Hobby / Industry News
Streeters Condolences.... A heartfelt goodbye to one of our own...
It is very much so, with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of Nolan McBride, one of our long-time club members and the owner of one of many member's favorite place to cruise on Wednesday evenings... The Pizza House in Johnsburg...

Nolan McBride passed on late last night (Around 11:02pm), 5 months after being rushed to the hospital due to complications of a stroke and heart attack. He has since never been back to the Pizza House as he's been in and out of Hospitals and assisted living centers, to that where he's spent the majority of his time.

To most of our club members, Nolan will always be remembered fondly as he truly LOVED to see the people and the cars. The "Thunder Road" Cruise Night as Nolan named it, was never the biggest cruise night... In fact, it definitely was one of the smaller ones; mainly due to the limited size of the parking lot at the Pizza House (Which at maximum could hold about 35 show vehicles).

Still, people showed up week after week, because of a few reasons... For many it was local, easy to get to and leave from, If you brought your ride you always got a FREE slice of Pizza and FREE soda, you were always guaranteed to see a friend or two, it was comfy joint to just hang out in, and of course Nolan's hospitality and his love of the cars and the people. The Streeters and the Rat Pack car clubs were the two clubs that always hung out there, and everyone got along and had a great time. Nolan always greeted everyone, took pictures all the time and if he liked your car enough, or you were there a lot, you just might see your car adorning a Pizza House Menu, T-Shirt, Dash Plaque or sign of some sort.

Many Streeters may have seen their car in pictures around the Pizza House as well. Nolan loved showing those pictures as much as he loved taking them.

The Pizza House was what it was... It was a "Joint" as I commonly referred to it as... A nice comfy, "Hangout" or "Joint" that all your friends know, and all your friends like to come and visit. It WAS... The "OFFICIAL STREETERS HANGOUT"!

Over the past several years, Nolan and myself (Streeter Joe) became close. So close, as I would come pretty much EVERY Wednesday, no matter who showed up... Or didn't. Often, it'd just be me and Nolan... And he was always happy to see me.
Over the years I did a lot of artwork for Nolan to help him out, and he was always good to me too. We had a very good, close friendship as I knew the family very well. Donna, Missy, etc.

I will miss Nolan very much, as I know his family and other close friends will as well. Nolan was a good man, and tried to do the best whenever he could. While he wasn't perfect... (Who is?)... He always promoted the Collector car hobby, and made people feel at home. For those who participated in the Johnsburg Memorial Day Parade... Up until this year (He was in the hospital then), Nolan would always get up early and open the doors to the Pizza House (Where our Parade Lineup group would meet up) and offer FREE Coffee and Donuts. He just loved to see the cars show up out front and to get out and meet and greet everyone there. That's the kind of guy he was.

Nolan will be missed indeed. While the future of the Pizza House may be unsure right now (It is STILL Going, and Missy, Nolan's daughter is doing what she can to keep it going), we will ALWAYS have the fond memories of Nolan, the Pizza House and the Cruise Night on Wednesday evenings.
STREETERS TV NEWS: "TUNE IN" with Streeters "Gearhead TV" News: Garage Squad and LOTS MORE!
In addition to the "Gearhead TV" news I broke about "Wheeler Dealers" and "Top Gear America" the other day, I have one bit of other info on a returning Car Show to the Velocity Network... (For those who do get it with their Cable or Satellite packages...

The show "Garage Squad", or "Overhaulin' on the CHEAP!" as I call it, returns for Season #4... and with an added bonus. It's been expanded to a full-hour now, rather than the 30 minutes it's been at for the first 3 seasons.

All three hosts are back, the cute and perky, and willing to get or at least look like she's getting dirty (in grease and dirt), Heather Storm. Heather replaced the original host Lauren Bohlander, after the 1st season (Lauren is also the wife of IndyCar racer Tony Kanann).

Bruno Massel (Also the co-host of "Truck U"... Also airs on Velocity), and Joe Zolper, the Chief Mechanic on the show... (Also the owner and chief wrench of Prison City Choppers in Joliet, IL).

The show will be expanded from 30 minutes to a full hour, so hopefully we'll get to see more details of what they are doing or the work involved. The projects have been fairly diverse, with some interesting cars and trucks... everything from Street Rods to Gassers, Muscle Cars, Trucks and Imports.

As mentioned, I call it "Overhaulin' on the CHEAP!" or "Overhaulin' Lite"; as they gather at a car owners home to finish an abandoned project for whatever reason. Some may or may not like this show, but it can be interesting, and Heather's cute smile is always worth a viewing.

Currently NEW seasons of "Chasing Classic Cars", "Americarna", "South Beach Classics" and "Legendary Motorcars" have recently began started airing... (As far as "South Beach Classics" go... If you noticed, Robin, Ted Vernon's wife is no longer on the show... Divorce rumors seem to be true as some research of my own found some news and evidence of that being the exact reason you no longer see her and won't anytime soon).

Also on History Channel, the NEW Season of "Count's Customs" began airing...

Also airing soon...
Barrett-Jackson's 2017 Palm Beach Collector Car Auction airs Thursday, April 6th on both Velocity and Discovery networks. (Check your local listings or websites for times)... June brings the NEW Northeast Barrett-Jackson and October will be the month for the Las Vegas B-J Auction.

Also NEW SEASONS of "Graveyard Cars", "Junkyard Empire" and "West Coast Customs" are airing in Early April...

Rumored... In the works...
The second season of "Iron Resurection", Season # 4 of "Bitchin' Rides" is expected to return probably this summer. Other shows in the works, but not much knowledge of where and when they will air is an ALL-NEW car show produced by Volo Auto Museums NEW production company (Their own I hear)... I heard it was supposed to air in March, but I have now heard early June on the History Channel.
Possibly another season of "Unique Rides" and a new season of "Fast & Loud", now without co-host Aaron Kaufman, after leaving his buddy Richard Rawlings and "Gas Monkey Garage" abruptly at the end of the season.

Also a NEW "Wrenchin' show" produced and hosted by former Overhaulin' host, Courtney Hansen. As of yet, no date of release or network announced (That I'm aware of)...
STREETERS TV NEWS: "TUNE IN" with Streeters "Gearhead TV" News: Garage Squad and LOTS MORE! 3/17
Check your Local Listings and websites for MORE info on these and more...

• Jay Leno's Garage NBC/S
• Diesel Brothers Velocity
• The Lifted Life Velocity
• Optima Ultimate Street Car Series MAVTV
• Lucas Oil Racing Series MAVTV
• Full Custom Garage MAVTV
• My Classic Car Velocity & MAVTV
• Gearz Velocity & MAVTV
• Engine Power Spike & NBC/S
• Xtreme Off-Road Spike & NBC/S
• Truck Tech Spike & NBC/S
• Mob Steel NBC/S
• Motorweek PBS & Velocity
• Autoline PBS
• Cars TV NBC
• Drive NBC & NBC/S
• Top Gear UK BBCA (Deal in the works with NETFLIX)
• Top Gear America (In Production) BBCA
• The Grand Tour Amazon
• Street Outlaws Velocity
• All Girls Garage Velocity
• Car Fix Velocity
• What's my Car Worth? Velocity
• Roadkill Internet ONLY (Possibly picked up by a network soon)
• Wheeler Dealers Velocity
• Performance TV Velocity
• Mobil 1 The Grid Velocity
• How it's made Velocity
• Misfit Garage Discovery
• Two Guys Garage Velocity

*Of Note: MAVTV and NBC/S, particularly MAVTV seem to have the most Car TV shows and racing. So checking out their websites for shows and racing events is DEFINITELY worth your time if you are interested!
Streeters Cookbook
Hi everyone,
We are doing a cookbook for our anniversary that we are hoping to sell and give the proceeds to our Township Senior Transportation. The grant was cut by $10,000 this year, and things have to be cut. Hopefully we can help a little. Our seniors depend on this for doctors appointments and their grocery shopping once a week.

I have about 300 so far, but would like to have a lot more. If you have a favorite recipe or a bunch, please send them to me. I am hoping to have it done to sell at some of the car shows Danny & I go to, and other events.

Thanks so much for your help.
Carole Olenick
Email Carole
ALL-NEW 2015 Ford Mustang
Many of you have seen the ALL-NEW 2015 Ford Mustang by now, and as many of you know, the Streeters is one of the largest "Mustang" club, without being a Mustang Club. So we have many Mustang enthusiasts within the club. Even if you don't own one, we know there are many future Mustang owners within the club; some that may end up owning one of the new 6th Gen Mustangs that will be in showrooms in the Fall of 2014.
The link below is from Jay Leno's Garage. It's really really interesting, even if you are not a Mustang or Ford fan, you will really enjoy it. In it you'll see the legendary and now very aged Lee Iaccoca, the very first Mustang #001, and the original Mustang I concept car. In the second part of the video Jay will go through the prototype of the ALL-NEW 2015 Mustang. It looks much better in video, than photos (I think)... but see for yourself.
More Theaters Win a FREE Projector
As most of you may know by now, the McHenry Outdoor Drive-In Theater was the 4th winning drive-in to receive a FREE Digital Projector System courtesy of the Honda Motors company.
With the help of the Scott Dehn the owner, WGN radio and television, the Northwest Herald, the Public and the Streeters, the McHenry Outdoor Drive-In was saved by getting people to vote.

There were a total of 9 winning Drive-Ins overall, as Honda announced recently that they would extend the voting to give four more theaters a chance to win a projector too.
Now there may be more projectors given away by Honda, so we urge people to go to Honda's facebook page and help by posting your requests for them to extend their generosity even further. This is just a terrific thing that Honda has done. Maybe more companies will get involved. Perhaps maybe some domestic auto companies.
I personally wish to thank all of our club members who made the time to vote or to get the word out. I know from speaking with many of our club members, that this was indeed the case. So again thank you all, and let's hope we can help save more of these American Icons, as they all deserve to be saved. Most of them across the United States will need help in finding the money to purchase the digital projectors in order to be able to show any first-run movies for 2014.

Again, thank you all for your support and your help. I am proud to say the Streeters had a hand in being part of this worthy cause.

To see the latest story from Autoweek, click on the link below...
(Posted 09/24/13)
Earrrrrly Monday morning, 9/9 at 4:00am to be specific, The McHenry Outdoor Theater, Golden Age Cinemas hosted a Publicity Event to support the survival of the Drive-In Theater. They featured a FREE showing of Grease for ANYONE that came out. There was also FREE Donuts from Riverside Bakery in McHenry and FREE Coffee!
WGN TV morning crew with Marcus Leshock were there broadcasting live.


FOUR of your "Streeters Men", Joe, Freddy, and 2 Wayne’s (as if one wasn’t enough!!) were out there to show our club support for the Drive-Ins across America and more specifically the McHenry Outdoor! Freddy had his '68 Buick, Joe in his '72 El Camino, Wayne B in his ’57 Chevy and Wayne S in his ’74 Alfa.
The fate of ALL the drive-ins across America are in trouble as they are all in the same boat of possibly NOT being able to show any more FIRST RUN movies. This is due to ALL the movies being released in DIGITAL format ONLY in 2014!
For the drive-ins, this is especially difficult because the digital projectors they need, start at $80,000. The McHenry Outdoor Drive-In shares this same challenge, and is looking for help in funds and support. So if the McHenry Theater cannot get this projector, they will no longer be able to feature any NEW or First-Run movies for 2014! Ouch!!
Honda and Sony are sponsoring a contest to where EVERYONE can vote for their favorite theater. The FIVE Drive-In theaters with the MOST votes will win a FREE projector!
So we need EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR MEMBERS TO HELP VOTE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! You can vote up to ONCE EACH DAY! Simply click on the link.... http://projectdrivein.com/ and follow the instructions to vote. It's easy, and Painless and NO personal info is asked for!
Great backstory. AnnMarie shared that this was her son’s (A.J) very first movie ever. She mentioned that she also watched her very first movie as a child at the McHenry Outdoor theater!! When asked what his favorite part of the movie was (Grease), he said “…the cars!!” We couldn’t have said it better!!
If you love movies, particularly movies that feature a car, or in this case a Ford Mustang,
Website that lists ALL movies and ALL TYPES of movies that feature a Ford Mustang in it somewhere
For the Mustang Owners within our club, I found a gift that many may not know of...
If you love movies, particularly movies that feature a car, or in this case a Ford Mustang, check out this website.


This is a website that lists ALL movies and ALL TYPES of movies that feature a Ford Mustang in it somewhere. Whether just in a passing cameo or a full-blown role that features a Mustang throughout the movie.
ALL the movies and shows have ratings as well.
The website also features TV Shows or Series that also have a Mustang in it.
Check it out for yourself... You may just spend hours on it looking for your next rental.
(Posted 6/13)
All-New 2014 C7 Corvette was just introduced
As an Auto Industry follower, and one-time Automobile Designer-Wannabee and a fan of Performance Cars, particularly American performance cars... I've been following this much as I was following the re-emergence of the recently introduced SRT Viper.

The All-New 2014 C7 Corvette was just introduced to the world at 7:00pm, ahead of the opening of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show tomorrow morning.

We have several large groups of certain types of cars within the "Streeters Garage" as I call it. Some of the cars that comprise some of those large groups include Mustangs, Chevelles, full-size Pontiacs, Oldmobiles, Buicks and of course Corvettes. We have a LOT of Corvettes, particularly a group of C3 Corvette owners within the Streeters, and I know the release of a NEW Corvette, more specifically the 2014 C7 is big news.

I have seen early images of the C7 throughout much of last year, pretty much knowing what it would look like in final form, video and photographs. For some of our Corvette owners in the club, you may hate it. For others you may love it... and for some maybe just parts of it. The car is a dramatic and revolutionary change from previous corvette designs as the car takes a more forward, though contemporary look. Some may say of that of a more modern Ferrari or Aston Martin perhaps. It does have several elements of the design direction of today and upcoming Chevrolet models, keeping within a "family" resemblance. Some may not like the rear of the car, particularly the "Camaro-esque" tail lamp treatment. Gone are the long-time familiar four round tail lamps, a long standing tradition since the 1963 Corvette. That will probably enrage many a Corvette enthusiast, and for some, maybe they will grow to like it or embrace it. But it is different and for some perhaps NOT Corvette.

The car also leaves behind many of it's curves, with in its place many flat surfaces and many more sharp edges never seen on a Corvette before. Also gone is the "wraparound" rear window, a staple of previous corvettes since 1978. No, the "sail panels" did not return, but rather a more contemporary "fastback" raked rear backlight with small side rear quarter windows separated by rear "B-Pillar". A Camaro ZL1 style "Rear-vented" hood also makes it's debut directing exiting air over the top of the car to create downforce holding the car to the road. The flush headlamps are very unique and menacing particularly when lit with the popular LED lighting that we now starting to see on many cars over the past couple years.

Again for Corvette enthusiasts the 2014 Corvette is different, very different. It is and will continue to be a world-class sports car, now only to be compared to other cars, many costing two or more times as much. The car will best the outgoing version in performance in every way, as the magazine critics will soon tell us just how much, and where it still falls short. The performance should match its styling as the styling itself takes the car towards the next decade and perhaps a new generation of Corvette fans. Make your mind up for yourself, and for some like myself will analyze the overall look of the car, particularly in the details before making up their mind. Regardless, it is inevitable that we will see a C7 owner as one of our Streeters members very soon.

For now, use this link to take a look at the car for yourself.
Enjoy! From your local Inside Auto Industry Analyst... "Streeter Joe"
Posted 1/13
6th-Generation Mustang due as a 2014 model
Well here is the latest on the next (6th-Generation) Mustang due as a 2014 model.

The next mustang will most likely debut in early 2013 as a concept or pre-production model, but that design will show the next Ford Mustang pretty much as it will be.

It's no secret that Ford has been telling us that they want to move forward with the design of the sixth-gen model and eliminate most of the retro-styling the the 2005 thru the
2013 model has brought back. Truth be told that the Camaro since it's introduction has been outselling the Mustang and widening the sales gap since. Both cars outsell Chrysler's retro Pony car, the Dodge Challenger, but that is another story as the Challenger is based off the full-size Charger/300 platform. Still the strongest competition to Ford is Chevrolet and with the Camaro besting the Mustang in sales since its debut, Ford wants to change that, and quick! The Camaro was designed with some retro styling, but also with a design towards the future with C6 Corvette influence. Still Chevrolet is not taking a breather with the current 5th generation either. Work has already begun on the 6th generation Camaro to be built off the upcoming Alpha platform shared by other GM cars coming out and on the way, including that of the all-new Cadillac ATS sedan. The ATS will also spawn a Convertible, sport wagon and possibly a coupe. That would lend well towards a smaller, taughter and more lightweight Camaro. Ford too knows this as insiders say they may take styling cues (Along with size and dimensions) from last years breathtaking Evos Concept car (See photo below).

Ford insiders say the next generation of the Mustang will take its styling cues from the Evos concept car, shown.
The Ford Mustang has been rolling with a retro-heavy styling theme since the fourth generation of the pony car appeared as a 1994 model.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that the sixth-generation Mustang, due out in about two years, will break that mold.

The newspaper, citing sources it did not name who know of Ford's plans, says that the new Mustang will look a lot like the Evos concept from last year's Frankfurt show.

Why? Ford wants to attract younger buyers to the Mustang. The group of those who have fond memories of the original 1964 Mustang is shrinking.

Also, the Mustang has been getting beaten in the sales race by the revived Chevrolet Camaro. Through the first three months of this year, Chevy has sold 21,924 Camaros, while Ford has sold 20,133 Mustangs, a gap of nearly 1,800 cars. For 2011, the Camaro outdistanced the Mustang by 17,811 cars--88,249 Camaros to 70,438 Mustangs.

But Ford is working to keep the Mustang in the hunt. For the 2013 model, which goes on sale later this spring, it has boosted engine output of the top-line Mustang Shelby GT500 to 650 hp. That puts the Mustang some 70 hp ahead of the 580-hp Camaro ZL1.
The 2012 New York Auto Show opened today with the much anticipated debut of the ALL-NEW 2013 SRT Viper!
There has much fanfare about this car since it's hiatus in 2010 and the ongoing news of it's re-emergence back into the marketplace! Well today was the BIG DEBUT and BIG it is!

You can view photos, videos and more about the NEW Viper and it's past, and upcoming future by simply going to the website below. The Viper will no longer be under the "Dodge" division banner, but rather the SRT (Street & Racing Technology) banner. As will other future High-Performance cars from Mopar.

SRT front man Ralph Gilles puts one leg into his latest low-slung supercar. He fires the engine and gooses the throttle. The V10 growls in reply, quaking and snarling. It looks slightly different, and it's far more advanced than its predecessor. But make no mistake, the Viper is back. After years of uncertainty, anticipation and high-powered emotions, the snake is reality. It's still a hard-core, world-beating performance machine, but there are more than a few technological advances and surprises under the skin. Shipments from Detroit begin late this year.

The Viper's bite comes from a 640-hp, 600-lb-ft, 8.4-liter V10. That's up 40 in each category from the last generation. Redline is 6,200 rpm, and fuel shuts off at 6,400 rpm. Top speed is 206 mph, 5 mph faster than before. The transmission is a six-speed manual, with the top gear now used for maximum speed rather than cruising.

The front mid-engine design makes for a 49/51 ratio of weight distribution. The base car weighs about 3,320 pounds, about 100 pounds lighter. It also rides 0.8 inch lower. Torsional stiffness is improved 50 percent, and there's a new crossbrace up front.

The car takes inspiration from the second-generation model of 1996, and the styling is largely evolutionary. Still, it's considerably more blinged out, with 21 LEDs in the headlights and 51 in the taillights. The front track is wider, the grille is more exaggerated, and there are sculptured side exhausts. The windshield is the only carryover part.

Carbon fiber
The material is used for the hood, roof, decklid and brake ducts.

The doors and sills are aluminum, helping to cut weight.

Stability control is included for the first time, and an 8.4-inch touch screen is offered in the center stack, where you can chart lap times or change the radio station.

What's next?
SRT isn't confirming that a convertible is on the way, but the Viper has always had one. Consider it a certainty. A track pack will also be available at launch on the coupe.
Read more (Posted 04/12)
It was a VERY BUSY weekend 8/27-28, with several events going on EVERYWHERE, and 3 of them BIG ones too!
Those three shows were the 13th Annual Milk Pail Car Show, the Cars for Kids Car Show in downtown Grayslake, IL. and the Raymond Chevy of Antioch Car Show.

I have to first thank ALL of the Streeters who attended and supported these events. Two of these events were for Charities, and we have a good number of Streeters that attended each one as "The Orange was EVERYWHERE!"

A small recap on the MILK PAIL CLASSIC CAR SHOW. Great weather and Great cars. About 307 cars showed up for Rudy the K, DJ and 4, 8 ft tables of door prizes plus Goodie bags. The Milk Pail served a great breakfast, lunch and beer garden. Thanks to the Streeters members as we had about 15 Club Cars, and along with the Milk Pail helpers, Jon Schultz, chairman, Larry Reisner, Bob Stock & Wayne Bastiaans who helped make this once again one of the Premiere Car Shows to be a part of! Getting ready for next year today!
Wayne Bastiaans

I also wish to thank those members that took some some of the workload and responsibility for me because I obviously couldn't be everywhere... So to begin, I would like to personally thank Streeters member, Doug Moscrip for stepping up as "Group Leader" for the Milk Pail Show in East Dundee. This is the show I have not yet received any info on, but I am guessing and hoping it was a GREAT SHOW as this one always is! I know we had about 10 or more club cars headed out there, so I am sure we were well represented there. I also want to that ALL the club members who Confirmed their attendance and attended the show.

Now thanks also must go out to Streeters member, Steve Cywnar.... And I TRULY HAVE TO GIVE HIM A HUGE AMOUNT OF STREETERS CRED as Steve took over the Club Gmails and simply "Ran with it" doing a simply PHENOMENAL JOB! Steve took a TON of Weight off of my back and kept the emails up and current for the Cars for Kids downtown Grayslake Show! Steve you can definitely be my "Wingman" anytime! Thanks to ALL 15 Streeters that showed up for this one, as we also took home two awards by way of Jim Thompson with his '63 Galaxie 500 and Craig Schaedel with his '00 Saleen Mustang

Moving onto our final BIG event this Sunday, the Raymond Chevrolet of Antioch Car Show.... The turnout for this show from Streeters was amazing... I mean while we had ONLY 8 Club Cars confirmed, we had 17 Club Cars show up at the Grouping location of the Burger King on Route 173 prior to the show. From that point on, we had a GRAND TOTAL of 31 Club Cars and 1 Custom Motorcycle, giving us 32 Club Vehicles! With that NICE turnout we also had a LOT of winners of awards. I have to thank Streeters member, Chuck Lehmann for helping with getting the Streeters set up, our reserved area, and more!

These were the Award Winners at the Raymond Chevy Car Show today!
Don DeBock / '56 Pontiac
Larry Eslick / '70 Chevelle SS
Arnie & Barb Boris / '68 Impala SS
Gil Volling / '64 Riviera GS
Kevin Lehnning / '08 Silverado
Joe Salzburg '72 El Camino SS

Club Member Tom O'Brien won the 50/50 and several Streeters took home some great Raffle Prizes, including Streeters Member, Chuck Lehmann won one of the Grand Prizes of two Wolves tickets!

We've been doing everything everywhere it seems lately, with a LOT going on recently it seems especially within the past few weeks... And it's no surprise that the Streeters have supported these events as well as enjoyed being part of them and at them supporting both the events and club members that put effort into them! What thrills me a TON is that more and more club members have stepped up when necessary to take the reigns of some of the duties necessary for some of the events. Even asking for club members to support an event by bringing their cars... Simply amazing! We've got an amazing club, I think... No, I KNOW... the best out there! That is simply because of the great members we have!

Thanks again everyone for your participation and help where and when necessary! And thank you for supporting these events along with some of the club members involved with them! THANNNNK YOU ALL!
THANK ALL the cars that made it out to the Cruisin for the Kids Car show

STEVE here wanting to THANK ALL the cars that made it out to the Cruisin for the Kids Car show. We had a great time with a EVEN BETTER CLUB.. We ended up with 15 cars and took home 2 awards.. We were also mentioned by the show during awards and thanked for bringing out our group..
Jim Thompson with his '63 Galaxie 500
Craig Schaedel with his '00 Saleen Mustang
Link from the Grayslake Patch that talks about the show and also check out the pics.. Who can find the Streeters Vehicles??

Future of Ford Mustang plant in doubt as sales decline, Mazda bails
For Ford Mustang fans, it's tough enough getting beaten in the sales race by the car's long-term rival, the Chevrolet Camaro.
Now the future of the Michigan plant that builds the Mustang is in doubt.
Last week, Mazda Motor Corp. said it would pull out of the AutoAlliance International joint venture with Ford Motor Co. The AutoAlliance plant in Flat Rock, Mich., south of Detroit, builds the Mazda 6 and the Mustang.
Mazda is leaving AutoAlliance because sales of the Mazda 6 have plummeted. Through the end of May, Mazda 6 sales totaled 13,604, down 8.9 percent from the same period a year earlier.
In the first five months of this year, Mustang sales totaled 30,206 units, down 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Meanwhile, in the same period, Camaro sales totaled 40,275 units, up 3.7 percent, as the convertible body style joined the mix.
The problem is that the Mustang's sales, which totaled 73,716 units in 2010, aren't enough by themselves to make a huge factory such as AutoAlliance with its 1,700 workers a profitable operation.

What are Ford's options?
  • Try to boost Mustang sales to help fill the plant. That's a tall order. The Mustang just got a new powertrain lineup for the 2011 model year and had been restyled for the 2010 model year. Fans speculate that an independent rear suspension is in the works to replace the live rear axle, but that could be years away, if ever.
  • Add another product to the Flat Rock plant to increase production. That could come via taking on another joint-venture partner and adding another Ford family product. Is there another use for the Mustang's rear-drive platform?
  • Move Mustang production to another Ford plant. That's a possibility, as Ford pushes to make all of its assembly plants as efficient and profitable as possible. Over the course of its history, the Mustang has been built in plants in Michigan, New Jersey and California.
"The Mustang on its current sales pace isn't enough to sustain Flat Rock," said analyst Jeff Schuster of J. D. Power and Associates.
Sir Stirling Moss retires from racing
Sir Stirling, here in a Cooper T45-Borgward in 1959, is putting racecars aside for good. (LAT photo)

Sir Stirling Moss has decided to retire from motor racing at the age of 81, after competing in qualifying for a historic support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Moss, one of grand prix history's most famous and successful racing drivers who became a household name after a career in Formula 1 that spanned ten years between 1951-'61, called time on his career on Thursday after admitting that he had been frightened to drive a Porsche RS61 in the Le Mans Legends event.
"I was frightened before I even got in the car," said Moss. "This afternoon I scared myself and I have always said that if I felt I was not up to it or that I was getting in the way of fellow competitors, then I would retire."
Moss is considered one of the greatest all-rounders of all time, and though he never won a World Championship, he finished runner-up four times and won 16 grands prix during his career.
Among his victories he counted three Monaco Grands Prix, as well as classic sports car events the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Sebring 12 Hours and Tourist Trophy. A massive accident at Goodwood in 1961 that left him hopitalized prompted him to decide to retire from the top echelons of the sport not long afterward.
Moss returned to the sport with Audi in 1980 in the British Touring Car Championship, but it was not a great success and he turned his attention to historic racing which he has done ever since.
Moss never won Le Mans, an event he claimed never enjoyed, but finished second twice in 1953 and '56. It's ironic then that La Sarthe was the venue at which he chose to finally hang up his hat.
The car he intended to drive in Sunday morning's race qualified 33rd after Moss pulled in early in the session. His co-driver Ian Nuthall will now drive both stints of the race. Posted June 09, 2011.
Producer Michael Mann tapped to develop and direct Go Like Hell movie
A movie version of the book Go Like Hell is reportedly in the works.
By JAKE LINGEMAN on 5/31/2011
Producer Michael Mann, best known for hits such as Heat, Ali and more recently, Public Enemies, is in talks with 20th Century Fox to develop and potentially direct a movie based on the A. J. Baime book Go Like Hell, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The book, a must-read for any car nut, chronicles the duel between the Ford and Ferrari race teams in the 1960s during the height of Le Mans fever.
Enzo Ferrari owned the 24-hour race from 1960 to 1965, with all five wins going to some form of racer from the Italian Peninsula.
When Henry Ford II took over the family business, he made an effort to get back on the podium at one of the most important races in the world. With a lot of help from friend and driver Carroll Shelby, and a young man named Lee Iacocca, the legendary Ford GT40 was born.
The car won four years straight, cementing both Shelby's and Iacocca's place in motorsports history.
Jason Keller reportedly wrote the first draft of the script, and at one point, Brad Pitt was expected to star in the film.
The project is in the earliest of stages of development right now, and so far nothing has been confirmed. Producer/director Mann also has several other projects in the works including Agincourt, a movie about the 15th-century battle between the French and the English.
But none of that matters to us. Any chance to see old Ferrari racers and Ford GTs duking it out on the big screen at Circuit de la Sarthe sounds like a great night at the movies.
Zagato TZ3 Stradale pays tribute to Alfa Romeo with Dodge
By JULIE ALVIN on 4/28/2011
Styling house Zagato's tribute to the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo began with the release of its one-off TZ3 Corsa in 2009 and will end with the unveiling of its version of theTZ3 Stradale this year.
Less than a month after we learned that Zagato was working on its new TZ3 Stradale, the company has released the first photos and details of the car alongside its Corsa cousin.
While the TZ3 Corsa was more of a track car, the TZ3 Stradale is an avant-garde tribute to the Alfa Romeo and Zagato's street-legal heritage. The car is considered by Zagato to be the first American Alfa Romeo, with its mono-shell carbon-fiber mechanical chassis based on that of the Dodge Viper ACR. Those underpinnings are paired with a 4.2-liter V8 engine matched to a six-speed sequential transmission.
Only nine examples of the TZ3 Stradale will be made--the first goes to American collector Eric King and the second and third are going to buyers in Japan and Europe. If you want one of the remaining six, the line starts behind us.
Read more ...
Illinois Bill to Expand Use of Antique Vehicles Approved by House; Moves to Senate Transportation Committee
11_Leg_Header_600x80 Posted 5/1/11
Illinois Bill to Expand Use of Antique Vehicles Approved by House; Moves to Senate Transportation Committee. Read more ...
Up in smoke: Smokey Yunick's garage burns
Legendary NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick closed the "Best Damn Garage In Town" long before he died in 2001. But the main concrete-block, tin-roofed building on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Fla., remained a stop on the NASCAR history trail for visiting faithful until Monday night, when fire destroyed the building.
The building housed Yunick's office and a medium-size garage and more recently served as office space for Carbon Press, the publishing company that Yunick's daughter, Trish, operates and which produces products that include Yunick's salty 1,100-page autobiography and biographies of other racing personalities. The building has been completely vacant for several years, containing mostly some old tires.
The complex was sold in 2004 to condo developers, but not until the family held an auction of its contents that drew about 2,000 people.
The building caught fire at about dusk on Monday and within 90 minutes, it was a blackened shell. The Daytona Beach fire chief called the fire suspicious, especially since the building had no power, and witnesses reported seeing a man flee the scene shortly before the blaze began.
Yunick, an untrained engineer whose ideas literally revolutionized the sport, won the Daytona 500 in 1961 and 1963 with drivers Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts. He was usually at odds with NASCAR's founding France family, especially Bill France Sr., whom Yunick called in his book a "holy roller draft dodger." Yunick accused France of selling "stolen government merchandise," specifically World War II-era tire- and gasoline-rationing stamps.
(Posted 4/27/11)
Yunick's original garage was the last building standing of his conglomeration of block buildings and tin sheds that happened to back up to the Halifax River, making the property particularly valuable to developers. The asking price in 2004 was $4 million.
Chevrolet rolls out high-performance tires and wheels for the 2012 Corvette
By DALE JEWETT on 4/26/2011
The introduction of high-performance tires and racing-style wheels for the Z06 and ZR1 models is the major change to the Chevrolet Corvette for the 2012 model year, according to information being posted at Corvette fan sites on the Internet.
Info is leaking out as Chevy is set to officially talk about the 2012 Vette during the annual C5/C6 Bash fan event at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., this weekend. Look for some official news on April 28.
Chevrolet has disclosed that there will be a Centennial Edition package for the 2012 Vette, available on all trim levels of the sports car. That car will be available only with a black exterior. And it appears that's the only black on the Corvette color palate for 2012, according to some ordering information posted by Montana Chevy dealer Ken Fitchner at www.corvetteforum.com.
Based on that information, Chevrolet is making it easy for Corvette buyers to equip their Z06 and ZR1 Vettes for use at track day and club events.
The key option is for high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. This is a high-grip, racing-style summer tire that has been an original equipment tire for cars such as the Porsche GT3 RS and the BMW M3. The Michelin tires will be fitted to lightweight racing-style wheels. Getting the wheel-and-tire package will require you to take the optional handling package for either the Z06 or the ZR1.
Other changes for 2012 include:
  • A color palate for Corvette brake calipers. The choices are red, silver, yellow or dark gray.
  • A carbon-fiber hood available for Z06 models.
  • A technology package for the 2LT trim level that adds Bluetooth, USB ports, navigation and an upgraded Bose audio system.
  • In the color department, Jetstream Blue Metallic is replaced with Carlisle Blue Metallic. And a blue-colored convertible top will be available later in the model year.
Shoppers hit the mall, test-drive a Fiat
The showroom for Indiana's first Fiat dealership sits next to a Johnny Rockets restaurant and across from the children's play area in the Greenwood Park Mall in Reenwood, Ind.
O'Brien Fiat's indoor Fiat Studio surprised passer-by Kyle Roberts of Franklin, Ind.: "I haven't really seen a car dealership in a mall before," says Roberts, who went into the store with his wife, Mandy, to look at the four Fiat 500s on display.
Would Roberts consider buying one of the cars? "My wife likes 'em," he says. "You don't really see new cars around that price range"--$15,995, including shipping, for an entry-level Pop version.
Mandy Roberts thinks the 500 "looks neat." Neither Kyle nor Mandy Roberts had heard of Fiat before noticing the mall store.
O'Brien Fiat staff members hand the twenty-something couple brochures and get e-mail addresses as music of the British band Oasis plays over the in-store sound system. It's all part of building a customer base for a new product in a new kind of shopping environment.
O'Brien Fiat is one of just 17 Fiat dealerships open in the United States. The 130-store network is to be operating by year end.
Owner Tom Miller, 58, is happy to be on the leading edge of what he sees as an exciting opportunity.
"That was our objective, to be one of the first in Indiana and one of the first in the country," says Miller, who also is president of Tom O'Brien Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram just down the road.
Fiat wanted to have as many U.S. dealerships open by March 1 as possible, Miller says, and "we worked hard to make that happen.
"Being one of the first in the country, we were on the fast track," says Miller.
Being one of the first U.S. Fiat dealerships to open gives Miller one of the first cracks at 500s now being built at Chrysler's factory in Toluca, Mexico. O'Brien Fiat took its initial delivery of 10 cars on March 10 and has 24 more on the way. The store opened March 1.
Fiat sales consultants Kelly Anderson, left, and Jennifer Hayman stand by a merchandise case.
O'Brien Fiat spent $300,000 to set up the 2,200-square-foot showroom, which has enough space for four of the small cars along with merchandise cases containing model cars, jackets and other Fiat paraphernalia.
Miller is the third generation of an Indianapolis family that has sold Chrysler products since 1933. But selling Fiats is something new for the family. So is selling cars in a mall.
For Miller, it's a great chance to get three of his sons--Brian, 32 ; Tim, 31; and Kevin, 27--in on the ground floor of something exciting: a new European brand and a new way of selling cars.
Tim's title is studio director, the equivalent of general manager. Kevin is the studio lead, the equivalent of general sales manager. Brian is general manager of Tom O'Brien Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.
Says Tom Miller: "This mall is perfect. They have 12 million visitors a year, and it's the only mall on the south side of Indianapolis."
The 1.3-million-square-foot Greenwood Park Mall, the second-largest in greater Indianapolis, is owned by the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group. Brian Nelson, the mall's general manager, says the mall gives the O'Brien group a chance to convert customers who might not have been thinking about buying a car.
"I saw it firsthand," Nelson says. "There was a couple standing at the entrance to the store looking at the dealership. When I passed by, I heard the husband say, 'Let's go in and take a look.' "
On March 12, the first day the store had cars to display, about 100 people visited, Tom Miller says. That's about three times the number of customers Tom O'Brien Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram sees on a typical Saturday. Tom O'Brien Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram normally sells 600 new and 500 used vehicles a year.
As of late last week, O'Brien Fiat had sold five vehicles.
Jennifer Hayman, an O'Brien Fiat sales consultant, says, "A lot of people adapted instantly" to the idea of seeing cars for sale in a mall: "A lot of people liked the car. They were excited to see it."
Read more ...
Next Mustang to feature global design input, Ford says
Ford's next-generation Mustang will be the first with styling themes proposed by studios in Europe, Australia and other regions. Previously, Ford's U.S. studio was solely responsible for Mustang design.
Ford Motor Co.'s design studios worldwide will provide styling ideas for an American icon: the next generation Mustang.
"It is a common process we [now] use on every vehicle," Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president for global product development, said Tuesday at the Geneva auto show.
Ford's next-generation pony car will be the first Mustang with styling themes proposed by studios in Europe, Australia and other regions. Previously, Ford's U.S. studio was solely responsible for Mustang design.
"When we embark on a new product, particularly one that is all new, it involves all of the studios. Then J [Mays] and the design team pick the best of those themes," Kuzak told Automotive News. Mays is Ford's global design chief. Ford adopted the global design approach three years ago.
Kuzak did not say when the redesigned Mustang is due. However, industry sources say the new sports coupe will debut in the 2014 or 2015 model year.
While the final styling theme might come from outside the United States, he said, Ford's Dearborn, Mich., studio will have responsibility to turn the selected styling theme into a production vehicle.
Kuzak said the new Ranger pickup is the latest example of product cooperation undertaken by Ford's studios.
"The Ranger was done by the Australian studio with input from the European studio," Kuzak said during an interview at the show. The Ranger is the first global Ford vehicle designed by the Australian subsidiary.
The Ranger pickup was introduced last year and will be sold outside North America beginning later this year.
Kuzak said the Mustang "is not just an icon in North America, it is an icon globally."
Ford has conducted Mustang clinics in Asia and Europe. He said men and women within a wide range of ages were shown photographs of celebrities and asked, which person represents the Mustang?
The No. 1 person selected was Steve McQueen.
McQueen appeared in the 1968 movie "Bullitt," which included a high-speed chase sequence involving a Mustang driven by McQueen on the hilly streets of San Francisco.
Alfa 4C will be a global car, will come to U.S.

Alfa Romeo says the production version of the 4C rear-wheel-drive coupe will be a sold around the world, including the United States.
The halo car will bring us back into markets such as the United States, where we are not present today," Alfa CEO Harald Wester said Tuesday, adding that the 4C will go into production in late 2012.

The automaker plans to build 15,000 to 20,000 units of the 4C coupe over five years, two people familiar with the matter told
Automotive News Europe. Another 5,000 to 10,000 units of a roadster version of the 4C will be built for Abarth, the sources said. Abarth is Fiat's sporty sub-brand that markets high-performance versions of the Fiat 500 minicar and Punto Evo subcompact.
Fiat's struggling Alfa brand is set to price the production 4C at about 45,000 euros (about $62,000) in Europe, company sources say.
Alfa enthusiasts have dreamed for almost two decades of the return of an affordable rear-drive model after the Duetto Spider was discontinued in 1994.
Alfa's 8C Competizione, which was built from 2007-2008, was too expensive for most Alfa buyers. The spider version of the 8C cost up to 213,000 euros and the car's production run was limited to 1,000 units.The 157.5-inch-long, 200-hp mid-engine 4C concept took design cues from the legendary 33 Stradale, company sources say. Launched in 1967, the 33 Stradale was a rear-engine, rear-drive two-seat coupe powered by a 230-hp 2.0-liter V8 derived from Alfa's 33 race car. Alfa built just 18 units of the 33 Stradale.
The 4C concept was styled by the Fiat Group subsidiary's design center in Turin. The car is rakish, very compact and extremely low to the ground.
The 4C will go on sale at a crucial time for Alfa because by the final quarter of 2012 the company also plans to introduce the Giulia mid-sized sedan to replace the slow-selling 159 and launch the brand's first ever SUV, a sister model to the Jeep Compass/Patriot replacement.
Fiat S.p.A. CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to lift Alfa sales to 500,000 units by 2014. Alfa's global sales last year increased a modest 10.2 percent to 112,000 units.
Thanks to an innovative construction method, which combines carbon fiber and aluminum, the 4C will weigh less than 850kg (1,784 pounds).