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Nutson's Automotive News Factoids - Week Of Feb 3-9, 2014


Auto Central Louisville, KY February 9, 2014 Each week Larry Nutson, Senior Editor, New York Bureau of The Auto Channel, along with Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau give you easy to digest nuggets of the past week's automotive news you may have missed.

If you are a car nut like we all are, you can easily "catch up" on these stories as well as the past 17 year's 1,490,343 automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, rants and raves by just searching for the subject you are interested in The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive. Hey South Florida TV viewers, I know you are enjoying watching The Auto Channel's TACH-TV on channel 44 WHDT-TV Palm Beach (Cable 17 and 438, channel 9 Miami and channel 32 Fort Meyers-Naples, and thanks for the positive feedback....See you next week, LN

Automotive News February 3-9, 2014

* This might be a good time to shop for your Chevy, Buick or GMC vehicle as GM is offering the biggest incentives in many months. Sales were soft in December and January partly due to awful weather in much of the country. Incentives have become less necessary in the past couple years as demand has grown significantly but automakers still have to pile some cash on the hoods now and then to keep sales momentum.

* named the Top 10 Most Iconic Cars of the past 25 years. They are: Toyota Prius, Mazda MX-5 Miata, VW New Beetle, Ford Mustang, Dodge Viper R/T 10, Jeep Wrangler, MINI Cooper, Hummer H2, Ford Explorer, and Pontiac Aztec. More information on iconic cars and other Top 10's can be found at

* A Harris Poll study, commissioned by Seapine Software, revealed that 88 percent of U.S. adults would be worried about riding in a driverless car. The survey was conducted among 2,039 adults ages 18 and older, also found that three-fourths (79 percent) of U.S. adults would worry that the equipment in a driverless car will fail, such as a braking software glitch or failed warning sensor that alerts the driver of danger.

* And.....the federal government said that it planned to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication. That is, all new cars will broadcast within a range of about 300 yards their location, speed, direction and other data and receive similar data from other vehicles to warn drivers of impending danger and help avoid collisions. However, this will take years to come about. A proposed rule may come out before January 2017.

* NHTSA said that almost 22 million vehicles were recalled last year in 632 recalls. The previous year nearly 16.4 million vehicles recalled in 581 actions and is the highest number since 2004, when recalled vehicles hit 30.8 million. Toyota led in the number of vehicles, followed by Fiat-Chrysler and then Honda/Acura.

* Two Tesla Model S all-electric sedans and a team of 15 took 76.5 hours to drive from New York to Los Angeles in five days. The Cross Country Rally team set a goal of just three days to accomplish the 3,464.5-mile trek using only Tesla’s Supercharger network. Superchargers are faster than regular charging in that they can replenish half a charge in as little as 20 minutes.

* The EcoDiesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 has earned a 28-mpg test rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup. the combined rating is 23mpg. GM was quick to point out that the estimated annual fuel costs for a diesel Ram is just $50 a year less than GM’s full-size V-8 truck, but that the Ram costs $3,400 more, meaning at current fuel prices it could take several decades to recoup the higher upfront cost. It's all about the ROI.

* For the first time ever, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host more than 500 of the world’s finest and most historic racecars as they compete on the recently reconfigured road course as well as running exhibition events on the famed 2.5 miles oval as part of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational to be held June 6-8. See:

* The top ten brands according to Consumer Reports latest Car-Brand Perception Survey are: 1) Toyota, 2) Ford, 3) Honda, 4) Chevrolet, 5) Tesla, 6) Subaru, 7) Mercedes-Benz, 8) Volvo, 9) Cadillac, 10) BMW

* The famed Daytona Motor Speedway is undergoing a $400 million renovation and Toyota announced this week at the Chicago Auto Show that a substantial section of the facility will be sponsored by Toyota with space for interactive exhibits, display of Toyota products and much more. Toyota's U.S. operations boss Bob Carter said they will continue to be a major player in NASCAR as far as he can see into the future.

* Mazda Miata celebrates a quarter century of satisfying U.S. sports car lovers this week. The small, agile 2-seater won accolades right from the beginning and is now approaching 1 million units in that 25 years. Mazda says that on any given race weekend more Miatas are being raced than any other car. Introduced at a modest price of less than 14 grand in 1989 it is now in just its third generation and, while every part of the car has been modernized the small, sporty character has not changes a bit.

* An amazing recall this week was announced by Aston Martin. It seems 75% of all cars they've made from 2007 to 2012 have a defective accelerator pedal arm that could break while driving. The plastic part was from a Chinese sub-supplier and was made using "counterfeit plastic material." Aston Martin said it would recall 17,590 cars.

* Those who want or need a high-performance, off-road capable pickup will not be limited to Ford's raucous Raptor anymore. Chevy now has a serious contender - or rather, a couple of aftermarket suppliers have produced one. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and Southern Comfort Automotive partnered to massage the Silverado into a hotter, faster, cooler truck with more ground clearance and up to 650 horsepower. It's called Reaper.

* The National Automotive History Collection announced this week the winner of their annual Collectible Car of the Future Award. The SRT Viper was named by the Board of Trustees and friends of The Collection as the car most likely to grab your attention at the Woodward Dream Cruise 25 years hence. The NAHC is one of the largest and richest collections of automobile history in the world and is one of the "special collections" of the Detroit Public Library.

* A 1955 Jaguar D-Type, the seventh-oldest with a documented racing history and many of its original components, crossed the block at RM's first Paris auction at an amazing selling price of 3,696,000 euros (about $4.95 million, including the 12 percent buyer's fee) and establishing a new record for the model.

* After a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s disease, we are sad to report that Pat Garlits, the wife of the greatest drag racer ever, Don Garlits has died. The role of Pat Garlits in the career of her husband can never fully be appreciated. Don and Pat Garlits met in 1952 and they were married on February 20, 1953.