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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:44 AM
Original message
WP: Smaller Cars Enjoy New Chic: Dealers Notice SUV Demand Dropping Off
Smaller Cars Enjoy New Chic
Dealers Notice SUV Demand Dropping Off
By Sholnn Freeman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 28, 2005; Page D01


John Mathews of Universal Toyota in San Antonio has witnessed the day that auto industry executives in Detroit said would never come.

"We are seeing people who are driving $40,000 Suburbans trading them in on $15,000 Corollas," said Mathews, who manages a dealership in a state where big trucks and sport-utility vehicles rule the roads. "The last 30 days have been unlike anything I've ever seen in the automotive industry."...

***

While small car sales are helping to lift the Japanese automakers, Detroit's General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are sinking under the weight of large sport-utility vehicles, once the industry's cash cows. The two automakers have reported substantial slides in profits in their North American operations this year, and their bonds have junk status on Wall Street. The interest in small cars has caught the two automakers unprepared, said Dave Healy, an auto industry analyst at Burnham Securities Inc. in New York.

For the Big Three, Healy said, investment followed profit margins. "As long as the SUV segment was doing well, they poured money into that and neglected small cars," Healy said. "At that time you could have made a very good case that it was giving the public what it wants."

Healy and other analysts are predicting bleak results for Detroit automakers when they report sales results for September on Monday. Healy said large sport-utility vehicles will be especially hard-hit after climbing in the summer due to "employee pricing for everyone" discount pricing sales. "We're looking at 20, 30, 40 percent yearly declines," Healy said. The spike in gasoline prices and the summer incentives have crushed SUV sales now....


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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architect359 Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good
There really is no excuse to be driving these gas guzzlers anymore.
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Trailer towing is one "excuse"
There are plenty of reasons people tow trailers. Maybe no good excuse as a main vehicle, but a pickup truck or other vehicle with a heavy towing capacity is important for many people- and often this can be used as a low use second vehicle.

I have a high mpg car and a lower mpg truck, but I drive the truck much less. My family needs two vehicles for various reasons. When I average out the mpg for both vehicles combined, it comes out in the "Suburu" range... so it isn't always simple.
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. Trailer towing may be more of a luxury in the future...
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
23. Same here.
I have a reasonable mileage (35MPG) car for daily driving, and an old Toyota FJ40 for pulling trailers or taking a drive in the deep woods.

I'm hoping to replace my old FJ40 with a newer one when they come back onto the market next year though...this one belches smoke when it runs and there isn't much I can do about it (it's the carb...lot's of unburned gas).

My wife has vehicle #3. We traded in her Durango two years ago and bought her a minivan with the smallest engine we could find. It's 26MPG still isn't all that hot, but it's about twice what the old Durango averaged.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
75. That's pretty funny, considering I used to tow a boat with my 40 MPG car!
I towed a 16' Hobie Cat sailboat with a 1477 cc VW Scirocco. (And no,
I didn't get 40 MPG while towing; more like 25 or so: sucks, huh?)

People could tow with a lot less than they currently use. Of course,
they might not be able to maintain 80 MPH up the hills, but these are
tough times we live in. Or maybe they don't really need to tow around
two horses or a huge live-in trailer or a gas-guzzling 400 HP powerboat.

Tesha
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #75
93. Prius owner
Death to SUVs!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
81. My grandparents towed a 28-foot trailer through the
Ozarks and Rockies with an ordinary sedan in the 1950s.

For someone who really wants an SUV, any excuse will do.
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. They don't make'm like they used to...
A passenger car could tow a large trailer until fairly recently because of its rear wheel drive and body-on-frame construction, though with lower mpg than an equally capable truck sold today. They were essentially driving a truck with a car body.

Examples of pulling a sailboat with a Sirocco (was that really smart?) or a 28' travel trailer with a 1950's sedan don't have much to do with my point.

I've owned 4 cylinder small cars since the 1970's, but I also have a truck for a second vehicle. I bought an energy efficient house close to where I work, and conserve energy in many other ways. I have no doubt that I use less fossil fuel than many of the schaudenfraude fed, self-righteous gloaters on these boards- even though I own a truck.

One of many possible examples: How much more fuel would one use making 10 trips hauling firewood in a small car at 25 mpg compared with one trip in a truck at 18 mpg?

Not many things are all good or all bad (except Bush)


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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #83
96. Yeah, you're probably right.
> Examples of pulling a sailboat with a Sirocco (was that really smart?)

Yeah, you're probably right; the car only lived to 201,000 miles. If I hadn't towed
the boat, why it might have made it to 201,100 or more!

But with the boat hitched up, it had plenty of get up and go and plenty of braking
capability left, so I guess, yes, it was smart.

Tesha
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
31. I do not begrudge some person with a large vehicle
...who is a painter, a mason, a landscaper, a plumber, an electrician, a fisherman, what have you. You need that sort of vehicle to haul the tools that allow you to do your work.

What chops me is the asshole in the bright yellow Hummer, all alone, sitting up high in rush hour traffic, idling away, listening to his tunes, talking on his cellphone, and watching his TV, while belching his emissions into OUR environment, burning our scarce resources, without a care in the world.

That guy needs to be chained to a bicycle and forced to use that as his sole transportation for a year, or until he gets a clue.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. Great idea except the bicycle part.
We don't need any more asshole bicyclists on the road. ;-)
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #55
67. OK, then let him pull a rickshaw
carrying a couple of "welfare to work" folks to their jobs!!
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niallmac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #55
73. Yeah. I ride a bicycle to work and I'm not just belching!
:rofl:
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #31
63. Exactly.
It's the knuckle head I see driving his F250 back and forth to work 20miles a day that needs to wake up.
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adigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
104. Excuses:
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 07:12 AM by adigal
1. A horse trailer that needs to be pulled by a big, safe pick-up; I don't want my horse in a trailer that tipped over on the side of the road, taking the wimpy pick-up or minivan with it (which happens.)

2. Living in the North Country, with a 1/4 mile driveway, regularly covered with 1 foot of snow

3. Kids on a ski team, 3 kids, skis, boots, poles, bags, all go into the back of the covered pick-up

4. Carpenter husband who carried wood, tools, etc, in the back of the pick-up.

I do agree that my sister-in-law does not need to drive her Toyota Land Cruiser on the crowded, very rarely snowy, streets of Staten Island. But we do need our truck. OTOH, I am looking to put my X-Terra away (I owe more than they'll give me, by a LOT!) and buying a Mini-Cooper. My husband does not fit into the Prius, and the Toyota Highlander hybrid is way too expensive.
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LivingInTheBubble Donating Member (360 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #104
106. (modern) Mini cars
Have the same wheelbase as a landrover discovery whilst (to get the shape) being quite small inside.

If you want a small efficient car you might want to look elsewhere.

Also, I think your sister in law can come up with a number of "reasons" why she has her Land Cruiser :-)
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FreedomThinker Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
111. SUV's get a bad rap
There are several reasons why I drive a SUV...the biggest reason is durability.

Let's face it...buying a vehicle is a big commitment and I want my commitment to last a LONG TIME. In my opinoin, Trucks/SUV's are simply built to last.

I just filled up this morning and it cost $50.00, sure this isn't easy on the wallet but I see paying a bit more for gas as an even tradeoff if my SUV will last longer.

By the way...How many broken down SUV's do you see on the road side?
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ncrainbowgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. Welcome to DU, FreedomThinker!
:hi:

(Oh, and by the way, I see a lot of broken down SUV's on the side of the road during snow and ice storms. Of course, the "broken" part comes after the driver thought that they were impervious to the perils of precipitation...)
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yes..
.... you could have made the case that they were giving the public what they wanted.

You could also make the case that what the public wants can turn on a dime just like it did in the 70s.

I'm in the car biz (cheap used cars to be specific :)) and only in the last couple months have I noticed customer attitudes changing.

I've been buying mostly small cars for a while now, it's starting to pay off. I'm fond of the Saturns, they are good cars for the $$$ and they really sip the gas :)
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yorkiemommie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
38. saturn owner here

have had three ( daughter driving saturn sedan almost got head onned by a durango truck, but she survived, no thanks to that other guy ) now dh looking at sports model saturn, ( i'm not a car person so i don't know what it is - i'll find out when he drives it home i guess.
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castiron Donating Member (376 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. sucks to think this decision is largely economic for most people
rather than environmental. Though self-interest as motivator comes as no surprise in the most self-interested country in the world.
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
27. I'm one of the economic types...
It would have made the most sense for me to keep driving a paid for SUV, the "cost of ownership" analysis was clearly for keeping the behemoth until gas reached around $4.50 or so. But, when we hit $2 I just couldnt take it any more.

Its not important that we all be purists, we can have different motives, and as a society, the trends will carry all kinds to the same answer.
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #27
62. Same Here. Had A Paid Off Newer PU. Traded It In For A VW TDI
in May.

Like you, my 'economic' analysis indicated a life cycle gas cost of $4.50/gal to break even.

I just couldn't stand 17 mpg any more, even if I could afford it.

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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. we just got an audi a3 hatchback
31 mpg baby--that may not be enough though -civic hybrid gets 55mpg--idiots in detroit don't make anything very attractive in this segment
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CAcyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. I had a 1988 Honda Civic that got 40 mpg
I was very disappointed to find that the Hondas of today don't even get as good a mileage as the one I had last. (Honda no longer makes a regular hatchback, just a souped-up sportscar that I don't want ; I am not interested in a hybrid - I'd rather have a pure electric vehicle if I'm going to get something different) I got a used Honda civic that gets 30 mpg.
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Arger68 Donating Member (562 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. I LOVE my '05 Civic EX
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:22 PM by Arger68
I can get up to 42 mpg with it, though I do have to drive 60 instead of 70 with it. At 70 it gets around 35. ;)
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #24
46. Your '88 Civic had a 1.5 liter engine.
...and if memory serves, something like 90 HP. A Golf GTI (the car that defined the term "pocket rocket") that year had 115.

The newer Civic has 1.8 liters displacement, 140 HP and weighs 2600 pounds. Your old '88 probably weighed no more than 2100 soaking wet with a dead body in the trunk.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. America became addicted to horsepower and sub-9 second 0-60s.
in the late 80s, my CRX Si with its 1.6l 108hp engine, driving ~2300 pounds, was hot stuff.

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CAcyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #46
94. LOL
But why did they stop making the hatchback? All I wanted was a nice little hatchback (too much of a Honda fanatic to try a different breed of car) - I could do without the extra capacity - actually the hatchback could still accommodate more stuff because the opening in the back was larger than the new car's.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #94
95. Poor sales.
Once gas started getting REALLY cheap, hatchbacks stopped being cool (so did minivans). If you wanted something to haul shit in, you got yourself an SUV. Part of this is due to cheap 90's gas, part of it is marketing by the Big Three (it's not more than you need...).

Japan is perfectly capable of providing all the fuel-efficient, practical cars we want, and they will; just give them a couple of years. American compact cars, on the other hand, suck donkey balls. Most of them have larger, more primitive engines (2.5l overhead valve - give me a break!), get worse mileage, are slower, rust like no one's business, and spend more time in the shop. They're not even cheaper. The Big Three doesn't want to sell them at all if they don't have to.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. History repeats itself.
Smaller cars were all the rage after the OPEC crisis of 1973. We've come a long way in those 30 years! At least we learned our lesson. :sarcasm:
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Reagan turned this country back to its head-in-the-sand ways.
We made progress in the 70s, then Reagan and the Bush Crime Family helped push the country back into denial, and we are all paying a price.

The sinking of Ford and GM are symbolic of this country sinking under the weight of its own greed and hubris.
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. Heh heh heh...
Guess I'm fashionable again... :rofl:

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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
76. I hate to break this to you, but...
> Heh heh heh...Guess I'm fashionable again.

I hate to break this to you, but a Taurus will *NEVER*
be a fashion statement. :-)

(Waiting for my baby-blue '95 to come back from the shop...)

Tesha
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #76
88. I'm flattered!
You've mistaken my 1994 Escort for a Taurus! Must be the rust spots! :rofl:

Probably not much of a fashion statement in a sturdy proletarian vehicle, though--well, how about "Short on frills, long on guts"? Works for me. 130,000 miles and counting! No wonder they stopped making them.

Hey, if it's good enough for Jim Hightower :toast:, it's good enough for me!
:hi:
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #88
89. It just shows that the Ford "branding" of that grill design worked well!
I looked at the grill and said "Taurus!"

Tesha
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. Hell I was ahead of the curve in this when I bought a coupe in 01 and my
brother bought a Tacoma TRD V6 with 4x4 and big tires. Then he added one of those K&N air charger things. Guess what? He just sold it because he couldn't afford to gas it up and bought a 4 cylinder camry! I had NO desire to buy a truck or suv. I thought it was funny back then how often times I was the only true "car" on the road, everything surrounding me were trucks and suvs. The times are a changin, and yet again the execs at the domestic car companies continue pimping their Hummers, Suburbans, F150s, etc. My next car is a corolla. My family still has my '91 corolla le with over 170,000 miles and it still runs just fine.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. The other day a roommate of mine brought home a friend
with a beautiful VW, but he'd put so much money into tricking out the engine that he couldn't afford all the extra gas it was eating anymore. Now it's got a 4 Sale sign on it. :eyes:
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Funny how a lot of those upgrades claim they "increase fuel efficiency"
Like th K&N Filtercharger. I think it had quite the opposite effect on my brothers truck - and he paid over $200 for it! Sucking in even more air to be burned with more fuel doesn't sound efficient to me.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. It would be if you tuned the engine fuel ratio after installing it
and drove the same way, but if you're installing it for more horsepower so you can get going faster and quicker, then of course you're using more gas.
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
13. Small cars
My husband and I have retired his Jeep Liberty, now to be used only occassionly to tow the utility trailer or in bad weather that requires 4 wheel drive. He has taken to driving the Honda Element that had been mine and we bought a Mini Cooper for my commute to the nearest metro station. On the weekends we use the Mini whenever we can in order to save gas. Back in June, when we ordered it, my husband was predicting $3 a gallon gas by Labor Day, so we planned ahead.
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RogueTrooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
71. sweet
the mini cooper is a great wee car. When I was visiting Britain the roads were full of them.
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #71
78. Very sweet
It handles like a dream, has enough pickup to get out of its own way when merging onto a highway and, for such a small car, holds quite a lot. I've only got 1,000 miles on it, so the engine isn't broken in yet, but I can go all week on 1 tank of gas for my commute and all the extra running around on the weekends. I expect effeciency to go up a bit over time.
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
14. '...Healy said. "At that time you
could have made a very good case that it was giving the public what it wants."...


to paraphrase Mick - 'but not what the public needs'.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
15. Japan to the "Big Three": "Hey, your mom makes a good lunch"
As they eat it again, just like in the 70's....

Maybe Detroit needs to start packing their "Focus Groups" with men who don't have feelings of sexual inadequancy?
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Seabiscuit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #15
82. Exactly. Whenever I see some young dude driving alone in a monster
SUV I think: "There goes another needledick".
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #82
84. Same here.
Especially on Campus... "Whoops, there goes another future asshole Middle-Manager!"
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
16. Get a VW TDI (Diesel) and turn it into a grease car - up to 50 MPG & FREE!
http://greasecar.com

psst... pass the word :bounce:

peace
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. I ahve a 2006 Golf TDI ---
About 2k on it, I'm getting 45+, and expect it to go way up after it's broken in. I go the speed limit on the interstate and do a few other things... we only use my partner's wagon for wagonny things (carrying certain things), although my Golf has a TON of room...
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tammywammy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
61. I'll have an 06 Beetle TDI
at the beginning of Nov. It's still in Mexico being put together.

I can't wait. :P
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
17. Strange that all of europe manages new construction without one single
pick up truck, eh?

Imagine that!
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Actually, they drive even bigger box vans.
Pickups aren't nearly as common in Europe, but people who need that sort of thing don't resort to cars. Europe's workers generally drive full size vans or smaller box vans. Neither of those get any better mileage than a US pickup.

The difference is cultural, but the impact on the environment and fuel consumption is about the same.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. Lots of diesel. But my point is that the american guys always say they
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:03 PM by radwriter0555
"need" their trucks for work...

It's always been a penis and status issue... we all know it. I don't see the european guys driving around their work vans to show off how hot or rich they are.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. GM needs to drop a hybrid in the Aveo, Ford in the Focus.
Both of these car companies have solid, well built small cars that SUCK on mileage because some idiot decided to equip them with performance engines. I recently rented the Aveo and thought it was a great little car, but it's 1.6 is tuned for performance and only gets around 30MPG as a result.

Even with a gas burner, I'll bet GM and Ford could get these cars into the low to mid 40's if they just TRIED. GM had the Metro over 50MPG 15 years ago, and neither the Aveo or the Focus much bigger than the old Geo's.

Both of these companies could have a good economy car on the market in under a year if their leadership had the huevos to cut SUV production and put the product out there.
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. That does seem obvious...
They have the technology,but not the vision. The savings in the Escape are offset by the BIG sticker price. You can't recoup the $28,000 for a hybrid escape through its "better but not fantastic" mileage.

The Focus on the other hand would be a logical competitor to the civic. Hybrids make economic sense as long as they are reasonably priced. The Prius, IMHO, is approaching the critical juncture with its price creeping upwards, even with 50mpg.

Do the math before you buy!!!

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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
37. ford sells a turbo awdr 2.3 litre screamer focus in europe
that probably gets better mpg than a mustang-hello -anyone home in dearborn?
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
19. I am the picture of smug...
I traded my SUV for a Civic (40 mpg) last week. I took a bath on the trade, but at least it was paid for. The dealer said that the real impact of this is a) they aren't selling any new huge vehicles, SUVs or trucks, that there is no interest; b) many people are having to walk away from buying smaller because they are 'upside down' in the loans they took out for their suburban or expedition (that is they owe more on the vehicle than they are worth). So do not expect to see any drop in the number of monster SUVs on the road, they are still looking for the dying grounds. Its just not going to be at the trade in lot.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Good for you!
Traded my wife's Subaru Forester (22 MPG) for a Scion xA (38 MPG). Since it's a stick, I get to drive it and she got my Accord (30 MPG).

Broke about even on the deal. Have no sympathy for anyone who bought a Ford Behemoth, owes more than it's worth, and wishes he could get rid of it. As Carlos Mencia would say, "dee-dee-dee."
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. When we were doing the paperwork...
Was watching a 20 somthing couple with a kid in diapers getting the heavy sales pitch for a monster pickup. Here in Oklahoma, its quite easy to spot the haves from have nots and they were the latter. It seems sad that they could make such a bad decision today.

It reminds me of the movie "Ruthless People" where Judge Reinhold is a stereo salesman, and for the testosterone dependent males insisted, as a point of honor, that they purchase a set of 6' speakers to really enjoy the heavy metal music. At the end, a similar couple to the one I described above came in, male lusting for the crappy but big and loud stereo and in a fit of remorse or honor, Reinhold tells him the big stuff was crap, the smaller, less expensive better. We need more of that today.

Every day we need males to pray "Lord, protect me from testosterone."
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
47. He got a look at his knocked-up girlfriend.
That's what made the guilt subroutine kick in.
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #30
52. I believe that was Fast Times at Ridgemont High n/t
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #52
77. It was "Ruthless People"
They've kidnapped Midler, but while trying to negotiate the ransom
with DeVito, Reinhold is still going to his day job as a stereo
salesman.

Tesha
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gulfcoastliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #77
100. You're correct, ma'am.
I mixed up Fast Times vs Ruthless People. Judge works lame jobs in those two movies.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #100
107. It's Phoebe Cates who gets knocked up in Fast Times.
Lies about her age to this 20-something yuppie type who squirts as soon as he gets his cock inside her. Gets Reinhold to drive her to some store, then ducks around the corner to a PP clinic to get an abortion. As she leaves the clinic, there's Reinhold leaning against his car waiting for her, wise to the whole thing.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
28. My. How observant of those car dealers.
:eyes:
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Oh yes...
It does tug at the heartstrings to hear their tales of woe...but I do think the analysis is correct.
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mantis49 Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
34. Love my little Chevy Cobalt.
Bought in June, traded in a Ford Taurus.

Environmentally, I could never understand the SUV love affair. I guess it takes being hit in the pocket book to make people change.

Too bad.
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midnight armadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #34
43. I just rented one of those
I thought it drove pretty nice, got 30 mpg highway. The battery is in the trunk, how weird. I didn't care for the hard plastic on the door or the cloth on the door handles. The transmission & engine were great - plenty of power, smooth shifts.
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mccoyn Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. Its about time for me to trade in.
My soles are nearly worn through.
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mantis49 Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
36. This really is 1970s redux.
From the article:

Ballew said GM will continue to watch the car market before making additional plans to bring out more small cars for American buyers. Honda and Toyota are moving forward. This month Honda launched the latest Civic that includes a remodeled hybrid and high-performance models. In recent years, Toyota launched the Scion brand -- a line of small cars that Toyota is marketing to younger buyers. Scion has a tight 7.2 days' supply.



************************

The Big 3 obviously didn't learn much, IMO. Will we be bailing them out next?
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
39. Got To Get My Smart Car Turbo Diesel Fortwo......
Mercedes America!!!! Wake Up and Start Importing the SMART CARs!!!!!!!!
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
72. Link, for those not in the know...
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #72
79. Check out Smartcar.ca also
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #39
74. I want a Smart car too
I drive a semi and I recently saw a very small car on the highway.. It looked neat so I got a closer look. It said Smart on the back. I looked it up on the internet and now I want one..
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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
40. now, call around to your local Honda Scooter dealers
those are impossible to find (BUT I GOT MINE BABY) :D
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #40
49. Which one? Metro? Silverwing?
there a, um, modest difference in offerings...
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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. Reflex
right in the middle
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Cool. Coupla years ago there was this dang fool who took his Reflex
from Alaska, down the west coast, to Atlanta, back up to Maine, and almost made it back to Alaska on the thing.

He kept a log of his progress over at the usenet group alt.scooter, here was his itinerary:

<http://groups.google.com/group/alt.scooter/browse_frm/t... >

Day 1: Thursday, May 16th
Anchorage, Alaska to Valdez, Alaska
An easy 320 miles. I need to be in Valdez Thursday night in order to
make the ferry the following morning.

Day 2: Friday, May 17th
Ferry MV Kennicott from Valdez, AK (USA) to Prince Rupert, BC (Canada)
The ferry leaves Valdez at 12:30pm on May 17th and arrives in Prince
Rupert at noon on May 20th. The ticket was about $600!! I hope its a
good trip.

Day 3: Saturday, May 18th
Ferry MV Kennicott from Valdez, AK (USA) to Prince Rupert, BC (Canada)
Continue traveling on the ferry. I have no idea what Im going to do
with this time, but hopefully it will not include thinking about work.

Day 4: Sunday, May 19th
Ferry MV Kennicott from Valdez, AK (USA) to Prince Rupert, BC (Canada)
Continue traveling on the ferry. I have no idea what Im going to do
with this time, but hopefully it will not include thinking about work.

Day 5: Monday, May 20th
Prince Rupert, BC to Prince George, BC (Canada)
Arrive in Prince Rupert, BC via ferry. Travel along TC Rt. 16 about
450 miles to Prince George. Will probably have to find a motel for the
night but I will camp if I can.

Day 6: Tuesday, May 21st
Prince George, BC to Blaine, Washington (USA)
Travel along Rt. 97/99/I5 about 550 miles and stop near Blaine, WA for
the night. Will probably camp in Birch Bay State Park.

Day 7: Wednesday, May 22nd (Day 1 of Four Corners Tour)
Blaine, WA to Lincoln City, Oregon
In the morning before I leave, I need to drop my Four Corners
Motorcycle Tour certification in the mail. It should carry a postmark
of May 22nd, which means the certification that I mail from Maine must
have a postmark of no later than 12 June 2002. I also will need to get
the 8,000 mile service on my scooter performed before I leave Seattle.
Ill also have them put on the two new tires Im carrying. Travel down
the coast of Washington into Oregon about 500 miles. Spend the night
camping near Lincoln City, OR.

Day 8: Thursday, May 23rd (FCT Day 2)
Lincoln City, Oregon to San Francisco, California
Travel about 600 miles down the coast into California. Spend the night
in a hotel in San Francisco.

Day 9: Friday, May 24th (FCT Day 3)
San Francisco, California to Las Vegas, Nevada
Travel 400 miles or so to Las Vegas and spend the night in a hotel.
Check out the surrounding area, including Hoover Dam, Area 51, and the
ET Highway. Win lots of cash.

Day 10: Saturday, May 25th (FCT Day 4)
Las Vegas, Nevada to San Diego, California
Travel some 600 miles through Death Valley, Bakersfield, Los Angeles,
and spend the night at a hotel in San Diego, or camping if I can find a
place and the weather is nice. Estimated trip distance so far is about
3,600 miles.

Day 11: Sunday, May 26th (FCT Day 5)
San Diego California to Tucson Arizona
Get an early start the crack of dawn basically, and travel San Ysidro
to mail off my FCT certification for this corner. Continue on about
450 miles through Mexico to Nogales. Im kind of concerned about this
stretch of road for a number of reasons, I guess well see how it goes.
Re-enter the US at Nogales and travel another 60 miles and spend the
night in a hotel in Tucson. Find a swimming pool and SOAK.

Day 12: Monday, May 27th (FCT Day 6)
Tucson Arizona to Holbrooke, Arizona
Travel to the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest. Spend the
night camping in Holbrooke if the weather is cool, otherwise find a
motel. Total distance of about 500 miles.

Day 13: Tuesday, May 28th (FCT Day 7)
Holbrooke, Arizona to Dallas, Texas
Travel a hard 800 miles to Dallas, Texas and spend the night with
relatives or in a hotel. Before I leave Dallas, Ill need to get the
12,000 mile service performed on my Honda. Im carrying some of the
parts required to do that service, since its doubtful they will have
them in stock.

Day 14: Wednesday, May 29th (FCT Day 8)
Dallas, Texas to Tampa, Florida
Attempt the Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1000 long-distance ride
(1000 miles in 24 hours) by traveling 1100+ miles from Dallas, TX to
Tampa, Florida. Depending on how the previous day goes, I may qualify
for the Bun Burner 1500 (1500 miles in 36 hours) as well. When and if
I get to Tampa, I will definitely be looking for a hotel.

Day 15: Thursday, May 30th (FCT Day 9)
Tampa, Florida to Key West, Florida
Travel some 500 miles from Tampa to Key West Florida. I dont see any
campgrounds on the map, so I will probably be in a hotel. In any event,
I need to mail off my FCT certification for this corner before I leave.
Estimated Trip distance is about 7,000 miles.

Day 16: Friday, May 31st (FCT Day 10)
Key West, Florida to Covington, Georgia
Travel some 800 miles to Covington, GA. Spend the night with friends.

Day 17: Saturday, June 1st (FCT Day 11)
Covington, Georgia to Blacksburg, Virginia
Travel some 400 miles to Blacksburg, VA and camp for the night. Spend
some time checking out my old haunts at Va Tech.

Day 18: Sunday, June 2nd (FCT Day 12)
Blacksburg, Virginia to Winchester, Virginia
Travel some 300 miles to Winchester, VA. Stay with relatives for a
couple of days and visit. I need 3 days to finish the trip and will
build in 4 days of contingency for emergencies (including ones that
have already happened by the time I get here. That means I can visit
for as few as 2 days and as many as five days, depending on how much of
my contingency I use up. For purposes of planning the rest of the trip,
I will assume I use all 6 days and begin my trip on the next day. I
estimate I will have about 15,100 miles on my Honda, with about 7,000
miles on my tires since Seattle. I have pre-placed two tires at my
parents house, and will have them installed before I leave. Also,
depending on how much riding around I do here, I may need to get the
16,000 mile service performed.

Day 24: Sunday, June 9th (FCT Day 18)
Winchester, Virginia to Camp May, New Jersey
Travel some 450 miles through Virginia (Norfolk), Maryland, Delaware,
to New Jersey and camp for the night at Camp May, NJ.

Day 25: Monday, June 10th (FCT Day 19)
Cape May, New Jersey to Burlington, Vermont
Travel some 500 miles through New Jersey, New York, and Vermont and
camp for the night near Burlington, Vermont.

Day 26: Tuesday, June 11th (FCT Day 20)
Burlington, Vermont to Madawaska, Maine
Travel some 450 miles through Vermont, Quebec, and Maine and camp for
the night in Madawaska, ME. This completes the Four Corners Motorcycle
Tour. I must stick around until the next day in order to send a letter
from the post office, getting a postmark no later than June 12th.
Estimated Trip distance is about 9,600 miles.

Day 27: Wednesday, June 12th (FCT Day 21)
Madawaska, Maine (USA) to Matane, Quebec
Mail my certification to the Four Corners Motorcycle Tour and continue
on my way (detailed route and schedule not yet completed). I have 19
days to reach Newfoundland and get back to Alaska in time for work on 2
July 2002. I need to be in Goose Bay, Labrador to catch the ferry to
Lewisporte, Newfoundland on June 15th at 5:30pm. That gives me four
days to get there (12th, 13th, 14th, 15th).

Travel from Madawaska (ME) to Matane along US 1 Alt. and Rt. 17 to
Campbellton. Take Rt. 132 to Rt. 195 on to Matane, a total distance of
about 200 miles. I need to catch the ferry to Baie-Comeau at 4:30pm ,
but I should have plenty of time to check out the surrounding area and
I plan to do so.

Ferry Info: http://www.traversiers.gouv.qc.ca/mantane/indexa.htm
Reservation office is open 8:30 AM 8:00 PM every day, (418)562-2500
or (877)562-6560 (toll free in Quebec). The ferry leaves Matane at 5pm
on Wednesday (must arrive 30 minutes before depature)! The $40 trip is
about 2 and a half hours long.

By the time I get to Baie-Comeau and unload, it will be around 8pm. I
figure I can check out the surrounding area and either camp for the
night or find a motel somewhere. It will be important to get an early
start in the morning because Thursday is going to be a rough day.

Day 28: Thursday, June 13th
Baie-Comeau, Quebec to Labrador City, Labrador
Travel on Rt. 389 is about 350 miles under a variety of road
conditions, with a total estimated travel time of 9 hours. For updated
information on road conditions contact:
Quebec Minister of Transport Baie Comeau, Quebec Phone: (418)
589-2065/5610
Quebec Provincial Police Baie Comeau Detachment Phone: (418) 296-2324
Note that even if I dont get all the way to Labrador City today, its
no big deal since Im giving myself plenty of time to get to Goose Bay.

Section 1: Baie-Comeau, Quebec to Manic Cinq
Distance: 214 Kilometres (125 miles)
Surface: Paved, Winding and Narrow
Travel Time: 3 hours, average speed 70 - 90 km/h (45m/h)
Services: Gas, Telephones, Motel, Restaurant, Camping
Accommodations: Energy Motel - Manic 5, Route 389, Manic 5, Quebec
G0G 1M0
Phone: (418)584-2301 (21 Rooms)
Camping: Manic 2, Route 389, Manic 2, Quebec G0G 1M0
Phone: (418) 296-8009 (54 Campsites)

Section 2: Manic Cinq to Gagnon
Distance: 175 Kilometres (105 miles)
Surface: Gravel, Good Condition, Straight
Travel Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, average speed 70 km/h (45 m/h)
Services: Gas, Restaurant
Accommodations: Motel Relais Gabriel, Bassin Manic 5, Quebec G0G 1K0
Phone: (418) 589-8348 (7 rooms)
Note: Between Relais Gabriel and Gagnon there are three bridges, two
that only
handle one way traffic. Also caution should be exercised at railway
crossings.
Section 3: Gagnon to Fire Lake
Distance: 89 Kilometres (55 miles)
Surface: Paved, some pot holes
Travel Time: 1 hour, average speed 90 km/h (55 m/h)

Section 4: Fire Lake to Mount Wright
Distance: 63 Kilometres (40 miles)
Surface: Narrow and Winding
Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, average speed 50 km/h (30 m/h)

Section 5: Mount Wright to Labrador City
Distance: 40 Kilometres (25 miles)
Surface: Paved, Good
Travel Time: 30 minutes, average speed 80 km/h (50 m/h)
Services: Gas, Car Repair, Banking, Telephones, Hotel, Restaurant,
Camping, Shopping
Accommodations: Hotel Fermont, Fermont, Quebec (418) 287-5451
Carol Inn, Labrador City, NF (709) 944-7736
Two Seasons Inn, Labrador City, NF (709) 944-2661
Wabush Hotel, Wabush, NF (709) 282-3221
Tamarack Bed & Breakfast, Labrador City, NF (709) 944-6002/6003
Camping: Duley Lake Family Park (709) 282-3660

Day 29: Friday, June 14th
Labrador City, Labrador to Churchhill Falls, Labrador
Total distance on the Trans-Labrador Highway is about 330 miles.
However, from what I understand the road is absolutely awful massive
potholes, construction truck traffic, and other nasties. The tour of
the underground power plant at Chuchhill Falls is supposed to be a good
stop and Ill probably check it out and stay there for the night, or
maybe travel on for another hour or two, depending on things.

Day 30: Saturday, June 15th
Churchhill Falls, Labrador to Goose Bay, Labrador
From the information at
http://www.gov.nf.ca/FerryServices/schedules/E-bond.stm it appears that
the ferry only leaves Goose Bay at 5:00pm on June 15th and doesnt
leave again until the 19th, so its real important that I dont miss
the ferry. I also need to contact the reservations people at
1-866-535-2567 and verify my information. In any event, the 36 hour
ferry trip is about $200 (CN).

Day 31: Sunday, June 16th
Ferry trip from Goose Bay, Labrador to Lewisporte, Newfoundland
I dunno what Im going to do all day on this ferry probably try to
rest and recouperate. By my calculations, it should get to Lewisporte
around 7pm. That should give me plenty of time to get to St. Johns on
the Atlantic coast. As near as I can tell, thats about as far east as
you can drive on this continent.

Day 32: Monday, June 17th
I will need to get an early start, as I will travel the 545 miles to
Port aux Basques so that I can be there to catch the ferry which leaves
at 11:30pm. Since you have to check in an hour before, I should make
sure that I am there no later than 10pm. Along the way, I want to of
course check out Terra Nova N.P., Gros Morne N.P., and anything else I
find interesting along the way.

Ferry Info:
Cost: $60 CDN (more or less).
Reservations: 1-800-341-7981
Arrival/departure info (recorded): 709-695-2124
Reservation info:
http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/marinee/reservations/noja...
Schedule:
http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/marinee/reservations/main... .
htm

Im sure I will beat by the time I get on the boat and we get underway
and since the trip is about six hours long, I figure I will try to
sleep on the route to North Syndey, NS.

Day 33: Tuesday, June 18th
The ferry gets here about 6am, which is definitely not my time of day.
However, if I get any sleep at all on the ferry, I dont see myself
staying in town for additional sleep. Id like to have a nice easy
day, starting with a drive about 120 miles north to Cape Breton
National Park. Ill guess Ill get to Port Hawkesburg (another 120
miles) by noon and can stop there for lunch. With another 180 miles or
so, I can get to Halifax, where I will stop for the day.

Day 34: Wednesday, June 19th
At this point, I have 11 days to get back to Alaska and will need to
get up the road. So I will travel from Halifax down Rt. 103 to Rt. 8
and stop by Kejimkujik National Park. Then Ill continue on to Rt. 8
and Rt. 101 to Halifax, Rt. 102 to Truro. From there, I will take the
shortest route to Prince Edward Island and make my way to Prince Edward
Island National Park, where Ill camp for the night.

Day 35: Thursday, June 20th
I hope to get an early start so that I can make some miles. Ill ride
back into New Brunswicke and take the shortest possible route to Saint
John and on back into Calais, Maine, which is about 230 miles. With
another 150 miles, I can get to Acadia National Park in Maine, where I
can hang out for a little while. I need to make my way to US 201 and
take it back into Quebec, for a total of about 550 miles for the day.
Ill get as far along as I can, but it may be pushing it.

Day 36: Friday, June 21st
Assuming I get to where I want to be on the 20th, then its an easy 90
miles to Quebec City, where I plan to spend some time. I was here
before in 1995 as part of my geology field camp and I thought it was
pretty cool. I figure I may spend as many as five hours here, maybe
leaving just after lunch or something. I also figure the scooter will
be due for its 20,000 mile service. I hope I can find someone to do
it! I need to check into this before I leave, or figure something out.
I might have to do it myself, which would kinda suck. Its another 2
hours up the road to Montreal where I want to spend some time, and
since I also want to check out La Maurice National Park, I figure I
will not get any further than Montreal today. Estimated Trip distance
is about 12,500 miles.

Day 37: Saturday, June 22nd
I have 10 days to get back to Alaska, so I need to make some time. I
will travel 120 miles to Ottawa and then take route 17 Sault Ste.
Marie, for a total of about 600 miles. If I happen to be able to drive
any further, I will.

Day 38: Sunday, June 23rd
On this trip, I travel through three states that Ive never been to
before, Michigan is one of them (Vermont and Louisiana are the other
two). That just leaves North Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, and Hawaii.
Today Ill travel through Michigan on a 550 mile segment to Voyageurs
National Park, Minnesota. Ill travel along Rt. 28/US41 through
Marquette to Ironwood and continue on US 2 through Wisconsin through
Deluth, Minnesota and on US53 to the park. If I can travel further, I
will, stoping whenever I get tired.

Day 39: Monday, June 24th
With an early morning start, I should make some time today. Ill enter
Ontario at Fort Frances on Rt. 11 and catch Rt. 71 to Rt. 17 and head
west into Winnipeg, Manitoba. Assuming I dont get too lost, Ill
continue north on Rt. 6 to Rt. 68. Ill get to Dauphin and visit
Riding Mountain National Park. Then Ill continue north on Route 10 to
Swan River and north to Rt. 77. My final stretch of the day will carry
me west to Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan to camp for the night after driving
about 600 miles.

Day 40: Tuesday, June 25th
This morning I will continue on Rt. 3 to Prince Albert and make a 120
miles side trip to visit Prince Albert National Park. When I get back
to Prince Albert, Ill west on Rt. 3 to St. Walburg and camp somwhere.
Total distance for the day is about 580 miles.

Day 41: Wednesday, June 26th
I have six days to get back to Alaska, which means I need make 550
miles and get to Dawson Creek today. Ill drive south on Rt. 21 and
take TC Route 16 into Edmonton. I need to visit Elk Island National
Park and Id also like to check out the big mall here. Ive been to
Edmonton twice and both times it was night and I didnt get to go to
the huge mall. I should consider the possibility to getting two new
tires installed here, as I will have over 7,000 miles on them. I
should call a motorcycle shop in Edmonton from Montreal and see if they
can order the tires for me, depending on my mileage status. When I get
done goofing off, Ill catch Route 43 to Dawson Creek and camp for the
night. This is the start of the Alaska Highway, which will make a good
start in the morning. Estimated Trip distance is about 15,000 miles.

Day 42: Thursday, June 27th
Travel about 500 miles to Laird River Hotsprings.

Day 43: Friday, June 28th
Travel about 500 miles to Haines Junction, YK.

Day 44: Saturday, June 29th
Travel about 500 miles to Glen Allen, Alaska

Day 45: Sunday, June 30th
Travel the remaining 200 miles or so to Anchorage, Alaska and conclude
this adventure. I have to be at work on July 2nd. That gives me
basically two days of contingency in the return trip. If something
happens and I need a couple of more, I can extend my vacation long
enough to get back. I estimate the scooter will have about 9000 miles
on the tires, with 25,000 miles on the scooter itself, 1,000 miles past
the service due at 24K. I suppose thats really bad, but I dont know
what to do about it. I dont think there will be any place to do the
service when I am in Tok or wherever I am when I hit 24,000 miles.
Total Estimated Trip distance is about 17,000 miles.

General Notes
This schedule depicts a rough driving schedule. The main thing here is
where I plan to make my major stops. I may get to them a bit early, or
a bit late depending on road conditions etc. The idea here is to try
to set a pace which will get me from Washington to Maine via San Diego
and Keywest in 21 days or less and to get back to work by July 2nd.
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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. that is AMAZING!
:wow:

i have 85 miles on mine so far (will be one week tomorrow) :D

its comfy as hell but i'm not sure THAT comfy

have had it up to 65mph so far and smooth as silk

NOT planning on highway riding though.

so far, i LOVE IT!

and the 75mpg ain't too shabby either!
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Enjoy. You really can't go wrong with a Honda
Although FWIW, the guy who'd set out on the trip wound up being very bitter about their service... although in fairness, he broke down in Canada, and they didn't have parts around because the Reflex wasn't being sold there at the time.

I've had one kind of scooter or another since the early 80s, love 'em. Riding a Vespa P-series now.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #40
50. Ours was stolen Sunday
In the middle of the night. Our sweet little Metropolitan, taken; someone used bolt cutters to slice through the cable.

:cry: :cry:
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
41. I don't consider the average American consumer the most enlightened
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:58 PM by tanyev
person on the planet, so it's doubly sad that even they are light years ahead of American car makers on this.
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tainowarrior Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
42. GOOD
suffer the consequences of focusing purely on profit, and not the development of ever-more ecofriendly cars.

I welcome the hybrids, I welcome alternative fuels, and I welcome SUPERIOR Japanese cars.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
44. "The last 30 days have been unlike anything I've ever seen in the
automotive industry."...

Where was he in '78 when the Big 3 were on the ropes and little, gas-efficient Japanese models were kicking their collective ass?

Are these people incapable of learning?
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. Apparently, they are incapable of learning.
They didn't see this coming?
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
45. Yay!
And well past time too.
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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
53. WHOOOOPEEEE!!!
:bounce:
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
54. I wish someone would tell the morons
in my suburban So. Cal. neighborhood that gigantic gas-guzzlers are no longer the car du jour. I still see plenty of new ones around here, and dropping up and picking up my daughter at middle school is still a daily trip into SUV hell.
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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
60. I just bought a new car
not because I wanted to, but because I had to. Had a 10 year old Saturn with 75,000 miles that needed a $3,000 transmission (quote including LABOR). Forget all the repairs I have ALREADY put into it. Although, I am considering fixing it up in a year and giving it to my daughter to take to her college internship. I drive 100 miles a week back and forth to work (no mass transit, no carpool). I bought a 2005 Hyundai Elantra ($14,000 plus great warranty). As much as I hate to say this, the worst cars I have ever owned were AMERICAN cars. The Japanese ones were the best. We will see how Korean is.
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. my mitsubishi eclipse finally bought it at 98,000 miles
i really wanted to click over 100 k--1,500 to fix it ---it's history
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
65. I'm sure there are still those who live by this moto!
"I've Proved I'm Dumber...I bought a Hummer"! Some folks will never get rid of those useless, cars that get drunk on gas!
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Jamison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #65
87. That is true in the area I live in for sure!
There's a lot of FReepers here still driving the Excursions, Escalades, etc. with W'04 stickers on the back. These are the people who still believe driving a smaller vehicle/energy conservation is only for tree-hugging hippies. :crazy:
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captain disgruntled Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #87
99. What the hell is the deal with all the SUV-driving
moms in my neighbourhood who drive their kids the block and a half to the bus stop, sit with the engines idling until the kid is on the bus, and then drive back home??? And no, none of them is paraplegic....
I don't know why I can't go up to them and politely point out how much crap they're hurling out--chickenshit. I could almost almost see it when it's 98 degrees out, but they do it even when it's 65!! :crazy:
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
66. My 1997 Ford Escort wagon....
gets 34 MPG, runs great and has 130K miles on it! I'll get a hybrid when it finally dies!
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. I just gave a 92 wagon to a relative
116K miles on it, still running like a top, great mileage, best air conditioner ever, too. For now, I tool in a cherry 86 Sunbird that gets 37+ highway...

I like old cars...no one wants to steal them! So long as you look after the maintenance, they go on and on, at least for me...
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #66
90. You may have a long wait...
That car's probably good for another 130K or more. My '94 hatchback turned over 130K this summer while driving from Nova Scotia to Colorado. Never even hicupped all the way there and back. Maybe that's because under the sheet metal, Escorts are really Mazdas with a better engine. Sort of like the old Dodge Dart--somebody accidentally came up with a sturdy, dependable cheap car. :toast:

No wonder they stopped making them.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #90
101. Realistically, *EVERY* car should get 200K or more.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 06:36 AM by Tesha
Even our P-o-S Dodge Caravan will probably make it, although it has
required a *LOT* of maintenance along the way. But remember Tom and
Ray's theory of car-keeping:

Even if you had to put a rebuilt transmission in a car every third
month, that's *STILL CHEAPER* than the loan payments on a new car.
(It's only this analysis that keeps our Caravan on life-support!)

The time to get rid of a car is when it starts to leave you stranded
or major pieces of it start falling off on the roadside. And unless
you're sending the old car to the crusher, even trading for increased
gas mileage doesn't make much *GLOBAL* sense because your old
P-o-S gas hog will probably still be running around in the world
somewhere, even if you're no longer driving it.

Tesha
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #101
108. Our Forester found a good home.
Went to somebody who lives in the Adirondack foothills. Better a 22 MPG Subaru than a 12 MPG GMC Compensator. Call it a win-win.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
69. still driving 2000 Hyundai wagon
gets 30 mpg, even w/AC running, has 107K miles, holds more than most SUVs, and has needed no repairs (other than the unfortunate circumstance of that deer...)
I intend to keep it until it dies. I never could see the need for a large car.
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #69
92. that's good to know
I've had my eye on the new Elantra but I wasn't sure how reliable Hyundai was. And they have a great warranty too.

I have a 1993 Eagle Summit wagon that I love. Just turned 162,000 on the od. Gas mileage isn't that hot though.
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #92
97. It is my 2nd Hyundai!
I traded in the old Excell I had with 176K miles for it. Again, surprisingly few problems other than normal wear (and another deer...don't get me started on deer). :grr:
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #92
109. Hyundai reliability testimonial (foreign)...
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 02:29 PM by onager
I've covered more miles than I want to think about, traveling around Egypt in the back of a Hyundai mini-van.

During one trip, daily commutes of about 150 miles RT, from the heavy traffic of Cairo, thru the desert and out to a desolate spot near the Suez Canal. On another trip, jaunts from Cairo to Alexandria (about 150 miles), and daily RT commutes from Alexandria to another remote job site about 50 miles away.

This model is probably not sold in the U.S. It's diesel-powered and has a 5-speed manual transmission.

The little monster is ugly and rides like a truck, but it has never left us stranded anyplace yet. We often go places where there literally are no roads--just rutted tracks in the desert. (I should point out that the Egyptian driver is a fanatic about maintenance, including the suspension.)

Oh, and on weekends we use sometimes use it for sight-seeing...

On the last trip, another driver jammed in front of us and we hit him in the rear. I think he was in a Toyota. Took out his rear bumper, taillight, etc. The Hyundai? Pfft! The collision moved the "bull bar" on the front bumper back a few inches.

on edit:

Besides the hard mileage, this Hyundai gets brutally tortured. It's usually carrying 5 to 7 large Americans like me, plus our tools, equipment, luggage, etc. etc.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
70. O_o OMG, know weigh, this si HUGH! whudathunkit?
...and other sarcastic words of faux surprise...
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Seabiscuit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
80. ABOUT F*ING TIME!!!
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
85. deja vu all over again
here were again. Detroit changes only when REALLY forced to. I think that was why Nadar was so successful in his campaign to stop the Pinto (or was it the Corvair?), because the Big 3 didn't want to change and to make one small prototype and a few thousand cars, kill a few people and send in the Hero to stop people from wanting small evil bad cars. Disguised as forcing the auto makers to do something. His cover remained for years and in 2000 he became useful again. They let him stay the hero so that he could come and denounce "The Lesser Evil".

Oh, but I digress. Japan filled the gap and we had wonderful small cars for years that were fuel efficient in their own right.

So, I hope that the alternative car people who have been making their prototypes for years are ready to step up to the plate and fill the new gap.
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Seedersandleechers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #85
86. Does anyone know if the people trading in their SUV are getting a smaller
amount of credit, then say 6 months ago?
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libnnc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
91. Here's what I want to see the auto industry get back to producing
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 12:26 PM by libnnc

And...

And...
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #91
98. I loved my old B210.
It got great gas milage and held lots. Only problems were that back window leaked like a sieve and the pressure cylinders that held the hatchback up gave out.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #91
102. I've never owned anything but a Corolla
I'm on my third - a 2005 - efficient, beautiful and lovely on highways. I sell after 10 years, but my sister had hers for 20 years and one of her sons sold it finally in August for $200. One of my close friends still has his 1974 model.


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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:02 AM
Response to Original message
103. 20 mule team hummer
Just waiting for the day that mules pull cars down the road.
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #103
105. LOL...Good one!...n/t
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
110. All these cars are great and will fly of the lots even more
Elantra, Mazda3, Corolla, Civic. Scions, Focus..... The people who need more will buy....... 4c Camry, Sonata, Accord..... Detroit only has one of theirs on my list... Anyone disagree?
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
113. Subaru here. Always been a big fan of the econo "rice burners". n/t
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