Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Ate Up With Motor, Reuters, Green Car Reports and Gawker.
Party Downsize: The Ford Fiesta Mk1 and Mk2 — Ate Up With Motor
The best automotive historians on the Internet do it again.
Perhaps the most remarkable and ironic thing about the original Fiesta is that while it was an extremely important car for Ford, the company was originally very reluctant to build it at all. In size, technology, and market, the Fiesta took Ford into new territory into which many senior officials weren’t convinced the company even needed to venture.
A French warhorse in Africa — Reuters
Peugeot may be struggling, but the ancient and unbeatable 504 Estate remains the workhorse for millions of people in West Africa.
Local cab-owners jack up the rear-end to provide greater ground clearance, then add a third bench at the back of the car to pack in even more passengers - typically a total of eight plus the driver. The bodywork is then festooned with stickers, favorite maxims ("Chaque jour est une vie" - "Each day is one life") or professions of faith, including sometimes the name of the driver's local religious leader or "marabout". Luggage - and the occasional live goat - are stored on the roof rack.
Can Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles Compete With Electric Cars? — Green Car Reports
Hydrogen has a lot stacked against it these days, but some automakers just aren't giving up.
BMW, General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla believe most strongly in battery-powered cars powered off the grid, though the first two are hedging their bets to some extent with a variety of range extenders and gasoline-engine assistance. Honda and Toyota, on the other hand, clearly still believe in hydrogen as the primary zero-emission fuel of the future.
On Smarm — Gawker
Because "If you can't say something nice, don't say something at all" is just code for "Shut the fuck up and learn your place."
The line is uttered by Thumper, Bambi's young bunny companion, but its attribution is more complicated than that—Thumper's mother is making him recite a rule handed down by his father, by way of admonishing her son for unkindness. It is scolding, couched as an appeal to goodness, in the name of an absent authority.