Unless you’re a labor lawyer or the star mechanic Scotty Kilmer, you may not know that General Motors and Fiat Chrysler are embroiled in a racketeering lawsuit. General Motors has accused Fiat Chrysler of meddling in its labor negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. General Motors alleges that its rival bribed union representatives to drive up labor costs. Fiat Chrysler’s aim, according to the lawsuit, was to take over GM, the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
For decades, GM was the largest manufacturer in the world. If you listen to Scotty, he’ll tell you that “back in the day” it made top-of-the-line products like the Cadillac nameplate. Anybody who’s listened to an Eartha Kitt Christmas CD can attest to this. But as GM fell on hard times, Chrysler experienced even worse, undergoing a number of mergers and acquisitions over the years that resulted in its current merger with Fiat. And don’t get Scotty started on Fiat.
A story on the lawsuit caught my eye this week that referred to Fiat Chrysler as an “Italian American” automaker. I had to stop and reread the phrase. Certainly, I am used to seeing “Italian-American” but never the phrase without a hyphen. To paraphrase Eartha Kitt, what a difference a hyphen makes. That got me thinking. If Fiat Chrysler makes Italian American cars like the 500 series, which is inspired by the classic Cinquecento of the 1960s, what would an Italian-American car look like, and what would be its inspiration?
Leave the gun, take the cannoli.
Enter the “Ganol,” which I designed myself. It has a 1.4 liter, turbocharged, gasoline engine with all wheel drive, sport exhaust, and cup holders. You know, because as Americans we have to consume things as we drive. As an Italian-American product, the cup holders can accommodate a 20-ounce, double pump, espresso drink with extra foam. In addition, the console can hold two, side-by-side cannoli (cf. The Case of the Steamed Letter). I prefer the ricotta cheese cannoli from Gino’s at East 187th Street and Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. As Gino likes to point out, he is so devoted to his work that he “cannoli do cannoli.”
Just as Cinquecento comes from standard Italian, Ganol comes from standard Italian-American. This is a dialect found primarily in New York City, where 1.3 million Americans of Italian descent reside. “Ganol” means cannoli and can be either singular or plural. You can even use it for half a cannoli (technically cannolo) if someone takes a bite out of yours while your back is turned in a pastry shop. The dialect includes words like braggiol (flank steak), goombah (a guy–see Mambo Italiano), and, in honor of Rodney Dangerfield, boombotz (an idiot, as in “Vinnie Boombotz,” Dangerfield’s fictional doctor).
In order to penetrate the market outside the New York City metropolitan area, I will introduce a self-driving Ganol as well as a hybrid, electric-ethanol version, the Ganol-ee. I may combine the two into a self-driving, convertible hybrid with swivel seats called the “Super Ganol-ee.” I am also considering a hood ornament in the shape of a cannoli that comes at you like the Jaguar’s hood ornament. I figure its hollow shape will make the vehicle aerodynamically efficient and increase gas mileage. You may also get a whistle out of it.
Some have suggested that I crowdfund other models and ask contributors to submit Italian-American names. Think of minch (wow), sorda (money, sister), and venica (come here), which has the accent on the final syllable (veni-KA) but no doubt will be Anglicized to rhyme with Eureka (ven-EE-ka). That might make it more appealing to Californians, especially those in Venice Beach. I can see how marketing can get complicated.
Inspiration for the Ganol series will come from the New York mob so that design and branding will reflect that culture. I envision a Three-Finger Lucchese interior package with Genovese striping. And for financing, there will be so many options that, well, you can fugeddaboudit. The owner’s manual will be written in Italian-American and accompanied by Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture by Bruno Munari. Both will come in handy under actual driving conditions.
For more information and to be placed on our select waiting list, please fill out the Contact form on this blog site. But don’t delay. The Fugazis are selling like hotcakes. Really, I should have gone into marketing.
Image credits: feature by Claudio Pantoni. Want more? Go to Robert Brancatelli. The Brancatelli Blog is a member of The Free Media Alliance, which promotes “alternatives to software, culture, and hardware monopolies.”