Older drivers sure are getting demanding. They say they want fewer knobs, buttons and other doodads on vehicle instrument panels, according to an Automotive News report. Many feel automakers cater to younger drivers, to the detriment of baby boomers.
But the car companies say they're gingerly treading between one generation with aging physiques and another that refuses to grow old.
A Society of Automotive Engineers study cited the ``seven things older drivers want.'' To round out the list in David Letterman-esque fashion, we've added the last three, and a few other comments:
1. Glare-control features (for when your spouse snaps, ``You're driving too fast!'');
2. Ease of using seat belt (after devouring one-too-many Big Macs);
3. Comfortable seat belt (ditto above);
4. Ease of entering vehicle (inflatable steering wheels-forget the airbags);
5. Ease of leaving vehicle (ditto above);
6. Instrument panel free from unnecessary clutter (``smart car'' technology for dumb drivers?);
7. Ease of opening/closing door (where's the d—n door handle?);
8. Sound-proof, shatter-proof partition isolating driver from screaming kids;
9. Passenger ejection seat (for that nagging spouse/relative?);
10. Sleep timer on radio, for those long trips when you doze off behind the wheel.
Sight for sore eyes
More like an eyesore.
It used to be a bustling B.F. Goodrich tire factory in Akron, built on land purchased in 1870 by Benjamin Franklin Goodrich. But it's what the place has become that's the problem. Bob Dyer, a columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal, recently did a piece on the old plant, which he called an atrocity and an embarrassment, among other things.
It's laced with asbestos and PCBs, has numerous liens slapped against it, and is valued at zero, he wrote. ``A demolition expert took a tour not long ago and declared, only half-jokingly, that there isn't enough dynamite in all of Ohio to bring this monstrosity to its knees,'' Mr. Dyer said.
He's asked readers to call him with ideas-goofy or serious-about what should be done with the buildings, which are next door to Canal Place, another old tire plant complex that has been nicely converted into office, restaurant and light industrial space.
The best idea will win a reader a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant in Canal Place-which is not over there (see photo).
Stock analysts-funny guys, right? Not.
It's a rare treat to see some humor showing through those prognosticators' usually serious veneers.
A report by Bernstein Research on the automotive wheel industry noted: ``By and large, wheels are made of either steel or aluminum. Some wooden wheels are still fabricated-but these are used primarily in the manufacture of lighting fixtures for budget steak-house chains.''
An ad for Tacoma Dodge in the Automotive Service Association's Washington State Automotive Dateline newsletter pictured sales representative Ed Dollar.
Think he'd pick up some extra sales if he pulled a Harry Truman and adopted the slogan, ``The buck stops here!''?
Troopers near Tampa, Fla., who recently pulled over a pickup truck during a routine traffic stop found 80 pounds of marijuana concealed in the tires, the Florida Highway Patrol said. After releasing the air, they found the drug.
The driver, Arnulfo Rubio, 50, and a passenger, both of Weslaco, Texas, were charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to transport.
Their lawyer should plead that they're developing a new tire-balancing additive.