There was a moment during Jalopnik’s first Thursday stream a few weeks ago when I asked my melodious co-host Steve how many generations of Dodge Viper there were. Steve answered in the way I feared he would, the way I can’t and will never understand. The way that, I personally believe, contradicts everything we know to be true of automotive taxonomy. But I digress. This was a hill I’ve been prepared to die on my entire life, and that’s the question I pose to you all today. What’s your automotive hill that you will defend to your inevitable demise?
Now, it’s easy to read this query as an invitation to dispense your most impassioned hot take that relates to cars. Feel free to if you like, but we’ve done that before. The objective here isn’t to shock your fellow enthusiasts and commenters; it’s to present a belief or an argument that you feel strongly about. It can’t be too pedantic or too broad. It can be popular, or not. It doesn’t matter. I just want to know what’s your good fight — the one that keeps you up at night.
For me, it’d probably have to be that Viper one. To keep it brief — and I really am trying here, I promise — I feel there were three Viper generations, because the Viper had three different phases of exterior design. Sure, some had roofs and others didn’t, some had their exhaust going out the back and not the sides, and some had actual glass windows and not plastic flaps. I’d chalk those differences up to the sort of changes that would typically mark a mid-cycle refresh for any other car, but Chrysler and the Viper faithful seem to think they’re significant enough to merit generational lines in the sand. I don’t see it, but deep down I also know there’s no objective right answer. It drives me nuts.
But we’re not here to retread that ground, we’re here to talk about your semantic obsessions. So let’s hear ’em: What hill are you prepared to die on, that pertains to the things that move us?