Personally, I blame CAFE

Women are on display at auto shows, mostly as supplemental eye candy. (Sometimes this doesn’t work quite so well.) As a general rule, we don’t know what’s going through their heads.

Oh, wait, maybe we do:

When I see a large person make a face while climbing in and out of a car, I know this is the first thing they will say to me:

“The seat is too small. You make them smaller every year.”

The seat is not too small. The seat is not any smaller than it was last year or five years ago.

The seat is not too small. Your a$$ is too big.

(Suggested by Bertel Schmitt.)


  1. Jeffro »

    4 April 2010 · 1:10 pm

    I understand where she’s coming from and who she is specifically directing that comment to, but screw her, too. The facts are that many vehicles won’t fit tall people, period. I’m 6’3″ (which isn’t really all that tall), and that all by itself disqualifies a bunch of ’em, regardless of how well gravity grips me. Back when GM remodeled their F bodies in 82 I was all excited – I was even in the market for one. Until I sat in one with the t-tops out and realized my eyes were level with the top of the roof. T-tops installed and me inside required slouching in the seat considerably just to get my noggin to clear. Jeep SUVs and Ford Taurii (plural of Taurus??) had my knees against the dash. My a$$ had nothing to do with it.

    My point is my height has prevented me from buying plenty of cars over the years because some committee decided I was too far on one end of the bell curve. I owned an early Toyota MR2, and I got a lot of comments from people when I climbed out of that thing. They could not believe someone as big as me could fit. In fact, it had more room that many far larger cars. So, the packaging could be done. In later years, my spare tire has increased considerably, and for that I’m responsible. But if I can’t even sit in the seat properly to fit inside, to hell with them. They designed me out as a customer.

  2. CGHill »

    4 April 2010 · 1:43 pm

    I have the same sort of headroom problem. The issue, of course, is distance from butt pocket to headliner, and tall people with comparatively short legs — I’m 6-0 with a 28-inch inseam, which makes me a poster child for this condition — have scant pickings outside Truckland, where 39-inch headroom tends to be easier to find, assuming you can climb into the damn cab in the first place.

    Still, we tend to quit acquiring height as we get older, so I’m pretty sure the booth babe, in this case, is telling it like it is.

  3. McGehee »

    4 April 2010 · 2:00 pm

    Used to be, the people piling up both years and pounds had also piled up the dollars.

    Used to be, the people that made things meant to be purchased for large numbers of dollars tried to avoid ticking off the people who had the dollars.

    I have no doubt GM will actually be making the seats smaller — and then wondering why they can’t sell any cars.

  4. Lisa Paul »

    4 April 2010 · 2:56 pm

    Booth Babe is wrong! I’ve always driven small Japanese cars. (When I came of driving age, it was all I could afford, and once I could afford better, I just stayed in the habit.)

    But my friend, who is an old car buff and has an impressive collection of Impalas, Bonnevilles, Mustangs and other old Detroit Metal, takes me for a cruise around town in his cars every now and then.

    WOW! They used to be massive. In fact, for a height-challenged person such as myself, I couldn’t even sit in the driver’s seat and reach the pedals. And you could fit whole extended families in there. Or at least 25 teens for a trip to the drive-in and the soda fountain.

  5. CGHill »

    4 April 2010 · 3:26 pm

    I think the secret is in the phrase “last year or five years ago,” which would seem to rule out the Sixties sedans that used to rumble out of Detroit.

    Then again, I drove a Toyota Celica, which qualifies as small and Japanese, for the better part of two decades.

  6. fillyjonk »

    4 April 2010 · 8:45 pm

    So, by that logic, the campus vans that we use to transport students are not too tall, my legs are just insufficiently long. (Then again: I’m sure if you stood me up next to your standard model, she’d have lots of ways to point out things that were “wrong” with my physique.)

    I swear, as I’m getting down out of those vans, I feel like I need a parachute. (And I’m really not THAT short. I have a 29″ inseam)

  7. unimpressed »

    5 April 2010 · 8:29 pm

    Where I have issues with the smaller vehicles is that my knees simply don’t want to bend enough in the directions necessary to get me in and out of them. Arthritis runs in my family (on both sides, even) and it’s starting to take its toll–I somehow don’t think things will improve as the cars continue to get smaller. Under no stretch of the imagination is my height an issue. Girth might be, eventually, but is not yet a problem.

  8. Do You Come with the Car »

    10 April 2010 · 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the writeup! : )

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