List: The Best Comments From Winding Road Readers In 2011

By Seyth Miersma

December 29, 2011

Excuse the slight change in format for this List post; after spending the better part of a work day reading through hundreds and hundreds of your comments, it felt more appropriate to write this as “Seyth” than as “Winding Road Editor.”

Long story short: you guys are great. Every time I publish a piece for WR I find myself checking back to the comments section to see what the readership’s reaction is going to be.

Sometimes a review or article is met with questions (derision, scorn, accusations of bribery, shots at my manhood/education/upbringing), and sometimes it is lauded with like-minded praise. And, as you’ll hopefully see from the selected comments below, I really do value both kinds of feedback. (We all prefer to be told how brilliant we are at what we do, naturally, but the accurate lobbing of the occasional hilarious spitball is probably more constructive in the long run.)

The comments below are some of my favorites, for various reasons, from the last year. Enjoy re-reading them, and be sure to click through to see the original threads, too.

I’d also like to give a shout out to a few of the most influential, entertaining, and verbose commenters in the Winding Road universe. Billbennett1, Billspicer, Chartguy, Dieselhead, JoeCamaro, and Myangeldust, to name just a few, are the sort of enthusiasts that make this publication far richer for their participation. Also, a special note of thanks to 2011STi, whose particular blend of car smarts, wit (plus snark), and unparalleled response rate, made threads like the one following my Audi TTRS review destination reading. Do not get into a comment debate with this guy unless you’re in it for the long haul—seriously.

The New World Welcomes You

“It is hard to accept that someone in the 21st Century is telling me to move to Japan because I don't like the Malibu's semi-hybrid, and GMs penchant for too little too late.

 Perhaps I should remind NZO that the Camry is made in the US, and 80% of the parts are made here, and that hundreds of thousands of Americans work in Japanese and Korean car plants. 

Incidentally, Toyota has decided to make all Camrys in the US, including exports. It is a new world, folks.”

[After being told to “move to Japan” as a response to initial defense of the Toyota Camry Hybrid relative to the Malibu. -Ed.]

—Ejaehn, Driven: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco

Joy, Revisited

“Thanks for the beautiful video of this ageless automotive work of art. While I've forever been a car enthusiast at heart, I've chosen to own ‘practical’ cars. Then, I had the good fortune to drive a newer 911 Turbo one evening a few years ago, and it finally hit home: the sheer, visceral joy of all the sensations of piloting that car, for me, was something I could never have previously grasped, and I'll never forget it. This video really brought it back for me.”

—Dexx, Winding Road Video: 2012 Porsche 911 GTS – Video Review

In Other Words: Not Exciting

“The Jeep is great. The video is as exciting as watching a Chevy Volt take 10 hours to recharge.”

—Goodtoberight, Winding Road Video: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – Quick Drive

Bad News Bose

“No highs, no lows, must be Bose. Also, no imaging, timbre accuracy, dynamics, sound staging or resolution. Why Porsche and Audi put junk audio into what would otherwise be an aspirational vehicle is beyond me. Especially considering they have amazing, accomplished audio partners such as Burmester, Harmon Kardon, Mark Levinson (for Lexus anyway), McIntosh, Lynn, B&W and Dynaudio. Your accomplished consumer knows good sound; stop insulting them.”

—Chriscmore, Car Audio Test: Porsche Panamera S Hybrid – Bose

Anecdotal Versus Empirical

“As in most such comparison situations, the experience of the individual and the attention it garners tends to outweigh the reality of a situation, especially as concerns customer satisfaction. As the adage goes, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease.’

Now, if every car owner had to send in a report card at, say, three years of ownership, we could probably get a pretty fair indication of the average satisfaction (on all measurable indices) of the average car owner. As it is, we always get a skewed impression of stats such as reliability based on a short list of rants and raves.

As someone else mentioned earlier, I have owned many products, cars included, that statistically were reported as unreliable, expensive to operate, and so on, but that I have been very happy owning…For the most part, ownership of any consumer product is entirely subjective. It is unfortunate that humans have a tendency to be herd followers, and are easily swayed by the movements of the herd.”

—Rainbowarrior, Are VW’s Really Unreliable?

Voting Power

It [Shelby GT500] might still be a bit nose-heavy, and it still has an antiquated live rear axle, but 650 horsepower. Only 3-4 years ago that kind of power was the stuff of fantasy. Even exotics didn't have that much sheer power. The only way to get it if you were an ordinary guy was to go to a tuner and spend thousands on aftermarket parts, and hope to hell it all held together.

Now, you can walk into a mainstream car dealer, put down your money, and walk out with a car boasting 650 horsepower. And a warranty. Amazing. 
My vote goes to the Shelby.

—98redwing, LA 2011: You Vote For The Winner

This Guy Really “Gets It”

“This Involvement Index is pure bullshit invented for anorak jackass old farts who cannot fathom that real people who actually buy and lease cars don’t want jiggly rides and pointless white noise from the steering wheel or OBSOLETE MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS. F**k off you old fart fake ass 'enthusiast' writers. You’re as pointless as the buffoons who ruin or try to ruin audio for those without 'golden ears'.”

—OneOfOne, List: Top 15 Asian Cars From Winding Road's Involvement Index 2.0

Europe Changed Me (Kind Of A Lot)

“I have been living in Europe well into my fourth year now. I've seen and driven enough real cars here, as to become ill at even the thought of buying another fake American car, built by a globalist enterprise which hasn't anything to do with the good ol' USA anymore.

If I want over 300 horsepower, I'll just get myself a good two-year-old 5-Series Bimmer or Mercedes, without even looking back. Why used? It's simple: I have tasted and gotten to love what real life is all about. 30-plus years of slavery to some greedy, flabby dinosaur banker like Soros and his ilk, is unacceptable to me and should be to every smart American as well. So there.

I fondly remember my '84 Olds Cutlass Supreme, but what they sell to us now is not American in looks, let alone in spirit. Debt free, fast in the lanes, and back to my European roots now—if the system is pitching fake cars to us, what about the rest of our so called ‘American lifestyle’? Do you trust the MF's with your lives? I voted with my feet.”

—MichaelJ34, Driven: 2012 Buick Regal GS

The Flip That Wouldn’t

“Part 7...really? When does it stop being a flip project and start being the car you call ‘home’?”

That's a joke. If you are indeed homeless I apologize.”

—Myangeldust, Flip This Car: 1994 Buick Roadmaster—Part Seven

Mother Theresa Versus Babe Ruth—There Can Be Only One

“A comparison is not a competition. Though a comparison can lead to an obvious winner, I could compare any number of things without declaring a winner. I could compare a life to a life. Let’s say Mother Theresa and Babe Ruth. There are surely differences to compare in life choices and influence in the world, but could you really say that Babe Ruth was better than Mother Theresa or that Mother Theresa won at life more than Babe Ruth? No! If a comparison was a competition, we wouldn't even have the word comparison, would we? Why would we need it at all?”

—Mel, Comparison Test: 2011 Ford Fiesta vs. 2011 Honda Fit vs. 2011 Mazda2