The Road Ahead
For those who want to look a little farther down the road, check out the
March issue of The Club of Amsterdam Journal. In it,
David Smith, Chief
Executive of Global Future and Foresight, describes and provides sources
for predicting likely effects to come with evolving technologies – nearly
all of which will impact communications and transportation. Among them
Automation: "as automation impacts a broader set of knowledge worker
jobs. 47% of jobs in the US could be at risk from automation through
Quantum Computing: "The enormous processing power of these computers
could significantly reconfigure political, business, economic and social
norms within the next fifteen to twenty years."
Cognitive Computing: "Cognitive computing systems learn and interact
naturally with people; ultimately helping human experts make better
Interclouds: "a networked global 'cloud of clouds' - which allows
workloads to migrate to public and hybrid clouds." And, "It could also
form a platform for the Internet of Everything."
Software Designed Networks: Already a $2 billion market, it, "helps
remove the physical limitations of networks, which are being pushed to
their limits by social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing."
Atomic GPS: ". . . the use of atomic physics for more accurate sensing
without the need for satellites."
Prescriptive Analytics: " . . . a combination of multiple predictive
models running in parallel, one for each possible input action, and able
to recommend a course based on numerous variables."
Social: "...use of social networks will be to increasingly replace
e-mail as the preferred electronic communication platform within the
Avatars: "Ultimately avatars are enabling companies and organizations to
leverage human-like images to communicate their messages."
Haptic Interfaces: The marriage of the physical and online. "As it
evolves in complexity, it is probable we will see this technology extend
beyond smartphone interfaces and video game controllers and into retail
Instant Language Translation: "...not only convert each word into
the target language, but analyze entire phrases and infer their meaning
before offering up a translation."
Virtual Retinal Displays: "...a combination of optics to reflect an
image directly onto your retina, effectively using the back of your
eyeball as a screen."
Imaging The Mind's Eye: "ultimately, we're...going to be able to dump
our ideas directly to digital media."
Wireless Electricity: "magnetic resonance - created by coils of
conductive materials like copper - could eventually replace wires as the
main power source for everything in our lives."
Smith concludes his listing: "With each new technology, first we do
things differently; then we do different things." . . . And, for those
concerned about Artificial Intelligence, which is
preceding apace with the aforementioned technologies, Benjamin A.
Bratton advises in his Feb. 23 piece in the NY Times, Stone feature,
Outing A.I.: Beyond the Turing Test,
"Our popular conception of artificial intelligence is distorted by an
By attributing human qualities to A.I. we are in danger of giving it
more power than it deserves and may fail to utilize what it offers. As
to A.I. and robots, Jason Alan Snyder in Engage: Affluent predicts they
will bring better jobs for current low wage workers, better living for
the well-to-do and
once again, squeeze the middle class.
Randy Leffingwell, Cam Ingram and Kevin Watts have launched
Roads Scholars Magazine.
Leffingwell serves as editor of the monthly electronic
publication that introduces readers and their friends or clients
to information and ideas the trio find fascinating and relevant
in the automobile and car-collecting world.
They say, "we've engaged some of the most interesting automotive
writers, thinkers, and historians to do this." During the next
several months, one or two of them will be featured in each
issue. Andrew Reilly and Paul Dean are guest writers in the
Publisher Gary Grant has launched "Driven Wheels.com – Canada's
Automotive Authority." Andrew Ling, Chris Chase and
Ronnie Fung are on board as contributing authors for the
new venture whose purpose is, "...to provide
automotive entertainment coupled with meaningful resources for
Canadian automotive consumers." Among those resources: A
Preferred Dealer Program highlighting dealers their readers "would be comfortable
sending their Moms to."
And another recent launch, Legendary Car Life by Michael Knab aims
"to give car enthusiasts
the latest news and perspective on what's going on in the car
culture. We report on cars from every era, nationality, and
racetrack. And we talk about and with the people behind them."
www.legendarycarlife.com . . . An old name but a new look
for its web site makes
an easier read and resource for car reviews and comparisons. . .
International may have been around but it just added a monthly
auto columnist Brett Berk.
Esalen hot tubs, silk robes and incense came to mind when Sue Elliott
identified herself as "Chief Joy Officer" in an email a while back.
Could it be the enthusiastic young writer for Muscle Car Magazine
some 20 years ago on the East Coast had forsaken horsepower and hypoid
gear sets for séances and saffron? Most who practice and survive in auto
writing for 20 years or more usually stay with it in one guise or
another. Her apparent defection prompted the question "Is there life
after auto journalism?"
Pursuing those thoughts recently proved the images wrong and the
question poorly framed.
Elliott is now CEO, "Chief Energy Officer" of a new web site launched
just this month with cofounder/partner Johann Gauthier:
She reports they already are working with
several companies and several prospects – including some in the
automotive world. She describes Workplace Energetics as an international
firm that empowers businesses to release fear and resistance, generate
forward momentum and increase productivity, sales and profits. It offers
It is the latest and in ways, her synthesis of a maze of seemingly
rapid, disparate switches and tangents in her life. Some were brought on
by the Internet's ravaging of legacy print (note the collapse of Source
Interlink Distribution and TEN prediction) and a good deal by her own
apparent overabundance of
anandamide — the so-called bliss molecule.
Over the years she has worked in the automotive, beauty, environmental,
health, food and wine and personal growth fields, as a writer, editor
and consultant, creating magazines, books and new marketing
communication initiatives in each.
Sue was born into and thrived in the rabid Southern California car
culture. Her father owned gas stations in the San Fernando Valley and
she recalls falling in love with her first car while still a toddler – a
neighbor's '66 Mustang.
Even earning an Ivy League degree (Phi Beta Kappa Cornell '86) could not
cure her infatuation with cars that were fast and quick.
After working briefly on a business magazine in her home state she
headed for the Big Apple and a two-year stay at the now-defunct women's
magazine Savvy. She was able to merge avocation and vocation when she
landed a job at CSK Publishing as managing editor of its MuscleCars,
Vette, High Performance Mopar and High Performance Pontiac. While there
she helped launch Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords and Bracket Racing USA.
She rose to executive editor for all those magazines and was
Editor-In-Chief of High Performance Pontiac when CSK relocated her to
California and named her West Coast editor for the other six magazines
In 1992, she started Easier Way Media, Inc. offering product development
services to publishers, working with them to envision, develop and
actualize new publications for newsstands nationwide. A separate
division, High Performance Prose provided PR services, to clientele in
the automotive, personal growth, art, hospitality, health and beauty
fields when she sold it.
She kept her freelance consulting alive even while spending a year
in-house at Petersen Publications and five years as a Product
Information Specialist for SEMA.
Next came editing and co-authoring two business books for Merritt
Publishing in Santa Monica, followed by two books: The Barrett-Jackson
Experience and Overhaulin': The Magazine for Primedia.
The producers of the Ovehaulin' TV series liked her book on the show so
well they retained her to ghost write two books for the
star of another show they had: Living With Ed. The first was Living Like
Ed. The second, Ed Begley's Guide to Sustainable Living, was finished
after she moved to the NAPA Valley where she found time to indulge in
her passion for foods and wines.
When Primedia sold its consumer
magazines to Source Interlink Media she worked with Source's Popular
Plates brand to produce newsstand recipe magazines featuring top chefs.
Among them were: Comfort Food, Holiday Baking and Chef. Produced
separately from the brand was Grilling. She conceived and produced two books for
series: Automotive Custom Interiors and Street Machines.
Her nearly 20-year passion and interest in personal growth led her to
create Law of Attraction Magazine in 2011. As founder and editor-in-chief
working with Source, she produced 7 issues with a "Best of" issue on
sale now in every Barnes & Noble store. This led to what she describes
as, "transformation coaching." Reaching out with a
site and blog she coaches personal transformation through the web,
Skype, telephone or in-person. The coaching inspired "Inspire Profits"
in 2014, which evolved, to WorkplaceEnergetics.com in 2015.
As Sue Elliott's journey demonstrates, the question for auto journalists
faced with shrinking demand for their services is not, "Is there life
after auto journalism?" but "Is there life in the auto journalist?
GM brands may dominate in a dealership customer service study by
Power and Associates as Karl Greenberg
Marketing Daily but a
January survey of 3,450 women car shoppers by Anne Fleming, puts
Volkswagen on top followed by
Ford and Chevy. . . .
Greenberg also provides an update for "smart watch" car connections.
Hyundai, he reports, is joining Audi, BMW and GM with varying apps for
watches. He lists which app does what and the connectivity needed. Among
functions possible now are: climate control; remote car locating &
starting, unlocking doors, voice commands and running diagnostics.
Domino's Pizza is getting in on the act. According to Restaurant
News, the fast food chain is developing an app in conjunction with
Inc. and tech consulting firm Accenture to develop a concept
car" for mobile purchases from automobiles.
And, if you're lost, your car is stuck and you have no cell phone,
you can relieve your distress, Amy Corr of MediaPost Online reports, by
simply tapping your watch equipped with a Bud Light Button app. It has a
locator function that will enable a local retailer to bring you up to
100 cases of the brew. . . . Trying to decide (be it if or how many) is
no longer a problem. There is a new generation of apps available to help
with day-to-day decision making, Kit Eaton tell us in his New York Times
Aids for the Indecisive, When Options Abound. There are at least
four of them to choose from if, as Eaton notes, you are able to decide
on which one. No more daisy petals or 'eenie meanies.' Click here for
pit notes |
A good look at and the specs on "the world's fastest and most powerful
production car" the Koenigsegg Regera Megacar is provided by Ed Jones
writing for the duPont Registry.
Carrie Thompson sent along a graphic (as she terms it) from England on
Evolution of the 250+ MPH Super Car.
It highlights the first super car in 1926 to the Bugatti Veyron of today
- taking you on a journey of amazing cars evolving with more power,
sleekness and stunningly fast 0-60 times. Stats for each car, include:
Price on release
View the full graphic
CarMagazine's list of South Africa's 12 top buys in 2015 includes a
Chevy Sport Campus; Ford Kuga (crossover) and Ford Double Cab Ranger, as
reported by Biz Community . . . .The
Detroit News' Melissa Preddy reports, "For employees
disenchanted with their 9-to-5 grind, or young people looking for
alternatives to liberal arts college, a career working with
adrenaline-inducing vehicles might not be too far out of reach." In
interviews with performance and repair shop operators, she found
concurrence that there is a dearth of people with the skills needed for
many well- paying jobs in the field.
Ron Beasley forwarded a piece and photos of a sleek silver Mercedes
self-driving car tooling the streets of San Francisco. The story was
written by Sally Jane Evans for the UK's Daily Mail with ample photos
from various internet sources. See:
Britain already has controlled tests of driverless vehicles
underway in four of its cities and, according to Ann Reddaway of
TU-Auto.com, the UN is working on a global regulatory framework for
autonomous cars. For details:
. . .In TechNewsWorld.com Peter Suciu describes and provides an impressive
look at the self-driving car Volvo plans to test with a
fleet of 100
autonomous vehicles on the streets and highways of Gothenburg, Sweden in
2017. Video below.
Driverless cars will consume more energy than cars with drivers Isaac Arnsdorf writes in a
Bloomberg News report on a University of Michigan
research study. He says the chief reason, they'd use more energy than
conventional cars: more trips.
It appears from Karl Greenberg's
Marketing Daily report of the Indy Car - USA Today marketing agreement,
that it is a win-win deal but not a native advertising, paid content
arrangement. In return for providing the media company "special access
to develop content around the sport and its races," it gives the sport's
sponsors, "entry to USA Today's Sports Media Group around advertising
and IndyCar-themed special sections." Close but different, maybe.
Mothers has announced the 2015 schedule for its trick truck's tour.
Check here for details:
Brett Berk provides a different look at the Geneva Auto Show where the
accent usually is on the glamour. His Men's Journal piece
highlights tech trends at this year's gathering. . . . Also from the
Geneva Auto Show, The Bold Ride Daily pictured two new concept tires
from Goodyear: the BHO3 and the Triple Tube. The BHO3 is an idea that
would help give electric cars better range, and the Triple Tube is a
tire that would self-adjust its shape depending on the type of driving.
Michael Karesh's True Delta web site,
www.truedelta.com that accumulates
actual drivers experience with their vehicles
has added some new stats and graphs to report on reliability of brands
and models over time. Karesh says, "The new features report the repair frequencies of 2009-2014 cars over
the past five years. They're set up so the repair frequencies are by the
age of the car, with their "birthdays" set to March (about halfway
through the model year). If the model years have all trended similarly,
the lines would be nearly the same. They usually differ, though. If a line starts high then rapidly drops, this indicates some glitches
early in a cars run. If the line starts low then starts shooting up at
one point, this suggests good initial reliability, but an increasing
number of problems after the inflection point. Sometimes there's a blip
in the line. This often indicates a specific problem common at a
specific age, e.g. water pumps or fuel pumps that fail around age two,
Used car buyers have found the graphs help when making their purchase
awards and events
Frank Aukofer received a WAPA Golden Quill Lifetime Achievement
Award for his consistent decades of quality journalism, both as
a general reporter and automotive journalist. Aukofer has penned
a nationally syndicated auto review column, now called DriveWays,
since 1975. Another fellow, Henry Ford, was honored with the
Golden Gear Award for his vision to transform the automobile
more than any other single individual in history.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cleaned up at the Texas Auto Writers
Association's Auto Roundup Jeff Yip reported in the Houston
Chronicle. The manufacturer won eight of the 20 categories in
the testing, including the Chrysler 300 as Car of Texas. The
Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe was named "Best Value".
Toyota's Sienna won
Best Family Car of Texas. The tests were moved forward from
their usual late April staging in order to present trophies to
the winning manufacturer at the Dallas Fort Worth Auto Show
Consumer Reports testing of 2015 models ranked
Tesla Model S best overall with Subaru's Impressa and
Forrester winning in their categories as did GM's Chevrolet
Impala and Buick Regal in theirs. Toyota's Prius and
topped their categories, as did the Audi A6 and the Honda
. . . The Road Racing Drivers Club Evening with Bobby Unser
presented by Firestone in Long Beach, Cal. honors the
three-time Indy Champ on Thursday, April 16, prior to the
running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The "best towing pickup" in five categories will be announced at
TFL's Golden Hitch Awards dinner April 8 at The Grizzly Rose in
Denver, CO. For reservations and details go
. . . Collector Car Day is Friday, July 10 and SEMA encourages auto
enthusiasts to join in celebrating this 6th annual national
event recognized by a U.S. Senate resolution that "collection
and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important
part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural
heritage of the United States."
For Collector Car Day event listings by place or to list an
event in your area go
SEMA is also accepting reservations now for booths at
the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas Nov. 3-6. See:
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
909-396-0289 for more information
And, if you plan to attend the Los Angeles
Auto Show, Nov. 12-29, you are advised to
book a room early
for the best rates. . . . High-profile sponsorships and exhibits are available for
the annual Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management
Briefing Seminars August 3- 6 in Traverse City, Mich. To explore
these opportunities, contact Lisa Hart at 734.929.0465 or
Vicious weather delayed NEMPA's annual Winter Vehicle Testing two
weekends in a row but, apparently, it got off on the weekend of March
14. Results to come. The extreme snow also prompted delay of its
February 26 meeting to March 26th. . . . IMPA plans to recruit sponsors for its monthly luncheons, thereby
reducing the costs for members outside of New York City confronted with
tolls and parking fees in order to attend the meetings.
Blogger Victor Sasson all but bites the hand that fed him following IMPA's March
luncheon. Bosch was the host and the topic was the company's Total Cost
of Ownership Study focusing on diesel engines with executives from
Diesel Technology Forum, Volkswagen and General Motors providing their
insight. Unfortunately, illness prevented the Bosch representative from
attending or he might have had a rejoinder for Sasson's Shocking Car
News blog summary of the discussion "...the appeal of diesel engines
over hybrid technology is that the former is more profitable to
automakers while yielding comparable mileage." . . . IMPA plans five,
full-day Professional Learning sessions during the next 12 months. They
are: Skill Building, Personal Branding, Content Creation,
and Social Media. . . . The Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen
presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company returns Friday, Sept. 11 for a
daylong celebration of the Glen's racing history.
An apparent disconnect between the Atlanta Auto Show and the Greater
Atlanta Auto Media Association (GAAMA) brought this response from the
show's PR office when asked if GAAMA was involved with the show, "Yes
they're having a meeting.". . . .
Special displays at Charlotte Motorspeedway will celebrate "100 Years of
Dodge" during its April 9-12 Auto Fair. . . .
Applications for Media credential for the 2015 Pinehurst Concours
d'Elegance vintage car showcase are being accepted
now through April 24.
Hotel information is available there as well. . . . Marty Schorr's
"Car Guy's Who Lunch" meetings in Sarasota not only bring
numbers, 50 or 60 per event, but an array of high horsepower and
interesting cars. He says anyone interested in attending is welcome.
Contact him at: email@example.com.
Detroit Press Club members convened for Irish jokes and story swapping
on St. Patrick's Day at a familiar haunt for Motor City media, the
Anchor Bar. A band of mostly journos playing Irish rock and roll,
Bono, Clannad and Drop Kick Murphy's enlivened the event. . . . Teams from
Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States have registered to compete
in the ninth annual Shell Eco-Marathon Americas event, which will be
held in Detroit for the first time, April 9-12. The more than 70 teams
are designing and building cars capable of achieving as much as 3,000
mpg that run on a range of energies including hydrogen, electricity,
gasoline, diesel, biofuels, fuel made from natural gas or, new for 2015,
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The best mileage wins.
Pete Lyons helped launch his long-awaited book on racing at
March 7 with a book signing at Autobooks-Aderobooks in Burbank, Calif. .
. . MPG, thanks to TakeTwoTV, slated its first live feed of a one of its
luncheon meeting. John Krafcik, president of TrueCar was the speaker. .
. . Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell are organizing a Santa Ana Drags
reunion for April 18, 2015, from 10 AM to 2 PM at Santiago Creek Park.
This event commemorates drag racing at the old dragstrip on the grounds
of the Orange County (Santa Ana) Airport from 1950 through 1959. The
free event also celebrates the Main Street Malt Shop reunion, the local
hangout for young people back when the drag strip was operating. For
more information, contact Richard Parks at
firstname.lastname@example.org. . . . If you had to ask, you probably would not have
qualified for the Wilsonville, OR World of Speed Museum's Slingshot
Contest to select the museum's first members. Qualifying has closed and
names of the enthusiasts selected along with their "creds" will be
posted for public voting on the museum's web site:
The winners will be announced April 24, opening day for the museum.
Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, World of Speed
will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the auto-racing world.
It will showcase up to 100 vehicles, a workshop and a space for
educational activities, which will highlight the professional
opportunities available in the auto industry.
Poynter Media Wire's Benjamin Mullin reported Automated Insights
announced the AP will use its software to report collegiate sports.
Barry Bedlan, AP's deputy director of sports products was quoted in the story,
"This will mean thousands of more stories on the AP wire, which will
remain unmatched in the industry." The news service already uses the
software to produce 3,000 financial reports per quarter, according
to Shelley Podolny in her NY Times Sunday Review Opinion piece:
Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know? Not very easily, apparently. Podolny writes:
"These robo-writers don't just regurgitate data, either;
they create human-sounding stories in whatever voice from staid to sassy
befits the intended audience. Or different audiences. They're that
smart. And when you read the output, you'd never guess the writer
doesn't have a heartbeat."
Kristian Hammond, co-founder of Narrative Sciences, another provider
of robo-journalsim software, is quoted in the piece,"90 percent of news
could be algorithmically generated by the mid-2020s, much of it without
As Podolny points out, "But we should be forgiven a sense of unease.
These software processes, which are, after all, a black box to us, might
skew to some predicated norm, or contain biases that we can't possibly
Not a happy thought considering Automated Insights' software alone is said to have produced one billion
stories last year with no human intervention and one professor's
patented algorithmic system has generated more than a million books,
more than 100,000 of which are available on Amazon.
front, Source Interlink Distribution, LLC is reported to have thrown in
the towel after losing the contract to distribute Time Inc.'s
publications to the nation's newsstands. . . . The number of stories
speculating on Apple entering the automotive industry has made the topic
somewhat boring: few facts and lots of "could-bes" and "what ifs." AutoExtremist columnist,
Peter M. De Lorenzo offers the best advice, "Wait and see." . . .
Keith Griffin notes in about autos that this
the year of the used electric car. There should be about 70,000
used electric vehicles on the road this year. By 2017, that number
should rise to 300,000. He quotes Paul Nadjarian, founder and CEO of
MojoMotors.com "This year is going to be the year people know
people who bought a used electric vehicle or see one in their
neighborhood. It's going to become more mainstream this year. It's still
the early adopters but that's fine."
Judith Perez is now the auto contact at Diario Las Americas in
Her email is: email@example.com . . .
Mike Michels has retired
as vice president of Toyota Communications. . . .Matt Leaver has moved
from Ford press fleet communications to Ford performance communications
. . . Dave Kiley, who has been writing on other topics, assured on
Facebook, "A few people have asked me if I am giving up writing on cars. Noooooo. Still contributing to
Automobile, The Chicago Tribune, and Shebuyscars.com."
David Harris, Formerly Media Relations at the defunct Speed TV, is now
with HMS Racing. . . .Michael Wesp is the auto contact at
Longview TX. firstname.lastname@example.org . . .Contact for
The Drive With Alan
Taylor, radio show on ERN is automotive producer Jared Alexander,
. . . Logan Utsman has departed MGS Communications but plans a new Auto
PR project starting in May. He can be reached at:
. . Trent Riddle, tech. editor at Diesel World Magazine, has a new email address:
Melanie Wade has departed Brandware Public Relations in Atlanta. . . . the email address for one
of the most read auto blogs in the U.S., the Houston Chronicle's Heidi's Pics , is
Heidi@heidivanhorn.com . . .
Cam Benty who is busy authoring
books also does Drivers Talk Radio out of Las Vegas and can be reached
email@example.com . . . .Zane Binder
now is with McClatchy Newspapers and The Tribune Syndicate . . .
Sometimes journalist, promoter and PR man Doug Stokes has a new job
according to LinkedIn
but it is the same job he has been doing for awhile only now he is vice
president, communications at California's Irwindale Event Center. . . .
Corina Brooks no longer assembles auto pages for the Kitsap Sun in
Bremerton, Wash. Material can go to the
SunNews@kitsapsun.com or Road
Warrior columnist Travis Baker:
Gone: John Brieske and the auto inserts he assembled for the Atlanta
. . . Brett Berk announced he will write a monthly column as automotive
editor for the .001%'s latest glossy distraction, ShowBoats International. . . . Brad Dorfman has departed the
Thomsonreuters.com. Peter Henderson
and Michele Gershberg welcome auto news at that domain. . . . Ken Hedler
left the Prescott Times and Max Efrein
succeeds him as business editor,
. . . Therresa Worthington, breaking news and business reporter
at the St. George Spectrum (UT), is interested in receiving releases on her
James Miller, the Car Counselor at KPRC in Stafford, TX., has changed his email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org . . .
Charles Sanville is a new registrant who
You Tube show
three times a week and once a week he posts a new auto tool or product feature. As
self-described by his email:
he brings a mechanic's perspective to his topics. . . . Truth About Car
alumnus Steve Lang has added GT Automotive to his outlets that also
include Chicago Tribune Media Group, Gawker and Tribune.
Glenn F. Campbell
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across the finish line
Ernest Hemmings - He transitioned the family automotive parts
catalogue business to "the bible" for car collectors: Hemmings Motor News in 1954
talk to us
Send your rants, raves, questions and suggestions to:
Please note: all correspondence sent to autowriters.com may
be used for publication at the Editors' discretion unless you
(But here's his message)
Just reading article on Santa Fe cruz. Saw comment on tail pipe
not staying clean and want to let you know clean diesel will
stay clean and don't like people running diesel down because
they smell or make noise. New tech is a lot better and comments
like that just keep the old thinking out there research it and
maybe praise the new tech instead of running it down. Our VW
tdi's are great and new ford tail pipe is still clean. Nit
picking probably, but think about it. Thank you.
Where are the coupes?
I would like to know why the automakers don't make two-door coupes, and very few cars available have nothing but black interiors. I live in Florida and don't want a hot black interior that shows every grain of sand, lint, etc. I currently own a 2002 Solara coupe that is gold with a very nice tan "velour'" interior. I'd prefer that the Solara make a comeback, but in the meantime, I'd settle for a Honda Accord coupe with a light interior. The Accord has six exterior colors available, but only the white model has anything other than a black interior. I don't like white! The same goes for the new Mustang, except ALL with black interiors. I don't get it!! I don't want a four-door sedan, as it's three more doors than I need. I've never owned one in my 71 years.
What's your take on this?
I am now with McClatchy Newspapers and the Tribune Syndicate.
Thirty large metro dailies and a slew of weeklies plus some
electronic media are privy to my weekly automotive test column.
I write what I find, good or bad, and answer the question
"should you buy this car" in 12" or less.
Dates To Go "Topless In Miami"
Paul Borden announced a date change for Topless In Miami at
yesterday's SAMA meeting. Dates now are June 3-5.
Honda At It Again
Great Honda video!
Very well done. One has to wonder at the ingenuity of how this
was put together. Would love to know how many hours it took to
produce this outstanding
(Also from Ron Beasley)
Internet of Thingz and Carz…
Amusing that your latest email post came in while I was reading
Senate Report Shaming Automakers Security
You know that everyone's spy agencies are working hard on this.
I can see the story now - "The (political target of choice) was
killed today when his car mysteriously had its throttle stick
wide open and the steering failed, resulting in a high-speed
impact with a stone wall." Or some such. Not to mention
mysterious accidents to lesser-known operatives
More relevant for the rest of us are "nannies" like automatic
braking in collision warning systems that apply the brakes on
their own. Fifteen minutes ago I backed a Chrysler 200C out of
my driveway. "Automatic braking on" said the proud message in
the instrument cluster. Car stopped all by itself twice either
from lack of traction on wet leaves or fear it would hit the
soft bushes at the side. Annoying, but not potentially dangerous
like the Grand Cherokee that *did* apply the brakes unbidden
when I was following a car obviously looking for an address a
couple of years ago. That car slowed to make a right turn into a
side street. I steered around it, but before I could press the
throttle to get by the GC applied its brakes and flashed the
band of red warning lights all on its own.
That's not the only instance of that happening that I've heard
of, and not limited to Chrysler. Pretty much every car I've
driven with collision warning has shown multiple false
positives, from such "hazards" as parked cars, slow traffic,
trees by the side of the road, boulders by the side of the road,
etc., etc. Don't get me started on lane-departure warning and
self-steering… we're outsourcing thinking and that is **never**
a good thing. Moar Feechurz! (to use snarky internetism) is not
a replacement for competence and education. But why think when
"there's an app for that!"
I did check security settings for the wifi in the 200C. Default
is no security, and I have to wonder how many people just go
with that. (No special demerit to Chrysler there, it's probably
that way for all.) Do you really have to be "connected" all the
time? Phones are enough of a distraction.
In a previous lifetime I was a software developer. Mostly tasked
with debugging other people's messes. All software has bugs and
the more complicated the software is, the more insidious and
hard to replicate the bugs can become. Now add the environment
of an automobile, or worse, motorcycle, which is inherently
hazardous to electronics and electrical connections and wait for
trouble. It might not show up for a while.
We have the best-ever new cars now. Give them five or 10 years
and they'll be the worst used cars ever. Replacement
electronics? Don't make me laugh… after the legally-mandated
replacement parts time limit expires the manufacturer doesn't
care. They aren't making money off of your 250,000-mile car,
they'd rather you buy a new one. Consume mass quantities.
Pete Lyons' book, Riverside International Raceway, retells the
incredible story of what this rocky chunk of scrub desert land
came to mean as one of world motorsports' most respected race
tracks. It has 500 photos (many never before published) that
along with his engaging prose give life to the legends and lore
of this race track's 33 years. It is available at:
Kimatni Rawlins' Automotive
Rhythms has partnered with Universal for the FURIOUS 7 Fandemonium Contest. Victors will be awarded elite prizes for
their ride from JL Audio, TSW and Mothers. For a chance to win a
set of TSW rims, JL Audio sound system or Mothers car care
products, register at:
www.Furious7AR.com. For an opportunity to
earn tickets to Furious 7 before it hits theaters nationwide on
April 3rd, visit Automotive Rhythms
Bull Publishing has a collection of articles, broadcast intros and
profiles by racer, broadcaster, raconteur Sam Posey in hardcover
for $29.95. There are 30 black-and white and 25 color photos and
an introduction by David Hobbs. "Where
The Writer Meets The Road" available online.
motoring press organizations
North American regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are
too distant for you to attend their meetings, belonging usually
gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.
Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
Automotive Press Association
Mark Phelan, President
American Racing Press Association
Stan Clinton, President
Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY
Ron Hedger, President
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Davis Adams, President
International Motor Press Association
Dave Kiley, President
Midwest Automotive Media Association
Kirk Bell, President
Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA
Jsaon Fogleson, President
New England Motor Press Association
Craig Fitzgerald, President
Northwest Automotive Press Association
Nik Miles, President
Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Cathy Droz, President
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Andre Smirnov, President
Southern Automotive Media Association
Bill Adam, President
Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Texas Auto Writers Association
Truck Writers of North America
Tom Kelley, Executive Director
Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA
Washington Automotive Press Association
Les Jackson, President
quotes to note
"Google estimated in 2010 that there were 300 exabytes (that's
300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-created information in the
world, and that more information was created every two days than
had existed in the entire world from the dawn of time to 2003"
J. Peder Zane
In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive – NY Times
" . . . an Apple watch in gold is an important purchase — so you
can think ‘What time is it?' and then look at your wrist and
say, ‘Oh, yeah. I'm rich."
The Apple Watch As Stupid Wealth Barometer - Marketing Daily
"I don't see anything good on the horizon for [TEN]," he
asserted. "Their future is pretty much doomed."
CEO of print media brokerage firm Kamen & Co. Group. –
Source Interlink Begins Its Wind Down-The Deal Pipeline
"Do what the phone people do: talk more about what it does, less
about what it means."
GM And Ford Need To Talk To Us About Cars – Marketing Daily
"Your iPhone has over 240,000 times the computing power of the
Voyager I spacecraft. . . . a small, handheld device that, by
the end of this year, will beat the diagnosis of seven out of 10
The Exponential Revolution Is Coming To Get You –Online Spin
"Under the Articles of War, 'it is unlawful for a warship to go
into action without first showing her true colors. ' That's a good rule for marketers and publishers to keep in mind
as they consider how to incorporate native ads into their
Native Ads: Clear Rules of Engagement Will Help Marketers And
Publisher Alike –Online Media Daily
"In the midst of existential crisis, basic honesty followed
classified ads and most of the editorial staff right out the
door. There are no ethicists in foxholes."
Lord, Blessed Is The Man Who Trusts in You. Forbes, Not So Much
– Garfield At Large, Mediapost
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