Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Slimming Down a Fatty

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Slimming Down a Fatty

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steve Orme

Everyone knows what All-American motoring is like" twice the size of a removal van but with half its dynamics. But, as Steve Orme reports, the latest Cadillac might just have learned a lesson from we more restrained Brits...

Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite American TV show of all time is Hill Street Blues.

I know, you're thinking what's wrong with I Love Lucy? Well, come on, no-one wants to see where Cherie Blair got her lipstick ideas from.

Anyway, what I liked about the Blues was the title music; the idea that a man would be willingly called Dog Breath; that anyone would let Howard loose with a firearm and that through three years of the series Henry had a plaster on his nose.

That and the opening sequence where a handful of police cars race out of the precinct garage at, oh, I'd say 10mph, with their tyres squealing like a plea-bargaining shootist and all the handling of a tin of paint.

Here, for all the world to see, was the single reason the USA needed a 55mph speed limit. Cars with suspension made from hamburgers.

Yes, they make them big in the States with engines that boast a capacity befitting Rhinofatland and enough power to have the environmental lobby running for the hills.

Where the survivalists will immediately shoot them.

You can keep a whole family of hillbillies in the average Yankee street barge and it's easier to save Private Ryan than find loose shopping in the boot.

The interiors, frankly, are hideous. But passengers won't notice, they've got their heads between their legs calling for Hughie Green on account of the jellied-eel ride quality.

So when GM decided we Brits should be able to walk into a Vauxhall sub-dealership and buy a Cadillac, Corvette or Chevvy everyone ran the other way.

The portions may be big but a cowboy hat has more taste. And it seems we would rather eat one than buy into the American dream.

Which is why Liverpool docks groan with the weight of Jaguars waiting to sail west and why the cars of the stars down California way have been made in a railway siding called Crewe. …

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