What The Hell Is This?

Welcome to PlaysWithCars.com, arguably the web’s most mildly amusing source for automotive entertainment.  The goal here is simple: to have fun with cars.  If you compare this site with other car blogs, you’ll notice this one is a little bit smaller, a little bit less official, and considerably less good.  The site’s existence is also totally conditional on the Internet I steal from my neighbors.  But I happen to think it’s a lot of fun, and maybe you will too.  My mom sure does.

PlaysWithCars is broken down into several major categories.  They are:

Car Review Without Actually Driving It

While automakers lend vehicles to all the top journalists, magazines, web sites, and Edmunds, it turns out that they don’t give free vehicles to unknown bloggers who mooch Internet off local businesses.  So I’ve had to improvise, which is why my car reviews are a bit different: I’ve never actually driven the cars I’m reviewing.  Does that make my reviews any worse than those of journalists being paid with Las Vegas hotel rooms to write about variable-ratio steering and camshaft timing? I’m not sure.  But at least my friends think they’re pretty good.

Minutiae of the Minute

There are many different types of car people.  There are those who like to go fast in a straight line, and those who prefer a twisty track.  Some car people buy muscle cars, others buy rock crawlers, and others spend $400,000 on a goofy-looking Lexus with a weird gauge cluster.  This segment is for an entirely different type of car person: the car nerd.  Although rare, the car nerd enjoys the subtle things like taillight variations, badge placement, and knowing what year Peugeot left the US market.  The car nerd probably already knows everything that’s said here – but the true car nerd will still read it.  If only just to send me corrections.

Used Car Reminder

In this segment, PlaysWithCars is providing a special service to enthusiasts looking for a used car: reminding you about stuff you’ve forgotten.  If you’re like me – and hopefully you’re not, because you have a job – your used car search can be long and time-consuming, and might involve driving dozens of cars before finding the right one.  By reading this segment, your search will become even longer and more time-consuming as you’re reminded of some great cars you forgot to check out.

Named in Japan

In Japan, they give cars really weird names.  I mean really weird names.  I have no idea why this is, and I imagine neither do the Japanese.  But since it’s always acceptable on the Internet to call out Japanese culture for being incredibly strange, I’ve decided to pile on with my own mocking.  Consider it ‘Engrish’ for car people.

It Exists

Yes, it does.  This section consists of those cars you’ve long forgotten about, and some you never knew were there in the first place.

Ridiculous Rebadge

For a long period of time, it seemed like car companies thought the American consumer was pretty stupid.  Some still do.  But most have wised up and realized that you aren’t fooling anyone when you put a different emblem on the front of a car and a different name on the back, and try to pass it off as an entirely new vehicle.  This segment highlights some of the very worst attempts at badge engineering in the history of the automotive industry.  You may have known about some of this stuff; others will blow you away.  None of them should’ve been built.

CarMax Cameras

At any given time, CarMax has around 45,000 vehicles on their lots nationwide.  And, apparently, one camera to document them all.  This segment shows some of the more ridiculous photos posted by CarMax in an attempt to sell their  appliances cars.

GM Bad Idea

Every car company has bad ideas, but I submit that General Motors tends to have just a few more than everyone else.  Combined.  This section examines some of the more unusual ideas in greater detail.

In The Hood

I live in a really nice neighborhood. Which is to say that I rent a small, one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a really nice neighborhood. But my neighborhood isn’t the kind of place where flashy people go to show off their money. Instead, it’s a bunch of old money WASPs who have a generally peculiar taste in cars. There’s also a country club. This is a sampling of some of the sightings from “the hood.”

Come to America

This section primarily consists of cars which I will rant about not being able to purchase in the United States, either due to automaker shortsightedness or annoying federal laws. I believe it will consist primarily of station wagons. Feel free to ignore it. And, frankly, everything else here.

Feature Fail

Sometimes, automakers decide to offer features that just aren’t a very good idea. After all, not everything can be automatic climate control, which is the single most amazing idea that no one has any concept of how to use even though they use it daily in their homes. Anyway – that’s not important. What is important is that I’ve decided to chronicle a few of the failure features using the only medium I have: this website, via my neighbors’ increasingly weak Internet signal.

So there you have it: an introduction to PlaysWithCars.  With questions, I can be reached at dougdemuro@yahoo.com.  Or, you can join legions of fans (at this writing, six in total) who follow me on Twitter.