From Time Magazine’s special promotional section, “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time,” naming the Model T Ford as the second most awful vehicle:
Let’s stipulate that the Model T did everything that the history books say: It put America on wheels, supercharged the nation’s economy and transformed the landscape in ways unimagined when the first Tin Lizzy rolled out of the factory. Well, that’s just the problem, isn’t it? The Model T — whose mass production technique was the work of engineer William C. Klann, who had visited a slaughterhouse’s “disassembly line” — conferred to Americans the notion of automobility as something akin to natural law, a right endowed by our Creator. A century later, the consequences of putting every living soul on gas-powered wheels are piling up, from the air over our cities to the sand under our soldiers’ boots.
Freedom, mobility, productivity — all evil. Horribly destructive to the natural order and the beauty of nature.
But, c’mon, Time editors. If we’re going to roll back the 20th century’s achievements because the Model T offends your sensibilities, let’s go for broke. The average U.S. lifespan in 1900 was 47 years old. So die already.
P.S. For crying out loud. Time’s little blurb on the Hummer H2 reads like it was written by one of the more fevered adherents to the “America is bad” school of activism.
It was/is arrogantly huge, overtly militaristic, openly scornful of the common good. As a vehicle choice, the H2 was a spiteful reactionary riposte to notions that, you know, maybe we all shouldn’t be driving tanks that get 10 miles per gallon. Not surprisingly, the green-niks struck back. A Hummer dealership was torched in Southern California. The H2 was also a PR catastrophe for GM, who happened to be repossessing and crushing the few EV1 electric cars at the time. It all contributed to GM’s emerging image as the Dick Cheney of car companies.
Are they rooting for the eco-terrorists? Sure seems that way.
Hat tip: Marc Morano.
UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): Years ago the Competitive Enterprise Institute put together a list of good things made possible by automobiles. Here’s just one:
Automobiles enhance knowledge. From watching geese fly to Canada, to visiting a battleground, to attending an opera, no form of transportation combines local maneuverability with extended range to the degree that the automobile does.
From Iain Murray at Planet Gore. And Henry R. Luce drove a car, didn’t he?
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