Log in

No account? Create an account
Zoom zoom! - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Zoom zoom! [Dec. 29th, 2005|07:40 am]
[Current Mood |cynicalcynical]

I love reading in the bathroom. Generally I pick up something that I would not otherwise look at, because Ferrett is the one who remembers to bring books and magazines in there. And every once in a while, I find true inspiration.

Like the ad in a magazine for Mercebes-Benz's newest line of cars, the R-Class. According to the ad copy, the R-Class "is a whole new way to travel." They've "taken the best of sedans, the best of SUVs, the best of Mercedes-Benx, and created an entirely new kind of vehicle."

Aren't you excited? An entirely new kind of vehicle! A revolutionary driving machine! You've never seen anything like this before!

Have you?

It's a fucking stationwagon!

That's right, folks! It's a FUCKING STATION WAGON! They have used all their design ingenuity to come up with a slightly taller and bulkier version of the vehicle of the 70s. No sliding doors, no pretense at off-road capabilities. Four doors, a hatch in the back, and the only real difference is bucket seats throughout instead of a bench seat.

Now, I have no problem with the station wagon. It is a noble vehicle, the workhorse of families for decades. But I am amused that, after it fell into such disfavor during the minivan and SUV years, bringing it back (while a popular decision, judging from the number I'm starting to see on the streets) is a delicate proposition. It has returned to the country under an assumed name. Actually, it's worse than that. It doesn't have a name yet. They aren't really SUVs, after all, nor are they sedans. Mercedes clearly has no idea what to call the thing, other than R-Class, and that isn't generic enough to serve the public. Chrysler, Ford, and others are making similar vehicles, and we're gonna need to call them something.

But, as Ferrett points out, "It's just a fucking station wagon, okay?!" is not a winning ad campaign.

[User Picture]From: greybeta
2005-12-29 01:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe the "R" stands for "Retro."

Also, Mrs. Ferrett, I need yet more writing advice. Do you think this</i> is a valid submission for a college newspaper?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: xforge
2005-12-29 01:17 pm (UTC)
Once again, you (or your hubby) speak exactly what I have been thinking.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2005-12-29 01:20 pm (UTC)
I think the wagon really started taking off when Subaru had their effective Outback wagon ad campaign featuring Croc Dundee. They sort of made it "cool" to drive a wagon, and gave a viable alternative to the behemoths that the soccer moms were driving.

Personally, I hope wagons become more prevalent - get some of those SUV/XUVs off the road and out of the hands of people who don't know how to drive them.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: crystalrowan
2005-12-29 01:49 pm (UTC)
Amen to that. Nothing aggravates me more than seeing a tiny, expensively dressed woman driving an SUV the size of a bus, completely incapable of parking, maneuvering or keeping it in one lane on the road.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: penngwyn
2005-12-29 01:25 pm (UTC)
I've been starting to build two lists of recent auto models. One is of models like the Prius that indicate that there's still exciting progress to be made in automotive engineering.

The other is of models like the PT Cruiser and the Hummer that suggest that automotive engineering has reached (and passed!) its zenith, and from now on it's all about re-shuffling a few basic design elements and resurrecting the occasional throwback.

(I don't think Volvo ever stopped making station wagons....)

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: wilfulcait
2005-12-29 02:32 pm (UTC)
Nope, Volvo never did, nor did BMW (although they call theirs a "Touring."
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: ewtikins
2005-12-29 01:29 pm (UTC)
Known as an 'estate' in this country. Confused the hell out of me when I first moved here.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-29 03:27 pm (UTC)
I've read that in novels, so I would have realized. But I remember being confused the first couple times I came across it!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sunfell
2005-12-29 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, the venerable old station wagon. Rode in one when I was a kid. My dad has a really nice Buick Roadmaster. It's like a cushy tank.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: xforge
2005-12-29 01:44 pm (UTC)
Totally they should bring back the Roadmaster and/or the Vista Cruiser, with the 455ci engine and seating for eleven. Why not? It won't get any worse mileage than a f*cking Expedition or a Hummer.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: crystalrowan
2005-12-29 01:48 pm (UTC)
Hehehe - I teased my husband mercilessly for his desire to have a Dodge Magnum, which he thought was an awesome car (it has a Hemi after all). He was rather crestfallen when I pointed out that it's a station wagon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-29 03:28 pm (UTC)
You are teh mean!!! [g]
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2005-12-29 02:00 pm (UTC)


Paulius here Ginny! Wait untill they tout a "Van" that is smaller! Kind of a -hmmm ...mini-van... EUREKA!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-29 03:29 pm (UTC)

Re: hmmm

Oh, like that would ever happen!


(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: on_reserve
2005-12-29 02:31 pm (UTC)
So funny. I drive a Subaru Legacy Outback which is also really a station wagon (with the notable exception that unlike the station wagons of my childhood, you can't really sit in the back, there's no seat, cargo only). I don't know what the big to-do is. Sure "station wagon" isn't a sexy turn of phrase but "minivan" and "SUV" don't seem all that boner-inducing to me either.

My car is all wheel drive all the time, can handle just about any situation, transport 4 full-size adults comfortably (and their gear/luggage) and awesome on road trips. I'm not ashamed to drive a station wagon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lysana
2005-12-29 07:34 pm (UTC)
The "no seats, only cargo" part of the modern station wagon annoys me. My father drove a Satellite Sebring back in the day, and that puppy could hold three kids AND cargo in the back.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: perseph12
2005-12-29 03:36 pm (UTC)
Hmmmmmmm, perhaps the R stands for Redundant...

Oh, excuse me, I mean revolutionary new way to travel ;).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pkthunder
2005-12-29 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it will be placed in the "wagon" class. Ahhh... I see it is called a "sport wagon" on Kelley Blue Book. Just like my Pontiac Vibe.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pkthunder
2005-12-29 03:42 pm (UTC)
PS. I really like the new wagons, especially the ones that are a model all by themselves, and not "the wagon version of this popular sedan". If stupid fancy marketing is what it takes to get people to drive them instead of SUVs, then I will encourage the stupid fancy marketing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: epa_flip
2005-12-29 03:44 pm (UTC)
Whilst my tiny front-wheel drive, V4 SUV is handy and useful, I would kill, maim, rob, pillage, loot, and plunder to get a nice, reasonably affordable hybrid station wagon (I'm wanting 30-40 mpg), as all I really need in a vehicle is good gas mileage, enough space to comfortably sleep in, decent shocks, and a little bit of height (in order of importance). If I want a big and scary vehicle, I'll get a proper diesel truck. So I consider this new attempt to market station wagons a good thing, if they make some of the more robust models with hybrid engines and have them still on the market in 3-5 years (or something better!)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-29 03:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't get me wrong; I think it's a great idea (even thought they are still bigger than they need to be). I'm just amused by the marketing.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: the_magician
2005-12-29 03:46 pm (UTC)

My comments have been made already ... :-(

Yes, BMW have been making "tourers" for, well, just about forever and the "station wagon" is called an "estate" over here in the UK and has never gone away.

Basically take a station wagon and instead of side windows and rear doors, just make it solid.

Nearly every popular car in the UK comes either in a hatchback or an estate version. I've currently got a Ford Mondeo Estate (V6, 2.5litre, 167bhp) and my previous car was a Ford Focus Estate (1.8TDi 115bhp). It drives like a car (since it is a car!) but has enough room in the back for guitars, amps, wardrobes etc. when you put the back seats down.

Something that seems to be a lot more popular over here than in the US is taking a standard car and making a "small van" version of it (e.g. The Vauxhall (GM/Opel) Astravan http://vauxhall.co.uk/showroom/search/brand.jhtml?brand=Astravan&vehicleType=Van )
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dolmena
2005-12-29 04:14 pm (UTC)
I think that there are several areas in which repackaging is both a design and marketing strategy. Come to think of it, some people do their whole lives that way.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tygher
2005-12-29 06:14 pm (UTC)
How about this one ... the Porche Station Wagon ... the Cayenne.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lysana
2005-12-29 07:35 pm (UTC)
That's the lowered version of their SUV by the same name. I hear its handling is amazingly good.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: veryloud
2005-12-29 06:54 pm (UTC)
I vote for "hatchback sedan". Generally a "hatchback" has two doors, so add in a couple of doors and you got a sedan.

Or a station wagon. But that's like marketing "dried plums" as "prunes" these days...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2005-12-29 08:34 pm (UTC)
i hadn't heard that before! along those lines, i hate it when you get out of a long shower or bath and your fingers have been "dried plummed." don't you? *g*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: yndy
2005-12-29 07:24 pm (UTC)
It looks like someone took the body of a 1970's honda accord and stretched it to fit the frame of a 1970's Ford station wagon... yep, thaaaaat's original.

Lol... thanks for the giggle!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2005-12-29 08:32 pm (UTC)
it's not a station wagon until it has faux wood panelling plastered down the side. until that moment, it's a sporty-ish, practical, not-SUV thing.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lothie
2005-12-29 09:57 pm (UTC)
And it's not even like everyone else doesn't have one in their lineup too.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2005-12-29 09:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely. It was just the ad copy that caught my attention and amused me.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: tevriel
2006-01-01 03:16 am (UTC)
Station wagons are, imo, The Best Type Of Car. They are *useful* and *practical* because they have all that extra storage space without being as wasteful of fuel and stupidly fucking dangerous as an SUV. I tend to like station wagon owners, because the rankings of People Who Have Nearly Wiped Out My Motorcycle Through Sheer Stupidity, ordered by car type, is:

1) Hyundai Getz (no idea why this is)
2) SUVs
3) Mercedes (any type)
4) Muscle Cars
5) Utes
6) Sedans
7) Vans

Station wagons DO NOT EVEN PLACE. I think because the kind of person who buys a station wagon is the kind of person who is practical in mindset.

Considering the ranking of Mercs, the Merc station wagon is going to be an interesting proposition.

They have so many virtues! Why do they have to pretend this isn't a station wagon? Because... it's just a fucking station wagon.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: thejunebug
2006-01-04 07:38 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha! Too funny. Me, I prefer the Pontiac Vibe. Mileage looks good, has good consumer reports, has a slightly pornographic name, and besides that my 10 year old Pontiac Sunfire has held up AMAZINGLY well. I'm still getting 34 miles per gallon. But the Vibe is still a station wagon no matter what else they call it. *G*
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: batshua
2006-01-06 05:00 am (UTC)
I love you guys.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-01-06 10:29 am (UTC)
Welcome back!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)