Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some great automotive writing

John Phillips is one of the few truly great writers in the industry. C/D lately has been exhuming choice articles from their archives, and this one from 1998 made me smile all the way through.

The passage describing the engine's noise is probably my favorite part, but there are so many nuggets of verbal pleasure throughout. I'll let you get to that one yourself (it's on page 2 of the feature), but here's a taste of his writing:

"We next installed a set of lower-compression pistons that allowed us to double the boost, a combination good for a total of 370 horsepower and, unfortunately, more detonation than Navy SEALs encounter in a whole career — enough, in fact, that on a 95-degree day, as we were noodling out engine-computer calibrations at Ford's test track, a connecting rod tunneled its way through the iron block and, last time we saw it, was touring downtown Dearborn."

I picture a broken connecting rod adorned with a top hat, bouncing happily past the tourist traps. I chuckled.

The tells that this is from a bygone era: Seventeen-inch wheels are "monster meats;" horsepower in the 400s is considered heroic; Csaba Csere is C/D's editor in chief; and the Mercury Marauder is just a rumor.

1 comment:

  1. Man, I want that car. Someone up the street from my parents had a Mercury Marauder about a decade ago, but I never got to see it in action.


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