VIDEO: John Schneider watching the waning moments of his General Lee's record auction

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Though it hasn't been determined yet whether or not the final bid is an honest one, the eBay Motors auction for John Schneider's 1969 Dodge Charger that was originally used on his hit TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard, was a wild ride that ended last Friday with a winning bid of $9,900,500. As we reported then, if the sale goes through, that would make the General the second most expensive car ever auctioned behind a rare Bugatti that went for over $11 million at Christie's about 20 years ago.

If you've ever auctioned an item on eBay, you know the last few minutes can be exciting, agonizing and, hopefully, profitable. Such was the case for Schneider, and his pals had a handycam trained on him for the last five minutes of the auction. Check out the video after the jump to see a surfer-looking Schneider watching the most bizarre car auction ever in its waning moments. Perhaps the best part is when our man reads the note on his auction that states "Your reserve price of $1,000,000 has been met."

We've also learned that Schneider has likely already driven his General Lee for the last time. Before he had decided to sell the car, Schneider agreed to give a ride to a child with cancer whose wish it was to "hit the road in the General Lee," and the two apparently did just that last Saturday.

[Source: Carscoop, Post Chronicle]

Continue reading VIDEO: John Schneider watching the waning moments of his General Lee's record auction

 

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CarFax begins offering airbag deployment info for free

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Many used car buyers are completely unaware that their airbags might not deploy in the event of an accident. There are a few reasons for this, but the most prevalent is a scam in which a car that's experienced a previous collision has had its deployed airbag improperly replaced, sometimes with stolen airbag units from other cars and sometimes with nothing more than stuff like packing peanuts or whatever else was lying around the shop.

Being that Carfax offers a service attempting to expose every little detail about a car's history that's available, the company has decided to release information about a car's airbag deployment history for free. The new service doesn't appear to be available from the home page by entering a candidate car's VIN number, but rather from this separate page. We tested it out with a few VINs culled from Autotrader and have yet to find one with an active deployment history. On the other hand, Carfax admits it doesn't have complete records for every airbag deployment that's ever happened. Nevertheless, the database, while perhaps incomplete, contains useful info for those considering the purchase of a used car that's seen some crunch time.

[Source: Carfax]

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Busted: UK Police cruisers caught speeding get tickets

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No one outruns the law in Britain. At least, not ten percent of the speeding police in Avon and Somerset. The BBC, in a fit of governmental accountability, discovered that speeding officers set off Gatso cameras in those two counties 640 times last year. The great majority of those officers were on emergency calls, which means they're off the hook. But more than 50 officers weren't on emergency calls, and they'll be fined for their offense just the same as Joe Q. Public. Just goes to show, the limits of English propriety know no bounds. We'd like to see what would happen if our local force tried to ticket its own officers...

[Source: Autocar]

 

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Cadillac releases media material for 2008 STS

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click above image to view new high-res pics of the 2008 Cadillac STS

The refreshed 2008 Cadillac STS was quietly debuted at the New York Auto Show in early April. By no one's measure is the '08 STS as significant a product for General Motors' luxury brand as the all-new 2008 CTS. Nevertheless, the bigger sedan needed an update to bring itself in line with the new Cadillac style. The new corporate grille is the most obvious exterior change, and it looks sharp on the schnoz of the STS. Fender vents are all the rage right now, and the new STS gets a pair of chrome side extractors that match ones found on the Escalade and new CTS. There are also new chrome door handles, rocker panels, body-colored rear fascia and polished 3" exhaust tips, as well as new 18-inch chrome wheels.

The interior is where the '08 STS falls short of matching what its smaller sibling will be offering later this year. We were hoping the car would receive the same interior shown in the long-wheelbase version of the SLS that will be sold in Chinese markets, but instead it got only a new steering wheel and revised center stack with aluminum and wood trim.

In addition to the styling tweaks, the '08 STS also gets GM's well-received 3.6L direct injection V6 that will produce 302 horsepower and 272 ft-lbs of torque, which is expected to improve on the outgoing engine's fuel economy numbers of 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. With a V6 like this, who needs a V8? The engine will be coupled with the 6L50 six-speed auto, and other new technology includes StabiliTrak electronic stability control, active steering, a Lane Departure Warning System and Side Blind Zone Alert System.

The full press release is after the jump, and all the new high-res pics have been added to the gallery below.

[Source: GM]

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Pink taxi owner revealed in UK

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click above image to enlarge

Just last month we reported on a London taxi that looked pretty in pink. The pink people mover was commissioned as a special order by an unnamed customer based in London. The picture of the TX4 taxi cab was news enough, but we've wondered ever since who would want a pink cab and for what would it be used? We've discovered that the car was ordered by London cabbie Carlos Oliviera, who apparently makes a good living shuttling participants of gay weddings around London.

Oliviera decided a unique color could give him an edge on the competition. "I got a bit of a ribbing from my mates and it was a bit of a shock for them when they saw it," Oliviera said. "They said they thought it took some guts to drive a vehicle like this but I am not frightened."

As we reported, Oliviera had to special order the bright pink TX4 from LTI Vehicles, the company that makes England's ubiquitous cabs. Mike McKenzie works in LTI's paint shop and was willing to accommodate the special paint purchase, but was somewhat taken aback at first. "We are sometimes asked to produce special colours but this one is the most outlandish," McKenzie said. "Having said that, we have had a lot of fun working on this one. It isn't exactly my choice, but my daughter loves it."

No word on whether the pink car has improved Oliviera's business, but he says it's popular with at least one demographic. "
It's certainly rocking London and women think it's absolutely fantastic," he said.

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Audi commissions its own Art Car

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Click above for gallery

The term "art car" is closely associated with BMW, which has a history of letting famous artists use its vehicles as rolling mechanical canvases. And the cars are memorable, too -- the Andy Warhol M1 leaps to mind. Well, late last month, Audi decided to throw its hat in the ring as well by commissioning Brazilian Pop artist Romero Britto to turn an RS4 into an art car for the brand with the interlocking rings.

Britto responded with what you see above. A colorful painting of a woman adorns the hood of the muscle sedan and extends through the rest of its bodywork. It made its debut at the Art Chicago fair in the Windy City at the end of April, and will tour other locations in North America before ending its run in Miami Beach, where it will be auctioned for charity. Full details after the jump.

[Source: Audi]

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Dodge highlights the "La Femme" at Chrysler museum for mom's day

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Over the years, a number of cars have come to be known as "Chick Cars", often to the consternation of their manufacturers who have sometimes found it difficult to sell the same cars to male customers. Generally these were not designed specifically to appeal to women, it just turned out that way. In fact, usually when carmakers try to create a car aimed at women, they fail miserably.

One of the early attempts at creating a car for women came from Chrysler. In 1955, it introduced a version of the Dodge Custom Royal Lancer that the marketing mavens felt women would crave. Over two years of production, roughly 2,500 Dodge La Femmes were built before it disappeared into the annals of automotive history. The Walter P Chrysler Museum has now resurrected one 1955 La Femme and will be displaying it this weekend in honor of Mother's day along with 65 other historic Chrysler vehicles. The Chrysler museum is in Auburn Hills at the DaimlerChrysler headquarters complex.

If you're got a mom that's into autos, you can find out more information about in Chrysler's press release after the jump.

[Source: Chrysler]

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Transformers Update: TONS of pics and Prime's lips

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click above image to view 60 high-res pics from the Transformers film

We have good news and bad news to share. The bad news is that, despite reports to the contrary, it does appear that Optimus Prime will be sporting a pair of metallic lips in the upcoming live action Transformers film set to open on July 4th, 2007. Whatev, we're sure pop-action director Michael Bay will provide us with plenty of other elements about which to gripe before the curtain rises on Transformers.

Now for some good news. A slew of new images from the movie have flooded the internet recently, which we've compiled and added to our ongoing gallery. These images show the film's star, actor Shia LeBeouf (hereby known "the Boof"), in various states of raw emotion as he interacts with our favorite giant alien robots. Actually, he spends most of his time with eyes as wide as saucer plates, unless he's onscreen with costar Megan Fox, in which case we're not sure what he's doing because we're not really looking at him. The Boof is having a great summer, though, thanks to his other movie, Disturbia, which just spent a few weeks at the top spot before the summer movie season kicked into gear. No doubt Boof will be back on top come Indpendance Day with Transformers.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a tip!


 

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BMW gets in on the laptop action with Acer

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Bandwagons are for jumping on, and this one's carrying laptop computers branded by automakers. Ferrari's was among the first, then Lamborghini jumped on board, and more recently we've seen Koenigsegg and Maybach follow suit. Not to be left out, reports are surfacing that BMW has teamed up with Acer to offer its own range of branded notebook computers.

The partnership seems to be an odd choice, since Acer produces laptops for Ferrari and sponsors their racing team. Reports suggest, however, that the BMW computers will be slotted in below their Ferrari counterparts and sell at lower price points. Based on Acer's Aspire series, the BMW versions will feature extra design features, for which Acer insists the customer will pay no premium.

Buyers will have the choice of Intel Santa Rosa or AMD processors and an optional HD-DVD drive, and the laptops will come complete with all the bells and whistles including 17-inch widescreens, WiFi, surround sound, and HDMI. Instead of offering one or two different models, the information points to a whole range of BMW-Acers that could include as many as 40 different model configurations.

[Source: Engadget]

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You had me at "contrasting topstitching": Asus & Lamborghini launch new VX2 laptop
HP intros Maybach laptop with 64GB solid-state HD
You know you've made it when... Koenigsegg gets a laptop
Newest Ferarri laptop from Acer

 

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Ad attack: Chrysler unveils new spots with "Engineered Beautifully" tagline

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Assembled in the YouTube clip above are four brand new commercials from Chrysler that the automaker hopes will convey the message that its lineup offers "world-class quality and engineering at an extraordinary value". Thus, the new tagline for the campaign is "Engineered Beautifully".

The first spot, titled Technology Throughout, is 60 seconds long and uses the CGI technique du jour of taking us inside select vehicles to see various technologies at work. The second spot, called Key to Happiness, is 30 seconds long and highlights the new Sebring Convertible. The third, titled Success, is 30 seconds long and attempts to remind the collective that Chrysler's still keeping its stylish 300 sedan relevant with new technology. The final spot revealed by Chrysler today highlights the mileage of such vehicles as the 300 sedan, PT Cruiser and Sebring sedan. There's a fifth spot called Taking Care, which also highlights the new Sebring Convertible, that Chrysler didn't provide in the above YouTube video.

If you watch shows like Grey's Anatomy, Dancing with the Stars, Conan O'Brien or the ongoing NBA Playoffs, then you'll likely come across these ads in the wild. Do they resonate with you, or is Chrysler just trying to remind folks it's still here? The press release from Chrysler is after the jump.

[Source: Chrysler]

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Let's help Make-A-Wish come true for Justin Lilly

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There are many times we hear about needy individuals who we'd like to help, but don't know exactly what to do. We'll make this one simple then. Make-A-Wish and the Custom Cars & Concepts Program at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan need money. They need donations to help complete a special project. They are hoping to raise $20,000 to finish the restoration of a 1951 Ford F100 pickup truck. The truck belongs to one Justin Lilly, who was born with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. That means his lung capacity is only about 30 percent that of a typical teenager. His dad and uncle had purchased this truck as a restoration project 30 years ago, but never got very far with it. Neither did Justin and his grandfather when they resurrected the project in 2002. That's when Make-A-Wish got involved.

Follow the jump to read the rest of Justin's story and find out how you can give to help.

[Source: iZoom]

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Volvo reveals 10 places where X does not mark the spot

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click above image for more pics of Volvo's sunken treasure

As Volvo reminds us, three-quarters of the earth's surface is under water, so trying to find its sunken treasure of $50,000 worth of gold doubloons and the keys to a new XC90 SUV is not going to be easy. Autoblog readers are furiously working their way through the challenges and riddles offered by the Hunt, and you can follow their progress for tips and clues or just get up to speed by reading the comments on this post.

Volvo, however, doesn't want people to get too discouraged by the daunting task that lies before them, so it's unveiled 10 places it has not sunk its treasure. Most of the places are humurous, with only a few actually being locales on our planet. Check out the complete list after the jump for a midday chuckle.

Also, we're not sure if they contain any clues, but we located additional pics of the treasure chest in the process of being sunk.

[Source: Volvo]

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Honda applies Type R brand to child safety

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Type R child seat
Click image to enlarge

Type R child seatIn Japan, Honda markets a line of child safety seats through its dealer network, and today comes word that the automaker's going to leverage its well-known "Type R" brand for a limited-edition kiddie seat. Limited to just 300 units, the seat, as you would likely expect, is done in black and red. The main seating surface is covered in a perforated red fabric, while the side bolsters use a black suede-type material. An embroidered Type R logo is featured prominently across the top. The exclusivity comes at a steep price: ¥44,100 ($366 USD). The regular version of the seat it's based on goes for just ¥13,650 ($113 USD) by comparison.

[Source: Honda via Carview]

 

[via] Autoblog

2007 Ypsilanti Show and Shine car show

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Click the GT350 for a high-res gallery from the Show and Shine show

The city of Ypsilanti Michigan has a long industrial history highlighted by the thousands of B-24 Liberator bombers cranked out during World War II. After the war, car-makers took over the production facilities in the area, many of which have since gone away, but more on that another time.

More recently, the city has gained some internet notoriety as the home of the most phallic building in the world, thanks to our water tower. A short distance from the tower is Riverside Park in Depot Town which during the spring and summer months is home to several car shows. The first event of the year is the Show and Shine put on by the Ypsi Area Street Rods club with proceeds from the event going to a variety of charities like Cystic fibrosis, Hospice and the Humane Society.

See more of what was at Show and Shine after the jump.

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Autoblog Week in Photos: Week of April 30, 2007

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This week on Autoblog, we saw plenty of new products, but most of them were aftermarket variants of what we already know. Of course, there were three or four Mustangs, a new Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, a Jeep Compass, and a lot more. We did show you the 2008 BMW 5-Series, but we have a hard time figuring out what's even different. We got the scoop on the Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR Roadster, and it's among the hottest vehicles ever to grace the USA.

You don't need to invent a time machine to get a quick refresher on what happened last week, just hit play on the video above. We've also added links below to some of the more significant galleries from the last seven days. This week, music comes from Johnny Kaplan and the Lazy Stars with "Ride Free". Enjoy!




 

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