Wednesday Snippets – Australia Day Edition

It’s a national public holiday downunder.

Time for the annual “eat lamb on Australia Day” ad…… and this year, all of Europe is invited to shed it’s UnAustralianism and join us.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C89osd7Eic

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The Saab Independence commemoration in Dallas has been run and DONE!

There’s a great photo gallery here. Wonderful to see people getting together to celebrate.

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I’ve written before on Bob Lutz’s tirades against beancounters at GM and the need to build the best product a company possibly can.

GM’s most recent products have benefitted from this approach. As much as I dislike Cadillacs, the new CTS range has received rave reviews and much of it is down to this commitment to quality of design and execution.

Autoblog have a great post from John McElroy today, talking about a secret weapon that Lutz employed in developing these cars – a group of motoring journalists.

It’s a very worthwhile read. Maybe Saab should get some British journos on the phone….

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This is a great photo, dug up from some US national archives by Hemmings.

Check out the Hemmings post for the background and some thoughts on it. Great work by Mark McCourt.

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Next Monday is D-day for my Monte Carlo upgrades.

I took the car in yesterday for a quick look because there was an unexplained noise in the front end. Turned out to be just a front end brace that needed tightening and the difference it’s made with that brace properly torqued is just fantastic.

The work should be finished on Tuesday and I can’t wait!

13 thoughts on “Wednesday Snippets – Australia Day Edition”

  1. Roast shoulder of lamb

    I saw Jamie Oliver do this on TV a long while back. It looked absolutely delicious, and I’ve always wanted to try it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe Australia Day is a good day for it! (Or the weekend after Australia Day, more like. I don’t have time for that kind of cooking on weekdays.)

  2. The Saab Independence commemoration in Dallas has been run and DONE!

    Indeed, very nice shots!

    We, 64 european saab fans, have eaten last week-end a “saabish swiss fondue” by Swisstroll and Fred78 near Neuchatel (Switzerland). One of the many many prices given to as was for the participant that has bought his Saab the closest to the 23 of february 2010 -;)

  3. Related to the Lutz story is this piece from Peter M. De Lorenzo at autoextremist, who is once again punching above his weight in his piece regarding GM’s new CEO.

    It requires a bigger coffee and break but is worth the read. Here is a quote from the many points that hit the spot;

    The most glaring thing that Akerson fails to understand about this business? He thinks that the product development function is a process that is solely controlled by cost, when in fact product development is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of technology utilization, engineering philosophy, product vision, cadence and cost, with a large measure of gut feeling and passion thrown into the mix. And that last part, the “gut feeling and passion” part? That is quite simply the Black Art of this business, the very essence of which – if orchestrated properly – separates the outstanding product executions from the merely good or mediocre ones.

    http://www.autoextremist.com/ (“The looming train wreck at General Motors”; 21/1/11)

    Hopefully, at least we can expect even more ‘Black Art’ from Saab!

    Happy holidays!

    • Absolutely, there is. And I can tell you those fancy German cars you’re so fond of, Gunnar, are quite UnAustralian 🙂

      Actually, it’s all a bit tongue in cheek, especially in that ad, but it is real. Down here, being “Australian” refers to character as much as it does geography and being referred to as UnAustralian would mean you’re not loyal to your mates, you don’t lend a hand in times of need, you’re not fair dinkum (look it up).

  4. Excited to see the results of your upgrade Steven. I love the moment you fix something so incredibly simple and it has a profound effect on your Saab’s driving characteristics. As much as people complain about cars that break, I think it’s a healthy process to keep you engaged and interested in the car (so long as you account and set aside the funds to take care of problems). Kind of like why I’d rather live in a place with four seasons, or drive on winding roads. Keeps life interesting. Glad to see you’re keeping the Monte in top shape. I’m close to coming to a decision about my own 9-3’s fate/replacement and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    Enjoy your vegemite and Happy Australia Day!

  5. Love the Hemmings post. The colors that predominate the port shot of the 99s are absolutely reflective of the early 1970s.

  6. The preferences of motor journalists are not neccessarily those of normal customers. The cry for “sportiness” gave us hard, bumby suspensions, and monocoquue like holes instead of amenable chauffeur places, the “need” for lateral support pressed us into uncomfortable seats, and the complains about this or that element on the dashboard that the journalists couldn’t grasp within the short test times led to boring me-too layouts and look-alikes.

  7. I cannot believe I missed the Dallas gathering as I live by White Rock Lake! I will look through the pics and pretend I was there…

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