The Car Guy of Benchfield
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....or The Page formerly known as "Automotive News and Views"
Other past news pages from 2001 and 2002
Some previous gurglings from MMAW

Remember: Rumor and speculation reign supreme on this page!
Just what is GM up to?

GM rumor:  We have been hearing that beginning with the 2004 model year, GM will not manufacture any more front wheel drive cars.  This supposedly came from a GM dealer, but the information was second hand.  Here's some speculation based on that rumor--It seems unlikely that GM would no longer manufacture FF drive cars.  After all, they've killed off the Caprice and the f-body, and both were FR cars.  However, GM is really into trucks, and trucks are FR vehicles.  Plus, the new Pontiac GTO (discussed here last month, see archive) will be a FR car.  It stands to reason that if GM brings in another FR car, there could be some cross-platforming (a la Camaro/Firebird, S-10/Sonoma) in the GM divisions.  The new GTO could be crossbred with the Chevy Monte Carlo.  The Monte's heritage, like the GTO, is rear drive V8, not front drive V6 like the current Monte configuration.  Got any thoughts on this subject?  Send 'em on in!

Speaking of GM... Camaro product manager Scott Settlemire was quoted as follows during the GM-hosted Camaro 35th Anniversary event in Huntington Beach, CA: Camaro owners have the highest loyalty rating of all GM owners... the next Camaro will be true to it's "muscle car V8 rear-drive DNA." Very interesting.. the next Camaro. Speculation: Could it be that the new GTO will be cross platformed as a Camaro instead of a Monte Carlo on the Chevy side?  At one time, there were rumors that the Holden Monaro (also discussed here last month, see archive)  could be a next generation Camaro.  If you ask me, the lines of the Monaro are just not sexy enough to make it as a Camaro. --Ed.

Honda News:  Word from Autoweek is that Honda will finally build a pickup.  Due out in 2005, the Honda pickup will be based on the Acura MDX/Honda Pilot platform.  No word yet as to what it shall be called.

Porsche Cayenne news: From the November 2002 issue of Car and Driver:  A casual observer went on record saying that the Cayenne was "uglier than a hatful of busted arse holes."

Iroc Series to use the Firebird in 2003:  Despitethe death of GM's f-body cars, the IROC series will once again employ Pontiac Firebirds in The International Race of Champions Series, although without Pontiac support.  IROC president Jay Signore: "We'll struggle for a year, but we've raced for the last two years without Pontiac support and I think we still put on an exciting show."  Signore expressed interest in using the upcoming GTO for the series, but was told it would be a limited production vehicle.  Chrysler has expressed interest in running Vipers in the series, but Signore said he'd rather stick with a higher volume production car.    Another option Signore has discussed with the big 3 is the possibility of using a concept car like they did in 1994 when they adopted the Dodge Avenger.  The Firebird replaced the Avenger in 1996.  (Jayski)

More Chrysler Hemi News: The November 2002 issue Car and Driver reported that those Mopar boys are going to be releasing a rear drive V8 sedan.  That's right, the rumored replacement for the 300 M will sport a 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi under the hood, and a nasty-looking pair of dual exhausts poking out from under the rear bumper.  

Avalance gets naked! That's right.. next year you'll be able to order your Chevy Avalance with or without the plastic body cladding.  Our question is: Who would want it with the cladding?  Would someone walk into a Chevy showroom, and say "I'd like to purchase an Avalance Z71 with every imaginable option, but I want you to slap those big ugly-ass pieces of Tupperware on the sides so that it'll look like one of those really cool Azteks."  Counterpoint: In talking with a satisfied Avalanche owner, he claimed that the body cladding is a good thing because it protects against parking lot dings and dents.  Good point.  Remember when pickups were rugged, do-it-all vehicles that you could wash with a hose inside and out?  Of course back then, they didn't cost more than most cars and carpeting was an option.

Words and text taken directly from Jayski's
2003 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon Signature Edition: Soon, NASCAR and Jeff Gordon fans will be able to cruise Main Street in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo similar to that driven by the Winston Cup Series' four-time champion. The limited production vehicle is a 2003 Monte Carlo SS Jeff Gordon Signature Edition, based on a well-equipped Monte Carlo SS with the High Sport appearance package. Its striking exterior scheme includes a new-for-'03 Superior Blue color, highlighted by Galaxy Silver grounds effects, diamond-cut cast aluminum wheels and dual stainless steel exhaust tips. Adding to the exterior character are Galaxy Silver flame decals on the hood, front fenders and doors. Jeff Gordon's trademark signature will be displayed on the sail panel and decklid. His well-known NASCAR number '24' will be prominently featured on the front license plate close-out panel, the sail panels, and embroidered on the headrests.(GM PR)(11-7-2002)  Also, see the Dale Earnhardt Intimidator SS Camaro.

New stories: The REAL Car Guys and Passport to Terror by Steve Wingate.

Car Guy Lists and Car Guy Trivia have returned to TCGOB.

Link to check out: Very cool site... a must surf for Mustang racing fans.

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2003 Car Guy of Benchfield
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