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Lemon!: Sixty Heroic Automotive Failures Paperback – October 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (October 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560257571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560257578
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Davis's] writing gives enough of a time capsule to be educational and cynical." -- The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 23, 2005

About the Author

Tony Davis, former editor of Drive and a well-known writer at the Sydney Morning Herald, has written about cars for nearly 20 years. He has driven some of the fastest, most expensive and most impressive vehicles ever built, yet retains a bizarre fascination with cars at the other end of the spectrum: those built by engineers who, as he puts it, "think a tour de force is a bicycle race." He lives in Sydney, Australia.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By santa cruz woman on December 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny writing I guess. Buyers of these cars probably are not laughing. He defines lemon as the whole line, not just an unfortunate accident off the assembly line. Yes it is possible to build an entirely horrid car. And an expensive one with a famous name. Yes the yugo and Trabant are here but so are Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Maserati, Cadillac and Jaguar. Just because it offers mink seats doesn't mean it runs as well as a Hyundai. Engines fall apart in 12,000 miles, cars rust in a few months, exhaust pipes set the carpet on fire. One can say ...happens but did some of these designers ever drive a car? Lacking a back entrance would anyone want to take out all the seats just to put their groceries in the back? Why would you want a car that you had to turn the engine off and then turn it on again to shift into reverse? Or lacking a door need to crawl over the side. Did they think anyone would trust a car that shed doorhandles and wipers or in the case of the jagxjs that had a carpet that slid away to reveal a mass of wires and plastic pieces? Didn't the Jensen-Healey makers notice that parking the car on a slope caused the gas to slop into the sump? Rust, pealing and fading paint, dashboards turning green in sunlight....it goes on. Fun to read and hard to stop reading. Would make a good gift for the guest room but it is hard to put down.
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Format: Paperback
Lemon is a great look at 60 makes of car which have with the benefit of hindsight turned out to be massive mistakes (in the author's opinion). Even without hindsight you wonder how some of these manufacturers actually believed these cars would sell, especially with their safety or non practical designs.

Cars from all over the world are covered, this is one of the factors which makes this book great unlike a lot of author competitors that seem to think the world revolves around just their own country. A fair few of the cars in here actually sold a substantial number of vehicles so there will undoubtedly be a fair amount of debate, especially from those who purchased them as to weather they should be in this book or not. This is the case in all of these types of books and Tony Davis does explain why each car mentioned is here and does acknowledge the ones which have sold well.

I would however if you are only going to purchase one of this type of book recommend purchasing the later written book You Must be Skidding which is a combination of Lemon and the sequel Extra Lemon! It is written in a bit lighter tone to appeal to those who aren't so much into cars and also children and is a lot funnier. At the time of this review though the only book of the three Amazon sold was this first book Lemon so you may unfortunately have to check elsewhere to obtain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By geognerd on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I had my library obtain both this book and Crap Cars through interlibrary loan. I have to say Lemon! is a far superior book. Each junk car is usually profiled in 2-3 pages plus a photo. A few cars only get a paragraph. However, this author explains what made each car a failure. He didn't single out one failing, but conveyed all the failings of the car. The author of "Crap Cars" was very abrasive, snarky, and did a poor job of explaining what made a car bad. There is a bit of sarcasm and snark in Lemon!, but it isn't as acerbic. Lemon! was a fast and fun read. It took me down memory lane and also taught me a few things I didn't know about these automotive failures. Lemon! informs. "Crap Cars" was just mean-spirited criticism. Perhaps I have a different sense of humor than most, but that book was crude and not at all funny or informative. Lemon! does refer to some European cars that did not make it to the US, and there were also references to some Australian market cars. However, I thought the book had a good balance of cars from around the world. In summary, Lemon! will be a fun informative read. Don't know that I would buy it, but I definitely recommend reading it if you are a car buff or just enjoy reading about market failures.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found out so much more than I expected to. With models like the ZiL, Aston Martin Lagonda Saloon, and the inimitable Edsel paving the way, I found myself uncontrollably chuckling and sadly shaking my head all at once! Must truly read to appreciate!
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Format: Paperback
Naff Motors contains many more articles than Lemon does, and includes almost all of the cars from Lemon. Either book is highly enjoyable.
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