Traffic. Part 4.

May 21st, 2008
Big and new.
It seems to be a local thing, but a lot of the pickup trucks (over sized utes) here are jacked up…… Not just straight lifted mind you, no, a lot more silly looking than that, they just jack the front end up and leave the back stock…….So these big tough looking trucks drive around looking like total dorks with 4 tons in the back of the thing….. Its all very silly and all too common.
Don’t get me started about what the handling of the thing must be like.
Its very common to pull up at the lights, hear a truck next to you, look out your window and only see a tire and shock absorbers. The bottom of their door still is level with the roof on our little car.
These things have anywhere between about a 5 liter up to 8 liter is the biggest I have seen written on the side (and it sounded like an 8 liter too!). Its just nuts. Of course not EVERY truck is like that, there are a lot that just fit over sized tires, jack the whole thing up, some are lowered with bling bling rims, but they seem to be few and far between.

Its nice to see that cars are generally of a standard size. The old ‘yank tank’ days are finally coming to a close, which leads me to my next point……..

New. Most cars on the road here are new. It was pointed out to us by about everyone we mention it to that people in SoCal rarely keep their cars longer than about 2 years. In fact leasing is very common, so most people are in effect renting their cars, hence the 2 year turn over.
No place is  this ‘new’ effect more clearly shown than in the car park of your average high school. Because kids can get their licenses at 16 here, kids get new cars and drive them to school. The car park looks like a new car sales yard, its pretty amazing.
Old bombs, like our ‘98 Falcon we sold, are few and very far between.
Part of the ‘new’ thing can also be put down to the weather, cars do not get dirty here, there are no dirt roads (relax, I found one!), there are no dirt patches on the sides of the roads to blow dust on their ‘new’ cars (they water the weeds on the freeway verges to keep them nice and green). Also people are obsessive about keeping the cars clean, most afternoons there is a que at the drive though car wash, and weekends there is a que at the hand wash joint. Part of this is because of the whole leasing thing, you need to keep your car looking sharp so that when you take it back at the end of the two years, it looks good, the lease is then not docked as much.

There is of course a huge range in the models and makes of cars and trucks. Pull up at the lights and its pretty rare to see the same type of car twice. Sure, you might see two Honda’s, but pretty rare they are the same model.

So, the trucks are new and silly looking, the cars are just new.