little 289 handily shamed many a 350 Chevy); wrecking it a cpl-three times; nearly wrecking it even more times; having it repainted when the dents had become just too unsightly to tolerate, then adding a sporty crimson pinstripe down each side myself; adding a top-of-the-line Craig 8-track system (100 watts!!) with Jensen Triaxial 6×9 speakers on the back deck; washing, cleaning, polishing, wrenching, and just generally having myself a total ball with that little Pony-car.

Then, once I had gotten the ‘Stang all covered with sweat and its tongue hanging out from my abusive hot-rodding, it got traded in for a 73 Pontiac LeMans, 350/350, my first and only GM product for many a long, long year. That’s the car that I had to swap out the tranny three damned times over one broiling-hot summer, lying underneath the thing in the backyard with that heavy-ass transmission balanced on my chest as I tried to reach up and get the top two bolts started.

Good times, good times. So sad that nowadays you can scarcely tell today’s anonymous, nondescript plastic egg-mobiles apart, and hardly anybody still cares anyway. They’re missing out on something truly wonderful.

I don’t want to live in a world without a Weinermobile in it

I swear, folks, I have this nagging recollection of having seen a most disturbing story someplace or other claiming that Oscar Mayer was doing away with its fabled fleet of Weinermobiles. Naturally, I was aghast at the grievous blow to classic Americana such a cancellation would represent. Worse still, though, is that in today’s PC nightmare it isn’t at all hard to imagine it happening. I’m quite sure that the “waste and excess” of it; the damage to Gaia from CO2 emissions and fossil-fuel usage; the safety hazards created by having these large, unwieldy vehicles lumbering across the nation, etc etc etc have made for some real headaches for Oscar Mayer in recent years.

The steady stream of protests, whining, and threats of violence doubtless endured by the fine folks at Oscar Mayer for this horrid display of callousness, reckless disregard, and bad stewardship would no doubt make deciding to just say to hell with it pretty much a no-brainer for at least some of the OM suits. Thankfully, however, I looked around some and could find no confirmation of my admittedly vague memory, nor even a hint of such. Eventually I ended up stubling across the very font of all things Weinermobile: Oscar Mayer’s own Weinermobile website, which is a laff riot. That happy sojourn led to further wanderings, which wound up providing all the excuse I’ll ever need to commend y’all’s attention to this treasure trove of fun facts. A sampling:

1940 Wienermobile:
The 1940’s Wienermobile was a bit smaller than the 1930’s model and featured a small pod on top for the driver as well as a hatch at the very rear for the ‘world’s tiniest chef’ to poke out of.

Wienermobile Specifications, 1940:
Builder: General Body Company of Chicago, Illinois

Cost: $5,000

Bells and Whistles: 13 feet of metal in the shape of an Oscar Mayer Wiener, open cockpits in center and rear of vehicle

Yes, of COURSE they have pictures. But alas, all is not perpetual sunshine and lightness of heart; even in Weinerville, trouble can rear its ugly head now and then.

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile pulled over for being a road hog
The Wienermobile just got a good grilling — from cops.

The famous Oscar Mayer marketing vehicle was stopped Sunday for hot-dogging on a road in Wisconsin, deputies in Waukesha County said.

The department seemed to relish the bust in a Facebook post.

“What really happened on that fateful day with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile?” the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said Monday. “The driver of the ­#Wienermobile was stopped and given a verbal warning by a Waukesha County Sheriff’s Deputy for not following the Move Over Law.”

The law requires drivers to move over a lane if they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road with their lights on — and the rule applies even to the operators of ­Wienermobiles.

God bless the Weinermobile, I say. May it grace our cultural landscape forever, to go on roaming America’s great highways and byways to bring a smile, a laugh, or simply a quick, delicious lunch to all people of good will everywhere.

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Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.” - John Adams

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free." - Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved." - Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork." - David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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