Oh, what a show!

Over the weekend my wife and I went to a car show hosted by ODMA at the Founders Inn in Virginia Beach. The weather was warm and comfortable. The overcast skies provided superior conditions for photo taking. The cars ranged greatly in make, model, and year, the oldest in attendance of which we believe was a 1909 Franklin.

That was the particularly interesting part to me. It is nice attending car shows with such a variance in age of vehicles. There were many pre-war cars in attendance. They are always a pleasure to see.

Not only was the large attendance of pre-war cars interesting to me, but also the incredible kindness by the owners of the vehicles. Never have I been to a show where people have been so friendly and enthusiastic about sharing their car. My wife, beautiful as always, looked like a southern belle and was offered many times to sit in vehicles to get her picture taken. She basked in the attention and experience and I was one incredibly proud husband.

We enjoyed ourselves very much at the show. It was a unique and rare experience and I am so glad that people in the car culture world have such warm welcomes to strangers. My wife and I are looking forward to more car shows this year, and certainly for the return of this show next year!

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My wife in what we believe was the oldest car at the show, a 1909 Franklin.

 

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My wife in her favorite car at the show, a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible.

The Lamborghini Lament

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When Lamborghini first rumored they were going to be building a new SUV, I was super excited. I remembered the first one they made, the LM002, and what an outlandish, absurd, and over the top vehicle it was. It was a brutish vehicle that looked like it was in the military reserves one weekend a month, two weeks out of the year. It then would practice law by day, and shuffle the family from horse riding lessons and ballet at night. It was amazing. At least, it has become that iconic to me. I have never driven it but, I guess, I just have this perception, this expectation of what it is.

So when they released the Urus, I was a bit taken aback. That was not the SUV I was envisioning. Now, I know it has not been tested yet. I know that when they conceived this vehicle, they did not know that Ford would be rumoring the return of the Bronco, or that Jeep would be rumoring the return of the Grand Wagoneer. All the big players in the off road game, like Hummer, Land Rover, Jeep, Mercedes G Class, Lexus, and the Ford Raptor should have been worried. The more luxurious ones and soon to be ones, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati should have taken note. Instead, they made something that looks like “an urban mom” would drive, as my wife described.

Harken back farther than the 80s and you’ll remember that Lamborghini made tractors before it made sports cars. Yes, that’s right tractors. In fact, they still make tractors. With all those years of agricultural earth crawling and hauling knowledge, why could they not have applied that to a new SUV? They could have made it rugged, rambunctious, and ridiculous. They have all the right ingredients to make something fast, powerful, and luxurious. It would have been beyond capable, practically at home, off road, to outperform the competition in every conceivable way.

I really wanted the Lamborghini SUV to be a gorilla in a tuxedo. A big, bulky, but surprisingly good looking sight that you can’t take your eyes off of because it is just…bewildering. Its performance would be as obnoxious as expected, but with enough charm that you can’t blame it. These are all qualities that I think are in the lineage of the company and were expressed in the LM002.

Maybe I will put a poster up on my wall like many kids did back in the day with their dream cars. This time, the poster will just be filled with words. Words about a car, because it only exists in my dreams.

Nothing gets passed

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Latelty I have read a few articles about laws to prevent left lane driving; using it only for passing. Links to some of those articles are listed below.

One of determining factors, I think, contributes to this topic is the definition of passing. I listed the link to the definition below. Then, how is that interpreted and applied to the combination of road rules.

There were a few scenarios that I thought would would be open to interpretation for a law enfotcement officer to pull over a drivwr.

1.) If a driver is angry that a person in the left lane is going slow, then the slow driver gets over, that angry driver can now execute a pass. A proper pass as defined. Let’s say they never go over the speed limit. Then, the next car to pass is beyond site from where this current pass took place. What now? The pass is complete, the angry driver should now get into the right hand lane in front of the slow driver, and carry on until the next car to pass is approached. If the angry driver does not get into the right hand lane, then technically, they are now driving in the left lane and not executing a pass.

2.) Let’s toss in a slow grade hill with trees in the median. After cresting the hill in the left lane, angry driver sees a law enforcement officer sitting in the median. They are confident that they are in the clear as they are going the speed limit. But, I really don’t think that to be the case. I think, even if they are going the speed limit, they could in theory, still be pulled over for driving in the left lane without passing.

3.) Let’s toss in more than two lanes going in one direction. A three lane road, what about driving in the middle? Is that just a constant passing lane?

That is simply based on how I read these articles and particular language of bills in states where inhibiting the flow of traffic in the left lane is illegal. All of this applies to congested roads too.

Then you could add in factors like going over the speed limit to pass, weaving in and out of traffic which would be wreckless driving, left exits, or most importantly, the flow of traffic. What exactly does a flow of traffic mean, when everyone is going 70 in a 55, should you get pulled over in any lane for not going 70?

That is the ultimate factor of ambiguous reasoning for enforcement of a law about vehicle passing.

Laws about vehicle passing seem very much open to interpretation. Without having specific reference to posted speed limits in them, or exactly how pass is defined, it makes it hard to say what and how one can get pulled over for passing, or lingerly driving in the left lane.

There is clearly more depth and detail that can be added to this blog. I could write a research paper on this topic. As time permits I might do just that. For right now, this satisfies the general ideas that I saught to share.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pass

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passing_lane

https://apwood.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/why-drive-in-the-right-pass-in-the-left-lane/

http://www.autotrader.com/car-news/virginia-is-about-to-make-it-illegal-to-hog-the-left-lane-261799

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2014/10/10/can-i-speed-while-passing/

http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.425

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-804/

Racing is Wonderful

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The other day I was reading an article about how dirt racing is becoming a threat to NASCAR.

Here is a link to that article. https://racingnews.co/2017/02/08/dirt-racing-threat-to-nascar/

I have gave this some thought and the following is what I concluded.

This industry, relies heavily on passion and funding. A home grown racer with a 9-5 who funds their own racing and has a few partnerships with friends businesses or family, is the passion that is so appealing. They prove that anyone can go racing if one has the passion and really tries. But just like anything else, when passion accelerates and confidence and greater funding are acquired, professionals are created. There are plenty of examples of this, and whether or not that person actually has talent, funding opens doors even if skill is not present. This shows that funding is the backbone of more structured, professional, and widely known racing.

Local racing will appeal to those looking to market to people in that target area. If a marketer is growing their business or wants a wider region to market to, they will likely increase funding and require more traveling to different localities. Those looking to market are looking for the most set of eyes, for a price worth while. Many drivers become ambassadors for the companies that fund their racing. Yet again, talent is not exactly needed to achieve this.

So, the largest funded driver, team, series, are going to be the most notable in the industry. Funds mean rules. If a small series grows in popularity, and more funds go into it, there will eventually be more rules, more dare I say, politics, that go into it. Then, all the things that are seen as frustrating and appalling about NASCAR, then grow in the series and events that were once appreciated.

Passion is still in those stages, whether it be driver, fan, engineer, crew, marketing partner, etc. What it really comes down to, is appreciation. Racing is racing. For me, I appreciate NASCAR and the professionalism, funding, passion, and structure the series has. If there is no NASCAR, what will drivers aspire to be?

At the same time, I appreciate dirt track racing, paved oval, karts, trophy trucks, rally, V8 Supercars, Monster Jam, drag, endurance racing, Indy, F1, and any other form of racing. There has to be aspirations and goals for a driver to achieve. There has to be large, traveling type series, so marketers can have the option to fund a marketing campaign. That in turn funds the drivers. These are all the things that make dreams possible. Things do change and go through highs and lows, but a little respect and appreciation will quickly help one see that racing, in any form, is wonderful.

Gift of the diecast cars

My, how time has passed since my last blog post. The most important event that has happened to me since that time is that I am now engaged. My beautiful fiance has been so loving and encouraging of my automotive passion and writing, that the positive influence has sparked me to put my thoughts back to the great world wide web.

Throughout the growing of our relationship, and even to this day, she has wonderfully purchased diecast cars for me. Particularly Hot Wheels, to which I am partial to, but also other toys such as the Fast and Furious cars. On Easter, she got me the mystery packs of Hot Wheels. I was absolutely delighted and couldn’t wait to tear into them to see which cars I got! I started opening them and one by one of the cars became known. That is when my fiance became a little bummed. You see, she had picked three of the same car and she was bummed that now I had multiple of the same car. It is always her worry that she would get me a duplicate of a car I already have.

I always want to make sure that she knows just how much her gifts mean to me. I love getting diecast cars as gifts, regardless if I do not have the car, or I have several. To me, the gift of the car is what matters. I remember the gifts given to me and the event they were given to me at. That is what I find so wonderful and I am always grateful for the cars she gives me!

Michigan Motor Filled Weekend – Woodward Dream Cruise and Pure Michigan 400

I am so unbiased when it comes to car shows. While I am not the biggest fan of certain brands or models, I appreciate them none the less. I drove up to Michigan for the Woodward Dream Cruise and absolutely had a blast. It was great to see such an array of vehicles along with such a passionate and considerate individuals. The car culture does have its stereo types, which are normally very level headed people. Today was no exception. I was proud to walk up and down Woodward, almost on automotive overload! There are so many vehicles to see! Since they cruise sometimes you have to be quick. From Ferraris and Lamborghinis, to Bricklin SV1, Volkswagen Thing, Datsun 240’s, Bentley, Kaiser, Mazda RX-7, DeTamaso Pantera, Audi R8, any and all American muscle and sports cars, many global markets were represented by a vehicle I spotted throughout the day. The list is just too large to remember.

I walked a ton. I attended in 2012, so I knew what to expect. This year I decided to walk a bit further in the Birmingham area. That was well worth it. It was so classy up there and I spotted a Jaguar E type. Beautiful vehicle.

I was delighted to see an amazing family zone sponsored by Kroger, Chevrolet, Hotwheels, and a radio station local to the Detroit area. Kroger had a Hotwheels fun zone for kids to play with cars and track and even purchase cars thanks to Kroger who stocked them from pallets they had available. Well done. If I had kids, they would have been there a while. And I certainly would not have minded.

Fiat/Chrylser/Dodge/Jeep/Ram/SRT/Mopar had a very cool display. While I did not quite get anything free (and they might have had something, I just didn’t ask) they had a very fitting mix/remix rock DJ for ambient music, crazy epic vehicles to display like the Hellcat Challenger, the Charger with the 707 horsepower motor, along with the new 2015 Pursuit Charger, Vipers, and a monster truck. Very fitting, energetic, and inclusive atmosphere. I enjoyed it. The other venues had cool give aways. Ford gave you a die cast 2015 Mustang for signing up for emails, and Chevrolet gave you a free shirt for completing a scavenger hunt fill in the blank card. I enjoyed that.

I had dinner at Vinsetta Garage. Absolutely delicious. Certainly a must eat at place if you attend the cruise. I sat down at the bar and ordered a whole cheeseburger pizza to which I ate the entire thing. It was absolutely delicious!

After that I finished off the final hour and a half of the cruise sitting at the corner of Woodward and 11 mile just enjoying everything. Such a splendid day.

On Sunday I then ventured over to the Irish Hills in Michigan for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway! It was overcast and cool, which was delicious weather for the cars! They were hauling butt! I watched Jeff Gordon get his third win this season holding off Kevin Harvick! The sounds and smells of racing, it just can’t be beat!

All in all, another fantastic All Out Octane automotive filled weekend! I hope you enjoyed reading. Stay tuned for another blog of my next adventure!

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A Weekend Full Of Wheels

The weekend was an absolute blast. There are so many automotive events that happened this weekend. I’m really going to share the events I attended and make a brief comment on a topic of great relevancy at the current time.

First up, Friday evening I went with my dad over to the Ashtabula county fair in Jefferson Ohio. My grandparents live near there and I’ve heard so many things about the how great the demo derby is at the fair. Well, in my opinion, it was interesting, not quite like other derby’s I have been to. It was a patience game and very slow, strategic, and inconsistent. With that said it was very interesting to experience a different way of doing things, although it was not exactly the best way. I did enjoy the time and experience I had with my dad and uncle who accompanied us. On an entertainment scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I give it a 6. It receives a “passing” grade mostly for the different way of hosting the derby.

Next up, Saturday evening, I called an audible and instead of going dancing, My dad and I stopped on our way home in Norwalk Ohio at Summit Motor Sports Park for the Night Under Fire. Best decision ever. I absolutely love drag racing. Four funny cars, two top fuels, gassers, top fuel bikes, four jet cars, and one jet semi….made for such an epic evening. And top it all off with a $100,000 fireworks show, it was just incredible. But it still didn’t stop there. After all the racing we got to go down and see the cars and meet the drivers on the track! I was so super pumped because I had never been on the track. But it still keeps going BECAUSE…remember I said two top fuels? Well, one of those just happened to be the lovely, talented, and fastest girl in motor sports, Brittany Force! I GOT HER AUTOGRAPH! I was very happy. I still am.

It all accumulated to one epic experience. Summit Motor Sports Park knows how to put on a SHOW! A legit, fun, safe, involved, entertaining show! I give it a 10 with all the accolades possible! Sheer happy epicness! I walked out of there with the biggest smile ever!

So that’s pretty hard to top. Almost impossible. Which, I will say right up front, the car show I went to on Sunday afternoon did not beat Saturday evening. I give Sundays car show in my little town of Tiffin, an 8. It is hosted by the Amvets and they have really great music, food, prizes, and of course cars. Lots of them for such a little town. I wandered around by myself just enjoying being in the classic, stereotypical car show atmosphere. I had been to the same show two years ago and that was great then as well. I was very pleased to see that it was still going strong, even after I missed a year.

So that was my incredible automotive weekend.

To just comment on the tragic incident regarding Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. It is very sad that a life has been lost in the motor sports realm. The magnitude of this event is going to impact aspects of the sport in all levels. I believe Kevin did not make a wise choice by getting out of his car. I believe that Tony should reflect on all the events of his recent years on dirt and evaluate what he should do moving forward. It is saddening to see the effects of impulsive decisions, no matter acted upon or spoken, this has caused a great ripple. I am praying for healing and wisdom.

Now that I have gotten all that out, hopefully I will be able to get back to blogging more and sharing all things automotive. My goal is to go to the Woodward Dream Cruise this weekend. I will hopefully have plenty to say about that and am looking forward to sharing. Thank you so much for reading.

Brentton

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