Auto Dissection #003 FERRARI CALIFORNIA!


Nice. So, the response to last week’s AD was excellent. But, before we get to this week’s Dissection, the WINNING NAME goes to Stephanie Holden’s “INDIAN SUMMER.” Although MINIbee’s “Aztec Fire” was an excellent name as well. Congrats, Stephanie! You’ll be contacted for you prize!

Everyone’s entry was great, but a name has to really evoke an emotion which is why car companies spend a great deal of time and money doing it. And some, even after all that, come out lame. So take your time and THINK.


ONWARD! This week’s contest goes like this for the above prize. (2) 1/43rd scale gems found in Geneva. A Mini Cabriolet and a Smart4Four. Question…?

If you had your own EXOTIC CAR COMPANY, 1) What would it be called. 2) Where would it be located? 3) What one word would evoke your design philosophy? Rememeber, don’t just haul off and answer this one. Be CREATIVE!



I will keep this week’s AD short, as I’m still dealing with a broken hand. (Had a fight with a fridge and lost!)

This elegante piece of machinery is one of the most controversial Ferraris in years. And although there are many elements to it that say Ferrari, there are several that don’t. Design cues shared by the Honda S2000 for example. But as a car company, the challenge is to maintain brand recognition AND move outside the box. And this gem does exactly that. The cues I like include the side scalloping, unique overall proportion, peaked roof and big brother recessed tail lights.


A clean design,… that is a bit anti-ferrari. Almost as if it were some other company trying their take at designing one of these beasts. Although safely…

I always like to see the same car in a metallic and solid. The light plays differently. And surface changes say a lot. The red front 3/4 looks as if a couch has been set into the body with the way the hip curls up. (Although, I don’t much care for the simple unresolved front end treatment.) Like the original, but too safe.


Edgy in some ways, too simple in others, the FERRARI CALIFORNIA succeeds in bringing back a legend …safely. I like it…. kinda.

If there’s a Dissection you’d like to see, email!

And here’s your treat for reading the full Dissection! 007!!!!!!!

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Auto Dissection #002 MINI CLUBMAN


The MINI CLUBMAN. The other MINI. MINI to the 1oth power. MINI with room for more stuff.

Well, before we get into this week’s Dissection, our GIVEAWAY goes like this…


See this lil’ 64th scale TOMY Cooper? Super hard to find and I found this in Switzerland. It’s yours. IF, you can give the Clubman at the top an appropriate NAME. Post your suggestion and the winner will be revealed this Monday. PLUS, they’ll get an extra Fireballed surprise! But, you have to post your comment only at the home blog HERE. This Dissection gets posted in 30 different places!!!

Ok, the CLUBMAN…. Since I’m into to MINIs, you’d think this was a given. So, I should like the CLUBMAN. Well then, you’d be wrong…


I don’t like the CLUBMAN… I adore the CLUBMAN. It’s all the things that MINI is, plus a wee tad more. Actually, a lot more. There were many ways to do this car, but the designers chose to take the road of uniqueness. 5 doors, placed in a unique formation. Two front, one extra on the passenger side, and two suicide style in the rear. When I went to see the boys at MINIUSA at the LA Auto Show, Prez Jim McDowell did a great job at expressing how fun the rear doors were to open. “I could do this all day,” he said.


But all the reasons that MINIS are fun to drive, beautiful to look at, ways to modify and personalize, there’s one one reason to have this car. Because it’s different. And while other cars are suffereing during the gas hike, the MINIS are flourishing.

The tagline for this car should be, “GET ONE, AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.” ‘Cause things do… This is not a commercial, but this is my honest opinion of a successful design enhanced to broaden it’s appeal. Much like a movie, this could have gone wrong in a thousand different ways.


But, as cool as it is, it’s not perfect. It has flaws and many of you who have bought this car agree that there are slightly subtle things that come to mind. But, even with those flaws, they are personal choices. Example: The center cluster is big enough for the people 2 cars behind you to see how fast you’re going. But, none of these issues are quality relate. The car is just solid, like a MINI should be. And with 7 sextillion options to go along with it, it will take you 12 years to put your car together (slight exaggeration).

If you’re weird, different, unique, inspired, funny looking or just plain nuts, then this is the car for you. And if you want to see a whole host of them in one place, then come to the Rose Bowl on August 1-3. MINI TAKES THE STATES will be in LA. And so will EVERY MINI west of Texas. Come by and say “hi.”

Design Enhanced. That’s the new CLUBMAN. Check out the R60 SUV coming, too! AN SUV!!!??? Well yea, duh. You gotta have something to pull your MINI outta the mud at the race track….

I’d call the MINI Design Language “Fun Surfacing.” As in, the elements that make up the components of the car are round, bulbous and funny looking. All adding up to one hellava good time. Just be careful how you park it….

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Auto Dissection on MyRide! AUDI R8

Man, I dig this car…

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2008 Dodge Challenger AUTO DISSECTION!

Yea, big MUSCLE baby…

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Been one of those weeks…


Yea, we all have ’em, eh? Like, no matter how hard you try, it just keeps getting more and more challenging.

My Mom was diagnosed with Cancer last week. Terminal, they said Monday. Then, by Friday after getting more detail, they said that it was treatable and she wouldn’t die. That was a hellava rollercoaster for everyone.

So began a chain that ended Friday of very unusual events concerning everything from my son moving away to San Francisco with a great job to unusual Tax stuff. But somewhere in all that muck, I discovered a satisfying treat…

At the CITY BAKERY in Brentwood I found those unbelievable  Hot Chocolate on the planet. Worth a trip from New York, this one. 26th Street and San Vicente. It went down like a warm blanket of chocolatey goodness. Ah, the simple things.

What else….

Oh, two shows confirmed coming up. The HUNTINGTON BEACH CONCOURS d’ ELEGANCE and THE RCX SHOW. Check the sites for info. I’ll be there, havin’ fun. Come say hi… (I may have some treats)

Reading Charles Haanel’s MASTER KEY SYSTEM. The book rumored to have launched Bill Gates. I can see why. Get it from Kallisti Publishing. It will be the most profound read you’ve ever done.

Oh, and a wee excitement in Malibu. Labor Day accident. No one seriously hurt, but a motorcyclist down for the count. He couldn’t win against an Infinity, but a MINI showed up to help as usual.

Oh, shot four new episodes of AUTO DISSECTION. Check ’em out here. They should be airing next week. 3 Episodes up now, but the four new ones will include the Dodge Challenger and the Audi R8.

Yea, it was a busy week, but like all things everything turns out well.

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