Fix It Again, Tony!
Fiat Gets Stake In Chrysler
Forget everything we said earlier about Chrysler merging with GM. That would've been the best-case scenario. Instead, Fiat has gained a 35 percent stake in Chrysler, with an option to increase that stake to 55 percent. To say that Fiat "bought" the stake is a little misleading. Fiat basically paid nothing for its stake, other than to guarantee some of Chrysler's debt (as required by the Fed's requirement for restructuring in exchange for $4 billion in loans). Fiat will also help develop and build more fuel efficient products for the Chrysler portfolio.
Origami Engine
And from our friends to the north in French-speaking Quebec, we have the all-paper Origami V-8 engine, for the bargain "Buy It Now" price of $21 million U.S.. On the eBay auction, the seller describes it: "This V-8 engine has semi-realistic exterior and interior detail. It is made entirely from paper (except a motor, a battery holder, a few plastic tubes, and electrical wires). No paint applied. It looks pure and elegant. Various shadows created by different light sources make it look stunning. Many moveable parts include a compound crankshaft, a rapid cooling fan, eight rods, eight pistons, and a complex compound gearbox, etc. It is handcrafted with ruler, white glue, and X-Acto knife. It took approximately one year to design and construct." Wow, those winters must be long.

Sound Off!
Rant Of The Month
We think this month's rant concerns Jon Kaase's winning 400 Ford Engine Masters entry, but for some reason, this guy also had it in for recording artist Seal. The hangover the next day must've been brutal. We begin the fun about two-thirds of the way through the tirade ...

... any contest that makes a turd float so massively to the top HAS GOT TO GO! Something is WRONG with a world where a CRAP album like IN Rainbows (Radiohead) is nominated for a Grammy, when Victoria's Secret's spokeswoman is married to a guy who had his face catch on fire and had it put out with a fire axe, where our government gives 10B$ to a company so they can give their execs 10B$ in bonuses, and ESPECIALLY where a 400M can rule the roost in an Engine Masters Challange. SOMEBODY GIMME A BULLET IN MY HEAD! PLEASE CHANGE THE RULES OR LET ME OFF THIS PLANET! omfG!Samuel Bull
Mount Vernon, WA

Neil Bonnett Mystique
I met Neil Bonnett on several occasions when I worked with IMSA; we had our July Third Midnite Paul Revere race, and NASCAR had the Firecracker 400 the next day. We shared the garage area. Neil always had time to stop and talk and tell stories.

Around '76 or so, CBS had the Wide World of Sports show each weekend, and would have some NASCAR coverage. Their narrator was, of all people, an ex-Formula 1 champ: Jackie Stewart, the short Scottish dude. Now that fits in well with the "good ol' boys" market area. Well, they were doing the finish of a Darlington race--the last lap--and Neil is leading down the back straight, weaving back and forth to prevent anyone from catching his draft. Jackie comments publicly that "this is the most un-gentlemanly act of driving I have ever seen!" Several years later, shortly before his untimely death, I saw Neil at Atlanta Raceway, and during our conversation, I asked him, "How's your old friend Jackie Stewart?" I should have had a recorder, 'cause he had some things to say, and I gathered that there was some sort of confrontation, and Mr. Stewart became quite humble. Keep the Laguna project going. Who knows, a little Neil karma might show up!
Kenny Van Zill

Now that's a cool story! Wanna trade your Olds for a slightly used Laguna?

Idle Issues
I'm having tuning issues with my 496 that is a duplicate of your Street Sweeper Chevelle 496 motor. I can't seem to lean out the Mighty Demon at idle. Did you guys change the power valve in your Demon, or encounter any other carb tweaking to get that motor running good? Barry Grant says set initial timing to at least 18. My builder says 34-36 total timing tops. I've installed the largest bushing in my distributor, which keeps it under 36 total, but it seems like I need more initial to clean it up. Did you guys have problems like this?
Frank Mikowychok
Lincoln, CA

Yes. See Hunkins' editorial on page 8.

Pushrods A Waste Of Time
If GM and Chrysler knew what they were doing, they would not be bankrupt, and would not be losing sales to Asian and German cars. One example: GM is still dicking around trying to perfect stiffer pushrods and stronger rocker arms, where other car makers moved on decades ago with modern OHC engines that produce more horsepower and use less fuel doing it.
Via internet

Up to this point, GM and Chrysler have not declared bankruptcy. The Corvette Z06 can wipe the floor with any BMW or Mercedes costing twice the price, and without either make's gas guzzler tax. As you were saying?