Saturday, October 22, 2011

Less than a car width away from the race cars that go past at about 120mph.. exhilerating. Speedfest 2011

Caught in a flood or dust storm? The early 40's Flxible is up to past the floor in something

Do Hondas have a 3rd tailight problem? in yesterday nights commute I found 3 with blown lightbulbs

I've noticed that full size General Motors trucks and SUVs have a problem with the daytime running lights, one is always out, usually the passenger side one. I've posted about that before

Mini's racing in the vintage racing event San Diego has every September, at the North Island Naval Air Station, Speedfest

Ferrari 250GTO out to pasture for 2decades after doing time in a high school auto shop class, donated by a former race car team owner

3589 was registered to a high school. It was donated to them by Rosebud Racing in Texas when they quit racing in 1964. IT was just an old, worn out racecar. The School kept it until 1970 in the auto shop with students just messing around with it. They then advertised it in Hemmings as a 250GT. A guy in Ohio I believe bought it with the thought of making a quick buck. That didnt pan out, so he put it out to pasture. Literally. The car sat on a trailer in a field for almost 20 years. It is now fully restored and owned by Bert Steiger in Switzerland last I heard. This car was originally raced by Mike Parkes and Innes Ireland among others.
Found on

Military Pit Crew Challenge video

Superbird in Wynn's advertising

No idea where I found this image.

Caught in the act

Shoulda brought the boat to work, not the bike

this photo was captioned Rome. Found on

Today is brought to you by the letter G


How many do you know? Conversely, how many have you no idea what they were?
I wonder how many I forgot... Comments by Roadster2005 are proof I forgot 2.. the GTI for one, and the GLX by Ford... an Escort with the sporty look if I recall correctly

here is the link to what they are: 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good advertising phrase Cadillac is now using

It's one thing to hug corners, It's another to leave them weak in the knees

Found in the Nov 2011 Automobile magazine.

Slogans of Cadillac advertisements

"You Can Kill a Horse but not a Cadillac (1905)"
"Every Cadillac is a Dewar Trophy" (1911)
"Cadillac Shows the World truly magnificent a motor car can be!" (1937)
"It's a "Who's Who" of the Highway!" (1952)
"More Eloquent Than Words!" (1952)
"Those who want the finest want - the Standard of the World!" (1953)
"Cadillac car is one of the soundest investments in the automotive world!" (1953)
"They'll Take The Cadillac Tonight!" (1955)
"It Gives a Man a New Outlook... Cadillac" (1957)
"Finest Expression of Motordom's Highest Ideal!" (1957)
"Magnificent Beyond All Expectations! - Cadillac" (1957)
"A New Realm of Motoring Majesty! - The 1959 Cadillac"
"Cadillac - a new measure of automotive supremacy." (1959)
"Cadillac ... the new measurement of greatness" (1959)
"Cadillac ... universal symbol of excellence" (1959)
"Cadillac ...World's Best Synonym for Quality!" (1959)
found on

Evolution of the Chevy bowtie logo

found in the Nov 2011 Automobile magazine

Thursday, October 20, 2011

new car comparison of the 2012 econo boxes. 2 dr, better than 35 mpg freeway, costs less than 22 thou, and having a stick shift and XM stereo with a subwwoofer would be great

Honda Civic, 18,6 thou, gets 39mpg with a automatic. 2dr, 15" wheels 195-65R15's with hubcaps , 6 airbags, great looks. 65 % US parts, 20% Japanese, 3-36 warranty. Auto tensioning seatbelts. No maintenance package.  Assembled in Alliston, Ontario Canada
But you can't get the stick shift in the upscale models. You'd have to pay 1800 for the upscale model with rims, bluetooth, and sunroof. But this model (LX?) has no factory subwoofer, No XM, No rims. Not in the 18,600 dollar model on the dealership lot, and though it's likely the best looking, it's the least well equipped.

Fiat, 18,5 thou, 38mpg, 2drs, 7 airbags,5 speed stick, new to the US after decades not in the US market, 3 models with 2 optional packages... the Gucci and the Arbarth.
The engine isn't resting on the engine mounts... it's under them. If a front end collision happens, the engine goes under the passenger compartment, instead of into it. That is damn good engineering design.
It has a download feature, that you can get info from the car computer, and look at it on your computer... even plan how to reroute for better gas mileage.
 Above... Sport model with foglights and sunroof, below... the lounge or pop... I don't know which, but it's a cabrio convertible, with the other rims
 Interior has the dash panel in the same color as the exterior.. and that is a very cool thing. You don't notice that your car interior is drab until you see a dash with paint on it like the good old days
 No center console for storage... but 2 cupholders up front in good reach, and two for beack seater types if you ever have any. I don't.

 the doorlocks are integral to the door handles, when you select drive and get up to 8mph, they lock automatically

 The front overhang above, the rear below.
two versions of the rims. The ones in back are great.
Rims nice, Best stereo with a Bose and subwoofer, XM, 4-50 warranty, and 3-36 bumper to bumper warranty.
Fiat has a Studio, not a dealership. They aren't dealing, they are displaying for sale. I like that. Suspension in two packages, sport and normal. I test drove the sport, and you'd have a ball at the track, but not in the daily commute on lousy California freeways.
Tires are Continentals on the Sport model 195 45 16s.. and Firestone Firehawk 185 55 15s
I test drove the ordinary, and it's comfortible.
Side mirrors have a convex - normal split, and the convex is necessary as well as safe, because you can't look over your shoulder to see what is in the lane you're trying to merge into. 3 year, 36 thou free maintenance, and that means clutch and brakes in addition to oil changes. Wow. Best  maintenance deal going so far. Fiat even has a ownership club. That is cool.
Assembled in Toluca Mexico, 59% Mexican parts... and they are looking to make a plant in Illinois.
Fiat has been making cars since 1895, and are standing behind the car to a unheard of extant, if it becomes inoperable and you are more than a 100 miles from home, you get a 1000 dollar reimbursement for lodging, meals, adn car rental expenses if the problem is covered by the warranty in the first 4 years (mileage not relevant) they call it "Trip Interruption Coverage"
Fiat was reviewed by Motortrend, here is it

Hyundai Velaster 18,3 thou, 40mpg, rims nice, tires 215-45 17, 3 dr hatch, no 2 door. Ouch. 6 spd stick, optional subwoofer, great cupholders, armrests, comfortable seats, and deep center storage, cool door handles, 6 airbags, LoJack and a demobilization security system, best warranty at 10 year 100thou and 5 yr 60k bumper to bumper. Best radio display, XM, touchscreen, bass boost makes up for the lack of subwoofer, nice transmission shifting and clutch.  Made in Korea
Front looks fine
Little busy around the bumper,
Great door handles above... innovative. Solid too.

I think the designer had too much to drink the day they worked up the look of the profile. The quarter panels to the back of the front doors... ugly is not too strong a word.
Center exhaust... good looking.

Smart, 16-19k. 40mpg, only 70 horsepower, hate the transmission shifting... even the cool paddle shifter couldn't change my mind about the shift... feels like someone hits the brakes lightly every time it shifts. EVERYTIME! You do the head and upper body bob. Not fun. Ouch. Optional subwoofer and XM, but you doens't sound right with the factory setting of front to rear balance. It's too much front. You can't adjust that, Ouch. 8 airbags, 4 yr 50 thou warranty, no stick shift, just horrible automated 5 spd. Yuck. Nice rims, 2 dr that ought to have been a 2 seater. No way the back seats are useful, and I don't want a 4 seater. No kids, no passengers, just get me to work and back comfortably is all I want. Part of the Mercedes Benz network/dealership, it has the nicest studio, and the most incredible drive it in for service you'll ever experience. Stunning. Too bad I hate the transmission.
Love the tires being this close to the corners of the car, you'll never scrape going into or out of the parking lots off the streets... that is very annoying that there is so much overhang in so many cars. Not the smart... I bet curbs or offroad would be a snap too.

Above, front tires, below - back tires

Mini coupe, 31 thou, only gets 35 mpg, stick, rims, only 4 airbags, factory subwoofer, XM, 2 dr, nice rims, good looks, assembled in Oxford England, 4-50 warranty. The mini doesn't have salesmen, it has motoring advisors. I like that, but when I went into the San Diego Mini dealership, 100th in America, I was ignored, then found that the one sales person was offensive. Best maintenance package I think (can't recall the years and miles limits) but they take the oil, clutch, brakes, rotors, wiper blades, spark plugs and o2 sensor. Wow. Too bad it's 33% overpriced by the competition.

Ford Fiesta 17,6 thou and Focus 21 thou, both have 40mpg, only have 4 drs in hatch or sedan, look fine, Sony stereo with XM and Subwoofer, 3-36, stick or auto, rotten 4.9% apr, 5 or 7 airbags. But no stick on the high dollar optioned out model. Was offered a coke by a random salesguy. Wow. Only time that happened in a dozen different manufacturers dealerships. Salesman didn't know the Fiesta or Focus. Not good to have to look up every thing I ask about. Seriously, know the cars you are selling, especially the new models. for a comparison website from Ford to check out the Fiesta and Focus.

Kia Rio, 17thou, no stick, 40mpg, hub caps... yuck. Ok looks, 6 airbags, XM, optional subwoofer, steering wheel controls for stereo are optional, Ties for best warranty at 10 yr 100k, Made in Korea. Salesperson wasn't interested in telling me about the car, kept asking "Where is this going?" reply, "I'm comparing cars with better than (you know the rest) and the dealerships to see where I'll buy my new car this month, plus I'm posting this on my website" and I was brushed off onto another salesman. Yeah, too busy to try to sell me on a Kia. And Kia owns the dealership.

Toyota Yaris, 16,8 thou, uggg hupcaps, 2 dr stick, 9 airbags, XM with FM HD (only one I found) but no subwoofer, No armrests! WTF? 3-36 warranty, 2 yr 25 thou free maintenance of oil changes and that ordinary stuff. Front and back sunroof, that is new to me... cool too. But, Toyota give college students twice the discount they give military. Another WTF, and a post telling you I hate that , and boycott Toyota till that changes to equal  or better

VW Golf tdi is a diesel, 25thou, 42 mpg, stick, 2dr, 17" rims, 8 airbags, no subwoofer, XM, 3-36 bumper to bumper, 4-50k powertrain, and 3 year 35 month maintenance of oil changes and the normal. Great seats, big hatchback opening, full size spare, no coke machine, Ouch. Glove box gets an AC vent to keep sodas chilled while you drive with AC. Heater does that smae glove box when using the heater. Most unusual, and unique feature.

Nissan Versa, 13,7 stripped without even power windows, 17,2 normal. 38 mpg, 4dr Ouch. No stick, just auto, 6 airbags, XM is optional, no subwoofer, NO ARMRESTS, Ouch. 3-36 warranty, Looks only ok. Salesman was impressively knowledgeable and nice.

Chevy Cruze ECO 20 thou, not in a 2 dr, looks very good, and has the coolest interior. If they made a 2 dr, I'd buy it. They don't. First time in Chevy history that they don't make a 2 dr? I think so. Even the Pontiac Soltice, and Saturn Ion were roadster 2 doors... I call them Chevy anyhow, but they were killed off, and now Chevy doesn't make a 2 dr econo car. If you want a Vette, hell yes you get a 2 dr. For about 60 thou to start.
anyway, 3-36 warranty, great lighweight rims, and other lightweight stuff like body panels of plastic are many of the engineered to get the best gas mileage in the 2012 cars comparison, and it's the best selling new car in the US. XM, no Subwoofer, poor armrests that I don't like, cupholders that you find are under your elbow in front of the drivers armrest barely, very comfortable car. 10 airbags

Anyone have any insight into anything I missed? Let me know. I'll post it here to share with everyone.

In summary, most impressive car was the Fiat, Ford and Chevy are idiots for not selling a 2 dr stick with a factory subwoofer and at least 40mpg,

Mini salesperson pissed me off. No shit.

Buick, Mazda, Chrysler, Dodge, Scion, and MINI don't make a better than 35 mpg car.

There are way too many cars competing for the 2 dr better than 35 mpg for mediocre impressions when a buyer walks in... but that doesn't phase the dozen dealerships I went to here in San Diego. I wonder if anyone rates or compares them with other from the same manufacturer, or the competition.

Though I asked at all dealerships about the cost of a coke, only one took the hint and offered me a free coke. Geez, is a dollar to impress a new customer too much to get them to buy a 20 thousand dollar car? Stupid dealerships.

Kia should try harder to sell cars, they've got a decent package, but their sales people aren't up to the challenge.

Nissan Leaf? 5 thousand dollar dealership markup. On a 35,600 dollar car. So you ain't getting it for less tha 40 thou.

The most impressive dealership ambience and looks? The Mercedes (and Smart Center) at the 163 and Baboa, Marvin Brown Cadillac, MINI of San Diego, Bob Baker Fiat in Carlsbad.. the Fiat place has Italian American salesguys... it may be corny, but I thinks it is cool as hell to have a guy with an Italian accent talk to me about Fiat. I'll say the same about any ethnically related car maker... British selling MG's, Rolls, etc... Japanese selling Hondas, Koreans selling Hyundais, French selling Citreons, you get the point. It's cool to have someone with the cultural fundamentals telling you why cars from their country are superior to the others. I have respect for that.

 but that Poway Nissan showroom has the sales manager desk manned front and center. That is very cool. No side office off the side and out of sight and sound from the customers and salespeople, the manager was smack in the center of it all, and walked over to say "What can I help you with?"

a 20,000 dollar car is about 420 a month for 60 months

LoJack costs about 800 bucks

It's not important how many airbags the car has, you are only sitting in the drivers seat, so learn how many are protecting you. No, I don't have passengers 99% of the time. They can take their chances, or buy their own car with 3 airbags around them . Backseat passengers get 2 at most anyway.

Buying a car with a 3 36 warranty, and then having to pay 1500 for a extended warranty doesn't make sense when you can buy a car with a 5 or 6 year warranty. Even better, get the 10 year 100000 mile warranty
Insurance costs
The Hyundai will cost me $480, the Fiat: $522 every six months

Marc commented that the Sonic might be in this comparison... but it's not a 2 door.. and it's ugly. Yeah, I know that the Hyundai Velaster is also an ugly 3 door hatchback.. but it's got a hell of a lot more going for it. Buy the Cruze Eco instead of the ugly Sonic if you want an awesome 42 mpg car, but don't mind 4 doors. The CarGal bought one... and loves the hell out of it.