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

Andy Richter, a New York City advertising copywriter, won High Gear Media’s new writer contest and with it, a trip to California, a tour of the Tesla plant, a test drive and an opportunity to write his review of the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport. He is not a stranger to the genre, having worked on Jaguar and Volvo ad campaigns during his career. . . British rally car driver Louise Cook hopes enough enthusiasts will invest 50 pounds in her that she can fulfill her dream of becoming the first female World Rally Champion. If all goes as planned, six investors will get a 500 to 1 return and 1 in 5 supporters will get substantial on-car visibility during the British Rally Championship Challenge. All supporters will get sticker identification on the car and a link to their web site posted on the 22-year-old’s web site: www.cutecookie.co.uk. More information can be obtained there or by emailing: louise-brc@hotmil.co.uk 

Seventeen television networks and studios and seven talent agencies have agreed, subject to Court approval, to settle age discrimination allegations in connection with the hiring and representation of television writers age 40 or over, in nineteen separate class action lawsuits, for a collective payment of $70,000,000. For more information, you can check http://www.TVWritersSettlementAdmin.com, www.TVwritersCounsel.com, telephone 1-877-518-7090 or email: questions@TVWritersCounsel.com. Claim forms are due by April 13, 2010.

The Wally Parks NHRA Museum in Pomona, Calif. has mounted a new display celebrating the late Mickey Thompson’s many record-setting machines and the 50th anniversary of his first 400MPH run in 1960. A number of the innovative machines that Thompson designed, built, and in many cases, drove into the record books are in the exhibit.. . . John Grafman reports he has booked an outstanding panel for MPG’s annual AutoDesignO meeting March 9: Clay Dean (Global Design Director – Cadillac), Ralph Gilles (CEO – Dodge), and Franz von Holzhausen (Senior Design Executive).

Summit Point Automotive Research Center is seeking partners for nationwide expansion of its N-Chart initiative introduced in Dec. 2009 by the late Bill Scott and William Reichardt. Motivated by a groundbreaking study on advanced highway accident avoidance for young drivers, N-Chart teaches statistically validated advanced accident avoidance skills. For more information and partner requirements contact weichardt@bsr-inc.com.