Welcome back to If Cars Were. The weekly (or semi weekly, or whenever I'm struck with inspiration) feature where I equate some of my favorite vehicles to something else. In my last installment I mentioned that I'd be retiring the original 5 cars (the AZ-1, the Toyotaru Twins, the Focus ST, the Speed3, and the NA Miata). It's time to share a new set of 5 vehicles that tantalize my senses and get me all twitterpated. What will the 5 new cars be? And what will they be compared to? Well read on dear reader and find out!
To set the mood, lets talk about the car; that indispensable tool that opens the world to us. A good car is like a good friend; loyal, ever ready to serve, and always happy to see you. It's there in the garage waiting for you in the morning, and it shines like a beacon in the parking lot waiting for you after work. Yup, the car is awesome. So what is equally loyal and awesome?
So lets take a look at 5 of my other favorite cars compared to man's best friend.
The Ariel Atom:
Skeletal, minimalistic, power sent all to the back. Needle-nosed front end, and more or less evolved for speed. The Atom does one thing, and it does it well. It goes fast. Not only does it go fast, but it does it with minimal technological advantage. It keeps the formula simple, it combines good power with a light, agile chassis. So what dog could match up with this road rocket?
An old breed originally used for coursing game, this dog is lean, fast, and can accelerate like few other land mammals on the planet. From a standing start, a Greyhound can reach a speed of up to 45 mph within its first 6 strides. The only other mammal that can accelerate faster over a short distance is the cheetah, and since it's a cat, it's exempt from this list. When going full tilt the Greyhound's heart rate can reach 300-360 beats per minute; this means that its heart can contract and refill with blood five times per second. A truly phenomenal feat for a large breed dog.
So lets move on, next on the list is an old classic. This one was one of my Father's first cars. It still sits in his driveway and I long to get her back on the road.
The Type 34, Karmann Ghia:
With a German legacy, The Type 34 sports long flat lines with prominent wheels. The Type 34 was distinguished from the Type 14 primarily by the extra set of fog lights out front. While this car was never fast, it was playful. Its more aggressive body lines, however, were betrayed by it's paltry overall performance. It is stylish though, and it's fun to have around. The Type 34 never wants for attention, and attracts passers by where ever it goes. So what hound could match up to this classic?
This hyper wiener-dog was bread by the Germans to have a long slender body with short legs to allow it to chase badgers into their dens and rend them asunder. The temperament and body language of the Dachshund give the impression that it does not know (or care) about its relatively small size. Even though the Dachshund is not a performance breed, this sprightly hound certainly carries itself as if it were.
Lets patter on. This next vehicle on my list is probably the most loyal vehicle ever made. It will suffer any neglect, any mistreatment, and still loyally start and work for it's owner (disclaimer: I in no way condone the neglect or mistreatment of cars or animals, it's bad, don't do it. Seriously, don't.). No, it's not a Toyota Camry, but it is a Toyota.
This is a working vehicle. It is designed to be reliable, utilitarian, and ready to put in a hard days work (did you also read that last sentence in Jezza's voice?). After running around the farm for the day, the Hilux patiently waits, snug in the shed, for another hard days work tomorrow. It is the bread winner of the family. So what dog could match the durability, the loyalty, and hard working goodness of the Hilux?
The Labrador Retriever:
It's a Canadian breed, so you know it's going to be nice and helpful! The Labrador Retriever is even-tempered and well-behaved around young children and the elderly.
It's a versatile working dog skilled in hunting, tracking, detection, disabled-assistance, carting, and therapy work. This is the kind of animal you keep in the family for the long haul. It is ever loyal, durable, and ready to please. The Lab is just as comfortable on the farm as it is in the city, it is the Hilux in dog form.
So, doggedly moving on; this next car is classic Japanese. Compact, good looking, intelligent, and aloof.
While this isn't Toyota's first sports coupe (that honor is bestowed upon the Sports 800), it is, one of the most recognizable Toyota coupes ever made. The 2000GT is also smart, so smart that it was featured in a Bond film.
So what Japanese dog is compact, intelligent, and once removed from the original?
The Shiba Inu:
While it is true that the Shiba is an ancient breed, only a few of the original line exist. After WWII, parts of Japan were left in turmoil, and the Shiba (sadly) was a viable food source. Equally disheartening, this proud dog was also subject to the viral disease Canine Distemper. As such, the Shiba Inu of today is thought to descend from only 3 bloodlines. Much like how the 2000GT is thought to have descended from the Sport 800 (and the GT-86 is thought to descend from the 2000GT). The modern Shiba Inu is a true second generation compact Japanese pooch. The Shiba is smart, tidy, and independent. Shiba-sama is a dog that gives respect where it is earned.
This brings us to the last car on this new list of "If Cars Were". While the anchor spot on the old list was the lithe, toss-able, NA Miata, this new list needs something a bit venomous and dangerous.
It's brash, it powerful, and it launches with authority! No one would ever accuse this car of being light, or fluffy. It is purposeful, yet still can be family friendly. It does have 4 seats, it can be driven nicely, and it isn't soulless. So what four legged familiar fits this bill?
A torque filled dog that is much more agile that it looks. It's docile and friendly to those that are familiar with it, but to the uninitiated, it will bite back. This is a breed that can be family friendly with a bit of work and indoctrination. It's power, poise, and grunt make it a good match for the GT-R.
So there is my list. 5 new cars and the Dogs I think that would best suit them. Agree? Disagree? Have combinations of your own that you'd like to propose? Leave them in the comments!
Want to burn me at the stake for blasphemous remarks and general stupidity, leave that in the comments as well, but keep it civil, personal attack comments get dismissed. Remember, this is just a list and a personal opinion.
To those that read this far, I thank you. I know this is a car forum, and so this is off topic, that said, indulged me.
If you, or those you know, are thinking of taking in an animal, please adopt. The photos of the Greyhound (Rex) and Black Labs (Sadie and Petrie) in this post were taken by me, and are of my personal rescue dogs.
I've had the joy of stewarding these animals for several years now, and they have brought no end of entertainment and joy.
My plea is simple, if you think that an animal could fit in your home, please at least look at adoption before getting a puppy. For those that are curious I'd be happy to share my trials and difficulties with Rex. He is a retired racing Greyhound that was kenneled for over 20 months and deemed unfit for placement in a home before I took him in. With a lot of time and hard work, Rex is now sociable, and I have no concerns with him around people. In the words of the infamous Mark Twain:
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man."
(Fair Warning, shameless Top Gun Anthem ahead)
I'll step off my soapbox and conclude by thanking you for reading.