I’ve maintained for a long time that car magazines that feature cars and their owners will always contain three standard lies. The following is not directed towards any one person, car or magazine but are general observations from a seasoned car junkie.
LIE #1 The horsepower myth.
Somewhere in the prestigious article the owner will state something like “The engine builder is pretty certain that the engine will put out 650 gajobies of horsepower. But they haven’t had time to go to the dyno shop yet!”
Hey folks, after spending chunks of cold, hard cash to build the thing go ahead and spend a couple of hundred more to dyno the car. Then keep the dyno sheet with you. And please report the rear wheel horsepower only or show exactly how the shop “guessed” (because that is what it is) at the engine horsepower before the drive train loss.
We all know the drive train robs the car of some horsepower but some shops sure use some high numbers for that mean drive train. Only report numbers you can prove or don’t list anything. My son’s friend thinks his VW Bug is a monster engine but he doesn’t claim that it puts out 300 HP!
LIE #2 The quarter mile timing slip
In that same article (usually 3-4 paragraphs later) the owner will state “I’m pretty sure this car will go in the 11’s but we haven’t actually taken it to the drag strip in the next local township yet.” Of course looking at some of these cars, you wonder if they’d even pass a tech inspection. But the point is that if you are going to brag about a quarter mile time, don’t dream up a number; just bring us the timing slip! Then there is no doubt about the times of the car. A lot of ten second cars never seem to make it to the local quarter mile asphalt lanes.
LIE #3 The owner is very proud of the car and is really going to drive it.
Yeah right! I’ve known one owner for seven years that trailers his
car to shows and takes his shoes off before stepping in the car. More power to him, and if that is what he wants to do, great. But his car’s odometer is now at 21 miles! Lots of people claim they are not going to trailer the car, but after spending gobs of moola to get the car right, I can’t fault the owner for wanting to preserve the car’s present condition.
Just don’t tell us something different! What brings me to share these 3 lies with you, is the following revelation. Some of you may watch on the Discovery Channel, the American Hot Rod show with Boyd Coddington and his crew building cars. Many of you might remember a yellow 1965 Mustang that was done for a good customer’s wife and her upcoming birthday. Now the wife oohhed and ahhhed over the car (guaranteeing her nationwide TV exposure) and said it was so perfect and she’d treasure it forever and drive it everywhere. Well that very car is now listed as being at the January 2005 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale. Now I don’t know the owners and so don’t know what might be prompting them to sell the car and they have the right to change their mind, but the car was just done last year folks!
Just remember the 3 Lies the next time you read a feature car article!
See ya’ on the road.