Pssst: Is your last name Dunlop? If so, you're eligible for a big payoff. In a promotion that "has never been done before," the auto tiremaker of the same name is offering a bonus of up to $16,000. But there is a catch: You must agree to change your name to Dunlop Tire. The company will even reimburse the necessary legal fee for you, but the prize is prorated according to the number of people who sign up. The promotion was launched after a survey in Canada showed 37 percent of respondents would adopt a brand name as their own if the price was right.
Looking for an action figure for a child for Christmas? Then you might want to consider Patrol Officer West or, perhaps, his distaff partner: Officer Sommers. They're scale-model Los Angeles cops, complete with authentic uniforms, handcuffs, and even canisters of pepper spray. The city's Police Protective League is selling them - at $39.95 each - to "raise the profile of law-enforcement in the community."
For the first time in a decade, auto theft in the US rose last year, according to an annual report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), an industry group. Using statistics compiled by the FBI, the NICB said 1.165 million vehicles disappeared in 2000 - a 1.2 percent increase over 1999, which, in turn, had the fewest reported thefts since 1985. Unchanged, however, was the perennial most frequently stolen vehicle: the Toyota Camry. The NICB's 10 most-stolen vehicles last year:
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Oldsmobile Cutlass
4. Honda Civic
5. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
6. Chevrolet C/K pickup (full-sized)
7. Toyota Corolla
8. Chevrolet Caprice
9. Ford Taurus
10. Ford F-150 pickup