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Insider Report: ‘Shift It’ might just be the funniest automotive ad ever

Published May 3, 2013

Creating television ads isn’t cheap and neither is hiring a creative director. These are the only reasons that I can possibly give for the existence of the following ad spot for a Burbank, Calif., repair shop called Arlen’s Transmission.

The star of the ad is Arlen’s owner, Goorgen Zargarian. Running a transmission business by day and entertaining Farsi music lovers by night, Zargarian is a man of many talents. Now he can ad “actor” to his resume.

Filmed in a style that could best be described as Bollywood, the ad makes an attempt to create its own dance moves. Move over Gangnam Style, here comes Shift It!

Canadian racer Wickens talks about life before DTM
Guelph, Ont., racer is on the fast track to stardom in the DTM series, even though he is hardly known here at home. Driving a factory entered Mercedes-Benz in the ultra competitive series, Wickens’ car will wear the orange and white livery of chainsaw manufacturer Stihl. In the video below, Wickens talks about the path from karting in Ontario to driving in a top level series in Europe.

Bubba’s Hover makes golf fun for gearheads!
A good many car fans have very little interest in the sport of golf, considering it too slow. While I do enjoy the game on occasion, I have to admit that the best part of any game is the challenge of trying to get the golf cart moving fast enough to drift it. It would seem that pro golfer Bubba Watson agrees that things need to be livened up a bit and revamping the venerable golf cart is a good place to begin. Watson and his sponsor Oakley created the coolest solution thinkable: a hovercraft! Bubba’s Hover mates the go anywhere capabilities of the craft with some familiar features of a golf cart. This would be too much fun!

Mr. 4 Speed flogs his 1968 Camaro gearjammer
Most drag racers these days use automatic or “trans brake” style transmissions these days because, well, they are quicker than shifting manually. Back in the old days, though, a four speed manual with a Hurst shifter was the way to go. The guys who held onto tradition became known as Mr. 4 Speed. This 62-year-old gent named Kurt is still hustling his ’68 Camaro small block down the strip and changing gears himself the way the gods of machinery intended. Kurt’s Chevy sounds nothing short of evil on its way to a 5.70 in the eighth mile.

The new world of American Motors
Watching Mr. 4 Speed got me thinking about a bit of family history, so I decided to go looking for some vintage Trans-Am racing footage. Back when I was just two, my Dad, a guy named Bud Tucker, raced in the A Sedan class here in Ontario behind the wheel of an AMC AMX. Painted red, white and blue like the T/A series cars, the AMXecutioner as it was known was sponsored by Bob Bannerman Motors, a Toronto area dealer that is still active today. A quick YouTube search brought me to this cool promo video from AMC that I have never seen before. Called The new world of American Motors, this video includes footage from the 1969 Trans-Am series race at Sebring. I could watch this stuff all day!

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