"Chrysler Celebrates National Relaxation Day and Stresses the Importance of Taking Daily Mini-Breaks."
* Expect the Dodge Durango, Chrysler Aspen, and Grand Cherokee to one day soon share a platform.
* Remember the campaign "Ask Dr. Z"? Go ahead, ask Dr. Dieter Zetsche, the DaimlerChrysler chairman, anything about DCX vehicles at www.askdrz.com and he'd tell you? In case you have a late-night craving to ask him wassup, know that it will now redirect to minivan crap at Chrysler's Web site. Don't try ".org" unless you want holistic treatment for that burning and itching.
* Jeeps and people everywhere! OK, it was localized to Virginia and it was the 13th annual Camp Jeep. Almost 3,000 Jeeps were there, making it the biggest yet.
* The Internet exploded from a game of telephone when one person swore a photo of a Jeep was a JT pickup undergoing street testing. That hysteria caught on like hysteria because everything on the Internet is correct. Someone get the hose-it was just an overseas military version of a Wrangler.
New Law: Annual Smog Inspection In CaliforniaThere's a bill in California that had moved right on through to the state senate that would've required annual smog inspections for vehicles more than 15 years old if it went through. It would've also put the cash made from the additional inspection fees into an account that would've been used to scrap older cars. Anything pre-'76 would've remained exempt based on an existing law. Not in California and don't think it affects you? Based on California's forward (backward) thinking, it could've.
* Rubicon Express is rumored to be working on a TJ short lift that will still fit 37-inch tires and should be available in early 2008. Other RE news includes a rumor that singer Justin Timberlake recently purchased a JK and installed an RE lift. Sources say he liked it so much he bought two more JKs and outfitted them just the same for his cronies to drive.
* Could a light-duty diesel pickup from Chrysler come sometime after 2009?
* Allison Transmission and Aisin Seiki are ending their Aisin General Motors Allison relationship. They're breaking up after 10 years. One will eat Hggen-Dazs to cope.
* Michelin is going to acquire Oliver Rubber Co., which is a subsidiary of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Michelin is also investing $350 mil to expand all of its manufacturing facilities in South Carolina over the next four years.
* The BlueRibbon Coalition says a record crowd showed up to object to a federal trail plan that would close 75 percent of OHV routes in Eldorado National Forest in the Sierra Nevadas. Don Amador, the western rep for BlueRibbon, said it was the largest access-related meeting he'd experienced in California since he started with BlueRibbon in the early '90s.
* According to The Associated Press, the Wienermobile got a ticket after parking illegally with its hazards on. A Kraft spokesperson said that is against company policy, "even if you're driving a company vehicle that's shaped like a giant hot dog." We wonder how many times she's had to whip out that line.
*Celebritycarparade.com is a site that shows celebrities getting into cars/trucks/SUVs, riding inside cars/trucks/SUVs, putting groceries into cars/trucks/SUVs . . . you get the picture.
* A GMAC Insurance study says that 94 million Americans don't know the safety procedures regarding school buses. Isn't 94 million, like, everyone?
* Into the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series? Salivating over "Grand Theft Auto IV"? Bad news: It's no longer coming out this year. Try October 2008.
* An article in the Chicago Daily Herald reminded us that Illinois is the only state that takes away your driver's license if you're caught speeding.
Take your jacket off and get out of the force, Chrysler 300! The car that served Australia's Victorian police at special events has been replaced for the next six months by a Wrangler Unlimited CRD as part of the winter campaign for snow safety. It will appear in Victoria as well as Melbourne and other ski spots.
* Pete gets two to nine hours of sleep each night. Hazel averages four and a half. Cappa doesn't know his number; he wakes up automatically between 6 and 6:30. That's a.m., we think, but some days it's hard to tell.
* Hazel's worst four-wheeling carnage was when he destroyed every component in his Dodge's Dana 44 at once-except for the ring-and-pinion. He did not, however, roll an aftermarket company's vehicle seven times.
* If you need a wiring expert or someone fluent in the interchangeability of body parts among the last 30 years of short-wheelbase Jeeps, Pete's your man. Ladies?
* What if someone gave you $50,000? What if they told you it had to be used on a vehicle or vehicles? What would you buy? Around here, it was CJ-8s, a 5-ton military truck, a stock MB or GPW, a '74-'75 shortbed J-Truck with aV-8 and T-18 manual, and a 11/42-ton Cummins diesel Dodge when they come out. Except for the staffer who wanted the $49,907 '08 Mercedes-Benz E320 Sport with iPod integration. Shouldn't he be written up?
* Someone on staff is ambidextrous. The rest of us got vaccinated just in case.
* One staffer was not a team player when it came time to set up a photo shoot for the upcoming cop-car to Jeep engine-swap story. He requested a realistic photo of being arrested-then refused to realistically be tasered, shot with beanbag shotgun rounds in the face and groin area, have his trousers packed with hot dogs as the staff yelled random words at Chopper until he would sic balls, nor take two cans of pepper spray to the face followed by a beating from a billy club. Shouldn't he be written up?
New old company, new old look. The Chrysler Group-sorry, The New Chrysler, as it prefers to now be called-has relaunched itself with a familiar corporate logo, the Pentastar, which originally debuted in 1962 and had gone into storage for the past nine years. The new advertising campaign is "Get Ready for the Next Hundred Years," which we are assuming will be void of mentions of prepping for senility, a bladder we don't quite have a handle on, arthritis, and early bird specials. The corporate Web site is now www.chryslerllc.com. Bookmark it or don't.