Pit Notes March 2010

Appropriate to the Easter season, Motor Trend Classic has been reborn. Source Interlink has re-launched the previously bimonthly magazine as a quarterly to the delight of many fans who thought it was the death knell for the up market title when it was shuttered three years ago . . . . Also re-launched, Wooden Horse News reports, is Canada’s Driver Magazine. It has gone from a regional to a bimonthly national magazine covering the gamut of consumer automotive concerns.

SpeedReaders.info has changed owners. Launched just four months ago by Kevin Clemens and Helen V. Hutchings, to present carefully considered reviews of transportation books, videos and DVDs, the site has published more than 100 reviews. The new owner and site administrator is Sabu Advani. He has been editor of the Rolls Royce owner’s club magazine, The Flying Lady, since 1998. Clemens will pursue his academic career while Hutchings has been offered new opportunities, although both will contribute reviews periodically.

Prolific freelance writer Rex Roy has added TV scriptwriter and show host to his resume. He has done 10 DIY Garage shows sponsored by Auto Zone, for AOL Autos.com They are in the can and rolling onto to the web site as we write. . . . Writing for HuffPost Social News, Bill Lucey offers some concrete suggestions (too many to list here) in his piece, How Do Laid Off JournalistsStop distracted driving. Reinvent Themselves? . . . AutoWeek has joined Coyne Communications’ campaign to discourage driving while distracted. Specifically, the magazine urges you and your readers to sign a pledge to not drive while distracted. For more information about the campaign and how you can participate contact: Annec@coyne-net.com or go to www.autoweek.com/distracteddriving.

Speaking of AutoWeek, the publication is launching a two-day Virtual Green Car Show that promises a look “at everything you need to learn about green, virtually.” It starts live on Sept. 22-23. To participate you must pre-register at www.autoweekvirtualgreencarshow.com . . . If you want a current update on Ethanol, The Auto Channel recently completed a 30-minute Road Trip episode focused on the subject with Ed Begley, Jr. and David Blume, author of “Alcohol Can Be A Gas.” The show can be seen at: http://www.theautochannel.com/F/news/2010/02/18/466262.html. (more…)

Continue ReadingPit Notes March 2010

Pit Notes: February 2010

A web-based, 3-d interactive walk-through tour of the 2010 Chicago Auto Show is scheduled to go live February 12 at www.chicagoautoshow.com. In addition to providing fluid navigation through the mammoth show, the web walk integrates clickable icons to provide embedded video, audio high resolution images and links to more information. . . . The show also earns kudos for sponsoring a New Media Conference for attending journalists and PR persons.

In a column for the Washington Post, Warren Brown opines that because “old school automotive journalism emphasizes speed, handling, and something called fun-to-drive” many of its members are surprised by Hyundai Motors climb from a laughable entry to great sales success. That’s because, he writes, “old-school automotive journalism doesn’t reflect everyday-world realities. Most automotive consumers, especially those in need of family transportation, look primarily for affordability, safety, fuel economy, comfort and reliability.”

The unique Mana La Solar Car has been donated to the Petersen Automotive Museum by John Paul Mitchell Systems (hair products). It was built by John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell for the 1988 world solar challenge.

Mana La Solor Car


Continue ReadingPit Notes: February 2010

Pit Notes: January 2010

Lyndon Conrad Bell made artful use of the review copy of Basem Wasef’s book Legendary Race Cars. In his letter from the editor in a recent issue of African-American On Wheels, Bell tells how the book’s recounting of the men and dreams behind 25 of the most significant race cars ever became part of his nourishing the dream of his son, Julian, who wants “To own a company that designs, builds and sells cars” . . . The Aftermarket Fact Book has gone digital with the new issue orderable at www.aftermarket.org. . . . John “Jay” Lamm writes, “Luminaries of the automotive world will help judge each event (three Concours d’Lemons) risking their reputations and stomach linings to oversee classes such as Needlessly Complex Italian, Rueful Britannia, Bad(ge) Engineering, and Most Dangerous.” They will be held March 7 at Infineon Raceway. May2 at Road Atlanta and August 7 at Monterey Toro Park. Speaking of LeMons, below is one of the cars “honored” in recent selections for its “Hall of Blame.”

Autowriters.com:Pit Notes

Team Eyesore  Photo by: 24 Hours of LeMons/Head-On Photos

Just as Ford makes news with its latest in-car interactive electronics, (one writer suggesting it may become the next media company) the Transportation Department and the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group, have formed FocusDriven, an organization aimed at spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, in particular, cell phone use while behind the wheel. New York Times Bits blogger Matt Richel reports many of the citizen instigators of the new group are survivors of loved ones killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. He says they will pattern their campaign after that of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Coincidently, Sean Kane sent along a copy of the Safety Record published bi-monthly by Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. (www.safetyresearch.net) It features a disturbing article on tests of Driver Distractions and Vehicle Contraptions.

Befitting the Fed’s investment in the auto industry, The Washington Auto Show is expanding its efforts to put innovation front and center while providing a central meeting place for policy makers and industry officials as well as consumers and the media. In addition to a public policy media preview days on Capitol Hill January 25, the shows themed, “Change Happens Here” will debut a 65,000 square foot display dubbed the “Advanced Technology Superhighway” at the show itself in the Walter E. Washington Convention January 26-31.


Continue ReadingPit Notes: January 2010