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Old 27 Aug 2007, 02:23 pm
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Default Love and Hate of PT Cruisers

Love and Hate of PT Cruisers

BY KEVIN SHEEDY
The Wichita Eagle
Kansas.com


Readers share why they like or disdain the retro Chrysler.


Morbid thoughts:
CallerHoward Feiner likes Chrysler's creative ideas but fears it is following the doomed path of American Motors, which trotted out the weird Gremlin and Pacer.

Worse yet, he thinks the Cruiser, from the rear, looks like a smaller version of an old-time hearse.

That's cold.


Morbid thoughts II:
Carolyn Sims of Mulvane writes that her 80-year-old mother took an instant dislike to Cruisers because -- to her -- they look like the flower car that follows the hearse to the cemetery.


Hitlermobile?:
A caller named Mike thinks that the Cruiser is a throwback to Nazi Germany. He wants to know if he's the only one who thinks that.


Hand-me-downs:
Caller James Crawford has been around long enough to know a good thing when he sees it. At 87, he's owned four Cruisers. He's given three of his used ones to relatives.

He likes the Cruiser because it's easy to enter and exit, drives great and even hauls a patio set in back. He also likes the original thinking with the layout of the dash and switches.

James, will you adopt me?


"Something special":
Stu Demuth, owner of a 2003 turbo, might have hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

Who would have thought that after almost seven model years anyone would even care? The fact that people even have an opinion, much less a strong one, is proof that there is something special about the Cruiser.

Such a reasoned thought. Must have married a West High gal.


No garage queens:
Larry Brown, owner of a 2005, takes pride in the all-weather aspect of Cruisers.

One thing that we like is that we drive our cars and the classic guys don't want to get theirs out when it rains or might get them dirty.

Somebody ought to write a column. Wait...


Newstalgia:
David Worley e-mails that he is pleased with the gas mileage, reliability and the looks of his 2002 Cruiser. Plus, he can get 8-foot-long lumber in the hatch.

But his bottom line:

I like the style of my car: newstalgia, combining an old look with a new car.

Newstalgia, what a great word. Fits to a "T."


Bugs of a feather?:
Shirley Fisher-Langloys doesn't own a Cruiser but admits to being attracted to them.

I am 60 and I think there is something in my old sentiment that makes them seem lovable. But then I have owned two VWs that I also loved, although I don't understand the connection.

Hint: retro, retro, retro.


Envy?:
E-mailer Shelly Maytum of Marion has enjoyed her rental Cruiser so much she is buying one. She observes:

Maybe people who think they are ugly or just plain worthless are the people who just might be envious of those who drive them. Like the old saying goes, don't knock it until you try it.

Shelly also says she has never watched a "Harry Potter" movie.

Neither have I. I'm so glad to have that out in the open.


Tall order:
E-mailer Andy Meyer bought a 2003 Cruiser GT for pragmatic reasons.

I'm a big and tall guy and wanted a vehicle I could drive without my head rubbing on the ceiling.... I was having knee problems and I discovered that with the PT I could step in rather than having to squat and fold myself as I must to get into most traditional cars.

Didn't Hudson have a step-down design?


One piece at a time:
E-mailer Sheryl Clower of Winfield bought one of the first Cruisers, a 2001, in spite of only being allowed to take a test drive around the parking lot.

She has enjoyed the attention the car garners. She hasn't enjoyed the attention from mechanics, though.

Within the first month of ownership the motor blew up.... I have been stranded many times with this car. My PT Cruiser has an alternator from Branson, a battery from Kansas City and brakes from Coffeyville. If I was Johnny Cash I could write a song.

Sheryl, you clearly walk the line for your Cruiser.


Hee-yaw:
E-mailer Jennifer Oller likes the compactness of her 2006 Cruiser, its ability as a hauler and its easy entry and exit.

She adds:

One of the biggest comments I have gotten from the cattle ranchers when they have ridden in my Cruiser is that it was nice they did not have to take off their cowboy hats when they got in. They loved the head and leg room.

No bull!


Mid-30s Ford?:
E-mailer Tom Mavis of Derby likes his 2001 custom Cruiser for its cold AC, peppy engine and fun factor.

He sums it up:

Love the car, you bet, it reminds me of a mid-1930s Ford that my cousin had when we were in high school back in the early '60s. So I say to the people who want to bad-mouth these cars, let them not cast the first stone until they have driven one, they just might like it.

Just don't cast those real stones, ya know, in the direction of a Cruiser.


Copycats:
An elderly woman with a 2002 Cruiser who prefers anonymity also likes the car for ease of entry and exit and its small stature.

She asks:

If the PT Cruiser is so ugly, why is it so many late-model cars have used some of the same features, such as a higher roof line?

A car much uglier than a PT Cruiser is the Hummer but of course that is a "show of status" so you wouldn't dare write that being really, really ugly.

Sure told me.


Cruiserphobia?:
E-mailer Michael Schetrompf has many reasons to like his 2003 Cruiser:

Classic styling in a new car, something that hasn't been seen in years.

With the exception of tires I have not had to put any money into this vehicle.

Something I like about my little car is it gets decent gas mileage. I currently get 24 to 26 city and 30 to 32 highway.

I guess the car appeals to just about everyone except those who fear it.

So that's what that smell is!


'40s style?:
E-mailer Rick Kippes of Lindsborg, owner of a 2001 Cruiser, writes:

I am 48 years old and have been a car enthusiast, owning classic cars and being involved with dirt track racing my whole life.

When the concept of the PT Cruiser was being tossed around I instantly became interested and was totally captured when I saw the final product.

Being a total Mopar fancier for years, when Chrysler started taking orders for PT sales we went down and ordered one for our very own.

Rick says he and his wife, Julie, have certain styling points they like: She loves the dropped V-grille front end and he fell in love with the 1940s-style rounded hatchback sedan styling of the rear.

Rick, what does Julie say about you checking out rear ends?


'49 Dodge?:
Bob Hays is puzzled by the "hate" side.

What is it that they don't like about the Cruiser? It's an updated version of the '49 Dodge, I believe, or at least it resembles one fairly closely. The new Mustang, which I really think Ford did a great job on, isn't catching the flak that the PT does.

Bob and his wife have two Cruisers, a 2001 and a 2005 Turbo.

He adds:

WooHoo! What a difference a turbo makes in drivability.

There's no substitute for horsepower.


Multi-purpose:
Connie Hamilton of Connie's Cookies, who has 2005 and 2006 Cruisers, has been in love with Cruisers since they first came on the market. She reluctantly gave up her Mustang four years ago to buy a Cruiser to accommodate her husband after his stroke.

I loved the PT so much we got rid of the (delivery) van and got another PT for deliveries. I am now on my fourth PT and this one is my favorite.

I will probably continue to buy PTs as long as they keep making them.

Sweeeeet!


Dragon lady:
Snail-mailer Doreen Foster, who likes her "zippy" 2002 PT that gets good gas mileage, says this to Cruiser foes:

If dissing any car is all you have to do, get a life.

Doreen added dragon flames on the sides, a hand-painted dragon on the back shelf and dragon-embellished pillow and head rest covers.

Flame-on!


Love at first glance:
E-mailer Joann Ryan, who has a 2005 Cruiser,has loved the looks of the Cruisers since they first arrived.

I was amazed that someone designed a car that looks similar to cars that were made before I was born. Retro anything seems to be well-received, but no one had done it with a car.

I finally bought one last year, not just for the looks, but for the ability to reconfigure the seats: flip them down to haul stuff, or easily take the back seats out to haul even more stuff.

Retro is popular?


In the mood:
E-mailer JoAnn Fitzpatrick of Marion was given a PT Cruiser to drive while their pickup was in the shop for repairs.

When I got in behind the wheel and started it up, the radio was set on an oldies station (my favorite music). I was instantly hooked and loved driving the PT.

Her husband later bought her a 2004 Cruiser.

She adds:

I'd recommend it to anyone, especially women. I'm short and it fits me well. People that ride with me, in the front and back seat, are amazed at how much room there is and how well you can see out from both the front and back.

Sales in Marion must be brisk.


Woody love:
Dick McClintock writes that he and his wife have not heard of any negative comments about their 2002 woody. He does think, though, that Pontiac's Vibe and Aztec fit on the ugly list and the Chevy HHR and SSR are a bit bland.

Dick has added a cold-air intake and aftermarket manifold, plus a cat-back exhaust for a little "attitude" and chrome accents to the bumpers, grille and mirrors.

Gotta like that attitude.


Check full article at
Kansas.com | 08/26/2007 | The good, the bad and the other of PT Cruisers


Source: Kansas.com
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