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Jeep Grand Cherokee - Auto News and Events

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By Tori Tellem, Photography by Courtesy AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Chrysler: Sold. Nhra: Sold. World: Crumbling?We'll take End of World Is Near for $100, Alex. For a measly $7.4 billion, Chrysler Group could have been yours, people. Instead, the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management coughed up a lung and the dough for an 80.1 percent equity interest in the new company, Chrysler Holding. What's the official comment? Let's Ask Dr. Z: "We're confident that we've found the solution that will create the greatest overall value-both for Daimler and Chrysler. With this transaction, we have created the right conditions for a new start for Chrysler and Daimler." The Daimlerless Chrysler (our vote for the new name) will include Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands.

Meanwhile, over at the National Hot Rod Association . . . HD Partners Acquisition Corporation has acquired all of NHRA's racing assets, including the Powerade Drag Racing Series (NHRA gets about $100 mil in cash and $9.5 mil in HD common stock as part of the deal). Who is HD Partners Acquisition Corporation? The name sort of spills the beans, don't it? Straight from the "About HD Partners" company description: "A company that was formed for the specific purpose of consummating a business combination in the media, entertainment, and/or telecommunications industries." The bodies who formed HD consummated DirectTV. It airs drag racing, right?

"Nude Car Wash Not A Breach Of Water Restrictions."Yes, that's exactly the headline we would have gone with for an article about a nekked car wash in Brisbane, Australia. (The Australian Associated Press used it.) At Bubbles 'n' Babes, $55 gets your car washed by a topless lady, while $100 is a live nude gal, plus an X-rated show, according to APP.

(Not So) Fast Talk"There's one thing everyone agrees on: Daimler screwed Chrysler royally . . . Chrysler's merger with Daimler-Benz nine years ago was a disaster from the start. At the time, Chrysler was making a lot of money-something like $1 billion every quarter. The minivan was a cash cow. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram pickup were selling like crazy . . . Chrysler was the lowest-cost producer and the most profitable car company in the world, with sales of 2.5 million cars and light trucks. But it took Daimler less than a decade to drive Chrysler off a cliff." -Lee Iacocca editorializing for Business Week. He's the former chairman of Chrysler Corporation.

More Convertible Camaro PhotosWhat can we say? We like to look at photos. Therefore, here are some freshly released '10 Camaro shots in drop-top format.

Are You Smarter Than A College Student?Even though Anderson Analytics had only 1,000 college students from 375 universities and colleges participate in an online survey, the results give us hope that the world will be in safe hands in the future. And today is Everything We Say Is the Opposite Day. The group was being polled about brands and country of origin. Cell phones took a beating in the error department, but cars didn't fare much better. The U.K.-brand Land Rover was thought by 58.4 percent surveyed to be American, while Hyundai was not thought to be from Korea. But it's not like Lego came out any better-it originated in Finland but 53.6 percent figured Japan.

Cam Help On Saturday?Who needs help installing and troubleshooting a camshaft on a Tuesday afternoon? No one we know. It's usually the Friday night thrash that leaves you with a cam stabbed backward and two teeth off and Saturday morning when you need the help. Comp Cams figured that out after years of operating the Cam Help line Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The new Saturday hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST. What's cool is that Comp Cams offers this service at no cost to anyone who calls, regardless of what make or brand of valvetrain components he or she may currently be using. The phone center is staffed with happy, knowledgeable gearheads who have heard everything and made all the mistakes, so be sure to listen to what they have to say. The Cam Help number is 800/999-0853, or you can visit them online at compcams.com. -Douglas R. Glad

7-Second Reads* Bill France, Jr.'s father may have founded NASCAR, but his three decades of running the show helped turn it in to the monster it now is. Bill Jr. was former chairman of the board of directors for International Speedway Corporation but remained vocal on NASCAR's happenings until his death in May. "This sport is what it is and far more than what it would have been because of Bill France. We'll keep pressing along because that's what he would have wanted," NASCAR President Mike Helton told Associated Press Sports.* Kia is planning to introduce performance models. They'll sport an XR.* Looking for wireless Internet in your hotel room or rental car? Avis Connect will be $10.95 per day, thanks.* In 2006, California senator Carole Migden voted for a law that would require a headset or other hands-free device if you're driving and talking on a cell phone. Hey, guess what? She crashed her state-issued SUV while "reaching" (her word) for her ringing cell phone. The Associated Press noted that multiple people had called 911 prior to the accident due to her erratic driving. Since she said she was on state business, taxpayers get to foot the repair bill.* GM could be adding around 200 more engineering jobs to its technical center in Bangalore, India, over the next couple of years.

Mopar EliminatorMopar Performance Parts named Rob Lelakowski of Buckeye, Arizona, its second '07 Top Eliminator award winner. He restored a '67 Dodge Coronet R/T and was recognized by MPP's new yearlong program that acknowledges hard-core Mopar enthusiasts who have modified or resto'd cars.

Speed RacerThe live-action version of the '60s anime series isn't due until summer 2008, but here's your first peek at the Mach V that'll star in the flick.

No Speed Cameras In TexasTexas is all done with cameras for enforcing speed limits, according to a recent Senate-passed bill. Senator John Carona, who sponsored it, said he thought the cameras were used simply for increasing revenue, not for public safety. Only two cities in Texas use them, Marble Falls and Rome.

New Phrase Fuel TourismCommon in Europe, it refers to truck drivers looking for the cheapest diesel prices. We've been guilty of it, too. Hey, there's a big difference between $3.55 and $3.35 per gallon.

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By Tori Tellem
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