Automotive Would You Rather: Awful Tapes Edition

Wyr Tapes

You know what’s fun but we haven’t done in a long, long time? Played Automotive Would You Rather! I used to do this every now and then um, somewhere else, but there’s no reason we can’t do it here, right? It’s summer and I’m feeling frivolous, anyway. If you want something rich and meaty, you can read David’s Bronco Raptor review/suspension primer or Tycho’s Chinese hydrogen deep dive. But if you just want a snack, a handful of only slightly palm-sweaty M&Ms, then I got you covered, because we’re about to indulge in one of those glorious thought-experiments that is a good Automotive Would You Rather, so lube up that brain and get ready.

Okay, here’s the premise: you accidentally summon a Magic Horse when you had an erotic thought while eating a Starburst Fruit Chew and holding a lithium battery (maybe the one in your phone?) which is the most common way magic horses tend to be summoned from the Great Galloping Fields that exist in a dimension parallel and to the left of ours.

The horse appears, and, as thanks for granting him access to our dimension (they like to go to Trader Joe’s while they’re here, as those don’t exist in Magic Horse Dimension) he offers you the chance to have, for free, and in absolutely perfect running condition, the car of your choice. It can be literally any car that’s ever been built, and the horse will materialize it right now, in your driveway, and drop the keys in your hand from his big horse-mouth.

Want a Tatra T87? I sure do! You can have it. A perfect Ford GT40? No problem! A McLaren 720s? Jaguar E-Type? Lotus Esprit? Spyker C8? Stout Scarab? Whatever you want! It’s yours!

Oh, there is one catch, though. Well, two, because you can pick, and they’re both tape-related. You see, as part of the deal, due to complex negotiations with the 3M corporation and the Interscope record label, your car of choice must either be extensively covered with DOT-approved 3M reflective red-and-white high visibility tape or, if you can’t stomach doing that to your Lamborghini Miura, then you can agree to have a tape deck installed with a cassingle of the Black Eyed Peas song My Humps playing in it, and that tape can never be removed or turned off. You can adjust the volume a bit, but it’ll never be silent; figure the lowest volume you can turn it down to is right about where you’re comfortably able to talk over it, but you can definitely still hear it with no trouble.

Of course, you can crank it as loud as you’d like, if you want.

So, here’s your choice: you can have any car you want, and it’ll run beautifully and be in pristine condition as long as you have it– the oil changes and other scheduled maintenance will even occur via magic horse teams coming to do it every 1500 miles via the power of astral projection – but it’ll either have to be absolutely slathered in that reflective red-and-white tape, or it’ll be playing My Humps nonstop, forever.

So which tape-tradeoff do you choose?



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81 Responses

  1. I feel like someone cleverer than me could come up with a reflective tape design that looked cool, or maybe better yet a candy stripe paint job that would accommodate the pattern of the tape. Either way, my humps might be the single dumbest song released this century, so I’ll gladly take visual dissonance over that particular torture

  2. Is it cheating if I just disconnect all the speakers because who needs speakers? It’s probably cheating. If I’ve found the loophole then Black Eyed Peas with no speakers. Otherwise I’d just pick something that looks good with reflective tape, like A Volvo C202 or Gurgel X15. Win-win.

    1. Silly human, you thought the sound came from speakers. If you could even comprehend one millionth of the Astral plane you would understand that the sound would vibrate directly from there into your car.

      1. If what you say is true, why does the horse require the installation of a tape deck? If the sound was created by direct vibrations in the structure of the car, the tape deck would be superfluous.

        Again, I’m assuming the horse just didn’t think this through. I think the magical horse is ready for the glue factory.

    2. I had a similar thought about the speakers, but I figure disconnecting speakers that are present would violate some kind of magical contract (which I presume would be bad). However, didn’t Porsche release a version of the Boxster a few years ago that had no sound system or air conditioning? The horse said I had to install a tape deck, but said nothing about installing speakers. I figure if my car didn’t come with speakers from the factory, I am not violating any agreement by not adding them.

      For a magical horse, he seems a bit dim. The speaker loophole is obvious.

  3. I went ahead and took the Black eyed peas tape option for my Pagani Zonda R, with the intention of having a second sound unit installed that will be synchronized with the cassingle andplay the exact opposite frequencies of “My Humps,” thereby canceling it out and making it inaudible. The single isn’t turned off, I haven’t broken any of the magical rules and I win. Science, magical horse bitch.

    1. Good idea, but enjoy your Black Eyed Peas induced insanity, Phil. The rules clearly state that My Humps can be turned down a bit, “but it’ll never be silent”. Magic Horses are clearly skilled at delivering Monkey Paw wishes.

      This also goes for everyone thinks that the tape deck will break (the Astral Horse Mechanics will fix that before you even realize it’s broken, because pristine condition includes the installed tape deck) or that you’ll somehow mute or otherwise mask the sound. Even if you have the exhaust deleted, horse rules say “you can definitely still hear it with no trouble”.

      Besides, you wouldn’t really want to risk getting the Magic Horse in trouble with a record label, would you? Even a Monkey Paw wish delivering Magic Horse doesn’t deserve that!

      The only car douchey enough for the “My Humps” version of this challenge is a Fox-body Ford Mustang GT, from the 1987-1993 “Aero” restyle, with a T-Top that is always open.

      The opposite question is “what would you curse your enemies with”, given the same conditions?

  4. 1. You didn’t say I can’t remove the reflective tape.
    2. The cassingle will wear out and break in a week of constant play. I know, I had it happen back in the day. If I get to choose the brand of tape deck, it’ll be a Pyle in order to hasten that day.

    I think I’d still choose #1. My car choice is a 58 Corvette Stingray. I’ll invest in a truckload of WD-40 and peel that stuff right off.

    1. I’ll take the E-type, cause E-type! With my humps.
      Sure the Tatra and Stout are unique and eye-catching
      But OMG That Jaguar! I don’t have to maintain it, it would never leave me stranded, Lucas be damned electrics never to be spoken of! I don’t think I’d ever let off the accelerator long enough to hear the radio!
      Thanks Grendl! I need to go shower now 🙁

  5. Reflective tape has very little effect on my enjoyment of the car. That said, the choice of car is pretty difficult. Knowing it will always be maintained and in pristine condition really makes me want to intentionally pick something that would be very difficult to repair/maintain just because I don’t have to worry about it.

  6. I think you need to get out of that basement for some fresh air, I swear I don’t know how you come up with this stuff..

    That said, reflective tape on a ‘69 Boss Mustang.. I’ll argue in negotiations I should just be able to use the white pieces of the tape as that still technically meets the criteria.

  7. Oh man, this isn’t even hard.

    TVR Sagaris, with the open fender slashes. I presume regular windshield maintenance will be part of the Magic Horse program.

    Since the Sagaris already is a bit of a “loogit me!” car, what’s a little reflective tape on top of that? It’ll probably make the car a bit subdued from stock.

    Magic horse, please bring me a Sagaris with as much reflective tape as you want.

  8. I’m assuming we can’t just flip the car and take the profit to buy what we actually want, right? Because if so, I’ll take reflective tape on my Aventador Ultimae, please! Can I do cool custom designs with the tape too?
    If we can just flip it, obviously I’m taking 55 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe (if I’m not mistaken, one just sold recently for like $150M,) flipping that for the bargain-basement price of only $100M and buying all of my dream cars and a track to test them on.

    1. While I feel just selling the car is a bit of a cheat, I have to agree that if you had to sell the car complete with it’s “tape curse”, an Aventador wrapped in reflective tape would be an easy sale to some influencer. Nobody would even look twice at it, compared to some of the hideous wraps modern Lamborghinis are subjected to.

  9. I don’t think I could stomach caution tape all over my Ferrari 550 Maranello. Plumber truck chic is not en vogue. I would then get a huge magnet and deguasse that tape into oblivion.

    If the magic horse is picking up the maintenance tab, why not get a Ferrari?

  10. Frankly, the way people drive these days, the reflective tape isn’t a terrible idea, even on an F40. Or Testarossa. It’d be a tough choice.

    I spent many weekends in 2005-2008 in karaoke bars. I’ve heard “My Humps” done badly enough times to last several lifetimes. I hope to never hear it again.

    1. Yeah that stripes crap can be done real well in a wrap or paint job. Are we forced to make this a shitty safety tape crap from the Walmart bling isle? Or is creative thinking allowed? We demand answers here…

    2. The first time I heard it represented too many times that I was subjected to it. I have similar feelings about all of their music.

      The only thing worse? Nickleback. Or maybe this garbage they call California Country.

        1. The Devil went down to Georgia
          He was lookin’ for a soul to steal
          He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
          He was willing to make a deal

          *Maybe he was just a magical horse offering cars instead of fiddles of gold…

  11. Opel Eco Speedster, covered in that ugly DOT-approved 3M reflective red-and-white high visibility tape.

    I’d gladly take it. This car could do 160 mph on only 112 horsepower, and got 94 mpg U.S. Its mass of 660 kg also would help it corner with well over 1g lateral even with craptastic low rolling resistance tires, and its fuel economy was achieved largely thanks to a drag coefficient of 0.20.

    The auto industry could build average cars at least as good as that, and they refuse, even when the public is clamoring for it wth record gas prices.

    I’d totally drive that shit playing obnoxiously loud satanic black metal, red and white high visibility tape included.

    Yes please.

  12. I would go with an E-type convertible, cassette tape.

    1. I can drive it on the highway with the top down and drown out music at a volume level you can talk over

    2. I can look at it in the garage without the music and without the reflective tape and be happy.

    If I had to live with the reflective tape I would get something ugly and fun to drive, Panoz Roadster, or some modern, ugly, way too many angles and surfaces hypercar.

  13. How is this even a question? Who would want the black arsed fleas playing when you’re in a Porsche 917?! When would you ever play music when you have that lunatic engine?
    Besides, these cars have worn some odd color schemes over the years.Reflective tape cant hurt this car’s mojo

  14. Magic Horse, because I consider running out of gas a form of breakdown, and because they would actually look good covered in 3M Reflective Safety Tape, I’m going to request a Lamborghini.

    One Aventador Centenario Roadster would be my first choice. But I cannot afford a wealthy and powerful enemy because all 20 were sold by invitation only, to “selected customers”. So please do not deliver that.

    Second choice and the one I actually request from you, O Magic Horse, would be a non-Centenario Aventador Roadster, in two-tone, pearl Blizzard White over pearl Safety Yellow.

    But also tempting is the 1986 Lamborghini LM002, with the optional L804 type 7.2 litre marine V12 engine, in two-tone pearl Safety Yellow over pearl Fire Engine Red. Third choice but not very far behind is a Lamborghini Urus in pearl Blizzard White.

    I’m an easy friend, Magic Horse. If you were to accidentally deliver anything in the wrong color, or something from Koenigsegg instead, I certainly will not complain, not even privately to the Magic Donkeys down the street. As long as it’s delivered with the 3M Safety Tape and not that accursed cassingle of My Humps.

  15. So far 22% of the respondents are deaf? Nothing against the Black Eyed Peas, but playing the same thing over and over would drive me crazy. With the reflective tape, I would just appear eccentric.

  16. Hmm…

    I think that 3M reflective tape would ease the worry of Torch’s Fiat 615 delivery van. It’s just worried about “Doose crazy Italiano drivers” running into it and wrecking those sweet lines.

    That said…

    That horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    And being a magic horse of course,
    Can give me a 6 1 5 of course, in a lovely patina red.

    Go right to the source and ask the horse,
    for a hemi slant 6 and 4 wheel drive of course
    Outfitted for Woodstock with fold up porch
    To follow around the Dead.

    So yah, the magic horse will do this late 60’s overland style, with the Hemi slant six from DT’s Valiant Ute, and a suitable Jeep driveline, manual trans, and got to keep those duallies. Complete this with tie dye and beads inside, composting toilet and the sent of incense and Patchouli. A nice touch will be gold leaf copy of Torch’s initials on the beautiful taillights on that.

    Out back, on the trailer we would have the 1979 Ford Fiesta from Shitbox Showdown that has been Hayabusa swapped (longitudinal with RWD), and done up late 70’s Nascar mini stock or dirt modified style set up for road racing.

  17. Lifetime free maintenance, you say? Then it’s 3M tape on my “new” 1986 Audi Quattro Sport S1. That magic horse will rue their agreement after a rally weekend…and there will be many, many rally weekends. Can you say astral re-prep?

  18. I’d go with dot tape. I already put up with it on my truck, so I can attest, after a while, you don’t even notice it. Ya know what magic horses, bring me a Pete 389, and now I can make money off of you! Free maintenance on a work truck, and the tape is required. Then I buy a cool car with the maintenance savings. Take that magic horses!

  19. I choose the Black Eyed Peas tape because at least there’s a chance that I can bring some sort of wireless, rechargeable audio playback device into the car and attempt some phase inversion to try and cancel out the audio frequencies. Syncing will be tricky though but worst case scenario one can just use that same portable device to blast music loud enough that ‘My Humps’ gets drowned out in the lowest volume setting.

  20. Reflective tape on my Jaguar XKSS. I intend to drive that car into the ground (and take every advantage of that free equine maintenance). That means I’m in the car looking out, not outside looking in. And even though I think the XKSS is the most beautiful automobile ever (fight me), I’m all about that sweet straight six sound.

  21. It would really depend on what car I went with; something that would become my main/everyday vehicle would be reflective tape, something more special/secondary would get the musical tape

  22. I’m pretty sure “listening to the same song on repeat forever” is one of the tortures Satan has waiting for me in hell, so I’ll take the hi-viz tape on my immaculately restomodded convertible Scout II, tyvm.

  23. Letsss saaay I go with reflective tape on the horse (work with me here). How fast would I have to peel it off when done (band aid style) so as not to distress the poor creature?

    No, I’m not a monster, just spit balling here. Besides, I would never subject an innocent animal to the Black Eyed Peas.

  24. Speaking as an armchair sociologist, yesterday DT posts a world class auto review worthy of Peter Egan, an automotive journalist so renowned he was once invited to interview Enzo Ferrari at his office in Maranello, and you respond with this! (Eyes wide open.) You remind me of a pilot fish feeding on a shark’s leftovers. You’re kind of the Zack Galifianakis of automotive journalism. Keep up the good work, perhaps you will someday be invited to interview the editor of the Harvard Lampoon. My critique is all in good fun of course! DT’s insightful academic yin and your over-the-top outrageous yang seems to work. All the best!

  25. looking at the “3M Reflective Markings for Non-regulated Vehicles Series 973, 983 and 913” brochure, I will opt for P\N 913-326 (6” red / 6” white) tape over the less symmetrical P\N 913-32 (11” red / 6” white) on my Unimog. To further specify my tape, I will go with the kiss-cut version as opposed to the continuous roll…BTW…that song is just plain offensive.

    1. after doing more research, those part numbers have only a 5 year warranty so it will fall off in 5 years and 1 day. the premium Diamond Grade™ options come with a 10 year warranty. So, awesome car sans tape in 5 years, I can deal with that

    1. I’ve seen a couple comments like this and I have to ask– do you really think that’s okay? Sure, there are deaf and hard of hearing people driving, but nobody should intentionally block an entire sense’s worth of situational awareness. It’s illegal to wear headphones while driving in several states, and it should be all of them.

      Just get the reflective tape and don’t make yourself a road hazard.

      1. You have a point-and reminded me that I got pulled over in ‘83 driving a ‘74 Super Beetle for wearing FM headphones. That bug had only AM, and I was NOT listening to that crap for 2 hours each way to pick my sister up from camp!

        -wow: what an ‘80s post (face-palm emoji)

  26. There’s some Chuck Klosterman “23 questions” level cruelty at play here.

    You’re telling me I can have a 2021 Volvo P1800 Cyan but only if I ruin it’s beauty or my driving experience.

    I can’t do it. I can’t drive it to that song.
    And I refuse to do that to its looks.

    Life is all about compromise.

    You cruel cruel horse. Meh I’ll take a top spec GR Yaris with the safety tape.
    Beggars can’t be choosers so I’ll gladly take the Hooner. Thanks magical horse.

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