When I was a kid I vacillated between two automotive loves: The Porsche 911 and the Jaguar E Type. I've owned one of the former and loved it. I've never owned one of the latter, mostly because they were hopelessly unreliable when new. But I'm increasingly thinking the new F Type might make a decent replacement:
Or maybe I'll just go back to the 911.
In any case, however, one question bugs me: Why is Mark Strong driving a LHD car in what is supposed to be England?
Hillary Clinton hasn't gotten behind the wheel in a long, long time.
The former first lady and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, who has had drivers for much of her three decades in public life, said Monday that she hasn't driven a car since 1996. Clinton made the confession at the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in New Orleans.
Remember that the next time she rails about the privileges of the 1%. (BTW, when was the last time Elizabeth Warren drove herself?)
U.S. automaker Chrysler, which was bailed out by taxpayers at a loss of $1.3 billion, will become fully owned by Italy’s Fiat.
The agreement comes more than 4-1/2 years after the Obama administration brought Fiat in to keep Chrysler in business as part of a packaged bankruptcy proceeding.
Fiat said it has agreed to pay $3.65 billion for the 41.46% of Chrysler it doesn’t already own from the UAW’s medical benefits trust for retirees.
Fiat shares gained nearly 13% in Milan early Thursday to trade at €6.70, their highest level since July 2011.
It's interesting that Fiat stock went up, since--at least in the USA--an acquirer's stock often drops on news of an impending acquisition. OTOH, as the LA Times reminds us:
The federal government led the effort to remake Chrysler as part of a $12.5-billion bailout that, along with the $51-billion rescue of General Motors Co., was designed to save the U.S. auto industry during the depths of the recession.
Fiat purchased the government's remaining stake in Chrysler in 2011, ending the bailout with a taxpayer loss of $1.3 billion.
So maybe Obama should be the one reimbursing US taxpayers. I'd be happy to settle for a cut of the money he'll inevitably make writing his memoirs and giving speeches.
I'm a car guy. But unlike a lot of car guys, I care much more about the interior design than the exterior design of my cars. So I was interested to learn that Audi has a new concept car showing its future design themes. After all, I think Audi has some of the nicest car interiors in the business. So take a look at this photo of the new concept:
Looks nice, right? Well, mostly. But what about that pop up navigation screen? I hate that style. They stick up like a sore thumb. Compare that Audi to the new Mercedes S class dashboard:
See how beautifully they integrated the infotainment screen into the dash? It flows organically instead of looking like an enormous pimple on an otherwise gorgeous face.
While we're on the subject, here's a few more pet peeves about infotainment screens:
Ford: Looks good, but the ones one the Ford's I've rented lately have been glitchy. clunky, and hard to use. As Consumer reports observes: "The controls are overly complicated, cumbersome to use, and potentially distracting." I couldn't agree more.
Tesla: Every time I peek into a Tesla, the touchcreen is covered with finger smudges. Every single time. That would get old.
Toyota: I couldn't figure out the system the last time I rented a Toyota.
If I pulled a stunt halfway this bad in my class, I'd have our liberal students complaining en masse to the Dean, Chancellor, and the Daily Bruin. No. Make that 10% as bad. But as long as you go off on Republicans, you're apparently safe. At least at Michigan State. (Story here.)
Pope Francis said on Saturday it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more "humble". ...
"It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can't do this," he said.
At first this struck me as a rather silly thing for the Pontiff to be worried about, given the serious problems on his plate, but then I was reminded of the Biblical aphorism: "Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great." Maybe even priests need to start small.
I've been reading a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction lately and watching some of those zombie TV shows, so when I saw a Top Gear blurb on the nuew Mercedes unimog, I knew that what I wanted for Christmas is a Unimog-based customized and luxed out RV. With front and rear 50-caliber remotely operated weapon stations to deal with zombies and a MK19 Mod3 40mm grenade machine gun ROWS to service your larger mutants. Plus, of course, you'd want tear gas cannons to fend off the starving masses, solar panels, water purification, biodiesel generation capability, etc. In sum, something like this:
From sport utes to sports cars to soccer-mom vans, every industry segment is thriving—with the notable exception of the alternative-fuel vehicles into which Washington has sunk billions of taxpayer dollars.
Musing on the implications of the Eurozone crisis:
Americans should be concerned for a deeper reason. High deficits, high debt and unsustainable entitlements are symptoms of a common disease infecting Southern Europe and the U.S. That's crony capitalism, a problem with which I, having lived in Italy, am unfortunately familiar. ...
For the U.S., the moment to act is now, before the cancer of crony capitalism metastasizes. The tax code needs an overhaul that eliminates special treatment and bans any form of corporate subsidy—starting with too-big-to-fail banks. We must find ways to introduce more competition into sectors such as education and health care, while expanding economic opportunity for those at the lower end of the income spectrum. And we must curb the political power that large industry incumbents have over legislation. Not only does it distort legislation, it also forces new entrants to compete on lobbying instead of concentrating on making more innovative and cheaper products.
It is not too late for the United States, but the clock is ticking. We have already begun to look like Italy. If we don't do something to stop that soon, we will end up like Greece.
I yield to no one as a fan of BBC's Top Gear, but even I am having a hard time defending the current series (#18) on BBC America. It feels tired, formulaic, and lazy. The (more obviously) scripted sections, like tonight's tiresome bit about making a car chase for the Sweeney film, have been unfunny snooze fests all series. In the Sweeney bit, in particular, Clarkson and Hammond seemed to be just mailing it in.
To be sure, nothing's been quite as cringe worthy as the wedding car bit from series 15. Instead, it's just dreadfully monotonous. It seems like we've heard all these jokes a 1000 times and seen minor variants on the same segment dozens of times. It seems like they're just going through the motions.
I'm still prepared to defend Clarkson, May, and Hammond when they go off the PC reservation.
I just never thought I'd have to defend them for being lame.
Any list that purports to list the 100 most beautiful cars of all times that doesn't have the Jaguar E-type in the # 1 slot is highly suspect. Any list that purports to list the 100 most beautiful cars of all times that has the Lamborghini Countach at # 1 (as opposed to #1 on a list of cool cars, outrageous cars, wild cars) is highly suspect. Oddly, someone has compiled just such a highly suspicious list.