Just for Fun 30

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Best of the Web: Recent Tesla Fatality


A Tesla driver in Florida died in his burning car after he crashed into a tree. Witnesses said that they couldn’t enter the vehicle to help the driver because the door handles wouldn’t work and the airbags didn’t deflate.

Witnesses said that the vehicle was traveling at over 75 mph at the time of the crash.

Link to Original Story

There’s some video an onlooker tweeted at the original story.

At the Kicker our hearts go out to the friends and family anytime there is a fatal car crash. We do want to put things in perspective though. Tesla is under a lot of scrutiny by virtue of the fact that they are a new company with a very different vehicle. We don’t repost these events to join the eco-chamber that can happen when accidents by one automaker are put in a constant loop while accidents by other automakers isn’t deemed newsworthy. Its probably unfortunate timing for Tesla that this comes days after consumer reports downgraded their safety rating of the Model 3.

VW Monday: A Jetta or a GTI?

Kicker Temp VW Jetta vs GTI

Whether the traditional Jetta Sedan is more your speed, or you prefer the Jetta Sportswagen, you’re sure to find the right machine to “jet” off into the sunset. The sedan starts with an MSRP of under $16,000 and the Sportswagen at just under $21,000, so either model is a wise move. The popular family car has been on the market since 1979 and was originally intended to fill a “sedan need” that the Golf just wasn’t cutting for certain drivers. In total, there are six generations of Jetta and they keep getting better with each reincarnation. The original move was to simply add a trunk to the Golf’s hatchback, plus some unique styling—particularly with the front bumper. It’s available with two or four doors, and the Sportswagen boasts a five-door approach. Seating up to five people, over 14 million Jettas have been sold around the globe. And millions of drivers can’t be wrong.

Every generation features a bigger and stronger car. The Jetta is VW’s top-selling model and it’s no surprise why. Reviewers have always raved about the incredible handling, roomy interior (which gets bigger with each generation), and the sleek lines of the car. For those who want a dependable car with plenty of luxury to boot, the Jetta is a great choice. It can easily fit a family (even for those longer trips), has exceptional handling that can manage those four distinct Utah seasons, and VW is of course known for staying power. It’ll last thousands of miles as long as you give it the TLC it deserves.

Every new sedan has clearcoat paint, body-color rear bumpers, trunk rear cargo access, and stunning black grills. A six-way driver seat ups the comfort, and a 14.5 gallon fuel tank means you can go for miles without refilling. Select from a Base model, S, SE, or SE with connectivity if you really want to go high tech. For the Sportswagen, choose from S, SE, TDI, or SE with a sunroof. Heatable front comfort seats are standard in every Sportswagen, so drivers are sitting pretty on those winter trips to Alta or Park City.

Your Other Option

Part of the Golf family, the GTI was originally a concept car that was inspired by the Golf Mk5. It features an incredible 6.0 liter W12 engine compliments of Volkswagen Phaeton. It’s basically a “souped up” Golf for those who love their machines but want even better performance. There’s a twin-turbocharged engine under the hood that bolsters an extra 200 bhp, bringing the grand total to 641 bhp. Claims that the GTI could go from 1-62 in just 3.7 seconds, when it first became available in 2007, everyone was clamoring for a GTI—and nothing has changed. Featuring rear wheel drive with a six-speed automatic gearbox to boot, it’s a fantastic driving machine but still has all the interior comforts drivers have come to expect from Volkswagen.

A modified body was in order to make room for that massive engine, so a GTI looks like a wider Golf—but it’s easy to spot with that rear spoiler which optimizes handling. In order to maximize grip, you’ll find that W12 engine nestled right in the middle of the vehicle. You’ll find the MSRP starting at just a smidge over $25,000, making a GTI a cost-effective sports machine. However, with four doors and plenty of interior cabin room, it can also pull double duty as a commuter car, road trip haven or the go-to car to haul the kids around. It’s a multi-tasking machine for your multi-tasking life.

Whether the original Wolfsburg attention catches your eye or you’re after the special Driver’s Edition, a GTI is a great accessory for any driver. Those 18-inch alloy wheels come in both models along with light tinted glass and a black grill. The Driver’s Edition also features a projector beam high intensity low/high beam, express open/close sliding and tilting glass, and an instrument panel-covered bin.

Who said beauty and brawn couldn’t mix? With the GTI, drivers get absolutely everything they want, and power to spare.


5 Times You Need a Truck Rental


A “truck rental” can mean many things from needing an extended cab to pick up a couch you scored on Craigslist to a massive moving truck to get into your dream home across state lines. If you’ve ever been a truck owner yourself, you know to steer clear of calls from friends when you’ve caught wind that they’re moving—when space and power on wheels are necessary, everyone wants access to a truck.

Unfortunately for many, truck ownership just isn’t feasible. They don’t offer the best gas mileage for a daily commuter, they can take up way too much space for an urban dweller, and they’re not going to fit into those compact spots for those who are regulars at the mall.

However, when you need a truck, you need one that’s up for the job.

  1. When You’re Moving

Whether you want to move your entire one-bedroom condo in a big moving truck or simply take the big pieces of furniture in a king cab, a truck is a must when moving. Renting a truck and loading it as well as driving it yourself can save you a lot of money. However, also keep these moving tips in mind:

  • Pack room by room as early as possible
  • Load an emergency bin last complete with favorite tools, checkbooks, and other daily necessities
  • Consider hiring professionals to at least load the truck, then drive it yourself
  • Make sure your property is insured while en route
  1. When You Bought Furniture

Consider this: The delivery fee for a single couch could be up to $100. If you buy more furniture, you might get charged per piece. It can easily cost 25 percent of that to rent a spacious truck for the entire day. The benefits of truck rental over delivery include:

  • No being stuck at home to make the “delivery window”
  • You don’t have to add tipping into the mix
  • You can take care of a number of other tasks that require a truck the same day
  • Your furniture shopping isn’t dictated by delivery fees
  1. When You’re Going on a Weekend Warrior Adventure

You have the jet skis, the inflated tubes or the snowmobiles—but now what? It doesn’t make sense to buy a truck if you only head into the great outdoors with all your gear a few times per year. Renting a truck for the weekend gives you all the space you need for great outdoor activities like:

  • Hunting and fishing
  • ATVing or snowmobiling
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Camping and overnight hiking

Plus, trucks can access dirt roads and rough terrain better than any commuter car. You’ll simply be in better hands behind the wheel of a truck.

  1. When You’re Headed to a Roundup

If you’ve never been to a “roundup” before—a rodeo that’s reached festival level—you’re missing out. They happen around the country and feature rodeo finals, BBQ competitions and a raucous good time. Everyone embraces their inner cowboy or cowgirl, and it’s the perfect opportunity to slip into your Wranglers, boots and a ten-gallon hat.

However, everything comes crashing down if you pull up in a Prius. Renting a truck completes the adventure, and you can finally decide which side of the fence you fall on—Ford or Chevy.

  1. When Garage Saleing or Antiquing

These are true treasure hunts and you’re never sure what you might discover—which is exactly why you need a truck. What happens if you stumble across the perfect antique secretary you’ve always wanted, but didn’t know until you saw it?

To make the most of a Saturday hitting the sales, get a truck rental just in case. It frees you up to score the deal of a lifetime.


Best of the Web: C. R. no longer recommend Tesla M3


  • Tesla shares fall nearly 2 percent after a new report, based in part on the reviews of thousands of vehicle owners, raises questions about the reliability of Tesla’s Model 3.
  • Consumer Reports says it will no longer recommend the Model 3 due to the reliability issues.
  • A Tesla spokesperson said, “The vast majority of these issues have already been corrected through design and manufacturing improvements.”

Tesla shares fell after a new report, based in part on the reviews of thousands of vehicle owners, raises questions about the reliability of the electric car maker’s Model 3. Consumer Reports says it will no longer recommend the Model 3 due to the reliability issues.

“When we look at the Model 3 a lot of the issues are the electronics,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. “There are some issues replacing the (navigation/infotainment) screens, for instance, but we’ve seen other issues in terms of the trim breaking and the glass.”

Tesla shares were down nearly 2 percent after the report was released Thursday.

Best of the Web: Elon says Tesla AV technology will be ready this year.


His actual quote is, “I think we will be feature complete — full self-driving — this year,” Musk said. “Meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention, this year. I would say I am of certain of that. That is not a question mark.”

He qualified it though by saying it won’t be on the market until regulators are happy which could take an additional year or more.

For the original story see here.


Chauffeur Driven Limos


What could be more stylish than a chauffeur-driven limousine greeting you from the airport? The business is all about creating a positive experience which needs to operate 365 days a year, even Christmas Day. But what is the life of a chauffeur all about?

Becoming a Chauffeur:

I addition to passing a background check many chauffeurs have to take a comprehensive test as well. Then they need to gain the knowledge of the streets they will work on and usually have to know them backward. In fact, training is ongoing as construction and driving patterns change with time, and different customers require different services en route.

Types of Gigs:

In some cities, a Limo is nearly as affordable as a taxi and many Limos serve the airport commuter, but we also think of the party limo which is rented by teens going to prom or bachelors/bachelorettes for their last big bacchanal before they settle down for good (or 7 years whichever comes first).

stretch-limousine-2714963_1920These days Limo companies typically diversify into specialty party limos for these gigs. You might see a stretch hummer with a built-in hot tub on the streets of Los Vegas, but smaller towns will still push their basic black stretch into double duty from Friday nights black tie to Saturday nights stag party.

The key to a party/airport driver might simply be patience. If you can drive and you are longsuffering this could be your calling, and the tips aren’t bad either.

The upscale driver will also do Corporate Services, and some chauffeurs work in the diplomatic services. These Limos are now outfitted with access to TV news and radio while you are driving along – well access to radio isn’t that new, but you get the gist. Onboard wifi for internet access isn’t unheard of.

These drivers still need to know where the best places to relax in the city are, but will also know how to find the opera hall and the bank tower buildings. So again training is vital.


In the old days communications were down by CB radio, which we probably think of more with taxis, but no, they were also a mainstay in Limos as the company needed to know the whereabouts of their car at all times and provide updates about traffic and road conditions. If this seems counter-intuitive, just think about how often a business person has a change of schedule or a gang of drunks decides to switch clubs. The company needs to receive updates. Also, they need to give them, because speed bumps and potholes that are an inconvenience in a taxis, present a bad limo ride experience and cause costly damage. Of course, now the mobile phone fills in for the CB radio.


History of Limos and Chauffeurs:

The limousine has a longer history than you might think of being named after the town of Limousin, found in Central France. The most noticeable feature is the partition between the driver and the chauffeur. In Germany, a limousine is referred to a Sedan, though in other countries, sedans refer to a more generalized type of car.

The stretch limo has surprisingly workaday origins, created as it was by a  coach company in Fort Smith, Arkansas and was used by Big Band Leaders. It seems to show that it always had been about style rather than substance, a fun way to travel rather than something more presidential.

Early types of the limousine were the berline and the brougham. The berline takes its name from a type of horseless carriage and began with the driver in the open air and the passenger in the roofed area.  The Brougham was similar but had the driver in the center of the vehicle using a steering wheel which was on a pivot which seems a hell of a job to maneuver. The evolution was to improve life not only for the passenger but also for the chauffeur.

Personality Types for a Chauffeur:

Unlike taxi drivers, chauffeurs know where they are going before the day and can plan for it. So you don’t require quite as much desire for an unscripted workplace. Limo drivers’ personality tends to be available but not too sociable as they need to know when to keep quiet. The other three primary character needs are knowledgeable, professional and prompt.

prom-264219_1920We have this mental picture of chauffeurs as crisply professionals though that is not always the complete picture. Whole books have been written talking about unreliable drivers who are not given adequate rest breaks, so accidents are waiting to happen, such as a 1908 book called Motor Age. As with anything, you get what you pay for.

Another interesting character trait often found in chauffeurs is natural networkers, One reason is that chauffeurs be the last profession to rely on word of mouth to get new clients? Lately, though, everything seems to need to surrender to social media, and limo drivers remain avid networkers. So it’s likely that the profession draws people who like to be near people of influence.

Wherever you want to go, be it a concert, the airport or just round in a circle it is reassuring to know that there is someone to drive you.

Best of the Web: Can an EV truck challenge the F-150


It’s no secret that trucks have been propping up the American auto sales. The challenge most green-conscious buyers have is the lower fuel economy.

But Tesla and Rivian are poised to enter the truck market with full electric trucks.


Best of the Web: Electric Truck Co. Gets investment from Amazon


  • Amazon led a $700 million round of funding in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle startup.
  • Rivian plans to launch an electric pickup and electric SUV in the U.S. in 2020.


“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience. Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible.”

original story