You see fairly modern minivans covered with lefty bumper stickers all over the place, but those aren’t proper hippie vans. Given their value these days, a Volkswagen Type 1 Transporter isn’t a proper hippie van, either, because you can’t be a genuine hippie in the 21st century unless you’ve burned all your bridges to The Man’s unjust world and you have no Plan B of getting a so-called real job on the Downpressor Man‘s plantations. A real hippie van is a big, ugly, cheap steel box on wheels, with crude stencils and hand-painted messages on the outside and room inside for a dozen unwashed radicals who know that unless you’re free, The Machine must be prevented from working at all.
Today’s Junkyard Find is such a van. (Read More…)
General Motors will test the coastal waters with mild-hybrid versions of its 1500-series trucks beginning this spring, the automaker announced Thursday.
A total of 500 Chevrolet Silverado and 200 GMC Sierra eAssist trucks will be sold exclusively to granola-fed Californians. GM claims the trucks are good for a 13-percent boost in city fuel efficiency, the natural habitat of the vinyl trading, furniture refinishing, kale-eating millennials hopefully interested in a full-size domestic pickup.
The latest effort is unlike GM’s earlier foray into utilitarian electrification, which employed a two-mode hybrid system on GM’s full-size pickups and SUVs jointly developed with BMW and the former DaimlerChrysler. The new, modular eAssist system will rely on a small lithium-ion battery providing electrons to a 13 horsepower compact induction electric motor. The system adds electric power boost, stop/start capability, and regenerative braking to equipped pickups.
The Malibu Maxx was a funny looking, crypto-station-wagon version of the 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu (which was itself based on the Opel Vectra C). It sold poorly and is now largely forgotten, which makes it exactly the kind of junkyard car I like to find.
Yes, obscure sales flops in the junkyard have stories to tell! (Read More…)
(Sarah Nader/Northwest Herald)
An Illinois sheriff knows a barn find when he sees one.
According to the Northwest Herald, McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stadler spotted an old parade Chevrolet Caprice with 4,000 miles gathering dust in a shed and decided to bring it back into service.
The 20-year-old, LT1-powered police cruiser — which sports none of the modern police cruiser amenities including USB ports, massive touchscreen or even traction control — was pressed into service when Stadler’s Impala was retired.
“I could see the diamond in the rough,” Stadler told the newspaper. “Your non-car person would look at this thing and think, ‘Why would I want this 20-year-old thing covered in dirt?’ Where I was, ‘I really want to clean this thing up.’”
Hell yes. (Read More…)
Volkswagen to European diesel owners: “Why you mad?”
That, the mailman can’t deliver on the first lawsuit against GM, Caddies built in China and 51.3 million cars were recalled in 2015 … after the break!
General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra defended Wednesday her company’s decision not to put airbags in some of its cars in international markets.
“In many of those places the technology is available and it’s a customer choice if they want it,” Barra said, according to the International Business Times. “There’s many cases where we are well above standards, but we also have to look at affordability otherwise you cut people out of even having the availability of transportation.”
Barra made the remarks in Davos, Switzerland, which was a response to a letter sent to her last year by consumer advocacy groups in the U.S. — including Consumer Reports — requesting the automaker standardize safety features in its cars worldwide.
At a one-day workshop Tuesday sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission to discuss the future of automobile dealers in the U.S., executives from General Motors and Tesla jabbed at each other over electric car sales.
GM CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra touted the new Chevrolet Bolt as being one of the few all-electric cars that could be purchased in all states.
Later, at a direct-sale discussion, a lawyer for Tesla chided Barra by saying that it was GM’s persistence in shaping dealer law nearly a century ago that has forced Tesla out of six states including Michigan and Texas.
“Because they voluntarily chose generations ago to use a certain business model, (GM thinks) everyone that comes after should be required as a matter of law to use the same model,” Tesla lawyer Todd Maron said Tuesday. (Read More…)
Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”
That’s just lovely.
But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?
Chevrolet might be trying to sell its newest Spark in the United States for $12,660 ($13,535 with freight), but the automaker is bringing its game to other low-priced subcompacts in Canada with a starting price of $9,995 CAD ($11,595 CAD with freight/PDI).
That means the Spark costs $6,880 USD on the Canadian side of the border after adjusting for current exchange rates. Either GM Canada is taking a massive financial hit on the Spark, or Americans are getting hosed — by $5,780 USD, to be exact — for the Korean-made hatchback.
Porsche’s CEO is confident that the fix for their 3-liter diesel Cayennes will be approved by regulators, which is more than Volkswagen can say at the moment.
That, Kia’s big Detroit show, GM’s plan to sell cars online and Volkswagen CEO has a momentarily lapse of logic … after the break!