eBay Find of the Day: Studebaker Taurus

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click the pic above to see a gallery

Studebaker mash-ups with later Ford vehicles aren't an entirely new idea, but we've never seen something quite like this. The seller of this car should be beaten with a sand-filled hose for attempted robbery. $7500 for a Stude-nosed Taurus wagon with a ratty interior? Wait, now, before we get all indignant, this is powered by the potent powertrain combination of the 2.3 liter four backed up by one of the world's vaguest-shifting five speeds. There's nothing wrong with the Pinto-derived cammer four - it's one hell of an engine, in fact. The manual transaxle, well, it gets the job done. But really, a car being advertised as a "one of a Kind Kustom!" may be more enticing were it to have, say, an SHO powertrain. Not that it would soften the blow of the weird visage, but there would at least be something redeeming here. The bodywork is claimed to be all steel, but the pictures don't make it easy to tell whether that's a prevarication or not. We do question the merit of all that time and effort (and expense, if the body man was working for more than MGD) of grafting 1950s sheetmetal on a 1980s car. The ensuing clash never looks right, not even on those Thunderbird-based abominations.

Thanks for the tip, Mike!

[Source: eBay]

 

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Carry more in your convertible ... in a bag on your trunk

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The English take their convertibles seriously. They also take their road tripping seriously. Put the two together and, as far as luggage room goes, you usually come up with a very short short jaunt or heading to a destination that doesn't require much clothing. Well, as Darwin found, there is no end to the craftiness that takes place on an island. Antony Dixon, tired of driving from Britain to Le Mans in his Miata with a garbage bag full of items tied to a trunk-mounted rack ... has created a waterproof PVC bag that you can tie directly to your trunk. It's called The Boot Bag, and it gives you 50 liters of additional space (about two cubic feet). It sits on a non-slip membrane and has no sharp edges, so it won't nick your car. We do believe it will, however, make you look like you've been kicked out of your house. But if you really need the room, it's yours for $120.

[Source: Piston Heads]

 

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Greenwich Concours d'Elegance - The Parking Lot

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Click image for a gallery of rides in the parking lot

One of the fun sideshows associated with the Greenwich Concours is the walk through the public parking lot across the street from the event itself. There's no shortage of interesting vehicles in Greenwich and in New York's Westchester County (which is next door), and many of the Concours patrons drove some neat machinery to the show.

The eye candy outside included a Ford Lotus Cortina that I stupidly didn't photograph (someone I spoke to inside the show said it was probably Jamie Kitman's), a Renault 5 Turbo 2, an actual off-road-worthy Escalade (I did a double-take when I saw it), and a seemingly limitless number of Ferrari 360 Modenas. One of my favorites had to be the the Ford GT you see above. I mean, I like the GT anyway, but that 'LEMANS3X' vanity plate put it over the top. Plenty more to see in the gallery below. And that, my friends, concludes coverage of the 2007 Greenwich Concours. We'll do it again next year.

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Porsche prognostications: sales to double by 2012 ... maybe

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An article in Detroit News includes all kinds of predictions for Porsche from various analysts, many of which conflict. For instance, Porsche has doubled its sales over the last six years, to 100,000 cars per year. Morgan Stanley sees Porsche getting to 200,000 annual sales by 2012, while CSM Worldwide thinks it will be closer to 150,000 by 2013. The eye-popping number, however, comes from B&D Forecast, which sees it possible for Porsche to sell 500,000 cars per year by heavily utilizing VW resources and components. We don't know if they're aware that Porsche did that before ... and it wasn't exactly well received.

No matter the future numbers, right now we're a long way from the Porsche that had to scrimp so dutifully on costs that it created a 911 with a front end identical to its entry level model. Now Porsche has, in addition to magnificent profit margins, controlling share of Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen, hot emerging market sales, and a highly anticipated model (or two) coming in the Panamera. It all adds up to the kind of clout that allows Porsche to do what it wants, which is not worry about impending Euro CO2 regulations, nor rely so much on US sales.

The analysts surveyed differed on whether Porsche will actually make a baby Cayenne, whether there would be a hybrid Cayenne, and how those higher sales for its current and coming models would affect profit margins and exclusivity. One thing they all agreed on: Russia, China, India, and even Mongolia are where the new Porsche is getting more of its bread buttered. Emerging market sales will go from the current 15% to 30% by 2011.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

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The molasses thickens: House delays vote on fuel bill

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Between all of the folks sponsoring and counter-sponsoring legislation to raise/lower/maintain CAFE standards, even Autoblog is losing track. The latest news is that a hearing to approve the most recent bill, sponsored by House Reps Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Dingell (D-MI), has been canceled because the two Congressmen can't get majority support. That's the bill that would also bar states from deciding their own CO2 emissions levels/fuel economy standards. The bill isn't dead, the discussion has simply been pushed back. That's bad news, though, for automakers, who like the Boucher/Dingell bill better than the stricter legislation that will be debated in the Senate next week.

At the same time, the President signed an order for a group of federal agencies to establish CO2 limits by the end of 2008, even as the White House has come back this week with a firm "No comment" on whether CO2 is an air pollutant. The EPA, given the authority by the Supreme Court to rule on such matters, and the NHTSA "refused to endorse or oppose any of the proposals" on CAFE standards that Congress is currently debating.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

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Nihon Car puts 1000 km on the new JDM Civic Type R

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Honda Civic Type R

Nihon Car is one of our favorite sites. It's one of the only places you can get quality English-language reviews of the hottest new stuff from Japan. The guys at Nihon just took the new JDM Honda Civic Type R sedan on a 1000km jaunt, and have impressions aplenty to share. The 225-horsepower Civic Type R boasts advantages of 65 horsepower and 19 lb-ft of torque over the standard Civic sedan while weighing 66 pounds less at the same time. Sounds like a recipe for fun, if you ask us, and to hear Nihon Car tell it, it is. They do note that the suspension tuning is so sport-oriented that on anything short of a pristine track, the car's occupants are in for a punishing experience. The mighty NSX Type R is apparently more forgiving, from a ride standpoint.

For their impressions in detail, head on over to Nihon Car, where you'll also find a fantastic photo gallery of their blue tester (the shot above is emblematic of what you'll see) and a much larger version of the video we've got embedded after the jump. Our own gallery of Honda's PR photos of the new Type R is linked below.

[Source: Nihon Car]

Continue reading Nihon Car puts 1000 km on the new JDM Civic Type R

 

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Paging Undercover Brother: your car wax is here

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Believing there's no reason for a premium carnuba wax to cost more than $60, Dom Colbeck created his own line of value-priced-yet-premium waxes called Dodo Juice. The name is a dig at the waxes that must contain some combination of angels wings and mists from Jupiter in order to explain their $14,000+ prices. Other waxes don't tell you what their secret ingredients are -- but the secret ingredient in Dodo Juice is ... dodo juice. Don't ask. The DJ comes in five flavors of soft and hard waxes and there is one for every vehicle color. There were no long dead, flightless waterfowl harmed in its making, but we still don't imagine Paul the Detailer will be switching any time soon.

[Source: Piston Heads]

 

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Why Jeep roll bars come standard

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When you off-road, you never know when they'll come in handy. Follow the jump for the moving pictures. Vids like these are commonplace on YouTube, but they never get old. We'd just hate to see the bill for this mishap.

[Source: YouTube via Dieselstation]

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Saturn dealers to offer Camry, Accord drives to Aura shoppers

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2007 Saturn Aura XR

The reinvigorated Saturn is one of the best things GM's got going right now. May 2007 sales were up 68% over the previous year (what a difference appealing product makes), and overall, it's up 30% YTD versus 2006.

Now comes word from Bloomberg News that starting tomorrow, June 11, all but 5 of the 430 Saturn dealers in the US will offer prospective Aura shoppers comparison test drives in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. According to Saturn's Lisa Hutchinson, its participating dealers are buying the imports that'll be used for the program, which runs through July 31. GM's showing a lot of confidence in its new products -- remember, Chevy dealers will have Camrys on the floor to compare to the new Malibu when it arrives, too. This is all good, and it could probably be even better. Follow the jump for a bit of editorializing.

[Source: Bloomberg News]

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Autoblog Week in Photos: Week of June 04, 2007

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Time is winding down for the chance to win a fully-loaded $29,000 Dodge Nitro, so get in when the getting is still good (Enter every day through June 14th by clicking here.) This week in pictures saw plenty of spy shots, new models, and some interesting videos. Among the many stories on Autoblog, we did a review of the Saturn Aura Green Line, we covered the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, and Opel Corsa GSi.

The last week was a blast, and you only need three minutes to get an update by clicking on the above video. We've also added links below to some of the more significant galleries from the last seven days. This week, music comes from The Touch Ups with "Fast Food Rampage". Enjoy!




 

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