Saturday, September 02, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around The Auto Blog Block for Friday, Sept. 1, 2006

Okay, what are we bid for Jaguar and Aston Martin? Do we hear two billion? One billion? Just think, British quality, history and prestige can all be yours. Do we hear .... Perhaps we can interest you in a long-term lease?

Things haven't quite gotten to that point just yet but Ford confirmed this week that it is trying to unload its two profit-sapping luxury marques. Any bets on how much Ford will get for either or both? There's more interesting news out there, too, so let's fire this thing up and hit the auto blog road, shall we!

It's been a rough week for Kay Bell at Don't Mess With Taxes. Some difficulties with the family Cavalier made for a post called "Run over by auto repairs." You get the drift with that title real quick. Cyber sympathy cards, letters and links are appropriate.

Kay also updates her previous posts on the soon-to-be-expiring federal tax credit for purchasing a hybrid like the Toyota Prius. There's more time for hybrids from other marques, but Kay says don't tarry if you must have a Prius.

Madeleine at Mad Kane's Humor Blog is thinking of getting a frequent user deal from her local tow company. Seems hubby Mark is, shall we say, somewhat forgetful about stuff like turning off their car's lights.

Oh yeah, speaking of hybrids, Chuck at Car Buying Tips has a guest piece this week from Kadence Buchanan on hybrids. Chuck also takes an extended look at the state of play at GM visavis fuel economy.

BTW, my test vehicle this week was the Lexus 450H. I was quite impressed. More to come on that topic later when my review appears on Tapscotts Behind the Wheel. Marcus MacFarland of Fast Forward will have something to say here on that score, too.

The Garage Blog crew has put more than 9,000 miles on a couple of Mazda6 wagons in recent months and they report in detail on their impressions. I think Mazda will like this one because it whispers "buy, buy."

Brian at notes a passing conversation between Scott Riggs and Jeff Gordon during last week's Cup race at Bristol. Somehow, I don't think Cale and Donnie and Junior would have conducted the same sort of discussion.

Watching the odometer turn over the 100,000 mile mark is GolbGuru at Money, Matters and More Musings. From the sound of it, his Mustang is going to just keep on keepin' on galloping. Long-term relationships are the best, don't you think?

And moving right along ...

Want the low-down on the industry as the dog days of summer come to an end? As always, Peter DeLorenzo at is the place to find "the players, the schemers, the smoke-and-mirror-dreamers" of the car biz. I confess I am always a sucker for alliterative headlines, phrases, book titles and place names.

E.L. Eversman is nearing completion of a total redesign of Auto Muse. Stay tuned cauz it's gonna be good, I promise.

Who said this?

"Let's mull over some numbers. 2.0 liters. 200 horsepower. 302 lb-ft. 7.4 seconds. 6 speeds. 47.9 miles per gallon* combined."

That's right, Autoblog's Alex Nunez, doing the calculations for the Alpina D3 edition Bimmer.

No, I don't think that's Alex behind the wheel in the shot to the right of the Alpina D3. Bet he wishes it was, though.

Cars! Cars! Cars! says they spent some time sitting in the new Ford Edge and came away thinking Ford has lost it, at least in terms of the interior. Not an auspicious outlook for Dearborn.

Citreon unveils its hybrid-diesel C4 concept at the Paris Auto Show. Carscoop has the details.

Kenny Bernstein, Tom Hammonds and Jeg Coughlin, Jr. announced at the Summer Nationals that they are returning to the quarter mile wars in 07. Fastmachines has mixed feelings about it all.

For Labor Day, Bob Lutz is talking at Fastlane Blog about styling being the last great differentiator among marques.

Now for an opposing view .... the dealers are getting the wrong end of GM's value pricing deal, again, according to Jim Dollinger at Generalwatch. He's not real high on Mark LaNeve, either.

And finally, over at GM's FYI Blog, the powers-that-be are encouraging readers to check Tara Strickstein's various renderings, including a very nice take on a 76 Caddy. Lots of albums like Tara's over there.

Shouting Thomas at Harleys, Cars, Girls and Guitars has a new CD out called "Innocence" and he's created a site to check it out.

Things must be slipping over Jalopnik way because they're talking up Drifting. I'm tellin' ya, man, it ain't racin'.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The preceding comment about drifting was not meant to devalue Jalopnik. Sometimes, my tongue-in-cheekisms aren't clearly enough tongue-in-cheek. See comments below.

Just-Auto's Dave Leggett is talking PAG sales and serving Aston Moet. Speaking of PAG, just below here is the guy who did it:

Jacque Nasser. MyFordDreams2 points out that Ford is still trying to recover from the Nasser era, which is why PAG is on the auction block.

Wondering when to change your vehicle's serpentine belt. My Honest Mechanic's Austin Davis has some thoughts on that topic but he won't take you round and round.

Volvo is not typically the tuner crowd's first choice but the S40 is making some progress in that field for the Ford-owned Swedish concern. Paul Tan has an interesting piece on the Heico HS4 Odin Concept .

Try saying that five times fast.

And if you can, try this five times fast: Bright Blue Brabham.

There is a redesigned Honda CRV for 07, but Straightline has photos and details and links now.

And The Auto Prophet is distinctly unimpressed with the new CRV's exterior styling, observing:

"Honda has great technology, and excellent engines. But their design for the U.S. market is weak, in fact, it is the chink in their armor. I mean, what is this thing supposed to be? It has BMW X5/Mercedes ques along the sides, and a rear quarter that reminds me of a Chrysler product. The front end has a small nose with an apparent overhang and a strange mustache underneath. The front bumper appears to jut forward like a cow-catcher."

Harsh, but TAP won't be alone in such evaluations.

The Driving Woman has some inside info on Honda's marketing expectations for the new CRV.

Could 500 horsepower under a Mustang's hood ever be too little too late? The Truth About Cars' Bob Elton explains why the answer is yes with the newest Shelby edition of the classic pony car.

Joe Sherlock peers out The View Through the Windshield and sees reports of gas returning to $2 per gallon, but still thinks U.S. consumers have got to learn new habits about fuel consumption and he's got some serious proposals for doing just that.

Have you looked at Top Speed lately? Well, you should because there are some really interesting things going on over there.

And with that note, we have arrived at the end of this week's Carnival of Cars.

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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.

UPDATE: MSNBC's Will Femia links to Carnival of Cars!

Very cool, thanks Will. Hope you come back every week. And welcome to all you "Clicked" folks visiting Carnival of Cars for the first time.