Rolls Royce Wraith will be a fastback

Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith

By Gerry Miles

The fourth and allegedly final image of the Rolls Royce Wraith was released, showing off a fastback silhouetted styling, showing off but three lines that draw the car’s profile.

In the words of Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Design Director:

“The purposeful fastback profile is Wraith’s defining element.
Inherent in the graceful line that sweeps from the top of the screen to the very rear edge is the promise of fast, yet effortless touring. Yet, perhaps my favourite aspect is the expressive gesture that comes from the side window graphic, gliding through Wraith’s glamorous coach door.

It works with a strong sense of linear purpose from the shoulder line, which has the promise of potential like the athlete in the starting blocks. In contrast, the line that cuts through the shoulder line is a little more artful and adds that certain air of effortlessness to Wraith’s dynamic statement.

In my view the most successful designs always come down to three or four lines.”

The Wraith will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show. Stay tuned.

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“The Car Chasers” debuts on CNBC Tues. March 5 at 10 PM eastern

Car Chasers

‘The Car Chasers’  Jeff Allen and Perry Barndt

New Series Debut on CNBC Prime Time

 By Gerry Miles

You’ve heard of flipping a house for profits? You might have even stumbled upon it on HGTV where a home needs some TLC and dough-ray-me to get spruced up, spit-shined and sold at a tidy profit to those with the elbow grease.

Enter the automotive world of car flipping in “The Car Chasers” on CNBC, debuting March 5 at 10 p.m. eastern.

This eight episode, one-hour series will feature the pursuit, sale and potential profit of Jeff Allen and Perry Barndt from Lubbock, Texas.

In the premiere, Jeff and Perry chase the lead on an iconic 1981 Ferrari in Las Vegas with huge potential to make a lot of profit.  With the pressure on to make money, Jeff and Perry head to the Dallas Leake auction to move inventory including a 1995 Harley Davidson Fat Boy with ties to the Terminator movie series.

A teaser for the second episode notes, “Jeff and Perry find a hidden compound of cars in Midland Odessa, TX with a treasure trove of priceless cars, including a 1969 Dickie Harrell Camaro 427 that could sell for upwards of one million dollars.

The team also heads to a swap meet in Pomona, CA to shop muscle cars including 1931 Ford hot rod.  Emotions run high as Jeff and his dad take negotiations to the racetrack when they go head-to-head over a $1,500 spread on a 1969 Chevy Camaro.

The Backstory

Think American Pickers meets the auto world. Jeff is the dealmaker.  Perry is the artist.  Meg controls the money.  They buy, fix and flip cars but turning a profit is never a sure thing during tough economic times.  Whether it’s a rare Shelby Mustang or a vintage hot rod, the key is buy low and sell high, something that doesn’t always happen.  And there are other hazards when it comes to selling car, like negotiation with your own dad.  Tom “Roundman” Souter, Jeff’s dad, runs his own classic car dealership right around the corner from Jeff’s shop.  They are not just regular trading partners; they are trading partners hell-bent on one-upmanship. Tom says doing a deal with his son is like being locked in a closet with a porcupine, “it’s gonna hurt but you know it won’t kill you.”

Visit thecarchasers.cnbc.com to meet the team at Flat 12, get exclusive online extras and behind-the-scenes video. Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/thecarchasers, follow us on Twitter: @CNBCprimeTV and Instagram: @CNBCprime.

Yeah, that stamp’s got a HEMI

Richard Petty Dedicates Muscle Cars Forever Stamps
Limited-Edition Stamps Celebrate High-Performance Cars from the ’60s and ’70s
 
By Gerry Miles

Years ago, the only way to communicate was by mail. Letters. Hand-written thoughts. Nothing was abbreviated. Texting meant you used words that were part of your collective thoughts that comprised the letters. Penmenship – nice cursive letters that you were taught in school or punished for not performing properly by a nun drew extra praise.

None other than King Richard Petty is behind a set of limited edition set of stamps called “America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever.”

The limited edition stamps feature five iconic muscle cars: the 66 Pontiac GTO, the 67 Shelby GT-500, the 69 Dodge Charger Daytona, the 70 Plymouth Hemi Cuda and the 70 Chevelle SS.

“The Muscle Cars stamps celebrate an exciting era in American automotive history,” said Richard Petty. “These examples of raw power bring back fond memories for me and my family, a testament to how aerodynamics transformed racing. I’ve been around racing and muscle cars all my life. These stamps bring back the memories of our racing heritage in the ‘60s and ‘70s. This is a great way to share our stories, old and new, about the Petty history in racing.”

The Muscle Cars stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in self-adhesive sheets of 20 (four of each design). Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

1966 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac GTO

The Pontiac GTO ushered in the American muscle-car era in the mid-1960s, just as the first baby boomers began to come of age. The first GTO was born when engineers dropped a 389-cubic-inch V8 engine, which was built for a full-size sedan, into an intermediate-size Pontiac Tempest LeMans. Initially offered simply as an option on the Tempest LeMans, the GTO — which in Italian stood for Gran Turismo Omologato, or in English, Grand Touring Homologated — became its own model in 1966.

Available as a hardtop, coupe or convertible, the 1966 Pontiac GTO was equipped with a standard 335-horsepower V8 engine. The “Goat” could really move. In tests, it went from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. It also looked much different than its predecessors. Starting in 1966, the car featured curvy Coke-bottle styling and a split grille.

1967 Shelby GT-500

Shelby GT 500

Manufacturer Carroll Shelby’s take on the Ford Mustang reflected his roots as a race car driver. The 1967 Shelby GT-500 was powered by a 428-cubic-inch, 355-horsepower Police Interceptor engine. The car also featured a rear spoiler and optional dealer-installed LeMans stripes. Rocker panel stripes came standard on the 1967 Shelby GT-500, which also sported grille-mounted headlights. A scooped fiberglass hood, extended nose, and interior roll bar and shoulder harnesses further enhanced the race car feel.

The 1967 Shelby GT-500 was more than just a racer. The improved suspension softened the ride, resulting in a vehicle that was comfortable to drive on the highway as well as on the track. The car was both striking and rare; only 2,048 were built. A customized or original version of the 1967 Shelby GT-500 has appeared in contemporary movies and magazines, rekindling American pop culture’s fascination with the model. In 2007, Ford reintroduced the Shelby GT-500 into the Mustang model lineup.

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Dodge Daytona

The outrageously styled 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona was designed to dominate on the racetrack. The car, which underwent wind-tunnel testing before its release, took the checkered flag at its NASCAR debut in September 1969 at Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega. The production version of the car was powered by a standard 440-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower Magnum engine. A limited number of Daytonas also were available with a 426-cubic-inch Hemi, a race-inspired engine Chrysler introduced earlier that decade. Chrysler first used a version of the Hemi — a high-performance engine with hemispherical combustion chambers — in automobiles in the 1950s.

1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda 4-0_USPS13STA022f

The 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda, a performance-oriented alter-ego of the standard 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, oozed power. The car’s 426-cubic-inch Hemi engine was a 425-horsepower beast. The car was part of what Plymouth called “The Rapid Transit System.” The 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda was “our angriest, slipperiest-looking body shell wrapped around ol’ King Kong hisself,” one advertisement bellowed.

1970 Chevelle SS

Chevelle SS

With features like optional twin racing stripes, the 1970 Chevelle SS looked fierce. SS stood for Super Sport, a fitting designation for this power car. A 396-cubic-inch engine was available, but a 454-cubic-inch engine option gave the 1970 Chevelle SS credibility among muscle car enthusiasts. Two versions of the 454 engine were available: the 360-horsepower LS-5 and the 450-horsepower LS-6. For its sheer power, the latter has become legendary among car buffs.

Presuming that there are some that still prefer to write letters vs. e-mail, those few may view the America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Bentley smells sweet with luxury scents for men

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 Lalique creates the first limited edition crystal flacon for Bentley:

Unique artwork reflects dynamism of Bentley design

By Gerry Miles

Combining the luxury marque B for Bentley and crystal maker Lalique, Bentley has launched a set of scents aimed for men.

Lindsay Weaver, Director of Licensing at Bentley Motors, comments: “This collaboration has allowed the transposition of Bentley brand core attributes into luxury fragrance.”

‘Lalique for Bentley Crystal Edition’

“Bentley and Lalique have a similar history. Both companies were founded almost 100 years ago. Both stand for craftsmanship and tradition, but also for luxury, lifestyle and innovation. To create a fragrance together is to capture the essence of our skills and our vision in a bottle,” says Silvio Denz, CEO of Lalique.

70556bm_6_2

The collaboration between Bentley and Art & Fragrance, owner of Lalique, creates the bespoke ‘Lalique for Bentley Crystal Edition’, an impressive crystal flacon with the legendary ‘Flying B’ Bentley mascot. Finely wrought in gleaming crystal, the dynamic styling of its wings epitomises timeless beauty.

The eau de parfum itself, composed by Mylène Alran, from the French perfume house Robertet, is a fitting elixir of fine woody notes and exquisite leather to complement the epicentres of excellence within Bentley’s craftsmanship.

The ‘Lalique for Bentley Crystal Edition’ showcases the finest glassmaking expertise and is limited to only 999 pieces, available at a number of carefully selected retailers from April 2013.

‘Bentley for Men’ and ‘Intense’ range

The ‘Bentley for Men’ and the high-impact ‘Bentley for Men Intense’ fragrances are created by top French perfumer Nathalie Lorson, from the perfume house Firmenich. She has skilfully transformed the quintessence of the luxury automotive brand Bentley into a superb and unmistakeable fragrance experience. To do so, the finest perfume raw ingredients have been used, including those must-haves for Bentley’s debut fragrance, fine wood and leather notes.

“I chose cedar because of its powerful unadulterated scent and patchouli for its sensual depth and natural elegance,” explains Nathalie.

The ‘Intense’ version will take these notes to another level by infusing the rich scent with aromatic African geranium. The bottle design echoes the luxury of the cars with an elegant symmetrical shape, striking appeal and a knurled ring around the top. Both captivating Bentley fragrances will be available at selected perfumeries and department stores from April 2013.

  • Price for the ‘Lalique for Bentley Crystal Edition’:
  • Eau de Parfum £3,000 / €3,500 / 40 ml

New Jeep Cherokee pics show off polarizing 2014 style

New Jeep Cherokee that will debut at the New York Auto Show

New Jeep Cherokee Limited to debut at the New York Auto Show.                                     (Jeep)

BY GERRY MILES

As on former auto PR wag told me, all “leaked photos” aren’t necessarily leaked by accident. It’s done on purpose … for the purpose of drawing early attention and interest to an a) new model or b) updated model and c) gives the automaker time to make some changes on the fly depending upon the a) raves or b) shrieks from the press and/or public.

See, more than one auto spy photog or two were told – often my retired friend told me – that if they ‘happened’ to be on the corner of a certain street near a certain restaurant that it would be ‘likely’ that a certain XYZ car or two would likely be parked nearby … perhaps. And the shooter(s) would get the shots for the magazines, newspapers (remember them?) and so forth to further the PR machinery before the product officially launched. Remember, this was well before internet, Facebook, texting and probably fax machines.

So the fact that Jeep has released four pictures of the replacement to its Liberty line, returning the Cherokee nameplate to production, could be a smart as a fox play. Most every outlet has jumped upon the news, and despite the scant info that’s known until the New York Auto Show debut, the pictures are running rampant as is the reaction to them.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited.

The all-new midsized SUV heralds the “No Compromise” theme for the Jeep lineup. In a presser, Jeep claimed the Cherokee will set new standards with more best-in-class capability, exemplary on-road driving dynamics, and fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent versus the outgoing mid-size SUV model.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be built in the U.S. at Chrysler Group’s Toledo Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio. It’s due in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of this year.

While the Cherokee retains the seven slotted grille opening Jeep is famous for, the sharply creased or sloped hood and amount of chrome glazing has drawn sharp criticism from many posted comments on the various boards I’ve perused thus far.

2014 Jeep Cherokee front view

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited front view

The smaller, slotted top lights are similar to those on the new Grand Cherokee. The front fascia incorporates fog lights that bookend a lower air intake. None of the released Jeep pictures shows off the backside.

No information was released with engine power or transmission specifics. Stay tuned.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

There Comes a Time When…

by Rick Deneau

Head of Brands, Chrysler Group Communication
  • … you’ve got to embrace being the SUV leader and lead by design.
  • … you’ve got to eschew the traditional and embrace the progressive.
  • … you’ve got to listen to the customer, saying keep capability, but give us more fuel economy (and a better on-road driver).
  • … you’ve got to listen to the experts, telling you to further grow and build the Brand that has perhaps the most equity of any worldwide.

The 2014 Jeep® Cherokee is that time.
Customers, through extensive research, are strongly telling us that. Media are saying same. And our dealers – critical in the past – are onboard as well.

Like our Sr VP of Design recently tweeted, “Have Faith. We are shifting some paradigms around … it is time.”

Check us out in New York, hear the whole story, see both models we’ll offer, even drive it and see if you agree we’ve made the vehicle that does it all.

Third Rolls Royce Wraith image released

By Gerry Miles

With its third teaser image of its upcoming Wraith model, Rolls Royce released a picture of its door panel showing off its style, class and attention to detail.

Wraith_PanelA press release said the car – to be shown off at the Geneva Auto Show – features the softest ‘Phantom-grade’ leathers and open pore wood named Canadel Panelling. The interior is supposed to hint at the interior of an ultra-luxury yacht.

Wraith3Another picture, of the clock, is said to be shown off with Blood Orange needle tips that point to the car’s dynamic potential, while paying homage to the marque’s aviation heritage.

Like every Rolls-Royce, the Wraith is built entirely by hand.

Need a parking space? Yeah, there’s an app for that: ParkMe

BY GERRY MILES

I suppose it was only a matter of time, but there’s now a real-time parking app, ParkMe that claims to give drivers up-to-date parking data at some 2,000 ABM facilities nation-wide. The app is a mobile app solution, that also works with in-dash nav units and GPS systems.

image001Data is relayed to users through its branded and white label mobile apps as well as its partnerships with GPS and in-car nav systems. ParkMe has a proprietary application for ABM users that highlights their locations, showing real-time availability and rate information while offering unique customer benefits. Drivers can now download this free custom ABM-branded application, giving them direct parking information sourced from the company.

“ABM’s incomparable U.S. presence serves more drivers in top-tier cities where parking is a major concern,” Mark Muglich, President, ABM said. “Partnering with ParkMe provides our customers greater access and visibility to real-time lot occupancy information. This is a huge step toward making the search for parking a less stressful endeavor.”

Currently, millions of drivers access parking data in more than 500 cities directly through ParkMe’s branded mobile apps and its partnerships with GPS and in-car navigation systems. To download the free ParkMe iPhone app or get more information on ParkMe, consumers can visit http://www.parkme.com.

Of course, the app can be downloaded from the iTunes app store.