30 December, 2006

Scooby don't!

From a global perspective the early seventies was a transitional period for automakers, the balance of power was shifting.

By the end of the sixties the Japanese had the quality of manufacture nailed, no longer turning out meek copies, their growing confidence was evident.

They just needed to catch up when it came to the marketing side of things. Naturally they stuck with a successful technique – imitate the competition.

Unfortunately car advertising was slap bang in the middle of the vouge for macho misogyny when Subaru tried their hand in 1973. Their attempt is unintentionally hilarious. Click on the ad for proof I'm not making this up.

Perhaps you're a man who grabs life by the cuff. You live life your way. And it shows...in the clothes you wear...in the women you love...and in the car you drive The Subaru GL Coupe is waiting for you. Sleek. Agile. The sculptured lines of the one piece body invite you in. With front wheel drive she's different. A step ahead of the others. Go to her. Let her cradle you in the softness of her highback reclining bucket seats. Surround yourself with the lushness of her interior appointments. The GL Coupe is ready. Now. Turn her on. Lead her to the open road. This is where the Subaru GL Coupe wants to be. Unleash the relentless power of her 1400cc quadrozontal engine. Control the Coupe's every movement -- her every twist and turn -- as you take hold of her rack and pinion steering. She'll make it smooth with her four wheel independent suspension. She'll carry you away as she peaks to the red line of her tach. The Subaru GL Coupe is yours. Waiting for you. And one more good thing, she costs so little to keep happy.

Beautiful I think you'll agree.

22 December, 2006

Kids say the flyest thangs

Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.

It's Saturday afternoon staple if you're pitching a new show to the television bigwigs... "we'll get a bunch of schoolkids and hear what they have to say about grown-ups stuff. It'll be hilarious!" We can all laugh at their crazy ideas, and go "awww".

When Mississippi's Sun Herald asked kids what their favourite car is it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Lamborghini tops the list - they're big, brash and fast and really appeal on a very basic level (and let's face it, what child knows or cares about depreceation or being gauche?)

The car I want the most is a Lamborghini. I like this car, because it is fast and the doors go up. Also it is a low-rider and looks cool.
Stephen Byrd Grade 5 Three Rivers Elementary

When you reflect on it Lamborghini are playing the most sophisticated marketing 'long game' in the world: We don't give a fuck if you think our motors are crass or irrelavent, most 10 year olds want one. In 35 years time if only 0.05% of them act on that wistful memory... ker-ching!

Anyhoo, well done kids, to paraphrase Paul's annoying letter writing campaign to the Corinthians: - when you are a child is the time to think as a child and understand as a child. You don't have to put away childish things quite yet.

More worrying is how quickly some kids are growing up and becoming dull when they say:

If I had a car I would like a Mitsubishi. The seats fold up and it makes room for more people or stuff.
Loren Murray Grade 5 Three Rivers Elementary

Still, it does clear up where Max Power and MTV go to get their editorial line...

If I had a car I would want it to be a white Escalade on rims. The rims would spin around as I drove all over town. I would have switches so the car goes up, down, right and left. You know - hydrolexs. It will be brown in the inside with TVs on the roof. That is the car I would have.
Gabby Nix Grade 5 Three Rivers Elementary


19 December, 2006

Vorsprung durch tikka

The migration of business towards Asia and the sub-continent continues. Audi has announced it will start making cars in India from Autumn 2007.

They will start assembling A6 models out of parts produced in Germany at a modest rate of 300 a year, but if all goes well the sky could be the limit.

As well as the plant in Aurangabad Audi said it will also open its own sales and distribution company in Mumbai in the first quarter of 2007 and will expand its network of dealers in India to at least eight from the current three in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

Rumours are not yet confirmed that the previously rather dull naming system to denote models An (where n is an even number) – bland, Sn – bit more exciting, and RSn – hot version, will be replaced with korma, jalfrezi and vindaloo.

15 December, 2006

Install driver software

McLaren Electronic Systems has confirmed that in partnership with Microsoft it will be supplying engine control units (ECU) to all F1 teams from 2008.

The FIA selected the joint application of Microsoft and McLaren three months ago, but until now neither Microsoft nor McLaren commented on their win, with McLaren's identity kept secret.

Only in F1 does the solution to spiralling costs and inequality mean getting Microsoft involved.

In a move that business commentators reckon will really help to leverage synergy. McLaren gain from the deal by forming a partnership with an even more dour and humourless company "In business terms, it's like a woman going out clubbing with a fat mate" said one insider, "a fat mate with wonky teeth and a club foot."

In return Bill gets to work with a company boss who makes him look like a normal laugh-a-minute guy.

11 December, 2006

Hammond to give Ross TV interview

Top Gear host Richard "The Hamster" Hammond is to give his first TV interview since his near-fatal accident to Jonathan Ross.

The 36-year-old will appear on BBC One's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross on 22 December.

One of Britain's best loved broadcasters, he suffered serious brain damage which left him unable to communicate properly. Experts say with this kind of damage it's normal to get slurring, pronunciation problems, and sometimes a childlike obsession with trivial subjects, manifesting itself with loss of concentration.

The Hamster on the other hand is fine.

07 December, 2006

Clutch bag geddit?

When Kim White unearthed an entire warehouse of automotive fabric, possibly the last existing stock anywhere in the US she bought the lot.

Naturally the next step was to do what any lady would, make them into handbags.

Not a bad idea - since these textiles were originally intended for use in cars, they are incredibly durable.

I just hope she keeps a couple of bolts back of each design in case there's a frantic car restorer out there trying to achieve numbers-matching perfection.

If she discovers a cache of super-rare 1970 Challenger convertible hoods and decides to make cute cat scratching posts out of them prepare to hear grown men cry.

Alternative fuels

For a long time the Norwegians have seen the opportunities available from huge whales, now a Norwegian businessman is looking to create fuel in the USA.

Lauri Venoy wants to use the by-products of liposuction to develop bio-diesel.

Bio-diesel can be produced from plant oils and/or animal fat, and the Norwegian sees the scheme as a renewable energy source, newspaper Dagens Naerinsgliv reports.
And where else would you base such a venture than Miami, Florida.
Venoy is in the process of signing an agreement with US hospital giant Jackson Memorial. This deal would give Venoy & Co. around 11,500 litres of human fat a week.

"Maybe we should urge people to eat more so we can create more raw material for fuel," Venoy said.

02 December, 2006

Like tail fins... And bubble domes!

Unveiled at the LA Motor Show this week the Hyundai Hellion concept could be described in a number of ways.


pug-ugly, pugly.

Even fugly.

The press pack says the three-door crossover is inspired by the look of hardshell backpacks and surfboards, in particular, the way their rigid, manmade shapes mimic organic forms.

It put me in mind of another car reveal...

"All my life, I have searched for a car that feels a certain way. Powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball. Now, at last, I have found it."

Is nothing safe from these people?