By on December 23, 2015

Myron Benford

Myron Benford has been delivering toys on Christmas Eve to children around Detroit for more than four decades. The 71-year-old man converted a Dodge minivan to look like a sleigh, complete with reindeer welded to the front, that seemingly “floats” on snow. He hands out 200 to 250 toys to children who need Christmas, he told the Detroit Free Press:

Oh, it’s a year-round commitment. People think it’s just for one day. I’ve been preparing for this all year long. The day after Christmas I start packing up more toys, trying to wrap up more toys. Trying to find closeouts and so forth and all. So that when I come here, I’m ready to service any kid I see out there on the street.

Benford is Santa.

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By on December 21, 2015

Service and Parts Operations

General Motors in Canada said Monday that it would provide assistance to Syrian refugees in that country through job training and money, the automaker announced.

“We are witnessing an outpouring of community support across Canada which recognizes the importance of a coordinated and thoughtful approach to refugee resettlement,” Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors of Canada, said in a statement.

The program will help connect refugees to local dealers looking for potential technicians or candidates for jobs. Would-be candidates will be trained in nearby community colleges through GM’s Automotive Service Educational Program.

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By on December 7, 2015

In my life, I’ve officiated exactly two LeMons races thanks to the good graces of Murilee Martin. At those races, I’ve watched tech inspectors go over seats, belts and harnesses with more scrutiny than border guards in Israel. To be sure, it’s astounding to me how much safety needs to be welded, worked and crammed into a “junker” from the outside — most people never see that. But even I wondered sometimes why tech was so hard to pass.

There are myriad things that can go wrong on a racetrack. However, there are only a few things that can save lives when those things go wrong. For those lifesaving devices, there’s no substitute or corner-cutting, and there are reasons why good teams spend more on a cage and brakes than they ever spend on an engine.

Case in point: Coming up on a blind crest and running face-first into the rear of a stalled car and everyone is OK after.

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By on November 25, 2015

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I swear someone was cutting onions right next to me just now. 

A Utah high school custodian, whose broken-down car left him commuting two hours each way to work, was surprised by a mechanic who purchased and fixed a car for him with money collected from crowd funding.

Sean Merrill, who owns Nobori Auto near Salt Lake City, along with his wife, picked up Robert Ford last month when he was walking home late one night. Ford told the couple about his hardship and his commute, and Merrill said he was compelled to help. Read More >

By on October 14, 2015

Zetsche - Picture courtesy Reuters.com

Daimler announced Wednesday that it would help Germany’s growing refugee crisis by offering “bridge internships” to 40 people along with German classes, transportation for aid organizations and food donations.

The company would put to work some refugees who have flooded the country to escape violence in nearby Middle Eastern countries. In all, Daimler announced it would put to work “several hundred” refugees after a 14-week course in helping them to learn the nation’s language and construction practices.

Daimler joins Audi in offering help to refugees in Germany, after that automaker announced this summer that it would donate €1 million ($1.1 million) to aid organizations.

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By on September 10, 2015

Emergency aid for refugees: AUDI AG providing € 1 million

You’d have to pay attention and skip the endless garbage about Kentucky county clerks and Donald Trump to hear about the unprecedented flight (and plight) of migrants in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing war torn countries such as Syria, and the European Union is struggling to find homes for all of them.

On Thursday, Audi said it would donate €1 million ($1.12 million) to help refugee aid organizations near its factories.

“We have been shocked by the great suffering of the refugees in Europe,” Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, said in a statement. “People at our doorsteps are in need — and we therefore want to offer help quickly and avoid red tape.” Read More >

By on August 20, 2015

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A Florida pastor is helping homeless, unemployed and ex-convicts make money by washing cars at a gas station parking lot, WTSP in Tampa is reporting.

The woman who started the car wash, Dr. Mentha Thomas, says she started the business to help locals get back on their feet.

“To me, that hits your heart. That’s a sad place to be unless somebody helps you,” she told the news station.

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By on August 18, 2015

jeep

The fine brain trust at How a Car Works has a great idea: print out free high-res patents and frame them because all our money goes to cars and not decorations, obviously.

It got our motors running. What would we want to hang on the walls?

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By on August 6, 2015

3d-printed Aston Martin

Ivan Sentch, the New Zealander who is 3D printing an Aston Martin DB4 and building the car in his garage, is back at it after a two-year hiatus, he told us today.

In an email, Sentch said he’s moved into a new house and is bringing the car back into the garage where he’ll pick at the project, bit by bit, until he’s done.

“It’ll just be a couple of hours at night after the kids go to sleep but you’d be surprised how much you can get done doing just a little bit each day,” said Sentch.

Kinda puts our Facebook meandering before bed to shame, really.  Read More >

By on August 4, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet announced Tuesday that its new 2016 Volt would extend its all-electric range from 38 miles to 53 miles, which is a 40-percent improvement and would satisfy more than 90 percent of normal drives.

The feat itself would put the Volt on par with many all-electric commuters, whose normal range is anywhere from 60 to 90 miles. Of course, the Volt packs with it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder that bumps that range up to more than 400 miles, but that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s talk about the batteries.

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