Friday, June 30, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, June 30, 2006

Are they throwing snow balls in Hades yet? Surely they must be because The General's board of directors is apparently meeting as this is being written to consider a proposal to join forces with Renault/Nissan. Unbelievable.

Well, let's go see what else has happened around the auto blog block this week, shall we?

Oh yes, Marcus the Perfect Son and Morgan his Perfect Wife took me to Richmond last weekend for the IRL race and it was a great night, despite the constant threat of rain. The heavens held off - answered prayer, that! Hornish drove away from the field until my man Vitor Meira almost caught him at the end. Darn yellow flag!

Okay, as I was saying ...

Bulging profits are good. Bulging circulation is good. Bulging tires on a Three Series Bimmer aren't good. That's the problem Inside Line encountered with its long-term 330i. A 30-minute pit stop at Strokes Tire Pros did the trick but I wonder if it left a negative bulge in the editorial budget.

Tissues are supposed to be disposable. So are soda cans. Chevy Cobalts are not. Erin at The Driving Woman just can't past the feeling she got from the long-term Cobalt she drove this week:

"The driver seat creaks like a 50-year-old armchair. The sunroof has fallen out of its track and, until we visit the dealer, can't be closed (good thing it's the dry season here in California). The rear door seals are bad so there's a ton of wind noise from the back when you take it on the highway..."

There was more, but you get the drift.

It wasn't all bad news for the Bow Tie Boys in the Edmunds galaxy this week, however, as Karl on Cars was rather impressed with the 07 Avalanche: "It drives like a much smaller vehicle (something I've been praising about Toyota's and Honda's SUVs for years)."

Do you become cautious or suspicious and slow down when approaching an intersection with stop signs or any other official indicators? The folks who like the idea of "Living Streets" think you will, at least according to Interesting Thing of the Day.

Count me among the skeptics.

You may have to go see the 1976 cinema classic "Baby Blue Marine" to really grasp what he's saying, but Jack Yoest has seven rules for effective military recruiting. No, it really doesn't have much to do with cars, but he's got a shot of a real Hummer in it so we'll let it slide this time. Besides, he's right on with the seven rules.

Did you know OnStar has a 92 percent renewal rate? That's according to Car Buying Tips' Chuck Russell. Chuck also recommends in the strongest possible terms putting as much cash down on your next new car purchase as possible. And Chuck says check your credit every six months so you will know what interest rate you are likely to pay. I'll bet somebody out there will disagree with that last suggestion.

Then there's the Scuderi Group's Split Cycle Engine. They say they just got a bunch of patents for it in a lengthy list of big countries, including the states.

I'm feeling skeptical here ...

It's not too late for Ford buyers to take full advantage of the new federal tax credit for buying an alternative fuel vehicle. Don't Mess With Taxes says there is a penalty for success, however, noting that the clock is already ticking for Toyota. Why? Because "once a manufacturer sells 60,000 of its credit-eligible vehicles, a phase-out clock starts ticking. That means that popular hybrid models will likely be less tax beneficial."

Leave it the Washington politicians and bureaucrats to find a way to discourage the very thing they are trying to encourage.

If, like me, you couldn't make it north of the border to take in the Canadian Grand Prix, Carpundit was there with a camera and has some great shots. Speaking of F1, Brian at is getting saddled up for the USGP. Oh, there's a highlight reel from last weekend's racing action, too.

A Lancia Lament from 9Development.

Must be real slow over at The Garage Blog because they're talkin' about borin' stuff. You know like the Top 10 European Cars in which to engage intimately with a special individual. How about somethin' really neat like the Top 10 Racin' Movies Ever Made About Dale.

I'm not sure what to say about this from Ask Patty. Can somebody give me a hand here, please?

Alex at Autoblog says they're getting "frisky" over in the engineering department at Nissan UK. They've got a special 350Z GT-S. Very fast. Very, very fast. I like it already.

Okay, that's it for this week. Let's go find out what the GM board decided to tell Carlos Ghosyn!

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