Archive for March, 2009

19
Mar
09

A little Spark

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Clam chowder is something I’m not particularly keen on, but when you’re the company of the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society, you tend to keep this to yourself. Or blog about it later. The Internet can keep a secret, right? Well, in writing this, I am sharply reminded that the internet remembers everything.

I spent St. Patty’s day canoodling with my fellow “chowderheads,” all gawking at our guest of honor, the Tesla Roadster.

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With all the noise and vitriol going back and forth between D.C. and Detroit, the concept of a fully electric car is a much more relevant issue than it was a year ago.  Hybrids are part of the norm and the argument between tradition and change in luxury toys takes to the bench as the entire nation discusses the very real future of electric sedans, wagons, and SUVs.

It’s with a more open and experienced mind that I approach the Tesla to view it not as the harbinger of doom for petrol power, nor the chariot of the green elitist, but simply as a sports car.

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The Tesla Roadster is indeed a sharp enough looking car to gather a crowd, and the combination of media attention and green-laden parade goers (i.e. drunks) made for interesting observations. It’s as low to the ground as you can expect with it’s Lotus heritage with an interior that’s just as spartan, if not more when you consider the lack of clutch and about 5 gears. Crawling into the passenger seat was as graceful as descending into a bathtub while a group of strangers eagerly watched.

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Irish.Car.Bombed.

With a turn of the key, the car…um, turned on. that’s it. I knew getting in that it would be silent, I was unprepared as to just how quiet it really is. The surreal experience of sitting in a car and then having it roll away at some speed can be equated to releasing the handbrake to a car parked on a steep hill. The Roaster will only treat you with an interesting “wooooop” that rises in pitch as the motor spins faster.

The ride was little more than a trip around the block, but I managed to talk the ear off of the extremely patient Tesla rep about transmissions, charge time, and the mysterious “model S” for the duration.

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The Roadster can also consume pigeons for extra fuel.

I had to say that this more formal introduction to the Roadster piqued my curiosity: How does it really drive? is it as fast as they say? does it make a decent sports car? I really can’t say until I get behind the wheel. until then….

-Alex K-

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15
Mar
09

Think twice, act once

a recent post by Blind_Io and Bubs360 at finalgear reminds us that cars and stupidity are never far away from each other. With this, here are a handful of reminders:

(note: if it seems like I’m posting a lot of videos, it’s because I am. A substantial and exciting report is coming after Tuesday. stay tuned)


Are they really your friends?

He’s ok, really.

Take a hint, lady.

Easy now…

Yes, you “got that shit on videotape” you hyena loser…


11
Mar
09

Which Further Proves My Theory…

The 2009 Formula 1 season begins the weekend of March 27th, and I couldn’t think of a better birthday present for me. Remind me to send Bernie a ham.

Last year was a fantastic season, rich with drama and action, and this year should be just as exciting. Many new rules have been implemented, like mandatory lifespan extensions for the engines, a return of slick tires, and radically new changes to the cars.

One of the more intriguing developments for ’09 is the KERS system that will store kinetic energy in a battery for a limited boost in horsepower when activated by the driver.

The following video, featuring BMW driver and Australopithecus Nick Heidfeld, demonstrates that activating KERS can’t be explained to German people without the use of David Hasselhoff.

(skip to the :50 mark)

Here’s an informative rundown of the changes being made for 2009.

-Alex K-

09
Mar
09

The Honda Odyssey commercial features awesome vans, then Honda Odyssey.

Dear Honda:

Thanks for reminding me to buy a Ford E-series.

Best,

-Alex K-

06
Mar
09

The good life indeed….

Hey Ladies and Gents.

We like concourses here at AutoKinesis, so when I got wind of this event, I didn’t mind throwing up their release to help get the word out. It’s not until August, but if you are in the west coast (if you’re not, you’ve got time to plan a trip), hop in your Alfa and head over.

-Alex K-

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2009 La Dolce Vita Automobili at Black Horse to Deliver Elegant Event for Car Owners and Enthusiasts

“Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Course to Once Again Host Monterey Car Week Event on Greens”

AUBURN, WASHINGTON. (March 05, 2009) – La Dolce Vita-Automobili at Black Horse will be held Friday, August 14, 2009 on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. Founding Partner Kerry McMullen shares, “When we learned a former Italian car event was no longer going to be held at this incredible site, we immediately approached the owners who were excited to host a quality event”.  La Dolce Vita promises a “back to our roots” approach to displaying Italian cars and motorcycles on the green. “This will be an enthusiast’s event organized by enthusiasts”, notes Founding Partner Jerry Kaye.

McMullen and Kaye formed Monterey Bay Concours LLC and established La Dolce Vita in an effort to share their passion for Italian cars with others and to create a comfortable “car guy” environment that is owner-centric. McMullen is President and CEO of MIE Corporation, the largest Maserati parts supply and technical network in the world. He also operates Maserati Club International with 2000 members worldwide. Kaye is no stranger to Italian car events and is a Founding Partner of La Belle Macchine d’ Italia. Held each year in the Poconos, the event attracts a large number of enthusiasts from all over the world. Both own their fair share of Italian automotive machinery. McMullen personally owns three Maserati cars and Kaye owns a beautiful collection of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati and Rolls-Royce cars.

La Dolce Vita has significant support from members of the Italian car community. To date, Alfa Romeo, Fiat/Lancia, Maserati, DeTomaso and several other Italian car clubs are excited for the new event and anxious to resume the annual trek to Black Horse.  Numerous Ferrari and Lamborghini owners from around the country have expressed interest in displaying at the event as well. Niche media partners www.VeloceToday.com, www.GarageStyleMagazine.com, www.AutoBooks-AeroBooks.com, www.myVRL.com and www.SportsCarDigest.com speak to the serious enthusiast and it is this vein that runs thick through the event. “We want car owners and enthusiasts to enjoy each other’s cars and company in a relaxed and friendly environment, this will not be a carnival”, notes McMullen. The event is encouraging people to “come see what’s new” at Black Horse while picnicking amidst live music and chatting with old and new friends.

When asked why the team chose Black Horse as the site of La Dolce Vita, Kaye observes, “Black Horse is experienced at hosting an event of this magnitude and knows how to treat car owners properly. The venue has outstanding accessibility with multiple ingress and egress compared to most other golf courses and resorts on the peninsula”. Logistics on this scale do not come without a price tag and a great deal has been invested to assure affective parking and crowd control procedures. “We have a system in place that offers safe and secure parking for spectators that will also bring them to the main entrance in a timely fashion without aggravation”, says McMullen.

While the event is focused on Italian cars, featured marque cars from other Monterey Car Week events will be welcomed with open arms to a special display section at the event. “We want people to have choices. There are enough cars and enthusiasts on the Monterey Peninsula each August to support multiple events that will offset unbearable crowds”, says Kaye. Friendly rates have been established for entrants and spectators and the event will admit ages 17 and under free of charge with an adult. “We are encouraging families to visit our event as it’s very important to us to foster education of and passion for automobiles with future generations”, remarks McMullen. Charitable aspects and special features will be announced soon.

Plan on attending the inaugural event to see what special attractions are planned.  Be part of something special so you can say you were there at the beginning.

Entrant, Spectator, Sponsor & Vendor Information: www.ladolcevitamontereybay.com

Social Media Group: www.myvrl.com/group/ladolcevitaau