Pit Notes-November 2009

Advertising Age reports that Hyundai and General Motors are among companies faced with “squatters” using their name as a Twitter site. The last thing you’ll see at Twitter’s @Hyundai page is a car and, Rupal Parkekh writes Twitter has not responded to complaints. One way of Twitter compelling sign ups as self defense against others using your name or brand on the social network.

Legendary Race Cars by Basem WasefLyndon Bell, African American On Wheels editor was first to promise a review of the Legendary Race Cars book. Jeff Zurschmeide’s offer came in second. However, he reports that his “Automotive Welding: A Practical Guide” is in its second printing after 3 months on the market and his new MINI Performance Handbook is due in May. . . Huffington Post will launch a Los Angeles city edition of its national news commentary web site and Steve Parker, who has covered the world of cars and trucks for the national edition will do likewise for the L.A. version. He says, “It’ll allow me to get into stories which have that unique ‘Los Angeles angle’ you can’t find anywhere else,” and cites celebrity cars, auto design studios, customizers, auto innovators and the Petersen Museum, as all on his beat.

News that Pontiac cars are selling fast supports a Jim Muise  “Any Driven Sunday” column forwarded here. He laments passing of the brand, particularly after test-driving one, and blames its demise not only on the old GM’s incompetence but also on media and politicians applying dated information and mistakes of the past in assessing its worth – without actually driving the current iterations.

There is an automobile, truck and motorcycle event in Wichita. Kans. next August 26-29. Promoter Frank Upton promises “the largest cash prize offered of $25.000” with top cars from around the United States competing. He estimates 3,000 to 5,000 and automobiles and an equal number of motorcycles attending the Black Top Nationals. For more information contact him at: frank@motorntv.com. . . . Susan Pi of Heyday Books and Heyday Institute in Berkeley, Calif. plugs a new book “Wheels of Change: From Zero to 600 Miles Per Hour, The Amazing Story of California and the Automobile. The author is Kevin Nelson (www.kevinnelsonwriter.com ) who has penned books on baseball, running and one for fathers-to-be. Pi says the book, “brings to life the personalities that have helped shape the story of California’s love affair with cars.” Contact her about a review copy at: Susan@heydaybooks.com.

While no age bracket is provided in reporting its latest study“ The Generation Y Opportunity,” AutoPacific says they are younger drivers and far more open to Chinese or Indian branded vehicles than the generation before them. AutoPacific president George Petersen says, “Growing up with continuously evolving technology and electronics has given Generation Y a unique ability to adapt easily to change, a willingness to accept new brands, and an expectation that their vehicle provide the best of what is available.” . . . Exactly what kind of car Generation Y will want in 2030 will be a market force and design studios from Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota will provide their visions of what that may be in this year’s design challenge at The Los Angeles Auto Show, with the winner announced Dec. 3.

The International Motor Sports Association and Cooper Tires are partnering and have renamed IMSA’s prototype development series the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship. It will feature an expanded schedule and a points restructuring that will make the competition tighter.