Auto News for March 28

  Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, San Jose and Honolulu have the worst rush hour traffic congestion in the nation, according to the latest annual survey from TomTom. For Southern California drivers traffic jams added up to 164 hours of extra travel time per year, or almost a full week stuck in their cars. Rounding out the top ten were Miami, Washington, D.C., Portland Oregon and Chicago.

 Car sales will increase 23.5 percent this month compared to February 2016, and will ring in 7.3 percent higher over March 2015, according to It said first quarter sales “sets us up for another potentially record-breaking year, especially as we begin to approach the popular summer driving season.” Fiat Chrysler sales expected to increase 13.4 percent from a year earlier, with Ford up 9 percent and GM increasing 1.8 percent, according to the Edmunds forecasters.

Rolls-Royce Dawn. Western Cape, South Africa. Photo: James Lipman

 The Rolls-Royce Dawn has been named Luxury Car of the Year by Top Gear magazine. In addition to its many luxury features and trim the car is powered by a 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12. It is not for those who hold losing numbers in the Powerball.

 Imagine a house filled with 30,000 cars! Model cars that is, but not in all cases. When church usher Dennis Erickson died he left his home and all of his belongings to the Celebration Church in Lakeville, Minnesota. When a church official entered the home she found model cars and trucks in every room on shelves from floor to ceiling. “It was breathtaking when I walked in,” said Lisa Lunstrom.  And there were four full sized cars as well, a Model T Ford, a 1959 Edsel, a 1966 Rambler and a 1977 Pontiac Bonneville. That last one was bequeathed to a friend of the deceased. The church is still figuring out what to do with all the models that could be worth six figures. Until the discovery few knew of the big collection because Erickson was a bachelor. Proceeds from the eventual sale will go toward the church’s youth facilities.

 Motor Trend is reporting there could be a second generation of the newly named Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ. It quotes Motoring magazine who got it from a Fuji Heavy Industries official, that being a parent of Suby. He seemed to pour cold water on the possibility of more power in the future sports car, something owners have requested. If those plans hold, and backers can get approval from the bean counters, the car would appear in three years or so. 

 Erie Insurance says data it has studied indicates that people are taking smart phone pictures of the passing scenery and posting them on line. No problem there, expect the insurance company said they are probably doing all that while driving. Fifty-five percent of the posts came from men and 45 percent from women. “The statistics about the dangers of distracted driving are alarming,” said Doug Smith, an Erie Insurance executive. “So while it’s understandable to want to share a picturesque sky with your social media followers—imagine if it were the last one. It’s just not worth it. We hope our analysis helps drive that point home.”



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