British authors, we love'em. Whether Dickens or Waugh, Shakespeare or Tom Stoppard, Nick Hornby or Graham Greene. Today, for no good reason, one sticks out in our heads: George MacDonald Fraser. He is probably best known for his Flashman series, in which Victorian-era cad Harry Paget Flashman sort of fumbles his way to fame and glory through most of the historical events of the time despite being a coward and a jerk. We can relate. We're also big fans of his memoir of World War Two in Burma, Quartered Safe Out Here, which recounts more factual but almost equally as entertaining wartime experiences. That being said, most on this side of the pond probably best know his film adaptation of Octopussy.
When we learned about the probable death of the El Camino badge for the Pontiac G8 ST, we waxed Shakespeare with our own version of Marc Antony's famous eulogy and in kind, Pope Dearthair or whatever he's calling himself now, responded with Cassius' speech to Brutus from the second scene of the play:
I may be the only Jalop to say so, but I can't really say I'm heartbroken that the name El Camino is being dropped.
Wait... I'm doing it wrong. Let me try that again. Ahem:
G8 was born free as El Camino; so were you. They both have fed as well, and they can both endure the Jalop's hoonage as well as the other.
For once, upon a raw and gusty day, the troubled 16th Highway chafing with her tours, El Camino said to me, "Dearest thou Dearthair, now leap on with me onto this angry road and hoon to yonder point?" Upon the word, accoutred as I was, I plunged on, and bade him follow; so indeed he did.
The engine roar'd, and we did buffet it with lusty Kumhos, hooning it along and taming said road with hearts of juvenility!
But ere we could arrive the point proposed, El Camino cried, "Help me, Dearthair, or I fishtail all over hell's half acre!
I, as Stig, our great ancestor, did from the Top Gear track upon his abilities the old GTI W12 Concept bear, so from the turns of the 16th Highway did I the tired El Camino. And this vehicle is now become a Jalopnik god; and Dearthair is a wretched creature, and must bend his body if El Camino carelessly but nod on him.
He had a malaise when he was in the eighties; and when the fit was on him I did mark how he did rattle. 'Tis true, this "god" did shake! His coward lines did from their tastefulness and style fly and that same nameplate whose legend doth awe the world did lose his luster. I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that engine of his that bade the journalists mark him, and write his praises in their magazines, alas, it cried, "Give me some power, Mr. Goodwrench," as a sick Rover.-Ye gods, it doth amaze me, a vehicle of such a feeble calibre should so get the start of the majestic world, and bear the Jalopnik adoration alone.
In other words... The legend of the El Camino is better than the actual vehicle ever was. Let's leave the legend alone, let the El Camino live on in our memories, and move on to a new car.
Well played, sir. Well played.
[Speaking of being well-read, the photo above comes from The Penguin Blog, the amazing blog of Penguin UK]