MOTOR MOUTH: Stately as a galleon

MOTOR MOUTH: Stately as a galleon - The great thing about cars is that in a world of intelligent moderation and mature circumspection, they allow unusual access to boastful, yet uncontestable, superlatives: most expensive, fastest, smallest, most economic

by STEPHEN BAYLEY, an author and design consultant

The great thing about cars is that in a world of intelligent moderation and mature circumspection, they allow unusual access to boastful, yet uncontestable, superlatives: most expensive, fastest, smallest, most economical.

And, of course, biggest. This is the Ford Excursion. No contest. It makes a Chevy Suburban, hitherto provincial America's favoured Colossus of the Road, look petite and diminishes a Range Rover to Tonkadom. It blocks out the sun and people gasp as it passes.

If you owned an oil well and it was your routine to shuttle a team of rumbustious redneck Okie wildcatters around the fields from Tulsa to Okmulgee, or if you had been given the shuttle bus contract for the Bulgarian weightlifting team, an Excursion would be for you. Curiously, it's the type of vehicle favoured by spruce middle-class dieting American women in the 35-45 age bracket for their journeys between Starbucks and the gym.

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