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Rob
12-04-06, 01:44 PM
The Web of Deception

A look at Winding Road's Corvette SS and and a half-hazard attempt at making a buck


by Rob Loszewski
Monday, December 4, 2006
©2006 Rob Loszewski, Corvette Action Center
No use without permission

<img src="/images/columns/wheelspin/wheelspin2.gif" width="140" height="79" border="0" alt="wheelspin column" align="left" /><font size="+3"><b>S</b></font>everal weeks ago, three to four pictures of a silver C6 Z06 covered in tape, contact paper, and a prominent hood scoop began to appear across the web. The photos were taken by some kid with a camera who spotted the test mule coming at him. He quickly gave chase, snapped a few photos and poof…..Corvette and automotive discussion boards were ablaze with wild speculation and obsessive dissection of the photos.

On Friday morning, December 1, 2006, word quickly spread across the internet regarding an online automotive news magazine's pathetic attempt at pulling the wool over the eyes of Corvette enthusiasts by developing their very own mock-up of a supposed 2008 Corvette "Blue Devil / SS" test mule.

In the January 2007 issue of their online magazine, Winding Road detailed how they took a silver production Z06 Corvette, and with the use of duct tape, cardboard and a little bit of ingenuity, built their own test mule. Their purpose: "To build a Corvette so authentic that it's published in a competing car magazine." They continue:

"Irresponsible speculation has been put forth by Corvette fanatics, magazine editors, and competing manufacturers. But because we are enthusiasts to the core, we want this Corvette to exist, too. It is with this in mind that we declare the game officially over. More significant than seeing our car published in another magazine was the reaction we received from the public at large. People want to believe in it. People want to buy it. Listen to them Chevrolet, Build the Blue Devil. Gave over. Thanks for playing." (Link: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90579 )

I spent some time over the weekend reviewing some of the discussions taking place at a couple popular online Corvette communities. The responses were interesting if not humorous to say the least. Enthusiasts are not pleased, and they shouldn't be. They were duped in a very big way.

I decided to contact well known spy photographer, Brenda Priddy who has been in the spy photography business for 15 years now. I was curious how she felt about this recent ruse, and what effects it might have on her business. "This is a touchy situation as I wish to keep a good working relationship with the folks at Winding Road, but unfortunately the buzz regarding their "prank" has in turn discredited our images as well. And as far as some readers are concerned, this may be a long recovery process for us" she said. "But there is a real Blue Devil / Stingray in the works and we've caught several test prototypes in the recent months."

Chris Doane, another spy photographer who works for Priddy provided an online statement as well:


It is not uncommon for the prototypes we see in spy photos to be deceiving. Some cars may be comprised of fake body panels, others may be covered in rolls of tape that appear to be inspired by a zebra. Sometimes even the entire shell of a current model car is shoehorned over a chassis that's still in development.

On Friday afternoon, word started getting around on several automotive websites that something was awry with a few current spy photos of a silver corvette purported to be the Blue Devil "super vette." When these photos first hit the web some weeks ago, I knew something wasn't quite right with them. The most glaring issue was the lack of a manufacturer license plate. To me, something also didn't look quite right with the camouflage material. As it turns out, an online automotive magazine, Winding Road, fabricated a mock-up of a test car and drove it around the metro Detroit area.

I'm struggling to see the point of this stunt. I'm sure I will get responses like "Lighten up, it was a joke," but hear me out. If you read the story in the Jan 2007 edition of Winding Road that tells the tale of the fake prototype, the point of the ruse was to deceive other publications into running the photos. The story also chides "Irresponsible speculation has been put forth by Corvette fanatics, magazine editors and competing manufacturers."

If I had to guess, Autoweek, Motor Trend and The Car Connection aren't laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype. It was, after all, a fairly convincing forgery. Needless to say, this obviously doesn't make those outlets look good in the credibility department. Some of you may think these media outlets don't have any credibility to begin with. That's fine if you think that, but we're talking solely about this particular incident.

I know competition gets fiercer by the day among the various automotive publications, but purposely tricking your competitors borders on something that is less-than-professional journalism. It's certainly not a trend I want to see continue to the point where we have magazines warring with each other much like election time, TV attack ads. In the end, however, whether this stunt is equally or more "irresponsible" than printing speculation is up to all of you to decide.

The bigger issue for me, however, is that the fake corvette hurts the credibility of people like myself, Brenda and others who make their living shooting prototypes for everyone's enjoyment. It didn't take long after the fabrication was revealed for people to start asking if the photos of the black powertrain mule that I photographed back in October were fake as well. Let's answer that right now. No, they are not fake. We have very credible information that this black prototype I shot is a development car for the "super vette" program. For all those worrying that the program is a pipe dream, rest easy. It's very real and it's very loud. The black car I shot wore a typical blue "Michigan Manufacturer," license plate, was with a large group of other GM test cars and was driven by a person I know to be a GM engineer.

Needless to say, we certainly don't want people in the automotive world getting the idea that we fake our spy photos because that is something we NEVER do. If our clients thought we were giving them fabricated photos, we obviously wouldn't be in business very long. We were even offered photos of the fake silver corvette test car by someone via email, but we passed knowing something wasn't quite right with the car. I'm sure it may sound a little funny to hear someone who spies on large corporations for a living talking about his ethical business practices, but we do play by the rules. That is something even the OEMs themselves would tell you.

On a lighter note, the Winding Road crew did a pretty good job making a convincing mock-up. If I'd seen it go past me on the road, I would've turned around to shoot it. I just wouldn't have sent the images out after I got a good look at it on my computer screen. The spy photography business puts me in the unique position of being able to shoot first and ask questions later.

Overall was this meant as a joke? Yes, I think so. I hope so. Were there some unforeseen negative effects? Unfortunately, yes. Hopefully Winding Road and I can agree to disagree on the staging of this prank. I'd hate to lose them as a client. Especially since I'm selling a kidney tomorrow... how else can I afford the plane ticket to Australia to photograph those Camaro prototypes?

-- Chris

chris_doane_auto@yahoo.com

Along with the spy photographers, we wanted to get the opinion of an automotive journalist as well. I spoke to Hib Halverson, a Corvette Action Center member and a well known technical contributor to online and print media. "On the one hand it's interesting how they sucked everyone in and had some fun at everyone's expense. But, just about anyone in a position to do a "spy photo" would have seen it as the real deal. It would be very difficult to get a photograph of a truly secret future product and then get close enough to determine if the car is a fake or not" said Halverson.

Winding Road has been around since at least 2003. Its only product is a digital magazine which you get a free, 36-month subscription to. It's free to subscribe because it costs considerably less to produce a digital magazine rather than a print publication, and as their web site states, "as a free publication we can build up a group of loyal and devoted readers faster than we can if we charge for the magazine. This in turn allows us to attract advertisers who are ever so desirous of tempting our loyal and devoted readers with their products."

An interesting and ironic proclamation considering they just ticked off an affluent group of automotive enthusiasts and some influential people in the news media industry.

The Editor-in-Chief of Winding Road magazine happens to be none other than David E. Davis, Jr., whose career in the automotive industry is quite extensive. He's been an automotive factory worker, race car driver, car salesman, ad salesman with Road and Track magazine, a writer for Car and Driver and Automobile magazines, as well as a copywriter for Corvette advertisements. He is also the editorial director for Motor Trend magazine.

Some of the contributors to Winding Road magazine are well known within the Corvette community including, Karl Ludvigsen, Randy Leffingwell and Richard Prince. All have published their own Corvette books and have contributed some high quality journalism to automotive enthusiasts over the years.

So what is the Corvette Action Center's stance on this most humorous, but very pathetic attempt at generating some online traffic and revenue to their web site? We would have to agree with the comments made by Brenda Priddy and Chris Doane.

The reasoning used by Winding Road does not justify the act and the results. To publicly state that Corvette fanatics and automotive enthusiasts have exhibited "irresponsible speculation" is ridiculous. How is it irresponsible and on what credentials does Winding Road rest that opinion on?

They continue by stating that because they're enthusiasts to the core, they want this Corvette to exist, too. So because they are enthusiasts to the core and want GM to build this car they invested $400 (of advertiser revenue) and the time it took to build a test-mule mockup? In my opinion, this is a shameful and pathetic use of resources as well as an extremely dishonest way to conduct this form of online business. If my company was advertising on the Winding Road web site, I would either immediately have my company's ad pulled, or I would take a very close look at my advertising budget for next quarter.

Given the credentials of the people who are in charge of and contribute to Winding Road magazine, I would not have expected such a lame attempt to generate site traffic and online ad revenue.

One Corvette site owner commented: "What Winding Road did is unprofessional…and I'll have more to say about it shortly." This statement comes from someone who has no problem slapping their web site address on GM copyrighted and embargoed photos, and posting them all over the web in order to generate increased site traffic. When GM took exception to the posting of GM embargoed photos of a 2006 Z06 prior to the lifting of the embargo, the site owner publicly stated "GM should probably find a better use of their time than p-g off current and future Corvette owners."

How ironic indeed. We all want our web sites to be successful, popular and profitable. However, in light of this latest media fiasco, it's quite obvious that a couple online "media outlets" lack the morals and integrity to be a professional and reputable online media resource.

Glensgages
12-04-06, 02:17 PM
..... while I usually don't pay-attention to spy-photo/gossip-type stuff, it certainly appears that somebody just dumbed-down the definition of 'lame-assed'.....

:Buttslap

catbert
12-04-06, 02:46 PM
Life would be so boring if folks didn't do dumb and unreasonable stuff. People that jumped on that lame excuse for a mule were tooooo easy.

vetmaniac
12-04-06, 02:56 PM
No matter how you slice it, that's just wrong.:mad

Sveach
12-04-06, 03:17 PM
This, among other reasons, is why I don't put too much stock into spy photos. I'll wait till they release the offical, high res versions from the manufacturer, and then I'll start looking at them.

John Robinson
12-04-06, 03:29 PM
Back before some of you were born we had outside toilets. It was very common to find a Sears Catalog in this little room. The purpose being to provide something to read while sitting there. As each member of the family read a particular page they put there mark on it and it became useful then to use it to finish the job you were doing in the little room. I think Winding Roads actions would make it mandatory that the marking process be eliminated and the final use be implemented immediately.:mad

korvettekarl
12-04-06, 03:59 PM
It's amazing that I am still shocked by the stupid and unethical things people do. My father just died last month but I still remember the lessons he taught me about honesty and integrity, I will NEVER forget them. It's too bad these people weren't raised by a similar individual.

Hotwing
12-04-06, 04:02 PM
Mom was right !!!.........Don't believe nothing you hear and half of what you see...................

Remo
12-04-06, 04:03 PM
In perspective:
Compared to the pursuit of world peace - this is nothing.
Five years from now what will it matter?

Remo:cool

tracker00
12-04-06, 04:03 PM
Well said

1stiff84
12-04-06, 04:16 PM
How is this unethical? It’s a widely-anticipated CAR, not a photochop of your loved one in bed with someone else.

To use the article as a tool to ask interested parties to submit a nonrefundable deposit is “wrong.”

The fact that the Winding Road folks got everyone to dissect the “mule,” is downright funny.

Hotwing
12-04-06, 04:24 PM
It's amazing that I am still shocked by the stupid and unethical things people do. My father just died last month but I still remember the lessons he taught me about honesty and integrity, I will NEVER forget them. It's too bad these people weren't raised by a similar individual.

Honesty and integrity......Boy are you going to lonely in this world today.

Sorry you lost your Dad

Bill75
12-04-06, 04:39 PM
The fact that the Winding Road folks got everyone to dissect the “mule,” is downright funny.

I agree. Gotcha! Who cares, it was a harmless prank and somebody had a good laugh, me included, I was sucked in too!

Silverman
12-04-06, 04:58 PM
Rob, I'm sorry but I respectfuly disagree with your attitude regarding Winding Road.com. THEY didn't send out the photos and they didn't dupe anyone, except the kid that took the photos. What they did do was shine a light on the business of spy photos and the unreasonable sums that these photos bring. I fail to see how this stunt would increase their circulation or their on line revenue, as they themselves exposed the stunt to folks that already subscribe to their magazine! For you to suggest that current advertisers pull their ads from this site is petty and childish. Just because you were one of the people who fell for this prank, doesn't mean WindingRoad.com should suffer. You would be better served by ignoring these guys and attend to your own business.

Rob
12-04-06, 05:05 PM
Rob, I'm sorry but I respectfuly disagree with your attitude regarding Winding Road.com. THEY didn't send out the photos and they didn't dupe anyone, except the kid that took the photos. What they did do was shine a light on the business of spy photos and the unreasonable sums that these photos bring. I fail to see how this stunt would increase their circulation or their on line revenue, as they themselves exposed the stunt to folks that already subscribe to their magazine! For you to suggest that current advertisers pull their ads from this site is petty and childish. Just because you were one of the people who fell for this prank, doesn't mean WindingRoad.com should suffer. You would be better served by ignoring these guys and attend to your own business.

Re-read my words. I didn't suggest advertisers do anything. I simply stated, if I owned a company that was advertising on their site, I would either request to have my ad removed, or I would reconsider advertising on their site next quarter.

Childish? No. An opinion? Yes. Take it for what it's worth.

Ted Krempa
12-04-06, 05:24 PM
In perspective:
Compared to the pursuit of world peace - this is nothing.
Five years from now what will it matter?

Remo:cool


what he said !! remember the old term RF (Rat F***) ? This was a classic RF !

road_racefan
12-04-06, 05:41 PM
Boy call me a fence sitter. I honestly don't know where to come down on this one.

A. Did it really send a message to GM that we want the car? If they haven't figured that out by now, then they are really in trouble.

B. I wouldn't go so far as to call it harmless prank, if it causes all of us to look at spy photos with some skepticism.

C. Final conclusion, based on the kind of individuals that were involved: It was just plain dumb!!!

:confused

22229stingray81
12-04-06, 05:55 PM
I can be patient on the whole SS thing, and spy photos don't really excite me that much (unless it is of a new generation), but I'm a little confused. Were all the photos false then? I believe the first spy shot car was black, was that authentic from GM, or also part of the hoax?


-Tatortot

ricersvette89
12-04-06, 06:08 PM
That was messed up! Why would someone do a thing like this!?!??!? I am ready for a faster the Z06 but this has just killed those thoughts. I wonder if this has happened before in auto history (or to narrow it more Vette).

Ghost
12-04-06, 06:38 PM
Spy photos duped? So, who are the dupes? Winding Road's rationale for doing it was wrong, IMO, but I don't know anyone who takes spy photos seriously. I don't. I don't agree with what they did. (Somehow, tho, I'm reminded of the Orson Wells "War of the Worlds" radio spoof...)

Any harm done? Doubt it. I never heard of winding road before this, and now they can fade back to obscurity again.....

Koop
12-04-06, 06:47 PM
They should put the perp in JAIL! Just who did this?

Borat?

The guys that did this are probably laughing their tails off.

BFD

Nutmegger
12-04-06, 07:07 PM
In perspective:
Compared to the pursuit of world peace - this is nothing.
Five years from now what will it matter?

Remo:cool

Five minutes after it happened it did not matter, in point of fact it did not matter while it was in process. People need to take a deep breath. I like the new C6 sure but all this Holy Grail, searchng for the Fountain Of Youth and other such fanaticism is a little over the top. When all is said and done it is a car for crying out loud we are not talking about proof of or a hoax about finding documented extra-terrestial life. Take a deep break it is a joke lighten up.

TODD L GRIFFITH
12-04-06, 07:17 PM
I agree, in the grand scheme of things who gives a f***? We should be counting our blessings that the fugly thing isn't it anyway. :L

Brett
12-04-06, 07:43 PM
Five minutes after it happened it did not matter, in point of fact it did not matter while it was in process. People need to take a deep breath.

Couldn't agree more. It was spy shots (that showed nothing we didn't already know), which are ultimately disposable anyway. This is much adieu about nothing, especially not a special "Newsflash!" message sent to our online mailboxes.

firstgear
12-04-06, 07:56 PM
I had never heard of Winding Road before....NEVER...and now everyone that has read this thread knows about them. You may not like them for what they did, you may sign up because you think it is funny and want to know more about them.

At any rate, in the world of publicity, there is no such thing as bad publicity. I think they made a calculated ploy with the end game to get their name out there. I think mission accomplished!

Like I said, until today I never heard of them and I bet online advertisers may pay per the number of hits or some other such thing......pretty clever I say!

Evolution1980
12-04-06, 08:00 PM
Enthusiasts are not pleased, and they shouldn't be. They were duped in a very big way. To me this sums up the biggest complaint about all this. People caught a pie smack in the face and they are now upset they got duped. Awwww...get over it! So you got duped! So what? What's it change? Ab-so-lutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.


Needless to say, we certainly don't want people in the automotive world getting the idea that we fake our spy photos because that is something we NEVER do. If our clients thought we were giving them fabricated photos, we obviously wouldn't be in business very long.

unfortunately the buzz regarding their "prank" has in turn discredited our images as well. Quite the opposite in my eyes! Since Brenda Priddy and Chris Doane already have solid reputations, this should only solidify their position as a reliable source of spy shots! Their name wasn't attached to the bogus photos. If anything, they can command a higher price for their shots because they have been reliable. As Chris said, they don't do fakes. If they did, they wouldn't be in business.


I'm struggling to see the point of this stunt. ...Winding Road tells the tale of the fake prototype, the point of the ruse was to deceive other publications into running the photos.
this is...a very pathetic attempt at generating some online traffic and revenue to their web site Was it an attempt to solely generate webtraffic and revenue? Was that their primary reason for doing this? That's speculation at best (or as Rob says "his opinion"). Maybe they just saw it as a funny joke on the industry. ...And they happen to run a website that distributes an e-zine and they have advertisers. What website doesn't nowadays??? It's easy to say they did it for attention. Yes, they did! But the attention was drawn to whole spoof thing. Yes, of course they are going to get more web traffic, just as the CAC does by distributing an email to all the membership hoping to get them to come to the CAC and read about "The Web Of Deception". Is talking about the spoofed photos and duped press simply a ploy to get more traffic to the CAC and for the advertisers? I believe it was to bring to light the Winding Road spoof. However, Winding Road (or anyone else for that matter) could easily claim that the CAC is using their Winding Road material to simply generate more traffic for the CAC and it's advertisers. The pendulum of "speculation" can and does swing both ways.


If I had to guess...Motor Trend (isn't) laughing. All of these outlets published the photos of the fake car on their websites believing it to be an authentic GM prototype.
The Editor-in-Chief of Winding Road magazine happens to be none other than David E. Davis, Jr., whose career in the automotive industry is quite extensive. ...He is also the editorial director for Motor Trend magazine. So if Motor Trend ran these photos and D.E. Davis knew they were fakes, who at Motor Trend is accepting responsibility? Where does Davis's loyalty reside??? If anyone should be upset, it's Motor Trend since one of their own people was in on the scam. I believe they are the only ones with real cause for complaint because they got "pantsed" in public by one of their own.


The reasoning used by Winding Road does not justify the act and the results. To publicly state that Corvette fanatics and automotive enthusiasts have exhibited "irresponsible speculation" is ridiculous. How is it irresponsible and on what credentials does Winding Road rest that opinion on? Not sure if this is answering your question, but the public creates these niches and Winding Road simply filled it. This is nothing more than fabricated paparazzi stunt. And people ate it up. And Winding Road had possibly the last laugh. If people weren't crazy for spy shots and magazines didn't pay crazy amounts of money for these pictures to create their own media frenzy, then this stunt never would've taken place or gotten the notice that it did. Either everyone is guilty or no one is guilty (save for maybe Motor Trend).


So because they are enthusiasts to the core and want GM to build this car they invested $400 (of advertiser revenue)More "speculation" (and now irony) to which you seem so taken aback by...:eyerole :D


One Corvette site owner commented: "What Winding Road did is unprofessional…and I'll have more to say about it shortly." This statement comes from someone who has no problem slapping their web site address on GM copyrighted and embargoed photos, and posting them all over the web in order to generate increased site traffic. When GM took exception to the posting of GM embargoed photos of a 2006 Z06 prior to the lifting of the embargo, the site owner publicly stated "GM should probably find a better use of their time than p-g off current and future Corvette owners." Hahahah... :L :grinshot

So basically, my opinion on all this is that anyone who's pi$$ed off is simply "sour grapes". Y'all got duped. Hook, line, & sinker! And now all the high and mighty are embarrassed because maybe they played into someone else gameplan or because they too wanted to believe it was real..or maaaybe because they spent a lot of money on what turned out to be nothing. (Lesson learned? I guess that's the risk you take with paparazzi shots!!!). Whatever the reason, I don't see anything irresponsible about it. Winding Road played a joke on everyone and got away with it.

If there's any repercussions to be absorbed by Winding Road it's that they will have a hard time breaking any more news because it's going to be highly questioned now. Everything will be tinted with some amount of skepticism. Hence why I said that they only possibly got the last laugh. if their advertisers leave en masse...well... "Whoops!"

On a slight tangent but still relative to all this "spy shot" craziness... how upset can one be? They are spy shots!!! This like getting a hacked version of the newest version of Windows before it's released. Spy shots aren't even 'beta' software. In this case, it's like an alpha-release of some software and then people whining when the final shipping product doesn't resemble the what they saw months prior. In the grand scheme of things, when it's ready, you'll see it. Period. Artists conceptualizations, renderings, spy shots, faked spy shots, whatever whatever whatever... It might be close to the real deal, and it might not be. If you want to believe, then go ahead. But don't get all pi$$y when you find out it's not legit or that the final product isn't what you expected. Because when the real deal is finally released, all the renderings, visualizations, spyshots, fake or otherwise, won't mean squat!
So get over yourselves! Laugh at yourselves and at what's been done!
(Anyways, if Winding Road hadn't come forward, it eventually would've make it into Snopes (http://www.snopes.com). :L)

...and that's my unsolicited 2¢ opinion. :upthumbs

Montana
12-04-06, 08:04 PM
Wheel Spin doesn't have any real news to report? Are their reporters and writers to lazy to go find something worthwhile to give to their readers? If they don't have anything of value to put in the magazine then they should go find a new vocation. As a prank, this one ranks up there, but it is not very funny so it's hard to enjoy it. Besides, nobody likes to be the butt of a prank, even a lame one like this. 2 cents worth.

Montana

Curtis
12-04-06, 08:18 PM
Geez, Evolution, do you have to be so uncompromisingly thorough with such a plethora of thoughts? Your last sentence was enough.

Evolution1980
12-04-06, 08:24 PM
Geez, Evolution, do you have to be so uncompromisingly thorough with such a plethora of thoughts? Your last sentence was enough.It's always easy to tell when I'm having a slow day at the office... ;LOL

Rob
12-04-06, 08:24 PM
All good comments made...

vee93
12-04-06, 08:41 PM
As a card carrying member of the '5th Estate', a sometimes nomenclature for the working press, I have to admit I was skeptical when I first read this story. And as a photojournalist, the images did make me go--ummmmmmmm...... So I'm not surprised it's all a big hoax.
["Irresponsible speculation has been put forth by Corvette fanatics, magazine editors, and competing manufacturers...."]<<<<Interesting that-seeing as how it was Winding Road kicking off the irresponsibility in the first place by putting forth the article + bogus images.
Their entire endeavor is a prime example of INFOtainment--not NEWS. This rush to be first, to scoop competition, the get the exclusive has a distasteful ripple effect that erodes the public trust. In some respects akin to bad choices made by the national news services to air stories about celebrity breakups and marriages. It's a need to hook you and gratify instantly without substance.
And it really is too bad the legitimate mags didn't check their sources and have the images scrutinized before they rushed to publish. I wonder if these mags paid for the images. If so, that's fraud.
The W.R. read was not put forth as a stunt--a joke. So reader mindset was in serious mode. Saying "ha ha" or "gotcha" after the fact doesn't legitimize the plot. Maybe it would've worked better for April Fool's Day.

Evolution1980
12-04-06, 08:59 PM
<interesting that-seeing="" as="" how="" it="" was="">The W.R. read was not put forth as a stunt--a joke. So reader mindset was in serious mode. Saying "ha ha" or "gotcha" after the fact doesn't legitimize the plot. It would seem obvious that it was in fact a stunt or a joke. Because it wasn't for real. It was fiction (like War Of The Worlds mentioned above). And saying "ha ha" or "gotcha!" does more or less make it a joke. I don't know many pratical jokes, surprises, or tricks that start out with, "OK, I'm about to pull a practical joke on you. Are you ready? You are? Good. Ok, here I go..." :eyerole :L
But then again, me not being part of the 5th estate, we might just agree to see it differently. :D

6 Shooter
12-04-06, 09:10 PM
The Web With Deception...

smook
12-04-06, 09:12 PM
Firstly, I was disappointed that it was NOT real.

On the second take of all this, I enjoyed reading HOW THEY DID IT!

I think overall, I don't hold any wrong to anyone. They did confess and document how it was done. Didn't hurt anyone, and it was for our enjoyment.

I give them a 8.5 rating on interesting article and I'll have to give them a 4.0 on the "bad-deed" of fooling us. But, hey, it was entertaining and I give them a 9.0.

So that's a 7.2 overall score. It's a PASS.

-zBill.:L

NOW, would I trust them on an important announcement ? Nah...

pbadad
12-04-06, 09:18 PM
anyone can post, (almost) anything on the web ...jimmy ;)

Rob
12-04-06, 09:27 PM
It would seem obvious that it was in fact a stunt or a joke. Because it wasn't for real. It was fiction (like War Of The Worlds mentioned above). And saying "ha ha" or "gotcha!" does more or less make it a joke. I don't know many pratical jokes, surprises, or tricks that start out with, "OK, I'm about to pull a practical joke on you. Are you ready? You are? Good. Ok, here I go..." :eyerole :L
But then again, me not being part of the 5th estate, we might just agree to see it differently. :D

mmmm, good point....coming from someone who spends a 1/2 hour trying to find his keys only to go back to his hotel room to find them hanging out of the door knob. ;LOL :rotfl

Rob
12-04-06, 09:35 PM
Just a couple things to remember folks:

You may not agree with my thoughts and opinions, and that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't expect you to.

My main points were:

take a look at the reasoning they cite behind why they did it
we've all been reduced to "irresponsible Corvette fanatics" status
they wanted to encourage GM to go ahead and build this thing based upon all the hubbub their photos of their rolling work of art createdThe photos of the black test mule that appeared prior to their photos, are real. It's a well known fact GM is concocting something potent. Even spy photographer, Chris Doane has stated this and others have reported that GM Engineers have confirmed they're stirring the proverbial performance cauldron once again.

So if it's already a well known fact that something wicked this way comes as seen in previous spy photos, what was the point other than to label Corvette fanatics as "irresponsible?"

ScatRat
12-04-06, 10:24 PM
Who cares?

Winding Road...never heard of 'em.

Isn't a good winding road something all us Vette drivers look for, so we can go play hard?

Again, who cares?

Evolution1980
12-04-06, 10:25 PM
mmmm, good point....coming from someone who spends a 1/2 hour trying to find his keys only to go back to his hotel room to find them hanging out of the door knob. ;LOL :rotflGuilty as charged...;squint:

purpleRac3r
12-04-06, 11:05 PM
The stunt, trick or whatever one wishes to call it, is perhaps not in the best of taste. And to call us irresponsible fanatics is a bit extreme (in most cases). But to each his or her own. If Winding Road wishes to play games at this level, so be it. I'm simply unlikely to subscribe. I also recall GM themselves pulled a similar trick back when the C4 was in development, with a cobbled-together egg-crate-grilled monstrosity. It, too was published by many a respectible magazine and touted by the media as something it wasn't. GM let it run its course for a while, then owed up. There was a bit of uproar from the media. Kinda sounds familiar, doesn't it? At least it wasn't Winding Road saying it's the Blue Devil/Stingray. No one really blamed GM for doing something unethical back then. Why would it be different today? It's the nature of spy photography - the vast majority of what's captured is so heavily camoflaged that it doesn't much represent the final product anyway.

Rob
12-04-06, 11:13 PM
The stunt, trick or whatever one wishes to call it, is perhaps not in the best of taste. And to call us irresponsible fanatics is a bit extreme (in most cases). But to each his or her own. If Winding Road wishes to play games at this level, so be it. I'm simply unlikely to subscribe. I also recall GM themselves pulled a similar trick back when the C4 was in development, with a cobbled-together egg-crate-grilled monstrosity. It, too was published by many a respectible magazine and touted by the media as something it wasn't. GM let it run its course for a while, then owed up. There was a bit of uproar from the media. Kinda sounds familiar, doesn't it? At least it wasn't Winding Road saying it's the Blue Devil/Stingray. No one really blamed GM for doing something unethical back then. Why would it be different today? It's the nature of spy photography - the vast majority of what's captured is so heavily camoflaged that it doesn't much represent the final product anyway. I'm actually wondering if you aren't talking about the infamous photo of the C4 prototype that was caught testing at the Desert Proving Grounds. The front end looked like it came off a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. :L I talked to Jim Ingle who was a Corvette Powertrain Engineer for GM about this particular prototype. I haven't talked to him in a quite a while, so I'm not sure if he's still with GM or not, but he worked for Corvette Development for over 20 years.

However, I digress...Jim told me how they had gone to great lengths to camo that test mule.

However, if it's the one you're talking about, that test mule did have a specific purpose and they were using it to conduct validation testing with it. I don't consider that to be the same as the Winding Road model.

In most cases, GM's test mules serve a legitimate purpose and the amount of camo is done to obviously keep things hidden until they're ready to let the full monty out of the bag. The Winding Road model served no other purpose but to deceive.

wingnut
12-05-06, 01:14 AM
1 point i havent heard commented on is one that i picked up on in the initial read of the winding road arcticle on how they did it.
the paparrazi,and their following.
if it wasnt for people buying into the "i gotta have a subscription to this rag because they have all cool stuff first" instead of "I am a subscriber to this rag beause they are the most intelligent and non-biased reviewers of the products or hobbies i am enthused about" then we wouldnt have magazines paying thousands of dollars for "spy shots" or chasing princesses down till they die in a car crash.
maybe you would actually see a celebrity in a restaraunt or for that matter,maybe you would actually see more mules out and about being tested.
and I coulda really really said all this in earnest beleif if i hadn't seen Britney's lips in an email the other day.
3 cheers for the paparazzi!!! :)

Koop
12-05-06, 01:24 AM
Someone stole 8 minutes of my life...

Can I please have them back?

Rob
12-05-06, 01:33 AM
Someone stole 8 minutes of my life...

Can I please have them back?meh, ya win some, ya lose some....

Koop
12-05-06, 01:54 AM
meh, ya win some, ya lose some....


MMmmmm. Back side of ZR1, now that's worth looking at.

Remo
12-05-06, 08:53 AM
Five minutes after it happened it did not matter, in point of fact it did not matter while it was in process. People need to take a deep breath. I like the new C6 sure but all this Holy Grail, searchng for the Fountain Of Youth and other such fanaticism is a little over the top. When all is said and done it is a car for crying out loud we are not talking about proof of or a hoax about finding documented extra-terrestial life. Take a deep break it is a joke lighten up.

Thanks for clearing that up. Now could you please help us understand the meaning of life.:L

Remo:cool

Dad
12-05-06, 09:11 AM
My only fear now is that the Britney pictures were a fake, or were they? Is there any way we can check it out as a group?

Larry's Yellow Rdstr
12-05-06, 09:24 AM
You guys think you were duped.....I bought two of them!!!!

Dave Davis...send me $186,000 as my refund.

cbernhardt
12-05-06, 09:41 AM
That was messed up! Why would someone do a thing like this!?!??!?
Obviously to sell magazines. I have been a Car and Driver subscriber for almost 40 years and I am still waiting for the mid engine Corvette that they have been prophesying over the years. One of the biggest frauds ever perpertrated by a car magazine has to be Car and Driver's road test comparison of the Pontiac and Ferrari GTO's. I guess Davis E. Davis learned a few tricks while working at C&D.
Charles

vee93
12-05-06, 10:52 AM
It would seem obvious that it was in fact a stunt or a joke. Because it wasn't for real. It was fiction (like War Of The Worlds mentioned above). And saying "ha ha" or "gotcha!" does more or less make it a joke. I don't know many pratical jokes, surprises, or tricks that start out with, "OK, I'm about to pull a practical joke on you. Are you ready? You are? Good. Ok, here I go..." :eyerole :L
But then again, me not being part of the 5th estate, we might just agree to see it differently. :D

Then we're in agreement. Point of fact, the Orson Welles production of War of the Worlds was prefaced by a disclaimer stating it was a radio dramatization of H.G. Wells book, NOT a news breaking broadcast warning of an alien invasion.
Listeners not only missed 3 other disclaimers that the show wasn't real, they also missed the listing of the program in the local papers: "The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air in 'The War of the Worlds' by H. G. Wells."
And again, Windin Road did not put forth that they were perpetrating a hoax. They put their article and images out there as the real deal, blamed the Corvette community for being fanatics and then had a laugh at their own perceived cleverness. It was a stupid thing to do.

Rob
12-05-06, 11:02 AM
Then we're in agreement. Point of fact, the Orson Welles production of War of the Worlds was prefaced by a disclaimer stating it was a radio dramatization of H.G. Wells book, NOT a news breaking broadcast warning of an alien invasion.
Listeners not only missed 3 other disclaimers that the show wasn't real, they also missed the listing of the program in the local papers: "The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air in 'The War of the Worlds' by H. G. Wells."
And again, Windin Road did not put forth that they were perpetrating a hoax. They put their article and images out there as the real deal, blamed the Corvette community for being fanatics and then had a laugh at their own perceived cleverness. It was a stupid thing to do.

Bingo! vee93 gets the Beacon of Light award.

Brat4by4
12-05-06, 11:08 AM
This, among other reasons, is why I don't put too much stock into spy photos. I'll wait till they release the offical, high res versions from the manufacturer, and then I'll start looking at them.
Amen.

The cars are always changed before production. I just wait to see the real thing.

Vettelt193
12-05-06, 11:49 AM
Then we're in agreement. Point of fact, the Orson Welles production of War of the Worlds was prefaced by a disclaimer stating it was a radio dramatization of H.G. Wells book, NOT a news breaking broadcast warning of an alien invasion.
Listeners not only missed 3 other disclaimers that the show wasn't real, they also missed the listing of the program in the local papers: "The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air in 'The War of the Worlds' by H. G. Wells."
And again, Windin Road did not put forth that they were perpetrating a hoax. They put their article and images out there as the real deal, blamed the Corvette community for being fanatics and then had a laugh at their own perceived cleverness. It was a stupid thing to do.

I can't find anywhere that says they took the pictures and posted them online. All it seems they did was make something that people assumed was something else... People took pictures of it and posted them online. Speculation ran wild. Anyone that is upset about this must also believe things like UFO's.

Everyone should take it as a lesson (or reminder) to not believe everything you see, especially when speculation is the key element. :)

Now, on the other hand... if you read the article about the 1991 Corvette Convertible on their web site: That Vette pictured as a 1991 doesn't actually look like a 1991 (wrong steering wheel, wrong seats in one pic, wrong wheels). I DO have a problem with blatent mis-representation of things found in any magazine/publication :ugh

skips1
12-05-06, 12:08 PM
I guess that I view this as a quick and dirty way to call our attention to the Winding Road Website. Nothing more. So I choose not to take offense at how they pulled this trick off. I simply did not patronize them by visiting their web site.

I remember adds for a popular electronics store near my home town where the owner would be shouting loudly on both TV and Radio adds. When his stores became more popular and successful, I felt he effectively called attention to himself with these adds. After all, If you can't appeal to the public's intelect, just be loud and obnoxious; and the public will remember the adds.

Evolution1980
12-05-06, 01:34 PM
I can't find anywhere that says they took the pictures and posted them online. All it seems they did was make something that people assumed was something else... People took pictures of it and posted them online. Speculation ran wild.

Everyone should take it as a lesson (or reminder) to not believe everything you see, especially when speculation is the key element. :)Vette LT1 93...You get my Beacon Of Light award! :L :L

SmoothZ
12-06-06, 02:27 PM
Okay, I guess I can say I'm a dumbass for actually falling for this, but then again I'm not a hardcore Vette follower. I just like the car. But this took me hook, line, and sinker.

Silverman
12-06-06, 07:05 PM
wow - such a fuss. I like Winding Road... the magazine. It's free and is downloaded in a PDF format. That format allows the best definition and clairity of photos, and their art work is stunning. Keep an open mind and take a look. And no, I don't work for them.

...more about David E. Davis

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/03/MTGRVMNRHR1.DTL

Jack
12-06-06, 09:43 PM
I'd never heard of WR until I read this thread.

At first, I nearly went to their site so I could see for myself ... BUT ...

I remembered something ... I don't mess with cheats ... I certainly don't once I know/I'm advised they're cheats.

The way I see it, WR cheated. I don't mess w/ cheats, I won't visit their site.

JACK:gap

mqqn
12-06-06, 11:24 PM
Hi Folks -

I always consider the source of information - particularly when it comes on the web.

Since winding road never had any credibility with me, is there such a thing as negative credibility?

I remember the speculation regarding the C6 Z06, it was fun, but never became malicious.


This so-called prank was unprofessional, but it was funny.

I think the real victims here will be the honest and conscientious photographers, sadly.

best regards -

mqqn

Gersh
12-07-06, 11:22 AM
This, among other reasons, is why I don't put too much stock into spy photos. I'll wait till they release the offical, high res versions from the manufacturer, and then I'll start looking at them.

I agree with that--the test mules don't look like much of a car, so who cares about those pics (any test mule photos, genuine or fake). I want to see the real thing, in full color, preferably DSOM.
Gersh

Brett
12-07-06, 01:43 PM
I agree with that--the test mules don't look like much of a car, so who cares about those pics (any test mule photos, genuine or fake). I want to see the real thing, in full color, preferably DSOM.
Gersh

Yep. Spy shots, by definition, are speculation, even when they are real. Companies can go back to the drawing board post spy shot release, so there really wasn't anything at stake here. We didn't lose any information by these being revealed as fakes.

I also don't think anyone was truly "tricked" or proven to be a "thoughtless Corvette fanatic" by thinking these were real. This would happen to any fan group, about any car. The "tricked" party had absolutely no way to know otherwise, so I do not find it a true "trick". A truly clever trick has to allow some kind of evidence to be seen before the trick is revealed. Then if you miss that evidence, you can be proven as tricked, as you should have looked closer and with a more critical eye.

Corvette Blogger
12-07-06, 02:01 PM
Let me propose a solution to the question of whether there really is a SS/Stingray/SSR/Z07/Blue Devil "supposed test mule" or not: GM can drop off their fictional vehicle at my house for a few days, I'll drive it for a few days, and then report whether it truly exists! I promise to tell the truth. Fair?

slong
12-08-06, 08:09 PM
It will be alright in the morning.
:beer

GerryLP
12-17-06, 06:12 PM
I think that Winding Road missed the opportunity to make a positive impact (if at all possible) with this "stunt". It would've been a positive effect if they came-out clean about their intentions with an accompanying article to the release of their make-believe photos. In this way, they could have shared their opinion, generated positive discussion on the subject, and perhaps make their voice be heard maybe at the G.M. level while possibly moderating ideas on the design of their super Vette.

As it turns-out, it was a worthless and wasted effort that would make Carlos Mencia say "tit tit tit" :L

GerryLP:cool