[quote name='Taquin' date='Apr 8 2009, 08:25
It reminds me of Italian cars. Fiat didn't produce a 1.6 lt. No, they produced the Fiat 131 Supermirafiori 1600TC. You could sit in cars like these and soak in the lovely design and the Italian words on the dials. But if you actually drove one, you found the off-centre steering wheel so distracting that you didn't notice you were doing well over 200 km/hr and if it didn't burst into flames then the gearbox shattered leaving cogs and oil for half a mile behind you, and after a walk to a phone box to ring your girl friend, there was the long tow home behind her 1300 Corolla. And did I learn? No. Three more Italian cars (count them: three) before buying boring Japanese vehicles which started every day and left cash in my pocket at the end of the year.
Sorry about the rant,
It all made sense, though:1600TC meant 1600cc capacity and TC was twin carbs; but who outwith Europe understood ccs and the obvious references those codes made? Even Europe has lost the plot now, BMW has been guilty too...
Looking on it in a different way - the Fiat X1/9 gave you the impression of owning a small Ferrari (even if a bicycle could be faster up to 35mph) and you could at least savour and survive the experience of owning a mid-engined machine; the Alfas kept much of Italy in gainful spare-parts employment as, of course, did Fiat and if you once bought into the Fiat network you were obviously going to purchase from them more than once, even if only because nobody else would do a trade-in with you. But you mustn´t overlook the greatest safety-feature of all: should it rain, hail, snow or even offer the slightest soupçon of moisture, the cunning, hidden, electrical device from Magneti Marelli became the world-leading anti-starting device formulated by any intelligent man and kept you safely in your garage.
And what does Japex Inc have to offer that competes with this? Imitation this and imitation that; all body and no soul, the music of the laboratory. I know of what I speak: only once I abadoned perfection did I become interesting to myself. You can do this too, if you really really feel the need. It actually pays off and you feel quite good about spending more waking hours in self-pursuit. Just like taking up photography, one might add, but at no added cost!
What a wonderful catalyst the Italian car.