John's Journal: John McElroy's multimedia blog about the automotive industry

RoAb #90 – The ‘It Looks Very Nice’ Episode

July 23rd, 2011 at 7:55pm

It-Looks-Very-Nice-Autoline
Coming up on Roundabout, a Massachusetts man returns his lemon to the dealer and causes quite a stir.  Is Ford’s rough-and-tumble Raptor pickup causing trouble?  Find out shortly.  And we have another exhilarating installment of Versus coming your way.  Who’s pro?  Who’s con?  Who cares!  All this moist, succulent goodness and more, only on RoundAbout!  This week’s special guest is none other than Jeff Gilbert from WWJ Newsradio 950.

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Play RoundAbout Episode 90

Download MP3 | iTunes | Zune | RSS
Featuring: Jeff Gilbert, Steven J. EwingJeffrey N. Ross, Craig Cole and Ben Sanders

Show notes after the jump!

RoundAbout records LIVE on Fridays at 6:30PM ET/3:30PM PT. Visit RoundAboutShow.com and click Watch Live to watch our webcast and look in on all the antics.

Show Notes:

Man crashes “lemon” into dealership cars
According to website UPI.com a man from Salisbury, Massachusetts . . . mmmm mmmmmm, my favorite cut of steak, has been charged with six counts of felony mischief.  Yes, that’s a real charge and yes, it’s a full half-dozen.  How did he get in such deep fecal?  Turns out he purchased a used minivan from a dealership in New Hampshire.  But soon after acquiring the whip problems surfaced, not the least of which was a broken odometer.  That doesn’t sound like fraud!  After an inspection his mechanic recommend he return the miniature van, but — no shock here — the dealership said you’re “stuck with it.”  That didn’t stop him from taking it back, though.  He delivered it around midnight and in the process took out SIX other cars on the lot.  None of the vehicles he hit cost less than 20 grand.  I wonder if he’s getting store credit.

Torrential rains pound Sydney, Australia
Russian road floods after 20-minute downpour
While we’ve been dealing with heat here in the Midwest, it’s a different plague in Russia and Australia. New South Wales, which was having fires when I visited there two years ago, is now facing horrible rains.  Anybody have an ark?  They’ve had 171 millimeters of rain this month.  In American that’s seven inches, and like Californians, people in Sydney don’t know how to deal with it.   They’ve had at least 80 rain-related crashes.  At least the water there knows where to go when it stops bucketing down.  In the Russian city of Pskov the Stalin-era sewers couldn’t handle a twenty minute shower leading to heavy flooding and lots of problems.

Ford Raptor frame failures
Who knew that launching a 6,000-pound truck over jumps and dunes at highway speeds can have consequential results, even on the Ford’s street-legal trophy truck, the F-150 SVT Raptor. While there is no shortage of videos online showing the Raptor catching air, there have been reports of the truck’s frame being damaged. Autoblog’s Chris Paukert talked with the SVT Chief Nameplate Engineer who indicated that there are a handful of reports of bent frames nationwide. While he thinks that some of the trucks are traveling too fast for conditions, the bent frames are better than the alternative – which he calls a donkey kick – that would send the rear end of the truck high into the air most likely causing loss of control or even a rollover. The lesson here? Whether you’re in a Porsche 911 on the track or a Raptor out in the desert, know what the hell you’re doing and, as always, “don’t be a douche.”

New Mercedes-Benz AMG engine
Mercedes-Benz’s latest crop of AMG cars may feature the latest and greatest 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, but for the smaller SLK55 AMG roadster, the Silver Arrow has decided to switch things up a bit. Even in removing the pair of turbochargers, this engine will still produce 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque – plenty for the SLK. And by using cylinder deactivation, this engine will return a 30 percent increase in fuel economy for the svelte AMG roadster.

UAE billionaire flaunts sickening wealth
Woe to the poorest of the world’s wealthy.  The lounging masses of disadvantaged country-club folk will never be able to spend like one Middle-Eastern Sheik.  According to Emirates 24/7 News, a gentleman in the UAE is taking conspicuous spending to new heights . . . space!  Among his possessions he lays claim to the world’s most expensive car — a customized Bugatti with a porcelain caviar tray of all things.  He also owns a globe-shaped motor-home that’s said to be one one millionth the size of the earth and a private island . . . with his name gouged into the surface of the earth!  Here’s the kicker, though, you can read “Hamad,” his name, from space!  Don’t believe me?  Google, Bing or Baidu it.  Look for Al Fu-stai-si island and you can see it for yourself.  I guess if you’ve got it, flaunt it . . . and make the rest of us hate you.

Colonel Sanders’ custom car
Here’s a vehicle that would make the Aztek look inviting.  It’s the Colonel Sanders-mobile.  Yes, a true chick magnet!!!!!  It looks special, and probably smells even better.  We’re told it’s anatomically correct, right down to the red plumage.  I’m not going any further than that.  Biscuits and gravy not included.  It was discovered by Autoholics.com.  The only people who may be interested need to go to alcoholics anonymous.

Ca$h Cab kills pedestrian in Vancouver
Ah, Cash Cab. Is there any better example of distracted driving than a game show on wheels? Ironically, and possibly unrelated to distracted driving, the taxi used for the Canadian version of the show recently struck and killed a 61-year-old pedestrian as he was crossing the street in Vancouver. While there aren’t many details about the July 16th accident, the pedestrian was struck while he was in the crosswalk by the Toyota Sienna used as the show’s cab which at the time was being driven by a member of the technical crew and not the show’s host, Adam Growe.

Mercury Cougar-Based Bugatti Veyron Kit Car Could be Yours for $89,000
The Mercury brand may be bound to the history books these days, but that doesn’t mean its cars aren’t finding new life in Florida (of course). One such owner decided to spruce up his 2002 Cougar by adding heaps of fiberglass and other composites bound to a steel tube-frame, transforming its appearance from that of an odd-looking Mercury coupe to that of a Bugatti Veyron. Sadly, the Cougar’s ancient 2.5-liter V-6 with 170 horsepower can’t hold a candle to the Veyron’s 1,000-horsepower, 16-cylinder, quad-turbo engine.

Amish teen leads police on drunken buggy chase
An Amish teen from Western New York State is in trouble with the law for leading police on a chase. No, he didn’t swipe the keys to his parents’ Volvo and tear-off down the interstate at triple-digit speeds, nope, he was fleeing the local constabulary in a horse-drawn buggy.  Sad, very sad.  Adding insult to injury, or perhaps in this case assault to battery, Jalopnik reports the 17-year-old was intoxicated.  He’s been saddled with a raft of charges including resisting arrest, unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage with intent to consume — I’m not sure what the “intent” is if he were already drunk — insufficient tail lamps and littering on a highway, for good measure.  Remember, if you’ve been tipping back a few adult beverages don’t get behind the reigns.

Speeding most common cause of in-car arguments
They say speed kills, and it looks like it causes arguments in the UK.   The people at Telco Cars did a study and found that speeding tops the list of “carguments,” followed closely by tailgating.  The good news?  Any argument sounds better with a British accent.  Would you mind slowing down before you ram our car up the exhaust pipe of the Bentley?!  Much nicer sounding than the same argument on, say, tet nee jorsey freeway.

Toyota Smart Window concept ensures your view will never be smudge-free
Thanks to a technology being developed by Toyota, Ben Sanders may be one step closer to becoming a car guy. This may or may be an early April Fool’s Day prank, Toyota’s new “window to the world” appears to be an interactive screen overlaying a regular passenger window in a car. There is no explanation as to how the technology works, but according to a video on Cars.com, it allows passengers to perform various tasks such as identifying objects such as sheep, magnifying images of sheep in real time or simply doodling pictures of sheep onto the window. In other news, now would be a great time to invest in Windex stock.

Mini helps you get ready for your next pool party
Summertime means kicking back and relaxing in the pool, and while we love water noodles and inner-tubes, the automotive enthusiasts in us wouldn’t mind something car-related while cooling off. Access Agency has taken on this challenge, creating a set of rafts in the shape of Mini Cooper convertibles. These inflatables are still merely concepts for now, and if produced, we’d expect the addition of a cupholder or two to kick back with our favorite cold beverage.

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