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Categories: Reports

Hurst Vehicles Invade The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch


Hurst Vehicles Invade The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival test 1-1

There were many show stoppers featured during the 2010 Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival. One car owner wowed us with not one, but two Hurst customized vehicles. Phillip Anderson is the proud owner of a 2009 Hurst Challenger and a 1969 Hurst Oldsmobile 442. Not only does he own some sweet Hurst metal, Mr. Anderson is one of two Hurst "Ambassadors at Large" in the world.

Built in Irvine, California and starting life as a 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Mr. Phillips' Challenger is the only Hurst Challenger in Florida, and it is the 15th of a 15 unit run. Can anyone say "rare"?! The Oldsmobile is completely stock (for a Hurst Olds, anyway) and is so mint the stickers are still on the tires.

These cars are by no means "Trailer Queens"; they were driven to and from the show, and Mr. Phillips enjoys the Challenger every chance he gets. Who wouldn't? I'd live in that car. The Challenger was a Christmas gift from Phillip's wife, Ruthelise Anderson. Along with everyone responsible for building the car, Mrs. Anderson signed the inside face of the trunklid. Her quote? "To my Phillip . . . From Ruthelise with Love!" A 572 bhp Muscle Car for Christmas?! That's some kind of love! The choice of 500+ horse hoon-mobile exhibits excellent taste as well.

Enjoy this gallery from the Lake Mirror Classic and look for an indepth article about these two beasts, Mr. Anderson, and everything Hurst, on Monday.


Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:16AM | By: Chris Weiss


Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C test 1-1

The boxy Chrysler 300 often draws comparison to a Bentley or Rolls. Kind of the 50-footer of the auto market, the 300 appears to some untrained eyes like a Bentley from distance, but as it draws closer, it's more than clear that it's not a $250,000 ultra-premium, but a Chrysler knock-off. And while Chrysler offers several attractive engine options for the 300, topping off at the 425-hp 6.1-liter SRT HEMI V8 used in the 300C SRT8, the 300 still falls short of 500 to 550 horses worth of Bentley V8 or W12 power. Of course, with a starting price of under $27,500, the 300 doesn't exactly need to compete with the Bentley on every level. Or any level.

But now it can. One enthusiast of yet-unknown origin recently took the Chrysler 300 to the next level by jamming the 600-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine from the Viper under the faux-Crewe hood. In addition to some deep-throated, all-American muscle grumble spewing from the exhaust, the upgraded 300 would certainly be capable of super-Bentley numbers.


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.


Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry? test 1-1

A dealership technology panel was recently formed by the Rainbow-PUSH coalition in Detroit. The panel gathered at an automotive conference in order to evaluate whether advertising on Facebook is really effective for the auto industry.

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers representative Damon Lester says that many members are interested in setting up Facebook pages for their dealerships. The concern is that the social media site may be a way for employees to waste vital work time on the internet.

Other concerns dealers voiced was that Facebook could be a vehicle for bad public relations if disgruntled employees or customers decide to use the media site to “bad-mouth” the dealership. Auto dealers are also concerned that once negative statements are live online, there is nothing that can be done to remove them or reverse the effects.


 

Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production test 1-1

Tesla recently negotiated a $60 million dollar contract with Toyota to develop the drive-train and other parts of an all-electric version of the Toyota RAV 4 SUV. Tesla plans to modify its lithium-ion battery packs, motors, power electronics, software, and gearbox in order to adapt to Toyota’s RAV 4 compact sport utility vehicle.

According to Tesla, the California-based automaker: “The terms of the deal, initially announced in July, were completed Oct. 6."

"Its initial investment in Tesla shows Toyota has decided electric cars aren't going to be fringe vehicles,” said James Bell, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “Companies like Nissan and GM are heavily committed to electric car programs, and it looks like Toyota has decided to step up its efforts.”


Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:32PM | By: Chris Weiss


Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain  test 1-1

No offense to all the good, decent folk that drive BMWs, but I've always gotten the idea that BMW drivers as a greater group are some of the douchiest on the road. This may be an unfair stereotype, but it seems to me that all too many 6 Series and X5 drivers are the type of newly-made yuppies that just need to make a point about their freshly garnered socioeconomic status. And the quickest ticket to do that for someone that really doesn't care that much about cars is to buy a BMW. While there are certainly BMW models that convey a sense of taste and automotive connoisseurship, the average BMW has always struck me as the status symbol for those that don't really take cars seriously. Get a kidney grille to show your wealth and forget it.

Long story short, the type of people that consider a car a status symbol are exactly the entitled types I'd expect to see acting like reckless jackbags that own the road and flipping people off just for driving more pedestrian vehicles like Corollas and Malibus.  In fact, to get an idea of just the type of uber-tool I'm thinking of, take a look at the asshat Bimmer driver in the video below.

A recent survey in Britain found that maybe there's more than just unfair stereotyping there. The survey conducted by GoCompare, a Wales-based insurance research company, found that BMW drivers were the most reckless, angriest, dreaded drivers on the left side of the road.


Odd Justice: Philly Suburb Considers Issuing Fines For Not Locking Cars

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 10:37AM | By: Chris Weiss


Odd Justice: Philly Suburb Considers Issuing Fines For Not Locking Cars  test 1-1

In a rather odd attempt to quell a recent spate of personal property theft, Upper Moreland Township, a Pennsylvania town north of Philadelphia, is currently considering fining people for leaving their car doors unlocked in public parking areas. The reasoning behind the move is understandable: according to city numbers, 75 percent of all theft reported since 2008 has been the result of unlocked car doors. Clearly, leaving a car unlocked in the township is a problem. But is spot-checking and fining owners the solution?

The town's proposal isn't quite as bad as it sounds: a first offense would result in a warning. Under the plan, police officers would be tasked with checking car doors at random to ensure they were locked. Police officers would also lock unlocked doors. After the first offense, officers would issue 'offenders' a citation and $25 fine.

News reports indicate that there isn't a lot of crime in the township, which is part of the reason that people feel safe enough to leave their cars open. So it would seem that the police have plenty of spare time on their hands and are looking for something to keep themselves busy.


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 . . .


Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall

On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 11:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


 Toyota Acceleration Investigation Findings Will Be Released In Late Fall  test 1-1

Federal Safety regulators expect to meet the deadline set for the investigation of recalled Toyota vehicles with unintended acceleration by late fall of this year. Toyota vehicles are being examined for problems with electronic systems and throttles to find out if defects can be linked to Toyota cars that were reported to speed out of control.

According to senior safety investigator Richard Boyd: "We're working hard to get this to you." Boyd, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) defect investigations unit told the chair of a the Acadamy of Science panel,  "It will be sooner rather than later."


Ford to Sell Mazda?

On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 11:28AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Mazda Shinari Concept test 2

Ford Motor Company is the top stake holder in Mazda Corporation with 11% ownership. Nikkei Business Daily reported that the company plans to reduce its majority stake in Mazda Motor corporation selling all but 3% of its interest to other companies that have business associations with Mazda.

Ford called the report “speculation” in a statement.  "Ford's ownership stake in Mazda remains unchanged," the statement said. "Ford continues to have a close strategic relationship with Mazda and we cooperate in areas of mutual benefit. We have no further comment on the speculation." The business daily states that Mazda asked Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other firms to buy shares from Ford. Ford’s shares amounted to195 million Mazda shares, worth around 42 billion yen ($515.6 million), as of today, the Nikkei said.


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.