Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us



The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

SNL + Clint Eastwood = Best Spoof Ever (Videos)

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:55AM | By: Chris Salamone


SNL's Bill Hader as Clint Eastwood test 2

 After Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” spot aired, Fox News fans everywhere collectively cringed in discomfort – well except in the UK and Canada, where Fox is banned. Many spectators were left inspired, but perhaps just as many felt confused by Eastwood’s supposed Chrysler endorsement. In our time of political jockeying and accepted corporate intertwining with the government, people raised questions about the advertisement’s intended goal. Was Chrysler selling cars or Obama’s 2012 candidacy?

As has become something of a norm in the United States, we feel compelled to be distracted or laugh at our present situation, much like the Roman Empire’s emphasis on satire or overly-aggressive sporting events. Which is what makes SNL so ridiculously entertaining: the wackier our society gets, the more material there is to comment on. Take the music videos of the 1990s and early 2000s, for example. These look like the inspirational blueprint for SNL’s vastly popular Lonely Island series. And Clint Eastwood’s original spot provides the perfect backdrop for a little SNLification. Nothing says ‘spoof’ like an aging gunslinger giving a pep talk.


Chevy Sonic: Boon or Bust?

On: Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 1:50PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Chevy Sonic: Boon or Bust? test 2

After taking a day to actually take in the game, the football fan in me managed to release my unending analysis of Super Bowl XLVI and the automotive enthusiast in me began to analyze some of the car related details of the big game. After I got over the mad jealousy of watching Eli Manning, who not too long ago received a $96 million contract, get a free (?!), yes free, Corvette Grand Sport convertible for being the Most Valuable Player on the Super Bowl winning team (talk about a pretty good day huh?), I began to evaluate the other interesting move Chevy decided to spend their money on.  

And a lot of money it was. Going with the average of $3.5 million for a 30-second spot this year's Super Bowl was fetching for commercials, and Chevy spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $5-7 million to advertise its relatively new Sonic. We got to the see the Sonic do some pretty amazing things, did we not? Fly out of an airplane, bungee jump, kick flip, create music video, and a myriad of other things we were advised not to try at home. But, for all that money, what did we as consumers learn about the Sonic? Other than the fact that it exists?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.


Chrysler Feels Lucky, Gives Clint Eastwood Shot

On: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 4:47PM | By: Chris Salamone


Clint Eastwood test 2

Last year Chrysler unveiled the “Imported from Detroit” ad campaign and the world took notice. From snazzy apparel to enthusiastic newspaper headlines and everything in between, Chrysler’s slogan struck a nerve with just about anyone who would listen – even garnering an Emmy.

And this year’s Super Bowl commercial looks to be no different…except for one big change. This time Eminem will make way for the man, myth, and legend: Clint Eastwood.

2012 will be the second year in a row that Chrysler airs a full two minute Super Bowl commercial, which has apparently become something of a growing trend among companies. The traditional 30 second advertising spot has been Norrised (a la Chuck) in favor of more expensive, entertaining, and ultimately effective campaigns which now have plenty of time to reference a happy animal, show an attractive person, make a joke, and concomitantly sell a product.


UP Design Unveils Vittoria Concept

On: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:00AM | By: Chris Weiss


UP Vittoria Concept test 2

Umberto Palermo (UP) Design has unveiled its Vittoria concept at the Qatar Motor Show. The concept, which was announced and teased last month, is a sporty coupe with some really flamboyant design elements. It gets some things right but goes awry in other ways.

Little has been published about the Vittoria, though it's rumored to have a hybrid powertrain with V-8 engine. If that's the case, it should drive as sporty as it looks. The only other hard numbers we've seen are its measurements: 4,750 mm long, 1,960 mm wide and 1,250 mm tall.


 

The New Tesla Roadster? PG Elektrus Elise-Based Sports EV

On: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss


PG Elektrus test 2

The Tesla Roadster was discontinued in the US last year and there's at least a few years before we see a replacement. One German manufacturer is stepping into the void and offering a Roadster-esque EV also built atop a Lotus chassis. The PG Elektrus promises even more all-electric performance than the Roadster...and a whole lot more price.

The Elektrus may look more Fisker Karma with that toothy grille and vehicle-mounted solar panel, but it bears more in common with the Roadster. Like the Roadster, it owes its underpinnings to Lotus. While Lotus stopped production of North American Elise and Exige models due to the loss of an airbag exemption, it continues to offer them in other markets.


What Lurks Beneath, Corolla Destroys Strip [Video]

On: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Salamone


Corolla Sleeper test 2

Pop quiz, what is the single most unlikely car to make an athletic showing on your local drag strip? Aside from a Smart, the third generation Toyota Corolla is probably the next worst option. But not in Australia, the land of recent Frankenstein-like mechanical recreations, this particular Corolla laid waste to the expectations of challengers and onlookers.

Such is the Tao of a true sleeper.

From the outside, the vehicle looks like an off white, straight from the dealership, people hauler which offers no indication of the devious threat lurking within. Upon further inspection, however, viewers might pick up subtle cues of hidden glory – small slicks appear menacingly cute on the vehicle’s rear wheels and few could miss the open hostility of a whining turbo.

To see the Corolla’s full aspect, one must venture further, beneath the confines of the vehicle’s outer shell.


L.L. Bean Bootmobile, Where Rubber Meets Road

On: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:18PM | By: Chris Salamone


L.L. Bean Bootmobile test 2

As L.L. Bean’s Bootmobile rolled out of the company’s Brunswick factory Tuesday, CEO Chris McCormick asked a jubilant audience of employees, “Isn’t it cool?” To which they responded, "It’s wicked cool.” But the enthusiasm didn’t stop there. Maine Hunting Shoes could be heard from the pitter pattering of feet on almost everyone in attendance.  

From a big picture perspective the Bean Bootmobile is particularly awesome when compared to Oscar Mayer’s aging and vaguely inappropriate Wienermobile. While the Wienermobile conjures images of anything BUT hotdog consumption, the Bootmobile stands as a testament to L.L. Bean’s build quality and iconic heritage. Nothing says ‘buy this boot’ like a 13-foot tall, 21-foot long Maine Hunting Shoe strapped onto the remains of another enduring symbol of quality, the Ford F-250 Super Duty.

Something tells us a Subaru Forester Bootmobile wouldn’t receive the same street cred. Well, at least outside of Maine.


Car On Roof, Hoax?

On: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 2:28PM | By: Chris Salamone


Saturn on Roof test 2

We’ve all seen stacking Tupperware, cats on dogs, and even a rat on a cat on a dog – almost has a ring to it. But as of 1:30 AM on Wednesday, a new stacking combination has emerged as an incredible feet of cunning. What makes this latest balancing act so breathtaking? Local police, firemen, and possibly even the great David Copperfield cannot logically explain how a Fresno, California car thief managed to land a green Saturn so perfectly on the edge of an apartment complex’s roof.

The current theory, divined by an imaginative group of officials, suspects that the Saturn hit a nearby curb at high speed, launched off a set of small garden rocks, and soared to rooftop glory.


Classic Car Cultist: Pontiac Aztek

On: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 1:17PM | By: Chris Salamone


2003 Pontiac Aztek test 2

The Pontiac Aztek?! How can a vehicle which tops Edmunds’ “100 Worst Cars of All Time” and ranks 39th in AOL’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” be featured as a classic? While not a mainstream classic – to be sure – the Aztek was a vehicle of immeasurable, yet quirky practicality that charmed nearly 30,000 sales per year from a dedicated following. But the Aztek looked like some sort of pseudo-futuristic Orwellian disaster – a fact which has landed countless criticisms.

Love it or hate it, the car’s freaky looks and uber practicality are precisely what made this vehicle a classic among certain demographics. Ok, fine. Generation X hardly qualifies as a demographic.


Detroit News Columnist Blasts GM For Saab Collapse

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 12:05PM | By: Chris Salamone


Saab Factory Workers Departing After Being Informed Of Bankruptcy test 2

Issued today, Daniel Howes delivered a gut-wrenching opinion column in The Detroit News which effectively decried Saab as the ‘neglected stepchild’ of GM’s scheme for worldwide automotive colonization. Considering Saab CEO Victor Muller filed for bankruptcy on December 19, after years of questionable GM leadership and a final rejection of the proposed Chinese restructuring, Howes’ article would appear to be accurate.

However, in the spirit of fairness, let us not forget that a theoretical opportunity still remains during the bankruptcy process for a buyer to step in – a fact that GM and Saab execs are certainly aware of. Further, GM’s initial Saab makeover was anything but neglected. The company gave Saab the full American treatment, intended to take Saab from the quirky nether realm of Swedish aircraft devotees to a mainstream public.

The problem: GM failed to capitalize on the makings of Saab’s trademark oddball practicality.


World's Ugliest Supercar Now On Sale

On: Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


World's Ugliest Supercar Now On Sale test 2

There are ostentatious, excessive and gaudy cars and then there are cars that are just plain 'WTF were they thinking'. The Anliker "999 Red Gold Dream" Mercedes SLR McLaren is 100 percent in the latter category. It's one thing to cover a hot supercar like the SLR in weird aerodynamic parts and expensive accents, but it's another thing to pretty much destroy the car's styling with a lip gloss-red paint and gaudy gold. This is one of the most heinous pieces of tunage I've ever seen. And if you're wealthy, you now have a chance at owning it.

The car was modified by Swiss designer Ueli Anliker several years ago. The car's modifications are primarily cosmetic with tasteless things like 24-karat gold-plated wheels, ruby-encrusted lug nuts, gold-trimmed interior and ruby-covered drive components. It even has 11 lbs. of gold dust mixed in with its paint. All in all, the 999 Red Gold Dream cost about $5.4 million in parts alone.

Anliker still plans some engine modifications that will push the SLR's twin-turbo V-8 up around the '999' mark. A garish number for an unbelievably garish car.