Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Northwood University graduates first class of Automotive MBA students.

We don't usually toot our own horn but we want to congratulate our founder and editor on his recent achievement of graduating as part of the first ever Automotive MBA program offered by Northwood University. Albert Heiles was one of eighteen graduates of the first cohort to graduate with this prestigious honor on December 11th, 2010. The cohort made up of eighteen students from all areas of the auto industry from vehicle manufacturers to aftermarket product companies to dealers.

"This is a great program for anyone that wants to be challenged to transform our industry and also assess their own behaviors and attitudes," commented Elgie Bright, district sales manager, Chevy-Eastern Michigan, General Motors.

The program  also allowed for an excellent networking tool for students and friendships and relationships flourished over the course of the program.

The 27th month program included a comprehensive masters degree program focusing on business operations, finance, international trade, individual freedom and entrepreneurial values. Northwood University is no stranger to the auto industry. Since 1961 they have been the only university to offer a comprehensive degree focusing on the business side of the auto industry 

Congratulations to the 2010 Graduates of Northwood University.

Source: Northwood University.

[Press Release]

MIDLAND, MI – The DeVos Graduate School of Management celebrated the graduation of the inaugural class of its Dealership Executive MBA program (DEMBA) at Northwood University's commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 11, 2010.

The cohort consisted of students from all over the country representing the following companies. Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals, Autobahn Automotive Media,, Central Atlantic Toyota Distributors, Manheim Online Solutions, Credit Acceptance Corporation, DCH Auto Group, Flemington Car & Truck Company, Ford Motor Credit Company, General Motors, John Brothers, Inc., Nissan North America, Fidelis Systems, Performance Auto Group Family of Dealers, Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Lincoln, Talisman Suzuki, and Vaughn Automotive New Vehicle Dealership.

"Northwood has a rich history with the automotive industry and remains committed to further developing leaders throughout the competitive automotive marketplace," said Dr. Lisa Fairbairn, dean of the DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University.

Several recent DEMBA graduates expressed their experience with the program. Sara Villarin-Yi, comptroller at Talisman Suzuki, said, "I would have to say that whatever success my dealership will be experiencing it will be because of this program. I started not knowing much about the automotive industry but finished with a plethora of knowledge and great friends." "This is a great program for anyone that wants to be challenged to transform our industry and also assess their own behaviors and attitudes," commented Elgie Bright, district sales manager, Chevy-Eastern Michigan, General Motors.

Rick Levitin, Infiniti dealer product & service trainer at Nissan North America, added, "This Northwood MBA has given me the critical thinking skills necessary to meet the unique challenges of our dynamic automotive industry. I am able to quickly apply the curriculum material and best practices shared among classmates to my contact with the Infiniti dealer body."

The Dealership Executive MBA (DEMBA) program, introduced in 2008, is an innovative MBA curriculum specifically designed to meet the ever-growing needs of leadership development within the retail automotive industry.

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers full-time, evening and industry specific master's degree programs for entrepreneurs and executives in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Northwood University also operates the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Maine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Cal Look.

Just some more California dreamin. Even though this car's from Europe.

This is why winter isn't cool in the North East.

We don't have So Cal Speed Shop opening their doors or vintage rail dragsters hanging out in the street. This comes from our friend Goodies who treks back and forth from Europe to the US a couple times a year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ok, I think we will

We're goin Buggy for VW Bugs!

Aother beautiful cal looker

The sun, the color, the sunroof, the wheels, the stance. P E R F E C T!

Boy that's nice

Nothing quite like a European interpretation of a classic California Look VW. This one's a 1963 built by the folks at The Bug Box.

The Bug Box

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tonight. On an all new Top Gear.......

That's right folks. Top Gear USA is finally making it's US variant debut on our shores. Tomorrow night, Sunday Nov. 21st at 10/9 Central on the History Channel. Hosted by Adam Ferrara, Tanner Faust, and Rutledge Wood, along with (non Ben Collins) Stig. I don't expect it to take the place of the original and still the best Top Gear from the BBC. Especially since the hosts so far aren't Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. But it's worth a shot and will make for another automotive show to watch that doesn't revolve around Nascar. So that's a good sign. So who's the US Stig? I'm betting on Mario Andretti.

Top Gear USA

The days of wine and roses

From a time when it took a real man to chase down a split window corvette at over 100 miles per hour on bias ply white walls and a lap belt. These guys were serious race drivers.

A few more from So-sos.

Positive Camber

No one can deny the 1927 Bugatti type 37 as one of the greatest grand prix racers of the early 20th century.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Car crashes in to Pennsylvania drivers license center.

Earlier today a vehicle crashed into a drivers license center in Collier Township, Pennsylvania. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. No word on if the student taking their test passed. Likely no, however there must have been that really awkward moment after the student at the instructor confirmed they we ok.

Source: WTAE Channel 4 News.

A car crashed through the entrance of a driver license center in Collier Township on Wednesday afternoon.A witness told Channel 4 Action News' Tara Edwards that a young driver appeared to be taking a test with an instructor when the car went through a window, sending glass shattering inside the center.Sky 4 flew over Chartiers Valley Shopping Center on Washington Pike as the car was removed from the driver license center and loaded onto a flatbed truck.A photo taken by a Channel 4 Action News viewer showed the vehicle sitting in the waiting area of the driver license center before it was removed.Emergency dispatchers said two people suffered minor injuries.Police have not said how the car ended up inside the building.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are you the next VW Beetle?

While VW has made no official announcements of the replacement for the bow finished VW New Beetle. This interesting mule was recently spotted testing in (we assume) Germany. VW has remained very tight lipped in regards to the fate of the replacement Beetle other than they were in fact working on a car and that it would overcome the outgoing New Beetles flaws. Notably the cute look and lack of trunk/rear sear room. Also the new car would ride on an entirely new chassis from the previous car which still used the 4th generation Golf platform.

This new car has a more traditional Beetle look with a longer front hood, and the body appears to be stretched significantly, but that may be an illusion created by the lower roof line. VW did cunningly fix the outgoing Beetle's tail lights and both bumpers to this car to disguise it. But when you're dealing with the most recognized car in the world. It's a little hard to keep people guessing.

Look for a later feature on one of the last New Beetles produced soon from a recent test drive we did, along with a review of the new 2011 Jetta.

Source: Edmunds.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coming soon! 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster! With video.

Recalling one of the most famous road Porsche's in history, Porsche is launching the 4th generation Speedster. Based on the 911, the Speedster recalls Porsche's heritage of the original 356. The new Speedster is set to debut in Paris next month and will officially go on sale in December. Porsche is only going to produce 356 copies of the new classic. So act fast. Instantly noticeable is the lower ride height, wider rear track and raked windshield. All paired with the hard cover that goes over the 911s rear seat area. There are a few other body changes, like the rear bumper and side skirts. And who can deny those awesome modern Fuchs alloys taken from the 911 Sport Classic? The new Speedster packs a healthy 408 horsepower. The new 7 speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe transmission is the only choice and also Richard Hammond's favorite to pronounce. The Speedster will only be available in the exclusive Pure Blue paint or optional Carrara White. However, I'd imagine that further color choice are available to make your new Speedster a truly one of a kind car. The interior again is unique to the Speedster, but color options are not available. Check out the full press release after the video.

Read the press release below:

Exclusive Small Series Limited to 356 Cars

Fourth Edition of a Sports Car Legend: The New Porsche 911 Speedster
Stuttgart. Very low-slung, very sporty, and very rare: The Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche
AG, Stuttgart, launches a small edition of a new 911 Speedster. Paying homage to
the first Porsche model that bore the name Speedster – the 356 Speedster –, the
production run for the new model is limited to 356 cars. The two-seater is significantly
different from the other members of the 911 family. In the best tradition, the 60 millimetre
lower, more raked windscreen, the flat contour of the sporty-look manual hood,
and the characteristic double-bubble hardcover for the soft top define the striking profile
of the new 911 Speedster. This makes the body of this rear-wheel drive with its
44 millimetre wider rear stand out even more. The new Porsche 911 Speedster will
celebrate its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show in early October.

The new 911 Speedster combines the classic features of this type of Porsche sports
car with further improved performance of the current 911 generation: The 3.8-litre flat
six delivers 408 hp (300 kW), 23 hp more in comparison with the 911 Carrera S. With
its average consumption of 10.3 litres/100 km (27.43 mpg imp) (NEDC), the new
Speedster is no less efficient than the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet without Powerkit – an
effect of Porsche Intelligent Performance. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe
(PDK) is in charge of transmitting power to the rear axle fitted with a
standard differential lock. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche
Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) are standard, too. Add to that exemplary
protection for driver and passengers in the new 911 Speedster. Especially for this model, the Porsche engineers further improved the rollover protection system which
is standard in all open-top Porsche cars.

The conception of the current Speedster comes from Porsche Exclusive – the company-
owned "enhancer" specialising in individualisation of Porsche cars and small
series. The 911 Speedster heralds the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive which
will be celebrated in 2011, and once again, demonstrates the small-series competence
of Porsche Exclusive after the big success of the 911 Sport Classic.

Living up to the Porsche Exclusive standard, the 911 Speedster features almost all
optional equipment of the 911 series and its appeal also comes from its meticulously
hand-finished interior in black smooth-finish leather with numerous exterior colour
painted details exclusive to the Speedster. These include decorative designs with
checkerboard patterns in the seat centre section of the adaptive sports seats reminiscent
of a chequered flag, and the leather side bolsters in the exterior colour.

The sporty flavour is further enhanced by the exterior colour “Pure Blue” that has
been developed exclusively for the Speedster, providing an intriguing contrast with
the tinted front lights, black headlight rings, black windscreen surround and other
black decorative designs. Upon request, the Speedster is available in Carrara White,
at no extra cost. It also features a special front apron, specific sideskirts and a distinct
rear apron.

In 1953, the Speedster series was launched with a puristic sports car based on the
Porsche 356, which had two sports bucket seats, doors with slide-in plastic side windows,
and a shortened, elegantly curved windscreen. In 1988, the Speedster based
on the 911 Carrera celebrated its revival with an added feature. For the first time, the
hood compartment lid had the characteristic double bubbles. In 1993/1994, the next
evolutionary stage of the 911 Carrera was ushered in with yet another Speedster.

In Germany, the 911 Speedster including country-specific equipment and 19 % VAT
is priced at Euro 201,682 and will be launched in December 2010.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update on Barry Meguiar

More details have finally emerged on Car Crazy host, gar nut and wax guru Barry Meguiar. We have learned that Meguiar was admitted to the hospital just before Monterey weekend. Doctors determined that Meguiar had developed a rare and deadly form of viral pneumonia.

He was immediately admitted to the ICU and was placed in a drug induced coma for eight days. Meguiar was released from the hospital this week and will be fine and is expected to return to hosting Car Crazy in October according to Speed.

Meguiar (67) credits God with saving his life along with the talented and car crazy staff at Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula. 
"Car guys are literally working in every department, and all the things that make car guys special permeate this place, from the high performance of their equipment to the determination to go the extra mile," he said. 

Here's to a speedy recovery Barry!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stolen Mustang found!

Good news from our friends over at Motown Muscle. The stolen 91 Mustang we put the APB on Sunday has been found. Police in Brighton, Michigan located the mustang and alerted the owner yesterday morning that his Mustang was found, and completely whole. Here's the rundown of what happened from the owner Matt a.k.a 91trunk.

"The car was taken Saturday night (looking at the video to see what time). The chain to the gate was cut. The guard that came on duty that morning was doing his rounds and notice the gate open more than normal. As he walked up, there was link cut in half laying on the ground. He re-chained the gate, made the phone call to who he was suppose. (I'm going to leave the rest out due to things happening at the dealership).

Fast forward to Sunday morning, I came to the dealership to pick the car up for Blackstang's Daughters car show. I ask the guard to unlock the gate so I could grab my car. I was gonna pull the trailer inside wash the car and meet up with my buddies. I pulled in back where the trailer was sitting and it was gone. At first I thought maybe a co-worker had played a trick and pulled it in the building because both gates were chained. When I was told the story about why the gates were still locked (can't say why yet, it's involves someones job) I called the police. A2 PD came out took the report and put the car in the system as stolen.

This morning at 3 am A2 PD left me a message saying they found my car. I figured it was a shell in Detroit, but to my surprise it was in Brighton. Turns out my car is still a street car ( ), since the guy took his GF to dinner and was at the car wash cleaning it. Brighton PD rolled through the car wash and ran the plate. The plate came back as a Jeep, so the officer started talking to the guy. The guy lied and said it was his fathers car and things weren't adding up, so he ran the VIN. After it came back stolen he arrested the guy and he confessed to stealing the car. He told them the trailer was at his house still hooked up to the truck and my helmet and fire jacket were in his house.

I just got back from Brighton where the car was in impound. The car was kept inside and was in perfect condition (Thanks Corrigan Towing). I don't know if the car was hurt (engine or trans) yet, but everything was there. The only two things missing were the straps and set of old slicks that were sitting on the front of the trailer (the ramps were even there ) She is now back safe and sound here at the dealership. I'll be loading her up tonight and taking her to a new secure storage place.

I want to thanks everyone here for keeping an eye out, spreading the word it was stolen and well wishes. I don't know where my luck came from, but I sure did have it this time. I also want to thank the Brighton PD for being in the right place and the perfect time. Without them, I don't think she would have been found."

You have to admit that it's comical when someone is so stupid to steal a unique car like this mustang and just throw different plates on it and then take your best girl out to dinner to celebrate your stupidity.  Here's to Matt getting his pride and joy back!

A photo of the homecoming.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Calling all cars! Be on the lookout for a stolen 1991 Ford Mustang

This one goes out to our readers in Michigan. Be on the lookout for a 1991 Ford Mustang notchback drag car stolen from Varsity Ford lot near Ann Arbor, Michgan. Dark red race car, on a black open trailer (see pic). Custom MI plate Says 91TRUNK. Please call Matt @ 734-660-4013 with ANY information. There is a reward offered for the return. Attached is a photo of the car.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And you thought American La France only made fire trucks

Here's an interesting story from our friends over at Hemmings Motor News. So you thought that American La France only built fire trucks? Think again. Between the years of 1907 and 1914 ALF actually did build speedsters for consumers to buy. These of course being speedsters on a grand scale, as they used the traditional frames and engines from their fire truck counter parts which were heavy duty to say the least. It's not clear how many were built, but they are definitely few and far between. We recently came across a 1914 model at a recent car show for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix this past July. As you can see from the Porsche 356 parked next to it, there's nothing small about this speedster.

(link via Hemmings)

Barry Meguiar in serious condition.

There's hardly a car guy around who doesn't know who Barry Meguiar is. As CEO of Meguiars Car Care and host of the Car Crazy television program, Barry's energetic smile and passion for cars has beamed him into the minds of many. We are not exactly sure why, but Barry is currently in the intensive care unit of the Monterey Community Hospital in California in serious condition. We will post further details as they become available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Meguiar family.

(via AutoWeek)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A limousine fit for Abe Lincoln at Hemmings Blog – Classic and collectible cars and parts

Talk about a rarity. Check out this 1966 Oldsmobile 98 limo at a recent show held by the folks at Hemmings Motor News. The red paint and UPS truck mirrors on the door are strange to say the least. But all that aside, it's still one really cool classic car that's going to stand out at the shows and cruises from the typical Cadillacs.

A limousine fit for Abe Lincoln at Hemmings Blog

(via Hemmings)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eight killed in tragic off road racing accident

News in this morning that eight people were killed when a off road racing truck lost control and hit a group of spectators. The accident happened during the annual California 200 race through the Mojave Desert in California. Aside from the confirmed dead, at least 12 are being treated in area hospitals for serious injuries. More details will follow. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to those killed and injured.

Monday, August 9, 2010

That Came With a Manual Transmission? Feature – Car and Driver

That Came With a Manual Transmission? Feature – Car and Driver

Some interesting offerings were available with manual transmissions at one time or another. When's the last time you saw a Dodge Caravan with a stick? I've only heard stories of these rarities and seen a few pics, but never in person. Car and Driver put together a great feature here. What's one of the rarest, modern day manual trans cars you've seen?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tommy's towing toys

Tommy's towing toys

TV Tommy Ivo sure had a thing for glass sided trailers and great stories of life on the road hauling race cars. His COE Dodge though, takes the cake. I wonder where this is now? And the corvette with the rally stripes for that matter.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari: Is it worth $47,000?

Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari: Is it worth $47,000?

I don't know about $47k, but the Abarth 695 is seriously cool in every way! I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 500 here in the states. As soon as I can track down what local dealer is going to be selling them, I'm going to be placing an order for a nicely decked out Abarth version.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Schedule

This year will be our third year covering the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and our 17th as spectators. Here's the full schedule for this year. Two weeks of automotive festivals and racing. Marque of the year is Audi, spotlight car the Chevrolet Corvette, and a special gathering of Yenko vehicles. The PVGP is the largest vintage motorsport festival in the country. And all proceeds from the event go to charity to benefit the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. This event for the car shows is open to all makes and models. If you are interested in entering a vehicle please pre-register at Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Association

Sunday July 11
Kick-Off Rallye
Participate in this rallye thru Pittsburgh Friday July 16
Blacktie & Tailpipes

Race Week kicks off with a black-tie gala at the Pittsburgh Golf Club in Schenley Park
Weekend July 17/18
Historic Races at BeaveRun
Races at BeaveRun Motorsports Complex in Beaver Falls featuring American muscle cars and European racers from the 60's and 70's.Come watch the races or compete in our AutoCross and Karting events.

Monday July 19
Walnut Street Car Show
An exclusive car show in Shadyside.

Tuesday July 20
Car Cruise at the Waterfront
Take part in this 700 strong car cruise in Homestead.

Wednesday July 21
Downtown Parade & Car Show
Spend the day with the PVGP starting with a parade thru Pittsburgh and 3 afternoon car displays.

Tune-Up Party at Bossa Nova
A party at Bossa Nova from 6-9 PM. 7th Street will be closed and filled with dozens of race cars!
Sponsored by Metz Lewis

Weekend July 24/25
Schenley Park Race Weekend
Vintage races thru the streets of Pittsburgh featuring sports cars from the 30's, 40's and 50's. An International Car Show on the Schenley Park Golf Course - free for spectators.

Know your history: 1989 Cadillac Style ad

Don't you miss the days when everyone bought a Fleetwood Brougham or a Lincoln Towncar to pull their horse trailer. It is too bad that Caddy doesn't use this jingle anymore. When was the last time there was a jingle written specifically for a car?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Breaking News: The end of the road for Mercury.

It's official. Ford Motor Company has sealed the casket on Mercury. After 71 years, Mercury will be shuttered to allow Ford to focus on expanding the Lincoln brand. Mercury currently only accounts for 0.8% market share for Ford. Per Ford, production is expected to come to an end in the 4th quarter of this year. FMC will also be working closely with dealers to help lessen the pain they will ultimately feel. I predict that many dealers who will now be stand alone Lincoln dealers will start looking into the options of either moving or selling their Lincoln franchises to their Ford brothers to combine both brands under one roof. Ford themselves may make this decision also. While we hate to see the brand die, it does make sense. Mercury really doesn't have a car that is unique to them, except for maybe the Grand Marquis. And the last really cool Mercury was the 2003-2004 Marauder. In recent years the company has really only been badge engineering Ford vehicles and stealing sales from Ford. In the mean time though, lets have a toast to the brand that gave us iconic cars like the 49/50 Mercury, the Cougar, the Marauder, and many more fine vehicles over the last 71 years. See the official press release below.

Source: Ford Motor Company.

  • Ford is expanding its Lincoln lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years – including its first-ever C-segment vehicle
  • Lincoln's plan accelerates with more investment and attention on standout product design, class-leading technology and powertrains delivering top performance and fuel efficiency
  • Lincoln product development, marketing, sales and service resources expanding as the brand competes with Cadillac and Lexus in the marketplace
  • Ford will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing Lincoln
  • Existing Mercury owners to receive continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers; current Mercury vehicle warranties and Extended Service Plans will be honored; special offers available on new Mercury vehicles through the summer
  • Affected dealers to receive specialized support during the transition, as the company continues its transformation to a more profitable dealer network
DEARBORN, Mich., June 2, 2010 – Ford Motor Company will expand and enhance its Lincoln brand lineup with seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in the next four years as part of an aggressive growth plan focused on standout product design, class-leading technology and new powertrains – all aimed at competing with Cadillac and Lexus in North America.

Ford also will end production of Mercury vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year to fully devote its financial, product development, production and marketing, sales and service resources toward further growing its core Ford brand while enhancing the Lincoln brand.

"We have made tremendous progress on profitably growing the Ford brand during the past few years. Now, it is time to do the same for Lincoln," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "The new Lincoln vehicles will transform luxury for North American premium customers through an unexpected blend of responsive driving enjoyment and warm, inviting comfort. We will also offer our customers a world-class retail experience through a vibrant retail network."

Lincoln's hallmarks will be refined, modern design, the most fuel-efficient premium powertrains and industry-leading technology that create a unique driver experience both in the cabin and on the road.

"Profitably growing Lincoln in North America is an important part of our One Ford plan," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. "Our Ford brand is gaining momentum and winning customers around the world. Now, we are going to use the same laser focus to further strengthen Lincoln and deliver even more products luxury customers really want and value."

Foundation Set

The future of Lincoln is building from a strong base that includes the all-new flagship MKS large sedan, the all-new MKT seven-passenger crossover and a significantly refreshed MKZ mid-size sedan – all now in showrooms. The hybrid version of the MKZ will reach showrooms later this year and is expected to be the most fuel efficient premium sedan on the market.

Lincoln's product actions continue later this year with the debut of the significantly refreshed 2011 MKX crossover, the first vehicle to feature MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology.

This will be followed by another six all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles within four years developed with Lincoln's DNA of standout design, precise and confident driving experience, class-leading technology and powertrains delivering top performance and fuel efficiency.

Lincoln will be led by expanded product development and marketing, sales and service teams to support the brand's growth plan and ensure it has a strong cadence of distinct products that are well positioned in the market. Plans for Lincoln include:
  • Lincoln's first-ever C-segment vehicle
  • New Lincoln-exclusive powertrains, including an all-new V-6 engine and advanced fuel-efficient transmissions
  • EcoBoost engines available in all Lincolns – from the Navigator full-size SUV to the new C-segment Lincoln
  • Fuel economy leadership with each new vehicle – leading to Lincoln emerging as the most fuel-efficient luxury lineup on the market
More useful technology and features than any other competitor – with a special focus on comfort and convenience. New advanced features include: fully retractable glass roofs; adaptive computer-controlled suspensions; electronic, push-button gear-selectors; active noise control; and exclusive MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology

"Lincoln vehicles will reward drivers with smooth, effortless power complemented by agile handling and responsive steering," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Global Product Development. "The cabin is a sanctuary with segment-leading quietness, genuine materials and intuitive, useful technology."

Lincoln has started gaining traction with customers, as evidenced by market share gains during the past five years. Lincoln's share of the retail U.S. luxury vehicle market has grown from 4.5 percent in 2005 to 6.3 percent through the first quarter of 2010.

In addition, Lincoln's reputation with consumers has risen, with favorable opinion and purchase consideration reaching its highest level in the past five years. Lincoln's long-term durability was second only to Porsche's in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Survey.


Mercury originally was created as a premium offering to Ford and was an important source of incremental sales. However, the continued strength of the Ford brand – particularly during the past three years – has accelerated the migration from Mercury to Ford for many customers.

Today, Mercury's customer profile, pricing and margins are almost identical to Ford, but Mercury's incremental sales have been declining.

The majority of current Mercury sales are to fleet buyers and customers purchasing through employee, retiree and friends and family discounts, which Ford anticipates largely can be satisfied by Ford brand vehicles.

Of Ford Motor Company's 16 percent market share in the U.S., Mercury accounts for 0.8 percentage points, a level that has been flat or declining for the past several years. That contrasts with the Ford brand, which has increased market share by 2.2 percentage points so far this year on the strength of new products and improved quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.

Ford's strengthening financial position – including the return to profitability and positive cash flow – allows the company to absorb short-term costs associated with the discontinuation of Mercury and to consolidate future product investments into Lincoln.

Today, there are no stand-alone Mercury dealerships in North America. Ford is working closely with dealers to maintain properly located stand-alone Lincoln or Ford-Lincoln dealers, which will offer dealers and the company the greatest opportunity for long-term profitable growth.

New operational standards developed with the company's dealers will facilitate a Lincoln customer experience that exceeds the expectations of North American luxury customers.

Personal Attention

Ford will work closely with Mercury dealers and customers during the transition, including providing existing Mercury owners with continued access to parts and service support at Ford and Lincoln dealers and by honoring current warranties, including Ford's Extended Service Plans.

"We are 100 percent committed to supporting Mercury owners through Ford and Lincoln dealerships and working hard to keep them as valued customers in the future," Fields said.

"At the same time, we will work closely with our dealers to phase out Mercury franchises and continue to build a healthy, growing Lincoln with strong new products and a profitable dealer network that delivers a world-class customer experience."

Mercury owners will receive additional details in the coming days explaining the transition and assuring them that Ford and its dealers will continue to provide all necessary parts and service support for Mercury products.

Ford has notified Mercury dealers of the decision and provided details of a financial package that includes payment in exchange for resigning the franchise.

Ford today also informed dealers of special offers on new Mercury vehicles that will be available through the summer to support the sell down of current Mercury inventory and remaining Mercury vehicle production.

"We are taking decisive action and moving into the future with the right plan to deliver profitable growth for all stakeholders," Fields said. "These moves position us to continue building momentum through strong brands, great products and an unwavering focus on the customer."

Monday, May 3, 2010

1998 New Beetle sets record at 400,000+ miles.

Despite some claims that VWs from the 90s through the early 2000s were terrible cars. We don't agree with that and neither will Alice Mannion. Her 1998 New Beetle recently toppled the 400,000 mile mark. Alice who drives her New Beetle which was purchased used in 2000 every day. And has racked up 40,000+ miles a year since. Her only complaint in that time? A pesky A/C problem. No complaints here. Congratulations Alice.

{source/photos: Reading Eagle}

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Police pull over and ticket Mini convoy

It really is a shame when a charity event has to be spoiled by someone, be it a spectator, an event, or in the case of the Southern Ontario Mini Club. The Ontario Provence Police. The club's annual Spring Rattler charity drive was spoiled by the OPP when the entire caravan of over 30 Minis was pulled over and many drivers cited for speeding. The police cited some drivers for going as fast as 50Kmh over the speed limit and were supposedly tracked by a single aircraft. Many members of the club feel that the entire series of events was a set up on part of the OPP which the club notified of the event due to the amount of cars involved. Not to mention the fact that a local news crew was notified and on hand to record the stop, which also later stretched the truth considerably that cars were impounded, drivers arrested, and children taken into custody of a child services organization.

Having read many of the posts, and being the organizer of similar events on our area. It is a shame that the police had to spoil a great event.

Canadian police pull over entire Mini convoy

Southern Ontario Mini Club's thread on the event, complete with follow ups

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Corvette Museum to make the ultimate car experience!

Corvette Museum wants to build motorsports complex

While being a huge commitment at $35 million. Building a motorsports complex across the highway from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky certainly would make for one of the ultimate car experiences in the US. The complex would include two road courses, a 1/4 mile drag stip, and a giant auto cross skidpad. Here's hoping this comes to be.

Under the eBay radar find of the day. 1994 Impala SS

Looks like your typical run of the mill used Impala SS right? Wrong! What we have here is one VERY unique piece of automotive history. What's that in the window? A GM control label. The door jamb has an emission exempt tag dated 1992? Wait do my eyes play tricks on me? Yes that is a third pedal and manual shift lever. Yes this IS the infamous 94 Impala SS manual trans prototype. Formerly straight from the General's private stash in their Heritage Collection via the Barrett Jackson auction. If that manual trans hasn't got your attention, how about the modified 5.7 liter V8 packing 308 Horsepower vs the stock SS' 260Hp? This was the car dreams were made of in the mid 90s thanks to GM's John Moss. Maybe it's time that the General rolled out another rear drive Impala SS? For those that can't wait this one of one prototype can be yours for a mere $36,000 via eBay. Unfortunately though, the car was sold on a salvage title from GM, so you would have to get creative on registering this bad boy for the street. In the mean time enjoy the eBay link, and the attached Motor Week review of this very car from 1995.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mitsuoka Galue Convertible

Mitsuoka Galue Convertible

It's part Rollys Royce. Part Cadillac. And All Mustang!

Despite how ugly it may be. That also makes it that much cooler. I can just see this thing running around Vegas
 right now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

FAW Red Flag Limo. Who's in the mood for Chinese?

FAW Red Flag limo

The body styling sure looks a lot like the Rolls Royce Phantom. Still looks good though. And more fitting of a Government leader than President Obama's Limo 1.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NASCAR of the 60s/

The real cars of NASCAR in the ’60s, with Freddie Lorenzen at Hemmings Blog.

From the days when the drivers drank/made hard liquor, smoke unfiltered cigarettes, and drove relatively showroom stock cars. This really was the prime of NASCAR. The cars were big, powerful, and cheatin was rampant.

Thursday, April 1, 2010