Motoring Menace

There is a menace on our highways. It is everywhere, yet invisible, or at least not apparent to the untrained eye.

It threatens the well being of our Porsches, our very persons, our attitude toward life, and any decent thoughts we have of our fellow man.

Although often a victim, I was unaware of its identity until the light was shone on this dark presence during a trip to Virginia International Raceway.

After suffering frequently erratic, annoying, and often dangerous behavior from the cars encountered by our small caravan of SUVs, track cars in tow, it was pointed out to me by my friend Rick that the source of this aggravation was common.

His explanation was a revelation; a bolt from the blue. The number of nasty incidents was not simply the result of the random behavior of bad drivers and the sheer number of such encounters during a long trip. The source was common. Buicks.

Yes, Buicks are a menace.

And it does not matter whether the driver has blue hair and has to raise his or her arms above shoulder level to reach the steering wheel, or is eating a sandwich, or talking on a cell phone. It only matters that the vehicle is a Buick.

LeSabre. Lucerne. Regal. LaCrosse. Rendezvous. Terraza. Old or new. With or without those really dumb and functionless holes along the fender. It does not matter. Every one of them will either cut you off, drive at a snail’s pace in the left lane of the interstate, pull out in front of you from a side road causing you to stand on the brakes or look for a place to avoid a collision, fail to signal a turn (until after the light turns green), tailgate you, speed up and slow down for no apparent reason, or engage in any manner of lousy road behavior. Such dangerous and aggravating behavior is in the automotive DNA of all Buicks.

At first I did not believe the connection existed between the make of car and the offensive behavior of the driver. But mile after mile of experience, after the scales fell from my eyes, has confirmed the relationship. Buicks are inevitably driven either poorly, dangerously, annoyingly, or indifferently. Or some combination of everything bad you may observe on the roadway.

The very rational among you will argue that it is not the car, it is the type of people who are attracted to it; the demographic that is moved to part with their cash for some really lame reason such as an endorsement from a celebrated golfer who claims he owns one (bet he never drives the damned thing). But it is in fact the beast that is the source. It is the sum of the automotive styling and GM manufacturing that has created an aura of motoring stupidity that overcomes anyone who gets behind the wheel. Own one and you are condemned to go absolutely brain dead while on the road. It’s a certainty.

Sure, there are parts from the GM bin that the Buick has in common with Pontiac, Chevrolet, and Oldsmobile (how aptly named that line of fossils is). And there is an argument that this common element puts a certain amount of Buick stupidity into the rest of the GM line. But Buicks are unique and stand alone at the pinnacle of bad driving as the menace with which we must contend.

If you think I am wrong, then here is the challenge. Pay attention to the type of car that next threatens the integrity of your sheet metal, or just makes you want to scream as you attempt to survive our public roads. Make a record or diary if you must. But I will wager that after only a few weeks of such observation you will come to agree.

Buicks are a menace.

© Rose Lane Garage/W. S. Cline 2007

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