Scanning the Auto Blogosphere

March 5th, 2009
Bobby Darin's 1960 DiDio 150

Bobby Darin's 1960 DiDio 150

Time for another round-up of the last week’s auto-blog highlights. You’d think the current economic crisis, particularly among the Big Three, might make it hard to find good news about the car business these days, but I guess the spinmeisters work overtime around the big auto shows – we’ve already posted a preview of the current Geneva Auto Show, and we’ll likely post a wrap-up next week. Anyway, here goes…

The Geneva Auto Show’s “booth professionals” have gotten a huge amount of blog coverage this week, and given the photos we’ve seen, we can understand why. The folks at Jalopnik put together a very lovely gallery that should make anyone who appreciates beautiful curves forget, at least briefly, our current economic and automotive woes.

Consumer Reports recently posted its list of top 2009 cars. It’s a solid list with no huge surprises, but I find it a little sad that CR’s “best overall vehicle,” the Lexus LS 460, costs about $30K more than the next most expensive vehicle on their list, the Chevrolet Avalanche, and the top-end version costs $40,000 more than a maxed-out Infiniti G37, which took CR’s nod for “upscale sedan.” Given everyone’s increasing financial concerns and carefulness these days, maybe CR’s list of the best and worst used cars will prove more useful.

Automotive Traveler posted a terrific gallery of used cars, too, but they were all from the 2009 Palm Springs Concours d’Elegance and likely even more expensive than that Lexus. The best of show winner – a 1961 Alfa Romeo SZ Coda-Trunka – was a new one to me, and while I wouldn’t want to have to keep it running, I’ll bet my co-workers would be happy to head out for off-site lunches in it.

While we’re on the topic of collectible vintage cars, have you seen Bobby Darin’s 1960 DiDia 150 (above)? CarLust’s article includes a few great pictures of a truly distinctive auto that anyone who appreciates ’60s cars – and fins – should see. And Ferrari fans will definitely want to take a look at the World’s Luxury Guide’s “Red Racers” slideshow. Yum!

Old-school still photos serve vintage cars and car shows pretty well, but video does a much better job capturing the spirit of cars in motion. Nihon Car’s video of an HKS GT-R completing a lap of the Fuji Speedway in less than 1:55 is darned impressive. And YouTube’s video of Vaughn Gittin Jr. setting a new drifting world record (not yet certified by Guiness) is amazing.

Okay, one last bit of good news, at least for the future. Apparently Fiat has just developed a new bit of technology that can adjust valve lift profiles while running to reduce fuel consumption up to 25% and CO2 emissions by 10% while increasing power and torque output. The company’s new Multiair feature is expected to debut in the 2010 Alfa Romeo MiTo, which looks like it won’t arrive in the U.S. until late this year, possibly as a 2011 model.

Anything you’d like to see get more – or less – coverage here on the CarGurus Blog?
Let me know.

-Steve Halloran

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