Saturday, July 15, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around The Auto Blog Block for Friday, July 14, 2006

So Rick, Kirk and Carlos are going to give it a 90-day trial study to see if an alliance will work. Didn't Renault try to sell an Alliance to the U.S. once before? For three years? Should Rick Wagoner and the GM board remember this fact?

Well, whatever .... let's jump in our cyber rag top and head down the road for our weekly drive around the Auto Blog Block and see what we see, shall we?

Can you imagine life without owning a car? Probably not if you are a regular reader of this blog. Me neither, but Joe Kissell at Interesting Thing of the Day describes how he went from owning a vehicle and living in San Francisco to living there and depending upon a car sharing program. But what would he think if all the vehicles in the fleet were Renault Alliances?

Tony Stewart has a hearse. Not just any old hearse, though. Looks like it might have about 500 horses under the hood. You know, just in case Smoke is in a hurry to get planted. Oh, and don't miss the Chrysler SRT8 rag top that Brian at also found.

Somehow, it puzzles me that a race car driver would want to be anywhere near a hearse ....

Chuck at Car Buying Tips explains it all, including the latest Chrysler promos here, donating your car to a good cause for a tax credit here, how to avoid swirls in your dark colored car's paint here and the agony of cartradeitis, a condition that can wreak havoc with your credit rating if you aren't careful here. Betcha didn't know that, did you?

Uh oh, AskPatty was interviewed by Robert Farago, who apparently started the conversation by explaining why he doesn't believe there is such a thing as a female automotive perspective. I don't know about that, but I guarantee you they drive totally different kinds of cars on Mars and Venus!

The IRS giveth to its own employees, and the IRS taketh away from its own employees, too! Don't Mess With Taxes has the scoop on how the Tax Man treateth his own serfs, er, employees who take advantage of the cash incentive to buy a hybrd.

The Tax Man better watch it, that kind of stuff could spark a real green revolution!

Want to see the ultimate chick car? 9D's TG will show ya here. You can see TG's chick car there, too. Hint: It's got a roll bar.

Man, I hope Danica doesn't try to go NASCAR racin' cauz open wheelers need her and Marco. Course, it would help if she could win a race real soon. You know Marco will, probably before the season is over, too.

OK, I'll shut up on that angle, but it's 9D's fault for getting me started.

You say you've never heard of the Hyanide Snow Bike? The Garage Blog will tell you all about it. Hey, it's an investment opportunity. Don't these Germans have real day jobs?

Now, moving right along ....

Lots of shots from the Nurburing 24 Hour at Top Speed.

The Car Connection has everything you can possibly know - for now - about the all-new GMC Acadia cross-over. Is it just me or does the Acadia really look like a cross of a Ford Freestyle and a Chevy Tahoe?

Am I not supposed to ask things like that?

Joe Sherlock takes apart Autoweek's Kevin Wilson on the "unintended consequences" of creation of the interstates - a PC paean about the decline of rail and public transit passenger traffic - in this week's best installment of The View Through the Windshield. Way to go, Joe!

We don't need no stinkin' ----------------. Johnny Lieberman at The Truth About Cars wants to know how you would fill in that blank. Send the Mad Man - Farago - a get-well note, too.

Lots of interesting details at The Driving Woman about Ford's new program to develop a winning female driver for NASCAR.

Joel at The Car Blog explains why he finds peace of mind in extended warranties. It's a demographic/sociological sort of thing.

That is one incredible artillery shot at The Auto Prophet.

Time will tell if it's good news or just another bad Italian joke but Straight Line reports authoritatively that Alfa will be selling three models in the U.S. in 2009.

Those who are into frequently changing wall paper and the latest body styling exercise for Mercedes Benz should head straight over to Serious Wheels. I'll bet "AMG" translates to English as "Vee haf show und go."

Maybe I'm not supposed to say things like that! Bet Farago would!! He's like Mikey, he'll say anything!!!

Would somebody please get me back on the topic?


Sounds like another Fish carb to me, but Qt Auto News says it is possible to make your car pay you. It's from Auto News.

Could this be Rick Wagoner's secret strategy to counter Carlos Ghosyn? Paul Tan reports on some corporate sneaky-sneak involving DRB-HICOM. I know, you've never heard of it, but that's the whole point.

Austin Davis at My Honest Mechanic lays out the case for the Ford Escape Hybrid in four succinct paragraphs. I'll bet Billy Ford himself couldn't do that!

MyFordDreams2 points out some, uh, problems with reporting on Ford's current ills and its need for outside help. What's even more interesting about this post, however, is the lengthy case Big Ford Fan makes for salvation being just around the corner, if only American consumers will give Ford of Europe products a serious look.

So who made this pithy observation?

"Anyone watching Kerkorian buy GM shares had to know that he wasn't investing because he wanted a discount on his next Cadillac."

Why, none other than Motor Alley's David Wassmann. He has more to say on the topic, too.

Looks like its curtains for the Lexus LX, according to Left Lane News.'s David Leggett remembers that British Leyland actually did fairly well here in the states with the MGB until they goofed it up by raising ride height to satisfy U.S. bumper requirements. So can MG make a comback here now? Leggett explains it all here.

If Jalopnik is right that Wagoner took Ghosyn to dinner at the only place the market-share strapped GM head could afford - the RenCen Food Court - things really are bad at the General. Jalopnik offers thoughts about other possibilities, however. On where the two ate, that is. An interesting new angle on the story, I'd say.

Hot Wheels Blog is talking Chickasaws, MGs and Okies. Bet you never thought you'd see those three words in the same sentence!

Just pointin' and shootin' is how Shouting Thomas spends his morning commute up in Joizey. You gotta check out his site, Harleys, Cars , Girls and Guitars. It's very .... eeekleckteeec, as Ron "Tater Salad" White would say.

Take a minute at the GM FYI Blog and check out the Photo of the Day post. Look for the powerline shot. Is that awesome or what?! Oh yeah, who knows the make and model of the car? I'd say about a 47 Pontiac, but not real confident of that answer.

General Watch likes this on the Kirk and Rick and Carlos Show.

Things may start getting much more interesting at the Peoples' Car company, according to Gear6. Dr. Porsche is no doubt grinning from ear to ear as he looks on from auto heaven. If there is such a place, that is.

Lutz has some candid comments for long-time GM loyalist Dan Cadigan. If Fastlane Blog featured more such candor from Lutz and other GM executives, I'll bet lots of good things would follow. How about you?

You knew this was coming the instant Juan Pablo uttered the word "NASCAR." Fast Machines reports reaction of McLaren's Ron Dennis to the fender racing future being planned by the Columbian.

Carscoop has the full text of the joint statement from Rick and Carlos.

Those who want to know what is really going on inside Ford these days will immediately go to Cars! Cars! Cars! for this scoop.

What do over-priced popcorn and pretzel bites have to do with selling Dodge Calibers? John Neff at Autoblog offers some thoughts.

The bloom may be off the rose for alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids, at least according to the first installment of Auto Extremist's milestone survey of 1,200 industry types and enthusiasts. This is important, folks.

Alternative Fuel Universe links to Sen. Joe Lieberman's New York Post piece on energy issues and offers a lengthy rant of his own on the topic.

Freedom of Speech is wonderful, isn't it! That's it for this week, folks, we have arrived back home. See ya next week.

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