June 12th, 2011 at 3:38pm
Coming up on Roundabout . . . we put the pedal to the metal for the second time, again. Find out what vehicle has been blessed with Viper power and some other CRAZY modifications. There are some birthdays to celebrate as well . . . the Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG turns 60 and the company released a bizarre concept version of the real-life monster truck PLUS a group Ford Pinto enthusiasts — yes, there apparently are a few — commemorate the model’s 40th by taking a cross-country road trip. I hope they don’t get rear-ended. And I hope you don’t go anywhere because there’s a whole lot more fun in store this week on RoundAbout. Our guest this week is Dan Gray of MPGomatic.com.
Play RoundAbout Episode 86
Show notes and Ustream video after the jump!
Kill two people, go to jail . . . not in Florida
As the resident RoundAbout Floridian bringing bizarre and disturbing news from the dangle state, this latest incident is downright disturbing. According to a story on TheCarConnection, millionaire Ryan LeVin lost control of his Porsche 911 Turbo during some good old fashioned street racing and killed two tourists in the process. With the well-balanced court system hard at work, LeVin pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to two years house arrest and pay restitution to the families. The moral of this story? Florida welcomes people from all walks of life ranging from strippers to murderers.
Ford projects 50 percent sales increase
Talk about “Taking it to the Max . . . Again,” Ford is projecting that by the middle of the decade, as in THIS DECADE, its sales will grow by approximately 50 percent to 8 million units annually. I don’t think we’ve heard such an aggressive goal come out of Dearborn since new Model T’s were rolling off the line. FoMoCo also estimates its operating margin will increase to between 8 and 9 percent. Whatever that means it’s got to be good news because it was only at 6.1 percent last year!
‘Car-mageddon’ possible with 405 closure
It will be like a Hollywood summer blockbuster disaster movie, only it will have no Michael Bay CGI and it will really be happening. For 56 hours, beginning on July 16th, one of Los Angeles’ busiest highways, the 405, will be shut down of 10 miles so that demolition can begin on the south side of the Mulholland Bridge. The Mayor and other local politicians are urging people to get out of town for the weekend as there will be no way to navigate around this shutdown. And the word is the sequel is already scheduled for next summer when they tear out and rebuild the north side of the bridge.
The Unluckiest Car in Britain is . . .
A UK-based insurance company just released a list of the unluckiest cars in Britain — vehicles with the highest accident rates over the past five years. And the winner is, well, a seemingly unlikely candidate, the Honda FV-R, which is a compact, six-seat MPV. The claim rate on this beastlette is a staggering 18.4 percent, meaning nearly one in five drivers have been in a crash in as many years. Taking home the silver medal is the Volvo XC90. Good thing they’re safe since the drivers CLEARLY AREN’T.
Millions of dollars worth of exotic cars go swimming
A few weeks ago we mentioned an article about an owner of a Porsche 911 in Kentucky who saved his car from a flood by floating it on an inflatable dock. Well, the same can’t be said for a handful of exotic-car owners in Singapore as a parking garage housing numerous six-figure exotics took on about a foot of water. While owners of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and BMW X5 involved in this story might sound like the only ones who were spared, the shin-deep water only seems to have gotten past the rocker panels of a few vehicles including a Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Gallardo and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. With all of the recent scenes of devastation in Asia lately, though, seeing a few high-priced cars take relatively minor damage is far less concerning.
Freshmen Republican lawmakers sped BIG on cars and PR
Despite riding the budget-cutting train to Washington D.C., a number of new Republican Congressmen are shelling out big bucks for vehicle leases. Forget about slashing expenses and riding the Metro. According to Politico, Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack is spending “roughly $1,000 [per month]” for an all-wheel drive 2011 Chevrolet Equinox . . . all while lots full of perfectly useful vehicles sit waiting for new owners at the GSA Auto Auctions.
Volkswagen Beetle pricing announcedAt $18,995 the 2012 Beetle is, like many other new Volkswagens, priced to sell. Gone are the base models that cost more then competitors’ fully loaded models. The new Beetle also looses the “chick car” stigma as it looks like an early Porsche 356, especally in dark colors. It goes on sale in September.
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Unsolicited Car Advice (Solicited Edition)
Erin from Philly is having trouble with her “Dodgy” Dodge Caliber
Jeff – Pro
Eric – Con
2011 Ford Explorer
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