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Posts By: Ronnie Schreiber
Capitalism is just fine with me, but I have to say I was put off just a little by the glut of corporate cross-marketing tie-ins yesterday to Oct. 21, 2015, the date in the future to which Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel in the second Back To The Future movie.
Not that I have anything against the BTTF franchise: the trilogy is clever, charming and obviously inspires passionate fandom. Christopher Lloyd is crazy gifted in a Jonathan Winters manner and I have no objection to him making a few bucks appearing in ads with Michael J. Fox. Fox has a family to support, too.
I’m not naive and many of yesterday’s marketing efforts, from Nike’s self lacing shoes, to USA Today’s headline about Marty’s arrest only reflect product placement deals in the original films. (Read More…)
In the past few days there has been a flurry of posts about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ending production of the Dodge Viper in 2017 and closing the Conner Avenue Assembly facility where the v-10 powered sportscar is hand-built.
When I see a news story, I’ll try to seek out the original reporting and if possible, the original source material. Now that I’ve seen that source material, and asked Conner’s plant manager about the matter, I’m not convinced that the Viper’s demise is a certainty. Viper fans shouldn’t go hanging snakeskin* crepe just yet. (Read More…)
There’s a post over at Buzzfeed in which Matt Honan tells us that the future of automobiles is autonomous and how it’s going to be awesome. His conclusion makes me think that he’s not part of the car enthusiast tribe:
Cars are giant, inefficient, planet-and-people-killing death machines.
The next time you believe that an unfortunate circumstance means that you can’t achieve a dream or take part in an activity you love, take a moment to think about Larry LaBute and then go ahead and live out those dreams.
I’m not sure how he became disabled — LaBute is paraplegic — but that hasn’t stopped the retired hydroponic tomato farmer of Leamington, Ontario from building, and driving, the cars that he loves. (Read More…)
While working on a story about some very old cars, I stumbled upon something relevant to the latest big story in the automotive world.
I ran into a Model T collector who’s also a powertrain engineer for Ford. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him if he could tell me what he was working on (sometimes they say no). He said that he was responsible for developing computerized engine controls. Because of that expertise, I started to ask him some questions about the software program that Volkswagen apparently used to cheat on the EPA’s diesel emissions testing.
What he was willing to say and what he wouldn’t say intrigued me. (Read More…)
How do you feel about Hitler’s cars? No, I’m not talking about the KdF Wagen, aka VW Beetle, or its wartime variants like the Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen. I’m talking about the cars more personally associated with the dictator and mass murderer, like his parade and armored cars that find their way into collections and museums.
I’ll get to der Fuhrer’s automobiles in a paragraph or two, but on the way there, I’m first going to discuss someone very stupid. (Read More…)
We recently featured the story of a woman in Indiana who, frightened by a spider alighting on her shoulder, bolted from her car while it was still in reverse, resulting in a collision with a passing school bus and minor injuries to her son, who was in the back seat at the time. Now comes word that a Michigan man managed to deal with his arachnophobia by setting his car and a gasoline pump aflame when he was frightened by a spider while refueling his car. (Read More…)
You can understand why deputies from the Kosciusko County sheriff’s department, along with police, fire, and EMS units from Syracuse, Indiana, responded last Friday afternoon to a report of a vehicle colliding with a school bus. Fortunately, there were no children on board at the time, but arriving officers found a nine-year-old boy with minor head injuries lying on the ground near the wrecked, apparently driverless Dodge Avenger that had hit the bus. (Read More…)
Automotive fine artist Tom Hale has made a career out of capturing the way that light and images reflect off of the chrome and painted surfaces of cars. Hale’s signature style has been widely imitated, but he’s still the master at it. I take thousands of photographs of cars at car shows and I never considered reflections until I discovered that I had shot a perfect side view of a piano black Hispano Suiza town car which I could not use because on a door panel there was a mirror image of a chubby guy in bicycle spandex taking a photograph (I had ridden my bike to events that day). (Read More…)
This is a bit like a Tinker to Evans to Chance double play, but as part of a promotion for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie from Lucasfilm, folks in New York City on Friday were able to order up a free Uber ride in one of eight Dodge Chargers trimmed in Star Wars Stormtrooper white and black livery, with a few Hot Wheels stickers for good measure.
The cars, including SRT and Hellcat versions, were loaned to Uber and Mattel by FCA. The cross promotion involved four different companies: Lucasfilm, Uber, Mattel and FCA, and it was timed to coincide with “Force Friday”, a synchronized introduction of the licensed toys tied to the film, which opens just before Christmas. (Read More…)