Cars

We Europeans just hate American cars… you only have to watch an episode of Top Gear to hear of anything American slated to high heaven. It’s true that for years, the Germans simply made better luxury cars; better built, better materials. The Italians made better sports cars, faster, more beautiful, better handling. The Japanese made better everyday cars, more reliable, economical, better built. The Brits, well…

Yank cars just never cut it; at least in the eyes of Europeans – and maybe in the eyes of Americans, more recently, too. The fall of the American motor industry is a sad story, especially given that some of the most bold cars and designs came from the US of A.

I recently needed a car that would serve me well as a daily driver – but I wanted something that was a bit rare and could raise eyebrows. To me, American cars often look the most awesome; my dad always wanted a Corvette and I’ve always had an affection for Vette’s; probably from watching the A-Team and seeing Face’s white ride. These last few years, I’ve loved the Chrsyler concepts; the Firepower (which never made it to production (oh so close, though!) and the Crossfire – which did make it to production. Based entirely on an old Mercedes SLK and with 90% of it’s DNA German, the Crossfire’s outer styling was basically the only thing that the Americans got to tinker with… I test drove so many cars; TT, Boxster, BMW 1 Series, and more… They were all reliable everyday ’sports’ cars but being a dime a dozen, did nothing for me; my loins did not stir. I remembered seeing the original Crossfire concept and thinking WOW, so proceeded to hunt one down here in the UK… they are rare. I eventually found one in mint condition and now, in a car that costs less than a used 05′ Honda Civic, I get people walking up to me asking ‘who makes that!?’ I’ve literally been followed by other drivers only for them to ask ‘what is it?’. In a local pub car park, it turned more heads than an Aston Martin parked a few bays away. Funny how perceptions work… Top Gear slated the car for being an old Merc dressed in loud American garments. The German press was more kind. In any case, because of the way it looks, it was pitted against many true blue sports cars – it was never going to fare well.

A car that was born from a short lived and awkward relationship between Chrysler and European car giants, Mercedes. Chrysler went from, once, owning Lamborghini to being owned by Fiat… oh, how the tables have turned.

I’m not sure why American cars are viewed the way they are outside of America but there are fans over here. Some of the most avid fans you’ll ever meet, actually. You can count me as one. As for my Crossfire; how can you go wrong with ancient Mercedes mechanicals and a shit load of American flair?!

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16 Comments

  1. Chaos
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:03 am Permalink

    “We Europeans just hate American cars… ” only because they cannot afford them. Gas mileage will kill you (or your bank account).
    Too bad they don’t make new Crossfires anymore, I like how it looks. On that note, I want my Pacer back…

  2. RW
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:05 am Permalink

    The same Pacer as seen in Wayne’s World??? Did you have one???

  3. Chaos
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:17 am Permalink

    Yes, the same one. Only with a better engine. V8 5.0 liter…
    It was my very first car, and I miss it. If I see one for sale, I will buy it… not matter what Krazy says…

  4. RW
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:32 am Permalink

    Your first car was a 5.0 V8 ????? Jeeeeeez, that must have been lethal!

  5. Chaos
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 11:01 am Permalink

    Not for me… haha. I was safe in the ‘big’ car.

  6. Chaos
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm Permalink

    Pacer

  7. RW
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm Permalink

    I have to say, I frickin love that…

  8. Chaos
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm Permalink

    Most people hate it though… it was a relatively small car (short but wide) and heavy, and the most common engine was a V4.

    I have no pictures of my Pacer. It’s been a while. It was light blue inside and it originally was grey, but I got it a new paint job in midnight blue. Some of these pictures make it look good though:

    Pacer
    Pacer
    Pacer
    Pacer
    Pacer
    Pacer

  9. RW
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm Permalink

    I want one now :(

  10. Posted July 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm Permalink

    What the hell? I must purge the evil!!!

    As far as the whole American car debate, between emissions standards, safety standards, and the unions it’s amazing there are American cars at all. People like Shelby were able to make some amazing automobiles and there are some old muscle cars that really were bad ass, but American cars really did end up being pieces of crap for the most part. Within America there is a big Chevy vs. Ford thing but it’s been generally accepted that Toyotas are much better.

  11. Chaos
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:10 am Permalink

    There is a pacer for sale not too far from here. It’s only a V6 though and the longer version of the Pacer.
    Guess I have to be patient to find the one I want….

  12. Posted July 2, 2010 at 9:45 am Permalink

    I’ve wondered how the Crossfires were. They definitely are neat-looking cars.

    Chaos, you make a strong case for the Pacer. Especially with the picture with the white dress. ;-)

    I bought a 2007 Honda Civic Si 4-door a few months ago. Loving it, so far. But it could be even faster.

  13. Posted July 2, 2010 at 9:50 am Permalink

    Oh, and Belle wants to know if the lady is going to sit on- and crush- the Pacer! :-D

  14. Chaos
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm Permalink

    Nah… she’s just comparing …

  15. Posted July 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm Permalink

    I’m really not sure what you guys are looking at. Strong case for the Pacer? The company doesn’t exist for a reason…

    The Monte Carlo Super Sport wins hands down damnit!

  16. Chaos
    Posted July 5, 2010 at 8:12 am Permalink

    Let’s buy both of them and see …

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