Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Automotive Trivia Question of the Day (July 19, 2010)

Monday, July 19th, 2010

 

What year were rear-view mirrors standard equipment on production cars?

   1908

   1916

   1930

   1955

Would you buy a car from me? – July 15, 1903

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Master SalesmanIt is our everyday experience to see thousands of car ads and drive past a seemingly unlimited number or car sales lots.  Out here in the Midwest we watch these sales lots grow and evaporate about as fast as milk weeds.    But, everything has to start somewhere and the art of selling cars in America (at least big time, consistent sales) began with Ford Motor Company on this day, July 15, 1903 in Detroit.

The fellow who ordered the first Ford car put in his order at the factory and got the car a week later.   Oh, could it be so easy anymore.  No Carfax reports or VIN number lookups, and certainly not any finance companies to deal with…just money on the barrelhead.

If you have a short comment about a car sales or buying experience, please post it here.  This is the anniversary of  car sellin’ and buyin’.

1000 Starts. Awesome.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

It is June 15, 1986. Richard Petty makes it 1000. That’s 1000 NASCAR starts. He did it at the Miller American 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan. First one to do it.

Now, that’s some drivin’!

Leave your comments and thoughts here.

For sale: Classic car with ejector seat

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The Daily Telegraph

In its day it was the ultimate James Bond gadget. Driven by Sean Connery in the film Goldfinger, the car had built-in machine guns, a bullet-proof shield, and revolving number plates.

Now the Aston Martin DB5 is due to accomplish another feat. It is expected to fetch 4-million pounds (about 5.8 million US) when it comes on the open market for the first time.

The silver car has “some rather interesting modifications,” as Q explained in the 1964 film.

These include a tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, and smoke screen. However, the most memorable of the extras, the ejector seat, does not work. But the buyer will find a canopy in the roof above the passenger seat, as well as a red button on top of the gear stick used by 007 to activate the seat.

The secret devices were deployed by Bond when he was being pursued by Goldfinger’s henchmen in the film. Most of the other gadgets are in working order, although the machine guns do not fire.

It was also used during a game of cat-and-mouse in the vehicle with a Ford Mustang in the Alps.

The car, which also featured in the 1965 film Thunderball, was bought from Aston Martin in 1969 by an American radio broadcaster for $12,000.

Mr Lee is selling the vehicle at auction in London on Oct 27 and hopes to use the proceeds to fund a foundation he runs that focuses on crime prevention.

The car, which has its original British registration number FMP 7B, is said to be in perfect working condition and has about 30,000 miles on the clock.

It is the only surviving DB5 used in the films. Another model used during filming mysteriously vanished from an airport hangar in Florida in 1997.

Peter Haynes, of RM Auctions, which is selling the car, said: “After the car was used in Thunderball, Aston Martin sold it to Mr Lee who has owned it ever since. He had to really persuade Aston Martin to sell it to him, and they did on condition they could use it for promotional purposes whenever they wanted.”

He added: “The car is up and running. You can use the smoke screen and oil slick discharge, the revolving number plates and activate the bullet-proof shield at the back. The machine guns obviously don’t work – they never have done – but you can still press a button inside and it moves them into position.”

Mr Lee, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said: “The James Bond car has brought me much enjoyment for some 40 years.

“Even as I sell it, the car will continue to give me great pleasure as it furthers the mission of the foundation to do good around the world.”

Livio De Marchi

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Livio De Marchi was born in Venice where, though still a child, he worked on ornamental sculpture in the Venetian tradition in the workshop of a craftsman and meanwhile studied art and drawing. He displayed an astounding skill in moulding materials, transforming them with wit and panache and creating sculptures with perfection of detail, spontaneity and essence. During his artistic evolution he worked first in marble, then bronze, and eventually in wood. However wood has always been his favourite material because it affords him a vitality which other materials do not.

Since opening his own studio, Livio De Marchi has allowed his fantasy to take wing. He has a wonderful ability to “see” life, letting him carve unique sculpture. His artworks have been shown in cities all over the world including Milan, Florence, London, Paris, D

The Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum to Host Bandit Bash

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

In May 2007, a caravan of Trans Am fans recreated the rip roaring, adventure filled trip from Texarkana, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia made famous by those two lovable bad boys Burt Reynolds (Bandit) and Jerry Reed (Snowman) in the Hollywood hit,

Harley Earl-Bill Mitchell-Peter Wozena-Peter Who?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Peter Wozena (1918-2006)

Bandit Run-May 15 2010

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

With General Motors no longer manufacturing Pontiacs, the Bandit Run 2010 will celebrate a slice of American history and pay homage to the 1977 hit film

Burt Reynolds Discusses The Bandit Run

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Restore-A-Muscle-Car’s fourth annual Bandit Run is coming up soon, and this year’s event will be the biggest one yet.

In addition to more participants than ever before, this year’s event is even getting noticed by the Bandit himself, Burt Reynolds. Recently Burt sat down for an interview with the TCPalm newspaper to discuss, among other things, The Bandit Run.

Here are links to the interview: (If you want to hear just the Bandit Run discussion, skip to part 4.)

Burt Reynolds Interview – part 1

Burt Reynolds Interview – part 2

Burt Reynolds Interview – part 3

Burt Reynolds Interview – part 4

If you want to be a part of The Bandit Run, don’t worry, there’s still time to register! And it is open to anybody with any type of car — not just Trans Ams!

Find out more info about The Bandit Run here.

GM payments come 5 years early

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

GM chief executive officer Ed Whitacre made a loan repayment announcement at the company’s Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan., where he also announced that GM is investing $257 million in that factory and the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, both of which will build the next generation of the midsize Chevrolet Malibu.

GM got a total of $52 billion from the U.S. government and $9.5 billion from the Canadian and Ontario governments as it went through bankruptcy protection last year.

The U.S. considered $6.7 billion of the aid to be a loan, while the Canadian governments held $1.4 billion in loans.

Payments come 5 years early

“This is years ahead, about five years ahead of the original loan schedule,” said Whitacre, who added the repayments are a sign that the automaker is on its way toward reducing government ownership of the company.

During the financial crisis that led to GM filing for bankruptcy protection last year, the automaker closed 14 factories and shed more than 65,000 blue-collar jobs in the U.S. through buyouts, early retirement offers and layoffs. The company now employs 9,000 people in Canada and about 40,000 hourly workers in the U.S.

Company officials have said its cash flow, mainly from the sales of newer models, has been better than expected.

“We are able to repay the taxpayer because we are designing, building and selling the best cars and trucks GM has produced. Ever,” said Whitacre.

GM officials say the company’s public stock offering will take place when the markets and the company are ready.

They will not predict how much of the remaining government debt will be repaid from the stock offering, but said it likely will take years for the governments to divest themselves fully.