Letter about why bad car is good

I’m giving a talk this Sat eve. on “the actual nature of human nature” and one part of this talk is about “self - delusion”. To illustrate this I need a recording / the text of a hilarious letter Tom & Ray read years ago… It was of a woman who owned a car T&R complained about constantly (Pueogueot?) She said it’s a wonderful car and then listed 25 or so “'small problems” like not driving it over 35 mph, not in the rain, not at night…yet she was convinced it was a great car…! (I paraphrased the examples.) Can anyone direct me to what show / where the text for this letter is?


No,I can’t, but there are countless examples of human nature and the follies of car ownwership. The British husband of one of my wife’s friends bought a Rover 2000 back in the sixties. This car was sophisticated in design, but poorly engineered, especially for North America. He had all the litany of problems this car became known for, So strong was his faith in British cars, that he bought a SECOND Rover 2000!!! That way he made sure at least one of them ran.

A colleague I worked with in the 90s was an Audi fanatic He constantly bragged about the car, but as an engineer, he did admit he spent about $1000 per year MORE on maintenance and repair as other car owners. This at a time when I spent about $900 per year on average with a Detroit car.

Volvo owners are also a very loyal group and still believe a Volvo is a much more reliable and environmentally responsible car, just because it is made in Sweden. Ralph Nader was reported to drive a Volvo

I’m sure other posters have similar stories to tell you.

This is quite common. If people liked or disliked cars based upon their reliability there’d only be a few makes & models of each type. There are actually people who think Land Rovers are great cars. Like Doc’s friend. Go figure.

There are also those folks who recognize that particular cars are horribly unreliable but love them anyway. Like me, I love the old British Leyland ragtops. Triumph TR3/4/6 or Spitfire, MG TC/TD/TF/A/B, Austin Healys, there’s a bunch of them. Even a Lotus…an old Europa or even a new Elise.

That was a Rover 2000, not to be confused with a 2000 Land Rover. They were not one the Britain’s best efforts. An MGTC was probably as reliable. Parts were difficult to come by, at least here in mid-America.

Whoops! I forgot those even existed.

Here is a link to an image of a Rover 2000, circa 1967:


It was a fairly innovative car for the time, including a very unique front suspension that had the coil springs positioned horizontally, rather than vertically. The suspension connected to the springs though an L-shaped arm, if I recall correctly.

The purpose of this very strange concept was to reduce nose dive during braking, and allegedly to improve the ride. And, if I recall correctly, this was the type of car that Princess Grace was driving when she had her fatal accident on a mountain road in Monaco.

These cars were most memorable for being extremely unreliable.

We get many posts from people praising their current mechanic then asking if he is fixing their car correctly,lol.

And after hearing their tale of woe, the response from many of us is that the “trusted mechanic” is incompetent!

Agree, VDC; a stockbroker friend of mine bought one in 1967 and found the hydraulic clutch would not work on a cold winter’s day. That was just the beginning. He sold the car after a year of missed appointments, and bought a 6 cylinder Volvo; then still a very reliable and solid car. He thought he had died and gone to heaven!

His wife who, liked old cars, had a 1953 Ford V8 in two-tone metallic green and white. It never failed to start and was very reliable. As a teacher, she did not have to keep up an image, unlike her husband.