Top Car Shows That Should Be On Your Bucket List

Whether you love Ford, Chevy, or just want to see the latest automotive advances, a car show is the place to be. You will be able to see and possibly test drive the newest models and get the first glimpse of the latest concept vehicles. Car shows are fun, exciting, and even educational and you can be a part of it.

Here are our picks for the top U.S. car shows automotive enthusiasts will want to attend.

Top 5 U.S. Car Shows

1. Woodward Dream Cruise

Typically held in mid-August, Michigan’s Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest single-day event in the world. Held appropriately on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, over 25,000 hot-rods, along with classic and muscle cars are proudly shown off by their owners.

Whether you own a vehicle to enter in the parade or just love to look at a piece of automotive history, the day-long event is something everyone should experience at least once in their life.

2. The North American International Auto Show

Detroit, Michigan is home to the North American International Auto Show. If you’re curious about what next year’s models will look like or what concepts are in development, this is the place to be.

You can also catch some great concerts at the auto show, along with see which company takes home the award for ‘truck of the year’. If you’re interested in attending the auto show, it’s usually held at the beginning of June.

3. Bonneville Speed Week

If luxury isn’t important but speed is, head out to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. During August, vintage cars take over the salt flats looking to see which vehicle is fastest, along with trying to beat previously set top speed records.

The week-long racing event has been held annually since 1949 and it is still the largest. Teams race everything from roadsters, hot roads, and motorcycles, to belly tankers, streamliners, and lakesters. Every type of vehicle can be seen during speed week.

4. Pebble Beach Concourse D’Elegance

If you prefer luxury to speed and salt flats, Pebble Beach, in California, welcomes the world’s top luxury car models each year in August. The car show doesn’t just draw in luxury automobile lovers, but celebrities and some of the richest people in the world also attend.

Along with being able to see these fabulous cars, you can also get into the bidding. Vehicles are auctioned for large sums of money, and even if you don’t enter the auction it’s still fun to see what some of these rare luxury vehicles sell for.

5. The SEMA Show

November is when the Las Vegas Convention Center usually hosts the annual SEMA Show. The acronym for the Specialty Equipment Market Association, you can expect to see over 2,000 exhibits showcasing new components, parts, and tools. Everything an automotive mechanic or car enthusiast needs to keep their vehicle running and looking great.

Product demonstrations and educational seminars will also be held. Don’t forget about the after-party where you can mingle with celebrities and see award-winning custom automobiles.

Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Show

Whether you want to show off your vehicle or just make it there safely, there are a few things you need to do. After all, the last thing you want when showing off your ride is for there to be a problem under the hood. This also applies if you’re just planning on driving to the car show.

It’s often the little things that drivers forget, and these are the ones that can cause the biggest problems. Check your oil and other fluid levels. Think about the last time you had the oil changed, how long ago was that? Depending on the type of motor oil, you can go as long as 15,000 miles but this only applies to synthetic blends.

Consider having a professional inspection, the kicker always recommends Tire Kickers, but we’re biased—they sponsor us.

Checking the little things on your vehicle will help ensure you make it to the car show and if you’ve entered your vehicle it’ll be ready to impress the crowds.

Early Racing

Early racing included Paris to Rouen, a mere 80Km. It had a top speed of 10 mph. 69 cars were in the preliminary competition after which only 25 won a place in the competition itself. Paris to Bordeaux could be better described as a race but even that one only went to 24 mph.

Early races were sponsored by newspapers, for example the Paris-Rouen race was run by Le Petit Journal. By 1900 cars were doing about 80kph. Because of the damage to the racers, spectators and even livestock which found itself on the road, races weren’t exactly annual events.

Indie 500

The Indy500 began in 1911 with the name “the 500 Mile International Sweepstake” and is still run today. Taking place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the oval circuit shape has been nicknamed The Brickyard due to its paved appearance. The race itself consists of 200 laps of the circuit. At one point it earned the name “The greatest spectacle in racing”.

Hotrod Racing

These early races shouldn’t be described as “hot rod” races. A hot rod is a later invention and is technically a modified older car. In essence racing a Model T in the 1920s was a contemporary car. A few decades later modified Model T’s would race under the banner “hot rod.”

Hotrod races began in California in the 1930’s but they lost popularity in the 1980s. As might be expected the older cars weren’t designed for speed, hence the need for modification. This included Ford Model Ts and similar vehicles.

As well as modifying to run faster it was important to reduce some of the bulk of the vehicle. These vehicles might be comparable with the boneshakers of the bicycle world, just not racers in the conventional sense. It’s not clear why “hot rod” is called this, but many believe it refers to the connection between illegal booze and racing. Rum runners used to modify vehicles to smuggle hooch around country roads. Many racing traditions sprung up from the practice of fleeing revenuers. If this is where “hotrod” came from, it could refer to burning alcohol instead of gas or the act of fleeing the law in a supped up rig.

The Mille Miglia meanwhile started in 1927 and ended in 1957. Generally, it started and finished in Rome going through the mountains and small villages.

Early and Dangerous

These early races have been associated with disasters. In 1938 several spectators were killed. In 1957 two drivers were killed and even more unexpectedly, eleven spectators were killed as well. It’s likely that engine speed was easier to increase than handling, which was seen as the drivers job.

There’s also the Milwaukee Mile, which used an old horse racing track. Then there’s the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa which had “illegal races” between 1901 and 1914 (aka the dodgy part of car racing the history).

The term “Grand Prix” goes all the way back to 1894. It began with a road rage challenge and moved into endurance racing. Formula racing (Formula One etc) began in 1947 with the first world championship in 1951. From there it became the professional activity we know today.

Some of these endurance races were about speed, such as Indy500. Others such as Targo Florio which was set on the mountainous roads of Sicily were about overall performance. The sport of racing was finding its feet. Today, racing is a great deal safer but it could be said to have lost some of its romanticism.

The Future of Transportation

OP-ED by Stephanie Larson

With the interstate building project of the 1950s, most U.S. cities suddenly became connected by paved roads. What was once dirt and gravel roads became paved asphalt highways. For car lovers, these highways were a dream come true. Drivers finally had long stretches of paved roads where they could see what their vehicles could do.

Some thought the interstate system was the future of transportation, but technology is advancing and changing how drivers get around. Here are some automotive advances you should watch for in the coming years.

1. Self-Driving Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are already here, and several car manufacturers have models slowly making their way up the guideline levels set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. There are four levels and two sub-levels vehicles have to pass before considered fully-automatic and safe to drive.

Most self-driving models are at level one. The vehicle reliably provides drivers with warnings and information. Some vehicles are in the early stages of level 2 for automated parking and highway driving. However, Google is currently the company ahead at level four. While the company’s vehicle is fully-automated there are still a few glitches that need to be worked out.

Soon, your car may be the one driving instead of you.

2. All Electric Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more common as technology progresses. The batteries are capable of holding a charge longer and the vehicles are getting a little bigger instead of smaller. All electric models still won’t be larger than a small sedan for quite some time.

One of the appeals electric vehicles have is its simple components. Without the need for gasoline, several components will no longer be necessary. The essentially scale-downed vehicles are also expected to cost consumers less in the purchase price and maintenance.

These advancements in technology have even lead Bloomberg New Energy Finance to predict electric vehicles will comprise 35 percent of worldwide car sales by 2040.

3. Self-Driving Electric Vehicles

It’s not uncommon for technologies to mix. Smart cars owe their intelligence to computer technology. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine smart electric cars. Automobile manufacturers with eminent plans to release self-driving technology in 2022 now include giants like Ford. However, the automotive giant plans on using the technology in their hybrid vehicles first.

In the future, ride share services like Uber and others could do away with their drivers. When you use the app to order a ride, a self-driving electric vehicle shows up. Instead of bus drivers and train operators, public transportation could also become fully automated, along with electrically powered.

With these vehicles, you are the passenger.

What These Changes Mean For You

It’s impossible to stop technology advancing and this means changes, even in transportation. Self-driving cars, both gas and electric will be on the roads in the future. However, this doesn’t mean that your love of the open road has to change.

Electric cars don’t have the ‘oomph’ that an 8-cyllander engine has. Self-driving vehicles are still crashing into things on road tests. However, these glitches will be fixed, and these automobiles will become a common sight on the interstate.

There is one thing that will remain the same regardless of how far technology goes. Vehicle maintenance will always be important. Even self-driving electric vehicles need regular tune-ups. You will also want to keep an eye on the battery condition. This is something that you should still be doing regularly whether you drive a hybrid or have a gas engine.

The Story of the Drive-In

Like any cinema, a drive-in is a cinema with a large movie screen, projection booth, a stand selling snacks or drinks and a large area to park your car. What’s different is that instead of rows of seats, you have rows of parking spots and everyone views the movie from their car. Instead of buying individual tickets you generally pay by the carload.

As well as snacks and drinks, the drive-in was linked to larger restaurants – one business supporting the other, you might say.

There are drive-in theaters throughout the world; the first modern drive-in opened in 1933 in New Jersey, but it soon gained a cult following at about the 1950s.

Many old theaters appear on the National Registers of Historical Places. The 66 Drive-in at Carthage Missouri on US Route 66 is the oldest drive-in still going. It showed its first movie in 1949.

Mobmov is a worldwide network of guerilla (unofficial) drive-in theaters. It uses car powered video projectors and transmitters. This was begun in 2005 in San Francisco and all the shows were free.

The Early Drive-Ins:

The earliest drive-ins include The Theatre de Guadalupe in New Mexico, 1915, which only ran for a year. The first film presented was Bags of Gold.

The 1932 Hollingshead Theatre used a Kodak projector on the hood of a car. It was also necessary to set some of the vehicles on blocks so all viewers could see the screen. It offered 400 slots and advertised it as families welcome -not something you tend to see at cinemas today. The first movie was Wives Beware. Hollingshead ran it for three years without making a profit.

The problem could have been the sound issues, in regular theatres the speakers were high up on towers which unfortunately meant the sound wasn’t in sync when it traveled across an entire parking lot. In 1931 one solution was introduced, having a row of speakers in front of the cars. By 1941 you could control the sound using your own in-car speakers.

What’s the Draw of Watching a Moving in your Car?

The popularity of drive-ins could be due to it being the early days of cinema, how exactly do you watch this movie? It tended to be more popular with teens than older people, it could possibly be somewhere to take your car, and usually at this time, your date. Teens had a limited number of places to spend time with a date, this was the most privacy you could find while still being in public.

The reason why drive-ins began to fail may have been linked to the Uniform Time Act. Because drive-ins took place outside and during the evening the level of light is important: you can’t show movies in daylight. There was, no doubt, good reasons for increasing the hours of sunlight in the summer months, but it wasn’t conducive with running a drive-in.

After the 1960s the number of drive-ins shrunk from over 4000 drive-ins to a mere 325. It might just have been the light-after all it doesn’t affect patrons in the Spring, Autumn or Winter. Maybe the novelty had just worn off?

In replicating this American institution, businesses have looked for creating Art-deco sign displays and looking for sponsors to fund their enterprise. As with everything else promotion on Facebook and Twitter works wonders. Many people look for drive-ins to make a comeback under the current lock-down conditions. Only time will tell.

Best of the Web: Lordstown Motors

Original story link

A lot has happened since June when Lordstown Motors announced their Endurance–the EV Truck. This article reminds of the grand vision of Lordstown motors.

“In a dramatic turn, one of the big questions left unanswered at the launch of the Endurance — namely, where the money to build it would come from — has been substantially addressed. In early August, Lordstown announced a merger with a “special purpose acquisitions company” called DiamondPeak Holdings. The merger will let Lordstown be publicly listed on the NASDAQ and generate upwards of $675 million of new investment to nudge the Endurance toward production. The deal should be finalized by the fourth quarter of this year, potentially setting Lordstown’s assembly line in motion — and starting to fill a claimed $1.4 billion in orders — in the second half of 2021.”

Peter Hughes

What’s news: Honda’s new EV

Honda had done hybrids but they’re now doing an all electric car…very tiny…but a car.

FILE PHOTO: A Honda E electric car is seen at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium January 9, 2020.REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR

Most car companies, not just US auto-makers, but seriously most, are desperately trying to figure out how to make a bigger EV. Honda, who is entering the game a little later, is actually making waves by going small.

“The Honda e, released in Europe earlier this month, is a compact model meant solely for city driving.”

Maki Shiraki

Tesla dominates the market currently, and wisely started with a luxury sedan. Of Course Tesla was a startup company that needed to ramp up production. Selling a high ticket item with limited run capacity made a lot of sense.

Honda has evaluated the market and found a niche they feel they can dominate with an EV given the unique limitations of current technology.

I one sense they are removing the gas bill from a market that typically already drives very efficient vehicles. In another sense they’re removing carbon emissions from a community that is most conscious of smog.

Starting in Europe is the no-brainer choice as they have the highest population centers and highest fuel prices. They’re also less dependent on personal vehicles for longer trips as the rail system already fits that bill.

Story source.

Original story

The Future of Mass Transit

Even if you don’t typically take a form of public transportation you still expect to see city buses on the roads, along with light rail and trains in some major metropolitan areas. However, the future of mass transit might be in doubt.

The number of riders is down in the U.S. and other major cities across the globe and some people are wondering if this is the end of mass transit. While mass transit isn’t going away, at least in the foreseeable future, there will be some changes that riders will either love or hate.

Mass Transit in the Future

The number of annual riders on public mass transit systems has been declining over the years. Some of the decline is attributed to more affordable automobile pricing, along with drops in some types of vehicle insurance premiums.

Health concerns, both in the past and present, are also contributing to the drop in daily riders.

Having more room on buses and subway trains seems like a positive. It’ll be easier to find a seat, even during busy morning commutes. Social distancing also won’t be as big of a problem with fewer riders.

However, there is a serious downside to you being able to easily find a seat. The loss of riders means that less money is coming in. These are the funds that are used for maintenance, repairs, and even improvements. Without this money, mass transit will not be able to survive.

This doesn’t mean that public mass systems around the world are accepting the fact they might be obsolete. They have a few ideas that will keep mass transit operating well into the future.

Rental Vehicles

Scooters, bikes, and even electric mini cars are entering the mass transit system. In an effort to stay relevant, mass transit is expanding away from crowded buses and trains. How the system works is simple. Riders, using a credit card or token, rent the vehicle for a specific amount of time, returning it to one of the rental kiosks when they’re finished.

You will still be able to get around the city, even if you don’t own a vehicle. Best of all, you’ll never have to worry about finding a seat. These rental kiosks are showing up in major cities around the world.

Smart Buses

We already have smart cars and some light rail systems are also automated. Mass transit is also working on incorporating smart buses into their fleet.

The public transport app is being developed and has been granted a license to run a smart fleet in London. San Francisco also isn’t far behind in starting a fleet. The advantage of a smart bus will be its smaller size that will be better equipped to navigate narrow and crowded city streets.

Underwater Mass Transit

This doesn’t apply to all cities and the cost is expensive. England and France have The Channel Tunnel or ‘Chunnel’ as it’s referred to. Consisting of three tunnels – two are used for freight and passenger trains and the other for service and maintenance.

Some cities around the world are discussing the possibility of adding underwater tunnels to their mass transit system but this will be in the future if or when it happens.

Conclusion

Even though public mass transit systems are taking a financial hit, it doesn’t seem to mean the end of city buses and trains. Instead, it is forcing cities and transit administration to come up with new and innovative ideas to ensure their future.

Car Gorilla Adverts

Op-Ed By Wimsett

Guerrilla marketing for cars seems to suggest too many young guns given too much money. If it’s to show how wonderful the car is, that’s all to the good, but a weird idea doesn’t automatically sell the car. You need to think about your advertising in greater detail.

It’s not as if you can replace each billboard with a guerrilla campaign, it’s something you can only do in huge built up areas. And as suggested above, it’s a bit hit and miss.

However it does give a humorous direction to tempt potential buyers, particularly those who don’t respond to TV or radio adverts or even those Facebook adverts. In other words, advertisements for people who don’t respond, or feel they don’t respond to mainstream commercials.

Some campaigns do seem better than others, Honda’s “The Power of Dreams” seems memorable. But a large funnel of knickknacks going into a back of a box containing a Honda doesn’t necessarily work.

It does tend to be the more expensive cars such as a huge monster hand coming from nowhere holding a BMW or a Mercedes Benz apparently crashing through a poster. Maybe you remember an Alfa Romeo in a tiny shopping cart (held in place by ropes) or a SEAT, S.A. in a large plastic box where it is slightly obscured? No?

Then there was the mini cooper campaign which showed a conveyor belt with baggage coming out of it or a Renault in a giant snow globe. Or things like a car held in place by a giant bike lock or an upside-down car apparently being held in place by chewing gums. Then you have Smart Cars apparently being dispensed by a giant vending machine. Ideas about size and having the car at funny angles seem to play a part in most of these guerrilla ideas.

You might like an idea which includes technology and access to information as this is what 70% of car users are interested in. Could it be turned into a video? Video is what convinced 61% of potential buyers to buy a car in 2019. It makes sense-a moving image is much more convincing than a stunt in a mall.

What are we supposed to make of these ideas? There could be a link to economy in design with the vending machine or the giant bike lock ideas, you’re buying these because it’s a small car. The conveyor belt idea meanwhile must surely indicate a spacious trunk. Or the snow globe a celebration of the Christmas season as well as an advertisement for the car. Most ideas do seem a bit of a mishmash.

It should be pointed out that there is difficulty in coming up with a campaign to indicate a family car or a car for the older market. In these cases, your best bet is to rely on traditional advertising techniques.

Despite this young buck feeling of using obscure ideas and concepts there must be something profitable occurring or else it wouldn’t continue. It goes without saying that just because a crazy ad catches your eye, doesn’t mean you buy the car without further research.

French Cars

Oldtimer Citroen C2v

From the UK Desk

Why haven’t French cars conquered the US and Canada? Well, it’s complicated.

Despite the Citroen’s long history-it began in 1901-it has yet to challenge the USA or Canada. They’re onto a winning formula, because there are many similar cars such as Renault or Peugot.

There is a wide range of Citroen cars, from city cars and family vehicles to subcompacts and MPVs. The 2CV was the first subcompact. It is able to transport up to 5 people. As with every small car it is about being economical.

C2V

If you can get hold of a Citroen, there is a host of classic features. The C1 is about being advanced and stylish. The petrol is 3 cylinders and the diesel is 4 cylinders. They have a host of features such as a reverse camera to eliminate blind spots. There is also a “Mirror Screen,” a touchscreen which enables you to see more. The Hill Start Assist allows the car to be held in place on a slope.

There’s a keyless entry which you may have encountered before: the car can be opened remotely even if you keep your key in a pocket. A built-in camera may be used to send videos and photos. So, for technical features alone it has an edge on many competitors?

Could you buy an exported model? Maybe, but it wouldn’t pass the US or Canada’s safety tests (US tend to drive invested and its test must allow for this. But many foreign cars do not pass muster. However, Citroen has still been successful in South America or China.

It does work in the other way round. Subcompacts work well in the US but it is not economical to ship such designs from Europe.

It’s interesting to see that cars such as the SUV are much more suited for the US market, rather than the smaller car. Though something like the Citroen DS historically could have done well in the US but it seems its time has gone.

The Peugot meanwhile started as various coffee mills and bike factories as long ago as 1810. In 1889 they created a steam driven car until finally moving onto a car powered by internal combustion. As well as domestic cars they became known for racing cars.

Renault has also moved into motosports. They were founded by two brothers and by 1907 most of the London and Paris taxis were built by Renalt. Also, in this year they became a US brand. They also moved into agricultural vehicles and tanks. Of course, lately they are moving into electric cars, it’s the trend. The Morphoz can be transformed from a short city car to a wider country car with both a wider exterior and interior. The Artificial Intelligence used in the guidance system is another selling point.

The US and Canada market tends towards American cars, which may be partly because many US cars are built in Canadian plants. (The runner up type of cars being sold are the Japanese and German.) But then again, the best manufacturers always find a way, even if the French manufacturers have been at it for a very long time.