Posts By: Ronnie Schreiber

By on February 22, 2016

1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster Lake Maggiore Mullin Museum front 3/4 beauty shot flash © 2016 Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

Every car has a story. In the case of this 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster, it has two. Both are good stories. One, however, is the stuff of legend, and the other closer to historical truth. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2016

pothole

America’s infrastructure is decaying. Add that to the fact that we seem to prefer to fix roads rather than build them to last in the first place, and the result is that U.S. drivers are likely going to come across a pothole or two in their typical travels. The new Ford Fusion will feature a pothole mitigation system that will make that path a little smoother, allowing the car to literally skip over the road hazards.

It’s not just a matter of comfort; potholes cause a lot of damage. Per the Detroit News, the American Automobile Association released a study on Wednesday that said that damage to vehicles caused by potholes costs American drivers about $3 billion every year, and the average repair cost is about $300. TRIP says that potholes cause urban drivers each over $500 in damage on average each year. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2016

Kia Niro Band

Capitalizing on the buzz surrounding its Super Bowl ad, “Walken Closet” with Christopher Walken, Kia showed hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Optima to assembled members of the media.

Some automakers hire live musicians to perform during auto show press conferences, including some pretty big names. To burnish its credentials as a youth-oriented brand, Kia had a decent rock band made of teenage students studying at the School of Rock.

(Maybe it says something about today’s music, but the oldest kid in the band was 18 and every song the band played was a hit before he was born. T-Rex’s “Bang A Gong” was probably released before some of their grandparents had met. I think the most recent song was Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”, which came out in 1993.)

A few minutes later, I realized that marketers for the Korean automaker missed a great opportunity to further hype its midsize sedan.
(Read More…)

By on February 11, 2016

Ford SUV Leader

Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service, told attendees of a media breakfast at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show that his company will be introducing four completely new SUVs to its global portfolio.

The new SUVs will compete in market segments where the automaker currently has no product.

(Read More…)

By on February 8, 2016

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The guitar collecting world is abuzz over the destruction of a near priceless, 145-year-old guitar made by the C.F. Martin company on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum for the production of Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.”

Kurt Russell took the guitar out of Jennifer Jason Leigh’s hands and smashed it thinking it was a prop replica and not the original. Leigh’s shocked reaction was genuine as she knew she was playing the real artifact. Director Tarantino was reported to be pleased with the results; the C.F. Martin company less so.

Aren’t you glad the producers of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Miami Vice” destroyed fake Ferraris? My guess is that not very many guitar aficionados will pay to see Tarantino’s latest oeuvre.

Mayhem and destruction (not all of it real) after the jump.

(Read More…)

By on February 2, 2016

You probably don’t know much about Vigilant Systems, but the company likely knows more about you than you know about them. That because Vigilant Systems is in the business of knowing. The company has so far collected about 2.8 billion license plate photos with its network of cameras, and every month it adds another 70-80 million photos, including a timestamp of the photo and geographic location of the plate, to Vigilant Solutions’ permanent storage. They sell that data to police departments and, depending on the jurisdiction, even some private sector institutions, such as insurance companies investigating fraud.

Vigilant Solutions’ deals with government agencies have raised concerns about civil liberties, freedom of movement, privacy and mass surveillance. As Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic describes Vigilant Solutions, “your diminished privacy is their product.” (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2016

f3150_r

I work with logos in my day job and it’s always nice to see a clever logo design. Maybe I’m strange but things like the negative-space arrow in the FedEx brand excite me.

That’s why I’m a bit perplexed about the current badge Ford uses on its F-150 pickup trucks.

(Read More…)

By on January 27, 2016

Man was watching porn while driving before fatal crash_1453839159621_763835_ver1.0

Via the Detroit News, the Michigan State Police reported the death of a Detroit motorist early Sunday morning when he lost control of his car on a ramp between two city freeways, apparently distracted by the pornographic movie he was watching on his cellphone.

MSP reports that Clifford Ray Jones, age 58, was partially ejected through the sunroof when his 1996 Toyota Corolla overturned. He was wearing neither a seat belt nor his pants at the time of the accident. (Read More…)

By on January 26, 2016

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Before U.S. importer Max Hoffman convinced Mercedes-Benz there was a market for the now famous gull-winged grand tourer, the 300SL badge was earlier applied to the company’s first postwar factory racecar, the W194 that was victorious at LeMans in 1952.

Sixty years later, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mercedes-Benz introduced their latest iteration of the SL concept: the SL 550. To commemorate the occasion, and the original SL’s 60th birthday, Daimler restored the oldest existing 1952 300SL — chassis #002 — and brought it to Detroit with its newest descendant. Unfortunately for the hundreds of photographers who tried to seize what was likely their only opportunity to capture such a rare and historic car, stagehands quickly surrounded the car with stanchions and rope almost as soon as the 300SL #002 came to a halt on the stage. (Read More…)

By on January 18, 2016

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The small crew of folks who make up Elio Motors brought the latest, fifth generation, developmental prototype of their reverse trike to the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Paul Elio gave a press conference going over what progress the company has made moving towards actual production, including some details about their recent stock offerings that will fund the building of 25 pre-production prototypes.

I’ll get to the press release stuff in a bit. First I want to talk about the car, errr, autocycle, and the third-class of motor vehicles for which the company is lobbying regulatory acceptance. (Read More…)

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