Friday, March 17, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, March 17, 2006

Despite the late start, we're fired up now and ready to head out on this week's Carnival of Cars: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, March 17, 2006.

Before we go, though, thank you to the growing list of Carnival of Cars submitters. The list gets longer every week and that is good for everybody. So, let's hit the cyber road:

There was a time when Henry Ford wanted his company to be so self-sufficient that its monstrous Rouge factory would receive at one end from Ford-owned producers and transporters from around the globe all of the raw materials needed to build the car that finally emerged at the other end.

That was one extreme of the vertical integration versus outsourcing debate that has been a commonplace in the auto industry virtually from the start. Now comes Professor Stephen Bainbridge of UCLA Law School and with an in-depth analysis of the current troubles at GM and Ford and how they relate to the outsourcing or vertical integration issue.

If the names "Hondo Crouch," "Jerry Jeff Walker," "Helotes" and the "Broken Spoke" are familiar terms, then you are either from Texas or you wish you were from Texas because you've been there. If that sentence makes no sense to you, Kay Bell at Don't Mess With Taxes explains it all, including the automotive connection, here. BTW, they are and I am.

Now, let's head over this way to Miss Cellania's explanation for why WWJD really means "What Would Jesus Drive?" Let me tell you, this lady knows all about the One Ton Tomato song and she's a scriptural scholar to boot!

If you are still wondering about any aspect, and I do mean any, of the Las Vegas NASCAR doings,'s Brian Vermette has you covered. As you might expect, a roll of the dice is definitely a key part of the story, on and off the track.

As young as he looks, Inside Line's Karl Brauer probably doesn't even know what Maypo was but he wants his E85 and he wants it now. He doesn't sound too impressed with promises from the politicos for a plan coming to increase the current total of 600 service stations selling the stuff. That's 600 down and only 169,400 to go.

Nissan hasn't had many fumbles in recent years, but The Driving Woman's Erin Riches is doubtful the changes announced for the Quest during the Chicago Auto Show will do much to erase the French-owned Japanese firm's lapses in the minivan market.

Have you ever been walking down in the mall or sitting through an important meeting at the office and suddenly asked yourself this burning question: "What About Holdback?" If you are an educated auto consumer, you have. Strategies for Smart Car Buyers has the answers.

Now, moving right along ...

Peter DeLorenzo at Auto Extremist thinks there may well be a bunch more Nissan fumbles ahead because the move from South Cal to the Tennessee Waltz is looking more and more like a disastrous decision. As usual, Peter is shy about expressing himself on these things, but here's a quick summary graph:

"What it comes down to is that Ghosn has achieved legendary status around the world - and he is too arrogant to retreat or admit failure. He would never admit that the idea was flawed or that he is setting up his North American organization for a disastrous undertaking - it's just not in his makeup."

Ya think Peter will be getting any invitations to Renault in the days ahead?

Scion plans to light the Fuse in New York, according to AutoBlog.

Please, Carpundit, tell me this isn't true.

Hey, loyalty and longevity are great values and all but keeping the same agency to do ads since 1914? Cars! Cars! Cars! sounds as stunned as I am.

Look! It's an Audi. No, it's a KTM motorcycle!! No, it's a .... beats me. But Carscoop thinks it worth photos, commentary and more here.

Fast Machines' George Katinger says it's going to be another year for Alonzo over in the F1 wars. My dark horse hunch is it's Montoya's year to - finally - make it all happen.

Fastlane Blog's illustrious editor thought PM Blog should have consulted a Google map and posted images from way up there on the progress of their drive in a Z06 from LaLaLand to Gotham City. Vlogging would have been good, too.

Gear6 wonders if it's curtains for Volvo's S60. I hope not.

Can you guess the reaction over at General Watch to news GM is revising its 2005 loss total to $10 billion? You think Polonius ever figured out ole Bill Shakespeare was actually mocking him?

Remember J. Edgar Opel? Jalopnik has some, uh, observations about badge engineering and the new Saturn Sky/Opel GT.

Then there is the meal-and-dessert-all-in-one from Krispy Kreme, as reported by MPG Blog. Maybe this says something about why the Krispy Kreme boom has faded????

Pardon me while I pass on that one ....

Over at My Honest Mechanic, Austin Davis wonders what's the big deal about the Rubicon.

Want to see a Bimmer float in the air? Straightline has the straight poop.

The Auto Prophet says make sure you have the sound turned up.

The Truth About Cars' Robert Farago is taking a 10-day sabbatical to, among much else, tool up a bunch of new features. Just before taking off, he offered this warning to Ford regarding its ongoing brohaha with Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association: "... FoMoCo’s financial aid to GBLT pressure groups plants the corporate flag on one side of a highly contentious issue."

And finally, from The View Through the Windshield comes a Friday roundup that includes an item about an unbelievable memorial service for a young protestor who was bulldozed out of this world a couple of years ago in Palestine. No, neither Joe nor I made this up.

Again, thanks to all the new contributors to the Carnival of Cars and we will meet again right here next week.

And don't forget:

Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of cars using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.