For Sale By:Private Seller
Model: Other Pickups
Options: 4-Wheel Drive
Drive Type: 4 x 4
Glendale, Kentucky, United States
We've been on the fence with NASCAR for some time now. On one hand, it's some of the closest racing anywhere in motorsports, with actual passing and door-handle-to-door-handle action as a matter of course. But on the other, it's become template racing - a personality-driven sport more about the drivers than any sort of loyalty to a particular automaker. The Car Of Tomorrow format really rammed that message home, with a racecar's identity coming down to little more than headlamp stickers slapped on the nose. That's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but we've wondered for some time what's in it for the automakers, who pay big money to stay in a series that has had little increasingly little do with street car sales, let alone innovation.
Apparently General Motors was beginning to wonder the same thing. In a new ESPN report, Rick Hendrick, team owner of Hendrick Motorsports, suggests that GM would have seriously considered leaving NASCAR if it wasn't for the move away from the COT to the new Gen 6 racer. According to Hendrick, GM North America boss Mark Reuss spearheaded the charge away from the 2007 COT and toward a racecar with clearer automaker ties - cars like the new Chevrolet SS racer shown above. Learn more about the fight for a closer-to-production look in the ESPN story at the link.
Now, if we could just get more rear-wheel drive V8 coupes into showrooms....
According to a letter from General Motors to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, flaws in the build process of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu have led to the recall of 8,519 cars. Units built between December 6, 2011 and January 15, 2013 may have been assembled with rear suspension cradles that had insufficient torque applied to certain bolts. That out-of-spec assembly could lead to issues ranging from slight noises to a loss of vehicle control.
The problem was first noticed in December of last year by a GM test fleet driver and eventually tracked back to the improperly torqued bolts on the suspension cradle assembled through July 2012 by a supplier located not too far from the Malibu's Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant. Since an official NHTSA recall notice has not been issued yet, it isn't clear whether or not Detroit-built Malibus were the only ones affected (the 2013 Malibu is also built at GM's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas). Dealers will fix the problem by inspecting vehicles for proper torque specs, retightening if not within specs and, in some cases, perform a rear-wheel alignment.
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.