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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

Seems Even $250,000 Can't Buy Batman's Bottom-Shelf Ride

On: Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 5:04PM | By: Andrew W Davis


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I’m not the best person to cover this—but you’re stuck with me so suck it up—but this Batmobile is TERRIBLE, and the fact that some sucker was willing to offer a cool quarter-mil for something that looks like it was cobbled together by a Hollywood prop shop filled with half-blind craftspeople who thought they were constructing a Cirque du Soleil stage prop is just…

*Whew.* Ok, now that that’s (somewhat) out of my system, let’s get back to this being the worst-looking Batmobile ever. [Yes, I know about that internally-lit one with MASSIVE fins, but at least that baby didn’t look like a busted-up and half-melted G.I. Joe Night Raven.]

Batmobiles start for me with the “Tumbler,” just as the films quite literally begin with Batman Begins (not least because there’s no CGI used on the latest Bat ride, even as it evolves in that continuing series, scale models or not).

But nobody’s selling those, so Auctions America had to make do…


Finally! An Auto Auction Lot That Comes With A Lifetime Mating-Prevention Guarantee!

On: Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 11:49AM | By: Andrew W Davis


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Have a problem with getting too many women? I, being such a person, know what it’s like; they follow you everywhere, looking for any excuse to hop in your car and go…wherever.

This is why I’ve been considering replacing my eight-passenger 1989 Olds Custom Cruiser. If only I could find something that would not only seat one (and some groceries) and—most importantly—would instantly kill the mating instinct of the human female on sight.

As it turns out my ideal lust-killer’s been around since the 1980s: the Litestar Pulse. And if only I’d been at Auctions America’s Auburn Indiana sale last weekend—and been suffering from a tragic-yet-comical brain injury—I could’ve been the sad… I mean LUCKY guy who traded $22,000 actual American dollars for Lot 4052, a “1990 Reconstructed Pulse Litestar.”

Way to go, dude! No more girl-sourced cooties for you!


Willie Nelson's Former Band Bus Bombs At Auction

On: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 12:01PM | By: Andrew W Davis


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It would seem as though too much of the Red Headed Stranger has rubbed off his former tour bus as—in the face of a $60k-$80k auction estimate—the 1986-model-year coach “Me & Paul” pulled down just $29,250 at Auctions America’s Sept.1 Auburn, Indiana sale.

[Hopefully this buyer will want to hang onto their purchase as the seller of this bus paid $48,550 less than a year ago at a Toronto auction, giving themselves a quick $19,300 haircut.]

Anyhoo, this thing is everything you’d expect a hard-worn band-bus to be, excluding most of the hard-worn. Still, if it wasn’t for the Willie Nelson history—and perhaps the terrible murals it’s coated in—this could easily be the crap-hauler for any C-level wannabe band.

Then again, maybe now it is…


Dogged Dallas-Man Finds Stolen Car, 42 Years Later

On: Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 1:39PM | By: Chris Salamone


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This one’s for the record books. After almost 42 years of grim pursuit, Dallas resident Robert Russell finally located his stolen 1967 Austin Healey 3000 – which was originally taken from his Philadelphia apartment in 1970. And, most humorously, Russell actually spotted the car on an eBay auction.

“Ever since eBay showed up, I’d check it periodically,” Russell said to The Dallas Morning News. “I checked it on Friday May 11, and there it was.”

That’s what we call persistence.


 

Bentley EXP 9 F Gets New Photos And Footage (Video)

On: Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 1:23PM | By: Chris Weiss


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Bentley's EXP 9 F SUV concept has been controversial, to say the least. At least that's the way it has seemed to be received in the western world - Bentley reportedly developed the car for China, so we'll assume they dig it over there. Whatever the case, it seems like Bentley is determined to offer an SUV, and since it's already done all the work on the EXP 9 F, we think they'll use a little, if not most, of the design from the concept in an eventual production model. In other words, get used to it because it's probably not going anywhere. Bentley helps break you in with some new photos and video.

The EXP 9 F is hot off its first U.K. public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. According to at least one account, the Brits didn't like it much better than other Europeans, Americans and the general YouTube population.

That hasn't gotten Bentley down, however. Bentley reiterates its intent to build the fastest, most luxurious SUV in the world and shows the concept in some new video.


Smart USA Topples Challenger In Twitter Tussle

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 4:36PM | By: Chris Salamone


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Just yesterday, the hawk-eyed folks at Jalopnik spotted a Twitter slugmatch which validated everything we’ve learned from Jay-Z, Kanye West and 50 Cent over the years – when someone makes a polite, but witty critique about you…the best option is to respond with a less polite, but more witty comment.

The tussle began when Clayton Hove, a Twitter user and pseudo-ad critic, felt compelled to poke fun at the Smart Car. To his delight, and surprise, Smart USA responded with a complicated mathematical analysis and handy infographic. Hove, as it would turn out, merely brought a tweet to a Calculus BC fight.


Classic Car Cultist: Buick Grand National GNX

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone


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From 1978 to 1987, Buick produced a series of rear-wheel drive ‘luxury’ coupes and sedans, fondly remembered as the Regal and later Grand National models. In conjunction with a series of NASCAR victories in the Manufacturers Cups of 1981 and 1982, Buick decided to bump the company’s performance aspirations to the next level. The Grand National was born.

But not until the Grand National’s last year of production, 1987, did Buick manifest the vehicle’s full potential – in a performance-oriented GNX. For twice the cost of admission relative to a standard Grand National, the GNX entranced a mere 547 buyers for the then-staggering sum of $29,900.

Today, the GNX’s reputation has grown. What was once seen as the flagship of the bygone muscle car era is now viewed as the last bastion of American automotive glory. The 1987 Buick Grand National GNX is the car which stood on the precipice of change and laughed in the face of environmental consciousness, practicality, and – of course – vehicular impotence.


NHTSA Expands Probe, Chrysler Holds Breath

On: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 10:53AM | By: Chris Salamone


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Late last year a Lake Mary, Florida accident rose to the attention of national media. A 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee was involved in a rear-end collision, and then proceeded to explode and roast a 24-year-old male caught in a series of tragic, and unexpected, events. And, while heart-wrenching, the incident reached critical media mass not because of the vehicle, driver, or ensuing disaster. Instead, it seemed that the accident verified AND fueled an investigation already underway by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – which started a full year before, in August 2010.

Even so, up until recently, the NHTSA was set on evaluating only 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Apparently though, after a half year, the NHTSA has finally decided to broaden the scope of the agency’s investigation to include the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and…you guessed it…the 1993-2001 Jeep Cherokee. That brings the total to a whopping 5.1 million Chrysler vehicles.

The heart of the debate is the location of Chrysler’s fuel tanks. In older models, mostly made before 2005, the company placed plastic fuel tanks behind the rear axle and slightly below the rear bumper. The Center for Auto Safety alleges that such a location makes the tank more prone to leak or rupture during an impact.


Ford Rivals P.T. Barnum's Marketing Prowess, Via F-150 SSV Package

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:14PM | By: Chris Salamone


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References to mid-19th Century circus advocates aside, Ford is a company known for relentless self-promotion. Perhaps surprisingly then, in many cases Ford’s colorful advertising is backed by products which command the respect and credibility so boldly called for. But, on the flip side, the company’s crackshot public relations team occasionally over fires the marketing cannon. Ford’s recent F-150 Special Services Vehicle Package press release falls into category two.

Pictured in the press release are two images of Ford F-150s, presumably equipped with the Special Service Vehicle Package, themed appropriately for Fire Rescue and Police. And a quick scan of the release’s headlines suggests that the optional package will come at “no-charge” to fleet customers.

Of course that doesn’t mean fleet customers will get Fire Rescue or Police equipped vehicles at no charge. That would make far too much sense. In this instance, what you see…is not what you get.


NPR's 'Car Talk' To Fade Away

On: Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 10:21AM | By: Chris Salamone


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NPR’s communications department just unleashed a media blitz with an announcement which car enthusiasts have long dreaded, the day when public radio would have two fewer comedian mechanics. For the past 35 years Tom and Ray Magliozzi have recorded Car Talk at WBUR in Boston. But, as of this fall, listeners will have rely on re-produced reruns from Car Talk archives which stretch back through 25 years – while the show operated through NPR.

All is not lost, however. The brothers Magliozzi will continue to write their bi-weekly column called Dear Tom and Ray, remain active on the web and Facebook, and plan to contribute occasional updates to NPR’s October season of Car Talk.


Mini Sets World Record Parallel Park, Like A Boss

On: Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 3:17PM | By: Chris Salamone


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In the last two years, Guinness World Records has seen the title change hands five times for the tightest parallel park. Most notably, a German driver named Ronny Wechselberger achieved total victory last year, emergency braking into home via Volkswagen Polo, while garnering millions of internet views shortly thereafter. But last month, Wechselberger’s record was smashed by Patrik Folco, who managed to slide into a gap which measured a mere 8.66 inches wider than Mr. Folco’s vehicle. As it would turn out, not even 8.66 inches was small enough to ward off all challengers.

On the heels of an already impressive parallel parking record, Chinese stuntman and driver extraordinaire, Han Yue, laid waste to the competition – drifting to eternal glory at a mere 5.91 inches beyond the length of his China-market special edition Mini.

And this was no accident. Mini organized Yue’s world record attempt to occur in conjunction with the launching of a new special edition Mini, aptly named The Chinese Job.