Saturday, November 18, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, Nov. 17, 2006

Top executives of Detroit's Big Three automakers sat down with President Bush this week to pitch him on the federal government bailing out their companies by taking over their health care costs.

Normally Bush wouldn't be terribly enthusiastic about such action but his party just lost its congressional majority, so don't be surprised if he discovers a new interest in this issue in the near future.

As for us, we've got lots of sights to see and people to meet on this week's Carnival of Cars drive around the auto blog block, so click that cyber seat belt and let's hit the road, shall we?

Thanksgiving is next week, which means Christmas is right behind and that means it's time to start getting gifts for the auto enthusiasts on your list. Bet you didn't realize there are some females that fit that description. Ask Patty knows and that's why you'll find the first-ever Ask Patty Girls Gift Garage there.

Speaking of Christmas, Car Audio and Electronics is doing a Toys for Tots show. Check out the details here. A very worthy cause.

Brian at wonders when do you say it's over. Good question and Brian has some answers.

A moment of appreciative silence, please, for Number 27, which left The Garage Blog this week to head back to Germany where it will be lovingly restoried by Alois Ruf and friends, then head out for a tour of Europe before reaching its final destination, the Ruf Porsche Museum.

Check out British Columbia via Petersen's Four-Wheel and Off-Road Blog.

Eric Sanchez at Diesel Power blog has been playing around with one of those Europe-only treats, the BMW 335d. He was impressed. You would be, too, the first time you dipped into this little Bimmer's 428 lb-ft of torque. No, that's not a typo. Yes, you should go back now and click on Diesel Power blog.

The Time Burglar strikes again! This time the victim is struck with an irresistible fascination with a 51 Superior Cadillac ambulance. Yes, JP is supposed to be about jeeps and stuff, but the Time Burglar respects no boundaries.

Auto-Mo at Mini Truckin' has come down with the long distance commuter blues and worries what it means for his old reliable.

Auto-Mo is also lecturing about those long metal things between the wheels, you know, the suspension. It's like when you hear the pegs on a motorcycle scrapping the asphalt. Ya gotta pay attention here, at Sport Truck blog.

Pete Petersen says there are "Petes" and there are "Brians" when it comes to track personalities among ATV Riders. Which are you?

You would think an F-16 Viper would fly circles around a Dodge Viper spors car and a Viper motorcycle. Think again, Bunky, cauz the two-wheeler done beat both the fly boy and the guy wearing the string-back gloves and funny hat. That's the report in Hot Rod's Bike Works blog.

NOTE TO CONTRIBUTORS: I love bikes, too, and ride my Kawasaki Concours every chance I get, especially when my sweet wife Claudia can join me. But this is Carnival of Cars, so be sure there is a four-wheel angle to your suggested bike blog contributions.

Hmmm. Do we need a Carnival of Cycles?

Mike at European Cars is deep into a project involving a certain blue Bimmer. You need to know about this.

Could it be? I mean, could it actually be true? That a Honda Element could be made into a drift car? You won't believe what they had to do to make it happen, but some Honda engineers did it. Read all about at Hot Tuners Cars blog.

Have you been missing shifts lately? Tired of grinding those gears into tiny little metal shards? Had enough of people on the street pointing and laughing? Super Street has what you need, tips on shifting the right way with a close-ratio tranny.

Should Ford's Mod motor stay or go? 5.0 Mustang mag blog wants to know what you think.

Craig at Car Craft mag blog finds himself drawn to a certain 64 Poncho.

Hey, everybody's getting into this classic vehicle build thing. Grant at Classic Trucks thinks a 68 Ford F100 is just the right platform for a little friendly competition with a 72 model being done by the crew at Custom Classic Trucks.

Before you let somebody put your C5 or C6 up on a lift, better read these tips at Corvette Fever mag blog. Otherwise, your mid-life crisis cure could end up like the poor little Lotus Elise pointing the wrong way in the accompanying photo.

Be in Memphis May 12, 2007, and you could either compete in or be a spectator at Hot Rod's 2007 Pump Gas Drags.

What is the deal with the VW R36? Jason Cammisa at Automobile mag blog wants to know. I'd kinda like to know myself.

Did you know there is a Hyundai convertible in the works? Jason Aranello at knows.

India's Mahindra truck maker is talking about exporting vehicles to, where else, the U.S. Truck Trend has details. Does that mean you could buy a Mahindra in July and have an early Indian summer?

Remember those wonderful days of the NASCAR tire wars? Marc at Cranial Cavity does.

Would you shell out $242,000 for a Mercury? Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield explains everything.

Hey, don't be telling your worn-out old steed that the time has come for it to be put out to pasture. Why? Grant at Grant's Auto Rants says the odds are good that the more likely place your retiring bucket of bolts will end up is as scrap metal. But there is such a thing as auto reincarnation, so at least some of your Old Faithful might come back to the states as a Chinese Chery.

Don't you feel better now for telling the truth? I thought so.

And in another entry from the automotive truth-telling sweepstakes this week comes AskPatty with definitions of the 15 terms dealers often use that the rest of us normal human beings probably don't really understand.

So, moving right along ...

Peter DeLorenzo is ecstatic about the announcement that Chevy is bringing back the rear-wheel-drive Impala. How significant is that news, really? Well, just ponder this graph from Peter's recollection of his experience when Chevy unveiled the front-wheel-drive Impala:

"Here I was expecting a 'milestone' Chevrolet - the car that would put Chevy back on the map. No, I wasn't looking for a "Yester-Tech" nostalgia-mobile or retro-rod, but a car that took the timeless, desirable ingredients of the '55 Chevy - great design, excellent performance and outstanding value - and translated them into a forward-looking classic for the new century. Instead, I had to pick my jaw up off of the floor as I was forced to wallow in the unbridled mediocrity of this car, a stupefying homage to everything wrong about Detroit at that moment in history - the summer of 1998. "

Go here at Auto Extremist for the rest of the recollection and thoughts on the hoped-for coming restoration of Chevy glory.

There's a lot going on these days at Saturn. GM's Bob Lutz looks at one of the reasons why at Fastlane Blog.

Michele Cimino spent some time recently at GM's Milford Proving Grounds, specifically on the Black Lake, and came away with a new appreciation for the life-saving potential of anti-lock brakes. Read all about it at GM's FYI Blog.

There's trouble in them thar Auburn Hills and MotorAlley's David Wassman is all over it.

Ford recently took a bunch of auto journalists and bloggers to a firing range for a little-James Bonding. You won't believe where they went after they finished putting lots of perfectly round little holes in a bunch of imaginary bad guys. You'll be shaken, not stirred, when The Auto Prophet reveals all.

Erin at The Driving Woman appreciates all the help we can get on backing with sonar, cameras, whatever. Me. too!

The CAFE Klatsch must end! That's Michael Martineck's view at The Truth About Cars. Is he right? Well, it is "the truth about cars" blog.

Folks, yours truly has run out of gas, and what great timing cauz we are at the end of the line for this week's Carnival of Cars. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Next week, we'll do it again.

In the meantime ....

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.

By the way, if you are wondering why this post only appeared early Saturday morning, it's because I'm in San Francisco and spent the day yesterday at the first-ever Open Data/Open Government confab, a gathering of developers, journalists and non-profit types interested in making government at all levels more transparent and accountable.

It was a very intense and rewarding day. I'm heading back to D.C. later today and will return to the D.C. newsroom of The Washington Examiner bright and early Monday morning.

Carnival of Cars will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, so see you in a couple.