In his insipid piece, "Why Do 'Consumer Advocates' Hate Cars?" {magazine, Jan. 24}, "Brock Yates" has done a masterful job of ignoring the purpose and content of Jack Gillis' "The Car Book." From its cute little quotation marks around the term "consumer advocate" (the intended implication being that Gillis is not?) to its sniveling complaints about the paranoia he discerns in "The Car Book," "Yates" has shown himself to be the ideal car purchaser, the kind of vacuous consumer at whom the auto industry shamelessly continues to aim its advertising. Yates is not looking for a compilation of information such as can be found in Gillis' book; he wants to be told what fun driving is. Apparently he is more pleased by the hype and tripe of ads that show "official" race car drivers careening on closed roads than he is in the facts and figures regarding the price, performance, reliability and safety of automobiles that are contained in "The Car Book."

As is traditionally the case with armchair quarterbacks, his petulant "review" of "The Car Book" offers only complaints that some of his favorite cars, such as the Mercedes, did not receive enough coverage in the book. What possible use would more coverage of the Mercedes be to the average consumer?

Predictably and conspicuously absent from his piece is any mention of a better source of information or a more useful format as an alternative to "The Car Book" or, even more significant, some of his own credentials, except that of being a fun-lovin' driver whose parade has been rained on (with his convertible top down) by the facts and figures in "The Car Book." Maybe he should publish his own book ("The Fun Car Book"?) for those of us who lack the time to test which cars are fun and fast, without regard to cost, repair frequency or safety. It should be a best seller. -- Kevin J. O'Connell