Two Bankruptcies, But One Company Actually Felt Close To Death

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from Automotive News, Wired and Hooniverse.

Why the bankruptcy legacy seems different at Chrysler and GMAutomotive News

Overshadowed by the term "auto bailout" is the fact GM and Chrysler were and are two different companies. Although when Sergio Marchionne argued yesterday GM should've gotten the same treatment Chrysler during the process, he may have had a point.

You see, there is a fundamental difference today between Chrysler and GM because of what did and did not happen during that gut-wrenching stretch five years ago. I've come to believe now that Chrysler came close enough to death in its bankruptcy to dramatically alter its culture, while GM never stopped believing it was too big to fail.

Prepare for Nightmarish Swarms of Google Robot Cars, Says Zipcar FounderWired

Didn't think of that. But Zipcar founder Robin Chase did. Also I suspect this won't help the war on obesity in this country.

With its driverless car project, Google aims to create an automobile that's ultimately safer, because it sidesteps human fallibility. Though Chase admits autonomous cars might very well cut down on accidents, she believes that the more pressing issue is the amount of congestion and pollution that cars produce in big cities. Autonomous cars, she says, will only exacerbate these problems.

The Carchive: The Toyota PreviaHooniverse

My parents almost brought me home from the hospital in a Toyota Previa, but plans changed and my first ride was a Mazda 929 instead. I don't think I've ever been in a Previa, but they hold a place in my heart.

Previa, whose name is a portmanteau of "Preview" and "chlamydia", hit the market in 1990, ready to attack other established minivans on the global market. This meant the Renault Espace in Europe and the various members of the Chrysler Caravan family. But this time around Toyota's hi-occupancy family hauler was a far more refined proposition than the van-with-windows which came before.

Photos: Getty Images