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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Auto Shows

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 12:12PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars test 1-1

Every type of car you could imagine attended the Lake Mirror Classic this year; there were more show classes at the LMC than some shows have cars in general! Not only that, the 2010 edition of the Lake Mirror Classic was attended by more spectators than ever. Good thing, the weather was too good to waste! Because we took so many pictures and have only a limited amount of space, we have divided our images into our own, loosely defined categories. Today we feature Hot Rods and Muscle Cars.

What denotes a Hot Rod? A Muscle Car? Is there a certain era that these cars must fit into? A certain motiff? This is an argument that could go on for decades so we just pulled any car that was missing fenders or powered by a V8 or  . . . shiny. Here we have standout American Muscle from Modern to Pre-Mustang; there is a car or 'Rod here for everyone. These images were taken by Drew Christy, bright and early Saturday morning. Tomorrow: The Classic's Classics.

BMW and Mercedes Add iPad Mount Option

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW and Mercedes Add iPad Mount Option  test 1-1

The iPad has got to be the official electronics accessory of the year. It's also kind of a trendy status symbol, so it's no surprise that some people might want to mount it prominently in their vehicles to show how hip they are. And two luxury automakers, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, will be giving their customers just that opportunity. Both companies announced their own customized iPad mounts.

A tad short of the completely Apple-overed Mercedes S Class iBusiness announced by tuning firm Brabus earlier this year, but still a way of getting your daily dose of "i" in your car, the new mounts basically let you replace the headrest LCD displays that are so five years ago.

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010

On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010 test 1-1

Yesterday's Lake Mirror Auto Festival was a great success. 600 pristine vehicles from all over the world converged on Lake Mirror and downtown Lakeland to celebrate all things automotive. Here we have a 20-shot gallery of the proceedings, featuring interiors, tailights, exhaust pipes, wheels, owners, pontential owners, palm trees, bad angle sunlight, canvas chairs, traffic cones, very shiny body panels, a red Delorean, and, of course, hood ornaments.

We had cameras everywhere; tomorrow's posts will cover everything from Honorary Chairperson Lyn St. James to this morning's Road Tour and Luncheon. The Road Tour participants ranged from Ferraris to Sunbeams to Merc SLs—it was interesting to see many of the older vehicles from the show not only moving under their own power but, in some cases, displaying said power. Posts with images from Drew's camera and others will appear all week; be sure to keep the AutoShopperBlog fresh in your browser's History . . .

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010

On: Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 1:17PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010 test 1-1

I felt pretty lucky this morning. Not because I was up at dawn, I'm never happy about that. I was feeling lucky because I live in downtown Lakeland, FL. Every October, this area comes alive with collectible cars. Pre-war, Post-war, 60s muscle, vintage hot rods, modern supercars . . . priceless Cadillacs, Buicks, Hudsons, Fords, Chevrolets, Porsches, Ferraris . . . Corvettes, Mustangs, Vipers, and DMC-12s. A third of a mile from my front door all of these cars, motorcycles, and  assorted exotica bekoned. 6:30 wasn't so bad, for once.

I filled the memory card, stuffing it to the gills with as much polished sheetmetal as I possibly could. In the interest of whetting your appetite for eye-candy, this post contains a small sample of the first few cars to arrive at the Lake Mirror Classic. Beginning with opening ceremonies and a outdoor concert last night, the Classic will continue today and end tomorrow with a cruise through the historic boulevards of central Lakeland. Enjoy these early morning images and check back all weekend for more coverage of Lakeland's crown jewel, the Lake Mirror Classic.


British Men Love California Girls: Katy Perry Voted Most Popular Passenger

On: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 12:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

British Men Love California Girls: Katy Perry Voted Most Popular Passenger test 1-1

The other day when introducing a study about the most popular car colors, I made a point that pretty much every trivial automobile fact is linked to a research study or survey of some sort. A new poll done for the British MPH the Prestige & Performance Motor Show, which takes place from November 4 to 7 in London, helps to drive this point home. The poll delved into the ever-important query of who men and women would most like to see in the passenger seat and what car they'd most like to chaffeur them around in. 

Kia Details Its Pop Concept

On: Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 3:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia Details Its Pop Concept  test 1-1

Kia teased its Pop concept weeks ago. Until the Paris Motor Show commenced, we were limited in what we could tell you about it. We knew it was a distinctive, 2 + 1 urban commuter that looked like it came from another planet. But Kia was rather coy with the details of what exactly was behind those capsule-like doors. Once the company unveiled the concept in Paris, it came clean with the details.

Under that short, flat hood, Kia has a 50 kW electric motor powered by an 18 kWh lithium-polymer gel battery. The battery is smaller and lighter than more common lithium-ion packs.The combination powers the Pop up to 100 miles and takes about six hours for a full charge. The concept's top speed is given at 87 mph.

In creating the Pop concept, Kia sought to look far into the future and well beyond the auto market of today. In doing so, it took inspiration from outside sources like ultralight racing bicycles and gliders (and presumably insects and sci-fi-derived spacecraft). The designers aimed to make something resembling a nucleas or "wild atom," and indeed, the Pop does give the appearence of the smallest possible unit of automotive technology, though it's actually slightly longer than cars like the Smart ForTwo.

Paris Motor Show All About Sexy Cars, Less About Sexy Gals

On: Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 9:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Paris Motor Show All About Sexy Cars, Less About Sexy Gals  test 1-1

The Paris Motor Show has been one of the hottest shows of the year in terms of sexy car and concept debuts. Just look at what we've seen so far: the lightest Lamborghini we've ever had the pleasure to meet, an all-new Jaguar plug-in supercar, six Lotus concepts, a funky Peugeot electric racer and a new BMW 6-Series, just to name a few that immediately come to mind. While all attention has been on these sexy vehicles, there's been an interesting side story going on in the background: less sexy ladies—or more accurately, less sexily dressed ladies.

Sexy women and cars have been a peanut-butter-and-jelly combination for as long as we can remember. In fact, I'd like to think that when Karl Benz finished up with his automobile back in the 1880s, he immediately called the sexiest girl in town over to lie across the hood in her best girdle to spice the design up for onlookers.

Never is the connection between eye candy of aluminum/carbon fiber and that of flesh more acute than in the auto-show circuit. Companies always employ models and hot PR folks to prance around their cars, pose for the cameras, and make the entire scene look a little more attractive. And these women aren't typically wearing long dresses and loose sweaters: skin and curves are the names of the game. In fact, take a look at any auto blog around show time and you'll usually find a post or two in some derivative of "Babes of show."

Paris Motor Show: Lotus Blitz Includes Six New Models

On: Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Elan Concept test 2

If we had to think of one word to describe the Paris Motor Show, it would be "Lotus." We knew that Lotus was going to be hitting the show hard; way back on the first day of summer Lotus gave a hint that it had something big in store, and later reports indicated that Lotus was bringing four new model concepts to the show. As it turns out, Lotus bombarded the show with no less than six brand new concepts, showing that it has serious plans for the future.

CEO Dany Behar said of Lotus' future plans: "Our plan is to change Lotus from its present position as a niche sports car company to a builder of a range of premium sports cars."

Audi e-Tron Blows Its Lid

On: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi e-Tron Blows Its Lid test 1-1

We heard plenty of rumors of it coming. We even saw some sketches. And now that Paris is underway, it's officially here; the Audi e-tron Spyder made its debut on the first media day of the Paris Motor Show, giving us one more look at Audi's electric/hybrid family. And it's arguably the sexiest look yet.

The new Spyder looks just like the sketches indicate it would: stylish, exposed, wraparound glass in front and sides providing a cockpit look; sharp, angular side window lines that disappear seamlessly just beyond the doors and an R8-influenced rear-end. The front-end and sides are similar to the R4 e-tron hard-top that Audi showed at the Detroit Auto Show, with a few departures. The slats in the grille extend all the way to the edges and the car loses the vertical slats from the Detroit version. Similarly, the front air intakes have switched from vertical slats to matching horizontal slats. Certain lines also have a little more definition, like the lippy front fenders.

Lotus Esprit Concept Debuts in Paris

On: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit Concept Debuts in Paris test 1-1

It's been an exciting couple of days in the auto world thanks to pre-Paris and Paris auto show debuts all over the place. The most exciting part of the show's first day has got to be the all-new Lotus Esprit. We've been waiting for it for months and it's finally a reality--or at least a conceptual reality. While the current iteration is just a concept, Lotus has production plans for this one, with a spring 2013 production debut being quoted.

Rumors of a V10 engine are officially dead, as the new Esprit goes for the more historically accurate V8 engine--a mid-mounted Lexus IS F 5.0-liter V8 engine, to be exact. However, the new engine is more powerful than any Esprits in the past, storing 620 ponies in those 8 cylinders. Lotus also says the car is pressure charged but hasn't specified if that means turbo or superchargers. We'll just assume they'll go with turbochargers, which were used in the last Lotus before its wind-down in 2004. That engine works in tandem with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Jaguar Jumps Back in the Supercar Ring With Paris Concept

On: Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 9:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Jumps Back in the Supercar Ring With Paris Concept test 1-1

Back in the early 1990s, Jaguar was among the elite of the elite in terms of high-performing supercars. For a brief time between 1992 and 1994, the company produced the XJ220, a car that held a world speed record of 217 mph for several years before the McLaren F1 broke it with its 240 mph run. Not only was the Jaguar XJ220 fast, if you look at a list of the world's fastest cars over the past 20 years or so, the XJ220 was arguably (not very arguably, in my opinion) the sexiest one of all.

Unfortunately for the auto world, while the XJ220 was a great success at the track, it was a market flop. And Jaguar abandoned the supercar segment ever since its production ended. Until today.