When I checked back in to my visual review for “The Third Man,” I noticed that there was some debate on there about Sam’s car, his Charger. I made some very negative comments about it: in fact, I called it “stupid” and crowed “ding dong, the witch is dead” when it got crushed. Some people were curious about why I didn’t like it. So I’m here to set the record straight about why I dislike the Charger so much and open the floor for a nice, friendly debate about the pros and cons of the car.
I’ll start off by saying that I absolutely adore classic muscle cars, almost every one of them. The golden age of muscle cars, i.e. the late “˜60s/early “˜70s produced so many classics it’s hard to choose just one favorite. But for me, no car will ever beat a “˜69 Chevelle SS. Bobby’s car, in other words. It looks like this:
?Excuse me while I wipe up the drool. Since I don’t have a spare $40,000 lying around to get myself one of these babies, I have to make do with a more modern car that’s, yes, made of plastic. I drive a Scion xB, aka The Box. It looks like this:
It’s not nearly as pretty as the SS, but I love it! It’s fun, it’s crazy-looking, it has great gas mileage, and it’s been super reliable. I do not regret for one moment buying this car because it is awesome. Okay, the engine is small and it doesn’t have very good pick-up, but other than that, it’s perfect for me.
But what I really want is a classic muscle car. I want a muscle car so bad, I can taste it! When someone drives by in a classic muscle car, I almost crash my cute little boxy car because I’m so distracted. The thing is, though, all these new muscle cars that the car companies have been putting out? The only one I like is the Dodge Challenger, and that’s because it looks the most like a “˜60s car to me. The rest suck. They really, really suck. Why do I think they suck? Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, I am a very visual person, and the look of something like a car is an important factor to me. So if a car doesn’t look the way I like, I don’t like the car. The new Chevy Camaro looks like it’s smiling at me. I haven’t like the way a Mustang looks since the late “˜60s. I don’t like the indented side panel thing. And the Charger. Where do I begin with the Charger?
I had a chance to drive a Charger once when my mom rented one last year on a vacation we took to Arizona. We did a lot of highway driving, so I got to really open her up and see how she felt. Now, we didn’t have Sam’s model, of course, because that would have been prohibitively expensive. But it was still a Charger, just more of a sedan version. And yeah, it definitely had a powerful engine, way more powerful than mine. But it was sluggish to respond, the acceleration was not what I had hoped for, and it overall really disappointed me. It was also an automatic, and since I drive a manual, that was just maddening. I want to tell the car when to shift, darn it!
So for me, the Chargers now all look like a sedan, even the most muscley of them all. I want a muscle car to look and act like a muscle car, not a sedan. If I wanted a sedan, I’d go get a Civic or something. A muscle car means mean, raw, aggressive power for me. That’s what I want in my muscle car. And yes, that is going to mean lower gas mileage, less comfort, fewer amenities. The Charger especially feels like a sedan/muscle car hybrid to me, like they are trying to market it to people who had a muscle car growing up and had to get rid of it due to family obligations. But now look! It has power and you can take your kids to karate class! That may be a better business model, but it’s not going to make me like the car.
Now, one commenter in my visual review wondered whether my dislike of the Charger was because it was Sam’s car. “Why can’t Sam drive a car of his own?” she asked quite rightly. For me personally, my dislike of the Charger in no way was affected by the fact that it was Sam’s. Of course he can drive his own car, especially when he’s out on his own hunting. When I heard he was going to have his own car, I really hoped it would be awesome because two super sweet cars are better than one! That said, do I prefer to see them together in the Impala? Hell yeah, I do. It feels like that’s where they belong, together in the Impala. But my dislike of the Charger is simply because it’s a Charger. If Dean drove the very same car, I would hate it just as much. In fact, I hated the Charger even before Sam got one. I have pretty much hated them since I drove one. And so many people drive them where I live that it just compounds the problem! If I’m going to be stuck in traffic every day, I don’t want to be surrounded by Chargers!
Of course, compared to the Impala, not many cars are going to be able to hold their own. The Impala is a beauty, and she’s extremely important to our characters, which makes her even more special. It would be hard for any car to come into that kind of relationship and look good, so for one of my most hated cars to come on the show and drive around with the Impala? Yeah, I was glad when it got crushed.
So there are my reasons for disliking the Charger. Rational? Probably not. And I recognize that we’re all entitled to our own opinions about everything, especially what kind of cars we like. So why don’t you tell me yours? Who liked the Charger and why? Anybody out there share my distaste for it?