This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

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]