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Americans Want Big Cars and Pickups...Detroit Wants to Build Big...So Let's Have Big...BUT! (Originally Published April 2009)


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Let's go back to what we do best, LIVING LIFE LARGE

By Bob Gordon and Marc Rauch
Co-Publishers and owners of The Auto Channel.

       Originally Published April 17, 2009

Spacious, roomy, profitable big vehicles; it’s what the people want and it’s what the American car makers want to build. According to all reports in recent years (before the depression really hit), GM, Ford and Chrysler made all the big bucks by making big trucks (and cars and vans and SUVs). And according to a very recent report, big vehicles are safer than small vehicles.

Then what’s the problem? Let the people have what they want and let Detroit build only big, fast, powerful automobiles.

The problem, of course, is that same old problem(s) that’s been pestering us for the last few decades: The bigger and more powerful the vehicle, the more gasoline it uses and the more pollution that spews out. And the more gasoline we use the higher the price of oil and gasoline becomes, which not only lightens our bank accounts, but it enriches the scummy members of OPEC and the gasoline companies.

Oh yeah, that’s right…..BUT WAIT! Years ago, the only possible solution to the ill effects of big, powerful cars was to make them smaller and less powerful. What if the big, fast, powerful vehicles didn’t have to burn more gasoline and pollute the air and fatten the war chests of terrorists? What if we could have the roar of gutsy, manly, muscle cars and not have to pay a devastating price at the pump or to our health and environment? What if the Detroit manufacturers could be given carte blanche to make all the big toys they want and financially need? How great would this scenario be?

Well, guess what, we can do this; and we can do it right now! All that has to happen is to convert the gasoline-powered vehicles on the assembly lines (or in the loading docks, or on the drawing tables) to use COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS and/or PROPANE and/or ETHANOL.

That’s it, that’s all that needs to be done. The car companies know how to make vehicles that use these fuels; they’ve been doing it for years in this country and around the world. Production costs would be exactly the same, but repair and maintenance expenses for the consumer would drop. The fuels would all be manufactured in North America. We’d be energy independent, ecologically-responsible, and have exactly what we want.

Is it really possible? Oh yeah, baby, it's for real. Three weeks ago, Marc Rauch bought a 2001 12-passenger Dodge Ram van with a V-8 engine. Marc had been wanting a CNG vehicle so that he could put his money where his mouth is, while giving the finger to Hugo Chavez and the camel jockeys. But Marc didn’t want to have to settle for a small-ish Honda Civic. He wanted to be able to carry around video production equipment and a half-dozen of his closest buddies. So he bought the above mentioned huge-ass van, which was Dodge factory built to run on COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS.

On the trip from Los Angeles, where he bought the van, to his home in the Sacramento area, Marc paid as low as $1.00 per gallon (equivalent) for CNG and drove for hundreds of miles at 75+ MPH speeds.

So if you want a Hummer; and GM wants to build you a Hummer; then buy a Hummer…but one that’s powered by a CNG or Propane or Ethanol engine. If you want a new muscle car from GM, Ford or Chrysler (Camaro, Mustang or Charger, respectively), then we think you have the right to own one. But buy it with a CNG or Propane or Ethanol engine. Other than having a car that performs better, cleaner, and more economically, you’ll never know the difference.

But you can't buy them. Why? Because Detroit isn't selling them.

SO WHY ISN’T DETROIT BUILDING MILLIONS OF THESE VEHICLES? What kind of control over our politicians does the gasoline industry have that we can’t break free? Is it just bribes? Are threats of physical violence against politicians and their families the reason for the intransigence? What the heck is stopping America from getting off the gasoline addiction?

Do you know? Do you have a theory? Do you have a suggestion? Do you have some photos that you can legally share with us? If so, email ‘em to