Of sports cars and minivans | Opinion

I have been an automobile worshiper since I saw the first Corvette in 1953. I remember where I saw the car, who was driving it, and what color it was. The only color for the 1953 Corvettes was polo white. That first Corvette sighting started my romance with automotive America. That same 1953 car today sells in a range of $200,000 to over $700,000 depending on condition and history. As for my love of the Corvette, I have had various models continuously since 1958, the year of my first Corvette.

With the purchase of a Viper in 1995 I had the opportunity to evaluate both vehicles and I found there to be no comparison. The Vipers performance was incredible. The power and torque were scary to say the least and when floorboarding the Viper you better have both hands firmly on the steering wheel. I let a friend of mine drive the Viper and instructed her to keep both hands on the wheel. She paid no attention and almost lost control of the car. Lesson learned. The big difference in the Corvette and the Viper is the Corvette was more sophisticated.

Years have passed and I am as compassionate about cars as I ever was, particularly the cars with styling and performance. I love high-performance cars such as Corvettes, Vipers, Mustangs, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Camaro. But if I had to make a decision to keep only one vehicle in my garage, that vehicle would be my Pacifica minivan.

The 2017 Pacifica Limited is the best automobile or minivan I have ever had and I have possessed a lot of cars and minivans. The number one reason I could not part with my Pacifica is my wife Connie. She would probably kill me because she agrees with me on my selection of the world’s best vehicle, the Pacifica.

The reasons I love the Pacifica are numerous. It is the most utilitarian vehicle in existence. A utilitarian object usually comes without an unusual design or beauty. Not so with the Pacifica as it has a design flourish usually preserved for sedans.

The Pacifica has many practical uses such as Stow-N-Go with seats that effortlessly disappear into the frame of the car to the circular controller for the gear selector. It offers a second row console between comfortable captain’s chairs that has a storage slot for quick access to computer tablets, an easy to understand Uconnect touchscreen system, 20 speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a surround view exterior camera system.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is now on sale in limited quantities. The engine for the Hybrid has been voted one of the ten best engines in the world by Wards Auto. The top ten selection was for the plug-in hybrid 3.6L V6 and electric motors. The Hybrid is being produced at the Windsor, Ontario assembly plant. The 3.6L engine coupled to a nine-speed transmission provides a surprising acceleration for a minivan.

The king of all minivans is alive and well at Chrysler Motors.

In other Chrysler news, Automotive News stated four people have now been charged in connection with a $4.5 million embezzlement of funds from the Chrysler Training Center in a case involving the United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As the investigation goes forward, it appears more high-ranking officials will be charged. Former Fiat Chrysler executive Alphons Iacobelli, former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, and Monica Morgan, widow of General Holiefield, have all been charged with participation in the embezzlement.

FCA financial analyst Durden has pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal for his involvement in funneling the money to the Chrysler training center. In addition, retired UAW associate director, Virdell King was charged with using a credit card from the training center to buy more than $40,000 worth of clothing, jewelry, luggage and other personal items. King has indicated she could accept a plea deal in exchange for evidence against co-conspirators. There evidently are more Chrysler employees, both union and company, who are very nervous, or should be.


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