Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Moving to the interior, you are greeted by deep bolstered sport seats that come standard on the Turbo. The fit and finish of the interior is top notch compared to the VWs of old. I was surprised to find hard surfaces for th top of the dash, but the quality of the materials used are excellent. The new dash layout is excellent, a really nice feature is the body colored door, dash and steering wheel accents that really give the interior some splash. Storage is one thing there is no lack of in the Beetle. My particular favorite storage spot is the "KaferFach" glovebox. It captures the style of the original Beetles dash perfectly. The driving position is suited perfectly as one would expect from a car as sporty as the Beetle. And the flat bottomed steering wheel is an interesting touch. The rear seating area is greatly improved also, additional head and leg room is a big plus, as is the new 50/50 split rear seat vs. the New Beetles solid rear seat back. The trunk area is almost doubled in size. The lower edge of the trunk opening is almost flush with the trunk floor making loading and unloading easier. The rear cargo shelf attaches with string to the rear hatch to lift automatically just as in the Golf/GTIs. Under the trunk floor hides a full size 16 inch spare tire and a full tool kit. Of the entire interior, the only creature comfort missing that I would have liked to see was the addition of a center armrest. Outside of that there were very few.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Source: Chevrolet, General Motors
Thursday, September 15, 2011
What might be the most sad though about a true American workhorse fading in to glory is that the final Crown Victoria won't be preserved by Ford or by any collector that we're aware of in the U.S. Nope, the last Crown Vic is headed to Saudi Arabia. Hopefully who ever ends up with the final Crown Vic will realize just how special this car is to automotive history and won't run it til the wheels fall off.
Only time will tell what future lies for a rear wheel drive, V8 powered sedan for Ford holds. This is the first time since 1932 that there has not been one in Ford's line up. Many police departments and taxi companies have been hoarding Crown Victorias in an effort to keep their fleets going especially as many older models were killed off during the failed Cash for Clunkers program. And many aren't enthused with the new Taurus police interceptor.
Long live the Crown Victoria! Thanks for 32 great years!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Several stories have emerged as to how the now famous logo originated. One from Billy Durant's daughter who says that it originated from her father's imagination one night at dinner. Another from Durant's widow saying that her husband found a similar logo while reading a newspaper while on vacation in 1912. Others say it is a stylized version of the Swiss flag cross as Louis Chevrolet was born in Sweeden.
The official origin from General Motors is that Billy Durant saw the logo as part of the pattern on some wallpaper in a Paris hotel that he would tear down and return to Detroit with in 1908. The earliest known use of the the bowtie logo dates to 1913. So who's to say which one is the true meaning behind the bowtie? Durant passed away in 1947, so the answer has certainly gone to the grave at this point. But there is no denying that it ended up being the right choice as now, 100 years later the Chevrolet brand is still in business making cars.
DETROIT, Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Globally recognized today, the Chevrolet bowtie logo was introduced by company co-founder William C. Durant in late 1913. But how it came to be synonymous with the brand is open to wide interpretation.
Durant's version of how the logo came into existence is well known. The long-accepted story, confirmed by Durant himself, was that it was inspired by the wallpaper design in a Parisian hotel.
According to The Chevrolet Story of 1961, an official company publication issued in celebration of Chevrolet's 50th anniversary:
"It originated in Durant's imagination when, as a world traveler in 1908, he saw the pattern marching off into infinity as a design on wallpaper in a French hotel. He tore off a piece of the wallpaper and kept it to show friends, with the thought that it would make a good nameplate for a car."
However, conflicting accounts have emerged, each of which is plausible enough to deepen the mystery and suggest it may never be solved. Two of the alternate origins come from within the Durant family itself.
In 1929, Durant's daughter, Margery, published a book entitled, My Father. In it, she told how Durant sometimes doodled nameplate designs on pieces of paper at the dinner table. "I think it was between the soup and the fried chicken one night that he sketched out the design that is used on the Chevrolet car to this day," she wrote.
More than half a century later, another Bowtie origin was recounted in a 1986 issue of Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine based on a 13-year-old interview with Durant's widow, Catherine. She recalled how she and her husband were on holiday in Hot Springs, Va., in 1912. While reading a newspaper in their hotel room, Durant spotted a design and exclaimed, "I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet." Unfortunately, at the time, Mrs. Durant didn't clarify what the motif was or how it was used.
That nugget of information inspired Ken Kaufmann, historian and editor of The Chevrolet Review, to search out its validity. In a Nov. 12, 1911 edition of The Constitution newspaper, published in Atlanta, an advertisement appeared from by the Southern Compressed Coal Company for "Coalettes," a refined fuel product for fires. The Coalettes logo, as published in the ad, had a slanted bowtie form, very similar to the shape that would soon become the Chevrolet icon. Did Durant and his wife see the same ad – or one similar – the following year a few states to the north? The date of the paper was just nine days after the incorporation of the Chevrolet Motor Co.
One other explanation attributes the design to a stylized version of the cross of the Swiss flag. Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchatel, to French parents, on Christmas Day 1878.
Whichever origin is true, within a few years, the bowtie would emerge as the definitive Chevrolet logo. An October 2, 1913 edition of The Washington Post seems, so far, to be the earliest known example of the symbol being used to advertise the brand. "Look for this nameplate" the ad proclaims above the emblem. Customers the world over have been doing so ever since.
Many variations in coloring and detail of the Chevrolet bowtie have come and gone over the decades since its introduction in late 1913, but the essential shape has never changed. In 2004, Chevrolet began to phase in the gold bowtie that today serves as the brand identity for all of its cars and trucks marketed globally. The move reinforced the strength of what was already one of the most-recognized automotive emblems in the world. More than 4.25 million Chevrolets were sold in more than 120 countries and regions during 2010.
About Chevrolet -- Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com
Friday, September 9, 2011
Now, Edsel Ford II want's it back. Ford Motor Company and the Ford family now fully understand the special meaning of the punch bowl and want it back, badly. The punch bowl is wanted for a new addition to The Henry Ford museum called Racing in America. All in an effort to teach and raise awareness of the science and technology of motor racing. And the punch bowl is an extremely significant part of that history. Edsel Ford is hoping that thanks to the Internet that the punch bowl can be found. It is known that it was purchased by a private collector in the 1950 auction. So hopes are that it's out there somewhere. Look at the picture carefully. Perhaps it is sitting on your grandmother's dining room table. You could be the hero of the Ford family!
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Our car again has the 2.4 liter DOHC 16 valve 4 cylinder that offers relatively good performance at 158 horse power. This time, we opted for the 5 speed manual transmission. Toyota rates the fuel economy at 22 City/28 Highway. So far we have averaged 23.3 MPG, though it's not like we're exactly light on the gas.Inside the xB is very roomy. the seats sit at chair height and are fairly comfortable. Since our 2009 xB, I have noticed that one major change Scion made was the addition of a traditional center arm rest for the front seat passengers. The radio, heater and A/C controls, and the gear shift are all right at your finger tips. With the 5 speed manual, this makes for a very comfortable driving position. Otherwise, the car really has changed very little. But that's not really a bad thing. The only recommendation that still carries over from the 2009 xB is to have the addition of an arm rest for the 60/40 rear split seat. This would make for longer trips more comfortable for those riding in the rear seat. Look for more updates soon!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
After 41 years serving the North Hills. Demors Linclon ceased operations as of Tuesday. Demors began business as a Lincoln Mercury dealer in 1970. However due to the loss of the Mercury brand and struggles that still exist in the auto industry caused Demors to be one of many long time dealers in the area to close their doors. McKnight Road is no stranger to automotive dealerships. Currently North Hills Toyota, Baierl Kia, and Mick's Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep all make residence on McKnight. McCrackin Ford also made its home on McKnight before closing in 2007. Their building still sits empty on one of the busiest sections of McKnight, sitting across the street from Ross Park Mall. That area seems to be struggling for new business and a makeover as many storefronts in the Ross Towne Center is also void of many stores after Circuit City, Damon's and Roomful Express have all vacated within recent years.