Last week we ran a post of mine about “Detroit Industry”, the murals that Diego Rivera painted for Edsel Ford in the main court of the Detroit Institute of Arts. More accurately, the post was about how a couple of artists, the Perre twins, commissioned to paint a mural in a new Detroit building, a commission inspired by Rivera’s work, claimed to know much about the artist and Detroit, but haven’t ever bothered to actually see Rivera’s Detroit masterpiece with their own eyes. That post was inspired by an article at the Detroit News by Rob Stanczak, from whence artist David Perre’s quote, “We have not seen it in person” jumped out at me. In our post, I linked to Rob Stanczak‘s article and, because I couldn’t find any photos of the Perres’ new mural that weren’t rights reserved, I used the DetNews’ video accompanying Rob Stanczak‘s article to illustrate my own. While not a formal citation per Modern Language Association guidelines, the link and DetNews video still gave our readers a couple of ways that they could access Rob Stanczak‘s work.
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Is your car ready for winter? Have you put on one last coat of wax, installed the rubber floor mats, and maybe a nice layer of Rain-X? Well, even if your hose is already hibernating there is one more thing you need to do before winter and that is to get all the bugs off the paint. Some of these buggers contain acidic substances that can actually eat away at the clear coat and eventually even the paint. That’s right, leaving dead bugs on your car will destroy your paint. In my mind it’s just their revenge for killing them. What happens is that as an insect decomposes, they produce enzymes intended to break down the carcass. These enzymes also break down automotive paint, resulting in etching. It is always best to get bugs off the paint as soon as possible. It is especially important to get them off before winter when most of us don’t hand wash our cars as much. In fact, in many cases people have had to repaint bumpers because they didn’t take the time to get bugs off in a timely manner. Don’t believe me? According to a statistic I just made up, Americans spend more than $30 million every year on repainted bumpers and poorly fit car bras to cover bug damaged paint.
Several months ago, when he assumed the editorial responsibility for the The Truth About Cars, Jack Baruth made a the readers several promises. Among those promises was a commitment that this web site’s home page would be “100% work safe.” Anyone, he said, should be able to visit this website any time and not have their career put in danger. NSFW material could still be published, he promised, but it would always come with a warning and be kept behind a link.
This week, I found out first-hand that he meant what he said. Ladies and gentlemen, the following story begins with certain language that, if taken out of context by someone in your place of employment, might get some of you into trouble. Click the following Sunday Story link at your own peril.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on this work in the comment section. – TMK Read More >
When I see those December car commercials with big red ribbons tied onto cars’ roofs, I’m skeptical that anyone would spend that much money on a Christmas present. However, looking over just how quickly the special edition luxury cars that retailer Neiman-Marcus has put in their Christmas Book for the last 17 years have usually sold out, often in a matter of minutes, it’s clear that some well-heeled folks do indeed enjoy buying cars as gifts for others or for themselves. Last year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas car was the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider and NM’s allotment of a dozen McLarens sold out in less than two hours. This year the Texas based retailer is selling 10 special edition 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volantes at $344,500 each. It appears that Saks Fifth Avenue has been looking over those same sales figures and has decided to get into the Christmas car market with a limited run of 100 2014 Cadillac ELR Saks Fifth Avenue Special Editions priced at $89,500. Available exclusively through the Saks Holiday Catalog, the Saks edition of Cadillac’s extended range EV based on the Chevy Volt costs about the MSRP of a new Mitsubishi Mirage more than a standard ’14 ELR, ~$13,500. Read More >
This is the final installment of Mental’s adventures in the BABE Rally in 2011. By now their van has been traded for beer. They are looking for a ride to New Orleans and still have to find a way home.
Just outside of Talladega Alabama, the wheels I borrowed from my shop mate have become props for the evening parking lot games. My wife and I manage to secure rides, but in separate cars. That’s probably safer for me anyhow.
She will ride with “The Scots.” They are exactly what you think; two Scottish friends and a sister that have spent their last two vacations coming to America just for this event.
I hitch with “The Ginger Kids.” They are also exactly what you think, a young, fair-skinned, scarlet-headed trio. The BABE rally prior, the driver’s car had broken down in front of the house of a young girl. The ensuring conversation resulted in a yearlong romance and this year she accompanied him and his friend for the rally. You can’t make this stuff up.
With what will likely turn out to be a brief decline in utility vehicles at the Ford Motor Company, sales of SUVs and crossovers at the Chrysler Group were stronger in November 2013 than they were at Ford and Lincoln.
How’d they do it? The Dodge Durango’s 36% increase – its lowest year-over-year improvement since May – was basically cancelled out by the Dodge Journey’s 22% slide. But at Jeep, where sales had been down 2% through the first ten months of 2013, the new Cherokee’s long-awaited first full month on the market helped to power a 30% brand-wide jump.
Tesla’s business model for selling cars from factory owned stores is still viable in Ohio after the Ohio state House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee didn’t vote on a licensing amendment that would prohibit a “manufacturer or a subsidiary, parent, or affiliated entity of a manufacturer” from getting a license as a motor vehicle dealer in the state. Tesla Motors said earlier in the week that if the legislation, supported by the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, was enacted it would prevent Tesla from selling cars in Ohio. Read More >
If you were ever interested in the second coming of the Honda Insight, now may be the time to pull the trigger on that lease, for there may not be a 2015 model in the showroom come next year.
If thought of a front-driven ultimate driving machine seems like either the best thing ever or a nightmare, then BMW Sales and Marketing board member Ian Robertson has some good/bad news for you: 11 BMWs and MINIs will soon arrive in the showroom, all underpinned by the UKL1 FWD/AWD chassis.
Though the calendar is about to change to 2014, it appears to be 2007 all over again in dealer lots and showrooms nationwide as a record number of auto loans with low interest rates were signed during the third quarter of 2013.
Should you find yourself renting a Chevrolet Spark in Acapulco in the near future, beware: it won’t have the same safety features — as in none at all — as the Spark exported to your local dealership. In fact, unless a car or truck screwed together in Mexico is bound for the United States or Europe, only the bare minimum, if any, in safety features will be available to customers in Latin America shopping for base models.
The automotive industry lobby group China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is at loggerheads with Beijing over a rule change proposal that would ease restrictions on foreign ownership of auto manufacturing ventures. The fear, according to CAAM Secretary General Dong Yang, is that should the restraining bolt be removed, the local industry would lose control of the joint ventures they currently hold, if not the Chinese auto industry itself.
China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and on Thursday the Obama administration announced that the United States will help the Chinese government implement stricter emissions standards on cars and trucks. The announcement was made at the end of Vice President Joe Biden’s state visit to China. Under the agreement, the U.S. promised to provide China with technical assistance in implementing particulate regulations known as China VI.
“These standards, when implemented, will have significant air quality and climate benefits and reduce vehicle fuel use,” according to a fact sheet released by the White House. Using bilateral and multilateral diplomacy is a key part of Pres. Obama’s Climate Action Plan, aimed at controlling greenhouse gases, of which the U.S. and China are the world’s two biggest emitters.
Contributing to China’s pollution issues is the rapid growth of the country’s vehicle fleet. At the end of 2012, there were 120 passenger cars in China and according to the Chinese government, that figure will grow to over 200 million by 2020. To address increased pollution some of China’s larger cities have restricted new vehicle sales. The capital city of Beijing will have as many as 6 million private cars by 2015.
China is currently implementing the country’s fourth stage of emissions standards, which reduce sulfur content in diesel fuel down to 50 parts per million, compared to the U.S. standard of 15 ppm and the European Union’s 10 parts per million limit.
An unnamed U.S. official said that it is significant that China wants help jump starting the sixth stage of standards while it is still formulating implementation of the fifth stage. “The United States is interested in moving to China to six as soon as possible,” the official said. “It is a clear signal that China wants to move forward in an accelerated way that will have far-reaching impacts on air quality and public health.”
The U.S. EPA and Dept. of Energy will help their Chinese equivalents with modeling, testing and research aimed at developing the standards.
Also part of the agreement will be a reduction in the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants, and a joint study aimed at phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in both countries.
Federal taxes on highway fuels haven’t been raised in 20 years. Because of inflation and better fuel economy, the Highway Trust Fund, into which those taxes flow and out of which transportation funding is dispersed, faces a shortfall. Standing next to labor, construction and business leaders, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) announced that he has introduced legislation that would raise the federal tax on gas to 33.4 cents per gallon and on diesel to 42.8 cents.
“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system — roads, bridges and transit,” Blumenauer said. “Congress hasn’t dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years,” the congressman continued. “With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993.” Read More >
Mitsubishi announced that it will cut the sticker price of its i-MiEV electric car by 20% for the 2014 model year, following price cuts at other automakers that sell EVs. The ’14 i-MiEV will start at $23,845 including destination charges when it goes on sale next spring. That’s a $6,130 reduction from the previous 2012 model, which sold so slowly that Mitsubishi didn’t offer a 2013 model year i-MiEV so they could sell down unsold units.