Jeep News & Rumors
•The '11 Grand's tagline is "The things we make, make us." Coincidentally, that was in our fortune cookie at yesterday's lunch. To show they're really sticking with that, the Chrysler HQ in Michigan was wrapped in the theme. More interesting than the tagline are wrap facts: The seven-slot grille ran 25 feet wide and 9 feet tall, the tow hook was 5 feet round, and the tires were 29 feet wide and 29 feet tall.
•Jeeps and Fiats living together, mass hysteria! Automotive News is reporting that Motor Village on the Champs-Elysees in Paris will house both brands for the first time at this flagship dealership since Fiat's takeover of Chrysler. This keeps with the plan of making Jeep the Chrysler brand to represent in Europe.
•Speaking of, new Jeeps built in Russia and China?
•'10 Jeep Liberty recall-it and '10 Wranglers built in April and May could have a funky-formed tube that could cause brake-fluid leak.
•The Jeep equivalent of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Rumors are swirling that the word "Hemi" will die a sudden death, but the engine will stay alive. It's more of that greening junk.
•Amer-icon idol? Edmunds.com has named the Wrangler winner of the Inside Line 2010 Readers' Most Wanted Award in the Instant Classic Under $30,000 category.
•Most viewed vehicles in May on autotrader.com: Wrangler in the No. 7 position. It ranked No. 6 the previous month. In May 2009, it was fifth.
•Roy Rogers-for you young'ns, he was a cowboy actor (yeah, he sang, too), best known for his horse (in our world). The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum collection and Christie's auction house held an auction of a bunch of memorabilia, including Nellybelle Jeep, a character from The Roy Rogers Show. It was a '46 CJ-2A that Roy owned. Christie's said Roy wanted to put the Jeep on TV because after the war, he noticed that kids loved Jeeps. Nellybelle was expected to fetch $20,000-$30,000; it sold for $116,500. Oh, and you'll probably want to also know that stuffed Trigger went for $266,500; the saddle, $386,500. The museum closed last year.
Jeep Rocks & Road Tour
The new seriously-it's-not-Camp-Jeep event from Jeep is the Rocks & Road Tour, which will feature obstacle courses, a playground, and '11 Grands for test driving. There will also be product displays, stuff for kids, and loads more. If you preregister at jeep.com/rocksandroadtour, it's free. It has already hit a few cities, including Columbus, Ohio, Indy, and Boston, but you can still partake at these locations (more dates may be added, so check the website):
•September 17-19: Oceana Air Show, Virginia Beach, VA
•September 30-Oct. 2: Bikes, Blues and BBQ's Festival, Fayetteville, AR
•October 8- 10: Metrolina Expo Center, Charlotte, NC
•October 29- 31: Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, Fort Worth, TX
•Speaking of "don't say 'Hemi'": "Today's emotional debate over a poorly worded memo on our use of the Chevrolet brand is a good reminder of how passionately people feel about Chevrolet. It is a passion we share and one we do not take for granted. We love Chevy. In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name." That's text from a second memo GM released after employees were initially discouraged from using the word "Chevy."
•While we're talking Chevys, the monster truck Bigfoot will for the first time in 35 years be one of those, moving from the Ford camp. The truck will have a '10 Silverado body, 540ci V8, and Powerglide trans.
•Chrysler will invest $300 million into its existing Kokomo, Indiana, transmission manufacturing plant in order to build a new eight-speed automatic.
•King Shocks has redesigned its website, kingshocks.com. Who cares? You will-videos, photos, tech, and, of course, products are some of what you'll find.
•Holy Cross Trail in Colorado was named one of the BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails, joining Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania, Drummond Island in Michigan, Johnson Valley in Cali, and Yacolt Burn in Washington as the class of 2010. BFG and United Four Wheel Drive Associations picked Holy Cross, thanks in part to its average rating of 8 out of 10 in the challenge department. You can see more about the trails at nationofgo.com/outstandingtrails.
•A driver-distraction study commissioned by Abrams, Herzog & Filippi revealed a surprise. First, the details: Photos and video of 4,634 cars in Florida and New York with male drivers under the age of 30 were studied at two intersections. Now, the surprise: The study showed that 11 percent of the male drivers "had one hand on their crotches" and...suffice to say, there was movement. Said Stuart Arnett, who supervised the study: "It is one of those aspects of human sexuality that is not discussed or admitted to nearly ever in the public realm," adding, pass the Purell.
•Are digital license plates headed to California? If approved, advertising would be among the media displayed.
•WPFB out of West Palm Beach claimed a Florida woman was killed after some of a portable toilet went through her windshield after two toilets fell off a trailer.
•Colorado's KDVR reported that a woman who crashed into a canal said she did so because she was trying to get away from a vampire in the middle of the road.
•The light turns yellow-what do you do? What do you do? Engineering student, Zhixia Li, out of the University of Cincinnati took a look at intersections in Ohio suburbs-or as it was better known within the smarty-pants community, Analysis of Drivers' Stopping Behaviors Associated with the Yellow Phase Dilemma Zone-An Empirical Study in Fairfield, OH-and found that drivers in right-hand lanes tend to drive through yellow traffic signals, while left-hand-laners do not.
•Terrafugia's Transition Roadable Aircraft-the flying car, in English-got a rare exception from the FAA for increased takeoff weight in order to accommodate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (airbags, safety cage, crumple zone, for example) to keep it road legal. The Transition will be able to be driven on public roads (and fit in a standard garage) and then in 30 seconds convert to the friendly skies.
•IBM's first global Commuter Pain study involved surveying 8,192 motorists in 20 cities and on six continents, with most saying traffic (aka the pain) has worsened in the past three years. Stockholm had the least amount of pain, while "trouble spots" (ranking traffic as "somewhat" or "a lot worse") included Johannesburg, Moscow, Toronto, and Mexico City.
•Looks like it's study fever-Truecar.com pored over 13 million vehicle registrations from the last two years, and learned that more men than women register vehicles in the U.S. (yet there are actually more females in the U.S. population). We'll assume the Jp staff is partly responsible.
There's a new iPhone app from Jeep: TripCast. You can plot, plan, and share your trip in real time (via the phone or jeeptripcast.com), post photos video, and audio, give status updates to Facebook and Twitter, and more. It's free. Also, vehicle-information apps are coming from Chrysler, and the '11 Grand Cherokee will be the first recipient.
For the iPhone (with BlackBerry and Android to come), it will have general vehicle-op info, maintenance and warranty literature, video demonstrations, access to customer service, 24-hour roadside assistance, and the ability to connect with fellow owners. Not from Jeep or Chrysler: Open Spot, an Android app from Google for finding and marking free parking spots.
Things to Do with Your Jeep
•November 7: Eastern PA Annual Toy Run hosted by Blue Mountain Jeep Alliance, meet at Classic Harley-Davison, Leesport , PA, bmja.org
•November 12-14: USMC Birthday Bash & Veteran's Day Run, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR, orvpark.com
•November 13-14: Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•November 15-16: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
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