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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

AutoShopper AutoArt Part One: Interiors

On: Fri, May 7, 2010 at 3:50PM | By: John Welch

Ford Fairlaine Interior test 2

Central Florida offers an embarrassing gluttony of weird and wonderful automobiles. Excellent weather, no road salt, decent, pothole-free highways—whatever the reason, cars 'keep' well in this state.

'Shopper staffers caught a wide variety of these rolling Mona Lisas on film (albeit digital film) in 2009. This post begins a three-part series showcasing some of the interesting car-stag we have collected over the past year. Part One: Interiors . . .

The Future of An Oil-Driven Economy

On: Thu, May 6, 2010 at 9:04AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Future of An Oil-Driven Economy test 1-1

There is no doubt that oil is the resource that makes nearly every component of the US economy function, either directly or indirectly. It provides 40 percent of the nation’s power supply and provides a whopping 97% of the country’s fuel used for our transportation system, including cars, trucks, airplanes, etc. We have put our entire economy (and means of survival) in the hands of a non-renewable resource that may be used up within the next 30 years.

Infiniti Falls Prey To The Recall Virus

On: Tue, May 4, 2010 at 12:17PM | By: John Welch

Infiniti Falls Prey To The Recall Virus test 1-1

Break out the laudanum and oxygen tents, we've got Recall Fever! Today's lucky contractee, (drummrollllllllllll) Infinity! Or, Infiniti, whichever. Why yes, even Nissan's severely swoopy luxury brand has fallen pray to the Recall virus, just like counterparts Chevrolet and Dodge, yesterday. It's going around folks; Toyota is still taking antibiotics. And having relapses.

Terrible disease, this "Recall Fever." It's so nasty it will even attack parts of the automotive anatomy intended to keep us safe. The Porsche Panamera was affixed with seatbelts whose tendencies leaned more toward "Lynch Mob" than "Luxury Missile." So it seems with Infiniti, we have a similar safety system mutiny. The dreaded Airbag Narcolepsy. Read on for more information on this devastating ailment . . .

Ford Motor Company to Phase Out Crown Victoria

On: Tue, May 4, 2010 at 11:15AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Motor Company to Phase Out Crown Victoria test 1-1

In recent car news, Ford has announced that they will be phasing out the infamous Crown Victoria. The car that everyone knows as a police squad car will no longer bear the Crown Victoria model name, but Ford has no intention of forgoing its contract to provide vehicles for the police department, a segment that provides over 65,000 sales per year to the Ford Motor Company.


Toyota Is Not A Bum!

On: Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:15AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Toyota Is Not A Bum! test 1-1

Up until recently, Toyota has essentially been the Japanese version of Rocky Balboa.

The little company from Japan threw themselves into the ring with the big three of the automotive world (you can decide who was Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Ivan Drago). On October 31, 1957 Toyota Motor Sales dressed up like one of the heavyweight American car companies for the very first time. They set up shop on US soil in what was essentially the automotive version of a dingy gymnasium: An abandoned Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. The brazen car company started selling cars the very next year, and sold about as many cars as there are two syllable words in Rocky's vocabulary. An underwhelming 288 vehicles in all staggered off the floors, 287 Crown sedans and one whole Land Cruiser. The future looked bleak for the heavy underdog of the automotive world.

But Toyota was not to be denied. The Landcruiser continued as the flagship model until Toyota hit the market with a stunning flurry of blows to their opponents. The extremely popular Corona was introduced in 1965; that helped nearly triple sales almost overnight.

Then Toyota brought the haymaker, in 1968, in the form of the Corolla, the car that would end up being the most popular automobile ever produced. After a few decades of dedication (running up mountains, doing tons of sit-ups, and chopping down trees presumably), Toyota worked at building a solid, practical, safe car for the entire middle class. The little upstart company stood toe-to-toe with the big boys for 12 rounds of showroom floor battle and did not falter. They had arrived, and proved they should not be underestimated any longer.

From 1990-2007 Toyota more than doubled its share in the US market, going from 7.5% to 16.3%. With an eye on value and reliability, Toyota grew into a juggernaut with cars like the Camry that became the most popular car sold in the United States 11 out of 12 years from 1996-2008. Then the Prius became the first mass produced hybrid, and the first hybrid to sell a million vehicles in May of 2008. Even with the economic problems in that same year,

Toyota TKO'd GM as global sales champion, and became the first automaker to hold the title, other than The General, since 1931. It would be a glorious finish to a movie, but alas life does not always imitate art.

Grand-Am Post-VIR Update

On: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:31PM | By: John Welch

The Famous Tree at Turn Twelve test 2

The Grand American Road Racing Series started the season off with a tremendously entertaining Rolex 24 at Daytona. A brand new team, Action Express, won the race. Utilizing a passenger SUV-derived engine, and a cast-off Riley chassis from Brumos Porsche, Action Express fought off the might of the Chip Ganassi BMW Rileys all night and into the next morning. After twenty four trips around the dial, Action Express was on top of the podium, and a spectacular season was underway.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is the support/feeder series for Grand Am. Think of it as GP2 for American sports car racing. They raced in Daytona and at every Grand Am date since. The series is comprised of road-going GT machinery, divided into two classes, Gran Turismo (redundant anyone?) and Street Tuner. GT and ST from here on.

The last race weekend, at Virginia International Raceway (or VIR) featured heart stopping excitement around every corner. The Rolex Series is covered in this post, Continental Challenge in Part Two . . .


Top 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Car From A Private Seller

On: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 7:04PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Top 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Car From A Private Seller test 1-1

Buying a privately owned used car? Do you know what questions you should ask before you buy? Buying a used car from a private seller can be an unnerving experience, but there’s a lot you can do to make sure you get a good deal. Here are 10 key questions to get you started on the right path. Some can be asked before seeing the car; others should be asked while you are looking at the car.

Switch Grass: The Future is Closing

On: Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 3:11PM | By: Benjamin Roussey

Switch Grass: The Future is Closing test 1-1

The debate pertaining to alternative fuel sources for our automobiles has caused a rift in this nation. One side claims electrical, the other side charges back with natural gas, for instance. Both sides have merits but neither of them have the attributes of switch grass. Switch grass? Yes, switch grass. Researchers at Oklahoma State University have discovered 4 types of grasses could be used to power a vehicle – bermudagrass, flaccidgrass, weeping lovegrass, and switchgrass – switchgrass has had the best results, based on efficiency in regards to dry biomass per dollar cost. In other words, switch grass is the most economical and plausible. Thus, science has centered its intention on switch grass.

The Transition

On: Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 9:30AM | By: Benjamin Roussey

The Transition test 1-1

The concept of a flying car has been around for decades and popularized by cartoons, such as The Jetsons, and movies, such as The 5th Element. The competition to achieve this milestone first has been covertly competitive. Perhaps you saw the 60 Minutes episode on June 14th, 2006 where the inventor Paul Moller from Davis, CA. showed off his red flying car that could elevate itself with four powerful rotating blades. Perhaps it has not been a commercial success because the car aspect of this machine is and was lacking. Well, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT may have a cool alternative and it may be a little less expensive, as well. Unlike Moller’s invention, this car or airplane has wings and it is called The Transition. Huge differences are that it does not have the speed or power of Moller’s machine, and Moller’s flying aircraft can take off and land vertically.

Electric Car History And Some Arguments Challenged

On: Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 9:37AM | By: Benjamin Roussey

Electric Car History And Some Arguments Challenged test 1-1

There has been a lot of debate between the electric, gas and hybrid operating vehicle insiders and outsiders. This debate will probably not subside any time soon. Some environmentalists support the electric car movement and are forever angry that the largest auto companies squashed the development of electric cars in the early part of the 20th century.

Lake Mirror Classic Featured On SPEED

On: Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 11:31AM | By: John Welch

Lake Mirror Classic Featured On SPEED test 1-1

Back in October 2009, the Lake Mirror Classic enticed a startlingly diverse group of classic autos to converge on the mean streets of downtown Lakeland, Florida. Okay, not really "mean streets"; "yuppster boulevards" is probably a better way to put it.

Considered a premier event for many years, the Lake Mirror Classic has attracted many special guests, from Brock Yates (my personal "hero du jour") to Hurley Haywood. In 2009, our little concours by the lake saw Dennis Gage in attendance. Not only did Dennis bring his famous handle-bar 'stache, he was accompanied by his Speedvision camera crew. ("SPEED" camera crew, not "Speedvision" . . .sry.)