If Matt Farah is right, the American version of the storied Top Gear TV show soon will have some smart, funny competition on the Speed Channel. In an interview for KROQ Radio’s Lightning Garage, the producer and host of The Smoking Tire webcast said an un-scripted pilot has the makings of a prime time TV series that will “change how people watch car shows and, in a way, appreciate cars.” Comedian and car enthusiast Adam Carolla serves as ringmaster of the freewheeling show tentatively titled, The Car Show. Joining Corolla and Farah for the pilot were Dan Neil (yes, the Pulitzer prize-winning Dan Neil) and ex NBA basketball player and host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period, John Salley.
For those who wonder what the “ZF” stands for in the upcoming AutoWeek/ZF Fantasy Camp May 13-15 it is a worldwide corporation “whose products set the standards for driveline and chassis technology.” Participants in the camp, at $2,000 per person can test drive and evaluate the latest sporty coupes at the Ford Dearborn Development Center and enjoy a list of other benefits. More information at http://www.autoweek.com/fantasycamp. . . . And, for those who wonder what a 24Hours of LeMons is like, Speed Channel participated in the last LeMons Blago 500 and its crew recovered sufficiently to produce a show slated to air at 7 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, Feb. 19. Check local listings to be sure it has not been banned for any one of several reasons.
Jeff Mohr of Mohr Manufacturing has announced, “The world’s first energy absorbing, crash-tested, safety ball mount.” It will reduce or avoid whiplash in a rear end collision. Contact http://www.superbumper.com or http://www.sparebumper.com for more information. . . . Nominations are now being accepted for the SEMA Hall of Fame. Created in 1969, the award designed to honor outstanding persons in the industry who have enhanced the stature of, or significantly contributed to, the industry and/or association’s growth. Nominations are being accepted until March 16, 2011, and can be submitted online. To learn more about the SEMA Hall of Fame and for a list of inductees, visit www.semahof.com or contact Lisa Moreno at email@example.com or 909/978-6684.
Sue Mead and co-driver Darren Skilton finished first in class and 40th overall in the “Dakar” rally, prudently staged in South America this year. Their Fab School-General Tire F-150 Raptor was the only stock production vehicle still running at the end of the 6,000-mile trek. (The Fab School vocational facility in Riverside, Calif., donated the labor to prepare the 5.4-liter, V-8 engine Raptor for the competition.) She is the first woman driver of record from either North or South America to compete in the Dakar Rally and the first to win in an automotive class. After a near-death experience Mead decided at age 35 “to go for life” and segued from photographer and Associated Press writer to auto journalist and racer. Twenty-five years later she has worked or raced in 69 countries and now, is ready to write her book.
Controversial Myron Stokes made this startling claim on his eMotionReports.com site: “…we know from our own intelligence sources that Toyota’s difficulties primarily stem from internal sabotage at the design and manufacturability level put in place nearly two decades ago. This activity constituted a core element of a grand strategy by an emergent global player, who understood implicitly that the success of its long range plans required crafting a loss of consumer confidence in the Toyota brand.”