The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Recap
August 17-23, 2015


By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

AUTO CENTRAL - CHICAGO - August 23, 2015; Every Sunday, along with fellow senior editors Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, I give you our "take" on this past week's automotive news in easy to digest nuggets.

If you are a car nut like we all are here at The Auto Channel, you can easily wish to "catch up" on these stories as well as the past 20 year's 1,928,564 automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news, video, audio, rants and raves just search The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive.

Hey Boston TV viewers, you can now enjoy The Auto Channel TV Network "Free and Clear" on WHDT Channel 3 in Boston and on your local cable systems. Just added Naples Florida, along with all South Florida auto fans who can continue to watch The Auto Channel TV Network on WHDT-TV Channel 9 in West Palm Beach as well as cable channel's 17 and 438, channel 9 Miami. WHDN launched its full schedule (including The Auto Channel)of digital broadcasting in the Naples-Fort Myers market on PSIP channel 9.1 channel. Enjoy and thanks for the positive feedback and ratings...see you next week, LN

Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Review - August 17-23, 2015

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

* After a couple of weeks of media drives Toyota lifted the embargo this week on driving impressions of the new Tacoma pickup due at dealers next month. To set themselves apart from other mid-size pickups they’ve concentrated on making it the best off-roader by far. To show off those capabilities Toyota borrowed an old abandoned coal mining property not far from Tacoma, WA and spared no expense turning sections of it into an off-road park. TACh was there. Look for our story on the 2016 Tacoma.

* The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's latest report from Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle documents and analyzes the changes in fuel economy of vehicles on U.S. roads between 1923 and 2013. From 1923 through 1935, on-road fuel economy stayed approximately constant at around 14 mpg. Starting in 1936, fuel economy gradually declined, falling to its lowest level, 11.9 mpg, in 1973—the year of the first oil embargo. Starting in 1974, fuel economy increased rapidly to 16.9 mpg in 1991. Thereafter, improvements have been small, with fuel economy at 17.6 mpg in 2013.

* Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. announced the 2015 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA). AutoPacific's IVAs recognize vehicles that best meet their owner's expectations and desires, helping consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions with "owners talking" feedback. The 2015 Overall Winner is the Ford F-150; the 2015 Most Ideal Premium Brand is Porsche; the 2015 Most Ideal Popular Brand is GMC.

* The average used car sold in the U.S. is getting younger and pricier, according to the latest Used Vehicle Market Report from car shopping destination According to the report, the trends suggest a shifting tide in used car inventories, which are skewing more toward newer off-lease vehicles and certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. Edmunds' analysis found that average used car prices hit a record high of $18,800 in the second quarter, up 7.6 percent – or $1,300 per vehicle – from the second quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, the average age of used cars sold in Q2 2015 was 4.5 years, down from an average of 4.9 years the same time last year.

* Chevy revealed more details, including prices, of the much-anticipated new Camaro due to begin production alongside the Cadillac CTS and ATS at the Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing, MI. Prices will begin for the unadorned V6 model at $26,695 while the high-performance Camaro SS begins at $37,295. An online “visualiser” will allow enthusiasts to see various configuration of the car including colours, stripes, wheels and other options.

* FCA US LLC is conducting a voluntary safety recall to correct a condition in an estimated 77,834 U.S.-market 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans that may lead to engine stall or gearshift to neutral.

* Ford is recalling 26,400 heavy duty F-650 and F-750 trucks in North America because the seat belts may not be anchored in the correct position. The recall covers 2011-2013 and 2015 model year trucks.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

* Best in Show honors at last weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elgance went to the 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A F owned by Jim Patterson of Louisville, KY . With body by Swiss coach builder Ramseier & Cie Worblaufen, the sleek, black Cabriolet sets on a massive 145-inch wheelbase and is powered by an 8-litter engine. While the chassis is a 1924 model, it was not bodied until 1931. RM did the restoration and this is the sixth RM-restored car to win at Pebble Beach.

* In other news from the wild week of old car activities around Pebble Beach, preliminary results of the three live auctions compiled by Hagerty were just released. The high end of the market, they say, is going strong but the middle and low end are not, at least there on the Monterey Peninsula. Top sale at the RM Sotheby’s auctions was a 1964 Ferrari that brought $17.6 million. Gooding posted an amazing 86% sell rate at an average transaction of nearly $1.1 million. Gooding’s top sale was a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder at $16 million.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

* Want a rusty old VW Van. A special one is being offered on Craig’s List. It is the mobile “Death” Van of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the very one he used to assist with suicides of desperate people when the authorities began watching his home and office to prevent the procedures. Asking price is about $50,000 to own this piece of history. Beware - the van may have ghosts and it appears to be near death itself. It doesn’t currently run.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

* The famous Woodward Dream Cruise was marred last weekend by the theft of three collector cars, one belonging to John Schnater, founder of the Papa John’s Pizza franchise. Stolen were a 1966 Corvette, a 1966 Chevelle and a 1971 Camaro, the very car Schnater sold to fund the launch of his pizza business. The Camaro was found abandoned in Detroit without its license plate a few days later but the other two cars are still missing. If you see a red ’66 Vette with licence “ITSMY66” or a black 300 Deluxe Chevelle call the cops.