Winners of the contest to win one of three copies of Weird Cars by Michael Banovsky have been announced.
With the original post that explains how you can win a hardcover sales brochure for the 1999 Nissan Skyline GTR now buried a couple of pages deep, I thought I would give you this reminder that the contest is still open and runs until Thanksgiving Day. Originally, I asked The Best & Brightest to look through the last year’s worth of articles and share their favorites but have, upon reflection, decided that may be a barrier to entry to some of the people who have only recently joined our nonexclusive club. If you have been waiting to do less and win more, here’s your chance – respond to either this or that previous article and sometime on Thanksgiving Day I will throw your name in a hat with all the others and choose a winner. One entry per person, please.
As I mentioned in that earlier article, I received this book from one of my students who worked for Nissan when I was teaching English in Kyoto back in the day. It has remained safely on my book shelf ever since and is in perfect condition – no stuck together pages or dried out boogars. Based on a little research it seems that these books are rare on this side of the Pacific and the only one I found was being sold on Ebay for around $40.
This contest closed today, Wednesday, July 4th 2012 at 2 pm Eastern Time.
Please stay tune for the results. (Read More…)
A TTAC contributor who shall remain nameless recently raised an issue at our secret conclave regarding the free gifts that automakers sometimes give out to journalists during press trips. Said writer was due to receive a very big ticket item (less expensive than a Rolex, but more than an iPod) and wanted to know if he should accept or refuse it. The answer, handed down by our very own BS, was “take it – and then send it to Derek so he can give it away as a contest prize.”
The auto media has been receiving its advance copies of Bob Lutz’s forthcoming book “Car Guys versus Bean Counters” over the last few weeks, and have been leaking some of the more provocative statements and conclusions from it. I too requested a book and tore through it over the past week, enjoying Lutz’s direct voice and keen insights into his time at General Motors… as well as the attention-grabbing, politically-charged statements that the rest of the media seems so fixated upon. The bad news is that I won’t be able to write a full review until we get closer to its mid-June launch date, but the good news is that our forbearance has been rewarded: despite sideswiping yours truly in one passage, a brief but rewarding email conversation has generated more mutual respect, and Mr Lutz has agreed (in principle) to a TTAC interview to accompany our review at the time of the book’s release. Sometimes observing an embargo is worth it.
But fear not: just because the promise of an interview with one of the most influential figures in the industry has us delaying our review for another month or so, we’ve got more Lutz-related material with which to build up to what I expect to be a watershed interview for TTAC. Next week I’ll be publishing a review of Mr Maximum’s previous book “Guts,” and to kick of the coming months of Lutzmania, we’ve got a very special contest that is sure to stump even TTAC’s most well-versed Best and Brightest.
When GM pulled out of its Fremont, CA NUMMI joint venture with Toyota during its bankruptcy-bailout, the UAW took the opportunity to bash the Japanese automaker, protesting its dealers based on the false accusation that it, rather than GM, had killed NUMMI. But in fact, despite suffering from overcapacity in the US, Toyota was anxious to keep NUMMI open, and according to interviews with Toyota executives that went into the book “Toyota Under Fire,” Toyota offered something to GM as incentive to keep the plant open. At the time, speculation ran rampant that Toyota offered to rebadge the Toyota Prius for GM, but that didn’t happen. Instead Toyota offered GM something else… and we want you to guess what.
Here’s how the contest works: surf over to TTAC’s Facebook page, find the wall post titled “TTAC Contest: What Did Toyota Offer GM?” and add your guess to the comments section there. The first person to post the correct answer will be contacted for their address, and we will send you a special prize: a Chevrolet Volt-branded pen that was used (briefly) by TTAC Editor-in-Chief to take notes at the Volt’s press launch. You know you want it… now go post your answer on Facebook!
The good folks from the Public Radio show This American Life are hunting down a headline. Writer Emily Condon writes:
There was an article, likely between 1980 and 1988, that ran about the NUMMI plant in Fremont California, focusing on the GM and Toyota partnership. We think the headline was “HELL FREEZES OVER,” or possibly “HELL FREEZES OVER IN FREMONT,” or something to that effect. The person we’re interviewing thought it was Motor Trend – they couldn’t find any record of it. I couldn’t find it in Motor Trend or Car & Driver…but it’s possible I somehow missed it, since the archives weren’t searchable, but only on microfilm. But could possibly be another publication, too.
Long story short, their investigation seems to have gone cold at a TTAC comment thread, which is where you, our Best and Brightest, come in. The first commenter to identify the magazine and issue that This American Life is looking for, will win immortal TTAC fame, and the much-coveted Fiat 500 mouse.
[UPDATE: Commenter Msquare proves that whether you need an old car mag headline hunted down, or a ’51 Packard identified from only a picture of its gas cap, TTAC’s Best & Brightest are the place to go. Congratulations Msquare, check your email for instructions on claiming your prize. Everyone else, be sure to check out This American Life‘s piece on NUMMI, “the car plant that could have changed everything,” which airs on March 26. ]