One of the stars of last year's Specialty Equipment Market Association show - a 1937 custom Ford convertible nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" - is missing. The car and its trailer, said by its owners to be worth $450,000, were stolen from a hotel parking lot in Brockville, Ontario, this month. Jack Trepanier, a spokesman for Rad Rides by Troy Inc., the Illinois customizer that created the car, says thieves may not have any idea what they have. He says: "It'd be like having the Mona Lisa."
LOWER YOUR SIGHTS -- Although still struggling in the United States, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is back on track in Japan. After several years when most people in Mitsubishi dealerships were there for recalls, showrooms now are full of consumers snapping up the i minicar and the redesigned Outlander crossover, which comes to the United States in the fall. Japan's day traders are in a froth. Mitsubishi's stock price is about ¥250 or about $2.10 at current exchange rates. That is "just way too high," says Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd. His target price? Fifty-nine cents.
CALL IT "MARK IN THE MORNING" -- GM sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve is such a fan of Don Imus that he often listens to Imus' radio show in his office in the morning - when he's not in a meeting. But while in New York last week, LaNeve had the chance to stop by Imus' "awesome" studio and get on the air. "I was on for 25 minutes," LaNeve says. "We talked GM and business issues half the time and autism and finding a cure." LaNeve has two autistic sons.
ICONIC IACOCCA -- Lee Iacocca is an auto industry legend. Who says? Most recently, AutoRox, the annual awards show created by the Spike TV cable network to celebrate the industry and its hot products. The former Chrysler Corp. chairman accepted the "Icon Award" during the show's April 7 taping in Las Vegas. Spike TV, which aims to reach an audience of young men, will air the awards Tuesday, April 18.