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!

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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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Pop Topic

There are some many possible automotive topics that could be discussed. It is so amazing how much automobiles influence culture. Doing yard work today, we have a 1994 Ford Aerostar that we use as our “Truck.” Granted, it is on a Ford truck frame, it is still a van. And while I really don’t like Ford vehicles, I love driving that van.  It is a serious work horse, as oddly enough that is what it has retired to doing after so many years of shuttling the family on vacations, or the youth group to on trips, that van has seen a lot. I believe its best days are to come.

To get somewhat back on subject, I was listening to the radio today during my commute. I have recently developed a serious liking for country music. Florida Georgia Line…great stuff. Anyway, country artists talk so much about vehicles, Chevrolet vehicles more specifically, and Chevrolet trucks to be the most specific. Dang I love that. I really want to get a truck, a Chevy truck. And not because country music has influenced me to purchase one…although its a heck of a marketing tool. I loved Chevy trucks long before I started listening to country music. At the same time, country music and pick up trucks have gone hand in hand since before I was born. Go America.

Trying to continue on in the automotive and the pop culture, I love watching NCIS, and NCIS Los Angeles. In this case, NCIS Los Angeles, they have changed up the vehicles they used. They used to have a Dodge Challenger that belonged to Sam I believe. Now they drive Callahans Mercedes. I have not watched it consistently enough lately to completely say this as fact, and I do apologize that I am not going through the research to figure it out. I do apologize for not doing the work. I would like to say though that at least they have stayed in the Daimler/Chrysler family.

Hawaii Five O has great vehicles in it. Always. The old school Hawaii Five O had great vehicles in it. So does the new one.

I am watching Person of Interest right now. Great show. They just had a brand new Chevy Camaro featured on it. Pretty sweet.

I could go on and on. And eventually I will. As I said, there are so many automotive pop culture influences. More blogs, more automotive topics, just fantastic motivation to continue doing my blogging. Hope you all enjoy reading what I post, and hopefully it will grow. Thank you all so much.

Survey

Ford might not be able to Dodge this Ram

Mopar also planning high lift Ram 1500 for Jeep Safari, Raptor put on notice

by Jeremy Korzeniewski (RSS feed) on Mar 16th 2010 at 1:58PM


Answering the question of whether Mopar’s Ram Power Wagon concept is meant to be a competitor to the awe-inspiring Ford SVT Raptor (that’d be a ‘no,’ it would seem) is a report courtesy of our friends at PickupTrucks.com that Chrysler‘s go-fast division is also planning to release a long-travel version of the Ram 1500 at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Adding credibility to Mopar’s off-road-ready Ram “research project” is the presence of veteran Baja racer Kent Kroeker, who’s KORE company is already the go-to expert for aftermarket Dodge truck goodies (see photo above of his Ram 2500 racer). Being based on the Ram 1500 means that Chrysler’s Raptor-fighter will feature independent suspension at all four corners. We should also expect plenty of suspension travel. Oh, and could this be a hint at the future?

While it’s not necessarily expected that the Ram brand will offer such a high-lift, long-travel model in dealerships right off the factory floor, there is a decent chance that the components developed for this concept could end up in a Mopar accessory or KORE catalog (or both?) sometime soon. And you can count us firmly among those looking forward to that.

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I wrote about the Ford Raptor a few months ago on a separate blog, before I began this one. Here is the link to that blog.

 Here is what I think about the Dodge Ram in general. Back in the mid 90’s early 2000’s when Dodge trucks got a face lift and Chuck Norris drove his beastly Ram in “Walker Texas Ranger,” I being about 10, instantly wanted one. It was my favorite truck up until a few years ago when the Silverado became my more preferred pickup of choice.

 All that aside, there has been talk that Chrysler will make the Ram a separate model from the other models in the company. I relate this to the simple illustration that Corvette has with Chevy. People think “Corvette” they don’t think “Chevy” because the car is in a league of its own. I have a feeling, and am an advocate that Chrysler separate the Ram. They should put their focus into making it the most versatile pickup on the market.

 When I heard the rumors that the Ram might be building a Power Wagon to compete with the Ford Raptor, I couldn’t have been happier. I think that with the design the truck has, it should be built leaner and meaner in engine and off road capability, although I do think the design needs a little more refinement to match.

 If the Ram Power Wagon goes through, I would support it thoroughly, and I think it has major potential in competing with the Raptor and beating it.

Add me and I’ll add to your ads

Chevrolet Goes Social At SXSW

When it comes to getting younguns interested in its vehicles, General Motors hasn’t been as aggressive as some of its competitors in exploiting Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and other social media services. That may change over the next week and a half, however, as Chevrolet schleps to the heart of Texas for Austin’s annual South By Southwest Festival (SXSW).

If you’ve ever attended SXSW, you know it’s the perfect place to cross paths with tech-savvy members of Generations X and Y. People from around the globe come to hear new music, see indie films, and listen to Silicon Valley innovators speak about new developments on the web and in technology. These are the people who tweet and post status updates every five seconds — the exact sort of people GM needs to recruit if it wants to generate interest in its products the same way that Ford has driven interest in the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

According to a press release, Chevrolet will evaluate a total of three social media technologies at SXSW. Perhaps the least interesting of those is the use of Quick Response (QR) codes. QR codes are those squiggly squares you’ve probably glimpsed in magazine ads and on some labels in hip grocery stores (see left). At SXSW, Chevrolet will slap QR codes on display models of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, Volt, and Cruze; festival attendees will be able to take pics of those labels, upload them to a QR database, and download additional info about the vehicles. Which sounds fine, but QR technology has been around for several years, and it doesn’t seem to be catching on. True, it’s a nifty idea, but we expect another start-up to come along any day now to offer a similar service that’s easier to use. Until that time, we’ll read the brochure.

Item #2 is Chevy’s partnership with Gowalla, a geolocational social media service like FourSquare, or, if that means nothing to you, like Twitter merged with Google Maps (which is, apparently, Twitter 2.0). Gowalla users will receive welcome messages from Chevy when they “check in” to the service, and some will receive coupons for free transport around town in Chevy’s fleet of vehicles. Sounds slightly dull to us, but few at TCC have caught the geolocation bug — even though everyone swears that it’s the next big thing.

The most interesting technology that Chevrolet will trot out at SXSW is something called Chevrolet iReveal. It’s an app, but as far as we can tell, it’s not on iTunes yet. That might mean it’s Android-only (which would be stupid, given the SXSW crowd’s love of Steve Jobs), or GM could be waiting to drop it until the festival begins this Friday (which would be less stupid, but still annoying, since it’s mentioned in the GM press release). Either way, we’re unable to give the app a test-drive, but according to the release, iReveal will “unlock three-dimensional models of Chevrolet vehicles. The application will provide key specifics of the vehicles, and insert the virtual image of the car over the actual streetscape viewed through the smart phone camera lens.” That sounds pretty sweet.

Of course, apart from Gowalla, none of these are what we’d call social media services — and frankly, even the Gowalla link-up sounds a bit weak. However, if the technologies prove successful, there are some social media implications down the line. We look forward to seeing them implemented. Soon.

Chevrolet to learn about the best practices for connecting with customers in a digital age

DETROIT, March 9 /PRNewswire/ — On March 12, Chevrolet will launch three social-media applications at South by Southwest, as a pilot test of emerging technologies that will help Chevrolet connect with consumers. During the interactive, music and film conferences and festivals, Chevrolet will have an opportunity to introduce more than 185,000 attendees to products like the Camaro, Volt, and Cruze. As one of the preeminent interactive conferences, South by Southwest also provides an opportunity for Chevrolet to learn what attendees feel are the best practices and emerging technologies in social media.

“Social media is a powerful tool in a digital world where people can get news instantly on their smart phone, watch television shows on streaming video, and communicate with friends on social-networking sites,” says Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. “For Chevrolet, South by Southwest provides an invaluable opportunity to learn how best to communicate with customers in by leveraging these technologies.”

Accordingly, Chevrolet will focus on integrating technologies and events at South by Southwest, creating opportunities to talk with, and learn from, attendees.

Evaluating Emerging Technologies

Chevrolet will evaluate three emerging technologies during the conference, including location-based social networking, quick response codes, and augmented reality.

  • For location-based social networking, Chevrolet has partnered with Austin-based Gowalla. From their smart phones, Gowalla users can “check in” to let friends and followers know where they are at a given moment. Gowalla users inAustin will receive a welcome message from Chevrolet, while a select number will receive icons redeemable for transportation in a dedicated fleet of Chevrolet vehicles, or information at Chevrolet lounges around the city.
  • Chevrolet will use Quick Response (QR) codes to introduce attendees to the key features of vehicles including the Camaro, Volt, and Cruze. When photographed using a camera phone, the QR codes will launch a dedicated microsite with key features of the vehicle. For example, a QR code on the hood will take attendees to a micro-site to learn more about the 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine in the Cruze, which is expected to deliver class-leading 40 miles per gallon.
  • For augmented reality, Chevrolet is one of the first automotive companies to use the emerging technology in a mobile application. Users who download the Chevrolet iReveal application, available in Beta form, will be able to unlock three-dimensional models of Chevrolet vehicles. The application will provide key specifics of the vehicles, and insert the virtual image of the car over the actual streetscape viewed through the smart phone camera lens.

“The potential of these technologies is incredible,” says Christopher Barger, Director of Global Communications and Technology for GM. “Imagine using Quick Response Codes to download the price and options for a vehicle on a dealer lot right to your cell phone. Or, imagine using augmented reality to virtually preview different colors of the Camaro in your own driveway. We are just scratching the surface of what’s possible with mobile technologies and social media applications.”

By Richard Read from TheCar Connection—Read the article here

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I found this article and was highly amused. Honestly, I don’t think any of the car companies, or the advertising agencies who work for them, have utilized social networking and interactive communication to anywhere near a fraction of its potential. I am a journalism student at Regent University (yes I realize that traditional journalism is a dying art, but at Regent, we are looking at the future of journalism. Check it out here!) and I am part of that generation in which car companies should be seeking, yet they are not getting through very well. They must utilize this area! MUST!

All I have to say is that in order to reach an audience, you should probably listen to them (and I mean listen. If something sounds absurd, don’t write it off, it just might be the next big thing) and you should have someone on your “team” who knows one, or is one perhaps. Yes, younger people don’t have experience, but they have the knowledge of what works with their peers and what doesn’t.

For any car company that might read this, I am putting out an offer to help you. I am a passionate car enthusiast and I am a college student, learning, living, and knowing how to reach my peers. Contact me through replying on this forum.