Thursday afternoon, legendary car customizer George Barris left this mortal coil at the age of 89, leaving behind a decades-long automotive legacy.
The self-described “King of Kustom Kulture,” Barris was customizing cars long before turning a Lincoln Futura concept car into the first of many iconic Batmobiles, according to The Detroit Bureau. He and his brother, Sam, began customizing while in high school in Roseville, Calif., using the money earned from working on a 1925 Buick to buy and build a 1936 Ford.
I think the time has come to wave goodbye to one of the auto industry’s most fickle segments: the small luxury convertible. Once formerly strong and full of life, the segment now consists of a bunch of cars that leave people asking: Do they still make that?
Jules Bianchi, a Marussia F1 driver, succumbed to his injuries yesterday after colliding with a tractor at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix over nine months ago.
The Bianchi family released the following statement:
It is with deep sadness that the parents of Jules Bianchi, Philippe and Christine, his brother Tom and sister Mélanie, wish to make it known that Jules passed away last night at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) in Nice, (France) where he was admitted following the accident of 5th October 2014 at Suzuka Circuit during the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end,” said the Bianchi family. “The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice’s CHU who looked after him with love and dedication. We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.
“Furthermore, we thank Jules’ colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times. Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world.
“We would like to ask that our privacy is respected during this difficult time, while we try to come to terms with the loss of Jules.”
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to mourn the loss of the four-seat convertible. We have known for a while that its time was coming. First, they came for the Pontiac G6. Then, they came for the Toyota Solara. Then, they came for the Mitsubishi Eclipse. And when it was time to come for the Chrysler 200, nobody cared, because nobody buys these cars anymore.
But surely some people still buy them. I mean, there are still millions of people out there having midlife crises, looking for the last modicum of driving excitement before they start ranting about how mobile apps are tearing at the fabric of our society. But sadly, the fun is over: there are no reasonably priced four-seat convertibles left.
So much for the Freezing Fire oxymoron. (photo courtesy: dailymail.co.uk)
TTAC Commentator Pete Zaitcev writes:
Here’s a qustion that’s not “what car should I buy”. My town had a “snowpocalypse” event: it was 65F for a week, then an inch or two of snow fell and the temperatures fell into low 30s for a day. The usual followed, like a miniature Atlanta. But what surprised me the most was the number of broken cars parked alongside highways. They didn’t fall to accidents, they just stopped. But why? (Read More…)
About a year ago Bertel, Ed and I ended up in Los Angeles for a PR meet/dine with Coda. No automotive event would be complete without a drive and our electrifying dinner was no different. Bertel and Ed wisely chose to leave the driving to me (although they did toss me in the trunk and close the lid later that evening). Since that night I have struggled to erase the Coda from my mind when today it all came flooding back. Coda has filed for chapter 11 protection. I know it’s bad form to speak ill of the departed, but this is TTAC so let’s have a review style requiem for the worst EV ever made.
It was supposed the car that changes the game. The BYD F3e was touted as an EV with a range of 300km (186 miles). It was supposed to have a miracle battery with a recharge-time (to 70 percent) of only ten minutes. At the same time, it promised a top speed of 150km/h (93 mph) and a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 13.5seconds. What’s less, the car was supposed to cost no more than $22,400. And the government was willing to grant generous subsidies. How can you go wrong with something like that? You can: That car will not see the light and is being aborted by its Chinese parents. Why? (Read More…)