Friday, March 31, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, March 31, 2006


April is arriving, so the New York Auto Show is just around the corner. That explains the deluge of news releases from automakers announcing this new model or that new concept during the April 14-23 event.

But lots of other interesting "stuff" has been happenning this week, too, so how about we grab a cyber-first gear and hit the road for this week's drive around the auto blogs block!

Holmes Tuttle, who just happens to be U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James, remembers what the American Revolution was about - "No Taxation Without Representation" - and he takes seriously the time-honored international practice of not taxing visiting diplomats. Don't Mess With Taxes explains the car connection on this story here.

Stephen and Dorri over at If It's Got An Engine ... have company coming, so naturally they gotta have a rag top. You may be surprised to learn what they found when Stephen went on the hunt. Or maybe not. Go here.

Now, moving right along ...

Did you know the Sebring 12 Hour earlier this month marked the 50th anniversary of Corvettes competing in international sports car racing events? If I recall correctly from my reading as a six-year-old in Dad's Hot Rod magazines, John Fitch was the first factory Corvette driver. Fitch was hobbled by an unsorted vehicle but the factory team did rather better at this year's enduro.

Peter DeLorenzo at Auto Extremist wonders why Chevy isn't making a much bigger deal out of the anniversary, noting that "the Corvette Racing program is probably GM's most visible sign of success to the rest of the world - especially when it delivers another Le Mans victory - and it should be the priority, rather than an afterthought."

I agree. And with Toyota coming into NASCAR next year, you can bet the Corvette effort will become an even lower priority at GM. The Corvette deserves better.

Autoblog thinks you ought to check out the new long-term subscription deal from Grassroots Motorsports.

Cars! Cars! Cars! sees a certain contradiction between this and this. But don't worry cauz C!C!C! explains everything.

Excellent post over at Carscoop explaining why the U.S. and E.U. are filing a joint complaint at the World Trade Organization against China concerning auto parts. Given the exploding nature of China's economy, this skirmish is likely only the first of many to come.

Should the IRL have cancelled the Homestead race last weekend after Paul Dana died in a warmup crash? FastMachines surveys the commentary and recomends a couple of articulate advocates for both sides of the debate.

Others are crying "The Sky is falling" but not GM's Bob Lutz who returns to Fastlane Blog to remind us that his very first post there promised lots of excitement coming from Saturn. Now the Sky is red!

Somebody in France has invented a vehicle that runs on .... air, according to FosFor Wheels. I wonder how easily it burns.

Gear6 says one of the many debuts anticipated at the New York Auto Show is a new Lexus LS hybrid.

Nissan's Shiro Nakamura had this gem of advice for GM: "You need to touch your customers more." At first glance, you might conclude old Shiro never got the memo following the "Pepsi brings back your dead ancestors" debacle in China, but on further reflection, I realized those wild and crazy guys at Jalopnik were indulging a bit of editorial creativity. Still worth reading.

Anybody know if Jonathan Fry is out of the auto blog business?

You must read Dave Leggett's account at Just-Auto of his long-ago interview with a Chinese official and a host of his buddies who came along to sample the Peking Duck. That is a reference, by the way, not to an item on the menu but apparently to the guy picking up the tab.

Left Lane News reports things are getting tense at the UAW as Delphi heads toward bankruptcy court.

My Honest Mechanic's Austin Davis takes a spin in the new R-class from the Benz boys.

Somebody at Ford isn't satisfied with the Fusion's lines, judging by these spy shots you will find at Straightline.com.

Want to get a feel for what's it's like these days for some people working white collar jobs at a struggling U.S. industrial giant. Check out this post by The Auto Prophet.

Something from MPH blog to think about the next time you think about putting an evangelistic sticker on your bumper.

Lincoln's LT pickup comes in for some measured praise from The Truth About Cars' Sajeev Mehta. I still think it's the answer to a question nobody in particular was really asking but that's just me.

And finally, Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield takes a stroll down memory lane with a bunch of New York Auto Show memorabilia.

And don't forget:

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