Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick Review: 2009 Chevrolet Impala Rental

I needed a rental car for a couple of days, and the only car available at my local Enterprise store was a red 2008 or 2009 Impala.

The Chevrolet Impala is a perfect example of why GM nearly went under, and how the Chevrolet brand was adrift without a clear identity. It is a mediocre car, with some very annoying details. It doesn't inspire passion, it isn't a car I would choose to buy. It is a rental fleet queen.

Good Points:
  • Quiet, smooth, 3.5L V6 with variable valve timing.
  • Clean, if boring, styling.
  • Flex-Fuel (E85) capable.
  • Unoffensive transmission behavior.
  • Decent fuel economy for a larger car (I got 25mpg average on gasoline)
  • Huge trunk

Bad Points:
  • The OHV V6 is modestly powered at 211HP/214Lb-ft. The 3.6 DOHC GM V6 makes 252HP.
  • Only 4 speed transmission.
  • Prominent tire noise.
  • Wind noise from driver's door seal?
  • Cheesy fake wood interior trim.
  • Odd wedge shaped sideview mirrors offer reduced visibility.
  • Hard plastics abound in the interior.
  • Bizarre vertical levers for dual zone temperature control, with very little resistance.
  • Pedal-type parking brake intrudes on foot room and interferes with dead pedal space.
  • No PRNDL markings on floor shifter (PRNDL displayed on IP).
  • Soft, squishy ride with lots of body lean.
  • Mushy on-center steering feel.
  • No hand-hold to open trunk (you can try to grab the trim, or put your fingers under the trunk lid edge).
The case for the Impala falls completely apart when you compare it with the newer Chevrolet Malibu. The Malibu has a more powerful V6 engine, a 6 speed transmission, a much nicer interior, and about the same interior space (with more rear headroom).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chevy Mocks Volvo, I Mock Chevy

In a new ad campaign, GM's Chevrolet division points out the passion that some of their classic cars inspire.  Link:  One of the banners says "They Don't Make Songs About Volvos".

As a former Volvo 850 owner, I am a little hurt by Chevrolet's blow, implying that Volvo's don't inspire passion.  I'd like to point out that in fact, there are several songs about Volvos.  For example, "Volvo Cowgirl 99" by Sheryl Crow (  Or Everclear's "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom" (  And I also found something called "The Volvo Song" ( 

I don't think many people are writing songs about Impalas these days.  If you dwell too much on past glory, you might re-inforce the idea that right now half of your lineup is sub-par boring crap, like the Impala.  And the Aveo.  And the Cobalt. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GM Debadges Itself, Finally

Finally, GM has come to its senses and is removing ( that stupid little square GM badge that they started sticking on every car.  It was a silly idea (and I blogged so), because they were promoting a brand that wasn't really much of a brand, while annoying their high end customers.  If you bought a $50k Cadillac, or a Saab, or a Corvette, did you really want to be reminded that your car was built by the same corporate amoeba that builds the Aveo?

Good job Mr. Lutz!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bill Frist Trades Down

Bill Frist said in a Larry King Live interview that he Cash-For-Clunkered a Chevrolet Suburban to get a Toyota Prius.  

He didn't have to choose Toyota, there are other excellent options. 

As an employee of an American based automotive related company, I would like to send Mr. Frist a hearty "go to hell".

For the first time ever, I find myself appreciating something about Howard Dean, who on the same program said that he was going to get a hybrid Ford Escape, because he wanted to support American manufacturers. 

This is an example of why I will always say that I am a Conservative, but not a Republican.  Because as badly as they need my vote, sometimes they just don't have a clue. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fiat 500 to Mexico?

According to the WSJ (, Fiat will bring assembly of it's b-car 500 (aka Cinquecento) to the Toluca, Mexico plant where PT Cruiser is built.

This looks bad for Obama, and there is going to be a lot of heat.  A lot of people are going to reasonably ask, "why are we spending government money to prop up assembly jobs in Mexico?".   I expect Congress will have hearings, where members who have plant closings will throw shoes at the Italians.

"When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new Chrysler, not the United States government, will make that decision," said an administration official. "It's quite consistent with the plan from the start."

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Woodward Pre-Cruise: Friday Night

Friday night in Birmingham. Lots of people, lots of interesting cars.

Sign of the times.

Weird Harley powered thing

Two yellow sleds.

Monster truck

Green Thing

Monkees Car

Biggest truck of the night


No joke.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Woodward Pre-Cruise

On Thursday evening I went over to Birmingham and shot some photos of the pre-cruise cruising. It was very busy. I apologize that the photos aren't all sharp, I am still getting the hang of how to use my camera in relatively low light.



Old school jeep

This guy had lots of lights on his motorycle

Wacky Red Wings themed limo

Blurry but cool

This is the guy who put a jet engine in the back of his F150.

Big truck

Little car

Old style hotrod

Another monster truck

Dune buggy