Saturday, December 02, 2006

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


Things are hot and happennin' in LA at the auto show and that means lots of interesting, goofy and unbelievable stuff to see as we head out on the cyber-road for this week's Carnival of Cars. I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. And we're off!

Did you know GM sells more Buicks in China than in the U.S.? You gotta take the whole ride to find out my source on this one!

So ....

Over in the Down Under part of the world, the Aussie authorities are making some significant changes to the way folks get drivers licenses. Craig Wilson at autofix.com.au, a new entry in the Carnival, is encouraged, even if it's "about time" for the changes.

And back here in the states, if you can't make it to LA for the auto show, AskPatty has a handy summary of what's on the schedule. Frankly, it looks like the LA organizers have done a bang-up job of reviving what had been a rather moribund event.

Man-Law says guys don't dig "decor," right? Well, wives, significant others, girlfriends, moms, sisters and appreciated colleagues of the female sort often do, so AskPatty's Christmas gift guide for the automotively perplexed giver should be a no-brainer.

And if you see something you want for yourself, don't worry, I won't tell anybody. :-)

Speaking of Man-Law, GM's head honcho gave a speech at the opening of the LA show and AskPatty was there. She heard some good things, some puzzling things and some things she wasn't sure about believing.

Race season is over, so Brian at Racedriven.com is doing other things, like going to the Boston Auto Show - yes, there's even a show in Beantown cauz the Yankees gotta get around those narrow, confusing streets left over from pre-Revolutionary War days.

Oh yes, Brian also has a lengthy take on what he found worthy of remembering from the just-concluded NASCAR season, starting with a quote from Darrell Waltrip about there always seeming to be something besides the race itself demanding everybody's attention before the green flag falls.

Admit it now, you really don't know much about all those auto safety tests, do you. Andrew Dillan at Car Buying Tips sorts it all out for you.

And speaking of stuff most of us have no clue about how to do, Terje Ellingsen at Car Buying Tips says you can find the right repair manual for any repair you need to do, if you know where to go on the Internet.

A certain former world driving champion has been having a rough go of it in F1 for a bunch of years but now it appears Juan Pablo won't be the only such "furrener" in NASCAR in 2007. Intriqued? Me, too. That's why I went to The Garage Blog for the details.

My take? I think Jacque is in for a shock at just how competitive motorsports can be cauz they don't do parades at Daytona except in the pre-race ceremonies. Unlike F1.

There are some smart journos at The Boston Herald. They've put Mike Mello in front of a laptop and said "blog!" He's new to the Carnival of Cars and he's got a wonderful description of his meeting former funny car racer Rodalyn Knox during a vintage drags event at New England Dragway. Keep an eye on this one. I think it's going to be a super auto blog.

And moving right along ....

Did you know Toyota's California market share is double that of GM and three times what Ford gets these days? Joe Sherlock of The View Through the Windshield says the situation is similar in his neck of the woods in the Pacific Northwest.

If you wonder about what happens to your old beater after you donate it to your favorite charity, Louis Albornoz at Top Speed explains everything. This one caught my eye because it was inspired by a fellow Marylander.

You've seen that neat television spot with the sophisticated American taking his gorgeous white-with-blue international racing stripes Shelby GT 500 to the Autobahn. Well, so has Robert Farago at The Truth About Cars. But guess what? He isn't real enthusiastic about a solid rear axle that hops all over the road at the merest hint of a bump at, oh, 50 mph.



But Robert, it's sooooo beautiful, can't I just gaze at it in my driveway?

Have you ever heard of Whyville.net? Me neither. Erin at The Driving Woman found it via a recent piece in The Wall Street Journal. It's all about automakers marketing their wares to .... kids.
I'm with you, Erin, this is not a good thing.

My first new car was a 76 Audi Fox, which I loved passionately. Haven't owned an Audi since, but Ed at Straightline has some spy shots of the upcoming A5 that make me think the time is coming when there really needs to be one sitting in the Tapscott driveway.

Looks like it's gonna get crowded in that driveway. Oh well, the neighbors all think Claudia and I are either car dealers or drug dalers, so big deal, right?

It's aluminun und shteel! It's the new Audi TT after Oettinger. Jalopnik likes it.

Bob Lutz at GM's Fastlane Blog has thoughts on the opening of the LA Auto Show, plus links to video of the Wagoner opening speech., which is definitely worth giving a listen to. People may have been underestimating this guy. Yes, including me.

That crack about Wagoner caught your eye, didn't it. Well, Peter DeLorenzo at The Auto Extremist makes the case for an even more amazing proposition, namely that Buick is anything but one step away from the grave. Sort of gives new meaning to the cliche about being Shanghai'd.

And wouldn't you know it, DeLorenzo gets the last word in this week's drive around the auto blog block because we are back home, folks. See ya next week.

Don't forget!

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Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.