Friday, February 10, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around The Auto Blog Block for Friday, February 10, 2006

WELCOME INSTAPUNDIT READERS! While you're here for Carnival of Cars, don't forget to check the top of Tapscott Behind the Wheel for posts from today and the weekend.

It's car showtime in the Second City and that means new models being unveiled like the massive new Tundra. But there was lots of other news around the automotive world as well, so we have a long drive ahead of us for this week's Carnival of Cars. Let's hit the cyber road!

Right off the bat, Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield gives us what may well be the world's worst pun. It has nothing to do with cars and you have to scroll to the bottom of Joe's Friday post to get to it, but you will be glad you shelled out the time to get to it. Oh yes, don't miss Larry Leonard's prescription of GM and Ford, too.

Ohkaay .... moving right along.

Can you guess which new model earned this observation from The Truth About Cars' C. Douglas Weir: "From the side, the ---- ten-spokes seem an inch too large, the rear wheels are set mysteriously far forward and the swooping bulge flowing up and over the wheels looks like a resting bunny rabbit. Of course, everybody likes bunnies…" Ouch!

Sarah at The Car Blog went on a quest recently and has this pithy observation at the nadir of her journey: "Realizing that my dreams were probably common with those of a 17 year old, my ego bruised, my wallet aching and a hubby who would have a massive coronary … I chose to wait." Do not miss the rest of this one!

Some of you may have wondered why you found no comment on this blog about Lincoln's goofiness with the Zephyr naming this week. I held off because I knew somebody else would do it so much better than I possibly could. I was right. Check out the Auto Prophet's take here.

You can stop dreaming now about that Hemi-powered Nitro cauz it ain't happenin' according to Straightline. What a bunch of kill joys!

Would 1,000 horses qualify the 2006 Freestream as Serious Wheels for the street? Check it out here. It seems to display a touch of McLaren influence.

Have you been splogged yet? was and wasn't very happy about it, either. An interesting several days of reflection and discussion thereby ensued, which you will profit by considering.

Next time you get up to Oregon and find yourself yearning for a little nostalgic return to the drive-in movies, Qt Auto News knows just the place you should go.

Paul Tan seems to like the Honda Civic Si sedan concept being displayed this week by the Lake. Sort of a Japanese version of the entry level German sports sedan, I guess. I thought that's what the Jetta is supposed to be?

Chicago got the car show headlines this week but Houston had an auto gathering, too, and My Honest Mechanic's Austin Davis took a little time off from fixing other folks' problems to scanning the glitter and gas-hogs. He liked what he saw on the Lincoln Zephyr stand.

Car & Driver biased against Detroit? Automobile Magazine, too? And Road & Track? Say it ain't so, Joe at MyFordDreams!

Only in America! MPH Blog's Dan Pund conducts a controlled variable video experiment involving a Subaru Justy (what, you don't remember that one?) and a Hummer H3. It just might be a new comparison test that Car & Driver can use to end forever accusations of bias against Detroit!

Did you catch Discovery channel's rerun of the Top Gear UK show with the Ford GT? The American version is coming soon to a TV screen near you, according to Left Lane News. What I didn't understand was why he kept complaining about understeer. Looked to me like maybe the front rubber needed 10 pounds.

Dave Leggett of has spent some time this week queing in London for a visa to a BMW event and studying Carlos Ghosn's strategy for the future of Renault.

Having a Yank que for a visa wasn't the only excitement on the other side of the Big Pond. Jonathan Fry has the details on the national certification of the 1,000th auto technician among the Brits. What languid celebratory verse might that happy event evoke from yon window at Mr. Shakespeare's digs?

Jalopnik takes a spin in the $200,000 Bristol Fighter and comes away, shall we say, unimpressed?

Some thoughts at Grant's Auto Rants on the meaning of it all with the sudden burst of enthusiasm for E85 in some corners of the AutoBlogiverse, including yours truly's little niche last week.

Gear6 reports there will be no Maserati in the ALMS this year.

Better check out this post from FosFor Wheels of the new Peugot 4007 SUV. You know, so you will recognize it the next time you see one on the road doing winter testing near Bismark.

Fresh from having his salary slashed 30 percent, Fastlane blog's Bob Lutz still sounds enthusiastic about the all-new Chevy Avalanche GM unveiled this week at Chicago. What a trooper, that Lutz!

Can you imagine, Rossi and Biaggi battling it out on four wheels? FastMachines sure can.

Carscoop has the scoop on the 258 horsepower Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart. That 258 figure sure got my attention. Lots more on Chicago stuff there this week, too.

Say a prayer for a quick and complete recovery for the Cars!Cars!Cars! crew. They got a mean flu bug that just won't give up.

I knew things were screwed up in Taxachusetts, but hunters in the 'burbs??? Carpundit is locked and loaded on this one.

Is Chrysler headed for a cool-down? Autoblog has thoughts and links.

Dodge isn't interested in a cool-down with its SRT edition of the Calibre. Auto Spectator has the full release.

Hmmm, there may be some big bumps in the road ahead for an Illinois Judge, according to AutoMuse.

Okay, DeLorenzo is at it again, beating around the bush about what he thinks of the state of play among the buff books:

"The unbridled genius and inspired chaos that once ran rampant at the car magazines in their heyday has turned into an ugly, formulaic and painfully predictable tea dance of orchestrated sameness - and they've become homogenized and sanitized facsimiles watered down to the lowest common denominator."

They don't call it the AutoExtremist for nothin,' folks! I am lovin' it!!

And that, Ladies and Germs, is the last word on this week's spin around the Auto Blog Block. By the way, the photo above of the Freestream is from Serious Wheels.

Oh yes, one more thing: Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Cars! Use our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.