Episode 1077 – Daimler Plays Musical Chairs, Sonata Hybrid Upgraded, XL1 Has XXXL MPGs

February 22nd, 2013 at 11:56am

Runtime: 9:19

Daimler plays executive musical chairs by making some interesting personnel changes. Hyundai is upgrading the Sonata Hybrid for 2013, which is a good thing because the first version didn’t really deliver one main thing you expect from a hybrid. Yesterday Volkswagen officially announced the launch of the most fuel-efficient production vehicle ever made. All that and more, plus on Autoline This Week our guest is former GM CEO, Ed Whitacre and he talks about the mess he found when he got to General Motors.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily and TGIF, everybody! We’ve got some cool cars to take a look at, some important personnel changes, and I guess what we’d just call plain old news.

Well, here’s something unexpected. According to data from the U.S. Commerce Department, the auto industry is the largest export sector in the U.S. economy. That’s bigger than the energy sector which includes oil & coal products, and bigger than all aerospace exports, including passenger jets. U.S. autos generated $133 billion in exports last year, up more than $17 billion or 14 percent over 2011. That helped lower the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services. And while that deficit is still too high, as a percentage of GDP, it fell to 3.4 percent from 3.7 percent. Maybe it’s happened before in the last 30 years, but I cannot ever remember the trade deficit going down.

Daimler made some interesting personnel changes yesterday. It gave CEO Dieter Zetsche a 3-year renewal of his contract. But that got all the analysts buzzing because German automakers typically provide 5-year renewals. The board also made two execs swap positions. Andreas Renschler, who had been running Daimler’s truck operations will now head up Mercedes-Benz cars. And Wolfgang Bernhard, who had cars will now run trucks. Keep an eye on Wolfgang. He’s considered the best bet to succeed Dieter as CEO. They both spent time together running Chrysler in the Daimler-Chrysler days. And a number of Americans may remember that Renschler spent time in the U.S. He was the first plant manager at the Mercedes plant in Alabama.

Hyundai is upgrading the Sonata Hybrid for 2013, which is a good thing because the first version didn’t really deliver the kind of real world fuel economy you expect from a hybrid. The upgrade features better fuel economy thanks to a more powerful lithium polymer battery pack, a higher output electric motor and other improvements to the hybrid system. The base model gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 38 MPG, two better than before. And the new limited model gets a combined 37 MPG. Despite making all these improvements, Hyundai is chopping the price by $200. It starts at just over $26,000, while the top of the line limited model starts just over $31,000.

Yesterday Volkswagen officially announced the launch of the most fuel-efficient production vehicle ever made. It’s called the XL1 and has a European combined fuel rating of 261 MPG. Yes, I said that correctly 261 MPG. Now we all know the European test cycle generates fuel economy numbers that no one matches in the real world, but the XL1 will still post impressive numbers. It’s a two-seat, plug-in that uses an 800cc, 2-cylinder diesel with a 27 horsepower electric motor that is mated to a 7-speed automatic. The featherweight XL1 only weighs 1750 pounds thanks to lots of carbon fiber and aluminum, and has a super slick Cd. of only 0.19. We here at Autoline love the way it looks, but can see how others may be put off by it. VW say it will only build 1,000 a year because it’s a hand-built car. So that leaves us wondering, what the heck is this thing going to cost?

Toyota is updating the interior of the Camry just one year into production. This includes soft-touch materials on the door panels for the LE and SE models, the Blind Spot Monitor adds a rear cross-traffic alert system and the display audio screen is now standard on base models. When the 7th generation Camry debuted last year it was met with some criticism over its choices of interior materials. I guess this is Toyota’s answer to those critics.

Coming up next, former GM CEO Ed Whitacre talks about the mess he found when he got to General Motors.

My guest on Autoline This Week is the former CEO of GM, Ed Whitacre, who’s just come out with a book called American Turnaround. Also joining me on that show are my colleagues Joe White from the Wall Street Journal and Bill Vlassic from the New York Times. Here’s a clip from the show.

(Clip from Autoline This Week with Ed Whitacre can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

I’m kind of puzzled by Ed Whitacre. He claims to not know GM’s latest financial numbers, but later in the program he shows that he’s very aware of Fiat’s current problems in Europe. And I cannot believe that anybody at GM is comfortable with the fact that Ford is making more money even though it sells fewer cars. And I’m still troubled that in the middle of GM’s turnaround Whitacre just quit and walked away. He addresses that in the show, but you’ll have to watch and judge for yourself. And of course you can watch the full episode at our website Autoline.tv right now, or check your local television listings because Autoline This Week is carried on many Public Television stations across the United States and Canada.

Anyway that wraps up another week’s worth of reports. Thanks for making us a part of your day and please join us again here on Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

72 Comments to “Episode 1077 – Daimler Plays Musical Chairs, Sonata Hybrid Upgraded, XL1 Has XXXL MPGs”

  1. ColoradoKid Says:

    VW XL1 – If one has to build an E/V …. THAT !!!! ..is the way it should be done . Entirely different ( other than four wheels ) from the ground on up – aerodynamics placed over and above style and/or acceptability … and light as a feather to take what few advantages are offered by an E/V

    VW’s XL1 making the TESLA S and every other EV on the market look like a soon to be extinct dinosaur on its last legs in comparison

    ( Jeeze … I can’t believe I just posted that in light of my overall opinion of VW . Oh well . Credit given where credit is due … I guess )

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    Its the End of the ( JEEP ) World as We Know it ;

    Here it is . The first of the many to come FIAT SpA based JEEP’s

    The new ( cough ) JEEP Cherokee ;


    Guaranteed with what Marchionne has on deck it’ll only get worse from here ;-)

  3. Bradley Says:

    Wow, Ed Whitacre comments about Ford’s financials in comparison to GM. Oh wait, he had no comments. And almost tried to imply it was silly for him to know that.

  4. HtG Says:

    2 please, CK, it’s lunch on the east coast. This must be a punking.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Resurrecting the Jeep Cherokee; I don’t know maybe it will grow on me; I’ll have to wait and see. A little ‘snarky’ in the front view.

    VW XL1; 0-60′ish (okay 62, 100kph) is 12.6; if an American company put out something like that it would probably be raked over the coals (but as a niche vehicle it will probably work).

  6. HtG Says:

    OMG, they’re serious. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

  7. HtG Says:

    mail call

    Now a Nissan dealer is appealing to our ‘loyalty’ with an offer to take over 6 payments on the current car, or $3000 total. Just buy a new car from this dealer, not the dealer we’re supposedly so loyal to.
    Now, wait a second there, Slick.

  8. ColoradoKid Says:


    They’re deadly serious ( JEEP Cherokee )

    Its built on the Dart/Guilietta/FIAT that even the Euro’s won’t buy ( cause its such a pile of …. )

    And its just the first in a long line of up and coming FIAT platform based JEEP’s Marchionne has on deck …… including …… a FWD FIAT platform based ……… JEEP Wrangler .


    Chuck – If an American company had done an EV like the XL1 … well I still wouldn’t buy one but I’d be giving them their credit due in spades as I have with VW today .

    Guaranteed ;-)

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Are you a “loyal customer” since, years ago, you bought a Miata, not made by Nissan, which you no longer have, and which you bought somewhere else? They have an interesting definition of “loyalty.” Oh, maybe it has something to do with the Honda.

  10. Feldman Says:

    The VW concept looks great to me, I like no-nonsense, Form-follows-function styling, none of these Sonata-Elantra Flares for me please!

    They had an earlier version where the passenger sat behind, not next to, the driver, but this one looks like a regular two-seater with some cargo space in the back.

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    USPS & Muscle Cars

    Who’d a thunk it ?


    Me likes ! Lots ! 8)

  12. Feldman Says:

    #5 I don’t think so at all. Look at the stellar success of the Prius, it is no 0-60 in 4 seconds either.

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    Speaking of Nissan


    Look out ( racing ) world . Nissan’s getting serious . Very serious !

  14. The Autoextremist Says:

    And another thing…

    By the way, those USPS stamps are the work of the great Tom Fritz, one of the preeminent artists working in automotive fine art today. Check out his website: http://www.fritzart.com

    That is all.


  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep, and a Prius is fast compared to the 1.9 TDI I had, and the TDI was “fast enough.”

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    back to yesterday’s diesel discussion:

    I checked VW UK, and the current GTD, with 170 hp gets 35% better fuel economy than the GTi with the 2.0 litre turbo gas in the Euro “combined” ratings, 52.3 mpg vs 38.7. The diesel fuel would probably be cheaper in Europe than the premium that the GTi needs.

    Yes, the GTi is quicker, 6.9 seconds 0-62, vs 8.1 for the GTD.

  17. HtG Says:

    yup. I’m still feeling sick about that JEEP. This makes me mad, and when I get mad I get back to work
    I’m watching you, Serge(*)(*)

  18. ColoradoKid Says:


    Marchionne – Dante’s Inferno – level 9 ;-)

  19. Feldman Says:

    We all made fun of Marchionne here for a long time, and the Autoextremist was really hard on him too, but it seems that he has done an excellent job both in marketing CHrysler Products and in improving them from unacceptable to decent. As for the slow-selling Dart, he did not have a choice (to import the far better looking ALfa/Fiat on which it is based), it was part of the agreement, in order for Fiat to get Chrysler, one of the terms was to develop the Fart.. oops Dart.

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Macaroni and jeeps (un)manley are tools.

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    Oh yeah . Marchionne’s done a real good job . Of … errrr … manipulating Chryslers sales numbers and taking them completely out of context in order to make it ‘ Appear ‘ Chrysler is on the rebound – burying FIAT SpA and all its divisions even further into the ground Worldwide – building JEEP’s on FIAT SpA pos platforms – Dodges as well – rapidly sending what’s left of Maserati into the abyss – doing everything he can to bring down Viper .. despite it being based on the AMG SLS by trying to make the brand ‘ exclusive ‘ – not to mention lie to every trade union worldwide / along with every government he’s done business with – try to steal the Chrysler UAW’s pension right out from under them …. and on and on and on ……. et al

    Read the ‘ News ‘ not the propaganda and you’ll see PDL was in fact holding back in his criticisms aimed at Stronzetto Marchionne .

    btw That ‘far better looking ‘ Alfa ? ( surely you jest ) Like I said earlier …. even the Euro’s ( and especially the Italians ) won’t buy the thing … because its such a pile .

    Hmmmn . Come to think of it . Dante’s Level Nine may be too mild for what the little Emperor Sergio Caesar deserves . Maybe Dante’d be willing to decompose a Level Ten …. just for Sergio !

  22. Feldman Says:

    Marchionne is considered not just a good Automotive CEO (in contrast with that total clueless fool Akerson, just to give you a hint),

    But is also considered and has been voted in at least one poll to be the most influential Automotive CEO in the whole world.

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    21 cont.

    Forgot to include the mans managing to completely destroy what was left of the Alfa Romeo brand …by basing every model on one cheap FIAT or another …. now running to Mazda to create a Spider and KTM/Dallara to build the over priced under performing 4C .

    Yup . You betcha . Marchionne is a genius . In some alternative/vaporware reality ….. maybe ;-)

  24. Feldman Says:

    HE damned sure IS a “Genius”

    Especially compared with most other Automitive CEOS

    GHOSN of the HORRENDOUS EVmistakes in the Leaf and his poor guesses.

    (ANd GHOSN is 10 times better than Akerson!)

  25. Feldman Says:

    Another much maligned (by the Autoextremist) CEO is Piech. At least Autoextremist admits that “in his day” he WAS a genius, gets credit for the Porsche 908 or something. (see last night’s AAH).

    PIech is doing just fine too, and in the US market, no matter how many times Pedro reminds us of their poor reliability, if one watches sales numbers regularly, he or she should know they have made STELLAR gains.

  26. Denis Says:

    I’ve seen Whitacre in 3 interviews so far and he comes across as being media trained to excess. To the point of saying absolutely nothing.

    Wonder if his book is just as aseptic. From the lack of substance in his interviews, I won’t bother wasting my time finding out.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    22 & 24

    In your virtual dreams there son.

    You do not have a clue and I’m wasting good time on you .

  28. Feldman Says:

    SO even the blind can see how good Marchionne has been, compare and contrast how poorly GM has fared after it went broke, under clueless Phone execs like Akerson and the ones he brought with him from ATT,

    and how much Chrysler imroved all its offerings, especially the “worst car in the world” 200-Avenger.

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    Tell you what Feldman

    When you have 1/10th of even my automotive industry & business knowledge … never mind AutoExtremist PDL’s maybe I’ll take your criticisms towards PDL as well as your praises for the Idiot Marchionne ( and Kaiser Piech ) seriously .

    We’re done now . Bye bye !

  30. G.A.Branigan Says:

    So jeep (macaroni) wants to build in china?


  31. Denis Says:

    Is your beef with Sergio that this Canadian/Italian is showing Detroit on how to build cars? Quite impressive considering that he started out with an organization in complete ruins.

    You should be applauding outsiders like him. Similarly, Mullaly with no car experience took, a basket case company and applied the Toyota strategic world plan to a completely dysfunctional organization.

    Detroit needs more fresh blood and diversity.

  32. Feldman Says:

    #31 Denis

    Can’t you READ my posts????

    I said the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you claim

    I spoke GREATLY in FAVOR of Marchionne

    I have ALSO frequently praised Mulally (except he seems to do little at LINCOLN)

    Get new glasses!

  33. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The stamps (muscle cars) were/are definitely cool. I’d use them as stamps though (not much of a collector of things). Thanks for the links.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    BTW Feldman in case this fact slipped by you ;

    Piech is not the decision maker for VW-Audi . That job falls on Winterkorn’s shoulders .


    31 Methinks you meant to address that towards me . In which case suffice it to say after you’ve reviewed the F-A-C-T-S about Sergio/Chrysler/FIAT SpA .. and not the Marchionne /Chrysler propaganda … come back and we’ll have a discussion about the realities of Marchionne .

  35. Feldman Says:


    Don’t waste your ink and time (assuming it is valuable).

    Don’t delude yourself that I will ever take you seriously.

  36. Feldman Says:

    I judge by RESULTS, and Marchionne has delivered BIG TIME to Chrysler, while Akerson has been a total disaster.

  37. ColoradoKid Says:


    From the likes of you I’ll take that as a major compliment

    Molto Grazie ;-)

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    Results ?

    Why yes . Lets have a look see at the Business ‘ results’

    FIAT SpA – Currently listed as Junk – Can’t get an IPO to raise funds for love or money from any market – Italy’s Prime Minister has refused Marchionne any further government assistance as well as saying he’d rather see FIAT SpA defunct than invest another euro/lire into such a losing proposition . FIAT sales in the UK/EU are the worst of any European major manufacture .. and dropping by the minute .

    Chrysler/JEEP – Place the numbers into any reasonable and logical business context and the numbers come up a a major league Fail . Chrysler/JEEP’s reliability has in fact slipped even lower since FIAT SpA’s take over ( actually they were given Chrysler ) Chrysler’s overall market share is a joke ( according to all the Japanese and EU competitors ) The Dart was a no starter . JEEP sales are once again falling .

    Maserati is living on a lifeline extended by Montezemolo and Ferrari SpA in the vain hope Maserati might survive

    Much as Marchionne wants in at Ferrari neither the Elkann’s or Montezemolo will let him within five miles of the front gate .

    Hmmmn .So yes by all means . Lets judge Sergio by the ( factual not virtual ) results .

  39. ColoradoKid Says:


    Phew ! Almost like the bad ol days . That one’s for you pedro !

    9″ of new snow in Vail . Tail is all healed up ( from the last round of sitzmarking ) Wife’s getting off early . Slopes are calling .

    See y’all Monday 8)

  40. Feldman Says:

    37 keep deluding yourself, ignoramus

  41. stas peterson Says:

    Haters will be haters. Sergio Marchione is not a Saint; but in comparison to other auotmotive CEOs he is certainly superior to any active today. Yesterdays heroes like Ford, Sloan, Toyoda, Honda are no more.

    SM can and does do it. So it angers those who can’t. “PDL” and the “Colorado Kid” are these poor examples of non-successful envy.

    They can’t do. So the only thing available to them is to tear down those who can and do, as if it would demean thier targets. Instead it only demeans them, and underlines their failures.

  42. HtG Says:

    stas, I’d offer that there’s a lot of industry knowledge on this comment board; particularly with CK, PDL, and Feldman. That may be what leads to some of the head butting.

  43. W L Simpson Says:

    Re; VW EV—-the innovation I like best are no outside mirrors & wonder why all the existing
    big dashboard screens are not already incorporating that feature.
    Chrysler hasn’t been in good hands since
    Walter P

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nobody has commented on the Sonata hybrid, but it sounds like it is still really substandard compared to the competition from Toyota and Ford. So far, it certainly looks like the “power splitter” with two motor/generators, as used by Toyota and Ford, is the way to do hybrids.

  45. Feldman Says:

    #44 Just happened that I read an article yesterday claiming they have tried to improve the MPG of that Sonata Hybrid and now it will get 36 city 40 hwy and 38 overall, if I remember correctly. Still far inferior to the EPA Prius MPG, even lower than the much larger (interior capacity-wise) Prius V’s.

  46. Feldman Says:

    #42 This is really not the reason. There is something wrong with CK, that’s all. Also, what is his connection to the Automotive Industry?

  47. Feldman Says:

    #41 Stas Peterson

    I think you are absolutely correct.

  48. Dave Forslund Says:

    Re: Ed Whitacre

    John, you summed-up Ed Whitacre’s position very nicely. (I would not have been so nice.)

    He found GM in a mess when he arrived, and it was still in a mess when he left, although there was an aire of misguided optimism. To receive accolades one has to be dedicated to a project long term and follow through on his aspirations. Ed Whitacre did not do this and the price of the stock reflects this.

    Dieter Zetsche:

    Mr. Zetsche is another puzzlement. He did little to enhance a rising Chrysler when they merged “as equals” and Daimler, while building a respectable car (I own -not lease- 2 E Class MB’s) has not shown leadership in a growing and profitable segment of the market.

    Being a confidant of Peter Shrimp, it may have been better if would have been given the same path instead of another 3 years of mediocre performance.

    Being negative in not fun. But sometimes one has to call a spade, a spade and express his views as he sees them.

  49. Feldman Says:

    I just listened to this Sunday’s Autoline Weekly, and it was one of the better programs, not only because they had Ed Whiteacre on, but also because John had two excellent panelists, both of whom wrote good books about the industry (as well as Ed).

    I would put the program with the new Lincoln Guy on the other extreme, if what he said reflects more or less what Lincoln will do in the next years, it is Doomed. And he was not at all challenged by John. (I wonder if this is a condition for them to appear, softball frtiendly Larry King- Baba Wawa style interviews?)

  50. Feldman Says:

    #48 so you think Akerson was actually an improvement over Whiteacre?

  51. HtG Says:

    Say it ain’t so

    I’ve been looking at that Jeep Cherokee a bit more. It just gets worse. It literally hurts me in my guts. I think I may have to take down the portrait of Ralph Gilles from my dining room wall. Who are the people that designed this and approved it, please? We need to reduce headcount.

    On the bright side, at least I may have found a reason to go to the NY autoshow; ‘See the Freakmobile’ like at the circus. Cars have moved so far away from me these days, and schlepping down to Manhattan just to peer through a curtain of fat people so I can glimpse the C7 just ain’t going to get HtG over the hump anymore.

  52. Feldman Says:

    The Grand Ch? What’s wrong with it? Giles sure has got a lot of mileage off his good designs, but he’s not infallible.

  53. HtG Says:

    Luv the GC. But this thing makes me mad because I want the company to thrive, and I don’t want to see revolting iron on the road. Who did this?

  54. EdK Says:

    Glad they named it the Cherokee so as not to insult my 2012 Liberty which is the last of a dying breed of real 4x4s that don’t cost an arm and a leg to buy or maintain. Long live the Liberty, that new Cherokee is not a real Jeep.

  55. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ EdK: “Last of a dying breed of real 4×4′s”?? Try again fan boi,the JK is the only on left with the sfa.THAT is a real 4×4.

  56. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Have Jeep abandoned ‘trail rated’; big mistake, if they did. They (Jeep) needs to keep that in their ‘DNA’.

  57. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It used to be that a model of jeep (wrangler etc) had to make it on certain trails.Thus it earned the ‘trail rated’ badge.I can’t remember the name of the trail anymore,and it now might be closed to vehicle traffic because of the tree huggers.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Rubicon Trail?

  59. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Correct Kit:
    From ‘wilki’: “Usage

    Part of the trail is used as a testing ground by Jeep. The Rubicon variant of the Jeep Wrangler is named after this trail.
    Many large events take place on the trail, ranging from Jeep-only events (Jeep Jamboree) and 4×4 enthusiast events (Jeepers Jamboree, TLCA’s Rubithon, Marlin Crawler Round-Up) to family trips to special events organized just for SUVs and stock 4x4s that could not otherwise complete the trail.”

  60. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Maybe Kit,I honestly don’t remember.My 06 Liberty Limited CRD had the ‘trail rated’ badge on it and that was pure bull$hit.Mass quantities of power from the CRD,but no ground clearance to speak about,and it didn’t have a skid plate pkg either.The ifs as it was is a joke too.The jeep factory ‘pimped’ out the meaning of ‘trail rated’ so it lost it’s meaning.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to Jeep, “trail rating” means meeting a set of standards for traction, articulation, water fording, ground clearance, and maneuverability. There is no mention of bash plates and such.

    Yeah, I’m sure it is just a marketing thing. After all, a Prius, which has less ground clearance than most cars, is capable of any off-roading most SUV’s ever see.

  62. G.A.Branigan Says:

    All of the 4wd JK’s (they are also available in 2wd)are ‘trail rated and can do the job.More then enough ground clearance to qualify along with all the protection underneath.

    LOL,I wouldn’t advise you to try that around here in the mountains Kit.Washouts are the single biggest obstacles that I need to traverse,and in fact that was what stopped the libby.The underpinnings just aren’t built for what the JK can take in stride.

  63. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Here’s the latest from a 15 page thread on just the pentastar problem heads…:

    P0302 bad cylinder head
    “Well, I’m now part of the bad pentastar club. Just over 19,500 miles. Light came on with P0302 but then went off on its own. A few days later it came on again. Went to the dealer and they scanned it and scheduled an appointment to replace the head when the next shipment of heads arrived.

    Mine was the third one of the week. It is so common that even the kid doing lot cleanup asked me if I knew about the issue with the heads. I didn’t have the loud ticking sound like some of the others but it turned out that the #2 exhaust valve was burnt.

    Thankfully the dealer skipped all the runaround that others have had to deal with and just fixed it. It only took a day and part of that day was finishing up the one before mine that they had started the day before. I guess they are getting good at changing the heads”.

  64. M360 Says:

    John – Ed Whitacre said GM was just trying to get out of the hole and make any money at all. And, as you pointed out, he wasn’t aware that Ford made $1.9 B to GM’s $1.4 B. I think the reason is simple: Ed Whitacre is not a car guy and he doesn’t study the automotive industry. He is aware of some things, but he is not a student of Ford, GM or Chrysler because he didn’t live and breath the industry. The fact that Ford makes that much more than GM despite the fact that GM is much larger,just underscores the great job that Mr. Mullaly and the team at Ford is doing. I don’t think I will be buying Ed’s book anytime soon, either.

  65. Feldman Says:

    #64 “just underscores the great job that Mr. Mullaly and the team at Ford is doing.”

    What about Lincoln? It is the worst of the worst Divisions of any car maker, probably including even that poor ACURA who has lost its way BIG TIME.

  66. C-Tech Says:

    Good job D. Patrick – top finish for a rookie this year. Finished ahead of your boss. Did not cause the big one.

    What is going on with Toyota racing engines?

  67. ColoradoKid Says:

    Well I’m finally back safe and sound . Franz is the real deal . 10″ snow – Pirelli Scorpion All Seasons … no problem . We stayed the extra night rather than deal with the idiots on I-70 and came home this morning


    Dancia Patrick – Please don’t tell me anyone’s fallen for that pre-ordained result . Seriously … since day one the woman hasn’t been able to get outta her own way … and than outta the blue Pole and a Top Ten ? Horsefeathers !

    ( methinks me smells another Lance Armstrong controversy in the making with little miss Patrick .. only in her case it’ll be about the ‘ Fix ‘ )


    My What Wimps We Are

    ( and how specialized our cars have become )

    Last night a bunch of us that stuck around to avoid the idiots got together and watched a series of videos on the Austrian influence on American Skiing as well as the 50th Anniversary of Vail DVD ( sheesh I am getting old . I’ve been going to Vail for 50 of those 50 years )

    Lots of old footage going all the way back to the 20′s ( in Austria & US )

    What struck me though and where the header comes from was the cars they drove to Ski Resorts back in the day .

    Model T’s – Bugatti roadsters – 32 Deuces – Mercedes 300SL roadsters ( w/ hard top ) etc . Ski racks on the back . Bundled up . No problem . And remember back then the resorts didn’t plow down to the pavement . Even in the early days of Vail C2 Corvettes abounded .

    Try doing that in any sports car other than a Porsche C4 these days ! Truly we’ve wimped out as drivers …. as well as our cars having become so over specialized as to be worthless sometimes .


    And that gentlemen shall be my last . With the Sybil’s back in full strength – pedro hitting the road .. the entire industry becoming more delusional by the minute .. some change coming in March no one will tell me about that I’m betting I won’t like … well . Basta !

    Good Luck . Good Life . Keep Calm Drive On and for the love of Pete Carry On … all while Rocking On …. of course ;-) They are only cars you know


  68. ColoradoKid Says:

    ….. should of read ; ” ….. 40 of those 50 years ”

    Guess there was no avoiding one last silly error

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    We’ll miss you C.K.

  70. Feldman Says:

    He’ll be back. I remember he left some time ago and then came back.

  71. HtG Says:

    this saloon never closes, CK, and the bartender will listen

  72. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I have to say Danica did a good job (not bad, not great); she performed like any/most of the guys would have. Women want equality, and that’s what they should get; shaking my head every-time those darn announcers would invent a new milestone/record that (you know who) accomplished. Still (and probably) never will be a fan (of hers).

    That aside, the race was boring, the cars looked good, but passing (again) was next to impossible and the preliminary 190 laps grew tiring to watch (with the last ten only slightly more pulse stimulating); maybe when they get away from the restrictor plate track (but not too certain there either).