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.

Caution : Throwing the Win(d)

I recently read an article by Jenna Fryer, an AP Auto Racing Writer, via the Advertiser Tribune in Tiffin Ohio.  The article was entitled “NASCAR Call To Throw Caution Isn’t Even A Debate.” I would encourage you all to read her article before reading my thoughts and opinions on her article and the subject in general.

I have some serious disagreements with her article.  For starters “The gripe could not have been more off base,” is just plain bold to state. There are always two sides to anything, and for that caller to make the comment, is welcoming articles like Jenna’s to be written, and then commentaries like mine to be written. I’ll accept the heat taken for what I write.

An area of the article I don’t see how it relates in any form or fashion is “Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was just released from a hospital last week…” and what does this have to do with NASCAR throwing a caution?! All motor sports are dangerous, and the drivers realize that. Ms. Fryer, if you are going to get on the soap box and make a point, stick to it. If you want to have a beef with NASCAR, have a beef, but don’t support it by lumping in all the drivers hurt, injured, or killed from all types of motor sports. Your point is safety, and more specifically, safety in NASCAR. Don’t get off point.

Ms. Fryer states that “In a season that will be remembered for a rash of driver injuries, not throwing a caution would have been negligent of NASCAR.” I would love to know how that is the case? Caution flags DO NOT prevent wrecks or injuries. A caution simply raises awareness that there is a hazard on the track.  Taken directly from  the NASCAR website, “Yellow flag: Signals a caution, which tells drivers to slow down to a predetermined speed. Debris on the track, typically following a wreck, is often the chief culprit for this flag.” No where does it state that a yellow flag predicts and prevents wrecks. Quite the contrary actually. So, in my opinion, I don’t understand how it would have been negligent to NOT throw a caution?

The next statement that had me stunned was, “That this is even being discussed and there are people complaining about NASCAR’S decision, is appalling.” Well, let me tell you Ms. Fryer, that if you had not written about the caller to SiriusXM NASCAR, the topic would not be subject to large scale discussion. But because YOU took the action you did, and just one of the many places it ended up getting printed was in a paper of a town of 20,000 people, well…you are just begging for the topic to be discussed. Well done. I am appreciating the chance to share my opinions on a large scale now as well.

In regard to the whole Darrell Wallace Jr. bit, it makes sense he is afraid. But fear cannot control or dictate how the sport gets called. These drivers, this is their profession. Any one of us humans have to realize that no matter where, or how fast we go, whenever we enter in a vehicle, there is a chance we might not come back.  It seems the deeper issue here is if we are comfortable as participants and spectators of continuing to put our mind, body, and soul into something. If we aren’t, then why are we existing?

The line stating, “It’s on NASCAR to back them down, and at Talladega, where the scramble to the finish line is always, chaotic, NASCAR did the absolute right thing on Sunday.” I don’t think so, and I am going to let the picture below, of the AP website, prove my point.

Read the two headline stories that are side by side. Ironic?

Read the two headline stories that are side by side. Ironic?

The next bit of the article, from “To some fans,” and ending with “had up his sleeve,” is just really…unsettling. The whole point of NASCAR trying to even out the field and provide racing like that of which was on Sunday is to watch the cars RACE to the finish line as fast as they can, doing what it takes to get there. If you don’t, what is the point?

One of the lines in the article I couldn’t help but laugh at was “This isn’t a blood sport, drivers aren’t Roman gladiators, and there comes a time when a race is simply over.” If that is the case, then I suggest you call up Bruton Smith and tell him that you don’t agree with way Bristol Motor Speedway is advertised, as proven in the video below.

Lastly in the article, all this information about Tony Stewart, it just goes back to the whole motorsports is dangerous overall. I fully understand and accept that Ms. Fryer. I am certain all the drivers do too. Again, I believe safety is the topic and issue you wanted to write about, you just used NASCAR as a way to bring it up. While I don’t quite agree with the way you brought this point up, I do agree that “Nobody wants any more driver deaths or injuries.” I do believe there is common ground to be found and that there can be races that are entertaining, fast, AND safe. Then everyone can enjoy that from all the many areas to which we participate in our love for motorsports.

I Shed A Little “Light” On The Subject

An interesting story in the automotive news world recently has been the issue over headlights. While the story has currently been on many automotive sites, I first read about it on Yahoo, and in any case, many seemed to make this issue seem very recent. However, after looking into it, the issue was actually started much further back, as  you can read in an article here that was written in February 2013 about it.

Audi has introduced “matrix LED” headlights to the world, which in short, is an advanced headlight with the ability to turn corners and automatically brighten or dim to properly illuminate the drivers view. The problem with this new system is that a United States law from 1968 says that there can only be two setting for headlights, high and low, thus, prohibiting the “matrix LED” from being on a vehicle sold in the US. Our friends in Europe will be able to enjoy Audi’s “bright” idea on their vehicles. I did do a little digging, and found what I believe is the law that states the high low beam issue. The more interesting thing to note is that before I found what I believe is the law, I am became much more aware of all the issues at hand.

One such issue is that due to the government and private sector being so distant from one another in advancement of technology, and the inability to communicate to one another about such technology; that in turn causes the government to cautiously proceed when they do not understand and cannot properly define or regulate certain technologies. That is one issue in this headlight ordeal.

Another is the overall American automotive headlight laws and regulations in general. Each state has their own laws and rules, which obviously must first adhere to the national laws. This is where I see a problem.

The problem is that not all headlights are created equal. We have all seen the cars equipped with the xenon headlights. Those emit a much different light that standard headlights. The sheer difference in light emitted by all sorts of headlights on cars on the road is really not a good case for the government to claim cars can only have two settings. Sure you can have a “high” and a “low” but the light emitted in those settings can vary from bulb to bulb and vehicle to vehicle. From what I understand, “matrix LED” equalizes what each car emits because it is senses the light surrounding your car. That would be much more beneficial to all drivers.

We have all come across a driver who has forgotten to turn off their brights. That can be unpleasant and sometimes it results in an accident. “Matrix LED” would eliminate that because it would dim for you. However, it is also fair to point out that, a system like this can be distracting and unpleasant as well. The ability for lights to change on their own in fractions of seconds could result in distracted driving in the same manner as our current method of headlight change, human error.

I can see the pros and cons of the issue. I understand both the government and the auto makers side of things. I also understand the consumer side. There are so many factors and opinions that can be weighed and expressed. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Tidbits for Today

Tidbits for today…

I read this article earlier in the week about the GT-R. He was making decent sense…until, “I want the GT-R to be more like an NSX…” …WHAT?! Um, the GT-R should NEVER be like the NSX. It was never supposed to be like the NSX, nor is it, nor shall it ever be. Then to say “Think 560-horsepower AWD FR-S and you’re most of the way there.”  In what world is the FR-S like the NSX?! You don’t even make sense in your trippy logic! To my fellow car blogger, you are a few cylinders short of a GT-R.

I read this article about Lincoln the other day and how this author feels the company just needs to be laid to rest. I do agree. I see the whole Ford Motor Company as Apple; in a league of their own, I will leave it at that (although I’m not a big fan of Apple, so you can assume my feelings about Ford). However, with that said, I would love to take a shot at marketing a revival for Lincoln. They need to associate themselves with comebacks. Comebacks that a younger and well established customer would recognize and think to themselves, I want to be a part of that. That is just the surface of ideas that I would use to market a comeback for Lincoln. I would go so far to say that they don’t even need to do any restyling, they just need much better marketing. Image consulting is more the concept.

I was very happy that Kyle Busch swept the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway! I am a huge Joe Gibbs Racing fan and Kyle Busch fan! Super excited for all parties!

In relation to the NASCAR, I did not see any problem with the NRA sponsoring the race. It makes complete sense to me from exactly what this article states, “Eddie Gossage, the president of the Texas Motor Speedway, told CBS Sports he actually hasn’t heard much in the way of controversy over the race. He said the NRA’s sponsorship is “not about politics. It’s about sports marketing.” ITS ABOUT SPORTS MARKETING. Perfect sense in my book.

There are certainly more tidbits I have spinning around in my head, and hopefully I will be able to get more out later this week. But these ones have been swirling for a few days now and I want to make sure I am staying current and relevant. It’s what you deserve. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comments below!

Hard to tell about the Chevelle

I have been reading a lot about this whole subject of Chevrolet working on trademarking the “Chevelle” name. There have been so many speculations, comments, critics, praises, hopes, dreams, spite, and just about any other feeling that can be evoked or thought that could be conceived about this subject; which is exactly why I want to weigh in.

Before I begin, I want to state that Barrett-Jackson is currently on while I am typing this and I just watched an original 1970 Challenger Hemi cross the block. One of the commentators mentioned how he prefers the Challenger over the Cuda. That thought provoked me even further to share my thoughts on this whole “Chevelle” topic.

Having stated that, back in 1970, there was so much sibling rivalry and same model competition in the automotive world that they probably had no idea how much that would influence the car world today when it comes to rarity and events like Barrett-Jackson. If you look at 1970 General Motors, you had the Chevelle, the GTO, the 442, and the GSX. Talk about sibling competition?! Not to mention all the options and trims for each model in their own right, there was seriously a plethora of choices for consumers.

In the present day competition is bleak and options are very limited compared to years past. Case in point, where is a CTS Coupe Convertible? Every vehicle I mentioned earlier from 1970 had a convertible option. I do realize much of that has to do with the ending and consolidation of many car brands. But in today’s age, I find the issue of sibling competition a sad excuse to not produce, or limit any other aspect of the vehicle. GM has already governed the power of the Camaro in order not to stifle with the pedigree of the Corvette. But why does it really matter? Even amongst their own models do the cars get limited! For example the Corvette Z06 and the Corvette ZR1; the Z06 is kept restrained below the ZR1 just for nostalgia sake. That is ridiculous in my opinion and that is part of what makes this “Chevelle” issue so difficult.

Autoblog has an article that states two speculations. The first is that the new “Chevelle” could become the Code 130R Concept and fill a slot in the stable below the Camaro. I think there might be something to that happening simply because there is another rumor swirling that there soon could be a baby Corvette the “Corvette Coupe” coming. I would think it will be like a Saturn Sky Redline (which pretty much was a baby Corvette) before it chopped.  It would make sense for GM to start making smaller models of their bigger siblings. I am all about more options and more models. The second speculation is that the recently introduced Chevrolet SS could become the Chevelle and go the way Dodge did with the Charger by making it a four door. I am not quite sure why Chevrolet made the SS, but I think it is meant to be used as a practical, in use concept. From there, I don’t really know. I do not agree with the speculation that the SS will become the Chevelle.

In my opinion Chevrolet currently has everything they need for a Chevelle. To put it simply, CTS Coupe = Chevelle. I apologize for taking so long to get to such a simple point. Do a little retro-mod designing, give it all the motor options the Camaro has, and you have a Chevelle. That would hold more true to what many people already know that a Chevelle is, and instill that image in a newer generation who has yet to know it.

I wrote a blog in 2009 about an issue very similar to this regarding the Pontiac G8, Chevrolet Caprice, and Monte Carlo.

So, I think GM should bring back the Chevelle in a retro-mod style on a CTS Coupe chassis with all the Camaro motor options. That would be a worthy Chevelle, and if I had any money, I’d buy it. From there, Chevrolet could possibly resurrect the Monte Carlo name plate and place it on the SS. Bring back some friendly competition between the siblings of the brands and their own models. Give the buyers options and pride in owning something. It is evident that the wide variety brings longevity to the car hobby, because as I write this last sentence, a 1970 Buick GSX goes across the block on Barrett-Jackson.