Here's your sign. Hillbillies ravage Lambo wreck

In a story worthy of a Bill Engvall skit comes news of a most peculiar car crash. A North Carolia man lost control of his Lamborghini Murcielago wearing the plate "ITS YELLO" In case you're color blind.

Enter the hillbillies. Since a Lamborghini is a rare sighting in NC, Chuck Maner and Chad Blackwelder. They thought they were on to something by picking up the pieces of the wrecked Italian lady after she was towed off to the junkyard. I wouldn't be surprised to see a Chevy Cavalier sportin around town wearing a Lambo charging bull sometime in the near future.

GREENSBORO - A piece of yellow plastic here. A turn-signal bulb there. Chuck Maner picked up remnants left behind after a tow truck hauled away a Lamborghini that crashed Friday afternoon on Norwalk Street.

"It's the closest I'll get to a Lamborghini," Maner said.

He held up two handfuls of decadent Italian debris and mentioned the song "One Piece at a Time," in which Johnny Cash describes stealing a car piece by piece from 1949 to 1973 .
"If I furrow around enough, I'll get a full one," Maner said.

A small crowd gathered as the exotic roadster was dragged onto a wrecker; the crowd dispersed as the wrecker carried the car away.

Chad Blackwelder of Thomasville said he wouldn't have paid much attention if just any car had wrecked. What drew his attention was a wrecked car with a price tag that makes sense to measure in fractions of a million dollars. Large fractions.

According to police, the man driving the Lamborghini lost control of the car because of a mechanical failure about 3 p.m Friday.

The car apparently drove off the left side of the road and came to rest against a chain-link fence at 344 Norwalk St.

No one was injured.

The driver declined to comment at the scene. Police did not identify him Friday night.

Maner, who works nearby, said the very same piece of fence had just been replaced two weeks earlier after a similar accident. But that car kept going, more of a "hit and bounce" than a hit and run, Maner said.

Limo One version 9.0

Just as Air Force One serves as the President of the United Sates transportation from Washington D.C. to anywhere in the world. Limo One serves as his ground transport to and from Air Force One. On Tuesday, the world will be watching as Barack Obama takes the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States. President Elect Obama will ride to the U.S. Capital in an entirely new Presidential Limousine. Meet the 2009 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine. For years the President's limo has served as the power of America especially in foreign countries as the President travels around world. For many, glimpses of November 22nd, 1963 come to mind when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in his 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine in Dallas Texas.

Prior to 1993, all Presidential limousines were produced by outside coach builders with development, engineering, and testing partnered with the Secret Service. Many of them built by the Hess & Eisenhardt Company. And usually were Lincoln automobiles, but since 1983 have been Cadillacs. Also since 1963, the President of the United States has not been allowed to ride in an open car in response to the Kennedy assassination. Starting in 1993 all Presidential limos have been designed, developed and built by General Motors, again with the aid of the Secret Service.
Both General Motors and the Secret Service are hush hush about the specific details of the modifications made to Presidential vehicles for obvious security reasons. Some speculations around the new Obama limo are that it is built on a GMC Topkick pickup truck and possibly diesel powered. And there certainly isn't 20 inch spinners, tinted glass, or billet grilles on this black caddy.

Source: General Motors Cadillac Division.
For release: Jan. 14, 2009
An American Tradition Continues: New Presidential Era Begins With a New Cadillac Presidential Limousine

President Obama to Christen New Car at Jan. 20 Inaugural Parade

WASHINGTON – As Americans celebrate the inauguration of a new president of the United States next week, another new Cadillac will grace Pennsylvania Avenue to lead the proceedings. President Barack Obama will ride in an all-new Cadillac Presidential Limousine, continuing a long tradition of Cadillac limousines that have served many U.S. presidents.

“Cadillac is honored to again provide a new Presidential Limousine,” said Mark McNabb, North America vice president, Cadillac/Premium Channel. “This is a great American tradition that we’re delighted to renew with an all-new car featuring the best of Cadillac’s dramatic design and technology.”

The image of an American president greeting crowds from a Cadillac limousine dates to President Woodrow Wilson and the early days of the automobile, and continues into a historic new era. The latest Cadillac Presidential Limousine is a completely new design, succeeding the DTS Presidential Limousine that debuted in 2004. The new car incorporates many of the dramatic design and technology features of new and highly acclaimed Cadillac vehicles in a purpose-built format tailored to specific and exacting specifications befitting presidential transport.

Inside and out, the Cadillac Presidential Limousine includes many of the brand’s signature design elements. Assertive, modern and elegant, the front of the car includes the intricate, dual-textured grille made famous by Cadillac’s most popular current models, the CTS sport sedan and Escalade. Vertical design elements, such as the car’s front and rear lighting, mirror those used on production models.

For largely functional reasons, such as optimal outward visibility, the car is slightly more upright than its predecessor. However, this new Cadillac Presidential Limousine occupies roughly the same overall footprint on the road as the previous model, with a similar size and proportion.

The side and rear profiles of the new Presidential Limousine are classic, elegant forms, evocative of Cadillac’s STS and DTS luxury sedans. Inside the cabin, the car includes the finest examples of Cadillac’s recent renaissance in design, technology and craftsmanship. The cabin blends modern design and technology with old-world craftsmanship. Major aspects of the cabin are cut and sewn by hand, the same process used in popular Cadillac models such as the CTS sport sedan.

Naturally, many purpose-built aspects of the car are specially designed and prepared for presidential use. The rear passenger area includes an extensive executive compartment with ample seating space, outward visibility and useful mobile office features.

The car was designed, developed and tested by specialists who adhered to an extensive set of specifications. It was subjected to an extreme testing regimen to ensure performance that achieves precise functional requirements. In doing so, security provisions were undertaken at all times during development to ensure the car’s functional capabilities are preserved and confidential.

An embroidered presidential seal is positioned in the center of the rear seat back panel, as well as on each rear door trim panel. Presidential seals are also affixed to the exterior rear doors. The U.S. flag is placed on the right front fender, and the presidential standard is located on the left front fender when the president travels in the vehicle. High-tech LED spotlights illuminate the flags at night.

History – Cadillac and the U.S. Presidency

Cadillac has built limousines and special vehicles for U.S. presidents, diplomats, ambassadors and foreign dignitaries since the early 20th century, an iconic aspect of the brand that continues today.

Cadillac’s central role began during World War I, when many Cadillac engines and cars were transferred to military and government service because of their superior durability and power. One of the first chief executives to use a Cadillac was President Wilson, who rode through the streets of Boston during a World War I victory parade in 1919. A lavish 1928 Cadillac town car was used in the Calvin Coolidge administration.

In 1938, two Cadillac convertibles, dubbed the "Queen Mary" and "Queen Elizabeth," were delivered to the U.S. government. Named after the great ocean liners of the time, the vehicles were 21.5 feet long, weighed 7,660 pounds and were equipped with a full ammunition arsenal, two-way radios and heavy-duty generators. Durable and reliable, the two "Queens" served Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower, known as a car buff, rode in one of the first Cadillac Eldorado models ever produced during his 1953 inaugural parade. The Eldorado represented a high point in automobile design history, as it had the first wraparound windshield, a feature quickly adopted on other new production models.

In 1956, the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II convertibles replaced the original series. The vehicles were slightly smaller, but like their predecessors, were fully armored and featured state-of-the art communications. Moreover, the vehicles were fitted with narrow rims inside the tire in case the tires were shot out. The Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II served not only President Eisenhower, but also Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Both vehicles were retired in 1968.

The Ronald W. Reagan administration was delivered a 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine and a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Presidential Series was delivered to the William J. Clinton administration in 1993. Unlike previous models that typically were Cadillac cars adapted and modified by independent limousine companies, the 1993 Presidential Brougham was designed, developed and manufactured totally within General Motors and Cadillac. This included an extensive set of security measures to maintain confidentiality, a process that continues today.

Currently, the 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine resides at the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., while the 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham is at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark.

In the garage: 2009 Scion xB

We have a new test vehicle to report on for 2009. Introducing the 2009 Scion xB. We recently picked up our new tester and have been pleasantly surprised with it so far. Our xB is a black sand pearl model that is pretty much standard by way of options. Really, it is standard. No optional equipment what so ever. Not that it's a bad thing. What we did get is A/C a 160 watt Pioneer stereo with iPod and MP3 jacks, standard disc brakes w/ ABS, and just about everything else you'd expect to find standard.

Our car has the 2.4 liter DOHC 16 valve 4 cylinder that offers relatively good performance at 158 horse power. This is backed by a 4 speed automatic transmission. Toyota rates the fuel economy at 22 City/28 Highway. So far we have averaged 23.3 MPG, though it's not like we're exactly light on the gas.

So far handling has been ok, at highway speeds the steering does feel on the light side, same in wet conditions. So I would say don't go out there and hot dog around in those conditions. Perhaps this will improve as we break the car in.

Inside the xB is very roomy. the seats sit at chair height and are fairly comfortable. Only the driver is spoiled by the presence of a flip down armrest for his or her right arm. The central dash display is easy to read and nicely positioned in the center of the dash. I found that the cluster looks similar to that in a Dodge Challenger, looks wise. The radio, heater and A/C controls, and the gear shift are all right at your finger tips. And there are controls for volume and station selection on the tilt steering wheel. We noticed the lack of power out lets in the car to run accessories from, but not a major problem that can't be solved with a trip to Walmart. Storage is ample. Though the trunk area is a bit short. Especially when you throw suitcases and camera equipment at it. So you will have to keep the 60/40 rear seat down for medium to large hauls.

Our xB comes with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $16,700. And totals out at $17,320. after the $620 Delivery and Processing Fee is added. So the xB is both light on gas and light on the wallet.

Otherwise we will continue to fill you in with our further adventures with the xB and look for an update on our other fleet car the 2008 Mini.
Copyright © Automotive News & Concepts. All Rights Reserved.