The Autoblog Weekender – Click above to check out what you missed

In this week's steaming heaping of extras, the Audi A1 absconds to Barcelone, the Rolls-Royce Ghost absconds to Southern California to get some on-screen time, we discover ten dollars can get you a Mercedes and a house but it'll take 50 to get you Tony Stewart's Camaro, and we also discover that Wired magazine has a thing for a Saab that makes us go "Yeah baby!", Miss Teen Georgia has things to say about... things, the Insignia wagon is coming to the States (pinch us), and Tata makes expensive cars, too. Oh, and it is revealed that Uwe Gemballa's favorite game is hide-and-go-seek. But you can skip that 'seek' part if you're the German authorities. No, really, you Polizei can stay home...

This week we also say goodbye to the magnificent Tyler Shipman. Follow the jump for all the tidbits...

1. The A1 Tries to be a Spanish Fly on the Wall



The Audi A1 is in Barcelona, probably working on its tan before it has to hit the bright lights of Geneva. And this is what happens when you're a celebrity and you go getting some Spanish... overcast skies... out in the open. People take pictures of you. And then we put you here. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you. Hat tip to Malhaar

[Source: Autogespot]



2. Westphalians and Wolf Spiders under the Hammer in The Rat's Mouth



Last year the first two R8 V10s and the first Ferrari California in the country were auctioned at the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance. This year it will be the first Audi R8 V10 Spyder and the first Hyundai Equus going to the highest bidder all in the name of philanthropy. Boca Raton. It's how you don't spell "recession."

[Source: Motobullet]



3. Does Top Gear USA Need Nobodies?



By now you know that Adam Carolla is on special teams for Autoblog, and in that case you must also have heard that Top Gear USA is coming with him truly to The History Channel. The hint of a big bang car show on U.S. telly has already got people scrawling missives to the TGUSA overlords begging for... um, nobodies. That's right, at least one folk wants the TG crew to hold auditions to find two other hosts that no one's heard of in order to "give everyday petrolheads a chance at being the next Jeremy Clarkson," and who knows, maybe even find one. Not that the world needs two JCs. Hat tip to Chad

[Source: Daily Derbi]



4. WTF is with USF1?



There are few disciplines that can match Formula 1 for the percentage of rumors that are actually true. This week's rumor was that USF1 was done for, YouTube muckluck Chad Hurley had bolted for Campos and that driver Jose Maria Lopez was SOL and looking to hook up with Campos or Stefan GP. The team tweeted that it isn't finished and that its web site is down for repairs, which is odd because the site has worked every time we've checked. Even if the team remains alive and kicking, its car isn't finished and the deadline has passed for crash tests and safety data submission to the FIA. USF1 did not provide either the required submission nor a request for an extension. News today is that Lopez and his management met with the team principals, and that the next meetings will take place in London with F1 and Bernie Ecclestone. In F1, none of that is good news. Hat tip to Argentum



5. And WTF is with Uwe Gemballa?



We posted earlier that Uwe Gemballa of the monstrously tuned supercars had gone missing in South Africa. Turns out that might have been intentional. One outlet reports that Gemballa's offices were shut down by the German authorities and all of the cars have been impounded. If owners want them back they'll have to prove ownership. Otherwise the cars will be converted into wurst. Okay, we made that last part up. But another outlet reports that everything is business as usual, except for the fact of the company's namesake founder being on the lam misplaced. Trust us, we are only just beginning to find out what's going on with this story. Hat tip to Malhaar

[Source: Cars UK via Jalopnik]



6. Used Cars Get The RealDeal Report, Evander Holyfield Gets on the Phone About Royalties



Dale Pollak of vAuto has created a data sheet called The RealDeal Report for used car dealers. The report will let dealers know what a particular used car is going for in their market and how it compares to similar competitive used cars. With the aim of being a Carfax for pre-owned retailers, reports are generated by gathering data from more than 40,000 used car web sites, and the idea is that the consumer could look at the RealDeal and know whether a car is competitively priced without having to drive from lot to lot to lot or click from site to site to site. It's a good idea, there's only one hurdle it really needs to overcome: even if you trust the report, who's going to trust the used car dealer? Hat tip to Kyle

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]



7. Wired Wants a Singing Saab Again – The Kind with Two "T"s



To bridge the gap between what Spyker is and what Saab could really be – and who knows, get people buying the cars again – Wired thinks Spyker should get to work on a new Saab Sonnett. For those that don't know, the Sonnett began in 1966 a dedicated roadster racer, eventually morphing into scrappy, grippy, fiberglass-bodied sports car that you would never – never ever never – associate with the Saab of today. It was a novel car and Wired's got a novel idea, but let's see how Spyker handles the 9-5 first, k? Hat tip to James Sonne

[Source: Wired]



8. Ghost Rider



The international press launch of the Rolls-Royce Ghost is going on in Southern California right now, and video teams have been taking the new lady out for close-ups. It's raw footage, but it is crystal clear that the car will have all the presence it could ever need when it finally finds private homes. Now if they could just do something about that 7 Series key... Hat tip to Braun

[Source: YouTube, YouTube]



9. Do These Wagons Mean Anything to You?

Regal/Insignia wagons at GM's Oshawa plant – Click above for high-res image gallery

A fleet of Buick Regal/Opel Insignia wagons were spotted in a General Motors pen in Oshawa. Some say it means they're coming to the U.S. Let's say that again: wagons. Coming to the U.S. Our wagon love is well documented. But so is our we're-not-going-to-get-that-wagon-either heartbreak. So we're just going to ogle these, and not think about a future together. To quote Wordsworth, "Whither is it fled, our wagon dream / Where are they now, the wagons we've been trying to get for years but carmakers won't give us?" That's from one of his lesser known poems... Hat tip to Drew



[Source: Cheers and Gears]



10. Help the Kids in this Class do Their Homework



Michael Brock II is a journalism student at the University of Kansas. One of his classes is developing a marketing campaign for a real client: damage control for Toyota. To get in the groove they're practicing on "fake" clients first, and that's where you come in, Mr. and Mrs. Fake Client. They need to get survey opinions on the state of the auto industry so they can do spreadsheets and wrap all kinds of fancy statistical terms words around the answers. You know you want to be a part of this. It's anonymous, it's easy - there are no wrong answers! - and we just did the whole thing in about 90 seconds. So... do it for the kids!

[Source: Survey Monkey | Image: David Reber – CC.2.0]



11. In Memoriam


Tyler Shipman was an 18-year-old Fiero nut from Frazee, Minnesota. In the middle of restoring his favorite car last October he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and posted a note on a Fiero forum to ask for help with the restoration so that he wouldn't leave his parents with the burden. He got his wish. In the middle of this crazy all and everything, Tyler is more proof that simple humanity still works. We send our best to Tyler's family and friends. Hat tip to Ryan.

[Source: YouTube]


AND THEN SOME...

Pagani C9 in South Africa – Click above for image gallery

– The Pagani C9 is Going to be So Hot.
Even in this state, we need a napkin bib to gaze upon it. Hat tip to Casper



[Source: Autogespot]



Will the Hyundai Veloster be More of the Same?
The Hyundai Veloster concept was hot, and if it follows recent form, it'll be another edgily designed quality offering. Can we just anoint Hyundai the new Toyota already? Well, what the pre-implosion Toyota would have been if it actually put any effort into designing its cars over the past few years. Hat tip to Paul

[Source: Secret New Cars]

Tata Aria – Click above for image gallery

The Most Expensive Tata
Tata's got the cheapest car in the Nano, here's the brand's most expensive offering: a seven-seat SUV called the Tata Aria. It'll be here later this year, and by "here" we mean India. Hat tip to chan625



[Source: MSJawahar]



Miss Teen Georgia Becomes Spokesperson for Teen Driving Program
Caroline Wade will be the spokesperson for Fear This, a non-profit that helps inexperienced teen drivers acquire better accident avoidance skills. We have no idea what she'll do. But she's Miss Teen Georgia. And that might just be enough.



– It's that Life and Art Thing Again...
Tamiya's Sand Scorcher RC car, modeled on a real life VW buggy, was such a hit in the early eighties that pristine, unopened samples can go for thousands of dollars today. For the recent Nuremburg Toy Fair the Bug Box, a Volkswagen customization and restoration shop, built a life-size model of the smaller model that was based on the real life model to celebrate the RC car's re-release. And they even built a scaled up version of the controller to go with it...



[Source: Hobby Media via Wired]



Which Would You Rather Win: an SL550 SL500 Sport and a House or Tony Stewart's Camaro
Raffles are all the rage. Ten dollars will get you in the running to win a Mercedes SL550 SL500 Sport and the home it's parked in front of, all for the benefit of widows, or $50 will get you a crack at Tony Stewart's 2010 Camaro. We know where our ten dollars is going... Hat tips to Jerrell and Tommy
[Source: WOTAW, Charity Splits]


Speaking of Tony Stewart
When asked in a media briefing if NASCAR was too safe, Tony Stewart suggested "So we could start sawing legs off the press room chairs. What do you think about that?" Maybe we will tip $50 his way... Hat tip to Oscar
[Source: YouTube]

Steve Neill's next generation Mazda RX-7 concept – Click above for image gallery

How's This for an RX-7?
Despite numerous rumors, we've been all but assured by Mazda that the RX-7 won't be revived. However, that's not stopping Steve Neill, an occasional contributor to Car Domain, from putting digital pen to Wacom Tablet and rendering his heart away.



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