Counselors at The Henry Ford, a Dearborn, Mich., museum complex, last week learned how to build a working vehicle, a reproduction of a 1926 Ford Model T. The completed car will be taken apart and then rebuilt by junior high school students attending camp at the museum this summer. We're not sure how the kids will finish in the annual Harbour Report rankings of auto assembly productivity. But we do know that the counselors needed seven hours to put together their Tin Lizzie.
CLAWING TOWARD THE TOP -- General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz has held a lot of jobs in his 73 years. But at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Switzerland in June, the Swiss-born veteran of GM-Opel, BMW, Ford of Europe, Chrysler Corp. and GM wanted to set the record straight on his recent stint as interim president of GM Europe. "You may have heard I took the job because (GM Chairman) Rick Wagoner asked me to, and that would be a good answer," Lutz said. "But between you and me, I took the job as head of GM Europe because I heard it was a good way to be named the head of Chrysler," an apparent reference to Robert Eaton, the former head of GM Europe who went on to become CEO of Chrysler Corp. "I have since learned from our friends in Stuttgart it doesn't work that way anymore. But that's all right. I figure Rick Wagoner can only hang on another 10 or 15 years. That's OK. I can wait."
23 SKIDDOO! Car dealerships are famous for hosting promotional events. They get people to camp out on their roofs, cram into compact cars and, this summer, jump a motorcycle over police cars. The "Above the Law" event happened at Warnock Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep in East Hanover, N.J., on June 24. Daredevil Robbie Knievel, son of Evel Knievel, jumped his motorcycle over 23 Ford Crown Victoria police cars as 6,000 people watched.
OH, WHAT A PLAN -- Peugeot is breaking with a long tradition of three-digit car names with a chic new small vehicle coming this winter. The vehicle will have a four-digit name, the 1007. One advantage of numbers for names in multilingual Europe, of course, is that in every market the pronunciation is automatic. Well, almost. The 1007's name indeed will be simple in France, mille sept, and in Italy, millesette. But English-speaking countries traditionally pronounce Peugeot names number by number with an "oh" for the zeros - for example, "two-oh-six" or "three-oh-seven." So Peugeot's official pronunciation in English with the extra digit will be "ten-oh-seven" - presumably to avoid any confusion with a certain "double-oh-seven" fictional British spy.