This week, the LA Times's Dan Neil takes his Pulie and sticks it up the Chevrolet HHR's tailpipe with such figurative vigor, we're tempted to just hit copy-and-paste, shut the lights, and go get sugarplummed on Applebee's margaritas. Instead of wasting the HHR with a single, jungle-clearing BLU-82, labeled "poseur," he addresses the HHR's cultural failings like a lone Delta Force operative.
There is a Detroit-cloistered quality to the HHR, and not simply because it is such a pointed response to a crosstown rival. The HHR wants to capitalize on a sentiment.
Custom-car building and hot rodding are mechanical folk arts. Their very appeal lies in their perversion of the ordinary like a '32 Ford or a '49 Hudson into something extraordinary, something irreverent and ornery. Hot rodding is a kind of insurgency that cannot be commodified.
I'd keep going, but the salt is melting off my glass.
A Lukewarm Hot Rod [The Los Angeles Times]
Maximum Freepage: Detroit Paper Picks Car, Truck of the Year [internal]