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.

Behind the Scenes of Car Stunts (Part 2)

The previous article discussed story-boarding stunts. After this phase the stunt coordinator takes over. But what exactly is a stunt coordinator? Well they can be thought of as the director of stunts–they coordinate, cast, and choreograph. As you might guess, they usually worked as a stuntman before becoming a coordinator.

Rémy Juliannne is a typical example of a stunt driver turned coordinator. He started his professional life as a rally cross driver and a motocross driver. He has now been in 1,400 films including James Bond and Italian Job. He also teaches other stunt drivers. 1,400 folks! How many actors can make that claim?

The car stunt coordinator works with the crew and cameramen to line up the correct camera shots. Even when everything is planned in minute detail things can still go wrong. And “go wrong” has two definitions:

1) you have to repeat a very expensive shot.
2) Someone get’s hurt.

Someone gets Hurt:

That’s not to say there’s no choreography or some mechanical rigging to make a car stunt as safe as possible. A fit stuntman also increases the likelihood they will survive the stunt, even if there are injuries to the body.

When creating a truck roll as seen in Mad Max 2 a gigantic cage was built into the cab and as a precaution an ambulance was on standby. For stunts as dangerous as this, stuntmen don’t eat for a day in case of operations. All that happened to the stuntman after this was a dirty face, bizarrely enough.

What many people may not know is that custom engineered safety feature from stunt coordinators actually inspires safety features in cars that are commercially sold. If you have airbags in your vehicle you can thank the stunt industry.

Equipment also changes:

The French film C’etuit un Rendezvous used video cameras instead of film cameras to follow stunt drivers as they went mad on the streets of Paris. At least using a Mercedes meant that the handling was as fine as it could be. Cameras mounted on the hood also assisted with the overall effect.

More Technically Difficult Stunts

The harder the stunt, the more precision is needed. Most cars cannot be turned 360° in mid-air, but the Chevrolet Sonic can—with a little special engineering. A ball-like scaffold created the effect. A similar stunt was achieved using an AMC Hornet.

To flip a Mini you need to get an angle of 37° and still might not be easy. Think about it, is the goal to get a full revolution, to land on your roof, to land on your tires…either way you are rigging the Mini up with some kind of cage.

Using Regular Streets

Beyond the obvious step of getting permits and shutting down regular traffic, you can add the step of simulating traffic with cars driven by stunt people. Of course, the stunt coordinator must examine the surfaces to ensure that they are more than roadworthy. A test track or a controlled sound studio won’t change a lot between filming one scene and another, but a road could have random damage the night before filming.

The ultimate stunt drivers can use the streets of San Francisco for suitably hilly stunts involving a number of chicanes, and negotiating streetcars and cones with a number of 180° turns as well as jumps.

A stunt in 2009 involved jumping from the beach onto a barge. It used a Subaru STi and took place on the Long Beach on Los Angeles. The difficulty in the stunt is not to crash into the barge.

Sexism or Practicality

There’s a great deal of talk about “wigging” in the industry where a stuntman does the stunt which should have been done by a woman. There’s probably no winning this debate because there are more stunt men in the business than women. I the golden era of cinema, when an actress fell off a horse and was drug out of scene, you put a man in a wig and drug him behind the horse.

Now, there are more stunt women and really no good reason why a woman couldn’t drive a stunt as well or better than a male counterpart. By the same token, there’s a lot less effort in disguising a drivers gender inside a car during a stunt so there’s really no reason to intentionally pick one gender over another regardless of the sex of the character that’s supposed to be driving. Naturally this creates a bit of contention.

The truth is there’s no stunt register in the US, so the only way a stunt man or woman to gets ahead is to know the right person. So, there’s no way to prove that bias isn’t applied, and no easy way to attempt to fix the situation. On the upside, Hollywood has a reputation of being forward thinking and as more female stunt drivers enter the business, you’ll likely see plenty of jobs available for them. Only time will tell for sure.

It’s that a person who wants to drive through fire will always have employment, though he or she might not have time to enjoy the beauty of the vehicle?

Behind the Scenes of Car Stunts – Part One.

Any stunt devised begins with an idea. If it’s stunt for a film it must work with the story so even if it is altered for safety reasons it must make sense for the character or situation. Of course the car doesn’t always fit the star, sometimes it’s about product placement but the intention is to get something that you might believe the character could conceivably drive.

An example of a stunt fitting the plot is the car roll in Casino Royale. A car must go out of control and roll a couple of times but also avoid the person tied up. We don’t blink at this when the action hero gets himself this type of situation—but this is M. Would our desk jockey drive fast enough to lose control? Sure, if the emotion is high anyone can drive unwisely, but would M own a car that is likely to do it? So, if the director wants the stunt, he/she must show why M is upset and why M grabs someone else’s car.

From the stunt coordinators standpoint. If M drives a large, luxury, or classic car (true to the character) there’s a better chance that an out of control car would roll. So if the movie goes that way challenges like slower acceleration and less than performance breaking require a few cheats. It may sound silly but movies sometimes pour a few thousand dollars into car so that it can be safely destroyed in a wreck.

Stunt People are Also Actors:

It needn’t necessarily be the action hero, it could be the getaway driver or a bumbling incompetent, but how the car moves should show that. This is where the next stage of the production comes in. The stunt driver must drive the car in the manor that fits the character and the scene.

From a technical standpoint, stunt coordinators sit into meetings with the screenplay writer earlier in the process than most people would guess. The stunt moves need to be planned with the storyboard artist. Although the storyboard artist tends to agree with what the screenplay writer says, they will be more likely to look int how the car, tank or whatever, moves in certain conditions. Some stunts must be conducted at separate locations so that weather and crowds are controlled. Research at this point can head off problems further along the line.

From scribbles they come up with something more coherent—a plan to prepare for each stunt to be filmed. It helps them to watch other films with stunts to see how they do it. It’s usual practice to have a library on how each vehicle reacts in certain circumstances. You may believe that one SUV works the same as another SUV but it doesn’t, some are easier to handle, some might work easier around chicanes. You can see through footage or though attempting it (with the correct level of safety applied, it should be added).

Movie Storyboards

It’s important to plan the stunts during the storyboard phase. In many ways it’s easier to show action on a storyboard rather than a script. The only missing elements are actually filming, adding the soundtrack and dialogue, which will be assigned later.

The storyboard artist different devises to clearly represent the action. Instead of using a HB pencil on these drawings they use a 3B which is softer. (Would a hard pencil be good for showing night time stunts? Like a 3H for instance? Possibly).

The Lawyers

You probably think you know what a car stunt is, but the actual definition is a car negotiating unfamiliar territory. Simply driving at high speed, driving slowly through a crowd, or parking in a tight space are considered stunt for the movie industry. It’s obvious when you really think about it. Lets not assume that an actor can parallel park shall we? Not when we can have a professional driver do it and then film the actor getting out of the car.

The harder the stunt the more precision is needed. There will be a number of reworkings of the stunt plan to go through before eventually talking to the lawyers. Many manufacturers don’t wish to show their product acting in a dubious way. It takes a huge amount of PR to bring a stunt to the screen. Do you want your sports car associated with mob hit men? It gets you attention the first time your luxury car gets rolled into a building, after the 3rd movie does it you could get a reputation.

Stay tuned for part two where we’ll go into detail into specific stunts and the best practices in order to bring the stunt to the screen. It takes a huge amount of effort to make the car the true hero of the silver screen.

African Cars

Africa is a hard continent for the outsider to get your head round. It might seem like one great country but it is many different states and colonies with their own individual way of doing things. It contains more variety from one tip to the other than North America does.

While it enjoys a reputation of being “untapped” it’s also not the first place to come to mind when thinking of profitable markets. It’s fair to say that, as a whole, it’s a low-income market. There are only 44 vehicles for each of the 1000 inhabitants, and they seem obsessed with used cars. It’s a developing market, especially for cars, but this might be the wrong way to look.

South Africa

The country of South Africa looks at its car industry as a success story. Despite being only 6.9% of the nation’s GDP they have solid sales, both in exports and local. These includes names such as BMW, Toyota, Nissan and so on. One company that has pulled out is General Motors, to concentrate purely on the American market. This is not the beginning of a mass exodus though–the other factories seem stable at time of writing.

Car and truck manufacture have a long-standing heritage here since the 1920s. Symbiotic manufacturing is also thriving, there are a number of component factories such as Bloxwitch and Arvin Exhaust. In total over 200 different component businesses are based in South Africa and growing. The provinces of Eastern Cape and Gautenay is the center of auto manufacturing, including cars for the US market, making this the Detroit of South Africa.

Given the US car Industry’s need for period bail out, it might seem that the industry wouldn’t exist without a strong government program supporting it. Many countries overtly subsidize auto manufacture (also known as industry under license from the government). This won’t be seen in South Africa, where 85% of all car sales on the continent take place. Investment is critical in 2020, perhaps more so than ever.

Are there other countries with an auto industry?

Yes, car companies invest in Morocco, Egypt and Algeria. They also seem to be looking into more developing countries like Kenya, where Toyota has a presence and Algeria where although Renault seem to the main player there is also investment from VW, Peugot, Hyandai and Nissan, among others. The Algerian government vocalized ideas of “planning to double” the total employment in the region.

Elsewhere in the continent VW are looking at developing an Uber-like business in Rwanda. Because most cars aren’t new it makes sense to look at the rented car industry as an alternative.

Is there a trend?

It’s worth noting that Renault was the only car manufacturer in Morocco up until 2019 when Peugot arrived. Given how close it is to Spain, it’s a cheaper place build cars that car be shipped back to a European Market. These tentative movements have brought great economic increase to the entire region of Northern Africa and heralded positive change, or at least that’s how it looked before our current situation.

It might be that other companies join General Motors in abandoning the continent. Unless markets pick it won’t make sense for car companies to manufacture more the local market needs, which won’t have the same drastic impact on the local economy. The governments need the car companies if Africa is ever going to alter. It’s not hopeless, it just needs a bit of creative thinking, and some hope. We could all use some hope right about now.

Virtual Travelling in 7 fun steps.

With a lack of movement and everyone stuck indoors now is the time to take a virtual journey.

Here’s How:

Your starting point is a map, (you can’t use Sat-Nav yet). Choose a map of a place you’ve never been, either a country or a state. We recommend starting with a pencil at first but as you get more experience you can switch to a highlighter. A word of caution, you’re going to be ruining this map for other things, so pick one with that in mind. Don’t worry, that map shall not have died in vane—this is an excellent creative exercise.

First Choose the Scope and Mission of your Trip:

There are two potential goals for a virtual trip:

  1. This is a detailed plan/dry run for a trip on your bucket list (You will take this trip.)
  2. Since you can’t really go right now, you may as well travel somewhere you’ll never get to in real life.

Which you choose A, or B, will determine a few details later, but either way, we recommend making this trip as detailed and real as you possibly can. This is going to be fun.

There are Two Factors to any Trip:

  1. Are you focused on the destination/objective? (or)
  2. Are you more excited by the serendipitous things that might happen along the way?
1 Destination2 Adventure
A Practice1A Practice Destination2A Practice Adventure
B Fantasy1B Fantasy Destination2B Fantasy Adventure

A good trip will have elements of both, but knowing which factors is your priority will make your planning easier. For the purpose of this trip lets assume that you are traveling the US (since there are so many good guidebooks to Europe that a virtual trip is limited in benefit).

How to Take your Virtual Road Trip:

You’ll be planning this trip step by step and collecting picture, sound, or video to support your journey experience. As you trace the map in pencil, figure out how far you are going each day and where you’ll stay on your over nights. What sites are available to see along the way? What’s worth a detour?

One great resource for this is google earth. You can zoom in and follow your map on the virtual map. Get down into the street level view and grab screen shots of the places you’ll stay and the attractions you’ll visit.

Build a play list for each leg of the journey. Dig into the web pages for each site you’ll visit. Look up the menu of local restaurants and pic out what items you’d like to eat when you’re there.

One last question to answer up front:

Is there something you haven’t done before? Is there some reason you haven’t visited a region? If so, and you intend to really do this trip, what’s you’re plan to overcome that obstacle?

Remember, Detail is King. Make this as Real as Possible!

Step 1: Who is going with you?

Regardless of whether your goal is a practice destination or a fantasy adventure you might be thinking anything from a romantic getaway to a reunion road trip. If your single and you’re wanting a romantic getaway, well, just pick someone you wish was going with you.

If you’re re-living a road trip with college buddies maybe build a Facebook group and plan it together. Have them dig up photos to post too. You can laugh about some of the adventures from the first trip and listen to the soundtrack of that time in your lives.

Step 2: What is your ideal vehicle to travel?

Remember it needs to have enough legroom, cargo space and so on. If you wish to take more than six are you renting a large van? Another option would be a Class A or Class B RV. You could split the cost between you and save on hotel costs.

Price it out and collect a picture of the potential vehicle.

Don’t forget to figure out the fuel economy of the rig, and the size of the gas tank. How many times a day will you need to stop for fuel?

Step 3: What’s the maximum length of each leg on your journey?

A journey needs a destination, but it also needs a number of stop off points. What do you want to do at these stop off points? If you’re travelling for over eight hours it is advisable to eat out somewhere.

Professional drivers are required to stop for a significant rest every 10 hours. That’s a good outside limit for a days journey, but we recommend that you’re really missing the point of a road trip if you go more than 7 hours in a day—and that’s not all in one shot.

Step 4: What to do at each stop.

Eating is a factor. You might pack some food so that you can eat without stopping, or to bring the coast down, or simply to keep from starving in the middle of nowhere when the car breaks down.

However, you will need to stop for bathroom breaks and you’re smart if you move your body a bit on these stops. You’ll also need to get gas. For efficiency it’s best to plan the bathroom breaks with the fuel stops BUT that may not always work out perfectly.

If you’re stopping off at a town or city what you want to see while there? It all comes down to how mobile you are and how long you give yourself to see different attractions. The stops can really zap your progress toward your end goal, or they can be the most memorable part of the whole journey. It depends a little on luck, a little on planning, and a lot on your perspective. This is a virtual trip so hope for the best and leave some wiggle room for life to go sideways.

Step 5: Speaking of Life Going Sideways

Is there a way through cities that avoids all the traffic? Are there back roads leading to the center of town? You might want to start each leg of your trip to avoid the rush hours. Nothing worse than spending vacation time, sitting in on the freeway. LA logjams are no more exotic than New York nightmares.

Is there a place with a view you want to see on the way? These tend to be marked on the map. Do you want to see mountains, lakes or do you want to see something else? Plan the route accordingly. This is a balancing act between driving the long beautiful route and driving the short, fast, boring route.

Step 6: Over Nights

Where are you going to stay in this virtual trip? A hotel? A hostel? A camp site? A chalet? Though you might travel in a camper van you can’t park it anywhere. This all needs to be planned and marked on your map.

Do you want to explore the city where you are staying? Take a look at its city limits or downtown region? You might like to seek out guides for the area or ask questions on forums, just so you have all the details?

One smart idea from European guidebooks is to stay at certain, strategic locations and day trip out to excursions. It can save a little time on checking in and out of hotels and let you plan around traffic more strategically.

There’s always a tendency, even in a virtual plan, to attempt to take on too much. Even if it’s only a fantasy game, try to limit a day to a stretch of coastline or thirty miles movement in a circuit. Keep things as simple as possible.

Think about the people you are travelling with. Look for activities that would please all the party. Not all the people you want to travel with will be with you in a lockdown, your ideal date for instance. What would keep them happy?

Step 7: Your Destination

When you plan your trips it’s not advisable to travel very far on the first day or the last day. You need to use that time to rest. Just be conscious of what you want to do when you get “there,” wherever “there” is? If you will need your wits about you, don’t plan to come in at midnight after a 10-hour straight drive.

Bonus Step 8: How can you make this a real-life adventure?

Could you afford the trip in real life? Maybe you can’t pull it off right after the pandemic lifts, but you could save up for it.

Decide if you could put ½ a percent of your income into an envelope in your sock drawer. If you can pull it off soon, Gas is under $3 a gallon right now and your emotional heart could use a break. Really, how far are you planning to go?

One last word of caution though, there’s always the need to have extra spending money, and money for emergencies, it will end up costing a bit more than the raw date you collect, but you won’t know until you work it out.

So, when are you doing this journey for real, then?

Taking Someone’s Else’s Car For Spin…legally!

If you love, love, love to drive, but you don’t want to put a lot of road trip miles on your car, there are ways to drive other people’s cars long distances. For several reasons, people will drive a vehicle somewhere, like a vacation, and end up flying home. They’ll need to hire a service to get that car back to them and because truck routes are limited it can be less expensive to hire someone to drive it back to you.

Many car and motorhome companies require drivers to take the vehicles back and forth for these road trippers. This occupation seems to be especially strong in Florida where many drivers want to take their car north in the spring. No wonder that there are vacancies for people who want to deliver these vehicles.

You have to be at least 23 years and have a valid driver’s license to become a courier. Please note that some courier companies have a higher age threshold and some may require you to undergo background checks. It is free of charge, but unsurprisingly you need to pay a deposit of $350 before you can deliver a car.

There’s probably a number of weeks spent waiting around for you to get a job, but the jobs may well provide the adventure Americana to scratch your itch.

Motorhome companies with a similar need for couriers. As do ambulances, busses, small fire/rescue vehicles, limousines, and hearse’. What do they have in common? They are too big to fit on a car carrier.

According to ZipRecruiter.com this job should fetch you between $27K and $54k per year. AutoDriveway is one such company that employs drivers to deliver a car.

Of course, if you just want a local job instead of the long haul you can check out your local auto dealership or port where cars are imported. Rental car companies also employ people to deliver cars to and from repair shops and the like.

Expect any of these employers to require a little customer service skill and to require you to fill out a checklist before you pick up and after you deliver the vehicle.

The Problem with Flying Cars

It is 2020 right? So we should have flying cars? But it’s not as simple as that. As said before in these posts not all novelty works and a flying car would surely be one hell of a novelty.

It would cost $50 million to buy a flying car, though it is possible to get one from private hands at about $279,000. This sounds ruthlessly expensive, so let’s break it down.

Because a car is not built for flight it is better to start with a plane and work backwards, so getting a plane to drive on the road. Then you have the problem of where on the road you can land the plane, you can’t just land it in the middle of freeway. So really you’re talking about a plane you can fly one day and drive the next day.

There’s also the difficulty with fuel. Can’t you fill up a flying car at a gas pump? Don’t flying objects need something stronger, like kerosene?

As well as the flying car itself you’re going to run into a big insurance bill. As soon as you have a car which might plummet into the ground from a great height (not that I’m being pessimistic at all here…) the costs are going to skyrocket (especially as a crash could come from simply running out of fuel).

Manoeuvrability is also a stumbling block. Something which flies handles differently from an object on the ground (this is pretty self-explanatory stuff but when you’re exploring possibilities you do have to state the obvious). A car might be tested by a strong gust of wind, but unless its very strong the car will be able to continue on its journey. However a flying car is reliant on the air around it, so in a windy day it will be harder to handle and may just crash.

Another tricky day to fly in would be a foggy day; you might just collide with a building or hill. So this would be a good day not to take your googles out of the glove compartment? 

With the information stated above, it may shock you that people are creating drastic in-roads in coming up with a flying car. The Transition by Terrafugia’s selling point is that it is a plane that is stored in the garage. It can transform; James Bond-style from a car into a plane but again you have the difficulty of where it can take off and where it can land.

This vehicle require two types of engine- a hybrid motor for driving on the ground and a 4 cylinder engine for its plane mode. As well as a driver’s license you need a sports pilot certificate. It has an airframe parachute and airbags. How good are airbags in a plane crash? Maybe this should be looked into. They also need their own registration plate.

Uber meanwhile are looking into the concept of flying taxis, which may be available over the skies of Dubai, LA and Dallas as early as 2023.

Can all these promises be delivered on? It does seem a big ask, but if there is a market for it, there will be an answer…eventually.

Transporting Pets Safely

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The main problem with pets in cars is the heat, as it can be raised to 20°F in around 10 minutes, and reach 30°F in about 20 minutes. It will take 60 minutes for the temperature to be 40°F hotter than outside.

But that’s not the only pet/car conflict. Other concerns include allowing a dog to ride in the back of a pick-up truck, as dogs can easily fall or jump from this area and will be killed on impact.

loading-652314_1920.jpgThough often not fatal, the injuries to your pet can be severe. One possible countermeasure is a tether, but it’s not a perfect solution and many home-brew solutions create a risk of tangling or dragging your canine behind the vehicle. It’s much better to invest in a kennel for your pet, which will require some kind of protection from the elements.

Oddly, not all states have banned dogs riding in the back of a pick-up truck. As far as animal safety is concerned, it should be Rule 1.

Another concern is a pets ability to distract a driver, which can obviously lead to damaging more than just the pet. This is best solved by housing your pet in a kennel. If you’re noticing a theme here, you are correct, in general pets should be in some kind of carrier while they are in the car.

Qualities of a Good Kennel

It should be large enough for the pet to both stand up and sit down in, and even turn around. Make sure it’s well ventilated. It is worthwhile trying out the pet in the carrier first before embarking on the trip. The carrier should be secured so that it doesn’t move around too much.

Open Windows

Letting a dog stick it’s head out the window used to be common but it’s not a good idea. There is the risk of them being injured by objects being thrown out of other cars, rocks kicked up from the road, or by signs and tree branches.

That’s just the risk to your pets, in reality, the cause of people no longer letting dogs have their heads out the window is that we’re paying so much more for our cars. If you do drive with the window down be sure to get waterproof seat covers.

Car Training your Pet

The first trip that you take your pet on shouldn’t be too long, just to get them used to traveling in the car. After traveling in the vehicle a few times the animal will become calmer and more suited to long journeys.

Note: Some animals, like some humans, will suffer from car sickness and never adjust to riding in a vehicle. You’ll need to get medicine from your vet in order to transport these pets.

What to Bring

Whether it’s a long road trip or a day excursion, you’ll need to bring some items with you. Including…a food bowl, waste scoop and plastic bags. Think about the animal’s medication too and you might even like to create a pet first aid kit. Finally, don’t forget their favorite toy.

Traveling with Pets

Pets that don’t typically run away from their yard sometimes wander off when in public parks or hiking trails. For security purposes it helps if your pet is microchipped. For longer trips, a travel tag will also be of assistance to you.

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If you are traveling between states it is a good idea to bring documentation of the pet’s rabies vaccination even if some states don’t require those details. Just to be safe.

Carry bottled water when traveling with a pet, especially on very hot days. Your pet can’t reach a drinking fountain, and don’t take for granted that you’ll have access to adequate hydration for your pet.

 

Merry Christmas Part 3

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Christmas in the Car

With all the hassle of Christmas, trying to get everything cooked in the kitchen and making sure that you have all the presents correct, spending Christmas in a car certainly has some appeal. It’s evidently an old troupe in films and TV shows that you don’t spend Christmas at home with your folks, but spend it miles from anywhere, whether in your car or old shack. Why this is so common a theme that you almost think it’s preferable.

Generally, we decorate our houses, but lately decorating the car is a trend. It starts with the little things like reindeer antlers on the side windows, or bumper stickers with a holiday theme. Santa is my co-pilot or I brake for reindeer. But more and more you’ll see clever use of LEDs to mimic house holiday lighting. That’s not even including decorating for a big event like a parade or tailgate party.

A word of warning to add lights to your car without an additional power pack is probably not a good idea and will drain your battery. In most states, sticking lights on your car is technically illegal, although the police tend to turn a blind eye at Christmas if you refrain from anything blue and flashing. And if you are using your car on private land and not entering a public road it is completely legal.

ba327f52c97b66a7273a8bed456a82adIf you use lights with their own battery pack it prevents a drain on the car’s resources. The more lights you use obviously the bigger power pack that you require.

As well as using zip ties, you might also use magnets to attach decorations to the car (the car being mostly made of magnetic metals). You should only use lights which are suitable for outdoor use. It’s important that anything attached to the car is completely secure and cannot fall off.

When it comes to the aesthetics of the vehicle a holly wreath at the front creates a nice picture. If you have a spare tire on the front of back sometimes you might find a cover for it with a picture of a wreath on it already.

christmas-car-decorations-e1570768937901An inflatable Santa tied the hood doesn’t look very classy but is certainly original. Then there are those who have a complete tree on the roof of the car. It takes all sorts out there.

You can still choose to decorate a car that is stuck in the garage, by wrapping up in crepe paper for instance.

Lights inside the car also work but remember to take them down after Christmas as they are considered a distraction.

Link to Pics of Crazy Christmas Cars

If you are going to use lights on your car and drive the public roads you have two strategies for not being pulled over: use tiny lights or use all white lights. Either way don’t have them flash. Blue, as already mentioned, are reserved for police. Red, Yellow and Green lights can be mistaken for traffic signals.

The final thought on spending the holidays in your car is this: Do not drive if you’ve been drinking. Most people know this, but it is worth repeating.

 

F v F: Ford Builds it’s Last Car for the Blue Oval

Kicker Temp FvF

Last August we mentioned the 50th anniversary of a legendary event in car racing history. But now that they’ve made a movie about the incident it’s worth revisiting the memory, which is a very sweet one for most Americans.

“The Ford GT race car competed in its final 24 Hours of Le Mans as a factory backed team in June, only three years after it rolled back into France with a four-car squad built to kick Ferrari’s teeth in on the 50th anniversary of its legendary 1966 win. It won its class in that race, making the second-coming of the GT a legend for Blue Oval fans.”

 

Click above to watch the race coverage.

Races all have rules, some to keep drivers safe and others simply to keep it one type of race and keep everyone playing by the same rules. What you see below is a car designed to compete on a track where the rule book was thrown to the wind. This is as close to an airplane without a prop that a car can get.

Wings, you ask? You don’t see the wings? Well, they’re their in a sense. Well, listen to its designers from Multimatic, Larry Holt, describe how they produce downforce…”a new dual-element rear wing, a larger front splitter, louvered fenders, new dive planes, and a more prominent rear diffuser…”

Yep, wings, just upside down wings. This MKII is not only a “track only model” its not going to be entering any big races soon. The tires and breaks are especially upgraded to withstand the 2G’s of force it often pulls in corners.

The MK II is a swan song to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s Le Mans win, but Ford will be pulling out of future races on this level. If you’ve been following the news lately you know Ford will focus on trucks.

If you’d like to own one of these limited edition (only 45 made) MK II’s it’ll cost you roughly $1.2 million.  If you do buy one, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE drop us a like and let us test drive it!