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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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On: Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:46AM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Fritz Henderson allows us a taste of GM's Australian bounty, the word 'bad' is redefined ala Michael Jackson, and Flavio Briatore shows there is hope for disco fanatics everywhere, as long as we are referring to fashion and not poorly planned crash-to-win fiascos . . .

The Good: Some how, some way, GM will continue to import Holden Commodores to the United States. They've shot down rumors and cast aside suggestions (Chevy Caprice, anyone?) but dammnit, it's a great platform, it's designed as a 'world car' (easily converted from right to left-hand drive, fuel tank ahead of the rear axle, easily sourced electronics, etc.) and these stupid American car blogs just won't shut up about it. So, what form will our Pontiac G8 come in? For starters, the Commodore will see duty as the LAPD's main police cruiser.

“We’ve been working on a package for police applications. I just think that’s going to work. We’re pretty optimistic about it and that product will be sourced in Australia,” said General Motors boss Fritz Henderson of the plan to sell the Commodore to US law enforcement agencies.

Being such an excellent package, and far superior to its antiquated competition, the classic 'Vic and the newer but still ancient (and cramped) Dodge Charger, the G8 Police Package could start showing up all over the country . . . and then, a few years after that, all over police and federal auctions . . . you can probably tell where I'm going with this. Stripped down, black and white Commodore for less then four grand? I don't care how trashed it is, givittahme! Squeaky brakes and punctured radiators can be fixed; rear-drive, V8s, sleek flared fenders, and the faux-cop look are all priceless!

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

The Bad: In this case, 'bad' needs to be used in its urban form. I.E., 'Badass'. The Ferrari 458 Configurator is very, very badass. The options on any Ferrari are mind-boggling, but fully optioned the 458 Italia serves up a little extra in the 'Cerebral Omelet' department. There are all the normal gee-whiz time wasters on this site; audio of the 458 in action, videos, wallpapers... yawn. The real dirty pleasure comes from the Configurator. My example takes eye-watering interior garishness about as far as eye-watering interior garishness can go. With the idea of matching the 'Avorio' (re: Cream) exterior paint, one of several custom '1950s and '60s' color choices, I've rendered excess in 'Rosso' (re: Red) Alacantara. The headliner, the dash, the steering wheel, the rear parcel shelf, the elbow rest on the doors, even the matched luggage is red Alacantara. Sometime I wonder if I would actually buy crap like this if I was fantastically wealthy. The answer is always the same: "I damn sure would!"

Source: Ferrari

The Ugly: Renault F1 and Flavio Briatore. Good Lord, has there ever been a P.R. nightmare worse then this ess-storm? Even Michael Vick electrocuting dogs didn't stir up this much international press. To summarize: Flavio Briatore is (was) the team principal for Renault's Formula One team. He has won championships, fathered illegitimate children, and never ever buttoned his top button, all signs of a good F1 crew chief.

Last season, Renault was doing so hawt. After rehiring 2005 and 2006 champion Fernando Alonso, who had left Renault for a short stint at Mclaren, Renault had high hopes for 2008. By the penultimate round at Singapore, it was obvious Renault's entire season was a loss. To make a long story short, Briatore instructed his number two driver, Nelson Piquet Jr. to wreck his Renault R28 so that Alonso could scoot out of the pits in front of the Safety Car, essentially handing the Spainiard a hollow victory. Good Ole Flavio got caught, Piquet Jr. testified against Briatore in front of the World Motor Sport Council, and Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosen invited Briatore to France so that he could get his pink slip in person. My my, how the mighty and chest hair-laden have fallen.

In a year where Formula One press has outshined Formula One racing, (and some dern fine racing at that,) this is the final pugnale nella parte posteriore for a sport beleagured by cheating and bad management. Hopefully next years F1 season has a few more highlights on the track, and less Nazi-themed sex parties and rampant race-fixing. . . .oh, those crazy Europeans . . .

Source: Speedtv.com

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