DAILY EDITION: Sept. 25, 2003

September 25, 2003

TCC'S DAILY EDITION: Sept. 25, 2003   


Honda Sells 20 Millionth Vehicle

American Honda Motor Co. has reached a milestone in sales — the company has sold its 20 millionth vehicle in the U.S. The company first landed in the States in 1959, but sold its first vehicles in 1970, moving swiftly in introducing the Civic and Accord models and building them in North America as well. The 20 million vehicles include both Honda-brand and Acura-brand products. This year, Honda expects to sell about 1.35 million vehicles, and expects to break its sales records in the U.S. for the eighth year in a row.

Flint: Ils N’ont Rien Appris, Ni Rien Oublie by Jerry Flint (9/22/2003)
Or in English, some folks never learn.



Toyota Adds Fuel-Cell Vehicles

Toyota is expanding the number of fuel-cell vehicles it is testing in Southern California by two. The company said on Wednesday that it would add another pair of hydrogen-fueled vehicles into the fleet, leasing them to the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC-Irvine (www.nfcrc.uci.edu) and UC-Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies (https://its.ucdavis.edu). The existing pair of Highlander-based fuel-cell vehicles in the universities’ fleets has clocked about 6000 miles since December of 2002, Toyota says. The new vehicles will be improved with the addition of left-hand drive, better braking, and a navigation system.

On the Road to Hydrogen by TCC Team (9/1/2003)
Former GM CEO has a “solid” solution to storage problems.



Pedal Cars Get Museum Show

The show Pedal to the Metal: A History of Children’s Pedal Cars, at the Stamford, Conn., Museum and Nature Center, explores the history of pedal car design and production and the way it paralled changes in real cars. Created by Garton, Murray, Gendron, Junior Toy, or AMF, kid’s cars cartooned those of their parents. The same ideas were given more freedom and flourish. Because these companies employed noted industrial and auto designers of the day to ensure contemporary style and design, the exhibition includes miniature cars conceived by such prominent American automobile designers as Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, Viktor Schreckengost, Brooks Stevens, and Harley Earl.

The most astonishing car on display is the 1995 “Baby Bat,” with tail fins and a grille like a hail of chrome bullets. It was custom made by Mike Gaydos in honor of legendary custom carmaker Bill Hines, who calls some of his own full-size cars “Big Bats.” Hines was so pleased with the “Baby Bat” that he painted it himself. Other stunners in the show include a one-off white ’53 Corvette and a Chrysler Airflow that outsold the full-size production version. There is a wonderful wooden 1906 model — and a Ford Pinto.

The exhibition was organized by the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in conjunction with Jane Dwyre Garton, author of Pedal Cars: Chasing the Kidillac (1999); John Rastall, publisher of Wheel Goods Trader magazine; and Amy Reichert Architecture + Design and Alexander Isley, Inc, exhibition design. The show runs through January 4 and will then travel to other cities.  —Phil Patton


Fla. Judge Makes Bumper Stickers Enforcers

Drunken drivers may have plenty of roadgoing eyes watching their behavior, if an Escambia County, Fla., judge has his way. Judge William White, serving in the county court that includes the city of Pensacola, is ordering some drunk drivers to put a “How’s My Driving?” bumper sticker on their vehicles — with a toll-free number and “The judge wants to know!” beneath, the Associated Press reports. The judge tells the news agency he wants to reduce the number of repeat offenders: “We want to influence people to correct their behavior rather than just use this as sort of a monitoring system,” White said. Convicted offenders in four Florida Panhandle counties can be compelled to pay $50 to get the stickers; the money is donated to a scholarship charity.

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