Fairlane Disgrace

As I was flipping through my latest issue, I noticed a headline claiming “Ford OKs Fairlane” ( see WAW — Oct. '06, p.8). As an owner of a classic '67 Fairlane convertible, this definitely caught my attention — until I saw a picture of the concept.

A CUV? Are you kidding? Is it really that difficult to come up with a unique name these days? What's next, a new pickup truck Ford can call a Shelby Cobra?

The marketing geniuses at Ford should be ashamed of themselves for even mentioning Fairlane in the same breath as a CUV. Not surprisingly, they just don't get it. Apples and oranges, dummies.
Jason Pyzik
Farmington Hills, MI

South Isn't So Bad

Having grown up in New Jersey and worked in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Texas and Alabama, I am comfortable in responding to Mr. McDermott's letter ( see WAW — Oct. '06, p.6). Clearly, to live in the New York-New Jersey megalopolis, one must have a gainfully employed spouse to survive.

The cost of living is outrageous. Back in the 1970s my dad's taxes far exceeded the mortgage payment on his home. I experienced the same thing in New York.

Many of my friends in New Jersey can't imagine why I left and what I find so attractive away from the East Coast. The quality of life is far better, and it is much less expensive. Sean, have you visited San Antonio? Hot, yes. But the last time I worked there, I don't recall it being the dusty desert you suggest.

Corpus Christi and Padre Island's white sandy beaches remind me of the New Jersey shore of 40 years ago, before those beaches became standing-room only.
Jim Villano
Huntsville, AL

Green Loophole

In “Green Day” ( see WAW — Aug. '06, p.42), Tom Murphy says “the Big Three vow to double the annual production of FFVs (flexible fuel vehicles) to 2 million by 2010.”

What he might want to mention is that they really are doing this to milk the system with no regard for environmental or social accountability.

A FFV allows an auto maker to get a CAFE credit of 49 mpg (4.7 L/100 km) for a vehicle that actually gets 18 mpg (13 L/100 km).

Here's how it works: A vehicle gets 18 mpg on gasoline, but only 12 mpg (19.5 L/100 km) on E85. However, auto makers are allowed to calculate the E85 mileage as 80 mpg (2.9 L/100 km) because that is how many miles the vehicle can travel on the 1 gallon (3.8 L) of gasoline contained in the 6.7 gallons (25.3 L) of E85 fuel required to go 80 miles (129 km).

They then average the real 18 mpg using gasoline and the 80 mpg from the above calculation to get a CAFE credit of 49 mpg (4.8 L/100 km) for this 18 mpg vehicle.
Jerry Kashmerick
Brookfield, WI

Keep Gladiator Alive

This is a shame. First DaimlerChrysler makes the great Jeep 4-door hard-top concept into a convertible family SUV, and now they scrap another great product, the Gladiator ( see WAW — Sept. '06, p.10). It seems that the people at the top are afraid to be original.

They think nothing of blatantly copying Bentley and Rolls Royce, but when it comes to expanding on an original American icon they're too afraid. Or is it that the Germans at the top think little of American icons and even less of American intelligence?
Marc Buchanan
Rochester, MI

I've shown that Gladiator concept truck to a lot of Jeep owners and non-Jeep owners, and they all say the same: They think the truck is awesome and would buy one if it hit the market.

Chrysler needs to get up to speed with the real world. I bet that thing will outsell the Hummer. Get one popular celebrity to buy it and show it off and bam it's all over but the counting of the money.

That truck rocks!
Robb Pokorny
Newport News, VA

Want to e-mail us a letter? Please send to dwinter@wardsauto.com