Everyone likes to win, right? I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about winning the latest and greatest piece of electronic equipment?
Earlier this month we gave away an iPad 2 here at VanDevere to one lucky fan and you could be next! Stay tuned to our Facebook page so you are up-to-date on all our upcoming contests but for now we’d like you to share your opinion! What one piece of technology would you most like to see us give away next? Visit our Facebook page (HERE) today and answer the poll question located on our wall. Don’t see the item you covet most as a poll option? Share with us in a wall post what your ideal prize would be.
FLINT, Michigan — A lot of cars have been built in Flint but none have been finished quite like this.
A handful of comic book artists from the Flint area have started to transform a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic into a work of art and no one, including the creators, is sure what the end product will look like until they finish Thursday.
“You want a door? Take a door,” Flint Comix Editor-In-Chief Randy Zimmerman said Monday, just hours after the first group of artists started their shift of work on the Sonic.
Wrapped in an extra skin that can handle markers, colored pencil, and paint, the Sonic is on display at the Buick Gallery and the work continues Thursday.
Within a few hours Tuesday, a golden-green dragon was taking shape on the roof of the four-door hatchback , Bludgeoner the Bunny Butcher stretched across a front fender in bbasic black and white, and a set of eyes peered out from the signature Chevy bowtie logo on the front of the Sonic.
General Motors spokesman Tom Wickham said the idea for teaming up Flint Comix and the Sonic came from a similar event held this fall at New York Comic Con, an annual gathering of some of the most popular comic book artists and their fans.
Wickham said the compact Sonic makes an interesting canvas but said the real reason for the event is to bring attention to the new small car and to give comic artists a new audience.
“I’ve always liked comics, and a lot of these artists don’t get exposure like this,” he said. “What we are really hoping is that people come see what’s being done.”
Flint Comix artists get exposure now through the monthly comics and entertainment newspaper, which is available free at more than 250 outlets and distribution boxes in the mid-Michigan area.
Zimmerman started the publication three years ago, and Publisher Ted Valley said his artists haven’t taken on a project quite like this before but he said he couldn’t resist because both the car and the paper have a shared connection.
“Cars and comics: What do they have in common? Flint,” Valley said.
In the 50 years since US insurers organized the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car crashworthiness has improved. Demonstrating this was a crash test conducted on Sept. 9 between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. In a real-world collision similar to this test, occupants of the new model would fare much better than in the vintage Chevy.
“It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. What this test shows is that automakers don’t build cars like they used to. They build them better.”
The crash test was conducted at an event to celebrate the contributions of auto insurers to highway safety progress over 50 years. Beginning with the Institute’s 1959 founding, insurers have maintained the resolve, articulated in the 1950s, to “conduct, sponsor, and encourage programs designed to aid in the conservation and preservation of life and property from the hazards of highway accidents.”
A decade after the Institute was founded, insurers directed this organization to begin collecting data on crashes and the cost of repairing vehicles damaged in crashes. To lead this work and the Institute’s expanded research program, insurers named a new president, William Haddon Jr., who already was a pioneer in the field of highway safety. In welcoming Dr. Haddon, Thomas Morrill of State Farm said “the ability to bring unbiased scientific data to the table is extremely valuable.” This scientific approach, ushered in by Dr. Haddon, is a hallmark of Institute work. It’s why the Institute launched the Highway Loss Data Institute in 1972 — to collect and analyze insurance loss results to provide consumers with model-by-model comparisons.
Another Institute milestone was the 1992 opening of the Vehicle Research Center. Since then, the Institute has conducted much of the research that has contributed to safer vehicles on US roads. At the anniversary event, current Institute chairman Gregory Ostergren of American National Property and Casualty summed up a commitment to continue what fellow insurers began in 1959: “On this golden anniversary of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we celebrate this organization’s accomplishments toward safer drivers, vehicles, and roadways. We salute the vision of the Institute’s founders and proudly continue their commitment to highway safety.”