Prior to the New York International Auto Show, Toyota distributed an upbeat press release. Come party with us, it said. “Scion is not going away quietly.”
Yet, as I walk toward Scion’s booth, a quiet unease fills a void once occupied by a loud, confident generational pulse. The typical eye-catching signs with heavily embossed, trendy hashtags are all but entirely absent upon my arrival. Massive subwoofers sit dormant inside 13 years’ worth of one-off tuner concepts. Engineered studio lighting softly highlights the vehicles on display, while simultaneously attempting to hide the vast, empty spaces between them.
Scion’s show booths are normally chock-full of tchotchkes and the beautiful people handing them out — but not today.
I realize for many of you the lunch hour is probably over by now, but there’s enough time before the end of the afternoon to read, digest and regurgitate repeatedly over Atlanta magazine’s epic telling of one family’s lawsuit against General Motors for their faulty ignition switches.
Seriously, it’s great. Go read it. Take a sandwich or something.
I’ll cover for you at work, no prob. (Read More…)
Caparo Industries chairman Angad Paul died Nov. 9 in an apparent suicide just days after the steelmaking company his father founded, and Angad ran, announced massive job cuts and forced administration in Britain, according to The Guardian (via Autoblog).
Caparo Industries is the parent company of Caparo Vehicle Technologies, which produced the Caparo T1 and was planning a higher-end version of the car to go on sale.
The Caparo T1, which was developed with help from McLaren engineers, lived on the fringes of the supercar market with only 16 examples sold in the UK for around $360,000. It was also built at a short-lived plant in the U.S. Prince Albert of Monaco helped unveil the car in 2006 and it later appeared in several racing events around the world, including Goodwood. (Read More…)
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.
In addition to advice about the long-term benefits of wearing sunscreen, the world’s most famous commencement address included this bit of wisdom: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be the things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.” And so it was, true to the author of that essay’s own meandering experience, that I found myself on a sunny, if not entirely idle, afternoon this past June tossing a small rucksack into the back of my well-worn Shelby Charger setting out for Seattle, some 1800 miles away.
That my mother was ill was a fact I had long known. Just how serious the situation truly was, however, took everyone by surprise. One day the doctors were telling my brothers and sisters that our mother had as much as a year left to live and then, almost the next day, were coming back to say that she might have just a few weeks. By the time the news reached me in Leavenworth, the prognosis had been shortened to just days. After an hour or two of hand wringing, I decided I should probably go.
Automakers are busy re-jigging their product mix to better meet the crossover hunger of an ever-shifting buying public.
Chevrolet is adding a new crossover to their lineup — according to “sources” — that shrinks the Equinox and puts a new, three-row model between it and the Traverse. Mazda has a new cute ute in the forum of a jacked-up Mazda2. Same with Honda’s HR-V which, by all accounts, is a massive hit out of the gate. Toyota has their new subcompact utility on the way. And Buick — oh, Buick — has finally rectified the Encore’s asthma with a decent puffer.
However, there was news about a new Cadillac ATS Midnight Edition yesterday and we didn’t run it. That’s because nobody, or at least nearly nobody, cares about sedans.
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.”
According to report from German-language HNA, a robot has killed a contractor in a Volkswagen plant in Germany, near Frankfurt.
The 22-year-old man, whose name has not released, was crushed against a metal plate by the machine. According to officials, operator error may have caused the man’s death.
On September 14th of last year, a participant in the “Rusty Wallace Racing Experience” at Kentucky Speedway crashed into first the inside track wall, then the SAFER barrier on the outside of the track. One week later, he died from the multiple and severe injuries he sustained in that crash.
On Wednesday, the text of the lawsuit filed by his estate against multiple parties was released. The allegations contained in the lawsuit should horrify anyone who has ever considered participating in, or instructing for, one of these rent-a-stock-car “experiences”.
California is reportedly about to make lane splitting by motorcyclists legal. Currently, it’s simply not illegal, which is not the same as explicitly legal. But even once the practice is officially sanctioned, riders who want to hurry past stalled “cages” might want to consider the risks.
One of those risks, apparently, is being murdered at the hands of a heavily-tattooed woman who likes taking risque photos.