Ever had any ambitions about being a ``big wheel''? Would you settle for designing it?
(ARE), based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., is seeking entries from the public for its ``Design the Ultimate Wheel'' contest.
Entries can be wheel designs for any type of vehicle. The top three designs will get a cash prize and a set of ARE custom wheels.
So let your imagination run wild. For the official entry form and contest rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to ARE/Design Contest, 19067 S. Reyes Ave., Rancho Dominguez, Calif. 90221. Get those entries in by Jan. 15.
Blood in the aisles
A scandal that has been brewing in Taiwan since early October recently took a turn for the moronic.
Oung Ta-ming, millionaire owner of a couple brokerage houses, has been at the center of an alleged stock manipulation scheme that jolted not only the Taiwanese stock market, but has caused political upheaval and led to the firing of a legislator.
A Cleveland Plain Dealer story said another legislator ``stabbed himself on the podium'' (we're unfamiliar with that body part, but it sounds awfully painful) ``in a declaration of innocence.''
Think of the messy scene in the U.S. Congress if the practice ever caught on.
Now remember, the gas pedal's on the right, brake on the left.
For the driving impaired...there's a sign on a roadside near Traverse City, Mich., warning drivers: ``Do not pass when opposing traffic present.''
Lovers of German food will probably appreciate the schnitzel-with-sauerbraten reasoning behind a statement by Gerd Klauss, vice president in charge of Audi of America. He described a certain engine's wimpy output as ``not pulling the sausage off the plate.''
And in referring to the company's third-place finish in a recent J.D. Power and Associates vehicle satisfaction survey, he said: ``That is not enough to pull the cow off the ice.''
What? You want a raise?
The next time your techs gripe that they can't make a living on what they're paid, send them, figuratively, to Siberia. Or at least to Minsk.
Writing in AutoInc. magazine, Ray Swedeen described a tour he and a group of automotive educators made to Russia and Belarus in the former Soviet Union.
While touring the auto service department of Lada OMC Ford Co. in Minsk, its general director, Alexei Vaganov, stated technicians are paid the equivalent of 37 cents per hour plus a 100-percent bonus at month's end.
The techs' monthly salary-considered very good by Russian standards-is about $120 (U.S. dollars). Compare that to the top paid school administrators there who earn about $90 per month.
Mr. Swedeen said the current labor rate for mechanical work at Lada OMC Ford is the equivalent of $18 per hour-tough to afford on a school administrator's salary.
That nasty 'D-word'
Could it become a trend?
The New Jersey Automobile Dealers Association recently dropped the term ``dealers'' from its title, saying the word can have ``negative connotations.''
Heretofore, it'll be the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, or the snazzy acronym, ``NJCAR.''
Where was Bullwinkle?
``Hey, Rocky...want to see me pull a transformer outta my hat?''
Moose was nowhere in sight when a squirrel doused lights at Goodyear last month. Power at Big Blue's Akron corporate headquarters and technical center-and all computer work-went down for a couple hours. Employees had only the use of telephones.
The culprit: a charred body of a squirrel was found at a transformer near the tire maker's power station.
No autopsy was planned, according to Boris Badanov.
Sign seen on lawn: Steal door for sale.