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Hagerty Employee

Smithology: Scout Walliser Duratrash, and other thoughts

Greetings and welcome! Today's Smithology is a divergence from the usual. It's also quite long, so thank you for the patience. I was standing in the shower this morning and thinking about the car business. Said thinking was prompted by three separate events: 1.
Advanced Driver

Thanks for the tip on VW owning all of the IP from International Harvester. Now I know who to pester about a new door gasket for the shop refrigerator.
Pit Crew

Mary Barra always answers a question with "I think when we..."

Except she doesn't

Wish you still made Cruze and Sonic and forgot about $110K Hummers and $150K Escalades and Sierra Ultimate Denali's?

New BMW styling language says "electric shaver" to me. Once I thought of it that way it no longer bothered me.

But I am not attached to that brand aside from Rob Siegel sneakily brainwashing me to appreciate it.
Advanced Driver

You nailed it, sir. It still bothers me, but I now have the primo metaphor.

This guy Siegel gets the Grand Prize for chutzpah. But maybe we can stop hearing about Bangle.

How many people would rather the bangle-butt was back over the naked mole-rat front ends on current BMW's. Time is a funny thing.
Advanced Driver

Cool interview with Walliser. Great snark from the digitali. Thanks again, Mr. Sam.

The BMW design is atrocious. Frankly with the exception of the Coupes, the 3.0(?) which were handsome cars in various driveline derivatives the sedans were never attractive.
Comments made by the folks in the boiler room aren't interesting nor intelligent.
You are always very good to read. Thank you.

“possible history-mining cynical cash grab.” - Yeah a VW "Scout" would be that but so is a Mustang SUV or a BMW Supra. The “possible history-mining cynical cash grab” is everywhere and shows no signs of dying.
New Driver

In my head, I hear all of Part Three being read by Jeremy Piven.

Oh, and you are the next Peter Egan. And I mean that in a good way. A very good way.
Intermediate Driver

What determines automotive brand loyalty? Is the brand history important?Clearly Tesla and Hyundai don’t think so. Mercedes-Benz just sold a huge chunk of their history to fund climate change research. We have seen how “important” the Mustang name is to Ford. An electric Corvette is in the works. Are brands and their history even a consideration when most SUVs (trucks) look identical from 50 feet?
BTW Sam, you are the spiritual successor to Egan and Manney in your own way (not like that poseur Neil).

Beating up on automakers for the state of modern cars is fun, but it is about as pointless as complaining about the weather or the price of gas

Start with the Kindergartenworld culture (everything has to be perfectly safe, and if 6 out of 1,762,354 units of a product fail, that is grounds for a multi-million dollar class action suit) which has resulted in an over-regulated over-optimized car that leaves no room for originality, add to that formula the fact that 90+% of the good ideas have already been taken - which is why I have to add beaver teeth to a BMW to 'freshen it up', and top it all off with 'we have to save the world with low/zero carbon car options' (at least in appearance, I'm sure that Hummer will consume as many dinosaurs as my big block vette, and by the way, let's ignore the 7.5 billion and growing problem), and there really isn't much room to pull anything interesting off with a new car design. The fact that they do every once in a while is a credit to the industry

Be excellent to one another and.....
Advanced Driver

Top form Sam Smith right there!
New Driver

Agreed with others - you are the next Peter Egan, with your own unique style and personality, but with the same magic that allows you to bring people into a stress free world where we can just fully appreciate and enjoy cars and the way they are supposed to make us feel.
Intermediate Driver

First, as to VW and the Scout, I'm thinking "Bronco." Second, I think EVs are inevitable. As battery and motor technology improves, there's always the possibility of weight reduction.. Much of the weight gain of current ICE vehicles is due to safety regulations. Maybe battery EVs will continue to gain weight, maybe they won't. Who knows what the future will bring. Third, Peter Egan is a great writer. People may say that you, Mr. Smith, are no Peter Egan. Of course you aren't.... nobody is. However, No one else is a Sam Smith, and if you want to name a successor to Mr. Egan, I think Mr. Smith is a damn fine successor! (I liked your writing from the get-go, but your fantastic piece in R&T about your sleepless experience at the 24 Hours of Le Mans solidified your place in the list of great writers, as far as I'm concerned.)