QotW: What car would you show an alien to help them appreciate cars?

Today is ET Day in Japan, commemorating the day in 1982 when the movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial was released there. Using that as a jumping off point, let’s say you encounter a curious and benign life form that has traveled millions of light years to our little backwater pre-warp planet. The humanoid being knows nothing about cars, as their civilization is so advanced that they just teleport everywhere and thus have no concept of wheeled transport. But just because they’re unnecessary doesn’t mean they’re not interesting. We still marvel at the pyramids, after all. Clearly this species is missing out on the fun, beauty, and engineering that automobiles offer.

What car would you show an alien to help them appreciate cars?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What car-themed series should we binge over the holidays?“.

Not surprisingly, readers chimed in with a lot of anime series. Not just the well-known ones, like Nigel suggestion of Initial D — though SCOTT warns us to avoid the Initial D Legends remake — or speedie‘s recommendation of MF Ghost and Overtake!, but less popular ones like j_c‘s Capeta. For US-made animated series there’s Archer, but Bryan says seasons 1 through 3 are the best.

For live action series Alan endorses Tokyo Vice. There seems to be some dispute over how much of the book it’s based on is actually true, but regardless the TV series is very good. We eagerly await season 2.

For European fare there’s Land Ark‘s mention of the Edd China-era Wheeler Dealers from the UK, エーイダン‘s Minder, also from the UK, and Andre‘s pick of the entire French Taxi series except for the fifth installment.

However, this week’s winner is Chet Manley, whose choices show him to be a man of exquisite taste:

Season 3 Episode 7 of Archer has his car stolen by the Yakuza and it features RX3s and all sorts of very good cars. Theres good spotting throughout the series.

I recently found a streaming site called RetroCrush that has a bunch of old anime, so I will be watching City Hunter there, otherwise You’re Under Arrest is a good one and Miami Vice never fails.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

This post is filed under: Question of the Week and
tagged: .

2 Responses to QotW: What car would you show an alien to help them appreciate cars?

  1. Lakdasa says:

    How to promote a car to a being who has gone beyond the means of transportation? Maybe the same way you sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. Tell them that they are missing something from their life and show them a vehicle that can provide excitement when driving (not anything with a lot of electric gimmicks and safety), something like a Ariel Nomad with a Supercharged engine and make them drive it around. (I know its nothing to with JNC, but then that engine is Japanese) For sure they will enjoy the drive and have a fun.

  2. Taylor C. says:

    You already nailed it with the NA Miata. I have owned my Miata for over 18 years now, and it continues to allow me to appreciate the car, be it positively or negatively. The car, in its most traditional and simplest form, is going to be a mechanical system with a rear-wheel drive layout, and powered by an internal combustion engine that’s mounted in the front. The car builds speed through a transmission, and one that should be manual and mechanical so that the ET can understand how all the components interface. The alien will also see that the car spews dirty air, as it’s inevitably one of the consequences of driving an ICE car.

    However, in choosing the Miata, the little green beings and their flying saucers now get to see what enjoyment one gets from the burbling exhaust, the slick transmission, the way the DOHC engine revs to 7000RPM, and how to heel-and-toe when diving for a turn. They will understand the enjoyment of top-down motoring, but this Miata will also have the removable hardtop so they can appreciate the added security over the standard soft top. They will understand the human factors the Mazda engineers implemented so that end user is not scraping knuckles while doing an oil change. There will be things to point out as compromises, like road vibrations, noise, etc, but you can’t have everything in life.

    This car, in it’s completely stock form, allows the alien to understand how it has changed society as well as re-invented the way we think about cars (smaller, lighter is better). The purpose is not to showcase the latest technology nor the quickest acceleration, I almost feel that detracts from what I’m trying to share with my X-Files buddy. Rather, it’s to show all the different ways the Miata serves it’s owners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *