Last year I became a huge fan of the BBC car show TOP GEAR. Thanks to catching episodes of past seasons on Netflix. It took a couple episodes for me to warm up to the show, but quite quickly the natural camaraderie of the hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May made a believer out of me.
The shows were just plain fun. So when news came that one of the trinity was no longer going to be on the show, due to punching out one of the producers, and the other 2/3rds quitting to join him, I was dismayed. No more of the show that I had in quick order made a binge watch favorite.
And yes there was the American TOP GEAR, but the hosts there came off as annoying frat boys, making the show quite unwatchable. Nope it was clear that what made BBC’s TOP GEAR a long running hit, was the fun dynamic of the three hosts they had stupidly lost.
So when it was announced that AMAZON was giving the three ex-hosts a new car show, I couldn’t wait. Well tonight the waiting ended as the first episode of THE GRAND TOUR dropped. And it’s great. Different but great. There are minor quibbles, the biggest being the absolutely awful ‘THE AMERICAN’ driver.
Their take on the very popular “STIG’ driver of TOP GEAR, but a very poor take it is. Being something of a very unfunny send-up of Ugly American cliches. The ‘AMERICAN’ is very annoying, very unfunny, and is a bit that hopefully they will pull the plug on in short order.
That aside, the rest of the show and the skits and the cars and the banter of the hosts is great! And the opening sequence is quite frankly awesome. A welcome premiere and looking forward to the upcoming Friday release of new shows!
One of the black eyes for the Obama administration was the massive expenditure of taxpayer’s money that was paid out to save a bunch of mismanaged wall street companies that should have been allowed to go under for their, in many cases, excess and greed and incompetence.
One of these notorious companies that received hundreds of millions in taxpaper funding, was Fisker Automotive. This was the company that was hawking the 2011 Fisker Karma, a $100000 eco-friendly car that was going to be TESLA on steroids, but with a Green-Peace spin. Leather that was supposedly sourced from Happy Cows, cows that were kept as pets and died naturally as opposed to being raised and slaughtered for their skin. Yeah I know, ludicrous, but that was the pitch they were spinning back in 2011.
And the car inside and out, did look drop dead gorgeous. But the company never got past selling an image to actually producing the car. The company consistently was somehow unable to translate not only the promised half billion dollars in tax payer money, but the millions more in pre-orders sparked by interest in the Karma, into a successful production run.
So end of the day you were left with a few people who did receive the car and were not entirely satisfied because the car would stop running or catch on fire 🙂 , many more people who did not receive the car at all, and were very unhappy, and Fisker Automotive that declared bankruptcy in 2012, a year after touting the future of electric and eco friendly cars, walking away without paying back hundreds of millions of Tax Payer Dollars.
Well that company is back in 2016, now renamed Karma Automotive, and backed by a Chinese firm. and touting a new car to be announced this July or August. Fisker Karma looks like a dream of a car, but the reality was a little bit more nightmare the last time. And when someone has burnt the taxpayers once for hundreds of millions of dollars, I’m far less likely to want to give them another chance. No matter how they rename the company.
So I’ll leave you some images of the dream that was Fisker Karma (now Karma Automotive), a dream that TESLA seems the closest to living up to.
The 2015 concept for the THUNDERBOLT looked stellar in images, but ultimately like other touted Fisker projects ended up coming to naught. And this one very nearly had car company Aston Martin go all James Bond on them, but with a law suit rather than a PPK.
This one is a concept car called the Ford Mustang ROCKET that Fisker did for a 2014 autoshow. Fisker is definitely very talented at customization, in building or rebranding existing cars into souped up spectacles. Where their fault may have lied was in thinking this made them an automotive manufacturer. The latter is a designation that continues to elude them.
For more on Fisker Automotive and Karma Automotive, read the following:
Now Playing: Recommended NetFlix Streaming Movie of the Day… DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY!!
Directed by John Hough this 70s road thriller and petrol fueled powerhouse is a sleek, adrenaline inducing, justifiably acclaimed masterpiece of the genre. It is to car and road movies, what JAWS is to shark movies; the standard by which all others will be judged.
Wonderfully performed by Peter Fonda, Vic Morrow, Susan George, but particularly Adam Roarke as the taciturn mechanic, this film in a word is… Awesome! Great direction and editing, phenomenal stunts that even in the age of CGI or especially because of the age of CGI remain… jaw dropping; and a wonderful script that is an evocation of the times, and a loving homage to the road movies that came before.
You can currently watch it for free on streaming, but once seen you are going to want to own this movie. It is too good to leave it up to the vagaries of streaming licensing deals, your ability to see this baby whenever you want.
Get it on Blu-Ray here, while you can: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry / Race With The Devil (Double Feature) Blu-Ray
IDG News Service – Google is known for setting ambitious targets for itself, and it’s apparently making no exception for self-driving cars. Such “autonomous vehicles” will be a reality for “ordinary people” in less than five years, Google CEO Sergey Brin said on Tuesday. Read the whole story here.
For my money they can keep their computerized self-driving cars. You think computer crashes and viruses are a problem today, how much more of a problem will they be in a vehicle going 60+ miles an hour?! And beyond that how much of our lives and our responsibilities must we bequeath to machines? And I say this being someone who fixes computers.