Social media. Gotta love it or hate it. You know the backstory: it’s really changed our lives, blah blah blah. But you know what else it’s done? Given a voice to turkeys.
That might sound a bit harsh, but the truth is that the internet is now awash with conspiracy-theorising, chemtrail-chasing, paleo-eating armchair experts extolling their opinions about life, love, autism and religion.
And they’re quite within their rights to do so; the only real beef I have is when people lay down the law like it’s the gospel, despite being both categorically and ridiculously wrong. And I don’t mean those things that are open to opinion, like diet, religion and, theoretically I guess, vaccinations.
I’m talking about cold, hard, indisputable facts; and when people start flogging the misinformation dead horse, I don’t even think to myself, “Man, that guy looks like a moron,” because I’m too busy seething at the bullshit they’re putting down that other people might scoop up.
Where’s this going? Well, like a lot of car guys I’m on a dozen groups on Facebook, including one where a member has posted a beaut survivor-spec ’55 Chev; clearly a Holden-assembled, right-hand-drive six-banger. There’s no opinion to be had, it’s a fudging Chev.
Despite this, the comments flowed trying to decipher make, model and year of this cool-but-not-overly-rare old jigger. Plenty of guys speculated it was a ’57, despite being devoid of those era-defining fins. Better still, one guy asked if it was an FC Holden only to be advised, with authority, that it was clearly an EK Holden; because FCs were all two tone… apparently.
After further shit-slinging between participants, someone put it out there that all Holdens were copied from Chevrolets – and still are – as a matter of fact. I’m sure Leo Pruneau and Peter Hanenberger, who together helped massage the German Opel Rekord into the original Commodore, would have something to say about that. As would Mike Simcoe, who oversaw the initial design of Holden’s most Australian Commodore, the VE.
Now before I get a load of hate-rage from you accusing me of enjoying a privileged background full of learning books and being a chronic masturbator, let me advise that I understand our fellow enthusiasts have different levels of knowledge in different areas.
Case in point: Years ago I asked a car-club acquaintance what seats he’d installed in his car. ‘Eunox’ was the answer. I asked if he meant ‘Eunos 30X’ and he confirmed he did, but he clearly didn’t really care; he just wanted comfy seats and a wrecked, er, Eunox had done the trick.
But that guy could cut a chassis in half, stretch it, modify the body to suit and stick it all back together painted, re-powered, re-braked and fully engineered with both hands tied behind his back. I can barely fill my car with juice without causing suspension failure, so I’m not going to lag on his lack of trainspotting knowledge; he’s just full of different information to me.
And he never got onto Facebook and said with authority that ‘his seats were Eunox’; although to be fair, that might have been because he didn’t know how to log in.
Truthfully, my knowledge is pretty broad and perhaps a bit anorak-ish. And while I can spot a ’55 Chev from a mile away, even I don’t know every car that exists. However, I have access to Google and I have a clue; put the two together and I’ll normally find out what is stumping me within five minutes, without looking like a moron.
Not everyone can do that, apparently.