Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's Here

Auto Show Season is here. Nissan Urge…sorry, URGE and Mercedes S65 photos have been released today (both a bit of a surprise) on top of the Hummer trim levels that were released at midnight. And CCC says this is a slow Car News week. Bah!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What do you drive and why?

OK, here's a question that I'm actually surprised that nobody has asked so far. What do you drive and why? What kind of vehicle is your primary transportation, and what factors shaped the decision?

I drive a Ford Ranger 4x4 standard cab pickup with a 4.0 V6 and 5 speed manual transmission.
Biggest factors were the need for 4 wheel drive, and ground clearance for the ocassional trip off pavement. I needed a pickup as opposed to an SUV or other vehicle, because of work, needing to carry tools and equipment. I'm "On-Call" 24/7/365 for my job, and can't wait for the roads to be plowwed. I also wanted something that could fit into an average parking space, and couldn't be too tall, I had an underground parking space in my appartment building's garage at the time. Price and value were also major factors. While it's assumed by many that I bought Ford because of my love of the brand, this truck replaced a Chevy S-10 and was the first Ford truck I ever owned. The Ranger was available with the options I needed at the best price. I even checked Toyota and Nissan at the time, as well as Dodge and Chevy. So believe it or not, brand loyalty was not a major factor in this purchase.

What made you choose your current ride?

The reason I'm curious, is that people read your work and probably respect your opinions. Many of you are probably the go to person among your family and freinds when they need car buying advice.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What are you looking forward to at the car shows?

Happy Holidays to Everyone.

Like you, I'm a bit bored with a slow news day. So what are you guys most looking forward to in the next 3 weeks of new model unveilings?

Also what are you looking for in online coverage? floor reports, image galleries etc?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New blogger at MPH

Hey guys. It's not like we're going to send out a press release or anything but there's a new person over at MPH, Andrew Wendler.

He'll be blogging this week and the print staff overall is taking on a new project on the blog showing off the "board." It's kind of cool. Who's driving what in the fleet and what they think.

Otherwise gearing up for car show season. This is going to be the craziest year ever.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Where Are We?

So I'm looking at this: Weblog Awards

And I don't see any car blogs. Any ideas why? I thought we rocked!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bill Disher's research paper on Auto Blogging completed

Bill Disher the grad student researching Auto Blogging has finished his research paper. I know that some of you participated in his survey, and thought you may want to read his paper. It's posted on his blog here;

Interesting read, and apparently we Auto Bloggers are a unique bunch in the Blogsphere.
I'm hoping that Bill recieved high grades, it was a pleasure for me to deal with him and help in the small ways we did.

Between Bill's research blog and this blog started by Dave, I have really felt that we have come together as a real community and it feels good. Sure I'm just some guy with a blog, but here I am rubbing elbows (even if only electronically) with some really inteligent guys who I may not have had the opportunity to otherwise.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Web vs print

A post over on Jalopnik spurs the conversation of web vs. print media. As far as how outdated car magazines are. As someone employed by a print magazine I can't weigh in much more than I did on the Jalopnik comment I left.
But what do you guys think?
Is there worth in car magazines? I picked up a copy of Evo which everyone always says is so great. I thought it was the worst rehashed PR releases I've seen. Boring. I'll stick to Top Gear which interjects so much attitude. But both don't hesitate to bash cars, much more so than I read in American mags.

Friday, December 09, 2005

How do you handle hostile comments?

Here's a question for you, how do you handle comments sections and hostile exchanges between commentors? Recently I've posted on a couple of issues that I expected some comments on, surprisingly, my posts on the UAW got fewere comments than I expected and my posts on Ford and the AFA got much more attention than I expected.

I enabled Blogger's Comment Moderation and deleted some of the more hostile comments. I don't like the idea of censoring a comment, but these had gone way off topic, and degraded to personal jabs between two commentors, one of which is a frequent commentor and the other a very rare visitor.

Oh, and just a quick note to Croak, I removed the photo that you had commented on. It was just the first relevant photo I found on Google and not intended to be insensative to Veterans. I don't make a habit of changing things like that, but you were a gentleman in your comment and I was able to figure out how to edit the photo.

Sometimes I regret posting on a subject, but then I feel that it's important to post, even if it's not a popular subject.

Any advice, comments?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Chevy HHR

What does everyone think of the new Chevrolet HHR, including the unveiling of 4 custom HHR designed and built in a 6 week build-off covered on TLC's RIDES, 4 shops were giving a stock HHR, Unique Performance, Darkside, YearOne and PTeaser Design. If completed on time, they each get a new Chevrolet SSR. Each one did something different including the adding a V8 engine or the ultimate tailgater.

Credit:from teaser design website

I watched the TLC's Rides episode on these four shops building and liked the Darkside, for the simple reason of they kept the 4 cyl and supercharged, plus added a custom sunroof and a custom sound system. Its something just about anyone can get installed on there HHR.

Final thought: the HHR looks just like the pt cruiser, but if it is designed like the first Chevy SUBURBAN, they should have added AWD or 4wd and not front wheel drive. Interesting, but I would buy one of the customized ones.

See Yeah!


Monday, December 05, 2005

What the hell is going on?

When did people start getting so "rude?"
I asked the person that runs to take down the full spy image they had copied from our site and run the snippet as shown below. So all of you know, spy photographers only allow YOUR site to run these images for the fee you pay. Other sites can't run the full image unless they want to pay also. This is how you pay photographers.
I'm just sitting here kind of stunned at what's going on these days. Guess autoblogging isn't as fun as it used to be.

So this is the email exhange:


I don't link my readers to other sites based on cropped pictures that
look like garbage. I will, however, be more than happy to remove the


On Dec 5, 2005, at 12:31 PM, Thomas, David wrote:

> Ashley,
> I think we've gone over this before, but you can't run full images
> of the spy photos on your site. The photographers do not allow
> reprints. I sized a blog ready snippet and thought I pointed you to
> the site where you could lift it but I guess that didn't come
> through in my message. it's attached.
> Thanks,
> Dave

BTW most forums these days don't even allow the photos to be pasted on the forums, they just allow links to avoid any legal hassles.

Thoughts on new blog

What is the general consensus of Leftlanenews? I've had some odd exchanges with Nick over there. He doesn't seem to think linking to sources where he got the story idea is worth it to his readers. To me that's what a blog is all about.
I know autoblog has had problems with them. But they're getting a lot of traffic.


Oh and we have new Mercedes c class spy photos. Use this image if you want to link over.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Take my little poll please

Hi guys, indulge me if you will. I have a little poll on Auto vs Manual transmissions on my blog. I'd like to see if you would participate.


Domestic vs. Foreign/Imports has a posted the latest numbers on November Auto sales for the major automakers. The report showed:
GM: -11.3 percent
Ford: -18 percent
DaimlerChrysler: -6.6 percent
Toyota: +5.5 percent
Honda: +6.4 percent
Nissan: -7.7 percent
Subaru: +.5 percent
Suzuki: +13.5 percent
BMW: +7 percent
Isuzu: -53.2 percent (Ouch!)

Domestics are down with Toyota, Honda, BMW and surprising Suzuki up.

So why?

“My Take” Simple put, the product and price, people are looking for QUALITY, RELIABILITY, and VALUE, including the RESALE VALUE. The differents between the two is price, domestics for the most part are a little higher sticker, but maintenance is lower with the parts being cheaper and more available, And the opposite for Foreign/Imports.

For my personal experience including looking at my family and friends, the domestics are cheaper in maintenance, (GM) Chevy’s are big in this family with 60% plus, so are Honda’s, plus a Suzuki, and others. The Foreign/Imports are more appealing in look and price, but the maintenance is a little higher.

I still prefer a domestic with lower maintance cost, but I also like a Scion xB, that’s Toyota.

One thing, Toyota and Honda are very popular in the U.S. and they are building more vehicles in the US too, more jobs. That’s a thought…

What does everyone think?

Brian Vermette

Like we were saying, fleet cars are really great

Ok guys now just so you know I already like Mazdas. Like the Mazda 6, like the Mazda 3, love the RX-8 (since I don’t have to own it). So now that they dropped off a new Mazdaspeed6 I’m really psyched.

I just had my wisdom teeth taken out yesterday so I’m still taking codeine and can’t drive today. So, I will have to wait for good seat time tomorrow. Oh the agony.

I’ll be running the car through the Video Q&A treatment. Do you guys like how that’s going? Any suggestions on it? Any questions for the Mazdaspeed 6?

Check out the trick key card. No key needed. This is credit card size, but I wouldn’t put it in my wallet and sit on it. It’s like Christmas come early, minus the aching teeth.

thanks for not posting leaked cover

I don't know if you guys even saw it but let me thank you in advance for not posting the leaked cover of Feb's MPH. it had a certain muscle car on it and i've had most forums remove it. if you do come across it anywhere I'd appreciate it if you let me know where you see it.
Dave - recovering from wisdom teeth removal yesterday...not so bad.