Reatta Rehash

 It should come as no suprise that the Chevy SSR is ending production.

 The GM Craft Center is mentioned, the plant where the SSR is built. It used to be called the Reatta Craft Center, built to make the Buick Reatta, another twoseat GM vehicle that failed. Just what do they craft there anyways, headstones? If Solstice and Sky production moves there, you can bet those models will also be on the way out. That plant is cursed.

 The Genius Of Schrader

 You'll find it on bicycles, motorcycles, cars, ATV's, commercial trucks, and construction equipment. It's probably the only interchangeable component all these vehicles share.

 The little Schrader valve, one of the unsung heroes of the automotive world. Imagine what life would be like if everyone used their own design.

 Kodachrome Zen

 The Kneeslider has a link to a gallery of pictures from the roadtrip featured in Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. A must visit if you've ever read the book.

 Old Marques Never Die...

 Rick Haglund points out that in February, Oldsmobile sold 92 new vehicles! 64 Alero's, 19 Bravada's, and 9 Silhouette's, all unsold from when Oldsmobile production ended almost two years ago. Just when will the last new Olds be sold?

Perception Is Reality

 Some of the domestic cars fall behind because they aren't redesigned quickly enough," he said, noting that the popular Toyota Camry has been redesigned three times since 1998.

 The top three brands for predicted reliability were Lexus, Honda and Toyota.

Ford vehicles were found to have the best long-term durability on average among Detroit automakers.

 The magazine's analysis of reliability over several years found the average 3-year-old Ford or Chrysler has as many problems as an 8-year-old Toyota.

 These are all quotes from an article about Consumer's Reports latest annual report on the automotive industry. All of these I have noticed since the mid-eighties, and two decades later nothing has changed. Honda and Toyota are still at the top for reliability, while among the domestics Ford leads the pack, but there is still a sizeable gap between domestic and import.

 The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Breaking The Law?

 If you haven't seen the video of the people driving down an Atlanta interstate at 55mph, go here first. Carpundit points out that while obeying the 55mph speed limit, they broke at least two other traffic laws, namely...

Upon all roadways, any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic...

No two vehicles shall impede the normal flow of traffic by traveling side by side at the same time while in adjacent lanes, provided that this Code section shall not be construed to prevent vehicles traveling side by side in adjacent lanes because of congested traffic conditions.

 Were those two laws actually broken? It depends on how you would define the normal flow of traffic. I would argue that the spirit of the laws was broken, but the letter of the laws can't conflict with the speed limit because it would invalidate the whole concept. I think these people demonstrated their point brilliantly. The speed limit needs to be set at the speed most people are travelling at, not some arbitrary number.

Building A Better Bronco

 For the 2004 season Ford introduced the Bronco concept vehicle, harkening back to the original while managing to look modern at the same time. It's a market niche that only the Jeep Wrangler fills, except that the Wrangler is just a smidge too small. That's the hole the original Bronco exploited, and they are vehicles much loved by Ford truck fans to this day.

 Of course, there are no plans to make the Bronco, and once again Ford has let the competition beat them to the punch. 2007 marks the arrival of the FJ Cruiser from Toyota.

 Taking the Bronco concept to heart, but adding secondary suicide doors, this one is going into production. Another throwback, this time to Toyota's original Land Cruiser (lovingly called the Land Crusher by fans), it's everything that the Bronco could have been if Ford would have stepped up to the plate. Sadly, once again, we see another domestic manufacturer content to follow instead of leading the pack. Whatever happened to the company that brought out the Taurus and changed the world?


 I almost was rear-ended a few days ago by one of these...

 For a split second I could have sworn it was a giant, mutated Scion xB that was about to meld with the rear of my poor Escort.
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