Automotive Event

2010 Rides ‘n Smiles Was Epic Fun For Drivers And Passengers Alike

Posted in Automotive Event, Cool Stuff, Dodge, driving, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Ford, General, Mustang, Pictures, Popular Cars, Shelby, Track Events by Kurt Ernst | November 29th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

Being a journalist occasionally has its perks, especially for members of the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA). Every year, on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, SAMA hosts an event at Miami Homestead Speedway for pediatric cancer patients, their families, and the doctors and nurses who treat them. Called “Rides ‘n Smiles”, the event puts kids into sports cars and race cars, and SAMA members get the opportunity to drive them around Homestead Speedway’s road course at safe but entertaining speeds. At the end of the day, the patients get a bag full of donated prizes, a certificate welcoming them into the “100 Mile Per Hour Club” and sore cheeks from laughing and smiling so much.

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Thanksgiving Weekend Plans? Rides ‘n’ Smiles

Posted in Automotive Event, Cool Stuff, driving, General by Kurt Ernst | November 25th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

On Saturday morning, while most of you are sleeping off leftover-turkey-hangovers or nursing muscles sore from combat shopping on Black Friday, I’ll be working with my fellow Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) members to make life a little bit better for some pediatric cancer patients. The event, called Rides ‘n’ Smiles, puts these kids in the passenger seat of some of the hottest production cars on the road, as we journalist types give them rides around Miami’s Homestead Speedway. Homestead Speedway is a huge supporter of the annual event, donating the track for the day to bring some joy to kids who don’t usually have a lot to smile about. At the end of the day, the kids get a picture of themselves in the car and a certificate welcoming them into the “100 Mile Per Hour Club”. I suspect us drivers will come away with a lot more than that.

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Here Are Your Options For The Next NYC Taxi

Posted in Automotive Event, Cars, Ford, Guide, New Cars, Newsworthy, Nissan by Kurt Ernst | November 17th, 2010 | 7 Responses |

Sadly, the Checker isn't an option.

New York City taxis have generally been front engine, rear drive sedans with ample trunk space and passenger room. The number one criteria for a successful cab platform is its ability to withstand years of abuse, rack up millions of miles with a minimal amount of service and share parts with thousands of other cabs across the city. Attempts to introduce front wheel drive minivans have met with failure, since they simply don’t hold up to the abuse cabbies dish out on a regular basis. If you’ve ever taken a cab up, down or across town, you’ll understand perfectly well what I’m talking about. New York city cabbies are generally recent immigrants (usually from countries who’d love to the see the US turned into a smoking pit in the ground), and they hold the same regard for human life as do serial killers. Never, under any circumstances, tell a New York City cabbie to “step on it”, unless you’re willing to face the consequences.

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Subaru To Give Us ‘Confidence In Motion’

Posted in Auto Show, Automotive Event, Concept Cars, Environment, Subaru by Kurt Ernst | November 4th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

That’s got to be a good thing, right? Who wants to drive a car that takes away their confidence in motion? With the possible exception of a Yugo and a few Chrysler LeBaron rental cars, I’d be hard pressed to name a car that didn’t give me some amount of confidence in motion. Now Subaru is ensuring us that they’ll deliver just that.

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Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon Supreme: A Minivan Even I Can Love

Posted in Automotive Event, Concept Cars, General, SEMA, Toyota, Vans by Kurt Ernst | November 3rd, 2010 | 8 Responses |
Toyota Swagger Wagon Supreme

The Swagger Wagon Supreme. Photo: Toyota

As a sports car guy and a motorcycle guy, I don’t have much use for minivans. They’re slow (over-boosted Chrysler turbo minivans excepted), they’re ill-handling and they eat a little bit of your soul every time you climb behind the wheel. Sure, they’re good at moving people and their trappings from one place to another, but they don’t go off-road, you can’t haul a bike in one and they don’t give you much towing capacity. The automotive equivalent of purgatory, minivans exist between the heaven of sports cars and the hell of boring sedans. The sole positive comment I can make about them is that they’re usually comfortable.

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Toyota Debuts Performance Package For Prius. Um, Okay.

Posted in auto industry, Automotive Event, Car Accessories, Hybrid, SEMA, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | November 3rd, 2010 | 6 Responses |

Toyota Prius PLUS

Somehow, I never thought I’d use the terms “Prius” and “Performance Package” in the same sentence, and after reading Carscoop’s description of the TRD developed kit, I’m still not sure they belong together. As shown at this year’s SEMA show, the Prius PLUS features a body kit and suspension mods, but no changes to the hybrid’s powertrain. The mods won’t yield much in terms of performance or handing, so you’d better be in love with revised looks of the Prius PLUS before you agree to pony up the cash for the kit. So what, exactly, do you get for your money?

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Going To SEMA? Chevy Will Show You How An LS-9 Motor Goes Together

Posted in Auto Show, Automotive Event, Chevrolet, Cool Stuff, Corvette, GM, SEMA by Kurt Ernst | October 30th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Corvette buyers ordering a Z06 or ZR-1 Corvette can pay $5,800 for the privilege of flying to Michigan and building the motor with their own two hands. Critics have panned this: Viknesh Vijayenthiran at Motor Authority, for example, is perplexed why anyone would pay for a motor twice. I, on the other hand, completely understand it, and if I were in a financial position to buy a new Z06 or ZR-1, I’d check the option box to put the motor together myself. There’s just something significant about being their for the birth of your car’s motor: if I have to explain it, you’re not going to understand.

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Jeep Teases SEMA Concepts

Posted in 4x4, Auto Show, Automotive Event, Chrysler, Concept Cars, Dodge, Jeep, SEMA by Kurt Ernst | October 29th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

Mark Allen, a designer for Jeep, takes us through the mix of trucks the company will have on display at their SEMA booth in this strangely low-res video. I know you don’t want to steal the thunder from your SEMA exhibit, but is a video we can watch without our eyes bleeding too much to ask?

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Chrysler Preps for SEMA 2010 in Las Vegas.

Posted in auto industry, Auto Show, Automotive Event, Car Accessories, Car Branding, Chrysler, Dodge, SEMA by MrAngry | October 26th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

There is only one week left until the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV which means anyone whose anyone in the aftermarket parts business will be there in full force. Custom cars, hot rods, engine builders as well as both TV and radio personalities will be out in droves. Keep in mind though that SEMA is where the manufactures like to go buck wild as well, as they use SEMA to show off their latest and greatest. Chrysler for example will be there showing off such models as the 2011 Redline Charger concept, the Dodge Durango Citadel black and tan, the 2011 Dodge Challenger 392 “Inaugural Edition” that we wrote about yesterday and my personal favorite the Fiat 500 GT. Dodge is known for creating concept vehicles that are big on style and personality. My hope however is that they offer the same stylistic options used on their concepts for purchase to the general public. The 2010 SEMA show is poised to be one of the best ever, so make sure you check back with us all next week for updates on the latest and greatest from the aftermarket!


Meet The Oldest Porsche In The United States

Posted in Automotive Event, Classic, Collector Cars, LA Auto Show, Newsworthy, Porsche by Kurt Ernst | October 23rd, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Dr. Robert Wilson's 1952 Porsche 356 Cabriolet.

Last August, Porsche kicked off the “My Classic Porsche” search, in order to commemorate the marque’s sixtieth anniversary. Owners of early model cars were encouraged to submit their vehicles for consideration, so long as they could provide documentation on the cars history. Only cars originally sold in America were eligible, which eliminated the oldest car in country (a 1950 356 Cabriolet) from the competition.

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