Automotive Thoughts and Topics 2

In the diecast part of my automotive passion, I have a follow up on the black and gold series of Hot Heels I mentioned in my last vlog/blog. There have been two pictures of two cars that have been displayed and they are nothing like how I imagined them looking. The 67 Camaro I predicted was not one of the cars. While I still don’t know if it will be, based on the color schemes of the cars that debuted, I am leaning towards a no. See for yourself below.

blackandgoldseriesspec

In the real automotive world, I took a trip  a few weekends to my wife’s parents home in Maryland. My wife was a bridesmaid and because she had to be with the wedding party all day before the wedding, I spent time with her family. Her dad took me to see a friend of his who has a 1963 Ford Galaxie. He told me the story of the Tasca Ford badge he had on the car. I was not familiar with Tasca before, but the story he told me about their tuning of Ford vehicles had me riveted. I looked then up further when I got home and I was fascinated at their legacy and story. If I had a Ford product, (someday I will get my wife her dream car, a red convertible Mustang) I would certainly consider having Tasca tune it. If you are not familiar with them you can check out Tasca here.

If you have not heard, there is a very big scandal being exposed in the steel industry. A Japanese steel manufacturer and supplier, Kobe Steel, has been discovered to have lied about its steels strength. This could have catastrophic effects on the safety of automobiles, planes, and other people moving things. What I find fascinating about the whole situation is that this is really as common now as it ever has been. In my time on this planet I have seen the Firestone tire scandal, the Takata air bag scandal, the VW diesel scandal, and a host of others that just are not at the top of my mind. All that to say, eventually, it will all be in the history books and show up on lists like this in another 10 years.

Lastly, and this topic is actually the one I am most opinionated about this week, is the sponsorship of the Number 24 car in NASCAR for the 2018 season with William Byron behind the wheel. That sponsor is Liberty University. I am excited for the rookie driver to take his skills to the Monster Energy series. I have nothing against William, Hendrick, or Chevrolet (how about those Camaro’s for 2018?). I actually don’t have anything against Liberty University either. It is a great school. My cousin graduated from there and I have known many people who have attended and graduated.

The truth is that I am a bit sore, maybe jealous, that they are sponsoring a NASCAR team. You see, I attended Regent University. It is known to those who are familiar with either of these universities, or the culture that surrounds them, that Regent and Liberty are rivals. In recent years, Liberty has been leaving Regent in the dust in just about every way from a collegiate standpoint. Beyond academia, their promoting power is extensive, and it became very real to me when they are going to be a full time sponsor for a NASCAR team in the highest series. I am not sure of the complete budget, but based on this article here, in 2013, a primary sponsorship could cost anywhere from $5 million to $35 million. An associate sponsorship is anywhere from $250,000 to $2 million. That was in 2013. That means, Liberty University is shelling out, at minimum of $250,000. To be honest, we all know that it is MUCH higher than that. Liberty is sponsoring one of the most iconic numbers with one of the most successful teams, with one of the brightest rookie drivers in the sport.

The fact that Liberty has that much money in their advertising budget, or any budget, is INCREDIBLE. They must be doing incredibly well. My alma mater can barely house their student population, they have no cafeteria, no gym for their newly formed soccer team to train in, or really any other facility to provide for all the things on campus students need. To build those, Regent has to have money. Regent can barely provide for the needs of students and here Liberty is able to sponsor a NASCAR team. Gosh…I wish I could say the college I went to sponsors a NASCAR team. I so wish I could. Oh well. I will be rooting for William in the number 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro. I will be rooting for him to win and to have as much success as he can. I want him to win because the whole story situation is just awesome.

It is like any other rivalry, where you have someone in your camp, that really isn’t for your side at all. It is comparable to living in either Ohio or Michigan and rooting for the opposite states college football team. I will gladly root for Regents rival in NASCAR, because I like NASCAR. But I will NEVER root for the team up north. Go Bucks!

Advertisements

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!

IMG_0030.JPG

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

20140811-231630-83790674.jpg

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!

A Patriotic Purge

So there are a few things on my mind today.

I read an article talking about how a guy is selling off his entire project car collection. I have been thinking that people like that should really get into finding the right home for those vehicles. Someone out there would absolutely appreciate the project car you have. In all reality I think the problem is timing and communication. When people want a car, they are going to find someone who has it. The problem is that many of the people who have the cars are not communicating that they have them. Its a sad day when amazing vehicles get hauled off the the junk yard because the owner thinks no one wants it.

I also read about how rally racing is probably the most expensive and hardest forms of racing. I have never been to an actual rally but I can imagine that it is more fun for the participants than the spectators. That is probably a factor into why it costs so much. Then again, there can be watered down versions of rallies that one can do with friends on public roads. The kicker there is just gas prices.

I am pretty impressed at the number of first time winners there have been in NASCAR this year. David Ragan is a wonderful driver and deserved to win last weekend in Daytona. Congrats to David Ragan. This upcoming Kentucky race should be pretty thrilling. These powerhouse teams really have not shown bright this year. Then again, was it really the teams or more so the individuals? If anything, this year has shown it is all about the individuals. Just take a look at the top 12 drivers. Then again, the teams have become tighter simply because of the tension on the track between individuals and the ability for more than one individual on one team to consistently do well. This chase will not be over till its over and I am completely ecstatic to watch it unfold!

I spent a little time with my friend today looking up Hot Wheels on Ebay. Pricing out cars we already have and looking up the cars we don’t. I love Hot Wheels but its hard sometimes to justify buying them when I could save the money to buy a real car. I guess being a passionate automotive enthusiast, I consider such things.

I was also thinking today about how the new styling of the Chrysler 300 would make a perfect coupe. Since the newer styled 300’s came out,  they have always had that watered down Bentley / Rolls Royce look. They have a chance now to take an “Imported from Detroit” vehicle and give it some flair, similar to a two door Audi/Bentley, since that’s what I think it would most collectively look like if it were a coupe. Not to mention that Cadillac has made a gorgeous coupe out of its well loved CTS. Then they hopped it up on some supercharging steroids to make it a CTS-V. Such an epic vehicle. I am a huge fan of GM and particularly Cadillac. However, I will support any American made company, such as Chrysler if they built a world class coupe. After the fourth of July, I have been all but thrilled to be as patriotic as possible. Hopefully the American automotive industry will do the same! 😀 God bless the USA!

Road Racing

I am watching the replay of Sunday’s NASCAR road race at Sonoma. I am quite impressed by the strategy and driving of Kurt Busch and his team. This season has been one of the best seasons of NASCAR to date, at least I think. Not one particular team is really dominant which provides everyone the ability to get to victory lane. There are sometimes I wonder if certain things don’t happen because they are planned, but if that were the case, it would be getting so obvious that people would catch on. If that was the case in years past, it is getting harder to recognize.

I really do think that NASCAR should really do more road races. Maybe take one of the Indy circuits and give that a try. Particularly in Baltimore. I have also been thinking that it would be fun to do a double header on the same day or at least within 24 hours. Say NASCAR goes to a mile or so track with lights. They run in the morning a full race, for lack of better words, pause and rest until the evening, and then do it all over again, starting back where they ended up from the first race and the winner of the second race is the official winner. It would provide some flare and endurance to the sport and make the whole event more like the Rolex series and such. Because the drivers are already doing so many other racing series, it would be good practice endurance wise for them, and also provide a chance for those who have never done it, to get that experience of racing for 2 races straight. All of this is completely feasible. Its a matter of actually convincing the people in charge to do it. Hopefully someone is listening! 😀