July 4, 2007

"I felt like the Camry Hybrid was too subtle for the message I wanted to put out there."

"I wanted to have the biggest impact that I could, and the Prius puts out a clearer message."

Well, make sure you drive it around a lot so people will see how much you care.

IN THE COMMENTS: Susan says "Of course the message can get off track if you're caught driving your Prius at 100 MPH while you're under the influence." She links to this:
Al Gore's son was pulled over for speeding on a California freeway early Wednesday and arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs, authorities said.

Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph south on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over...

The deputies searched the car and found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall...
Let's be fair. It only says "possession," not under the influence.

Anyway, this is a big downside to driving to express the message that you're superior. You'll probably screw up and then people can mock you. (Here's an old post about bumper stickers in a similar vein.)


Synova said...


JackDRipper said...

"So this is the Camry I've heard about, huh?"

"This is the big boy, the top of the line, this is as good as it gets. You know you hear Lexis, Lexis, Lexis but you don't hear Camry, Camry but that's what you should be hearing."

"Tell me what's in the engine here?"

"What's in it?...B..Big stuff, big charging crazy pistons, nutty pistons."

"Is it twin cam?"

"Yep, twin cam......This is a fuckin...work of art."


jane said...

"We bought a Prius
so people would see us."

vnjagvet said...

Enough about me.......

Susan said...

Of course the message can get off track if you're caught driving your Prius
at 100 MPH while you're under the influence.

George said...

Two delicious op-ed pieces by Holman Jenkins about the Prius appear in the 12/14/05 WSJ and the 11/30 WSJ.

Some choice bits:

Edmunds.com, the auto shopper site, guided us to Honda's Civic and Toyota's Corolla as conventional alternatives to the hybrid Prius. This was the source of our claim that the Prius retails for $9,500 more than comparable vehicles. In its own research, Edmunds concluded a Prius owner would have to drive 66,500 miles per year or gasoline would have to jump to $10 for the purchase to pay off.

But don't take our word for it. Kazuo Okamoto, Toyota's research chief, recently told the Financial Times that, in terms of fuel efficiency, "the purchase of a hybrid car is not justified."


But doesn't saving oil have benefits beyond the dollars saved -- for instance, postponing the doom of civilization?

No: If Prius owners consume less, there's less demand, prices will be lower and somebody else will step up to consume more than they would at the otherwise higher price. That's the price mechanism at work. Oil is a fantastically useful commodity. Humans can be relied upon to consume all the oil they'd be willing to consume at a given price.

But wouldn't using less oil make us less dependent on Mideast imports?

Just the opposite: In the nature of things, the cheapest oil is consumed first, and Mideast oil is the cheapest. Drive a Hummer if you want to reduce America's reliance on Arab oil. Indeed, if we could all just pull together and drive gasoline prices high enough, we'd be able to satisfy all our fuel needs next door from Canadian oil sands.

James M said...

Hopefully they get a nice "Good for you!" when people notice their vehicle.


Jeff said...

Once again, South Park shows the truth!

Beth said...

Al Gore's son just got popped for speeding and having drugs in the car:

Here's the part that caught my attention: "Authorities said Al Gore III was driving a Toyota Prius at about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m."

A Prius does 100 mph? Okay, I'm intrigued!

Kev said...

"A Prius does 100 mph? Okay, I'm intrigued!"

Me too; I always thought there would be at least a little bit of a performance drop.

Beth said...

The Honda Accord hybrid has a V6 that pulls 250 hp. I won't be in the car market for another two years, but I am no longer writing hybrids off my list.

Susan said...

I guess I picked up the DUI idea from this
, but the video doesn't actually mention it.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Al Gore III reminds me of A. J. Soprano. I guess his sisters would be Meadow I, Meadow II and Meadow III.

TMink said...

I hope Mr. Gore's son is just going through a phase and is not headed toward addiction. I could have been busted that way too, except for the 100 mph and prius part. I hope things work out for him and the family.

God bless them all.


Internet Ronin said...

These days, if I'm not driving this, I am probably driving this (or a Sport Coupe version of it). In light of that article, I wonder what that "says" about me.

When I'm driving this, however, I don't have to ask what it says about me, I already know: very slow.

Ann Althouse said...

Ronin... that's pretty cool.

Internet Ronin said...

Thanks, Ann. I originally posted most of them for vbspurs (Victoria) over at Sundries. (Would that she would return, either here or to her blog!)

When I went back looking for them to put in that comment, I realized there was no photo of the Sport Coupe (a cloth-top faux cabriolet) to be found there. There is now.

MadisonMan said...

Going 100 mph in a Prius really kills the gas mileage.

I really like driving our Prius, mostly because I like to play the how-good-mileage-can-I-get? game. It's also very comfortable, esp. compared to our old car -- an old beat up Ford wagon. There are more Priuses per square foot in Madison than just about any other town I've ever been in, too.

I'd trade it, though, for the Civic VX we had back in the early 90s. That was a nice car.

Beth said...

Verrrry cool, Ronin. I used to go to the classic car gatherings a few times a year; I haven't seen any advertised since Katrina, and I'm missing them.

I dream of owning a classic muscle car someday, a Nova SS, or a first generation Chevelle, maybe.

Internet Ronin said...

Thanks, Beth. Driving these cars is a unique experience - no a/c, no heater, no radio. Windows almost always rolled down, doing about 50 tops. I guess I've put about 50,000 miles on mine (the Sport Coupe) all over the west, as far south as the Mexican border and as far north as Banff. In 2000, I was planning to drive to Kansas City in mid-summer for a meet but stayed home and had my first heart attack instead. (Too bad, because it would really have goosed my total of states visited.)

There's a big meet in Texas in 2008, but I'm not too sure I want to drive through 1600 miles of desert to Dallas in mid-July.

BTW, the club I belong to restored a complete basket case of a '30-'31 school bus before I moved here. Quite an accomplishment, judging by the "before" pictures I've seen. It was great fun, taking it to elementary schools along with other Model A's and letting the kids climb in it. That is, it was until the humorless state bureaucrats began changing all the rules. Since it was once a school bus, in 1999 they decided it was an operating school bus and anyone driving it had to get a special license. Then they closed the nearby licensing facilities.to get the special license needed to drive it.

It has taken a few years, but we think we've finally found a museum interested in keeping it. The Ford Museum in Deerfield was interested, but only as a transport vehicle. It is too big to get around the corners there, and the interior height is only 5 foot.

bill said...

I ride a Kymco People 150 scooter. Great commuting vehicle--does 65mph and gets 70mpg. And at $3200 I can afford to be much smugger than anyone driving a hybrid.

Pogo said...

Re: "Edmunds concluded a Prius owner would have to drive 66,500 miles per year or gasoline would have to jump to $10 for the purchase to pay off."

It's funny, but we recently had to buy a car and looked into the Prius and Corolla. When sitting with the dealer, I did some back of the envelope calcualtions based on their mpg claims and came to the conclusion that I would not pay off the difference for 8 or 9 years, and only then begin to save money on gas.

The sales guy wasn't too happy with my math, but it turns out to have been correct.

bill said...

Let's be fair. It only says "possession," not under the influence.

An ounce of possession is worth a pound of sentencing?

AJ Lynch said...

The kid looks kinda fat. Must be following in his father's carbon footprint-heh.

Kirk said...


A first generation Chevelle? Like the '66 that I bought used with about 55,000 miles on it, that was far more worn out than our current-generation Suburban at 185,000 miles? No thanks, no thanks indeed!

Lauren jonczak said...

Great post. My Prius just broke down and I don't have the money to fix it yet. I was thinking about going on Auto Shopper and finding something cheap until I can save up enough money to fix my real baby. I can't wait to have my car back. Thanks for sharing Ann.

Certified Cars said...

It's funny because the Prius is supposed to be clean and earth friendly, an obvious choice for a Gore, but I wonder what the impact on the planet is when your Prius is hauling major a** on the freeway. Also, I wonder if they see the irony in that Prius are actually one of the worst-for-the-planet cars to manufacture.