RoAb #88 – The ‘Quickest Path to Salvavage’ Episode

July 2nd, 2011 at 7:57pm

Steven-Ewing-BMW-Love-Autoline
Coming up on Roundabout . . . a hybrid car was banned from racing because it was too fast.  Hard to believe, I know.  Russian President Dimitry Medvedev nearly mows down a crowd of onlookers, “Grant Theft Auto” style.  And we come at you with another blockbusting installment of Versus!  Stick around for all of this excitement and much, much, much, much, much, more, only on RoundAbout!  Our special guest this week is Christiaan Conover of WheelSpin.tv.

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Play RoundAbout Episode 88

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Featuring: Christiaan Conover, Steven J. Ewing, Michelle NaranjoCraig Cole and Ben Sanders

Show notes and Ustream video 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:

Fewer Ferrari buyers opting for red
Take a moment to picture a Ferrari – any Ferrari – in your head. It’s red, isn’t it? Well, that trend of Maranello’s supercars being best known for their Rosso paint jobs might be fading. According to the Italian automaker, only 45 percent of Prancing Horse buyers are opting for the signature red, compared to a whopping 85 percent in the early 1990s. Ferrari says this is because the rest of its color spectrum has filled out so nicely, and what’s more, many customers are opting for two-tone paint jobs, with the roof painted an entirely different color from the rest of the car. 45 percent is still a huge take rate, however, so expect the classic Ferrari red to be a staple of the automotive industry for eons.

Fiat 500 high manual transmission take rate
Fiat’s scrappy little Cinquecento is finding surprising success in the United States.  According to Ward’s via the Automotive Weblog, Texas of all places is a leading market for the tiny two-door.  Fiat has 10 dealerships — sorry, studios — in the Lone Star state, a tie with New York and Florida.  But that’s not all!  Against the odds Americans are buying a shocking number 500s with manual transmissions — upwards of 70 percent, in fact!  That’s an AMAZING figure for the land of baseball, apple pie and automatics.

Flashy-car drivers not the “marrying kind”
In a new segment we like to call “Blinding Flash of the Obvious”, a new study suggests that men who drive Porsches or flaunt other flashy possessions are quote “not the marrying type”.  Like peacocks showing off their colorful tails, men who are conspicuous spenders are typically seeking short-term sexual encounters, and are less interested in committed relationships.  When asked about his opinion on this phenomenon, RoundAbout host Craig Cole replied, “oh, so that’s how I can get a girl!”

The Lamborghini that never was
A Murzal, just sold for $2.1 million. What is a Murzal? A Lamborghini with a Miura engine. 50 square feet of glass and gullwing doors, the Murzal was designed by Marcello Gandini, the Bertone designer who brought us the Miura and Countach. $2.1 million for a comfy “family” oriented performance car.

Hybrid rally car banned for being too fast
When we think of hybrids, we don’t really think of fast. That’s not the case for one experimental Honda Insight rally car, however – the racer has been banned by Formula 1000 organizers for being much too quick on the tarmac. The car, commissioned by OakTec Racing, was removed from the competition after achieving a 19-point lead after only three events. Jalopnik reports that the rally team has been quiet about what exactly is powering the too-fast-too-furious Insight, but because of its removal from Formula 1000, OakTec must now find a higher tier in which to enter the hotted-up hybrid.

Airlines rated worst of 47 industries
Used-car salesmen get more than their share of scorn from consumers but one industry was recently rated the worst of the bunch.  And no, I’m not talking about telcos.  Bloomberg reports airlines fell to LAST PLACE in a University of Michigan Customer Satisfaction survey that covered 47 different industries.  Combined, they averaged a score of just 65 points on a 100-point scale.  That sounds worse than Volkswagen’s quality!  Fliers are fed up with fees and delays.  After the accountants tabulated the numbers and put their abaci away, the airline at the bottom of the survey was none other than Delta.  Is there a difference between last and dead last?  Thank goodness they have a major hub in Detroit!

Iowa truck looks like Mater from “Cars”
When Iowa railroad conductor turned gas station owner Joe Romeo spotted a rusty 1941 Dodge tow truck in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he knew he had to have it for his service station.  He bought it, and has since turned it into a full-size replica of Tow Mater, the character from the movie “Cars” voiced by Larry the Cable Guy.  Complete with plywood eyes in place of the windshield and buck teeth over the bumper, it’s a very convincing rust bucket.  Judging by the pictures it looks more like a family reunion than mere decoration, as the owners bear a striking resemblance to the hillbilly tow truck.  (audio clip)

Six-wheeled dustbuster van truck is Camino-riffic
A Very odd bird was spotted in Canada … with California plates. A 1990 Oldsmobile Silhouette that has been tricked out to include a spare axle and bed, dual spoilers, tonneau cover and 80′s style limousine TV antenna. All in a state of complete disrepair. It is for sale.

1994 Ferrari 348 Spyder for sale . . . just 2,300 miles!
News from the “I wish this crappy wall tapestry could be painted on my car” files, a car dealer in Austin, Texas, is selling a 1994 Ferrari 348 Spyder with just 2,300 miles, painted with a unique dolphin-swimming-through-the-stars paint job. The dealer claims that this artwork is the product of “world-famous artist Christian Lassen,” and that the detailing alone is worth $100,000. Odd, then, that the car is selling for just $60,000, though we don’t imagine it’ll be moving off the showroom floor anytime soon.

Russian president nearly takes out crowd in Mercedes
His target?  A crowd of adoring onlookers.  His weapon of choice?  A Mercedes-Benz M-Class.  His name?  Dimitry Medvedev, president of Russia.  Vladimir Putin’s replacement appears to have forgotten to put the luxury SUV he was driving in park — a so-called innocent mistake.  But as this viral video clearly shows, the leader of the not-so-free world floored the accelerator in botched attempt to mow down a herd of women and children.  The media are downplaying this as simply an accident but the tape says otherwise.  Justice is not served in Mother Russia.

New Jersey Dealer asking $100,000 for JFK Jr.’s Used Saab
Get out your checkbooks, America! This is one bland yuppie car you won’t want to miss.
A New Jersey dealer is selling John F. Kennedy Jr.’s 1994 Saab 900, with all of the class and restraint you’d expect of a used car salesman in the Garden State.  While a typical Saab 900 in great shape goes for less than five thousand dollars, this one’s on the market for a cool 100 grand.  It’s been in storage since JFK Jr’s death in 1999, and has just a tick over 30 thousand miles.  I guess the only question left to be asked is: WHO THE HELL CARES?!

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Versus

Steven – Con

Michelle – Pro

Christiaan – Judge

Craig – Judge

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