Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There are no ugly women

There are no ugly women.
This photo was taken at a competition in June 2006. The competition was between 9 women for best makeover. They had every possible beauty treatment available to them over a period of 12 hours before the contest. Look at the before and after photos. It really is Shocking!
Conclusion - there are no ugly women * (see below), only poor women.... If you had the money....Good Grief!!! BTW, the woman 2nd from the left won the contest.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Scottsdale Classic Car Auctions Deliver Record Prices

Whilst the number of cars crossing the block at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event at Scottsdale saw a decline in the total number of cars sold, there were many highlights from the $88m sale.
Total reveneus were down on the $111m of 2007, but a record attendence of 280,000 and strong prices in a number of sectors proved that, despite the current US economy, the classic car market remains buoyant. Corvettes fetched strong prices, as did 'tri-five' 1955-57 Chevys throughout the week. The average hammer price of these two groups increased by 13 percent on the previous year. In total 1,163 collector cars crossed the block. Read more here.....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What The Arizona Auctions Mean

Posted by John Gunnell, Gunner's Garage
Now that the big Arizona Auctions are over, everyone is talking about the "trends for 2008," almost as if the year is over. People say all kinds of things about the big-buck auctions out west, but I believe only what I hear from people who actually went there to buy or sell cars. The buyers I spoke to were split. Some thought the auctions were an absolute circus that meant nothing in the bigger picture. The other group of buyers was very happy - in today's terms, there were deals to be had if you were buying. The sellers were not happy. Those who got 80 percent of what they expected to come home with felt they did well. But many got less than half of what they needed and expected and took a big hit.

Read more here....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Semi-Confirmed: Pontiac G8 ST Pickup to Premiere at New York Auto Show, GMC Ute May Move to Chicago
As usual WindingRoad Magazine has found the Pontiac PickUp ahead of everybody else. If you don't ready Winding Road, you are missing a great read and it is FREE!!!
Check it out and get your free subscription by email at
It is great!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Political Correctness

Due to the climate of political correctness now pervading America,
Kentuckians, Tennesseans and West Virginians will no longer be referred to as "HILLBILLIES." You must now refer to them as APPALACHIAN-AMERICANS.

1. She is not a "BABE" or a "CHICK" - She is a "BREASTED AMERICAN."
2. She is not "EASY" - She is "HORIZONTALLY ACCESSIBLE."
5. She does not "NAG" you - She becomes "VERBALLY REPETITIVE."
6. She is not a "TWO-BIT HOOKER" - She is a "LOW COST PROVIDER."

1. He does not have a "BEER GUT" - He has developed a "LIQUID GRAIN STORAGE FACILITY."
2. He is not a "BAD DANCER" - He is "OVERLY CAUCASIAN."
4. He is not "BALDING" - He is in "FOLLICLE REGRESSION."
5. He does not act like a "TOTAL ASS" - He develops a case of "RECTAL-CRANIAL INVERSION."


Nick Cash

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have called anyone who told me about it a liar! I was standing in the middle of a Salvage yard in the seedy old industrial area of a major city. I had my trusty camera and camcorder in hand and I just couldn't wait to get started shooting. The scenery, to an old yard dog, was magnificent, it was resplendent with aging hulks of formerly splendid classic vehicles. It was mind bending just standing there in the middle of so much history!
But today I wasn't there to just look; I was there to find an assortment of classic vehicles. I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn't help but find everything that I was looking for within an hour. The yard was amazing, as was the old curmudgeon that owned it. A retired contractor who must be in his late 70's at the least.
As I stood in the middle of that restoration paradise, I couldn't help but feel sad! The value of every single vehicle is only $75-$100 for crush value! A yard of this size with an elderly owner can only be wasted. It can't be moved, the cost of moving is unbelievably expensive. If it is sold, it generally will be sold to an under funded wheeler dealer who will strip it of the valuable pieces and then crush the others indiscriminately to make payroll and payments. Unfortunately, the value of the yard is mostly in a few rare vehicles and the rest for parts and scrap metal value only.
Another parts yard I ran onto some time back in the northeast area, that had over 5000 rust-free classic vehicles collected from the Air Force men which drove them up there to assignments on the nearby Air Force Base, the owner told me at that time that he had enough parts to put together around a dozen 49-51 Mercury's. Unfortunately he didn't want to sell anything individually, he wanted to sell all 5000 at once! He is a farmer and the cars were on prime farmland which he needed to reclaim, so all the cars had to be moved. If it only cost $5.00 to move each car, the cost will be $25,000.00, but my guess is that it will probably run 3 to 10 times that cost!! So the yard was probably be crushed, he had already crushed around 3000 cars because the lot was originally around 8000 cars. It doesn't take a fortuneteller to predict what the future holds for that yard, as well as the other one I mentioned!
Is there a solution to this problem? I honestly don't see an easy answer! Maybe someone out there has an answer, if so speak up before it's too late!
Please don't ask for the Salvage Yard owners name, location or phone number, I have been sworn to secrecy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meg Whitman Resigns?

***A Message from Meg Whitman*** January 23, 2008 01:04PM PST/PTMany of you know I've said in the past that 10 years was about the right amount of time for any CEO to stay at the helm of a company. Now that I’ve reached that milestone myself, I still believe this. It's time for eBay, and this community, to have a new leadership team, a new perspective and a new vision. As we announced today, I will step down as eBay’s President and CEO on March 31, 2008, and our current head of eBay Marketplaces, John Donahoe, will succeed me in my role. Rajiv Dutta, our current president of PayPal and former CFO for several years, will replace John as the president of eBay Marketplaces. You’ll be hearing more from them and their teams in the coming weeks and months. Looking back, I was given a remarkable opportunity when Pierre Omidyar, eBay’s founder, asked me to join eBay in January 1998. Ten years later, I couldn’t be more in awe of what we accomplished together. When I joined eBay, it was a small site, in some ways still very much an experiment. Most people didn’t know, or didn’t believe, that perfect strangers would trade with one another, and that they could almost always be counted on to do the right thing. Over the course of a decade, you have helped revolutionize the way people use the Internet, buy and sell things, create and grow businesses, and connect with each other. In 2007 alone, our community of hundreds of millions of people around the world traded more than $60 billion in goods. Millions found the courage to tap their entrepreneurial spirit and start businesses. Millions more have pursued passions and made connections that will last a lifetime. And countless others found that perfect thing – an old high school yearbook, a favorite toy from their youth – that they couldn’t get anywhere else. I am truly astounded by what has been built here. And all the credit goes to you, our community. You took the chances to start businesses. You created markets for products where there were none before. You defined what it means to be a good citizen in this Internet-enabled world. And yes, we hit a few bumps along with way, but that's to be expected when you’re building something that has never existed before. But even, and especially, during those times, I was always inspired by the passion you showed. It’s with great pride and a strong sense of accomplishment that I leave this post and hand it over to the capable leaders we have in John and Rajiv. I’ve known both of them for many years and have believed for a long time that they are the ideal people to steer eBay into the future. eBay is in my blood and always will be, so I'm not stepping back completely; I will remain on eBay’s Board of Directors. And of course, I'll keep buying and selling on the site. I'm so very honored to have worked with you in building this incredible community. Thank you for letting me be a part of it for the last decade. Meg

The $2500 Tata Nano

Yep, that's what it sells for in India, $2500!
NY Times and a hundred other media outlets are all aghast aover this little car. According to sources, the Tata Car Company is in line to buy Jaguar and Land Rovers companies, so maybe you will be seeing them on US highways soon? My guess is that after emission problems are solved and the non-union status of the car makers is satisfied, the Tata Nano will sell in the $45,000 range. :) The dang thing has a 30+hp engine and is belt driven, one windshield wiper, no and I mean no amenities at all. This was kinda tried back in the 80's when the Ugo reared it's rusty head in the USA, and we all know how that ended! Just what we need, uninsured drivers in Nanos. Why would you carry any thing but liability insurance. Complete coverage annual cost would cost more than the car was worth? Is it me or does Fred Flintstone's car come to mind here?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The 2008 Barrett-Jackson Final Sale List

Here is the link to the final sales list for the Barrett-Jackson 2008 Annual sale. This year had it's normal share of excitement but not as much controversy as 2007. THE lawsuit has been settled and there is peace in the land.

Will the huge stock market fluctuation today, have any effect on the collector vehicle market? Who can say, but in the past, a significant drop in the stock market has caused a lot nervous money to gravitate to the 59 Caddies and the Mustangs.

Any way for what it's worth, this is what the market was worth last week! Read it and weep?

Is Chrysler Roadkill?

Car & Driver Seems to think so, as does Consumer Reports?

Today's Chrysler products are not the fault of present management. Daimler-Chrysler designed these vehicles years ago. And the new Chief Executive Robert Nardelli is trying to remedy some of the most glaring problems with Chrysler's current lineup.

But the big problem with Chrysler is the new management team. Cerberus Capital Management, Chrysler's new owners, hired Wolfgang Bernhard, one of the top car men in the world, to run Chrysler. Bernhard was one of the executives behind the Chrysler 300 success and for cutting costs, too. Apparently, he walked out when he found out he would not be the boss but was to follow the orders of Bob Nardelli, former chief executive of Home Depot. Prior to coming to Chrysler, Nardelli had no automotive experience. Just what you might expect from a corporate entitiy that is named after a three-headed dog guarding the entrance to Hades and with little or no automotive expericence of their own.

Chrysler's new purchasing boss, is a former associate of Nardelli at the hardware store. Everyone assumes this means the company will be buying more parts from China, where everything is cheap. This is not a good move to telegraph to the market!

Chrysler just made a deal with Nissan to buy some cars from Nissan's factory in Mexico, and sell them in Brazil and Latin America. Don't expect much to come of this agreement. Chrysler has no business in these markets and can't gain market share with a re-badged car. There will not be any profit in this. What Chrysler is doing here is anybody's guess because there is rarely enough profit in a small car for one manufacturer, much less two! Rarely does this type of deal work for either company. Chrysler needs to relearn the term "Focus"!

There are still many positives in Chrysler. Their minivan is good enough to be the best seller, and the Dodge Ram pickup has a huge following. Customers are not fools. They know what they want. Personally I think the Chrysler 300 sedan is one of the best-looking cars on the road and the Hemi V-8 is still a keyword in most masculine mindsets!

Never say never! Chrysler has come back from the dead before and the market loves a come-back kid!

Cathedral Cruiser

GM Futurliner Restoration Project
National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States When GM decommissioned the Parade of Progress, 12 Futurliners went up for sale. We know that a couple of them found their way to the Michigan State Police and were used as traveling exhibits for fairground displays. We also found out that at least one Futurliner found its way into the hands of the popular Oral Roberts crusade of the sixties. Parader Jim Tolley recalls, "... I was on duty when Oral Roberts visited the site in Tulsa one evening. I showed him around. He was interested mostly in the tent; he had never seen one like it before, and tents were a part of his evangelical tours at the time. He told me he was leaving for Australia the next day, so I gave him John Ryan's (Parade Director) number in Detroit. I never heard from him or saw him again and did not know that he had purchased a Futurliner." Futurliner volunteer, Howard Sullivan, paid a visit to the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma the end of February, 2004 while visiting relatives in the area. He inquired at the library as to the validity of the story that Oral Roberts had used a Futurliner in his crusades. At first, he drew blanks but persistence paid off as he kept asking various people at the university. He hit pay dirt when he researched the Abundant Life publication published by Oral Roberts during that time-period. Having obtained copies of the articles, Howard met Don Maynard who found photos and negatives of the Futurliner. Don put the pictures on a disk and gave them to Howard.Read more here..

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's All (most) Over But The Shouting?

Mark C Bach

Well another season of car auctions in Arizona is almost over. Kruse Auctions drags up the rear this weekend, but all the rest of the folks have closed the doors, totaled up the bills and car carriers are rushing down the interstates with their precious cargo.

The monster of the car auctions is Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale. They auctioned nearly 1200 cars.

On Friday, NASCAR’s Tony Stewart auctioned off his racecar for charity. He then stayed around and bought an orange (naturally) 50 Mercury custom for $85,000. Unfortunately he should have kicked tires a little bit more, because by Saturday the right front was flat!

John Schneider from the Dukes of Hazard brought his General Lee to sell. Many of you may recall the jaw dropping numbers the car was fetching on eBay before the last bogus bidder sniped in at the last second. To hear John’s side of the story, he later verified that he had twenty valid bidders all legitimately bidding over $5 million each. Too bad he couldn’t make a deal with one of them because it sold for only $450,000. Someone showed some clever work on his California personalized plate. But was I the only enthusiast who cringed when he STOOD on the top of his car?

But as always the reason for the auctions is to sell cars. A sweet show car 55 Chevy sold for a solid 137,000.

The ‘deal” of the show was bidding a cool one million dollars for the first retail Corvette ZR1 model. It will list at $99,900 per GM. Dave Ressler, the winning bidder, gets a nice donation to United Way and lots of publicity. (plus a new blazer to match the Blue Devil). Reaves Callaway of the Callaway Corvettes brand had an interesting take on the car. He figures his turbo upgrade available through GM dealers next year, will allow some of the public to bump up a stock Corvette to near ZR1 performance at a much lower price. Reaves likened the potential dealer markup of the ZR1 to be “confiscatory”.

GM dragged out their yellow 57 from Hot Rod magazine. This never ending project car for the magazine, dubbed “Project X” was looking good with fresh paint and a new engine under the hood. We first saw it up at the SEMA show in November and it was NOT for sale.

Of course BJ is not the only game in town. Up the road is Russo and Steele who has an “upscale” auction. There if you aren’t a bidder you can’t get inside to see the actual auction. Drew Alcazar who runs Russo-Steele had an awesome 65 Sunbeam Tiger at his auction that was to die for.

As always the January auctions show where the market is heading. In my view some cars didn’t fetch nearly what was expected and many marques showed some downturn in the pricing. My guess after a new president is elected, that in 2009 the prices will ramp back up. As usual you need to be VERY careful when looking at the cars. The sellers sure can stretch the truth. A bunch of tri-five Chevy were advertised as “numbers matching” but back then the engine numbers didn’t match the VIN, so there is nothing to match. Jeez!!

See ya on the road.

Copyright 2008 Mark C Bach

The making of the Nano

The making of the Nano
Ratan Tata

The launch of the People's Car by Tata Motors is a defining moment in the history of India's automotive industry. For Tata Motors, the car — christened the Nano, because it is a small car with high technology — is the next big step in a journey that began with the Indica. For the Tata Group, it is the realisation of a pioneering vision to create a breakthrough product globally that rewrites the rules of the small-car business.
What does this path-breaking endeavour really mean for the Chairman of the Tata Group, in many ways the inspiration behind the car? That's what Christabelle Noronha set out to discover when she met Mr Tata at Pune, as 2007, a momentous year for the Group, was drawing to a close.
The Tatas and you, in particular, are on the brink of realising a long-cherished ambition. Do you feel vindicated? Are you apprehensive?There has always been some sort of unconscious urge to do something for the people of India and transport has been an area of interest. As urbanisation gathers pace, personal transport has become a big issue, especially since mass transport is often not available or is of poor quality. Two-wheelers — with the father driving, the elder child standing in front and the wife behind holding a baby — is very much the norm in this country. In that form two-wheelers are a relatively unsafe mode of transporting a family. The two-wheeler image is what got me thinking that we needed to create a safer form of transport.
My first doodle was to rebuild cars around the scooter, so that those using them could be safer if it fell. Could there be a four-wheel vehicle made of scooter parts? I got in touch with an industry association and suggested that we join forces and produce what, at that point, I called an Asian car: large volumes, many nations involved, maybe with different countries producing different sets of parts… Nobody took the idea seriously, nobody responded.
This was similar to what happened when we wanted to get going on the Indica. I had proposed a partnership with an industry body to create an Indian car, designed, developed and produced in India, something that could be conceptualised and executed as an Indian enterprise. Everybody scoffed at the concept. I remember people saying, "Why doesn't Mr Tata produce a car that works before he talks about an Indian car." My confidence got a boost when we finally succeeded with the Indica. Willy-nilly, we decided to look at [the low-cost car] project within Tata Motors.
It was never meant to be a Rs1-lakh car; that happened by circumstance. I was interviewed by the [British newspaper] Financial Times at the Geneva Motor Show and I talked about this future product as a low-cost car. I was asked how much it would cost and I said about Rs1 lakh. The next day the Financial Times had a headline to the effect that the Tatas are to produce a Rs100,000 car. My immediate reaction was to issue a rebuttal, to clarify that that was not exactly what I had said. Then I thought, I did say it would be around that figure, so why don't we just take that as a target. When I came back our people were aghast, but we had our goal.
Today, on the eve of the unveiling of the car, we are close to the target in terms of costs. We are not there as yet, but by the time we go into production we will be. This project has proven to everyone that if you really set yourself to doing something, you actually can do it.
Two-three important events have influenced the development of the car; inflation, for one. The cost statement was made three-four years back but we are holding on to that price barrier. This will definitely diminish our margins. The price of steel, in particular, has gone up during the intervening period.
A second point is that we initially conceived this as a low-end 'rural car,' probably without doors or windows and with plastic curtains that rolled down, a four-wheel version of the auto-rickshaw, in a manner of speaking. But as the development cycle progressed we realised that we could — and needed to — do a whole lot better. And so we slowly gravitated towards a car like everyone expects a car to be. The challenge increased exponentially; there was the low-price barrier, inflation, adding more features and parts to the vehicle, substantial changes in basic raw materials… What the team has been able to achieve, in the face of all these constraints, is truly outstanding.
What does it mean to me? It means that we have in us the capability to undertake a challenge that many car companies have chosen not to address or have been unable to address.
What are the innovations that have made the Tata Nano possible, from design to product finalisation?Initially I had conceived a car made by engineering plastics and new materials, and using new technology like aerospace adhesives instead of welding. However, plastics didn't lend themselves to the volumes we wanted because of the curing time required. Volumes mean the world in this context: if we produce this car and if it is for the wider base of the pyramid, we can't settle for small numbers because then the purpose is defeated.
When we were planning facilities for the car and working out a business plan, the business plan shown to me was looking at a figure of 200,000. I said 200,000 cars is crazy. If we can do this we should be looking at a million cars a year, and if we can't do a million then we shouldn't be doing this kind of car at all.
But such a figure (a million cars) has never been achieved in the country before. If it had to be done the conventional way, it would have meant investing many billions of dollars. So we looked at a new kind of distributed manufacturing, creating a low-cost, low break-even point manufacturing unit that we design and give to entrepreneurs who might like to establish a manufacturing facility. We looked at different ways of servicing the product, at the customer's location, and through a concept adopted from the insurance industry, wherein self-employed people are trained and certified by us. And we went back to innovation in design and scrupulously took, as much as we could, cost out of the product.
We did things like make similar handles and mechanisms for the left- and right-side doors; we developed our own small engine which could sit under the rear seat, enabling us to craft a smaller overall package; we looked at a new type of seats; and we worked at cutting costs everywhere. We have put our instrument cluster in the middle, not in front of the driver. This means the same dashboard will work for a left-hand-drive vehicle. There are a lot of such innovations that are low-cost and future-oriented.
Equally important to the cost structure was the incentive we could get from having our manufacturing facility at a particular place. The benefits on this count will be passed on to the customer.
Our move to West Bengal was a leap of faith and a sign of our confidence in the leadership in the state. We were breaking new ground, not only on the product front but also in helping industrialise a previously ignored part of India. But we did not start out getting the incentives that other states were offering. I remember telling the chief minister [Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee], "Sir, much as we have tried, it makes no sense for us to come to West Bengal. We cannot meet the cost requirements we have without incentives." It was then that we negotiated a set of incentives that, long-term, work out to be the same as we may have had if we set up in some other place.
Other than emission norms and safety standards, what are some of the other challenges, physical and psychological, that Tata Motors had to overcome to make this car happen?There was the usual dilemma of what is basic and what is nice to have. A basic car may not have all the niceties its fancier cousins sport, and when you're looking at saving money on every single bit of the car — even parts that cost as little as Rs20 — you keep facing these dilemmas. Hundreds of such dilemmas have risen.
However, we were always conscious that there should be no quality stigma attached to the buying of this product. One thing we were clear about: this was never going to be a half-car. Nobody wants a car that is less than everybody else's car. Our car may have a small engine and certain limitations in terms of being basic, but that does not make it inferior. Also, we have a higher version of the car — with air conditioning, leather seats, etc — that we will be displaying at the auto show in Delhi. We hope people will look at that, too. Down the line, as we widen our range, we will have dressed-up versions with higher-powered engines, diesel engines, automatics and the like. We have a whole bunch of innovations coming along on this platform.
What we now have is a car that is truly low-cost which has, approximately, the same performance as a Maruti 800 in terms of acceleration, top speed, etc.
When future versions of this car hit the market, will they not be in direct competition to the Indica?No. The way I see it, this vehicle will cannibalise some of the lower-end car market and some of the higher-end motorcycle and scooter market. It will eat into both of those markets but it will also create a market of its own. It will expand the market by creating a niche that did not previously exist. It may well cannibalise some of the higher-end car market, but to a small extent, and probably only when people look to buy a second or third car.
About the criticism that the car will add to India's pollution problems, why are the Tatas being singled out? This is something I'm going to talk about at the launch. For now, let me just say our car will cause less pollution than a two-wheeler.
I'm trying to think of a parallel where someone has introduced a product at a disruptively low price and changed the market. A good example would be the Swatch watch, low-cost, trendy and with a wide range. Did Swatch finish off the Swiss watch industry? No (in fact, it was a Swiss company that created Swatch, the same company that produced Omega). Did it finish off Citizen and Seiko and other Japanese competitors? No. Did Swatch cause the Japanese and others to produce something like the Swatch? Yes, it did, but Swatch continued to dominate its niche.
What did this do to the global watch industry? It enabled somebody to look at a wrist watch almost like cufflinks: you could buy 10 Swatch watches, you could wear different ones for different occasions. Swatch sold multiple watches for a single wrist. I think something similar could also happen with the Nano.
Why are people attacking only the Tata Group?I think it comes from vested interests. Let's ask ourselves why the car is attracting so much attention and why it is being attacked so much. My view is that if the car were not attracting all this attention, it wouldn't be attacked. This car has provoked serious apprehensions in some manufacturers. There are people in our company even who fear what it will do to the Indica. Do you think there's a concern among three-wheel manufacturers that it might replace their vehicles? Yes, there is because some three-wheelers cost more than what the Nano will cost. All in all, I think people are attacking us because they are apprehensive.
Has the Indica experience helped in the creation of the Nano?Oh yes, enormously. The Indica experience and the Ace experience have helped; Ace especially because it was another tight, cost-based exercise.
From the Rs1-lakh car to products costing many millions, if the Jaguar deal comes through: What next for the Tatas on the automotive front?I won't comment on the Jaguar deal, but to answer your question, we are not in an acquisitive mode. That's not our strategy for growth.
The Tatas have been on the front pages constantly of late-- what is it like being in the middle of it all?Embarrassing and unpleasant. Whenever you are on the front page, you are also — each time, and more so in India than elsewhere in the world — creating detractors and critics. For every action there is some kind of reaction, somebody who is hunting for something to criticise. And most often it is the reaction that people remember. This is all the more embarrassing because we are not a Group that seeks publicity.
If you look at the coverage that has happened, you cannot fail to notice how the low-cost car has been turned into an issue of congestion, of pollution, of safety. Initially it was all about why a car at this cost was simply not possible; that talk is long gone, only to be replaced by these 'new' concerns. We are not really talking about how it will change the way people live or transport themselves, what their aspirations may be.
Ideally, I would really wish we didn't have the visibility and the media publicity because we haven't sought it.
(I post this here as a follow up to the Smart Car. kn)

Sunday, January 20, 2008


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - January 9, 2008 - Officials with the Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. LLC, today announced that a settlement was reached on Jan. 7, 2008, in a suit filed against David L. Clabuesch in U.S. District Court in Arizona. In the settlement, Clabuesch exonerated the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company of all allegations of wrongdoing in relation to a situation that occurred at the company's Scottsdale event in January 2007. Details of the financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
"We're pleased to have reached a successful resolution and to put this matter behind us," said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. "While we regretted having to take the extreme step of filing a lawsuit in this matter, we had no choice but to aggressively defend our integrity and the fairness of our company's business practices. This action was necessary to protect not only our own interests, but also those of the thousands of bidders and consignors who place their trust in us each year."
The lawsuit arose from circumstances surrounding the sale of Clabuesch's vehicle at Barrett-Jackson's January 2007 Scottsdale auction. Unhappy with the price paid for the vehicle, Clabuesch locked and chained the tires after it was sold, and attempted to prevent delivery to the new owner. Clabuesch also posted numerous signs in and around the vehicle expressing his opinions about Barrett-Jackson and the company's auction practices. Visible in one of the most high traffic areas of the auction site until removed by the company's security officer and local police, the signs were viewed by the company's customers and members of the public attending the event. Shortly after the January 2007 incident, the company was faced with responding to numerous defamatory rumors and untrue statements related to the Clabuesch incident, which were published on various Web sites, blogs and online chat rooms.
A settlement was mediated on Jan. 7, 2008, by former Superior Court judge Rebecca Albrecht. In connection with the settlement, Clabuesch issued a written, notarized statement that reads:
"Upon review of auction video footage and further consideration of the relevant facts, I, David L. Clabuesch, have concluded that with respect to the January 20, 2007, auction of my vehicle - a 1970 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda - conducted by Barrett-Jackson that I can no longer pursue any action alleging auction irregularities, including the claim that the car was short hammered while on the block. I have also determined that there was no relationship between Barrett-Jackson and the buyer of my vehicle, nor was there any conspiracy between Barrett-Jackson and the buyer of my vehicle, or any other person, to short hammer the sale of the car. I no longer believe that Barrett-Jackson violated the terms of the consignment agreement in conducting the auction sale or otherwise breached any duties to me as a consignor."
Davis concluded, "On the brink of the most exciting automotive lifestyle event in our history, we've demonstrated that Barrett-Jackson upholds the most ethical business practices in the collector car auction industry and that we will take the steps necessary to defend those practices when we are compelled to do so."
Copies of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. LLC et al vs. David L. Clabuesch et al, US District Court for the District of Arizona, Case No. CV07-561-PHX-EHC can be obtained by contacting the clerk of the U.S. District Court in Phoenix or at A copy of Judge Clabuesch's statement can be read at
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the "World's Greatest Classic Car Event" in Scottsdale, AZ, and has expanded to other venues, including Palm Beach, FL and in 2008, Las Vegas, NV. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit or call (480) 421-6694.


Just what American car companies need another cute little foreign car. Never mind the great mileage, it will be labeled a "Chick" car. It is just too cute. The Smart car is an acronym for Swatch Art and is made by the former owner of Chrysler, Daimler. It is just another little car and they are calling it Smart4two. This is just a way of taking something negative and hiding it in plain site. Your wife won't want one because it is too small and your daughter will want one because it is small. A few guys will choose it but will immediately know it for what it is, a Chick Car! This is the main reason that the little foreign car, the Mini-Cooper hasn't made it big, it is viewed as a Chick Car too!
Maybe the Smart Car will answer the question about what to do about rising gas prices, but I doubt it, it will just pull sales away from US made small cars, like the PT Cruiser and etc. Maybe, maybe not, but at any rate with the gas prices going up and the dollar's value falling, maybe we will all be driving little cars (or Mopeds) before to long whether it is labeled a "Chick Car" or not!


General Motors is in the process of consolidating it's dealers and reducing the number of dealers. The Supercenter made famous by the retail industry seems to be an intelligent way to do so. The consolidation is supposed to be done this way; 1. Chevrolet, 2. Buick-Pontiac-GMC, 3. Saturn, 4. Cadillac-Hummer-Saab. And the program is kinda working. The recession is driving the transition. Due to lagging sales, by cutting the amount of dealers the sales should pick up for the remaining dealers and by opening Supercenters it should still make the vehicles available to the public. Th only sticky point is the #4, the Cadillac-Hummer-Saab is still not being implemented, but GM says that they are committed to the overall plan.

Like the Super Centers, GM's new cry may be, "Pile 'em high and stack 'em deep!"


Harley-Davidson has enjoyed amazing success by appealing to two very different segments of society in the USA; the first group we'll call the "hardliners", those people who may have spent time on the fringes of society and are truly "rebels", people who didn't belong to "motorcycle groups", they belonged to "clubs" with names like "Hessians" and "Hell's Angels". These are the hardcore Harley owners, and the company was brilliant in co-opting that lifestyle as their own. The second group of Harley owners are newer, wealthier, younger and more likely to add sound-baffling to their bikes because the noise bothers their wives. These people are generally known as "Rubbies", the shortened version of a derisive term, "rich, urban bikers". There is another, third important group of Harley buyers, those riders in other countries who feel that Harley is the epitome of the "American lifestyle". There are many Harley clubs in Japan, for instance...


Say what you will about Carroll Shelby (and we've said plenty of uncomplimentary things along with the good; there are at least two sides to every story), but something he told me a long time ago holds true today, even more than it did 50 years ago. "Steve," he said, while we were sitting in some hotel suite in some city, "It's just as tough and expensive to make one car as it is to make a million." His point is an old story: The costs of R&D, manufacturing, tooling, marketing, advertising and emissions testing and crash-testing are enormous, and...