AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Hollywood and the automobile industry share a rich history. Since the first motion pictures debuted cars have played a starring role, something that’s still true today, especially on the small screen.
To appease the millions of insatiable television viewers, the BBC teamed up with BBC America to create a new show featuring Richard Hammond, one of the legs to the entertaining tripod of Top Gear presenters.
While the show is not necessarily a Top Gear spin-off, Richard Hammond’s Crash Course is still an over-the-top experience that challenges Hammond behind the wheel of giant machinery, documenting his adventures, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
This is not your average road test, Hammond will operate heavy machines including logging equipment in Oregan, an industrial trash compactor in Florida, cranes and magnets of a Louisiana salvage yard, as well as a M1A2 Abrams main battle tank.
For the tank segment, Hammond and the crew of BBC visited Fort Bliss of El Paso, Texas. The American military is understandably reluctant in allowing civilians to operate equipment, but the soldiers of the U.S. Army artillery and armor brigades base gave him tank driving 101 just the same.
Having undergone intensive training, Hammond was finally ready to operate the Abrams and fire its cannons and 50-caliber machine gun, crushing vehicles including a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, a 1968 Ford Mustang and a 1979 Porsche 928 *sigh.
Look out for the debut on April 16, 2012, airing on BBC America.
[Source: New York Times]
Taking shots at your competitors is nothing new in the advertising world, but North Americans generally see the kind of gentle ribbing that comes from restrictive libel laws and the preference for subtlety over braggadocio.
Not so in Brazil, where Nissan ran a campaign for their Tiida small car (aka the Versa on our shores) that featured actors imitating rappers and dancing with bikini-clad video girls in front of a Ford Focus. The message of the ad was that Ford was overcharging customers (due to the $1,800 delta in price between the Focus and Tiida) and their lavish lifestyles were funded by the extra cash.
Ford took issue with the gratuitous nature of the commercial and has decided to sue. We don’t know whether their argument will hold up in a Brazilian court of law, but we sure appreciate the video!
Hit the jump to see the video
Over 70 years ago, the Battle of Britain was waged in an effort to stop Hitler’s army from invading the United Kingdom. While Britain may have won that pivotal contest, it looks like the Germans are about to make off with one of the UK’s cultural jewels, as the BBC prepares to sell the print version of Top Gear.
German publishing firm Bauer is considered a leading candidate to purchase the magazine, as well as Burda, another German outfit. British publishers Haymarket and Future are also said to be involved in the bidding process. Top Gear is actually being sold as part of the entire BBC magazines suite, which suggests that the state owned broadcaster is looking to divest itself entirely from print.
[Source: This Is Money]
Matt Farah, host of The Smoking Tire and an AutoGuide contributor, has been tapped to host a new SPEED channel show featuring comedian and car buff Adam Carolla, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dan Neil and former NBA player John Salley.
Carolla, who was once tapped to host a stillborn version of Top Gear USA, will head up the show, produced by Mandt Bros. Productions. The structure of the show will be more like a cable sports show, where hosts discuss car related topics, with pre-shot features interspersed with the discussions.
When pressed for details, Farah was tight-lipped, but told AutoGuide that “We feel that there is room in the market for a fun car show with a uniquely American flavor. While the gold standard of Top Gear is out there for everyone to compare to, we want to try something different, something a little less scripted and a little more on the fly, with well-known automotive personalities. I’m really happy to be a part of this project, and really excited for viewers to see it when it’s done.”