Thursday, January 19, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, January 20, 2006

Oohs and ahhhs are still being heard in Cobo Hall at the North American International Auto Show - aka "Detroit" - and much of the posting on the auto blogs in recent days has focused on the displays there.

But there are other happenings in the automotive world this week, too, so how about let's fire it up, slip it into gear and head out for this week's Carnival of Cars drive around the auto blog block:

Auto Extremist's Peter DiLorenzo has some interesting ideas on how to jazz up the Detroit Auto Shows. Yes, that's a plural "shows" because there really are two Detroit Auto Shows, one right after the other. Go here for the rest of the rant.

The ever engaged E.L. Eversman at Auto Muse thinks BMW should have hired him to do the interviews with Chris Bangle that the German firm is now making available via pods and vods. He's also happy to note that it was a year ago when he praised GM for being the first automaker to get into blogging.

They're maxi happy with the Mini 2006 lineup and price schedule, over at Auto Spectator. BTW, welcome to the Carnival of Cars, folks.

Jason Vines, Chrysler's top flak, has done it all, seen it all, heard it all in the car PR biz. Well, he hasn't quite seen it all. But a dozen folks at the Detroit Auto Show did when a model doffed her clothes and gave them a birthday suit pose. Inside Line has the bare details here. Don't worry, it's office safe.

This is a family friendly blog!

Toyota will unveil a new ground game during the Super Bowl, Autoblog reports, and it will feature a true hybrid runner. It's the spots for the redesigned Camry.

If you ever thought about moving to Europe, My Ford Dreams laments that Dearborn gives the other side of the pond this version of the Focus but denies it to millions of deserving Americans. No wonder those guys are in trouble.

Carpundit has a solution to the Iran nuclear crisis. Secretary Rice, I'm sure he's available for a consulting gig at the State Department.

Buick is delusional! It's that simple. If you doubt me, maybe you'll believe Cars! Cars! Cars!. Scroll down here. You'll know you're there when you get there.

By the way, should the Blogosphere's equivalent of heel and toeing be called "palm and fingering"? Just thought I'd ask. Keep reading.

Carscoop has a sequence of excellent photos showing the progression of the Camaro Concept, courtesy of Chevrolet. What we saw at Detroit was the second iteration of the basic concept. That's the Detroit car in the assembly jig in the photo above.

Peter Gillepsie of FastMachines admits he's going way out on the limb in predicting it but he sees 2006 as the year Juan Pablo Montoya finally shows the world just how great a driver he is. Thereafter, Peter sees Ferrari red for JPM.

Do not try this at home. Not even if you are a professional. Gear6 has the details.

It appears Richard Branson's Virgin Cars endeavour has crashed and burned over in Jolly Ole England. Jalopnik hears a fat lady singing a song nobody wants to hear.

Speaking of that place where the Red Coats came from, Jonathan Fry reports some good news for Ford of England. The Fry fellow was born to multi-task!

OK, how would you like to have to learn a foreign language that consists of four tones, no alphabet and includes 60,000 unique characters? Just-Auto's always thoughtful Dave Leggett isn't any more excited about the prospect of having to learn Chinese than you are. But it could happen.

A new Camaro before 2008? Left Lane News says it is possible.

Over in the MPH Blog testing facility, David Merline is rather taken by the Civic Hybrid. No, I mean as in really, really taken.

Speaking of the 57 Chevy, I mean the Honda Civic, My Honest Mechanic's Austin Davis links to a comprehensive roundup of how-tos and what-fors aimed at those who have a Civic they want to "make as cool as it can be."

Hey, Little GTO, this is starting to look more interesting! New Car Blog claims to have the inside scoop on the 2008 Pontiac muscle car:

"2008 Pontiac GTO will be powered by 6.0L LS2 engine with 400 hp and will have a six speed manual transmission. The Zeta platform gets fresh suspension, with a added classy independent rear end assuring better traction and superior handling. The wheelbase is increased to 110 inches."

Yes, Lord, please let it be!

Paul Tan has a computer rendering of what he describes as "the new BMW X6," which is what the Nissan Murano would have looked like had it been born a Bimmer - i.e. with a "Bangle butt" and a straight six under the hood.

And just where do you expect to be Feb. 26, 2006? Qt Auto News suggests you be in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park that day where you will find the third annual Festival of Speed. What is the Festival of Speed? Well, it includes neat stuff like a Ferrari FXX and a Bugatti Veyron, among much exotic else.

How 'bout that NASCAR "Car of Tomorrow" we keep hearing about. One day it's on, the next it's crashed and burned beyond recognition. has a photo of a testing COT and a great roundup of news and views within and without France, er NASCAR, on the future of the COT.

Subaru announces a new addition to its stable of Subaru World Rally Team support vehicles, the B9 Tribeca, according to Straightline. You can have yours in any color you desire so long as it is SWRT blue.

Hey, didja catch that Tundra Jack Bauer was driving in Texas during the first 10 minutes of "24" last week? The Auto Prophet did and he also sees some forehead slapping among the suits who ride the elevators to the top.

Alex shares a reverie - or is it a nightmare? - about The Car That Came Back From The Grave over at The Car Blog. Alex, you remind me of Bruce McCall. No, what I mean is your writing reminds me of Bruce McCall's writing. Never mind.

Speaking of the literary arts, let me tell you about this Farago guy at The Truth About Cars. I've known people who were snake handlers and I've known people who spoke in tongues. But Robert knows a guy who speaks like somebody who is both a snake handler and a tonques speaker. And he works for GM! Now that is a world-class literary allusion in my book.

Speaking of the literary arts II: Would you notice if somebody dumped "a fresh load of steaming crap" on your living room carpet? Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield sure as heck would, only he would call it something else that sounds like a Chinese car company. Read all about it in his post for Friday, January 2006.

And in our final stop for this week's Carnival of Cars, Marty Padgett at has some interesting comments from Jaguar's design chief, who says the next T-Type has "an axe to grind." Well, that's certainly better than a rod to throw ... or a tranny to drop ... okay, that's enough.

We're home! See ya next week.


OK, As you can see in the comments section below, The Auto Prophet thinks E.L. Eversman must be a female. Being a *MAWG, I just assumed the other gender was the right answer.

Or maybe the use of initials rather than actual names indicates a desire for a level of anonymity?


* Middle-Age-White-Guy. AKA in some (mistaken) corners as Male-Chauvinist-Pig.

UPDATE II: Newest BMW Spot?

Just stumbled onto the FosFor site in Sweden, which has a wonderful video of an upcoming BMW TV spot. (Not really, but it's hilarious anyway).