Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • Memory Lane from the Bed of a Pickup Truck

    When you think about your childhood do you flashback to Cabbage Patch Dolls and Gameboys?  I was born in the 1970’s so when I think of being a kid, I think of riding in the bed of my father’s pickup truck on a warm summer night.  I would love it when my dad would put my brother and me in the back of the truck and take us to the lake to swim.  While these memories make me smile, I suspect that lying down in the bed of a pickup truck while my dad tooled around town has something to do with me having serious motion sickness as an adult.  I am chuckling to myself thinking about my mother’s station wagon.  It was seriously ugly and the fights that took place in the back seat between me and my siblings should go down as some of the most brutal and violent back seat fights in history. 

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  • The Future of Automobiles

    The future of automobiles is more exciting than ever.  It wasn’t all that long ago that when people spoke about the future of automobiles that they were talking about flying cars.  While I don’t think we will see flying cars anytime soon, I do think we will see some fascinating things come from this ever evolving industry.

    Recently, the auto show in Detroit took place.  The Detroit Auto Show is known to be the hot spot to unveil new cars, trucks, and SUV’s and to also showcase the latest in concept cars.  This show never disappoints and 2014 was no exception.  We were blown away by the latest and greatest, the coolest and the hottest, and basically just some of the sickest things we’ve seen in a long time.

    Let’s start with Ford.  Many people see the future in the automotive world in electric cars.  While that may be true, the  technology still needs to be developed further before the entire driving world can crossover from gasoline and diesel powered automobiles to those running on electricity.  In the meantime, fuel efficient vehicles are what people are gravitating to and what we hope to see more of in the future.  The best example of a company trying to cash in on the fuel efficiency market is Ford.  The new F-150 went on a crash diet and lost 700 lbs!   The new Ford F-150 was unveiled in Detroit and its makeover is sharp…AND smart!  Ford has announced the F-150 will be made of aluminum instead of steel resulting in almost a 700 pound weight loss.  The other notable change in this pickup truck is the frame which will be made of high strength steel.  With these modifications Ford says it will now have the most fuel efficient F-150 ever.  While Ford didn’t provide any data backing up their fuel efficiency claim, common sense tells us that any vehicle that drops 700 lbs. is sure to keep more gas in their tank.

    It was no surprise that Mercedes, Lexus, and Porsche all debuted fancy new automobiles at the Detroit Auto Show.  But what took the automotive world by storm did not come from a luxury or sports car manufacturer, it came from KIA!  When we think of the future of sports cars we think of the Corvette or a Lamborghini.  The future of the sports car might just rest with KIA.  The KIA GT4 Stinger is a rear wheel drive concept car that shows KIA has the chops to build a head turning ride.  This car boasts a 2.0 liter, turbocharged four cylinder engine that spits out 315 horsepower making it not only a car for the everyday driver but also a car that could hold its own on a racetrack.   This car is sporty and trendy, and although KIA says they have no plans to produce it, we still have our fingers crossed!

    The future of automobiles is ever changing and manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with the needs and wants of consumers.  While we might not see flying cars in 2014, we will certainly see big strides by automotive manufactures to make vehicles as fuel efficient as possible and more and more concept cars to give us a glimpse into what the future might just hold for the car buyer.


  • Valentines Day Gift Ideas for the Car Lover

    We are less than a week away from what many think of as the romantic day of the year.  Trying to find a Valentine’s day gift ideas for the car lover can be extremely difficult to say the least.  When your special someone is a car enthusiast why not give them an experience rather than a gift.  We’ve compiled several ideas that, when paired with dinner out, can give your car enthusiast a day they will always remember.

    The first place any car enthusiast would be tickled to see is the Barret-Jackson car action in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dubbed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction” this place has it all.  New cars, old cars, and vintage automobiles are on display to drool over and, if the mood strikes, you can also bid on your dream car.  Tickets to this amazing auction are available online for $25 – what a small price to pay to give your one and only an experience they will remember forever!

    If you happen to be in the Los Angeles, CA area why not bring your sweetheart by the Peterson Automotive Museum.  This museum is housed in an old store on Wilshire Boulevard and houses up to 200 historic vehicles at a time.  In addition to cars that are just plain cool, this is of course Hollywood so there are cars displayed from movies and celebrities.  Check out a Batmobile or the 1983 400i Ferrari automatic-tranny convertible once owned by Rod Stewart.  If your Valentine is a motorcycle aficionado the Peterson Automotive Museum has you covered with a separate area dedicated to vintage bikes.

    For your someone special who is a fan of all things racing, may we recommend the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL.  With five separate buildings to explore, your car enthusiast’s heart will go pitter patter exploring all of the vintage NASCAR & Indy memorabilia.  And since this museum is AT the Talladega race track, why not pair your museum visit with a race?  This is one experience your love will never forget!

    Lastly, if you are looking for an over the top, indulgent experience why not fly you and your Valentine to Wolfsburg, Germany to explore the Volkswagen Autostadt?  This museum consists mostly of German automobiles and has become a top tourist destination.   Here you will find the original Beetle along with many other vintage German cars.  Here you can computer customize your own car or take a Touareg for a test drive on an obstacle course.  Don’t forget to check out the gift shop on the way out for car mats or Beetle shaped baby squeeze toys!  All in all, this is the trip of a lifetime for any car lover.

    In the end Valentine’s Day is about the one you love.  Make sure to put a little extra thought and effort into an experience that is sure to bring them a lifetime of memories and you’ll be rewarded knowing that you went the extra mile.

  • Things You Can do to Protect your Ride from the Effects of Winter

    Winter Driving Survival

    People who live in Florida or California sometimes only know it is winter by looking at their calendars.  However, in the Midwest or Northeast, winter and its elements are bearing down on us creating travel nightmares and making many children happy with frequent school closings.  Winter is a season frequently attributed to depression because of the short, dark days and the stress the weather tends to inflict on people.   Driving to work on treacherous roadways, straining your back shoveling snow, and lining up childcare for snow days are just some of the reasons how winter can bring some major anxiety to those of us living in the throes of it.  What we sometimes fail to remember though is the stress our vehicles endure during these long, harsh winter months as well.  There are some simple things you can do to help prevent damage to your ride from the effects of the winter months.

    One of the easiest is to invest in a quality set of floor mats.  Tracking salt, sand, and snow into your vehicle is the quickest way to eat through the carpeting and possibly the floor causing extensive and expensive interior damage.

    The salt used to treat roads can eat away paint and cause corrosion.  It is important to treat your vehicle to a wash often during the winter months.  Mud flaps are a great way to keep salt from getting up underneath the tire well and causing possible body rot and erosion to your truck.

    Window visors are one of the most popular aftermarket accessories available today.  Although window visors do not offer protection for your vehicle they do allow you to have your windows open even in inclement weather.  Having a flow of fresh air aids in keeping your windows free of moisture build up while keeping rain and snow out of the car.

    Keeping your vehicle stocked with a few essential items will also prepare you for any weather emergency you might encounter on the roads.  Items that should be kept in your vehicle for an emergency include a flashlight, blanket, gallon of water, and a few granola bars.  During the winter a bag of cheap cat litter is a great investment.  The cat litter can give your vehicle traction should you get stuck in the snow.

    In the end, winter will leave us as it does every year.  We are looking forward to a beautiful spring where you can drop those convertible tops and leave winter far behind.

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