Friday, July 07, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, July 7, 2006

Is Kirk or Carlos the man of the week in the automotive world this week? I dunno, but let's hit the road and see if we can find out on our weekly tour of the automotive blogs:

Lots of car insurance advertising in the media these days, but there actually a number of ways to save on this expense. Don't Mess With Taxes has a first installment of what is promised to be a useful collection of such tips. And speaking of auto insurance, Chuck at Car Buying Tips has a list of the 10 cheapest models to insure.

Did you know Toyota is raising prices on its U.S. products in an effort to sell fewer cars and trucks and thereby help GM and Ford? The Business of America is Business has some challenging thoughts on this little-noticed development in international and corporate diplomacy.

Automatic trannies for bicycles? Believe it or not, there is such a thing. Interesting Thing of the Day has the rest of the story.

In case you are wondering how much you could be saving on a particular Chrysler product as a result of the latest employee pricing promotion, Kicking Tires has done the heavy work for you and has a list for each model.

The Garage Blog is starting a new series on how to get good service for you car.

Is Smoke gonna smoke'em all this summer? Brian at wants to know.

Do you want a Jeep? I Want a Jeep did and now the deal is done.

Frankly, I don't and never have because - compared to, oh, racing an open-wheeler in the rain at 150 mph - off-roading strikes me as one of the all-time most boring activities under the automotive sun. But whatever floats your boat, as they say.

Chuck at Car Buying Tips rather likes the prototype Honda Civic, but he wishes GM had taken a more retro approach to the soon-to-be-no-more GTO, like Chrysler did with the new Challenger.

Now, moving right along ...

Can you guess who said this?

"Make no mistake - this isn't about creating a new global automotive powerhouse well-equipped to do battle deep into this century, one that will keep Toyota from taking over the world. And this certainly isn't about doing what's best for General Motors and the people who have so much invested in the fortunes of the company.

"And this in no way, shape or form has anything to do with solidifying America's manufacturing base or shoring up the economy. No, this is about flat-out greed, pure and simple. "

If you said Peter DeLorenzo at Auto Extremist, you are exactly right. Go read the rest of his pungent observations about Kerkorian, GM, Ghosyn, et. al.

Autoblog has some fresh evidence of a Lacrosse Super headed to market.

Can you name that car? Carpundit has the answer.

Cars! Cars! Cars! thinks maybe it's time for Mr. Ford to admit he got it wrong on hybrids.

Looking for a very fast internship? Fast Machines notes that Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianpolis have agreed with the IRL's Panther Racing to accept interns for work with the team's Infiniti Pro Series entry in 2007.

GM's FastLane Blog has a link to a superb video documenting the Corvette team's successful campaign to win the LeMans 24 Hour GT1 class this year. Mr. Duntov would love it, I am certain.

They're killing snakes over at General Watch.

OK, what year Olds is that in the Yell Ow photo album featured at GM's FYI Blog? I think it's a 56, but ....

How much does Grant's Auto Rants like the Lotus Elise? Well, judge for yourself:

"The Lotus is so successful and narrow-minded in its task that many amenities are deemed superfluous and left out of the equation altogether."

Actually, Grant had much, much more to say and it's worth reading.

Shouting Thomas at Harleys, Cars, Girls and Guitars is serving "rolling cheesecake." Definitely the wildest Gold Wing I've ever seen.

You are there! At Lime Rock for the ALMS race!! Well, actually, Jalopnik was there.

Can it be true that GM's board is actually going to consider Tracinda's suggestion? Left Lane News says it is.

MyFordDreams2 links to Auto Express's review of a diesel edition of the Mazda3 and wonders why the UK pub says the Ford Focus sold over there is a sharper handler than the Zoom-Zoom smoker.

My Honest Mechanic - the inimitable Austin Davis - has some excellent tips on car wax and polish.

There's going to be a new Lexus sports car bowing for 2009, says Straightline, which offers details and an artist sketch.

They are walking the walk, literally, over at The Driving Women. Makes me tired just reading about it. Why can't we just jump in a big ol SUV and drive?

Folks, I've been writing automotive reviews since 1985, but I've yet to pen a graph like this:

"If you’ve never sampled a Cayman S (or a Boxster S), here’s what happens. You start off thinking it’s far too easy to drive for a “real” sports car. The suspension is good enough for government work. All the controls are weighted for delicacy and precision, rather than heft. The helm turns a tad too quickly. Clutch action is lighter than a pedal-operated trash can, while the biting point is stubbornly elusive (it works like a slide trombone rather than a trumpet). Taken as a whole, the Cayman S feels like an adrenalin-crazed hunting dog, bouncing on its toes, waiting for that blissful moment when it can live up to its genetic imperative."

Regular readers (and seekers) of The Truth About Cars instantly recognized that as the work of Robert Farago. Words are things of beauty in the hands of a master. Kind of like the perfect double-clutched heel-and-toe.

Hyundai sales are outpacing Mazda for the first six months of 2006. That's according to calculations by Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield who applied a bit of the statistical analysis expertise he employed in a different industry. Hyundai outselling Mazda isn't the only thing he found that might interest you.

Is the racing success gene heritable? Louis Albornoz at Top Speed offers some thoughts, some of which are, shall we say, gingerly put.

Can it be, we have reached the end of the road for this week? There's always next week.

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