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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.3

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 4:18PM | By: John Welch

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.3 test 1-1

Three days from the premiere American road racing event, The Petit Le Mans Powered by MAZDA 6, and my excitement is palatable. There is another new GT2 team, and the time charts for several days of practice are giving us some interesting insight as to how the actual race may shape up.

We have reviewed Audi's heroics at last year's race, and given you a brief history of the first two Petit Le Mans. Now we are moving on to this year’s race. While we mere mortals sleepily went about our daily, piss-ant lives over the last week, the teams in Braselton have been playing high-stakes chicken with each other.

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:21PM | By: John Welch

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of test 1-1

Saturn has always been an eclectic brand. Offering nothing more then two different versions of the same car for nine long years (the 'S' which came in SOHC and DOHC versions between 1990 and 1998), Saturn always found another way to connect with customers. Their dealership policies concentrated on a personal relationship with the customer, simple to understand pricing, and friendly rapport keeping the showrooms packed. Competing for the GM design teet with GM's other brands was often a losing battle for Saturn, leaving them with sub-standard products at a time when the Japanese and Koreans were pumping out higher quality vehicles for the same price.

No amount of customer loyalty can make up for a bevy of off-putting products, leading to a serious decline in sales. Saturn is looking at moving less then 100,000 units this year, way down from Saturn's sales peak, 286,000 units in 1994.This year alone overall sales for the division have dropped 58 percent. Instead of killing Saturn, ala Pontiac, the General is adding this beleaguered brand to the auction block, along with Saab, Opel, and Hummer.

It looks like Roger Penske is interested. Recently, certain details of his purchase have come to light, clearing up exactly what the (real) 'most interesting man in the world' plans to do with his new baby . . .

Web Review; Camaro vs Mustang- Ad Agency Edition

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 12:09PM | By: John Welch

Web Review; Camaro vs Mustang- Ad Agency Edition test 1-1

I decided it was time to review a website from a more pedestrian, 'every-man' car company. Over the last several weeks we have reviewed the Porsche 911 GT3 website, the Mercedes SLS AMG website, and other high-end digital brochures. Though fun to play around with, these sites are not incredibly realistic, considering all of these cars topped six figures once I had optioned them to the gills. Options I found to be completely necessary, thankyouverymuch.

So, name a car us poor folk might actually be able to afford, some day in the distant future? Scrolling around our blog, there has been a lot of news about GM, some good, some not so good. Most of it, honestly, is not so good. What better example of a Red-State, Go- Fearing Man-Car than the Chevy Camaro? Uhm, the Ford Mustang, if for no other reason than its advanced age and lack of prolonged gaps in its production cycle. While the Camaro was axed in 2002, Mustang production has soldiered on continuously, uninterrupted since 1964.

So whose website is shiny and tempting enough to make me take out that second mortgage? Read on . . .

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.2

On: Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 11:46AM | By: John Welch

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.2 test 1-1

Dr. Don Panoz (say 'PAY-nose') is the savior of sports car racing in America. NASCAR began dominating national media towards the end of the twentieth century, leaving little room for other forms of motorsport. Trans-Am was a shell of its former self and several accidents were beginning to erode support for big time GT1 racing. After the rise and decline of Group C in the late eighties, the fate of road racing on American shores was becoming darker and grimmer by the day. Dr. Panoz decided to stop the hemorrhaging and created an endurance race to rival any run in Europe or the rest of the world.

The Petit Le Mans.


Discovery HD Theater to Present The WRC

On: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 2:01PM | By: John Welch

Discovery HD Theater to Present The WRC test 1-1

The World Rally Championship left American televisions without much fanfare way back in 2004. Personally I have missed it, a lot. Rivaling F1 for heart-stopping, made-for-TV drama, the WRC has continued on without its US audience just fine. Discovery HD knows we want our dirt/ice/tarmac/snow/cliff racing back, and they plan on obliging us with close-up HD-maximized rally coverage, starting on October 4th with a six-hour 'Dummies Guide to WRC', featuring shows dedicated to the drivers, cars, and specific stages of the WRC . . .

Chevrolet Camaro Z28 News

On: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:20PM | By: John Welch

Chevrolet Camaro Z28 News test 1-1

GM is such a tease. They're always telling me what I want to hear, and I always eat it up even though I know 'what I want to hear' is usually too good to be true. GM dangles tasty morsels of automotive erotica in front of my face and then sweeps the cars I lust after back under the rug at the first sign of political or economic turmoil. The examples are endless: Pontiac G8/Chevy Caprice/G8 ST/Buick Grand National, The CTS-V Wagon/Coupe, and the Camaro Z28 all spring to mind.
Not much can be said for the poor G8 and its possible offspring, and the CTS-V Wagon is very much in doubt, but the Camaro goodness is still in the pipeline. Following is news on the Z28 and a few people who couldn't wait until GM got around to making it . ..

Cars That Were Too Kewl For the U.S.

On: Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 1:04PM | By: John Welch

Cars That  Were Too Kewl For the U.S. test 1-1

Everyone has one car/car moment that they emotionally tie to their childhood. It may have been the family's first Camaro, an old Bronco that Dad used for hunting, Mom bringing home the neighborhood's first Taurus. Whatever the story may be, everyone has one. Mine involves a tricky Euro-brick with a faulty front suspension and the baddest wing this side of an Airbus— the Merkur XR4Ti. Muh Daddy considered himself a classy, adventurous Gent, the sort that would take a chance on an unknown import simply because it was wicked-fast. He woke me up at 5 a.m. one spring Saturday (if I'm not mistaken I was seven years old . . . maybe eight) the first time I had seen 5 a.m. on purpose, and instructed me to get dressed and head out to the drive way as quickly as possible. There it sat, ominous dark blue paint gleaming behind thick, fresh central Florida dew, our brand new Merkur Whatsitsfourteeeye.

More Euro Fords: The 2011 C-Max

On: Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 11:16AM | By: John Welch

More Euro Fords: The 2011 C-Max test 1-1

Several weird segments have popped up in the American auto industry lately. Four door hatch-backs, itty bitty city cars, narrow work vans, and seven passenger car/van double mini-people carrier thingees like the Mazda 5 and the Kia Rondo. All of these concepts are direct descendants of, or inspired by, European products. BMW, VW, and Porsche have the 'shooting-brake', foor door hatch-back thing covered, while Ford, Mercedes and others have produced 'city cars' for decades. Ford recently had the bright idea to begin importing its European product to the U.S. market . . . something about Euro-Fords being dynamically superior to the American-produced crap-wagons currently sold in Ford dealerships. The first European Ford product to actually go on sale was the Ford Transit Connect, a urban sized cargo van, similar to the Daimler Sprinter. Next we will get the new Fiesta, followed by the new Focus and the Ford C-Max.

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.1

On: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 2:59PM | By: John Welch

Petit Le Mans Preview Pt.1 test 1-1

While all the other blogs are jet-setting to Germany for the Frankfurt Auto Show, we're sitting here in Florida begging for a reprieve from the oppressive heat. Not being there, or having any sort of operating budget, makes it impossible to compete, high-res image for high-res image. If you'd like to know more about the latest-greatest garbage-fueled nine passenger land-yacht, I direct you to a more qualified source, AOL's Autoblog.

If a steamy tale of woe and redemption involving the finest road-going machinery on the planet is what you're looking for, well, I've got that covered. The time: October 2008. The place: Braselton, Georgia. The man: Scottish-born Allan McNish . . . the circumstances: un-effing-believable.


Monza Does Not Disappoint

On: Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 12:14PM | By: John Welch

Monza Does Not Disappoint test 1-1

The Italian Grand Prix lived up to its historic billing as the fastest and one of the most exciting races on the F1 calendar. Force India continued to show their increased competency, even after losing their number one driver to Ferrari. McLaren showed inpressive pace, unfortunately Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the race on the third to last lap. The story of the weekend however, Brawn GP return to dominance with a one-two finish!

Required Viewing: This Weekend's Racing

On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:58PM | By: John Welch

Required Viewing: This Weekend's Racing test 1-1

It's a fairly slow weekend coming up, September 11th through the 13th. There's the omni-present NASCAR and Formula One races, split between Speed and ABC/ESPN. There is a Speed World Challenge race that will be broadcast on Friday, during work, of course. I'll set that DVR as soon as I get home. Still waiting for Discovery HD to begin showing their HD rally coverage, and there is no ALMS or Grand-Am. Both series are gearing up for the final races of the season.

Friday, September 11th

8:00am       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix practice, Monza

12:00pm     SPEED: NASCAR Sprint Cup practice, Richmond

2:00pm       SPEED: SCCA SPEED World Challenge, Elkhart Lake, Wis.

7:30pm       ESPN2: NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Richmond

3:00am       ESPN2: NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Ind.

Saturday September 12th

8:00am      SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix qualifying, Monza

11:00am    SPEED: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, Madison, Ill.

2:30pm      SPEED: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Madison, Ill.

7:30pm      ABC: NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Richmond

Sunday September 13th

6:00am       SPEED: GP2 Series, Monza

7:30am       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Monza

4:30pm       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Monza


Source: Racer.com