Car Lust does a great analysis of the failures of the US auto industry by spotlighting the Family Truckster, the monster wagon driven by Chevy Chase in 1983′s National Lampoon’s Vacation. The author deconstructs the satire in 3 simple points:
- American cars of the era were badly overstyled
- American cars of the era were poorly engineered and put-together
- American cars of the era were inferior to their simpler predecessors
He contends that the demise of Clark Griswold is directly related to the purchase of the Truckster. The car is intrinsically evil and he goes so far as to compare it to the precious ring from Lord of the Rings:
Griswold is almost unrecognizable from his pre-movie state–he had descended into a plane of irrationality, immorality, and rationalizing reminiscent of, say, a serious drug user. Again, the One Ring’s slow, deleterious effects on its bearers can serve as an example. While the Truckster’s effects appear to be similar to the Ring’s, the Truckster actually appears to be much more powerful. The Ring took years to twist its bearers, but the Truckster ruined Griswold’s life within a week and left an elderly woman and a dog dead in its wake.