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Today's Auto Quickies: Roundup of the catchiest news

Short news for knowing a tad more - Among the topics chosen for today: the 1963 VW Beetle owned by Paul Newman, which is available for purchase, the Acura special, "bomb-looking" press kit for Automobile magazine and the Nissan Leaf that ran out of power during a TopGear test.

1. I ran across an interesting news on, stating that the 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet Paul Newman used to own is now available for sale in Temecula, California, displaying a price tag of $250,000. This is not just another ordinary classic "Kafer", but one that was specifically tuned by Indycar builder Jerry Eisert to the desire of the famous actor and racing car driver, who bought in the late 60s. To be exact, the open-top car packs out a modified Ford Windsor V8 engine mounted right behind the fron seats, that is capable of delivering a peak output around 300 hp. This amount of brute force is then sent to rear wheels via a 5-speed ZF-engineered gearbox. Obviously, to cope with the performance, the car had to undergo several tweaks to the chassis and exhaust system. Paul Newman "got rid" of the cabriolet on requests from his management and image team, who were fearing the actor, for whom speed was like a potent drug flowing through its whole blood, might found himself one day in a life-threatening situation. He donated it to the Chaffey College's Automotive Technology Department, that looked after it for some years until their Racing Programme was closed up. The Beetle reached the department head, who repaired and restored the abilities of the little roadster. He finished the project in 2008, but sadly too late for Paul Newman to enjoy it. It would have certainly been love at first sight, like in the good ol' days.
1963 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

2. Despite initial concerns, Toyota have officially confirmed they will release the brand new Prius V eco-MPV in the US beginning with this fall. Rumors began surfacing when a report claimed that the car manufacturer might delay the launch of the model on the fear of possible plant shutdown caused by the disasters that hit Japan in March this year. However, another model in the lineup, the Prius Alpha, has been slanted to enter the Japanese market later than previously scheduled due to the ongoing effects of the earthquake.
2012 Toyota Prius V

3. A funny looking special press package sent by Acura for the Automobile magazine offices caused some panic yesterday in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The kit was somehow thrown to the garbage bin, but it was visible enough to alert people, who called 911 emergency service, scared by the fact that object could be a bomb. It wasn't the case. Just a false alarm and now everyone is relieved.

4. General Motors were nearing another crisis after the big problems they had during the hopefully gone away global economic and financial crisis, but this 'opportunity' was missed by inches. Thankfully, the leaders learnt important lessons from the harsh past experience and contrary to other constructors, the Japan catastrophies were not a hard rock for GM. Production needn't be halted, as the giant company made sure its as many worldwide facilities as possible stayed functional and the assembly process was never going to be stopped. The so-called "Project J." also delivered the aimed results with the joined efforts of new employees who worked around the clock and thus ensured a good flow of required parts and components.

5. A daring Japanese research team came up with a SF-looking transport vehicle badged AeroTrain, that levitates inches above the ground. The mighty machine works on electric motors and it can reach a top 124 mph. They say this is the way to go for the high speed trains of tomorrow. Wonder if it can actually fly as a bird in the sky, as the name may tells?


6. Audi wants us to think that small-sized things can actually hide great stuff inside them. The new "Oomph" TV advertisement for the A1 hatchback pictures the 'MINI Cooper killer' in a distinct way, much like an unconventional Theatre of the Absurd, that happens to have a clear signification. If you search deeply for it. I don't seem to understand what on Earth those bunnies good at in order to showcase them in a commercial, but probably you'll get the message after seeing the below-posted video.


7. TopGear and all electric vehicles don't get on very well. Just remember the Tesla Roaster S gate and you'll have a decent picture. Lastly, the TG team were stuck in an unpleasant moment as the Nissan Leaf driven by Jeremy Clarkson ran out of power in the Lincolnshire county of the United Kingdom. The boys were testing a pair of zero-emission models when the lighting stroke and their good luck was over. Trying to find out a way to recharge the batteries in order to continue with the drive test gave them headaches and, if this wasn't enough, James May's Peugeot iOn encountered the same problem as the Leaf. Watch out and learn more from the next video.


emilvaldez01 (not verified)    May 15, 2011 - 2:04AM

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