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Mashing the Montego
December 11, 2004 11:25 PM   Subscribe

A Senior Moment The sign of a good specialist writer is the ability to amuse those who aren't specialists, or even enthusiasts, of their particular field. Dan Neil of LA Times is probably the most entertaining automotive writing around. Here, regarding the Montego, he asks the Mercury people, "What were you thinking?" (Registration might be necessary). He's also funny when doing positive reviews, as when drooling over the Acura. No particular car lust required.
posted by QuietDesperation (17 comments total)

 
Cars go vroom.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:21 AM on December 12, 2004


Oh, man, that's some clever funny writing. Thanks!

/my father had a sort of milky lime-green montego in the early 70's. It doesn't sound as though they've improved much.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 3:23 AM on December 12, 2004


Best car review ever! This guy is good! Ford might as well just shut down the production line!
posted by HuronBob at 3:53 AM on December 12, 2004


I like writers with style. I would bet that I could pick an article by Neil out of an anonymous bunch of reviews after only being introduced to him by this FPP.

Thanks,QD!
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:31 AM on December 12, 2004


As for the Montego, I don't understand how this lamentable rentable got out of the barn.

The web is an odd place. It can make me go off and read things like car reviews for fun. Good fun, this. I'm going to read some of his other screeds now.

Rumble Seat by Dan Neil
posted by kahboom at 6:01 AM on December 12, 2004


That was fun -- thanks for the link. Another good source for smart, funny car reviews is Giles Smith in the Guardian's "Wheels" section. I loved their take on the BMW 7 series:
"[T]o unlock the car by remote control in the dark is to initiate a small but moving tribute to the final stages of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The interior lights fade up with awe-inspiring grandeur, and small, white pearls of light beam out from under the door handles, guiding you home to the mother-ship. How dark would it have to be that you could find the car but not the door handles? I'm not sure, but those little lights are certainly cute."
posted by Zonker at 7:16 AM on December 12, 2004


their his. D'oh.
posted by Zonker at 7:19 AM on December 12, 2004


Overall, the car has a profoundly geriatric feeling about it, like it was built with a swollen prostate. To drive this car is to feel the icy hand of death upon you, or at least the icy hand of Hertz, because it simply screams rental.

Priceless!
posted by clevershark at 7:20 AM on December 12, 2004


That was also great, Zonker--thanks! Both writers make me remember how this style of writing--funny, smart, irreverent--seems to be a staple of British newspapers, while being rarely seen on this side of the Atlantic (save for humour columns like Dave Barry's that are classified as such).
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:01 AM on December 12, 2004


Dan Neil is, as far as I know, the only auto writer ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

Back when I lived in North Carolina, I used to read his stuff in the Raleigh News and Observer. The N&O fired him in 1997 after he wrote a review of the Ford Expedition that included a description of screwing his fiancee in the (ever so roomy) back seat.
posted by enrevanche at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2004


"There is no soul to this car, and it's about as sexy as going through your mother's underwear drawer."

Wait, going through mom's underwear drawer isn't sexy?

Why doesn't anyone tell me these things?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:56 AM on December 12, 2004


That's a well written review. It conveys the feel of driving the vehicle while not skimping on the basic technical information. Why can't we seem to get the same balance in video game reviews?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:56 AM on December 12, 2004


I especially like the phrase "loaded like a drunken Shriner" from the Acura review. And as for the Montego review, well-phrased insults are always entertaining. Grazie, QuietDesperation.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:05 AM on December 12, 2004


There was a review of the Escalanche/Avapade/whatever that was hilarious. Very cutting.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:45 PM on December 12, 2004


Not being interested in cars, I would never have seen this. Thanks QD.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:32 PM on December 12, 2004


My favorite part was the last word:

Final thoughts: Hipster-proof

Heh. This is more of a positive than one might think...
posted by rooftop secrets at 6:30 PM on December 12, 2004


About the second review: There is no Milli nor Vanilli in Milli Vanilli. Only Rob and Fab.

I like his style.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2004


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