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TOM: Thanks for all of your nominations for "Worst Car of the Millennium."
You brought back many painful memories for my brother and me!

RAY: Mostly for him, since he owned most of the cars you folks nominated.
Now that the nominations are in, it's time to vote for the single worst car
of the last millennium. But first, we wanted to print one more letter from
a reader who objected to a certain nomination of ours.

TOM: In kicking off this contest, we had written: "Romanticized as it was,
the Volkswagen Bus got blown all over the road, didn't have any heat to
speak of and used the driver's legs as its first line of defense in an
accident."

RAY: Bob from Wichita, Kan., begged to differ. He took a much more
"philosophical" view of the vehicle's characteristics.

Dear Tom and Ray:


Your description of the VW Bus was completely accurate but, alas,
pathetically unenlightened. Further contemplation will bring you to these
epiphanic conclusions:

A) If a VW Bus shifts in the wind, it is simply because you are on the
wrong path, heading in the wrong direction. Think of it not as a
potentially lethal driving hazard, but rather as a spiritual GPS (Global
Positioning System).

B) Heat? Who among us has actually known heat? Is not one man's boil
another man's frost? Could it be that the sound of one hand clapping is a
VW driver attempting to at once both shift and survive?

C) Factually, the driver's legs are not the first line of defense. Tom and
Ray have overlooked the thick layer of bug guts aerodynamically meshed into
a natural and practically impenetrable polymer covering the VW Bus' flat
front. In addition, many Buses feature a front-mounted Triplated
Independent Repealing Emobilizer (TIRE) combining the science of high-cost
air bags and the proven effectiveness of amusement-park bumper cars.
Finally, and most importantly, remember that every VW Bus is surrounded by
the plush and cushioning aura of St. Jerry of Garcia, providing divine
truckin' guidance to freaks, Deadheads, 17-year-old wannabes and balding,
40-something used-to-bes.

I suggest you tie-dye yourselves to the front seats of a classic
split-window model and hit the road for nirvana. You'll know you're almost
there when the clutch cable goes out. -- Bob (balding, frostbitten owner of
a goat-vomit-green '76 Westfalia in Wichita).

TOM: OK. So Bob probably won't be voting for the VW Bus as THE Worst Car of
the Millennium. But you can!

RAY: To vote, just visit our Web site, the Car Talk section of cars.com.
We'll be enforcing a one-vote-per-person limit to prevent people like Bob
from skewing the results.

TOM: And as soon as the final results are in, we'll let you know about them
right here.
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