Friday, September 22, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, Sept. 22, 2006

Boy, we have some catching up to do, so let's get started, shall we!

Is it possible that the real key to the success of Toyota and Honda in challenging Detroit is the fact the two Japanese automakers designed their products to appeal to women? The Car Blog thinks so. My wife told me I could say I don't know.

If you are thinking about buying a used vehicle, Mike Willis of Carsopia, a new entry in the Carnival of Cars, has some tips for you. Here's Part 1. Welcome to the Carnival of Cars, Mike!

Another new entry is from GolbGuru, a "twentysomething grad student," who offers some interesting observations about the relationship between safety and value in used vehicles, including this:

"I have deliberately avoided the use of the words 'cheap car.' Once you go through the ratings, you will realize that expensive is not necessarily safe and cheap is not necessarily unsafe."


Ah, the glories of a thumper! Dorrington Williams at If it's got an engine ... loves his Suzuki 650 Savage and wonders if the same powerplant configuration could be applied to larger vehicles:

"What I propose is a hybrid single-cylinder engine. Couple a large single-cylinder engine up to an electric motor/generator. The electronics controlling the motor/generator would have to be fast enough to switch from motoring to generating every other engine revolution."

Another Hmmm.

From across the pond, comes All Tips and Tricks with advice on how to get the most out of your tyres. Don't forget the one in the boot. Welcome to the Carnival of Cars, All Tips and Tricks.

My goodness, the carnival is stuffed with advice this week! Jeff Neilan at Car Buying Tips explains the mysteries behind that dreaded icon of the auto biz, the dealer invoice.

Bet you didn't ever expect to see a reference in the Carnival of Cars to the need to join the Ferret Fanciers Club. Mad Kane's Humor Club combines useful advice on how to plan for a really good weekend getaway with tips on how to maintain your sanity when nothing goes as planned.

Big doin's north of the border as CASCAR becomes the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. The Garage Blog assesses the assessables.

And while we're at the The Garage Blog, find out which GM "high-end production facility is predetermined to produce crap."

Perhaps it was a bad day at the garage.

Chuck at Car Buying Tips notes that there is a certain fragrance in the air, something having to do with "New Car Model Selling Season." You will know what to do.

They're coming out of the woodworks over there at Car Buying Tips! James Raia does the Weekly Driver review and he likes the Passat as an alternative to the usual Camry or Accord purchase. James is also rather taken by the Honda Fit.

Kevin, Denny, both Jeffs, Matt, Tony, Dale, Mark, Jimmie and Kyle might as well give up now cauz when all the rubber and oil has cleared, it's gonna be Kasey Kahne sittin' purty in the Nextel Cup Season Championship. Hey, Brian at said it, so it must be true!

Joe Sherlock peers at The View Through the Windshield and can't stop asking if the world really needs Mercury:

"Today's Mercury is the poster child for 'Badge Engineering' and is an almost-clone of its Ford-badged sibling. Mercury is a virtually unknown brand outside of North America; Ford stopped selling it in Canada a couple of years ago.

It's a tough question and Joe has some solid thoughts on it. No, that's not Joe in the photo above, but it is the Mercury Milan Voga concept in the background. Wonder what she'll do if Mercury goes under?

Gas is headed back towards the $2 per gallon neighborhood, at least for now, but it's still important to get the most mileage possible out of your vehicle. Unless, that is, your last name states with a G and ends with an S and you happen to have started a very successful computer business in the garage. Ann Mattinatt at Ask Patty has gas-saving tips for those of us who didn't.

Speaking of Asking Patty, Jody DeVere is scheduled to speak at a Six Apart affair in Deetroit come Oct. 30, along with the folks from GM Fast Lane Blog. Makes me wish I could hop a 737 and head west that day.

How do you know when a friend has completely gone bonkers? When they start talking about getting a job in the auto industry! If you can't persuade them to do something a little saner - like being a safety inspector in a dynamite plant or doing live-ammo tests of bullet-proof vests - The Garage Blog has some suggestions to pass along to your unforunate acquaintance.

And in the continuing fall-out from El Presidente's hilarious stand-up routine at Turtle Bay, The Auto Prophet suggests an anatomically difficult exercise for the Venenzuelan chief executive. Remarkably similar to the sage advice being offered over at Tapscott's Copy Desk, I might add.

Yes, please feel free to steal the above photo and post it everywhere!

Finally, That'sRacin' has the scoop on allegations of cheating in the engine room at RCR. This has Ugly written all over it.

And on a personal note:

Don't miss the Fast Forward reviews of Marcus MacFarland now being posted regularly on Tapscotts behind the Wheel. The first two are here and here. MM is, of course, my son and I dare say he is a natural-born auto writer.

He attended his first manufacturers' ride and drive yesterday - the GMer for Saturn and Chevy in Virginia - and came away with loads of valuable information and interesting insights about the industry, its people and processes. Not bad for a rookie, huh!

Yes, I am proud of him! See ya next week.

Don't forget!

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.