Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fantomworks, Jay Leno's Garage, Car Talk, and More!

NMS at Fantom Works

1. Not too long ago I blogged about visiting Fantom Works and told you about their free tours on Fridays! To update that information, I have good news and bad news. Good news: They've also added a Wednesday tour, and will add a Monday tour if there is demand for it. The bad news: Tours now cost $10, and will be limited to 40 people per day. To be honest, these guys are in business to work on cars, so I can understand that they want to offer tours to their fans as wells as make money. If you're a fan of the show, I'd still recommend taking the tour. If you're not a fan of the show and are looking for stuff to do in the Norfolk VA area, let me know and I'll share my secrets for only five bucks! Look at it this way, you save off the 10 dollar tour, I make 5 bucks, it's a win-win! WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER! Fantom Works Tour Update

2. Probably the biggest auto news that most folks have heard this week is that the classic radio show "Car Talk" will be stopping production this fall on National Public Radio (NPR). In a way this is not really news, because they've only been airing Car Talk's Greatest Hits for several years, but this fall will be the end of the line for the show from NPR. Your local radio station might even be playing it's last episode this coming Saturday. The good news is that the Car Talk website always has lots of cool car stuff on it, including recordings of the show. Let me recommend you check it out now! Car Talk
Here's the story from Road and Track magazine about the end of production: Road and Track Car Talk story

3. Speaking of car magazines, Motor Trend reports that the number 1 all time selling electric vehicle is one of these four:

-FIAT 500e

Yes, I'm a big fan of FIAT, but the top selling EV is the Nissan Leaf! Imagine that! Motor Trend Leaf

4. Germany has announced a new emissions test for vehicles, which unlike the current lab test, will take place on real roads! This sounds like a good idea to me, and is a way of saying that the VW engineers that had cheated and beat the current test (until folks at the University of West Virginia figured it out) have now failed after thinking they'd beaten the Star Trek Kobayashi Maru. NEWS

5. If you are a fan of European cars that are NOT sold in the US, then you've probably heard of Spain's SEAT. They are now a part of the VW group, but back in the earlier days, they often built FIATs and put the SEAT badge on them. Here's a very nice article with photos from a visit to the SEAT museum in Barcelona that I thought was great, courtesy of our friends at Jalopnik: Jalopnik SEAT

6. Also in auto news, and not political news as far as I'm concerned, Ford announced that they will stop making the Focus in the US. Last year they said they'd make them in Mexico, but the latest word is that Mexico is OUT, and China is IN! If you're shocked that an auto maker would be building in China and importing cars to the US, you need to catch up with this idea, because GM and Volvo are already doing this. I even remember seeing a Honda Civic at the Washington DC auto show earlier this year that was assembled in Great Britain. This article from the New York Times covers this story, and states that auto buyers really don't care where their car comes from or where it's built. That's probably true for most people, but not all I'd say! New York Times Ford Focus

7. Enough about magazines and foreign countries! What about good old all American car stuff and Television? Glad you asked! Today starts a new series of Jay Leno's Garage on CNBC, every Wednesday night at 9pm! We're still a few months away from the return of the Amazon Grand Tour (the old BBC Top Gear guys), and I haven't heard from Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee lately, so this is BIG NEWS! Seinfeld will return with more CICGC later this year on Netflix, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, catch Jay Leno TONIGHT!  CNBC Jay Leno

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