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Tarantino's stolen Chevy Malibu from Pulp Fiction recovered after 19 years [w/video]

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 10:15:00 EST

Quentin Tarantino fans will likely remember Vincent Vega's cherry 1964 Chevrolet Malibu Convertible in Pulp Fiction. In a movie drenched in automotive references, the Malibu is very nearly a character in and of itself, and it serves as the subject of Vega's soliloquy about the kind of man who vandalizes another's automobile. It also happened to be Tarantino's personal car when the film was shot, and was apparently stolen shortly after production wrapped. Now police have located the car some 19 years later.
As it turns out, the thieves cloned the vehicle identification number from another '64 Malibu and had the car registered under the new digits. It was then sold to an unsuspecting buyer. Police happened upon the duplicate VINs while investigating another potential theft. Right now, it's unclear whether Tarantino has taken possession of the Chevrolet, if it has remained in the possession of the fraud victim, or whether it's caught somewhere in the gears of justice. Either way, you can catch Vega's memorable thoughts on the car keying in the Pulp Fiction clip below. But consider yourself warned: the video contains explicit language as Not Safe For Work as it comes.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray priced from $51,995*

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:30:00 EST

After months of speculation, Chevrolet has finally revealed the official starting price of the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The base MSRP for the 450-horsepower Stingray Coupe will be $51,995, while the Stingray Convertible will go for $56,995 (*both prices include a $995 destination fee). This means that the price increase from 2013 to 2014 is just $1,400 for the coupe and $2,395 for the convertible - pretty modest increases considering the upgrade in specifications. Of course, neither price accounts for the sort of dealer markup that might grace early C7 window stickers, especially since less than a third of all Chevrolet dealers will be allocated Corvette models to sell at the car's launch.
Now, these prices are for the base car, so if you're wondering how much a fully loaded Stingray will run, Chevy has given us a good indication of that as well. The coupe we saw on display at the Detroit Auto Show (shown above), for example, would run $73,360 including options such as the $2,800 Z51 Performance Package, $2,495 competition sport seats and the $1,795 Magnetic Ride Control option - just to name a few. Stepping up to the 3LT trim level that brings a full leather interior will run an extra $8,005 over the base price.
While $20,000 in options may seem like a lot, this "as-tested" price still has the C7 competitively priced against rival coupes like the Porsche 911 and Nissan GT-R. Speaking of price comparisons, Chevrolet also points out that the C7 Stingray Z51 costs $2,200 less than the C6 Grand Sport while delivering better acceleration (0-60 mph in less than four seconds) and improved track performance (including more than 1 g in cornering).

2015 Chevrolet Cruze spied on its home turf

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:30:00 EST

The next Chevrolet Cruze isn't set to go into production for about another year, and we're just now seeing prototypes of the new compact running around here in the States. Not much more has been revealed since we saw the car blasting through the snow in Europe, but we can still clearly see new design elements like the larger grille, slimmer headlamps and redesigned taillamps.
Our spy photographers worked up a composite image of this Cruze prototype alongside the current model, and here, we can clearly see some big visual changes are in store for the new model. The 2015 Cruze's hood slopes downward more dramatically, the windshield is more heavily raked, and the roofline looks more fluid overall. The next-generation Cruze will ride on the new global Delta platform that will also underpin other General Motors vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Equinox.
As for what's under the hood, we expect the normal range of gasoline four-cylinder engines (both naturally aspirated and turbocharged), and the compact's new turbodiesel four should carry over, as well. Have a look at the full brace of spy photos in the gallery above.

2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray order guide hits the web

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST

The official debut of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is only part of the excitement for fans of Chevy's virtuoso sportscar. Although we got to see the car and some of its preliminary specs in Detroit and Geneva, there is still no word on pricing and some of the juicier data points we've been waiting for - such as confirmed power output, EPA estimated mileage figures and performance numbers. Until then, CorvetteBlogger has gotten its hands on the order guide for the coupe version of the car - in both base and Z51 iterations - revealing tidbits like standard and optional features and available color combinations.
Some other new details made it onto the order guide, such as our first interior specs for the coupe including slightly less hip room and headroom, more shoulder room and the same amount of legroom. To see the full order guide, head on over to CorvetteBlogger. From what we can gather, it sounds like more information will be revealed on April 25 during a party at the Corvette Museum, and for those sun worshipers patiently waiting for a convertible, it would appear you've got another model year to wait through.

Corvette Stingray designer lists five goals of new exterior shape

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 18:00:00 EST

Redesigning an icon is a difficult task, especially when you've got a blank sheet of paper in front of you and the all-new C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is intended to be your final objective.
General Motors has released a new short video featuring Kirk Bennion of the Corvette's exterior design team, talking about the challenges of sculpting Chevrolet's new flagship sports car and the five goals the team had to keep in mind as it worked. In the end, Bennion's team had the pleasure of seeing their hard work take center stage as the Corvette captured the world's eyes at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.

GM warning 800,000 owners that their cars may need oil changes more frequently than they say

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 18:32:00 EST

The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.

Hot Wheels Camaro to make big debut at Indy

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 13:45:00 EST

Chevrolet handed over the keys to 33 Hot Wheels Camaro Convertible Indianapolis 500 festival cars this week. Race directors get the luxury of driving the droptops around Indianapolis in an ongoing tradition with roots all the way back to the 1960s. The stunt is supposed to remind area residents that the Indy 500 is right around the corner. The cars are our first look at the special Camaro Hot Wheels Edition in convertible form, and they are slated to head to dealers after a one-time production run. The cars also represent the first time in history full-size Hot Wheels have been offered for sale by an automaker.
The cars will be available in both the previously seen coupe bodystyle and this convertible configuration, and will feature metallic blue paint and special wheels with the iconic redline accent. Buyers will be able to choose between the V6-powered 2LT trim and the V8-powered 2SS guise.
Hot Wheels says the original Custom Camaro toy was one of the original 16 1:64-scale diecasts, and it remains one of the company's most valuable collector items today.

2014 Chevy Silverado High Country spied wearing trappings of new luxury trim

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 13:30:00 EST

Spy photographers have spotted the new Chevrolet Silverado High Country and GMC Sierra Denali out on public streets for a little testing. From the looks of things, the Silverado will receive a much-differentiated front fascia along with special badges and those honking 20-inch chrome wheels. Expect to find a more posh interior as well. Likewise, the Sierra Denali will wear a tweaked nose with the familiar Denali bling. The one of the GMC trucks spotted here rolls on 21-inch gunmetal wheels instead of the 20-inch chrome pieces of the High Country.
Word has it both trucks will go on sale after the Texas State Fair this summer. While General Motors hasn't said for certain what we can expect to find under the hood, we'd be surprised to see anything outside of the range of engines found in the standard Silverado and Sierra models. That means buyers should be able to get their hands on the efficient, 23-miles per gallon 5.3-liter V8.

Autoblog Podcast #327

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 18:55:00 EST

New York Auto Show, Jim Farley interview, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado fuel economy, Ford fuel economy app challenge
Episode #327 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Jeff Ross talk about this year's New York Auto Show, Chevrolet's latest assault in the pickup truck fuel economy battle, and Ford's reward for developing a better fuel economy app. Dan also has an interview with Ford's Jim Farley about the future of Lincoln. We wrap with your questions and emails, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #327:

Fewer than 1 in 3 Chevy dealers earn right to initially sell C7 Corvette

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 17:31:00 EST

Looking to make the launch of the 2014 Corvette Stingray as efficient as possible, Chevrolet will be limiting the numbers of its dealers that can sell the all-new coupe and convertible. According to Automotive News, sales of the C7 Corvette will initially be limited to less than a third of Chevy's total dealership network when the 'Vette goes on sale this summer.
Only 900 dealers out of more than 3,000 locations nationwide will be allowed to sell the new Corvette at first, and the reason for this is so that there are no shortages at dealers that can actually get the cars sold. The article says that the 900 dealerships chosen represented 80 percent of total Corvette sales in 2012.
Some of the requirements dealers had to make to get initial allocation of Stingray sales include having sold at least four Corvettes in 2012 and having a Corvette Stingray specialist who will be required to have gone through a training session costing more than $2,000 per attendee. Once demand for the 2014 Corvette Stingray begins to subside - approximately six to nine months after it goes on sale - then allocation could open up to more dealers, but the report indicates this could happen following the 2014 model year.