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INSIDER REPORT: Ferrari dealer employee offends with smoke show on China’s Great Wall

A Ferrari dealer employee burned rubber marks into the surface of the ancient Great Wall and Chinese authorities were not amused.

Published May 11, 2012

The explosion of the Chinese auto market has been a boon for mainstream brands like Buick, but that also means big things for upper end automakers like Ferrari. Where there are car sales, there are dealerships. Where there are dealerships, there are guys who don’t think. A Nanjing, China area Ferrari dealership was shooting a commercial atop the 600-year-old great wall when a dealer employee decided that doing some smoke donuts in the special dragon edition 458 Italia. Not surprisingly, his antics burned rubber marks into the ancient surface and Chinese authorities were not amused.

The old saying that boys will be boys might allow the creation of hours upon hours of online video for us to ogle, but when expensive supercars and structural antiquities are involved, perhaps a bit of maturity should prevail.

GM Insider is reporting that General Motors applied to trademark the Riviera nameplate for use on automobiles. Brand trademarks are one of the most important tools in an automaker’s arsenal, so it makes one wonder why The General allowed the trademark to expire in the first place. Is it possible that it was simply forgotten in the restructuring? Regardless, with the popularity of the Buick brand in China, the time would be ripe for a revival of the moniker. GMI says they were told a year ago that Buick was petitioning GM brass for permission to create a sporty coupe. If they have been given the green light, the Riv might ride again.

Among the automotive media community, there aren’t many of us who haven’t watched Top Gear at some point and though “I could do that”. A good many have tried. A good many have failed. Despite being renewed for a second season, Top Gear USA is a prime example, not even coming close to being as entertaining as the British original. Adam Carolla’s project, The Car Show, was actually a pretty decent show made by guys who knew their stuff, yet viewers didn’t respond and it was cancelled. Next up in the line of wannabe car show hosts is comedian and noted car collector Jerry Seinfeld.

So this guy who made his mark with a show about nothing is going to try his hand at a show about something. According to iPad news app, The Daily, Seinfeld has enlisted fellow funny old guys Larry David, Ricky Gervais and Alec Baldwin. “Comics and Cars” hasn’t been picked up by a network yet, meaning that we may never see it unless they begin dropping clips on YouTube like so many other failed attempts at besting Top Gear.

As Toronto grapples with the future of transit here in the city, I came across this shot of the Queen Street bus in 1928 on the Vintage Toronto Facebook page. For all of you who complain about the Queen West ride now, just imagine how tough the ride was back then, as it leaves Mimico on the way downtown.

One of the great things about working in automotive media is meeting some incredibly talented people with a passion for cars that runs as deep as my own. One of those people is a filmmaker named J.F. Musial. Having honed his skills on web-based automotive shows (notice that he didn’t try to attack TV like that guy above), Musial has become known as one of the best automotive videographers in the biz. His style has endeared him to the folks at Porsche, who often contract him to do their promo videos these days. His latest video follows racer Patrick Long in his personal Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 on his commute to Barber Motorsports Park. This right here is the best commute of all time!

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