Launched on March 3rd 1972, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft has the distinction of being the man-made object that has travelled the greatest distance from Earth. If you’re a believer in Newton’s First Law, then you know that, barring a collision with something, it will keep getting farther from us, forever. That makes it the most likely the first object that the aliens will encounter on their way here for dinner. Despite the threat of getting eaten, NASA engineers helpfully provided a road-map to the planet, as well as a menu of sorts, and bolted it to the side of the craft. The Pioneer 10 plaque shows our solar system, a scale representation of the spacecraft itself, as well as a picture of a coupe just leaving the full-body waxing salon. While she’s kind of hot, he looks like it must have been cold in there, I’m just saying. That’s all well and good, and gives the aliens an idea of what our vulnerable spots are, but what if they’re not just interested in drinking our sweet eye juices and making burgers from our brains? What if they’re also car geeks? What if they’d go space balls over Cisitalia and all we’re showing them is genitalia? You look at that plaque and there’s no indication of cars or any kind of mode of transportation, hell even nudie Judy and bare Pierre are without shoes.
Now, we’re tossing junk out into space like we bought it at Big Lots and we surely can spare the weight to put another plaque on one of them. And if we did, wouldn’t it be a good idea to introduce the aliens to our coolest cars? If they are car nuts, maybe they’ll spare those of us who can tell them where the best roads are, or those who know how to tune a brace of 45DCOEs.
But while space is a vast frontier, the space onboard the craft we fling out into it isn’t, and that means we’re not going to be able to include the entire MotorBooks catalog on there. Because of that we’ll need to be very selective about what car we use to represent the planet to the aliens- remember our not being on the buffet menu may count on it. It will need to be the most representative of the entire category of automobile. There’s always the first car, the Benz Patent Wagon. But that might make them think we’re all a bunch of handlebar mustache-wearing dandies. How about the Model T? That car sold in the millions and might scare off the aliens concerned about being overcome by our numbers. Or maybe it should be the Ferrari 250 Lusso, its lithe beauty and explosive performance would ensure they don’t eat the Italians, at the very least. So what do you think it should be? What car should be our ambassador to the aliens? Should it be an AMC Ambassador? What car would not only be the ultimate expression of Earth’s automotive-building prowess, but also something that would be so impressive to anyone, or anything, seeing it that it causes them to halt plans to turn us all into Predator Chow? And remember, they’ll eat the fatties first. Image sources: [pas.rochester.edu, Magick River]