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BACK SEAT DRIVING - NOVEMBER 2008

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Nov 4, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

HOT WIRES For hot and tender news wires on the car culture, see LA Car's Hot Wires What Would Henry Ford Say About a Bailout? A Record Number of Press at the LA Auto Show Italian Pole Dance: Escaping Serious Injury in a Ferrari  

 

 

Henry Ford, with Edsel Ford and Orville Wright to his right

BACK SEAT DRIVING: LETTERS FROM BT WHAT WOULD HENRY SAY?     What Would Henry Ford Say About a Bailout? Try this: "Let them fail; let everybody fail! I made my fortune when I had nothing to start with, by myself and my own ideas. Let other people do the same thing. If I lose everything in the collapse of our financial structure, I will start in at the beginning and build it up again." Ford said it February 11, 1933. "Them" was the banks, but he clearly understood the broader effect of a banking system failure. Some background: Ford hated "the bankers" and was threatening to withdraw all of his personal and Ford Motor Company's money from the banks. Two large Detroit banks had folded in January. Michigan Governor William A. Comstock subsequently declared a bank holiday, some say in response to Ford's comment. A run on U.S. banks was underway. By March 2, 21 states closed their banks. FDR was sworn in as president on March 4, and two days later he declared a national bank holiday. The quote seems tailor made for today ... too good to be true for opponents of today's bailout requests. Ford's quote is popping up online, but I don't put much stock into blogs and independent sites. Here's an authoritative validation of Ford's comment, from "Independent Man: The Life of Senator James Couzens," by Harry Barnard (Wayne State University Press, 2002). - BT Justice    

 

 

 

 

A record number of press members at the show (Nakano)

BACK SEAT DRIVING     All the Press Come Out for the LA Auto Show They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That's about the number of press at the LA Auto Show appearing in the photo above. And that's just for one press conference (the BMW/MINI conference). It's amazing, considering the fact that both GM and Chrysler both pulled out of the press conference schedule, and all three of the The Big Three were on Capital Hill pleading for their collective survival. If this is an industry on the ropes, it certainly didn't stop the press from attending the LA Auto Show. Perhaps it was morbid curiosity - kinda like all the people that tuned in to watch the OJ car chase on TV. This time around, it was to see what the car companies offered (or didn't offer) in the wake of the automotive industry crisis. As it turned out, the LA Auto Show looked nothing like a funeral (well, the Chrysler exhibit did look awfully dark next to the blindingly bright Audi exhibit). Certainly the consumers didn't seem to notice any difference. Lots of new cars on display - including the new 2010 Mustang. All-in-all, 'still a great auto show. Let's hope the anticipated no-shows at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show (to date, Porsche, Ferrari, Nissan and Suzuki) doesn't put too much of a dampener on the remaining shows for 2009. - Roy Nakano To read LA Car's full report on the LA Auto Show, click here.    

 

 

 

 

BACK SEAT DRIVING: LETTERS FROM BILL     Dear Friends, Cool pics. FYI, a 'Stobie' is a power pole Adelaide Australia. That part of Aus doesn't have a lot of trees, but it does have a lot of termites. So, back in the 1920s, an engineer with the local power company, one Cyril Stobie came up with the idea of taking two old railway rails, and bolting them together with concrete in the middle. As noted in the Wikipedia entry, "The poles are fireproof, rotproof, and termiteproof. They are also 'car proof' - causing enormous amounts of damage to vehicles when collided with." No sheet, Sherlock. This sort of construction is no longer legal in the States. Roadside poles have to be of breakaway construction, to prevent idiots from killing themselves. Whatever happened to Darwinism? Between these pix, and the ones a couple of years ago of the Swede on Hwy 1 in Malibu (you remember, the Ferrari Enzo sheared in half after encountering a 'breakaway' phone pole at about 150 mph - and walked away). Anyway, it's quite a testimonial on the safety of a Ferrari. Not what usually comes to mind when one thinks of the prancing horses from Modena. Hugsabunch, Bill Wright    

 

 

 

A JOURNAL OF LOS ANGELES & ITS CAR CULTURE

LA Car

That was LA Car's subtitle when it started back in 1997. It's original website address was about five times the size of lacar.com. Since then, La Car became LA Car. Its subtitle became Reporting From Car Culture Ground Zero, then From The Heart of Car Culture, to today's The Cars and Culture of Southern California. At all times, however, we aimed to chronicle the Southland's automotive spirit - much like one's own journal or diary. LA Car has always been a great source to come back to from week-to-week, to see what articles and reviews have been added to our rather staggering database. With Back Seat Driving, a.k.a. BSD (note the similarity to two well-worn abbreviations, BS and BFD) and Hot Wires - Hot & Tender News From the Car Culture (co-located with Back Seat Driving, and updated at least daily), we give you some reasons to come back more often (all opinions, by the way, are those of the respective author). So, go ahead and bookmark www.lacar.com. We'll be sure to always provide a link to Hot Wires and the latest Back Seat Driving blog entry. In the meantime, welcome to the journal and journey from the heart of the car culture. - Roy Nakano 

For past Blog entries, click the following: October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004

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