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Auto News Briefly

Bob and Stanley are big hit with the home folks

For the 50 employees at Turpin Autos Ltd. in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Tuesday, July 31, definitely was not just another day on the job. Colorado Avalanche coach and hometown boy Bob Hartley snuck in for a quick visit - and brought the Stanley Cup with him. 'We were cup crazy,' said Francois Poirie, sales manager for the store, which sells Buick, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and GMC models, and sponsors Hartley's annual charity golf outing. Earlier in the day, Hartley stopped by the local PPG Industries Inc. windshield plant, where he worked in the 1980s. He also went fishing with friends, using the cup as a bait bucket and a storage place for a fish his son caught.

OH, WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! As a waitress at the Hooters restaurant in Panama City, Fla., Jodee Berry had a knack for pushing beer sales. She did so well that her name was put in a drawing among top-selling Hooters waitresses from the area. She was delighted when her name was drawn. The prize, she thought, was a new Toyota. Berry was blindfolded and led out to the parking lot to get her prize, which turned out to be a toy Yoda, a doll of the character from the Star Wars movies. Steamed, Berry quit her job and is suing the restaurant owner, Gold Coast Wings Inc., for fraudulent misrepresentation.

BITTEN BY A TIGER - Buick had egg on its face after superstar spokesman Tiger Woods reneged on a commitment to play the Buick Open Aug. 9-12 in Grand Blanc, Mich. Buick had been touting Woods' appearance on billboards, radio and TV in Michigan, but Woods backed out Wednesday, Aug. 1, saying he would rather take the time to prepare to defend his title in the PGA Championship Aug. 16-19. Woods is not obligated to play in Buick tournaments, said John Wray of Buick public relations. Buick yanked all the advertising last week.

DEFINE `PUBLICLY' - What you drive says a lot about you. That's the focus of a humorous video BMW's Mini team has been showing employees. Mini USA showed the video at a Thursday, Aug. 2, press conference to introduce Mini's new tag line for the United States: 'Mini. Let's motor.' According to the video: 'A Dodge Caravan says, `I'm on my way to soccer practice'; a (Volkswagen) New Beetle says, `I'm a 40-year-old woman'; a Ford Focus says, `I couldn't afford anything better than a Ford Focus'; a Dodge Viper says, `I have a small sexual organ.' ' What about a Mini? It says, 'Let's motor,' of course. Asked about the Viper comment, Mini spokesman Michael McHale said, 'We would never say that publicly.'

You can reach Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com

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