You may have seen that the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a new series of stamps honoring classic American trucks. The stamps portray some real beauties.
But that got us thinking … shouldn’t there be stamps for the vehicles that you and I have actually had to drive? Shouldn’t there be a set of stamps for cars on whose dashboards we’ve pounded our fists in frustration? You know, as Lady Liberty says, “Give me your scratched, your dented, your heap with a dead battery yearning for a tow truck in this thunderstorm.”
So we asked our pals at BestRide to help us create our own set of Car Talk automotive stamps. These stamps might never be canceled by a U.S. postal worker, but we feel confident in saying that the cars they honor probably should’ve been canceled by their manufacturers.
The Car Talk Automotive Stamp Collection:
• 2001 Pontiac Aztek: If you asked 100 people on the street to name the ugliest automobile ever produced, 99 of them would say the Aztek. And the 100th guy would turn out to be visually impaired. Its only redeeming quality was its ironic appearance on “Breaking Bad,” as the perfect car for a high-school science teacher hitting rock bottom.
•1970 Chevy Vega: According to one reviewer, the Vega featured “slothful performance, woeful reliability, and build quality that gave the Vega the permanent falling-apart-at-the-seams appearance of an abandoned shack.”
• 1995 Ford Explorer: The Explorer made up for its high center of gravity with tires prone to exploding at random. Add to that drivers disinclined to check tire pressure, and the results usually involved a highspeed visit to a highway ditch.
• 1960 Chevrolet Corvair: A name synonymous with “automotive scandal,” the Corvair singlehandedly shook America’s faith in car companies and gave birth to finger-wagging consumer advocates nationwide.
•1982 Audi 5000: The Audi 5000 was at the cutting edge of design in 1982, when “60 Minutes” ran an expose on its willingness to take off on its own, usually through the garage door.
• 1988 Suzuki Samurai: If a topless, doorless, Jeep CJ-7 seemed too safe, there was always the Suzuki Samurai, which looked like a thirdgeneration Xerox copy of the Jeep, with the added ability to end up on its roof at any given moment.
• 1980 Ford Pinto: One of the most infamous and conflagration-prone vehicles ever manufactured, the Pinto actually wasn’t too bad. It only exploded when its rear bumper came into contact with other cars, leaves or a light breeze.
If these cars are any indication, putting its stamp on a letter would virtually assure that letter would never reach its destination.
What cars did we miss? What other stamps do you want to see? Let us know by visiting bestride.com/ cartalk-stamps.
( Stamp illustrations courtesy of Bestride.com).
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Why do unmitigated cheapskates like Ray continue to buy nothing but old clunkers? Find out by ordering Click and Clack’s guide “How to Buy a Great Used Car: Secrets Only Your Mechanic Knows.” Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Car Talk/Used Car, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
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Got a question about cars? Write to Car Talk in care of this newspaper, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at www.cartalk.com. (c) 2016 by Ray Magliozzi and
Distributed by King Features