Saturday, January 07, 2006

My Perfect Car -- An Open Letter to General Motors

I’m driving a ten-year-old car with 117,000 miles on it and, unfortunately, one of these days it’s going to go belly-up. I would love to be able to buy an American car.

So, GM, here’s my list of wants: I want a small car that’s both fuel-efficient and safe, one that will hold up in an altercation with one of your mammoth SUVs. I also want it to have a diesel engine capable of operating on vegetable oil. Not biodiesel, but vegetable oil, either unused or recycled from local restaurants.

The problem with running a car on vegetable oil is that at cold temperatures it tends to thicken, preventing it from flowing – a major hassle when trying to use it as a fuel. Because my perfect car has to run on vegetable oil, the car has to be able to heat the oil to the right temperature; so you’ll have to include an auxiliary battery which heats the oil inside the fuel tank, and then is recharged as the car operates. This way, diesel cars can run on 100 percent vegetable oil in all climates year-round, thus eliminating the need for diesel fuel entirely. Volkswagen and Mercedes haven’t figured out this detail yet, so if you accomplish this now you’ll have a jump on them.

I would like my new car, as much as possible, to be constructed of materials recycled from scrap steel, iron, and other materials collected and processed in the United States; of course, the scrap metal would have to be processed properly so that the car doesn’t rust from the inside out. (Remember all those big, rusty white cars from a couple decades ago?) I would like my new car to be built by U.S. residents in one of the many GM plants around the country.

I don’t need an ash tray; I do need front and side air bags which are safe for a four-foot-ten-inch woman like me. Cup holders are cool, and a functional glove compartment is handy. Whiplash control for midgets like me would be great, too.

I want this perfect car to be attractive – no ugly, boxy economy car look – in a wide choice of snazzy colors, with an automatic transmission, and a backseat in case I ever have reason to transport more than one passenger, or have to move with my three cats and their cat carriers. Four doors are nice, but I could get by with two. A trunk would also be nice, but I could deal with a hatchback with fold-down backseat if there were a way to conceal belongings stored in the back when the backseat is in its normal position. With the hatchback with fold-down seat, I could actually shop at Home Depot.

I would like this car to cost not more than $12,000, so that I could afford it on my income without mortgaging my soul. If you managed to come up with this car at this price, you’d sell millions of them! You might even sell one to Ralph Nader!

I really need this car by September of 2006, so you might want to get on this now.

1 comment:

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