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october 2011

the road ahead

A new computer program that writes news stories may find itself dueling with a new computer program that detects fake stories. Narrative Science writes news stories.Or, they may learn from each other. Steve Lohr, writing in The New York  Times, describes the new writing program developed by Narrative Science in conjunction with Northwestern University. Stories produced by the program have won praise from experts in artificial intelligence and language as well as journalists and, so far has attracted, 20 customers including The Big Ten Network and a construction industry trade publisher.

The latter uses Narrative Science to provide 500-word monthly trend reports on more than 350 local housing markets. (The bad news for writers is that they are produced for $10 each.). Researchers at Cornell University developed the fake story detection program. Eric Smalley writes in CNET News' Crave Blog, "the Cornell software learns to spot the type of language people use when they're being deceptive in writing a review,’ said Myle Ott, the Cornell computer science graduate student who led the research."

Applying the same technique to robot-written stories could accelerate the development of both programs. Computers teaching computers and multiplying capacity to think until they reach and exceed the 100 billion neurons in the human brain will be when - for those who believe in it - the world reaches the Nirvana of Singularity. As described by Ashlee Vance in The New York Times, Singularity is, "a time, possibly just a couple decades from now, when a superior intelligence will dominate and life will take on an altered form that we can’t predict or comprehend in our current, limited state. At that point, the Singularity holds, human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past." That’s the Silicon Valley version where Singularity University is located. In Amsterdam that outcome is matched with concerns about possible dire consequences of the Singularity, nothing small, like totally reshaping the communications industry, how about like destroying the solar system! The advice from there as computers get more and more powerful, "We must guard against passivity among smart people who stop solving problems while they are waiting for 'the rapture of the nerds'."

Preliminary results from a recent Time, Inc. study support the idea that technology is changing brain functions. It indicates that the brains of Millennials are, in fact, wired differently for media than older generations. As reported in Media Daily News by Joe Mandese.


passing scene

Auto journalists are getting kicked by their brethren and ignored in at least one case by their sources. . . . The Truth About Cars Edward Niedermeyer says "the pimpatorial game is becoming more subtle and cites the participation of Jean Jennings and her Automobile Magazine staff in one of Ford’s sock puppet TV commercials. He also criticizes Motor Trend boss AngusFord's Spokespuppet Doug MacKenzie’s "Subaru-funded adventure of personal discovery" that was featured in both his publication and Subaru’s Drive Magazine. He says, about the new trend away from straight out testimonials, "to paraphrase Homer Simpson, I like my beer cold, my meat red, and my sell-outs shameless." How about entertaining or interesting? . . .. Matt Hardigree, referencing a Lexus crashed at the recent IMPA Test Days writes on Jalopnik, "While some track-day crashes are just unfortunate accidents, others are the inevitable result of over-privileged "journalists" given free reign over press cars at a track. The kind of "journalists" who show up to a friendly driving event dressed in a full racing suit with their own helmet in tow (that's not a joke, that happened in Texas). People who think they're invincible because, if they have enough readers, they are." As a class, he says of writers who get to test drive cars, "We're all a bunch of over-privileged jerks, but at least I'm willing to be honest about it."

In a persuasive September 4 Torque News article by Frank Sherosky headlined: " Split-cycle engine technology to challenge EV and hybrids" the author says, "With all respect to the hard-hitting, hard-working automotive journalists and the writing trade, I find it silly that so many educated people are trusting their futurist automotive information mostly from media types who perhaps never designed a car in their life, or have limited technical or engineering savvy, so they end up relying far too much on the OEM public relations teams feeding them details through closely-guarded news releases. Where is the trustworthy research that journalism is supposed to glean? (Yeah, I know I'll hear it for this one) "If we as citizens surely deserve automotive efficiency at a cost all of us can afford, then the automotive journalists have to do more than just report on news releases. They need to report, yes; but also cajole the industry toward what is in the best interests of society; otherwise, journalists risk being nothing more than digital recordings for the auto industry."

From being insulted to being ignored, Automotive News tells of GM’s Sonic Launch skipping the usual media conference and going directly to consumers with gaming and social media to create buzz about the youth-targeted model. . . .At least there is a chance BMW will share its motor oil scented cologne (recently distributed to pro golfers) with ink and digital stained wretches.



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autowriters spotlight

John Matras has freelanced since 1980. Currently vice president of IMPA he won that associations’ Ken Purdy Award and WAPA’s Golden Quill Award for his story about being diagnosed with epilepsy at 45 years of age and the repercussions of not being able to drive for six months (at which time he could be certified as "seizure free").

Like many a young husband and father considering how to put a few more bucks in the family coffers, John Matras looked at magazines in the late ‘70s and naively said to himself, "I can do that." But unlike most "wannabes" he went to the library and "read everything I could about the mechanics of freelance writing —query letters, submission formats, etc.—and started pitching stories."

John Mattras

John Matras

He targeted car magazines because, he said, "I was born with the car gene, and mostly picked up my "know-how" here and there, working on my cars (back when you had to—and could—work on cars) and dirt bikes. I guess it’s fair to say that I learned about cars like I learned about girls. Some from my old man, some from my friends, some from books and magazines and some from hands-on experience."

"My first article was a one-page, three black-and-white picture article on a Baltimore custom auto show that I sold to Custom Rodder and was paid $50, a significant amount of money in 1980. I was hooked. When I had written several pieces for AutoWeek—my first was the first drive report on the Maserati Biturbo in the U.S. In July of ’81, I got a telephone call from some guy named Paul Leinert, then at AW, who asked me if I wanted to contribute to a new column in the magazine. I had to find interesting cars, drive them, photograph them, write about 1,200 words and send it in. Yeah, twist my arm... I wrote the second Escape Road column ever in AW, published in February of ’82." And the rest, as they say, is history." Albeit, he acknowledges, history abetted by mentoring from Paul Lienert, George Levy, and the late Leon Mandel, all at AutoWeek, and Csaba Csere, who guided him in his early submissions at Car & Driver. Also Kevin Wilson who pushed him to write the seizure story.

He went freelance full time in 1988. As he tells it, "My wife and I had our mid-life crisis together. After I was making a not insignificant amount of money writing in my spare time and after our girls were old enough to consider it, Mary Ann went back to school to get her doctorate while I continued working my government job. She accepted a professorship beginning the fall semester of 1988 at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. (Editor’s note: She is now a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department there). With a steady paycheck and benefits in the family—I may be crazy but I’m not stupid--I left my gummint job in August of 1988 for freelancing and have never really looked back."

When he decided to launch his blog he once again studied to learn everything he could about the then nascent art of self-publishing on the web - custom-made software, optimum sentence length for most computer screens, best type face, line spacing and more. (He generously passed on those tips to AWCom when this newsletter began).

He also was serious about not being too serious. Witness the titling of his web page: "" Car reviews, news and stuff found on the side of the road."

John said he gave it the unusual name, "because the marketing books said a brand name should be different and stand out." The CarBuzzard landed after a few years when hackers disabled the server hosting it. The hiatus gave Matras a chance to step back and evaluate his return on the time and energy he was investing. He opted for, "a mercy killing." And, there was the opportunity to be national automotive editor for the promising new Examiner with his stuff running in all markets served by the hyper-local digital newspaper. However, although Matras is tight-lipped about it, that promise seems to have faded and this past June,’s wry mix of reviews, news and odd-ball ("Man Arrested For Buffing Car In The Buff At Car Wash") took to the cyber air. This time he has spread the work. Nick Yost and David Boldt are on board and at this writing he is negotiating to add another veteran auto writer to the aviary.


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grand stand

There’s a batch of new books out in time for gift-giving and off-season reading. Or, staying busy with Jeff Zurschmelde’s new book, Your Automotive Workshop On a Budget. It doesn’t tell you what to do with the lawn mower or where to store the garden rakes, but it does tell how to set up a normal two car garage to build a hot rod or a race car, restore a classic or just do your own repair work – and not eat up all the money you put aside to work on the car. Editors and writers can contact Car Tech Books (800) 551-4754 for a review copy. You can talk to Jeff about it at  . . . They Started in MGs is a unique look at the early days of road racing in the U.S. in 291 pages and 278 photos by great racing photogs of the past. It profiles 80 sports car drivers of the 1950s. Among the drivers covered by award-winning author Carl Goodwin, are Cam Argetsinger, father of road racing in America, Briggs Cunningham, Phil Hill, Suzy Dietrich, Bob Donner, Carroll Shelby, Ken Miles and Charlie Elmers. John Fitch wrote the forward. Retail price is $35.00 from the publisher, McFarland - Publisher of Academic Nonfiction, and Serious Books about Pop Culture. Contact: Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8624-3

Another retrospect has been published by Pete Lyons. Fast Lines is a selection of 55 of his columns by that name that have run in Casey Annis’ Vintage Racer since 1998. The 268 page soft cover book is divided into his columns dealing with his "Heroes," "Cars," and "Events" drawn from his years of covering races of all types. There’s also a section of Lyons’ "Rants" and 68 photos. Published on demand by Octane Press for $24.95 plus $4.95 shipping and sales tax where applicable. Order at  . . . . David Fetherston has produced Fetherston’s Treasure Box of Classic Woodys. The limited collector’s edition "box" includes his 400 page history of OEM station wagons, sedans, convertibles and numerous one-off’s, special builds, hot rods, a chapter on the types of trees that were used to build them and even a chapter on the fake or wallpaper woodys of the fifties and sixties. The massive book opens out to 24 x 12-inches and is delivered in a custom maple and mahogany woody tailgate look-alike box. Samples of the woods used, a toy woody wagon, vintage and contemporary surf decals, classic woody postcards and two genuine postage stamps are included. Only 500 Treasure Box of Classic Woodys will be sold. The price is $495 plus shipping. Check out for more information.

David Bull plugs’s most recent launch: Elva: The Cars, The People, The History by racing historian Janos Wimpffen with a forward by Sir Stirling Moss. It chronicles Elva’s "rise from humble beginnings in the south of England to become a major player on the sports car scene in the 1950s and 1960s." Hardcover, 9"x 11", 516 pages, 365 black and white and 150 color photographs. $99.95. ISBN –13-978-1-935007-13 . . . Quayside has a shelf full of new titles it is distributing with review copies available to the media upon request. These include: Ford Versus Ferrari –The Battle for Le Mans; Derek Bell: My Racing Life; Audi RB - The history of the world’s most successful endurance racing car; Race & Track Day Driving Techniques; Driving On The Edge; Tiff Gear, autobiography of Tiff Needell; Bentley – A Racing History; Motor Racing –The Pursuit of Victory 1930-1962; and Driven by Desire –The Desire Wilson Story. To learn more about any of these titles or obtain a review copy, contact Kristopher Skellenger at

And, just to show that auto journalists are not all one track, AWCom includes a book by Dave Smith, Wards Auto World editor-in-chief for 30 years and his U of M J-school buddy and former Detroit Free Press and Detroit News journalist, Hugh Wray McCann. It is an updated and extensively revised edition of their non-fiction book: The Search For Johnny Nicholas. It is the true World War II story of a black hero who posed as an American airman claiming he parachuted into France on a secret mission for the Allies. Nicholas worked with the French Resistance while studying medicine in Paris, was betrayed by his girlfriend, captured by the Nazis and sent to Buchenwald and later Camp Dora, Germany’s V-2 rocket plant, as a slave laborer. Because he had a medical background, he was ultimately recruited by the camp’s SS medical commandant as a prisoner doctor. He is credited with saving hundreds of lives with his "incredible selflessness," as one reviewer put it. Enhanced with additional research, rewriting, editing, reorganization and fresh interviews and contacts, The Search For Johnny Nicholas is available on Amazon for $15.99 and at Barnes and Noble.


regional news

Beltway and Beyond – WAPA’S Fall Rally Sunday, Oct. 23 is a two hour morning drive that begins and ends at Uno Chicago Grill in Frederick, Md. There will be two driver points en route and after lunch rally prizes will be awarded.

Detroit – Thirty colorful and dramatic images of hood ornaments and badges of classic and collector cars by Steve Purdy will be the first display in a new gallery at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich. A reception hosted there Sunday, Oct. 23 by the Individual Communicators Network will honor Purdy and the opening of the new gallery.

New England – Yokohama’s orange-oil infused tire instead of petroleum, BluEarth-1, is the centerpiece of a new "Orange is the New Green" display opened at Boston’s Museum of Science this month.


awards honors and events


Finalists in MPG’s first "Vehicle of the Year Awards" are: the 2012 Audi A7, Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. MPG members will evaluate each finalist with regards to safety, value, fuel economy, quality, handling, design, environmental impact and innovation. The winner will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show Nov. 16.

IntelliChoice and AutoPacific announced the 2011 Motorist Choice Awards based on extensive surveys and analysis by the two automotive industry research firms. Now in its sixth year, the award series is designed to recognize those vehicles that deliver the compelling combination of high consumer satisfaction and lower-than-expected ownership costs over time. To identify winners, the firms applied 15 lifestyle categories to two market segments: Popular and Premium. The 30 Motorist Choice Awards for 2011 are:

  Category Popular Premium
  Active Lifestyle Dodge Ram HD Land Rover LR4
  Cargo Hauler Ford Expedition EL Volvo XC70
  Cosmopolitan Scion xD Audi A3
  Eco Friendly Ford Fusion Hybrid Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
  Fun to Drive MINI Cooper Volvo C30
  Head Turner Chevrolet Camaro Porsche Panamera
  High Tech Volkswagen Touareg Cadillac Escalade
  Image MINI Cooper Mercedes-Benz GLK
  Kid Friendly Toyota Sienna Volvo XC90
  Luxury Lifestyle Hyundai Genesis Jaguar XJ
  People Mover Ford Expedition EL Lincoln Navigator
  Performance Chevrolet Corvette Cadillac Escalade
  Road Trip Ford Expedition Mercedes-Benz GL
  Value Hyundai Elantra Lexus HS
  Youthful Scion tC Lexus IS

Roger Penske will be presented the Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Washington Auto Show, January 26. Keith Crain will make the presentation.

Entry forms for the 19th annual Eagle One Golden Rule Awards contest are now available at Eagle One and associate sponsor Valvoline will honor and reward a car club in each of four regions of the U.S.; west, midwest, east and south, for conducting the most outstanding community service program in their region during 2011. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $1,500 donation to its favorite charity and the other three winning clubs will each receive a $500 donation to their favorite charity.


Rennsport Reunion IV, October 14-16, 2011, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA. Auto Extremist founder Peter De Lorenzo calls it, "one of the most stunning automotive events orchestrated by any manufacturer. It’s there that the 48-year legacy of Porsche Motorsport will be on display, with most of the greatest Porsche racing cars known to exist on hand, including some rarities from the Porsche museum."

16th Annual Urban Wheel Awards named the Official Multicultural Event of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) The only multicultural event held during press week of the NAIAS will host its annual awards show on Sunday, January 8, 2012 in the Soundboard Theater at the Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit.

Alex Fedorak now with Pacific Rim Public Relations would like AWCom to mention the 51st McCormick’s Palm Springs Collector Auction, Nov. 18-20 in Palm Springs, Calif. This time but we don’t want to flood our calendar with auction dates.


pit notes

The mindset prototype is "Europe's first pure electric vehicle, designed for the daily commutes of people who love and need cars as much as they strive for new values," according to the company brochure. The prototype has been "faultlessly driven since 2008" Other excerpts from the exceptionally frank brochure: The company has no intention of building a manufacturing plant, relying, instead, on "best of class contributors" and its "key asset of knowledge about a highly competent network of suppliers in the field of drive trains, batteries and electronics." Apparently going to market in 2013, "mindset has made some unpleasant experiences in the past. These setbacks always had to do with our in-house intellectual property. Some partners turned into competitors and effectively tried to profit from the company's know how. Therefore we have to restrict our flow of information to the outside world. This is not the spirit of mindset, but it has to be." Key mindset target groups are mainly "affluent, well educated, over proportionally wealthy individuals with a strong affinity to socially and ecologically correct solutions. Some may call them LOHAS, we do not like labels." For the full mindset brochure plus video of the car go to:

John Lamm warns of possible credential problem at the Tokyo Motor Show:  "I was just in Japan for the Indycar race and put journalist down under occupation on the landing card, as I have before. They shuttled me off, told me I needed a special journalist visa, which they gave, but had me wondering for a while. New one to me. Those headed for the Tokyo Show be warned."


new roads

The Journal Register Company has added, a new print and digital automotive portal, to the news and information it delivers to an audience of 21 million persons in 992 communities across 10 states. It will include 1.5 million local car listings and will allow consumers to spec and compare new and used cars online. Camilo Alfaro’s Autoproyecto, LLC will provide FYIDriving’s editorial content. Autoproyecto also produces a Spanish language auto section for 52 Hispanic newspapers reaching a combined 23 million readers . . . . Discovery TV Network is replacing HD Theatre in October with Discovery Velocity - 140 hours of original shows devoted to real-world pursuits, including automotive. Jake Lingeman in AutoWeek (9/23/11) provides a rundown of the auto shows and other segments debuting in the new lineup.

Three new web sites have been called to AWCOM’s attention. is due this fall. Tara Weingarten who covered autos for Newsweek Magazine for 17 years created it. She bills VroomGirls as the first comprehensive automotive website created by and for women. The site will feature easy-to-understand, informative new vehicle reviews, features, fun road trip travel stories, and newsy items on what’s up in the car world, including how it intersects with celebrity and fashion. Weingarten thought she would have to search for females who are strong writers and adept at putting cars through their paces but since word got out, her challenge has been selecting among the many applicants. . . . features "barn finds," classic and vintage cars acquired and resuscitated by Cf Partners LLC. The marketing hook is that the vehicles are not necessarily completely finished restorations. The buyer can invest some "sweat equity" and make a greater return on his or her investment. . . . The Road Racing Drivers Club has launched, a web site devoted to the education of racing drivers. Hosted by RRDC President Bobby Rahal, the web site features world champion drivers and other industry experts in 90 minutes of high quality videos covering a range of subjects including: physical and mental preparation, driving techniques, driver safety, car setup, sponsorships and more.

Wall Street Journal executives offered two succinct statements of dominant media trends in a Forbes article by Jeff Bercovici who says the Journal’s new WSJ Social initiative, "filters Journal content through the so-called social graph to yield a news product that lives entirely within the walls of Facebook." Alisa Bowen, general manager of the WSJ Digital Network says the idea behind WSJ Social is "super simple." "It’s about making (WSJ content) available where people are." Maya Baratz, the Journal’s head of new products, tells Bercovici, "It’s really about the users being elevated to editors." . . . . In Philadelphia, users are being urged to become mobile. Philadelphia Media Network offered the first 5,000 comers a $99 10.1 inch Android-powered tablet, if they commit to a two-year digital subscription to the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, Steve Smith reports in Online Media Daily.


lane changes
Rex Roy

Rex Roy

After seven years of freelance auto writing, Rex Roy has succumbed to the blandishments of the Prism Agency, one of several advertising and marketing agencies under the aegis of conglomerate WPP that serve the Ford Motor Company. The energetic and creative Roy, who proudly notes that he sold stories to 17 publications since June (almost all enterprise placements), now has PR responsibility for Lincoln’s history and technology. His phone and email remain the same: 313-882-2400 and . . . Axel Catton has transferred from Automotive PR America to Automotive PR Germany. He too, will retain his cell phone # and email: 201-783-9001 and  . . . Ira Gabriel’s "horn blower" at JMPR called in hopes that AWCom would mention Gabriel departing as publisher of Motor Trend to become vice president at EasyCare, a provider of APCO Brand car owner automotive benefits. Conveniently, he will be executive director of Easy Care’s Motor Trend Certified Vehicles program, which was developed by Gabriel’s team while he was at the magazine. . . . Jim Irwin has replaced Laurel Wright Lindh as Asst. web editor at Ward’s . . . The e-mail address for The Green Business Letter editor, Joel Makower, is . . . Frank Williams phone number and e-mail address were wrong in last month’s Lane Changes. The right ones for the former Truth About Cars writer who is now freelancing are: 678-200-2965 and


- 30-

Glenn Camppbell, Owner, Publisher

Glenn F. Campbell

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October 2011
18 MAMA: Luncheon, Oakbrook Terrace, Bosch & U.S. Coalition for Advanced Diesel Cars
20 APA/NADA: Luncheon, MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit, MI
20 IMPA: Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, NY, Toyota
20-22 TAWA Truck Rodeo, San Antonio, TX
24 SAMA: Luncheon, Miami Beach, FL, SFADA
25 APA: Detroit, MI, Consumer Reports
26 WAJ: Dinner, Basque Cultural Center, So San Francisco, CA, BMW
25-27 The Battery Show: Novi, MI
28 Media Day: South Florida Auto Show, Miami Beach, FL
28 SAMA: Luncheon, Auto Show Awards
28 - Nov. 6 South Florida International Auto Show, Miami Beach, FL
29 Petersen Automotive Museum: Los Angeles, CA, Automotive Authors, Book Fair
November 2011
1-4 AAPEX and SEMA Shows: Las Vegas, Nevada
8 NEMPA: Museum of Transportation, Boston, MA, Wrangler
9 Petersen Automotive Museum: Los Angeles, CA, Phil Hill Tribute
10 PAPA: Luncheon, Phoenix, AZ, Toyota/NASCAR
15 SAMA: Luncheon, STBD, Nissan
16-17 Los Angeles Auto Show Press Club Days, Los Angeles, CA
17 IMPA: Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, NY, Ford
18-27 Los Angeles Auto Show Public Days, Los Angeles, CA
30-12/01 Tokyo Motor Show Press Days: Japan
December 2011
1-2 Int'l Autos Show of Bologna Press and Trade Days: Italy
2-11 Tokyo Motor Show Public Days: Japan
3-11 Int'l Autos Show of Bologna Public Days: Italy
3 Petersen Automotive Museum: Garage Sale & Swap Meet
13 MPG Dean Batchelor Award Dinner, Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA
13 NEMPA: Holiday Party, Boston Globe
January 2012
9-10 North American International Auto Show Press Preview, Detroit, MI
11-12 International Auto Show Industry Preview, Detroit, MI
13 North American International Auto Show Charity Preview, Detroit, MI
14-22 North American International Auto Show Public Show, Detroit, MI
23-24 Qatar Motor Show Press Days: Doha, Qatar
25-28 Qatar Motor Show Public Days: Doha Qatar
25-26 Washington Auto Show Public Policy Days, Capitol Hill and Convention Center
February 2012
8-9 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, Chicago, IL
10-19 Chicago Auto Show Public Days, Chicago, IL
17-19 Bridgestone Winter Driving School Media Day: Teen Driver Safety Event, Steamboat Springs, CO


motoring press organizations

The 17 regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are too distant for you to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.

Logo: AARWBA - Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association

Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc. - Norma "Dusty" Brandel, President, Executive Director,, 


Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Joann Muller, President,

ARPALogo: Ameican Racing Press Association

American Racing Press Association- Stan Clinton, President,,

Logo: IMPA Int'l Motor Press Association

International Motor Press Association, NYC, Mike Spinelli, President -,

GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association

Logo: MAMA Midwest Automotive Media Association

Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago , IL-

MPG: Motor Press Guild

Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -

NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

New England Motor Press Association, Boston, MA -


Northwest Automotive Press Association, Portland, OR, Jeff Zurschmeide, President,


Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -

SAMA Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Paul Borden, President,

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC


Texas Auto Writers Association, Mike Herzing,

Logo: Truck Writers of North America

Truck Writers of North America, Tom Kelley, Executive Director,

Logo: Western Automotvie Journalists

Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -, Ron Harrison


Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Alvin Jones, President



talk back

Re: John Pearley Huffman

My original copy of Car AND Pearley is carefully stored in an acid-free box. At this point, it's got to be rarer than DC #1. When John croaks, I'm gonna be RICH!

Dean Zatkowsky
Dizzy One Ventures

I just read about this in a magazine this past summer... and am glad you've discovered it too. Brilliant guy to parody a magazine and use that as a resume... tops! It's people of this personality quality that fill the auto enthusiast world, and add to my enjoyment of it in all aspects.

Justacarguy Jesse

I like Huffman's style.

bob carpenter

I was Pearley's first copy editor back in those early days at Car Craft. When reading his copy, I could always count on three things: I would learn a new word from the current lexicon ("Schwing!"), I would have to look up at least one unknown word in the dictionary, and he was bound to invent at least one new "Pearley-ism."

He didn't mention me in the article, but I'm sure it was an oversight: He learned all his best grammar from me. ;)

Brandy Schaffels
Sr. Editor & Content Mgr.,

Re: Slow News Day

Hey ... if you're going to lump something into the catch-all of quirks, quacks and quiddities, the least you can do is spell the item in question properly: it's Flybrid (as in flywheel hybrid) not Flybird. As to whether this technology is "whacky", let's see what the test of time will bring. If you can't wait... go to  and see for yourself that this technology is real, is realistic and offers many advantages over battery storage for a mild hybrid.

Rex Greenslade

It is always a little dissappointing [sic] to see supposed knowledgable [sic], supposed journalists, write about something that they have no understanding of, and as if they do. Re: Flybrid Systems LLP. And pass there [sic]  again supposed "Witty" nay "Pithy" commentry [sic]  on technology that nearly all manufacturers are looking into. That is to say "Flywheel Energy Storage" for Hybrid Syatems [sic] . One would have to assume that the "Lazy Hazy dog days" must truthfuly [sic] apply Mr [sic] Campbell, having obviously not conducted even the most simplistic research on the company or the technology, but then again what could one expect from a Country Music singer (Mr. Glen  Campbell) who truly does unfortunatly [sic] , in real life, suffer from dementia....

Ian Sharp
USA Manager, Flybrid Engineering, LLP

Hi Glenn -

The Hope Racing hybrid run at Le Mans was shackled by a Lehmann 4-cylinder engine that pretty much ruined the team's entire weekend... they had problems with the engine - not the Flybrid Systems mechanical hybrid system - throughout the race meeting and that's what took them out. Please look for my detailed report on the experience in 24 Hour Race Technology. There's also a story about Audi's success and another about Robertson Racing's ascension to the LM GTE-Am podium in the Ford GT!

Thanks - Annie
Anne Proffit, Contributing Editor, Race Engine Technology


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