the newsletter - built for reading not skimming.
December 2015 newsletter

road ahead

Detroit 1942 Woodward Ave

The Woodward Cowboy's Lament

Well before he was pulled over on an L.A, freeway by the driver of a Cobra who wanted to know why he was "stalking him," Wally Wyss was captivated by hot cars. A Woodward wrangler, he commandeered the family's no frills four-door to pursue the nightly show of enhanced, modified cars that heralded the dawn of the performance age in Detroit.

That freeway encountered in the early '70s led to an interview and photos of the Cobra with Carroll Shelby and Wyss' first of two books on the iconic master of stuffing big engines in small cars. Since than the arc of Wyss' passion has taken him to buff book staffer, freelancer, author of a few books, blogger and, currently, a co-host of Autotalk broadcast weekly on KUCR-FM in Riverside Calif.

Now, he fears the era is over. First run on, this is his lament for what he believes was and will not return.

The End of the Enthusiast Car As We Know It

After seeing a recent panel discussion Oct. 25th at the Art Center Classic, a panel with three designers, I left in a blue funk. (Not a car but a kind of mood) It reminded me of when, a few years ago, I sold my Nikon F3 film camera, and a few lenses for $200 to a young man who thought, if he was shooting film like Ansel Adams, he could take pictures the equal of Ansel Adams. He didn't realize if Ansel Adams were still alive today, he would be shooting digital like nobody's business.

In other words, what I was seeing on stage from the three speakers, one a former BMW designer, one a current designer for Volvo, the third in charge of GM Advanced Design, was a gradual admission that autonomous cars are creeping in.

Well, I am here to tell you that when they arrive…they are going to do a lot more than just creep. Think of a 100-ton steamroller that is going to change the car market forever.

Continue reading....

Now Chris Bangle, the former BMW designer on the panel, hinted that this isn't all bad news for car enthusiasts. He said there will always be a place for car enthusiasts, just as there are for horse riding enthusiasts after the car was invented.

But this was shocking to me because horse riding enthusiasts are a tiny group, almost invisible, so he is implying that car enthusiasts shouldn't worry, there will be tracks where we can take our still-need-to-be-steered cars to, and that's it. We will be treated as mild eccentrics, to be kept out of harm's way.


Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, who is already offering a autonomous app on the Model S, once was quoted that what we have to fear down the road is the computer. I think that is putting it mildly. Why? Because once that first lawsuit over who's at fault in an accident between an autonomous car and one still steered by a human is won by the owner of an autonomous car, it will be the beginning of the end for human steered cars. I am talking about the suit where the autonomous car owner says "yes, my Tesla did all the calculations and said it was OK for me to turn left, it was the human coming toward me that failed" then it will be acknowledged that The Machine's judgement will and should always prevail over those pathetic humans that still think they can decide a car's course, speed and such.

Uber is really the best example of how fast this change will take place. Among millennials living in big cities, there is no longer a desire to buy a car. Why? If all you need is to go over to meet a friend at a Starbucks a couple miles away?

So they use Uber, Lyft or other competitors.

The automated self-thinking car is already creeping into new cars feature by feature—with such checked off items as Traction control. Lane Control. Stability Control. Automatic Braking. Steering-by-wire. Self-parking.

It is only a matter of time before the autonomous mode will be on the option list.

It is actually possible now to offer this in the new cars of 2017, but the obstacle is mainly legal. When that big accident occurs, will the courts decide the car's computer on the self driving car was superior in this case to the poor judgment of the driver? The next step will be to meet the demand of autonomous car owners (just as hybrid car owners were catered to) with special lanes on the freeway set aside for those who checked off the autonomous box on their car's option list. And of course cars piloted by humans will be forbidden to go into these lanes. I can even see your still human piloted cars issuing you your own ticket for daring to invade the newly claimed territory of the autonomous drivers.


And coincident with all this will come the death, for large parts of the market, of cars that have sold in the past as status symbols. I can just see, in only 10-15 years, a show in which a car that's brand new today in 2015 being put on display to ridicule how we, as consumers were manipulated by irrelevancies. Wood dash? How quaint. Rolls Royce style grille? What for?

A lot of the things that sell luxury cars now will be considered laughable when 10-30% of the car market will consist of people who have reduced the car's importance in life to a mere conveyance, as a Point A to Point B machine. Cars could look like GE toasters on wheels to this type of consumer. There will be no pride-in-ownership, as cars will be interchangeable. As Bangle joked at Art Center, when you get out of an elevator, are you proud of that conveyance. It means nothing to you. It just got you from one floor to another.

As a car enthusiast, I can see the owners of enthusiast cars in the next few years being crowded into their own little events, a concours here, the rental of a racetrack there, but we—the owners of cars that are actually still driven by humans– will be seen as irrelevant annoyances, representing the inefficiency of doing things the human way.

As an enthusiast, raised in the old school with golden memories like downshifting my 12-cylinder Ferrari as I enter the Malibu tunnel so I can relish in the sound at 7,500 rpm, I'll fight the autonomous car every step of the way, but using my camera example, I will never go back to film. The machines are less likely to fail us, thus must rule, must dominate. Our course, as a society, is irreversible.


new roads

Chicago News, offers the Midwest's only weekly auto reviews on TV (WCIU) and print according to Dennis Bindarau, More importantly, he says they are growing and, as of mid-December searching for two skilled enthusiasts to join their staff. . . . . The Detroit News reports Ford has initiated an Uber-like service to shuttle its employees around its Dearborn, Mich., headquarters. According to the newspaper, "The shuttle is one of Ford's 25 mobility experiments, announced by Ford President and CEO Mark Fields last January. The experiments cover everything from car-sharing to parking spot-finding apps. Last summer, the automaker moved from the "experiment" phase to the "pilot" phase for a couple of the experiments, including the GoDrive car-share service. . . . Erik Sass reports in Publisher's Daily, "IAC is launching a new digital publishing network bringing together its portfolio of properties under one roof. The new company, called IAC Publishing, includes major digital publishing brands like,, Investopedia and The Daily Beast, which together reach over 100 million unique monthly users in the U.S. . . . Sass also reports, ", an international publication devoted to online audio racing content, announced a strategic partnership with AOL's that will allow the two to share content across their platforms. In another bit he notes, "Hearst and The Wall Street Journal both prepare to launch new channels on Snapchat's Discover, a platform created specifically to help big media companies reach millennial viewers with short form content.

Sean Marc Lee for The New York Times

Morning rush hour in Taipei, Taiwan, where the scooter is the vehicle of choice. The city's Department of Environmental Protection is actively promoting the purchase of electric scooters, offering subsidies of as much as $800 for residents who replace gas motorcycles with electric models. . . . There won't even be time for beverage service according to The Wall Street Journal if Elon Musk's Hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco comes to fruition in a 700-mph near-vacuum tube. . . . Crain Communications Inc. has launched a series of personalized, digital business publications in nine U.S. cities as part of a plan to expand the Crain brand nationwide as it approaches its 100th anniversary. The new publications are being added to Crain's established city business journal brands in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, The Detroit News reports.

More "Uberization." According to the Huffington Post, the shared-service company recently offered on-demand free flu shots administered by a nurse and, Bloomberg reports, discount tickets to the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL home games. . . . . The Associated Press is in a new content collaboration with VR studio and media company RYOT. They will produce and distribute a VR series across both their networks. Users can access the VR content through RYOT's mobile app, Oculus Share or on Google's Cardboard system for immersive viewing.


autowriters spotlight

Like the fellow who thinks he will make a great "PR Man" because he likes people, there are hundreds (thousand's?) of car fans who think they'd make great auto writers and live with reviewing a different new car every week. Unfortunately, many of them try.'s Spotlight was created to let "wannabes" know and remind those struggling what it takes to succeed. It truly is even more of a struggle for a woman to succeed,Autowriters Spotlight Lauren Fix particularly if she eschews "the women's angle" and puts up her knowledge, experience and judgment against all comers in the mostly man's world of cars.

This is how The Car Coach, Lauren Fix, does it in her own words, a chapter she contributed to A Woman's Perspective on Leading, an essay anthology featuring women leading the way in the automotive aftermarket.

"A Woman in a Man's World – How I Became The Car Coach"

"Nothing can stop you but yourself. Today I'm a leader in the automotive, aftermarket and broadcast industries and an inductee into the National Women and Transportation Hall of Fame. But when I first embarked on the journey to pursue my love of everything automotive, I faced many hurdles. Youth, inexperience, self-doubt and a male-dominated industry were my some of my greatest barriers. While women are still underrepresented (and sometimes underestimated) in the automotive and aftermarket industries, they were much more so in the 1980s. I got my start working in mail order sales at my father's brake remanufacturing company and each day was a challenge to assert my competence in the face of stereotypes. Every day, callers to sales or tech support would ask for a man who could help them. I always responded with, "I can help you!" Although I was the one who designed the components or kits, I found I had to defend my qualifications time and time again.

"Despite this and other roadblocks, I consider myself lucky to have discovered my passion for cars at an early age. I rode my bike to the dealership to negotiate the purchase of my very first car before I was old enough for a license. I started racing at the age of 16, and would head to the track by myself for the love of the sport and the feel of the road. Other drivers would ask, "where is your boyfriend, father or brother?" It never phased me. I would simply head to the track, change the tires, race all day, change the tires and then drive home.

"My father never told me that there was a glass ceiling or hurdle in my way, or that "girls can't do that." So I set my own standards, developed clear goals and never limited myself. We used to say to one another, "nothing can stop you but yourself!" Years later, I used that quote in myBook cover: A Woman's Perspective on Leading motivational seminars on leadership as well in the introduction of my third book. As a leader, I've discovered that honesty, strong ethics, positive communication, mentoring, and constant and consistent education are the keys to channel my ambitions and drive me forward toward every-broadening goals. I've always believed that we create our own barriers, hurdles to clear and ceilings that limit our abilities. The phrase "nothing can stop you but yourself" has kept me going through the occasional wrong turn or bad stretch of highway.

Continue reading....

In fact, a glance back into the rearview mirror teaches me that that those unpaved, dirt and gravel roads were the ones most worth driving down. They taught me invaluable lessons about stamina and resilience that are critical to becoming a successful leader. If you stick to the paved highways, you may eventually get to where you're going, or you may end up simply following in the worn track of millions before you. A big turning point in my career came in the 90's when I had the opportunity to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This opportunity changed my career path completely. I had to react quickly to reinvent what I did, while staying true to my carefully crafted passions, mission, education and talents. Suddenly other national news outlets started calling, and morning shows that we all watch every day were inviting me to share my expertise about cars. Overnight, I was no longer in automotive aftermarket sales, repeatedly asserting my credentials over the telephone. I was no longer inching bumper-to-bumper in an unending traffic-jam of hopefuls. Suddenly I was The Car Coach.

As a successful entrepreneur, I've harnessed that flexibility and ambition to found multiple corporations in the aftermarket, manufacturing and consulting industries; all while simultaneously managing extensive racing, testing and broadcast careers and being a wife and mother of two. I've learned that the more frequently traveled highways of "success" may appear to provide faster access to your goals but, like any byway to fame and fortune, you'll soon find yourself white-knuckled and frustrated, caught up in a corporate traffic-jam. True leadership requires a direction or vision that is always evolving, that changes with the ever-fluctuating markets, and that doesn't mind a foray through a few orange cones when it's time to change lanes.

But if good leaders know how to forge ahead on their own, great leaders know how to leave behind a roadmap for others. Over the years I've been helped and humbled by wonderful mentors who believed in my abilities and support my goals. Part of the key to my success is my husband, Paul Fix. Paul has always been my biggest supporter, best advisor and biggest fan. We are a team, and I offer the same support in return for Paul and his efforts. At the most important forks in the road, you never know who will be the one to give you the push you need to follow your greatest ambitions. Often friends and family members, bosses or mentors are the people who provide that critical support. But occasionally it's a good Samaritan who sees you on the side of the road and offers just the right word of encouragement, advice, sincere criticism or jumpstart that changes everything.

"That understanding should inspire us to share our stories as honestly as possible and to mentor others. In my case, that means being forthcoming about my need for consistent education in my field and coming to mentorship as both a learner and an educator. It also means gaining the understanding to speak to a new generation. When my daughter Shelby was still a new driver, we developed a program to bring teens and college students a fun, fresh vision on cars, driving, and the personal freedom pitfalls that accompany them. Today we still work in partnership with schools or community service groups to give hands-on automotive demonstrations, allowing drivers to explore their own vehicles. I also travel across the country in person, print, and on-air to educate America about a wide range of automotive topics and issues. Getting back to these basics reminds me of my own start in my father's garage. It also ensures that, despite all the changes and challenges ahead, I stay true to the original passions that got me where I am today and to the traits that characterize a leader worth following."

"A Woman's Perspective on Leading" by Women in the Auto Care Industry is raising money for scholarships.. Cost: A donation to the Women's Board Scholarship Fund

All proceeds benefit the 2016 Babcox Media Women's Board Scholarship. The book was created by Dr. John A. Passante and edited by Amy Antenora of Babcox Media. Babcox Media donated all costs associated with publishing the book. Contributors to the book share their inspiring and diverse stories as well as advice for future leaders in the auto care industry.

Contributors Include: JoAnn Bortles, Nicole Brennan, Tammy (Chaffee) Tecklenburg, Jody DeVere, Ruth Ehlinger, Lauren Fix, Julia Johnson, Jody Kramer, Diane Larson, Bogi Lateiner, Paula Lombard, Amy Mattinat, Colleen McCarthy, Ashley Ridenour, Lisa Rodriguez, Karen Salvaggio, Lorraine Schultz, Patricia Serratore, Beth Skove, Laura Soave and Donna Wagner.

For more information contact


passing scene

In the six million years since man separated from the chimps (if you accept evolution) the human brain has tripled in volume. Our increased awareness and processing compounded to deal with our expanding experience. Now, in a perhaps futile attempt to keep pace with all that impacts us, the generation born since 2000 relies on an average attention span of 8 seconds. Which averages out to 300 "alerts", "distractions", "insights" per minute which, absent a physiological change, could mean a descent into the blissful distractions of cell phones, Snapchat, Instagram and other diversions. By 2020 this cohort will be 40 percent of our population.

At present, the Center for Media Research reports 6 billion text messages a day are sent in the U.S. With more than 90% open rates on Short Message Service (SMS,) and engagement rates of up to eight times higher than email. But, not too worry, Erik Sass writes for Media Daily News, "While many of us old (30+) people tend to picture teenagers as being more or less enslaved by their mobile devices and social media in particular, young people are actually developing strategies to moderate their usage, including taking breaks and even deleting social media apps, according to a new study by market research firm Wildness publicized by Social Times." Sass reports 77% said they carefully consider the possible effects of what they share before posting content. Possibly a new idiom or ciphers suited to the fleeting attention span will develop and may recast all forms of communications.

Writing about The Young Turks newscasts, Max Robins says, with a "progressive, conversational approach to public affairs both domestic and international, it has redefined the daily news show, as it exists -- and thrives -- still unapologetically "activist," "TYT" has grown from a daily flagship YouTube newscast co-anchored by founder Cenk Cygur and his longtime cohort Ana Kasparian, to a 60-person operation churning out shows focused on everything from sports to pop culture, occupying 18 You Tube channels. Across all platforms, on average, "TYT" is delivering well north of 60 million views per month and growing.


pit notes

Former racecar driver Tony Adamowicz is in need. Food, clothing, help in all quarters. Casey Annis who wrote of Tony's  plight in the October issue of Vintage Race Car. You can read about it here: Or, to simply contribute in the name of your sport and a fellow driver in need, go to

The future is scheduled to be unveiled at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Faraday Futures is slated to debut there. But what? Brett Berk writes "This, of course, means something heavily tech-enabled, something shareable and not ownership based. Something that is zero emissions and battery powered, something that is autonomously capable. Something that maintains the majority of its functional systems and knowledge in the cloud. Millennials love this shit."

The New York Post says Faraday has 500 employees and is vigorously recruiting Apple engineers, The Business Insider quotes from Faraday's web site, "Beyond traditional electric vehicles, we are also developing other aspects of the automotive and technology industries, including unique ownership models, in-vehicle content and autonomous driving." The publication adds: "If you parse that, Faraday Future could be building ... anything. An electric car. An infotainment system. A self-driving electric car. A self-driving electric car with an infotainment system. Or ... not even a car! Maybe a self-driving-electric-car-sharing service!" The publication dismisses the rumor that Faraday is a front for Apple. Drawing on Fortune and Forbes, it avers Chinese money is behind the mystery and that it is going to build or adapt a billion-dollar facility in Nevada to build its product. Berk talked with the company's director of communications, Stacy Morris, and concluded the plant, paid for by backers Morris was unwilling to name, will be built in California, Nevada, Louisiana or Georgia. (A PR build-up?).

More electric cars may be the way we are headed but The Washington Post points out in, Electric cars and the coal that runs them, the savings in pollution and energy costs may not be all we hope for. It depends upon the price of coal and where the energy to power electric generators come from. In India and China, it is dirty energy. And, the U.S.'s ability to export cheap coal retards the development of other sources. . . . Vehicle Safety Supply sent along a chart of the Top Safety Hazards for Truck Drivers. . . . TJ McCue, contributor, says the "World's First 3D Printed Road Ready Car: LM3D by Local Motors will be available in 2017. . . And last, is blogger Victor Sasson a Tesla Motors employee? His unabashed endorsement of the brand over all other cars on the road makes his Shocking Car News read like a paid commercial.


awards and events

Doug Stokes receives lifetime achievement award from Motor Press Guild
 Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Doug Stokes (l) with Harold Osmer (r)

The 2015 honorees at MPG's annual Dean Batchelor Awards Dinner

Excellence in Automotive Journalism & Best Vehicle Review (Video) Micah Muzio and COTU Productions: "2015 Polaris Slingshot Review" --
Lifetime Achievement Award Doug Stokes
Feature Article Larry P. Vellequette and Luca Ciferri: "The Coming Squeeze" -- Automotive News
News Article Hans Greimel: "Confessions of a Price Fixer" -- Automotive News
Vehicle Review Basem Wasef: "Review: The Ferocious New Corvette Z06 is an $80K Ferrari-Killer" -- Wired
Audio Charlie Vogelheim and Shawn Myers: "#35: The Best and Worst 'Cars and Coffee' Ever" -- Motor Trend Audio
Books Sam Posey: "Where the Writer Meets the Road" -- David Bull Publishing
Feature Video Adam Carolla, Nate Adams, Mike August, Matt D'Andria, and Norm Pattiz: "Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman" -- Sontalia, Mollette
Bob D'Olivo Award for Photography Dale Kistemaker: "24+30" -- Porsche Panorama

Gary Witzenburg advises, "a piece I wrote for Collectible Automobile magazine on the History of Electric Cars won the 2015 Society of Automotive Historians' Carl Benz Award. Also, he won an International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC) Bronze Award. Another Corvette magazine story, "From Zora to Indy," was one of three finalists for a 2015 Motor Press Guild Best of the Year Feature Article Award.

Automobile's Design of the Year went to the Ford GT. The magazine said, it "was the most exciting, most innovative, and most surprising meant-for-production car to make an appearance in 2015, period." . . . . TU-Automotive has announced categories for its 2016 Innovation Awards. Check here for entry details . . . SEMA is now accepting applications for the 2016 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund for students preparing for careers in the auto or auto parts industries. Contact Juliet Marshall, SEMA education manager at 909-978-6655 or

Automotive World and Automotive Megatrends received three journalism awards from the Guild of Motoring Writers. Editor Martin Kahl, picked up two prizes: Renault UK Journalist of the Year and Prova PR Business Writer of the Year; staff writer Xavier Boucherat collected the Phil Llewellin Student Of the Year award. Automotive Megatrends magazine is a free quarterly emagazine focused on the key megatrends shaping the automotive industry of the future. It has headquarters in D.C. The Guild of Motoring Writers says it is "the largest and most prestigious organization of automotive editorial professionals in the world with well over 400 members in the UK and overseas."

Honda Civic is overall winner of the second annual Kelley Blue Book Best Awards. The roster comprises cars, trucks and SUVs that are, by KBB qualitative and quantitative analysis, tops in their 12 respective categories. Civic, besides overall best vehicle, is also the top vehicle in the small car category. . . . KBB sifted through a finalist list of 49 vehicles over a seven-week test period starting in September. . . . Automotive News named Michael McHale, director of Corporate Communications for Subaru, to its 2015 All-Star Team.


regional news


Planning ahead, NEMPA has released the schedule for Press Day at the New England International Auto Show, January 14:
10:30AM 11:00AM Toyota Technical Walkaround & Light Refreshments
11:00AM 12:00PM Ford
12:00PM 1:00PM Chrysler Lunch on show floor
1:00PM 1:45PM Jeep
1:45PM 2:30PM Buick
2:30PM 3:15PM Chevrolet
3:15PM 4:00PM Nissan Coffee/Tea/Dessert on show floor

NEMPA President Craig Fitzgerald is anticipating a question he wants to be able to answer: "What is the reach of NEMPA
 journalists?" Towards that end he has asked each member to respond with the following information for each publication (print and online) or program he or she contributes to:

  • Circulation for print publications

  • Monthly Unique Site visitors for online publications

  • Radio listeners

  • Television Viewers

  • Facebook Page Likes

  • Twitter Followers

  • YouTube Subscribers

  • Instagram Subscribers


The Greater New York Auto Dealers Association and participating local firms awarded 10 engines to 10 area schools and 10 scholarships to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center for Automotive Education & Training in Whiteside, NY.

Check here for accommodations and registration for the 2016 Washington Auto Show and Public Policy Days.


Beginning January 1, the Lake Bluff Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan will accept applications from automobile owners for the twelfth annual event to be held Saturday, August 13, 2016, in St. Joseph, Michigan. The Lake Bluff Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan features automobiles from the Brass, Classic, Vintage, and Muscle Car eras, as well as an array of special-interest vehicles. Vehicles eligible for inclusion must be at least 35 years old, and be restored to stock specifications, or be in very good original condition. All vehicle owners whose automobiles meet the above criteria are encouraged to apply. The committee is also seeking Nash vehicles produced from 1916 to 1957 for the show's featured marque. The Nash Motor Company celebrates its centennial in 2016. a Those interested in submitting an application are invited to apply online at after January 1. Paper applications also are available. Contact Dar Davis, entrant liaison, at to receive a paper application or for more information. The application deadline is March 31.


The fourth annual event at Pinehurst Resort on April 30 will be the first in the nation to feature a class of Future Japanese Collectable Cars among its 12 judged classes, as announced by Pinehurst Concours president Jay Howard. . . . One of two 1949 Buick Convertibles used in the film "Rain Man" will appear restored and in all its glory at the Amelia Island Concours on March 16. Impresario Bill Warner seems bent on making the Florida event a winter-vacation destination, adding a 3-day tour of unseen back roads and laid-back destinations known only to longtime Floridians - including Fernandina Beach, Okefenokee Swamp, Ocala National Forest, Gainesville, Mt. Dora and more. Warner and Peter Brock will attend. Warner is also available to talk on Cars of Cuba, as he did recently at the Blackhawk Museum in Northern California.


Long time racer, bon vivant and enthusiast Toly Arutunoff is introducing his latest book, "Steering With Your Knees" on Jan 9th at Michael Kersnick's Eclectic Garage in Burbank (Calif.).


The Auto Lunch-Bunch returned to the Waikiki Yacht Club for its December meeting and talk of a new race track on Oahu. No definitive word but there is lots of enthusiasm.


road signs

Automotive News flashed, "Ford and Google are in talks to have the automaker build Google's next-generation autonomous cars under contract. So much for the doom-sayers and California's driver occupant law. Great for headlines but it is only logical to move slowly into the new era of transportation. . . Jack Loechner reports in Media Post, "According to the Media Insight Project, a program of the American Press Institute and The Associated Press, in a series of major studies on the habits of news consumers in the United States, the vast majority of Millennials, Americans age 18 to 34, regularly use paid content for entertainment or news."

Reuters posts, "Former Skype co-founders have launched a new company, Starship Technologies, which is preparing to test their self-driving delivery robots in London. The as yet unnamed robots are small, safe, practical and free from CO2 emissions, according to the developers." . . . The Washington Post is shelving its "What was Fake" column, which was intended to debunk untruths and hoax stories being spread online. The problem is that said debunking "did little to slow down the spread of "fake news," according to Publisher's Daily The Post commented on the decision, where a willingness to believe hoaxes once seemed to come from a place of honest ignorance or misunderstanding, that's frequently no longer the case. Headlines like "Casey Anthony found dismembered in truck" go viral via old-fashioned schadenfreude — even hate.

Rebecca Riffkin reports in Gallop Poll Social Series, "Americans' Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low." The statistics: Four in 10 Americans trust the mass media ties 2014 and 2012 for the lowest trust level in Gallup's trend; Younger Americans less likely than older to trust the media. . . . . It looks like there may be more than 6 billion connected things in use around the world as soon as next year, with most of them being used by consumers, according to Chuck Martin, editor of IOT Daily. He predicts the number will be 14 billion by 2020. . . . Speaking of 2020, Dan Frommer writes for Quartz that Japan is planning to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as an opportunity to show the world it's still a tech leader. One of those efforts—if the technology and regulatory clearances shape out—could be an autonomous, self-driving taxi service, currently in development.


lane changes

The always busy auto writer Josh Max recently inked a 2-year agent agreement with Steve Ross of Abrams Artists Agency in Manhattan for his first book, a memoir titled "Help Wanted - What I Did For Money For The First 40 Years."  The signing was prompted when Ross spotted Max's 1200-word Op-ed, "A Special Education" in the NY Times. Max's latest Times story, "Zen and the Art Of Art Modeling" appeared on the front page of the online version of the paper - for two hours, anyway, he writes.  . . . . Cam Benty popped up to confirm he writes for Power and Performance News, Green Car Journal and appears on Drivers Talk Radio. His email address is:  . . . Kevin Duke has changed his email from earthlink to:

Please let us know if you change jobs, email or other contact information you would like other professionals to have.


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Glenn Campbell, Owner, Publisher

Glenn F. Campbell

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December 2015
1 World Motorsports Symposium | Birmingham, England
8 APA| NACTOY Finalists at the DAC, Detroit, MI
8 MPG| Dean Batchelor Awards, STBD
15 MAMA| Holiday Social at Dana House, Wheaton, IL
15 IMPA| Buick-GMC Sales, New York, NY
17 Automotive Journalist Media Event – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Location in Detroit TBD
January 2016
TBD MAMA| Annual Business Meeting
10 Kelley Blue Book| Media Brunch, Detroit, MI
11 APA| Networking Reception at the NAIAS, Detroit, MI
11-12 North American International Auto Show  Press Preview| Detroit, MI
13-14 North American International Auto Show | Industry Preview| Detroit, MI
15 North American International Auto Show | Charity Preview| Detroit, MI
16-24 North American International Auto Show | Public Show| Detroit, MI
17 APA Family Day at the 2016 NAIAS Sponsored by Michelin| Detroit, MI
February 2016
11 MAMA| Chicago Auto Show Breakfast | Chicago, IL
11-12 Chicago Auto Show| Media Preview | Chicago, IL
12 Chicago Auto Show| First Look for Charity I Chicago, IL
13-21 Chicago Auto Show| Public Show | Chicago, IL
March 2016
3-4 Geneva Motor Show | Press Days | Geneva, Switzerland
5-15 Geneva Motor Show | Public Days | Geneva, Switzerland
11-13 Amelia Island Concours| Amelia Island, FL
23-24 NY Int'l Auto Show| Press Preview | New York, NY
24 NY Int'l Auto Show| Dealer Preview Reception | New York, NY
24 Annual Kelley Blue Book Event | NY Int'l Auto Show| New York, NY
25-April 3 NY Int'l Auto Show| Public Days | New York, NY


RetroFocals: We've Got Your Style!


talk back


"No I don't have my car. My car was built October 26. There are hundreds of early builds that haven't been delivered. However, cars that were built two weeks ago have begun taking delivery. Makes no sense. GM isn't giving us any info. Many people are canceling orders.

Ryan Stratton

This is the third exchange with Stratton on this topic and his appeals to GM. It raises the question of a glitch in the "new GM" or a reversion to the "old GM's" sanctuary of faceless numbers.


Obsessive, fruitless hours spent searching this computer for a letter and photo from a reader illustrating that the Sombi-mobile clustering of car designs noted in our last issue is nothing new, prompts this apology to that reader and the request that it be sent again.


talk to us

Send your rants, raves, questions and suggestions to:

Please note: all correspondence sent to may be used for publication at the Editors' discretion unless you state otherwise.

motoring press organizations

North American 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.

American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.

Logo: AARWBA - Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association

Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director

Automobile Journalists Association of Canada


Automotive Press Association
Detroit, MI

Logo: APA Auto Press Associaion

Jeff Green, President

American Racing Press Association

Lo Association

Stan Clinton, President


Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY

Logo: EMPA Eastern Motorsports Press Association

Ron Hedger, President


Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Atlanta, GA

GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Davis Adams, President

International Motor Press Association

Logo: IMPA Int'l Motor Press Association

Scotty Reiss, President


Midwest Automotive Media Association
Chicago, IL

Logo: MAMA Midwest Automotive Media Association

Kirk Bell, President

Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA

Jason Fogelson, President

New England Motor Press Association
Boston, MA

NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

Craig Fitzgerald, President

Northwest Automotive Press Association
Portland, OR

NWAPA Logo: Northwest Automotive Press Association

Nik Miles, President

Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Phoenix, AZ

Logo: PAPA Phoenix Automotive Press Association

Cathy Droz, President

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Denver, CO

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Andre Smirnov, President

Southern Automotive Media Association
Miami FL

Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Bill Adam, President  

Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Charlotte, NC

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Texas Auto Writers Association

Michael Marrs

Truck Writers of North America

Logo: Truck Writers of North America

Tom Kelley, Executive Director

Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA

Logo: Western Automotvie Journalists

Brian Douglas

Washington Automotive Press Association
Washington, D.C.


Les Jackson, President

quotes to note

"We think consumerism is moving toward fewer goods with greater quality, versatility and durability."

Sheryl Connelly, Ford's global head of consumer trends, Media Post News-OP-Ed

"Even though there is serious trouble virtually all over the African continent, you likely won't hear much about it if a celebrity goes into (or comes out of) rehab, gets hurt in an accident or calls it quits with their current significant other. Or if one of the royal babies catches a cold.

Although it is impossible to cover all of the news in just 22 minutes, that does not stop the nets from using an invaluable three or four minutes to tell the "feel-good" story at the broadcast's end. If you have done something remarkable for kids with diseases, vets, the handicapped or the homeless, your story will send the audience off with a "warm feeling" that perhaps the world is not such a bad place after all.
Increasingly, yes it is. But you won't know why just by watching TV."

The Cliff Notes of Journalism, George Simpson, Media Post's TV News


"In somewhat of an interesting twist in The Internet of Things, there are now starting to be devices that watch devices."

The Intersection of Smart Objects, Consumers and Messaging, Chuck Martin, editor, IOT Daily



VW played three-card Monte with 11 million customers, a number of major governments and one very prominent atmosphere. And it's sticking with Das Auto?
Hey! Let's have some wordplay fun! Instead, I propose: "Das tardly.

Bob Garfield at large for Media Post What's German For 'Dastardly?'


"As the Web continues to shrink an expanding world, and kids note how much is at stake (and how much adults muck things up), Vice, for all its impropriety, has become -- for both millennials and news suits -- that most necessary of resources: the young Turks"

Vice And The New News Order
By J. Max Robins, TV Everywhere


"To far too many publishers and advertisers, we are not people. We are less than human. We are not customers. We are a Cost of Goods Sold that happens to be free, mere inputs to be packaged and monetized."

A Seven-Year-Old Could Predict The Consequences Of Ad Blockers - Kaila Colbin, OnLine Spin

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