Classic Cars: Week of July 1, 2011

Historically, American politicians have not been car guys or girls but there were a few. A young FDR enjoyed driving his Lincoln convertible. LBJ hot-rodded around rural Texas in his Caddy when he was president, with the press in hot pursuit. Both Bushes were into rough-and-ready machines. First, George Senior roared around Kennebunk Harbor in an overpowered Cigarette, an ocean-racing speedboat. George W. had often been seen tooling around in his Ford F-150 pickup. Now, we have presidential wannabe Jon Huntsman, in TV commercials, speeding around on an off-road trail bike. What about other famous politicians, what kind of vehicles or vintage cars could they, would they or should they own? [expand]

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AND ANTHONY WEINER. These two guys have absolutely nothing in common except they each have an attribute that matches the classic symbol of their different political parties. By actual medical definition, the New Jersey Governor is “morbidly obese,” so the Republican elephant fits him perfectly. Need I be any clearer when I say that the Democratic donkey, aka jackass, symbol sums up Anthony Weiner’s actions while a member of Congress. But, what cars would turn them on?

It’s so obvious what Anthony Weiner should drive. He should own an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. I can’t believe the mainstream press never picked up on this vehicle. Starting in 1936, the Oscar Mayer Company built a 27-foot-long, eleven-foot-high truck that looks exactly like a giant hot dog! The Weinermobile is still used today as a publicity device, and it certainly symbolizes Weiner’s descent into obscurity. Governor Christie’s kind of a big guy who seems to like the large sliding doors of “heavy lifting” helicopters (as they are actually called), over those little Caddy limos, so maybe he should get around in Zeppelins, commonly called Blimps. Luckily for him, Goodyear has a base in New Jersey.

NANCY PELOSI. Ms. Pelosi, young at heart, has a lot of drive and I’m sure she likes to put the pedal to the metal when she has the chance. If she ever gets into the car collecting game, I recommend that she collect old Indianapolis racing cars. They are all-American iron built for the USA’s most famous race. Oh, another thing she’ll love: All-American oval-shaped racetracks require racecars to run counter-clockwise, which means the racecars are all designed to turn strongly left. In fact, at speed, Indy cars couldn’t turn right if they tried because their suspensions are designed with a strong left bias, sweet music to Ms. Pelosi.

SARAH PALIN AND MICHELE BACHMANN. Obviously, these two attractive women should both collect British cars. Why? Except for the American models, British cars all have right-hand drive, commonly called “wrong side drive” here in America. However Palin should also think about owning a vintage motorhome, since she seems to like driving around America in a bus. A true classic would be a GMC motorhome built between 1975 and 1978. It’s big enough for her, Bachmann and possibly even Christie.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. Physically, ultra-thin President Obama and Governor Christie, standing side by side, would resemble Laurel and Hardy. In fact, when Obama was running for office, New York Times contributor Maureen Dowd kept referring to him as “Skeletor.” Random thought. Can you imagine Christie running against Obama in the upcoming election? The New York Post would probably bill it as “Skeletor vs. The Zeppelin.” Anyway, let me give you “the skinny” on the President and his cars. When he was dating his pretty wife-to-be he drove her around in his rusty old Toyota. He’s definitely “green” but not a car guy, so maybe an old vintage Chevy Corvair, Ford Pinto or rusty 1960s Corolla would turn him on.

It’s tough being a politician. You’re always in the spotlight. The best advice I can give any politician is to drive a conservative car in a conservative color, even if you’re a Liberal. If you’re a Democrat, please avoid owning a Prius, you’ll be marked for life. The same goes for you Republicans in your raised Dodge Ram diesel pickups. The good news is that if you want to have everyone think you’re an Independent, you can drive anything at all. Have a great Fourth of July. [/expand]

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