A business trip to Atlanta

June 13th, 2007 by Will Thompson

As I’m writing this, it’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m in Atlanta for a business meeting.

For some reason, I assumed the hotel would have internet service to each room, but apparently that’s not the case. My consolation is that there’s a jacuzzi tub in my room (that seems excessive to use, given Atlanta’s current drought conditions), a separate living room, and two TVs. There’s even a network cable coming out of the wall here on the desk where I have my laptop set up. That’s right - a desk, a network cable, two televisions, a jacuzzi tub, and no internet access. Apparently they were all booked up yesterday afternoon, so they couldn’t switch me to a room with internet access. Sheesh! Honestly, I think I could have functioned better without TV than without internet access. What does that say about us nowadays? Suddenly the idea of internet access in your car doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

At least I did get to make the four hour drive from Nashville to Atlanta in a nice Lexus GS300 company car. It’s a pretty nice ride, and I suppose I can look forward to sitting in rush hour Atlanta traffic in it when I head home this afternoon.

Sorry for the rant, folks. I do feel better now, after typing my frustration away. Hopefully I can get this posted up sometime later today.

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Thank God this commercial is dead.

June 12th, 2007 by Will Thompson

Seems like car and truck commercials generate one of three feelings for me: 1.) Laughter, 2.) Apathy (if apathy can be a feeling, which is really its own discussion), and 3.) Disgust.

The Chevy truck commercials with John Mellencamp singing “This is our country” never failed to bring out a solid number 3. I wonder if that dude lost a divorce settlement or something. I’ve never heard him sound more soulless. It’s like he’s trying to sound like something else.

This is arrrrr kuuuun tray

Add the crappy song to a pandering, quasi-political, film-school-wannabe, piece of junk like the stuff below, and voila! America’s crappiest commercial ever. Don’t take my word for it. Take a look below and form your own opinion.

One of the versions of the commercial:

These commercial spawned a few million parodies, among them these two:


I’m incredibly happy these commercials finally got killed off.


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Ah, physics

June 11th, 2007 by Will Thompson

This is the sort of thing you find when you browse around the Auto & Vehicles category on YouTube late at night.

Since it’s Japanese, here’s the idea: Have a pitching machine set to throw a baseball at 100 kilometers per hour (a little over 62 MPH) mounted in the back of a truck going 100 KPH in the other direction. You can guess what happens, but it’s still an interesting visualization.


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AutomotiveBlogger.net Car Star Award for June 3rd-9th 2007

June 8th, 2007 by Will Thompson

First a disclaimer - I own a 69 Chevelle, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for them. Mine’s nowhere near the condition of this guy’s car, but it’s still the same year, make, and model. So yeah - I’m biased.

On with the show!


There’s really not a whole lot of background info on this car. The owner/builder is a guy named Dennis Hopper. I found the car browsing around at Chevelles.com. The car is a 1969 Chevelle, and it looks to be pretty much custom from the ground up. The Chevelles.com member who posted pics of the car had a website listed, and it turns out that the entire buildup of the Chevelle is there. Go on over to the gallery and take a look at the interior on this car. Incredible craftsmanship.

This car looks remarkably similar to a Jada Toys Muscle Machine toy I have sitting directly in front of me on my desk as I’m typing this.jadachevelle.jpg

Very nice, and very deserving of this week’s AutomotiveBlogger.net’s Car Start Award.


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Jim Dunne: Automotive Spy

June 7th, 2007 by Will Thompson

Fresh from the folks at NPR comes a story about the interesting (to me, at least) world of automotive spy photographers. If you’ve ever picked up a Car and Driver or Popular Mechanics, you’ve most likely seen the work of Jim Dunne, or folks like him. These cloak-and-dagger are automotive paparazzi, always looking to score the perfect picture of a concept car not quite ready for public consumption.


Check out the story and interview here.

Thanks for Foshku for the tip.


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You will never know, dude

June 6th, 2007 by Will Thompson

I saw an article on Ask Yahoo that made me think for a minute. Some guy named Nick from Mobile, Alabama asked what was so special about the ‘57 Chevy?


Yahoo tried to answer Nick’s question; but you can explain that about as well as how you know you’re in love. The answer is very similar to both questions. You just know when you’re in love, and you just know a ‘57 Chevy is a special car.

Nick, if you’re out there, here’s some advice: If you’ve ever seen a ‘57 Chevy in person and didn’t get a feeling that it was more than your average commuter, please stick to your Accord, Camry, Taurus, or whatever it is you drive. You will never know, dude.


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Video of Danica Patrick confronting Dan Wheldon

June 5th, 2007 by Will Thompson

In case you missed it, Danica Patrick got into a little scuffle with Dan Wheldon on pit row after the two bumped on the track at this past weekend’s A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. Danica had to pit and get a steering linkage piece replaced, which put her a lap behind the leaders. She rallied back to finish eigth. Dan Wheldon got the better end of the collision, and ended up finishing third.

Check out the video of the confrontation (pops)

Here’s a video of the crash. While I’m a Danica Patrick fan, I give Dan Wheldon the benefit of the doubt in this case. You be the judge:

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Top five music videos for gearheads

June 4th, 2007 by Will Thompson

Today we’re counting down the 5 coolest music videos for gearheads. Take a few minutes, check out the videos, and feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.

5.) Gretchen Wilson - Redneck Woman
Any girl who goes out muddin’ behind the wheel of a beat-to-hell Chevy 4×4 has got to make this list.

4.) Nelly - Ride Wit Me
Any gearhead reading this blog should immediately recognize the movie on which the premise of this video is based. Smokey and the Bandit, duh. Genius.

3.) Metallica - Fuel
The words on the screen sort of reminds you of the cult classic movie Hot Rods to Hell

2.) Ice Cube - Today was a Good Day
This actually isn’t Ice Cube’s most lowrider-laden video. I think that honor goes to Chrome and Paint, which was actually shot at the 2006 SEMA show in Las Vegas. Awesome. The thing about this video has to do with the song as much as the video. Lots of people have great memories of cruising around listening to this song, and the video captures that perfectly. If the neighborhood in this video looks familiar, you must be a fellow Grand Theft Auto San Andreas player.

1.) ZZ Top - Legs
Oh yeah. What kind of a list would this be without a ZZ Top Eliminator video in the #1 spot? Almost all the singles from ZZ Top’s Eliminator album feature noted car guy Billy Gibbons’ 32 Ford coupe with the ZZ graphics and of course, the ZZ keys. These videos are great - and they usually seem to revolve around slutty looking 80s chicks helping people hook up with each other. This makes sense because who else besides a trio of slutty chicks would be better to help you meet that perfect someone? Add in some pulsing guitar rock and it’s all gravy. These videos are entertaining, the car is incredibly cool and is a very big part of the videos, and the music’s pretty kickin’ too.

The car in the videos from ZZ Top’s Eliminator album was a character all by itself. ZZ Top rode this gimmick for a whole album’s worth of videos, and even tried to take it to the next level for the videos to their next album - Afterburner. As you can see if you can stand to watch the video for “Sleeping Bag”, it didn’t go over as well as I imagine they’d hoped.

Honorable mention:
Ice Cube - Chrome and Paint, Monster Magnet - Space Lord, ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man

Did I forget one? Leave me a comment.

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Somebody is doing a great job with Speed Racer

June 1st, 2007 by Will Thompson

In case you missed it, a picture of the Mach 5 - Speed Racer’s awesome race car - have been released for the upcoming live action Speed Racer movie, which is due out next summer. Here’s a little taste:


Lemme tell ya, that looks great. Looks a lot like the one from the cartoon. If you look closely, the Mach 5 appears to be a Corvette C3 underneath. Not too bad. Corvette C3s are like sports car chicken - they kind of look like everything. You can make Speed Racer’s Mach 5 from one, and Sonny Crockett’s Ferrari Daytona on the Miami Vice series was also a Corvette C3 underneath.

Along with the job well done on the Mach 5, the casting department is doing pretty good with Speed and Trixie, too. Here are some side-by-side shots of the characters on the cartoon, and the actors who’ve been cast to play them in the movie.

Trixie (Christina Ricci):

Speed (Emile Hirsch):

Freaky, huh?

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May 31st, 2007 by Will Thompson

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a nationwide ad campaign over the past week or so from the National Highway Traffic Safetly Administration (NHSTA) called “Click it or Ticket“. Aside from having an incredibly annoying name, the campaign is meant to raise awareness of nationwide seat belt laws. The president, however, must not have gotten wind of the catchy campaign, as he’s captured here on video driving while clearly not wearing his seat belt. Oops!

This during the national NHSTA push, and also just six weeks after New Jersey governor Jon Corzine was nearly killed in an automobile accident while not wearing his seat belt. Here’s a link (1:07 wmv) to Governor Corzine’s PSA urging folks to be sure to wear their seat belts.


Ben Stein gives his opinion of the American auto industry

May 30th, 2007 by Will Thompson

I never would have figured Ben Stein to be a car guy, but apparently that’s the case. Mr. Stein, known for being brainy, slightly nerdy, and often very dryly humorous, wrote an article for the New York Times about the American auto industry. Here’s an excerpt from his article, titled The Dream That Once Was Detroit:

I AM an American, and therefore I love cars. I am an American and, in America, you are what you drive, and here are some memories.

This is the only dream I remember from all of high school: Instead of my light blue, miserable 1955 Chevrolet, I had a white 1962 Corvette like the one my pal Calvin Kline (not the designer) had, and Gay Patlen, my high school dream girl, kissed me on the lips (in the dream). You are what you drive. Even in your dreams.

I like this guy. Click here to read the rest of the article.


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Paint your car for fifty dollars

May 29th, 2007 by Will Thompson

Everyone who’s had a project car and is a little strapped for cash has been at the point where the car/truck’s ready for paint. This is usually the point in the project that people really dread. Not only do you have the prospect of your car being in “paint jail” for six months or longer, but you also have to swallow a big pill when it comes to the cost of decent looking paint.

The lowest quality professional paint jobs out there are from places like Maaco and Earl Scheib, and the lowest you can generally go is about $300. Personally, I’ve never heard of anyone being quoted less than $500. Mind you, that’s for single stage paint that’s generally just shiny enough to get the customer out the door in a fairly good mood. Most of the jobs at that price are going on cars that are about to be sold, so the current owner doesn’t really much care how the paint will look in a year.


What would you say if I told you the Corvair above has a $50 paint job that the owner did in his driveway?

That’s right, fifty dollars. Five-zero. American currency. Not only is it possible, but it requires no special tools, no air compressor or spray guns or paint booth. I’m talking about painting your car in your driveway for $50. Check out this $50 paint job:


The secret? Rustolem mixed very thin and applied with a roller. I happened upon this website on Friday and after checking a few links like this one I had emailed a gazillion people I know who are in the same limbo of needing average to decent paint on their rides on the cheap.

It turns out the whole thing started in this thread on Moparts.com. A year and a half and 80 pages later, there were a whole lot of disciples, including a writer for Hot Rod magazine, who did a feature for the July issue that’s in stores as we speak.

Take a look at some of the pictures posted up by folks who have tried it, including this one (Martin is the guy who got all this started on Moparts.com) and check out the wicked satin black job on the Mustang here. Here’s a preview:


As it’s stated many times in the links I’ve listed on this post, this isn’t something you’d want to do with your super rare 70 Hemi ‘Cuda. However, if you have a driver and don’t want to spend at least $3K in paint, what do you have to lose by trying this?


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Celebrities at the Indy 500

May 28th, 2007 by Will Thompson

After Dario Franchitti won the rain-delayed-then-cancelled Indy 500 yesterday, photos of a very wet and very happy Ashley Judd celebrating her husband’s win started popping up all over the internet. I figured this would be a great excuse to run one (rawr!):


Patrick Dempsey (that one dorky kid in Can’t Buy Me Love whom people apparently call McDreamy now) was the driver of the pace car at yesterday’s Indy 500. Here’s a shot of him getting ready to jump into the car; which you know is real because the black background even says “Indy 500″:


Another guy from that show was there too, and he’s called McSomethingElse (my wife could tell you all about this, but I have no idea). Here’s his photo:


And finally, here’s a few other folks who were there, including David Letterman (who owns a team), Peyton Manning, Gene Simmons, Mike Conley, Greg Oden, Ray Liotta, Ludacris, and more…


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Followup to the Smokey Yunick Fiero

May 25th, 2007 by Will Thompson

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the existence, or lack thereof, of Smokey Yunick’s famed adiabatic-engined Fiero.

As it turns out, I got an email last night from a man named Tony Allers, who owns the Fiero now. Interestingly enough, Tony’s a few miles up the freeway in Hendersonville, TN. He pointed me to the most recent article about it in The Tennessean, which is Nashville’s major newspaper. Here’s the article.

Mr. Allers also mentioned that the Fiero had been mentioned on Spike TV’s Horsepower TV a while back, as was mentioned in the comments of the last article. Mr. Allers also mentioned that the Fiero was shown to the public for the first time a few weeks ago at The Fiero Factory in Toney, Alabama. Toney is where my sister lives, interestingly enough. Small world.

Here’s a couple pics from the Tennessean article:




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A funny

May 24th, 2007 by Will Thompson

Found on NASCAR.com last year sometime…

Where To Live After Retirement Guide:

You can live in Phoenix where …

1. You are willing to park three blocks away because you found shade.
2. You’ve experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for four hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have more than 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

You can Live in California where …

1. You make more than $250,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.

You can Live in New York where …

1. You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can’t find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is “nature.”
4. You believe that being able to speak at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You’ve worn out a car horn.
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can Live in Maine where …

1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter and construction.

You can Live in the Deep South where …

1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
3. “He needed killin’ ” is a valid defense.
5. Everyone has two first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.

You can live in Colorado where…

1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and he stops at the day-care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You can live in the Midwest where…

1. You’ve never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: “Where’s my coat at?”
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, “It was different!”

And you can live in Florida where …

1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often are driven by headless people.
6. The four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot and snowbirds.

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About Automotive Blogger

Some people use their automobiles only to get from Point A to Point B. You know there's more than that. You get mad when someone makes a remark about your car that's less than flattering. You get riled when a cool car is destroyed in a straight-to-video movie. You realize when a new car doesn't deserve it's name of a great car of the past. When you see someone driving a boring vehicle, you feel sorry for them. You know it's not the destination that counts - it's the journey. Welcome home gearheads. Welcome home, car freaks. Welcome to the site that fuels your automotive obsession - AutomotiveBlogger.net

Automotive Blogger Author(s)
    » Mike-Mayder

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