A Contrarian View of the Initial LA Auto Show Proceedings

BACK SEAT DRIVING—10.16.2016 … Somewhere along the line yesterday morning at the LA Auto Show, I narrowly escaped falling headfirst down a very deep and (this one anyway) brightly-lit, raucously sound tracked, rabbit hole. Actually, technically, I was at AutoMobility LA (sometime all caps, sometimes upper case A and M as above). “… a merger of the Los Angeles Auto Show’s Press and Trade Days and its award-winning Connected Car Expo”. Doug Stokes comments.

On the road to the Baja 1000

BACK SEAT DRIVING— I had occasion to drive to Phoenix this past Thursday. After my Phoenix business concluded, I turned my rented Transit van west and began the return drive home. Gasoline is nearly a dollar cheaper per gallon in Arizona, so a stop in Quartzite for topping off was in order. Across from my pump was one of the race truck teams. They said were going out to Parker for a weekend event. Part of what they were after was a shake down in preparation of the upcoming Baja 1000. The grey Ford racer stood proud on an open trailer. Story by Harold Osmer.

Brock Yates, 1933-2016

BACK SEAT DRIVING— Brock Yates—“The Assassin”, as he was nicknamed at one time (although I’ve often wondered if he didn’t really start that himself, just to get under the establishment’s skin a few millimeters deeper) has left the building. Most thought of him as brash, a larger-than-life provocateur who loved nothing more than skewering the establishment in print and in person every chance that he got. He was all of that. Doug Stokes reflects.

Is the hand of technology guiding you to safety?

BACK SEAT DRIVING—No, this isn’t an article about the Golden Earring song. We’re taking about the radar love that car companies are now hocking in the form of “lane departure warning”, lane assist”, and the like. It’s modern technology making like a spiritual hand to guide you to safety. Or is it? Editor Doug Stokes pontificates.

VW engineer pleads guilty to emissions conspiracy

BACK SEAT DRIVING—As the hierarchy at Volkswagen has been bleating for months: The “rogue engineer” responsible for this long nightmare (for them, their dealers, customers, and employees) has been apprehended, accused, indicted, and has pled guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to defraud the government (through wire fraud) and, in doing so, violating the clean air act. Editor Doug Stokes ponders.

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