PR Lapses, Surveys, Books and Honorees

American drivers are cutting back on the miles they drive but they are neither slowing down nor lightening up in response to spiking gas prices, according to AutoPacific. The California–based automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm found that only 36% of drivers surveyed were taking their foot off the gas to counter the costs of fuel (up $1.00 per gal. July- to -July). And, the same survey, found little change in responders next-car intentions with SUVs, Crossovers and Pickup trucks holding their own year-to-year. For more information on Auto Pacific’s periodic surveys, go to or

Assouline: The Impossible Collection of Cars

The Impossible Collection Of Cars

Taking It To The Next Level” is a just-out biography of motorcycle racing star Ken Spies from Bull Publishing. Contact: $29.95, 186 photos. . . . . Also newly available from Bull are two books with CDs published in Germany: Team Lotus in Formula One with 315 photos and two CDs and Porsche Sounds with 300 photos and three CDs. The Lotus book is $75.00 and the Porsche coffee-table-er, $59.95. . . . For serious book money, there’s The Impossible Collection of Cars, published by Assouline in collaboration with Dan Neil who wrote the captions and introductory essay.  Price: $650.00.To help you decide, Brett Berk provides a laudatory review of the book in the current issue if Vanity Fair.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 2011 class of inductees featured multi-time championship drivers David Pearson, Ned Jarrett and the late Lee Petty, former champion Bobby Allison and championship-winning team owner Bud Moore. Cash, as in greenbacks would be another welcome induction. The Hall reported a $1.42 million operating loss through June since opening in May 2010. The Hall is owned and operated by the city of Charleston, N.C. under license from NASCAR. . . . Meanwhile, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega Superspeedway is winnowing a list of 20 nominees for its Class of 2012. Those selected will be announced in the fall and inducted in May. . . . Still another hall of fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, inducted its 2011 class in August: Donnie Allison, Roger McCluskey, Bruce Penhall, Ed McCulloch, Augie Pabst and Ed Winfield.

Like the old-time “advance man” who plastered the town with posters and flyers promoting a competition, contest, or other event, modern-day PR men too often leave the journalist hanging when it comes to the results.

Cases in point: the World Race 2011 replicating the 1908 race around the world. Slated to end in Paris, July 21. Did we miss it? Or the Skills USA Championships in Kansas City (MO. Or KA.) in June. Or will it be the Sept. 18 student competition at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance to be the fastest to correctly disassemble and reassemble a small-block Chevy engine? Or The 4th Annual New York Motorexpo in Lower Manhattan Sept. 18 to 23. It promises to be “an (sic) vehicular extravaganza, ” “fantastic” “the best ever” with “no tickets and no lines.” And will offer “unparalleled access to vehicles from many of the world’s top manufacturers with the chance to get behind the wheel and test several of the very latest models.”

AWCom’s money is on the North American Mille Miglia Tribute, completed in August but not likely to be heard from again until it is time to attract cars for the next one. (Not to be confused with the  21 year old, non-profit California Mille).

It has been a wait for 88-year-old Carroll Shelby but his Shelby Cobra will be the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 17 -19, 2012.