Hello beautiful people. It has been a little bit since my last post. The winter months in New England are long and uneventful. I have started to travel to warmer areas during this time to experience what other parts of the country have to offer. The beginning of March brought about The Amelia Concours on Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, FL.
The kickoff to The Amelia begins on Thursday, with a preview of the beautiful cars up for auction with the Broad Arrow Group.
My Journey with The Amelia begins on Saturday, March 4th. I stayed in Jacksonville, about 45 minutes out from Amelia Island. The early morning drive to the event was beautiful. Driving over bridges with the ocean on both sides all while the sun was rising was a breathtaking site. I was greeted with an unfortunately rainy show field once I arrived, but that didn’t stop anyone. Hundreds of cars were on display for eager attendees to view. The weekend kicks off with Cars and Community which includes an array of vehicles featuring, Concours d’Lemons, Radwood, Cars and Caffeine and an array of vendors.
The rain didn’t phase many of these show goers, as ponchos and umbrellas started popping up all over the field. However, being with camera gear, I took shelter from the rain as it passed overhead. Once subsided, there was an amazing array of classic, modern, and super cars.
My favorite section of the Saturday event had to be Radwood. These late 80s and 90s cars really hold a special place in the hearts of many. Us millennials appreciate the cars we grew up with.
Having just a small taste of what I would surely be in awe of for the concours got me really excited.
Sunday morning came early. A few new friends I had met the day before suggested that I get to the event early because once the event opens up to the public it can become chaotic.
As I thought, I was purely in awe of the vehicles as they pulled in to take their spots for the day. Some were already in the process of being judged for the award ceremony later that afternoon. I walked around and took in all the amazing views. A site worth noting was Cunnigham’s three corvettes from the Le Mans race in 1960. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 had not been together for 63 years.
When the award ceremony rolled around, there was no doubt why some of these vehicles were top of their class. Here are just some of the winners.
The Best in Show winner of the Concours D’Elegance was the 1935 Voisin Aerodyne and the Best ion Show winner of the Concours de Sport was 1964 Ferrari 250 LM(Le Mans).
This event was a great way to kick off the season for myself and do what I love. Travel, photograph and just be around cars.
The start of my journey at CES 2023 proved to be different from my beloved automotive world. While there are many avenues where the two intersect, it is interesting to also see another realm of interest.
The Las Vegas Strip was MUCH busier than when I was there for SEMA 2022. You could tell that something was going on the moment I landed at Harry Reid International. Representatives for CES were waiting at the arrival gates to give people directions(and snacks) on where they could pick up their badges.
My flight in from Boston was packed with attendees for this year’s show. The badge pickup process proved itself to be painless, as I was curious how having various pickup locations across the strip would work out. Once my badge waa in hand, I made my way to The Flamingo, my temporary home for the week.
I was fortunate enough to have a high floor room, the 22nd floor, facing the Bellagio, The Cosmo and Paris. The view was incredible. I rested for a bit until making my way out to find something to eat. Ramen- Ya had been on my radar since my trip in November 2022, and I was determined to try it this time. Ramen-Ya is located over near the entrance of Bally’s in the little array of shops and other food stops. I ordered a Thai Tea and their Tonkotsu Ramen with Pork Belly. It was delicious!
I made my way back to my room and watched the Bellagio show from my window. I took a short nap and then went back out onto the strip. It was towards the other end of the strip on my last adventure out there, so we didn’t make our way past The Flamingo very much. I ventured down The Linq Promenade, an ally of shops and more restaurants like In-And-Out Burger, Ramsey’s Fish and Chips and many more. Having been up for almost 24 hours I turned in for an early night, ready for the start of CES in just one day.
Thursday brought the first official day of CES 2023. I started my day with a press release with ASAKA the first helicopter/car hybrid. This is their first fully functional prototype. It is the first 4 seater hybrid that can travel by both land, and air. It is a fully electric aircraft and can travel up to 250 miles on a single charge. Flying cars were predicted long ago, but this is the first of its kind in the world, and I was able to experience it first hand.
The ASKA eVTOL has the potential to make history. Focussed on safety first, they are wanting this to be viewed as the future of a family vehicle with its four passenger capability. But beyond that, it also has tremendous potential for military use, first responders and on demand mobility services.
So how does it all work? The ASKA is powered by a proprietary power system that features lithium battery packs and also has a gasoline engine that acts as a range extender. It features all wheel drive while in driving mode. In flying mode, the wings with six rotors unfold, and allow it to take off vertically, or the conventionally on a runway. Safety was a top priority for designers. In case of an emergency, the large wings can act as gliders to guide the vehicle to safety. I am excited to see where this prototype will be in the future. Full scale testing has been scheduled to start after the end of CES 2023 a preorders are expected in 2026.
Next was the release with Vinfast of their new VF 6 and VF7 Electric Vehicles “Vinfast is one of the world’s most innovative automakers and working together to rapidly deploy Vayyar’s technology is proving to be a rewarding experience,” said Ian Podkamien, Vayyar Vice President and Head of Automotive. “We’re proud to be part of the VinFast story and anticipate great success for the OEM, underpinned by rock-solid safety.”
They unveiled the new VF 6 and VF 7. The VF 6 is small all electric SUV. It has a maximum range of 248 miles, 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The plus version has 237 mile range, 201 horsepower and 228 lb-ft torque. lso mes equipped with a 12.9-inch touchscreen display to showcase all in-car entertainment.
THe VF 7 is slightly larger, and has a longer range of 280 miles on a full charge, 201 horsepower, and 228 ft torque. The Plus version has AWD, a 268 mile range, 348 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. A much peppier version of its counterpart.
Still being weary of the EV market, these two cars were elegantly designed, and not very large. Even though they are considered SUVs, they are small on the outside, and roomy on the inside. Every inch of space is well thought out and used to the best of its ability. Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chairwoman and CEO of VinFast Holdings said: “VinFast always strives to bring diverse vehicle options to meet the demands of most customers, while pushing the transition from ICE to all-electric vehicles. VinFast’s VF 6 and VF 7 are models that combine the elements of style, modern technology and outstanding technology in an efficient and fun package. I believe that these models will resonate well with young customers who are passionate about technology and exhilarating driving experiences.”
Up next was to go see the Autonomous Vehicle that would be racing it’s way around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday night and all day Saturday. This autonomous vehicles won the challenge at the last event. It is totally reliant on it’s programming and can drive 150+ mph on the track without any light.
There are a slew of other autonomous vehicles, from being able to drive passengers to and from work in major cities, to delivering groceries and packages with no need for a driver. John Deer has a line of autonomous agricultural equipment, and Hyundai has entered into the water powered realm that will fuel their electric vehicles at bays built in the ocean using the power generated by water.
The first day at CES was a success. The next day I took a deep dive into the audio and video technology that was in Central Hall. Autel created a drone that allows fire and rescue, law enforcement and other such professions to monitor dangerous situations from the air. It allows for them to get an idea of what is going on, without risking sending a person up in the air. With more than 2 hours of flight time and an 18 mile range, this drone will more than likely change the future of how we can monitor from the skys.
Afeela, the lovechild of Sony and Honda looks to be the future of integrated technology that you are not only able to interact with, but interacts with you. With AI that recognizes who is in the driver’s seat and how many people are in the car, it adjust to the presets that the driver previously set. The prototype is still in the development stages, but it is set to be up for preorder in 2024 and delivered to it’s buyers in 2025.
Friday night brought the Lights Out event with Luminar at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. One out of the 9 autonomous Indy cars would take to the track in the pitch black. A team of programmers from several schools across the country and from other parts of the world, each programmed a car to drive the track without a driver. The AI learns the track, and also learns from the other car that it may be competing against. The thing I find interesting here is that these indy cars have real engines still and are not electric, so we still get to enjoy that familiar roar as it drives down the track. Though I feel like these autonomous vehicles being tested, electric ones may not be far behind.
Saturday the 4th annual Indy Autonomous Challenge at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Nine teams from 6 countries and representing 17 Universities came to Las Vegas seeking to win the Autonomous Challenge at CES, built only 7 advanced to Saturday’s challenge. THe rules required that each team qualify in a high-speed race car time trial in a head-to-head passing competition. PoliMOVE, Politecnico di Milano and University of Alabama, won the Autonomous Challenge at CES and set a new world record for the racetrack. Their car reached a maximum speed of 180 mph. Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work!
Day two was complete, and there was still a ton left to see. WIth so many new, innovative and just all around interesting products to see, it was not possible to see them all. So here are the few that I really enjoyed.
Being an avid traveler, and looking in to energy sources for future van life traveling, Geneverse new and existing products really caught my eye. Compact and portable generators are a must if you enjoy camping and traveling in either a conversion van, or even an RV. As we all know, electric hookups are not always available, and in case of emergencies, it is always good to have a backup. Geneverse is one of the most affordable and reliable that are out there on the market. They introduced their HomePower PRO series at CES, the most efficient solar power battery in the industry to date. It can power up to 99% of home appliances in a traditional home setting, and keep it powers for 3-7 days depending on usage. The PRO series can power a refrigerator for up to 30 hours, ensuring you don’t lose your food, 12-16 full laptop. charges and 150-200 cell phone charges.
There are several models in Geneverse’s new PRO lineup; HomePower ONE Pro has a capacity of 1210Wh of capacity, 1200W of rated power and 2400W of surge power, all at $1,499. The HomePower ONE PRO with 2x Solar Panels is $2,599. THe HomePower TWO PRO has 2419 Wh of capacity, 2200W of rated power and 4400W of surge power for $2,499 and HomePower TWO PRO with Solar Panels is $4,799. Either of these two units can be fully charged in 1-2 hours bty wall outlet, or 3-4 hours by solar. A very quick charge time compared to some of its competitors. The units are easy to set up, and completely portable making it best for families, camping, the elderly and RV/Vans. I am looking forward to see how this unit will fare on a week long road trip I will be taking later this year.
mymanu is another company that caught my attention. They currently have their Clik S wireless earbuds that can translate in 37 language in real time. Coupled with their app, you are able to communicate with anyone in their native language seamlessly. The buds can translate in real time. The app allows you to speak into it in your native language and translate back to them in their native language. One thin I found highly beneficial about their app is that it translate back to them with the proper grammar. In a language like SPanish for example they tend to say, “seis cerdoes rosas,” which literally translates to “six pigs pink.” mynanu software allows for the correct punctuation be translated to the other party, very much unlike google translate which often butchers the translations. The Clik S buds are available now, and I will definitely picking up a pair for my future international travels. They also have the TItan, that is currently in the works and available for preorder. It is the world’s first voice-controlled eSim-power pair of earbuds, making the need to carry your phone around 24/7 a thing of the past. Such exciting pieces of tech to keep us connected on another level.
SK Group along with its global partners presented some of the world’s top eco-friendly carbon reduction technologies at CES. With more than 40 new related technologies, let’s cover a few. One, and maybe one of the most important, is the Waste to Resources segment of their display. Plastics, metals and batteries have become a huge problem with waste. SK plans to establish an advanced recycling cluster in Ulsan, Korea with full operation by the end of 2025. The cluster will be abkle to recycle 250 thousand tons of plastic waste each year. SK is aiming to be the world’s largest urban oil field company, while adopting game-changing chemical recycling technology to recycle plastics and turn them into petroleum resources. We only have one earth, and it was very exciting to see companie such as SK looking towards a better future in preserving and taking care of it.
Within SK’s booth was Cala Trio. A wearable device that can help with hand tremors. This caught my eye because my grandfather had tremors from years of working with his hands in a factory. Tremors are often caused by misfiring signals in the brain to you hand/wrist. More often than not, this can only be corrected by brain surgery. With the wearable device from Cala Trio, it send electrical impulses to the brain from your wrist to correct the issues and gives similar results without the risk of surgery. The device also stores and displays information so that you can see information in real time and share it with your doctor.
ADT Commercial, one of the leading security providers partnered with Halodi Robotics who introduced their first security robot at CES. This robot combines AI and augmented reality. This marks a significant step forward for ADT when it comes to to their commercial expansion into the guarding market. The humanoid robot would be controlled by a security guard and would be able to do things such as, conduct autonomous patrols in commercial facilities, perform two way communication, open doors and operate elevators, interact with employees, inspect and remove hazards or obstructions, self dock and self charge at designated stations. This a huge step in the right direction for security as some 80% of alarms are all false. It dismisses the need for a security guard to leave their post, allowing for better 24/7 security in any commercial facility.
Prinker, an honoree at CES for Mobile Devices and Accessories, was in attendance showing off their temporary tattoo printer. The device makes it easy to create and apply water resistant, but soap-washable tattoos to the skin, making it the perfect device for festivals, seeing what a more permanent tattoo may look like and many more fun, creative avenues.
Kohler’s booth smelled too good to pass up, so I did a brief walkthrough. One of their focuses was on shower infused aromatherapy. They have universal shower head attachments that allow you to infuse aromatherapy into your shower. I just might be investing in one of them. An aromatherapy shower sounds wonderful after being at a track or event all day.
Govee, interactive light displays, also had a very interesting setup at CES. Coupled with their app, their light fixtures can display photos, sync to music and even display you own personal designs that you either upload to the app, or draw within the app. It can also sync to your gaming and display the colors and flash to your in game experiences. I hope to get my hands on this product soon as they are launching new products in the coming months
The last of the products that I found interesting were the ones that TCL had on display. On top of TCL becoming one of the more affordable and high quality brands of TVs, they are also developing their RayNeo X2 – AR Glasses. They are the world’s first to realize binocular full-color Micro-LED optical waveguide display in AR Glasses. These AR glasses are lightweight and look like regular glasses without compromising on tech specs. It is your all in on assistant for smart navigation and auto translation to photography and music play. They are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform. THe GPS navigation system uses simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) together with gesture recognition. The bluetooth enabled on-screen message and call notifications allows you to stay up to date wherever you go. The RayNeo X2 also breaks down language barriers, translating in real time and displaying subtitles on the glasses screen, allowing avid travelers, such as myself, build those important connections. The built in hands-free camera also allows users to create content from a first person perspective, giving your viewers a more personal look into what you are experiencing. These will be available for purchase around the the end of the March 2023. Yet another product I am excited to get my hands on!
After my hands on experience at the Autonomous Challenge, I didn’t think that anything could beat that. On Sunday, the final day of CES, I made my way over to the BMW and Volkswagen booth. Two that I, unintentionally saved for the very end. BMW released its i Vision Dee. Dee or Digital Emotional Experience is a profound concept for BMW Group. This enables a completely new type of interaction and communication between yourself and your vehicle. “With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what is possible when hardware and software merge. In this way, we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalisation to transform the car into an intelligent companion. That is the future for automotive manufacturers – and, also, for BMW: the fusion of the virtual experience with genuine driving pleasure,” said Oliver Zipse. The BMW i Vision Dee connects with us on an emotional level and is also intelligent enough to anticipate where we may want to go based on previous drives.
Dee is considered as the “Ultimate Companion.” Humans and cars already have a special kind of relationship for those of us that understand what that means. The emotional relationship that BMW Group and the BMW brand is trying to build here is going to define that bond even more. Dee will adapt to the driver’s habits, and will suggest destinations and entertainment. Dee will become a companion to its driver, a sort of “best friend” that can be relied on.
“A BMW lives by its unparalleled digital performance. BMW i Vision Dee is about perfect integration of virtual and physical experiences. Whoever excels at integrating the customer’s everyday digital worlds into the vehicle at all levels will succeed in mastering the future of car-building,” says Frank Weber, BMW AG Board Member for Development.
On top of the 9 different facial expressions that allows it to interact with its environment, it also has the ability to change its color and design inside and out. The future of BMW Group is electric, circular and digital. Further development on the Ultimate Driving Companion will be released throughout 2023.
Volkswagen had a new electric vehicle of their own, the ID. 7. It is VW first all electric sedan based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) featuring smart camouflage. This multilayered paintwork is able to create light effects on areas of the vehicle. “With the new ID.7, we are rounding off the top end of our electric model range. The sedan will offer top-class technology and quality. The ID.7 is one of ten new electric models that we are planning to launch by 2026. Our goal? To offer suitable products for our customers in every segment.” Thomas Schäfer CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.
The ID. 7 features a digital camouflage design with unique luminous paintwork, 40 layers of paint with 22 areas of the vehicle that can be activated individually, and a unique QR code that acts as an bridge between the physical world and digital one. Set to release in 2023, it is not the only product that VW is expecting to turn heads in their direction. With several other all electric vehicles on the way, it is no doubt that VW will be another leading competitor in the all electric and fully customizable future of the automotive industry.
So what was your favorite product in my personal lineup? With thousands of products available at the show, it was impossible to cover them all. I hand picked the few areas that I thought were making big differences in how we will communicate with each other, our cars, and the world around us. Technology is advancing in unimaginable directions, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for us. If you attended CES what was your favorite new product?
Memento Vivere is the latin term meaning, “Remeber to live.”
In the tragic wake of beloved Ken Block’s death, I feel even more compelled to live the life that I want to live. His most recent story released before his death, “Go Fast Risk Every Thang,” struck a chord within me. Life is so fragile, and so short. It is not worth playing pretend and doing anything less than what makes your heart and soul sing. Ken Block was a master behind the wheel and his ruthless driving style, absolute control and positive outlook made him the legend that we will all remember.
As I begin my first solo trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada, I have never felt more at home and at peace. But my sense of being at home and peace is not a place, its within myself. I know that what I am doing is feeding my soul and keeping it alive. My reckless, unconventional and, the word I’ve been described with so many times, impulsive lifestyle has taken me places that I never would’ve thought possible. Trust the process, is a phrase I have adopted and once I began to let go and allow whatever to come to me to come to me, it all started to fall into place.
It is so easy to get lost in the noise and distractions that plague us every day. It is even harder to stay focused on the reason that you are here. Right now, in this moment, we are alive. Every moment presents a new opportunity and a decision to do something, anything. What have you always wanted to do? To see? To go? Make it happen. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next minute.
I have no real game plan for this week. A few things have been scheduled here and there for events and reveals that I do not want to miss, but I am simply open to whatever will present itself. The future is unknown, and how exciting is that? Take risks. We are all guaranteed death, don’t forget to live.
2022 has been one of the most exciting years yet. Regardless of all the struggles and hardships that this year also brought for me, I was able to capture and be part of some incredible moments. This post was inspired by a fellow blogger who suggest I do a visual publication of what I experienced this year. For this last blog post of year, here is the best of my 2022.
Here’s to the 2023 year being even more exciting, unexpected and wonderful than 2022.
Hansel Echeverria, founder of Leen Customs based out of LA is a collectible Pin creator of all our favorite cars, from the super cars, to rally racers and everything in between.
His first design was based off of a 2004 Rally Subaru. For him, it was a question of whether or not he should be doing this. Pins were up and coming, and they were popular in the car community already. It was not until he went to Design Con in LA that he realized that pins were very popular. He bought a few to commemorate his trip and then decided to move forward with making car pins. There were all of these popular car cult classic, such as Fast and Furious, and there was no one out there creating something like pins for the fan base.
His initial few drops sold out before 9AM. A response he was just not expecting. From there, it has all been up and up. He partnered with Toyo Tires to do collaboration on their SEMA cars from 2019 along with a few others. He pitched an idea to SEMA to do a limited edition set of pins to give away at the SEMA show for cars that are displayed in Toyo Treadpass at the week long event. The idea was to highlight the builds of these great car enthusiasts and give the fans something they could take back with them along with the great memories.
The fan base for Leen Customs has been incredible over the years. Attendees of SEMA stood in line for hours just to get their hands on these beloved pins created by Hansel.
Here are a few of the builds that were on display and their tiny pin counterparts.
Thank you so much Toyo Tires and Leens Customs for making such a great partnership that we can all enjoy. See you next year SEMA 2023!
During trips and time away, I am often reminded of how lucky I am. It is easy to get caught up in the misery of day to day life. I have met people on my adventures that are so incredible in what they have built, that it humbles me.
At MCACN in Rosemont, IL, I came across one vendor that caught my eye, Kittie’s Warriors Foundation. Being at a car convention, it was different to see a vendor that was not necessarily car related. They were here for a purpose, a mission. I needed to know more.
The Schmidt families matriarch was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. This rocked the very foundation of the family, leaving them with many unanswered questions and lot of concern. Kittie fought, as any warrior would do, for herself and for the family that she loved so dearly. When she transitioned in 2013, she left a lasting impression on her family, and anyone that knew her.
It prompted the birth of new life, Kittie’s Warriors Foundation. This 501(c)(3) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping cancer patients in need. A large portion of funds goes towards cancer research every year with the hopes that a cure will be found, but in the meantime, there is a need for support on an individual level as well. KWF is able to continue their work by monetary donations, and the sale of art that is also donated to them. All proceeds go directly to the grant program to help individuals who are in financial need while they go through one of the most difficult times of their life. With so many decision that need to be made, a financial burden should not be weighing on their mind as well. Kittie’s Warriors Foundations helps lessen that load and be there for them in their time of most need.
The colorful display at MCACN brings awareness to all types of cancer. The foundation received beautiful donations to set up at their booth for MCACN.
If you are able to donate to this foundation, please do so.
There is a lot to see when walking the Las Vegas Strip. There are all the bright lights, the people, the shops and restaurants, and the hotels. I remember the first time I went to New York City I. was fascinated with the street performances and various art that people were creating right there on the sidewalk. This was no exception here in Las Vegas.
There was on man creating roses from palm leaves in front of the Bellagio.
A craft I did not know existed. I watched for a few moments as he created a rose from these leaves right before my eyes.
Only a few steps away there was another man playing an electric cello. The sound was intoxicating as he played the well known song “Hallelujah.” I watched him play and listened through until he began his next song. Such beauty in the sound and the way he played.
It is easy to get lost in the gimmicks and cheesiness of Las Vegas. This is just a reminder that there is beauty and creativity everywhere we go, even in the heart of the Las Vegas.
The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals is an annual event that takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. After SEMA, I had the honor or being offered the chance to go and check out the largest display of American Muscle Cars in the world. It is a place for enthusiasts, both young and old, to come together over their love for these classic vehicles.
I landed at O’Hare International Airport from Logan Airport at 8:30AM on Saturday November 19th. I went to the hotel to drop off my luggage and then made my way straight to the convention center. As soon as you walked through the doors, you could smell the oil, fuel and tires from the classic vehicles lying in wait on the showroom floor. A display of Corvettes greeted me.
The Chevrolet Corvette is one of my all time favorite vehicles, and is definitely my favorite piece of American Muscle. I walked over to Will Call to pick up my badge so generously left for me by eXoMod Carbon. Thank you so much, Rick!
Vendors, car displays and happy event attendees covered the floor. There was so much to take in. I took a couple laps around the floor to see what was there, and then went back through to capture some more specific details. So, where to begin! It is hard to pick. I will start with this 1960 Corvette.
In 1960, this Corvette won 1st in its class making history at the famous 24 hour Le Mans Race. The #3 Cunningham Corvette held this title for more than 40 years. An impressive win for the car at the time.
While on the topic of Corvettes, there was this 1969 unrestored L88.
19,000 original miles, and two time Concours winner in 2017 and 2019. This 427, 4 Speed was one of 116 built in 1969. It has also been awarded the NCRS Top-Flight, Bloomington Gold Certification and MCACN Triple Diamond Award.
There were also an array of vintage mini bikes. These were especially interesting for me, as I used to own a Coleman Mini Bike and attended Mini Mayhem in North Carolina last summer.
This 1981 Z28 Chevrolet Camaro had my heart.
With so many interesting vehicles there, it is hard to pick just a few to write about. There was this custom one of a kind Mustang, with a removable hard top and custom sound system. Photos of this build, do not really do it justice, but here it is.
Most of the cars were set up close to each other in their classes or groups. It made it a little difficult to get clean shots of individual cars, but it also made for some neat opportunities to catch these cars sitting together like a group of friends would.
Next up, this 1977 Dodge Charger SE caught my eye. I had never seen a White Charger before. Usually, the ones that I have seen in the past were black, green or purple. The white gave it an old feel and a certain elegance to it.
There were an array of Superbirds and Daytonas in the Wings Over America section. This was particularly interesting for me, as I had never seen so many Superbirds and Daytonas in one place before, let alone one right after the other.
One in particular caught my eye. This 1970 Plymouth Superbird had a very different paint job, with matching helmet and model car. As the board states in one of the photos, this car is in its “as raced,” unrestored condition.
What an interesting take on this iconic piece of history.
Another section of the convention that seemed to always be busy with people was the Barn Finds & Hidden Gems. As the name suggests, these were cars that were found in as is condition, and either still ran, or were rare pieces not commonly around, let alone now. A few of these gems were in running condition, which made it that much more impressive. For years these old bodies could have sat, but they were not ready to give up. They are now on the hands of eager owners and restorers, so that they may be returned to their former glory when they rolled off the assembly line.
The Studebaker Legends was another section that had some beautiful cars that you don’t get to see everyday. Like a 1963 Studebaker R3 Avanti that was Hot Rod and Motor Trend’s Test car.
Amongst the cars, there were also several vendor booths set up. One had metal art of some of our favorite cars.
There was also Kitty’s Warriors, which I will be writing a separate piece on. They are a non-profit that donate 100% of their proceeds to cancer patients and their families.
Johnny Lightning was also in attendance, selling model cars and an exclusive 2022 MCACN Superbird model.
Last, but certainly not least, there was the Premier Unveiling of the most anticipated builds of the year., the 1971 Plymouth Cuda built by Mopar Obsession/eXoMod Carbon.
I won’t spoil all the fun as this car will have it’s own write up coming soon. This drop top 440+6, with a Shaker hood and intake, leather interior and go wing was absolutely stunning in person. The color was perfect for this iconic vehicle.
My first experience at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals was one to remember. I had never been around so many classic American muscle in one place. The best part of shows like this is that a lot of these cars are driven, all the time. They were raced, dragged, driven, family hauling for years, and are still kicking around. It is truly something to be appreciated. I am so grateful for the experience.
Here is a full album of photos from the event. If you’d like to support me and my adventures, please consider sharing and purchasing a photo.
My mother always had a camera in her hand. Whenever we would go to an event, a play, or a big moment in my life, she was there with her camera. They became one of those objects I obsessed over. Some kids wanted dolls or action figures, I wanted a camera.
My earliest memory of having a camera in my hand was in 1st grade. Granted, it was one of those disposable ones you would pick up from Walmart, but it was where it all started. I took photos of everything, like my friend’s at school, leftover balloons from my birthday party, our family dog, or rocks outside. For years, those disposable cameras were my gateway into what would develop into something much more than my first grade self could’ve imagined.
I got my first point and shoot camera when I was 16. The time of film and disposable cameras was gone. I don’t recall everything I used that camera for, but it opened yet another door. The following year, I took my first photography class and upgraded to a DSLR. I had a Nikon D3100. I felt so professional. But as a 17 year old, you could only go so far.
I accomplished a lot with that little Nikon. I won a regional photography award from the NH Institute of Art that came with a scholarship to a summer photography program. I created countless displays at my high school, and had an album of photos. Unfortunately, I do not know what happened to all of the photos I took. They may be on my old hard drive that is sadly missing. I grew with that camera, and it photographed my car show that I run for 5 long years.
I took a hiatus from looking through my lens while I went to college. Being convinced of doing something practical instead of photography, I pursued my Bachelor’s in Accounting and then ultimately my Masters which I completed in the fall of 2021. This past summer, something changed for me. A light came, and it woke me up. I wanted to get back into doing something I thought I had given up.
I created my brand, Adventures of a Car Girl, back in 2018 after my graduation with my Bachelor’s. It was then I decided I wanted to write more and document where and what I was doing. I was branching into s lot of exciting new avenues. I took my old Nikon to events I attended. Those events, trips and other such adventures were captured on that D3100 and posted here on my blog.
This year, I invested in a new camera. After 9 long years, I decided it was time. A whole new world of creativity was opened to me. This camera did much more than my old one did, as it should. The Nikon Z5 has become the centerpiece to my new creative outlet. I have already learned so much in my short time getting back into a passion of mine. But there is still much to learn. Now, each event, trip and adventure I take is another opportunity for me to practice my craft, and make new connections.
I sometimes kick myself for not following in my want to go to college for photography. However, I’ve put myself in a position where I am able to pursue photography and writing and be able to travel to incredible places. It all happens for a reason.
I collect old cameras now. Polaroid, brownies, pinhole, folding cameras, some old Minoltas. Where photography has come and it’s history is also important to remember. We have much more opportunity for that perfect shot than our creative ancestors.
A favorite quote of mine is, “Life happens for you, not to you.” So go out there and make it happen. I’m so thankful for where my adventures have brought me, and am excited to see where I will go next.
Hagerty and Mobil 1 are household names in the car community. When we think Hagerty, protection with the best service for our beloved classic vehicles may come to mine. When we think Mobil 1, quality of gas may come to mind. But these two companies are much more than just insurance and gas.
While at the SEMA convention, I got the chance to speak with a couple representatives from both Mobil 1 and Hagerty about the new partnership between these staple companies in the automotive community. Mobil 1’s mission is to share the love of driving, and Hagerty’s purpose is to save driving and car culture. I spoke with Doug Clark, Vice President of Commercial Partnership and Business Development. He stated that there is such an authentic fit between the two companies, that it just made sense for them to come together. The partnerships goal is to create compelling content, which they both already do individually. So why not double up and grow it exponentially.
Their other goal is to cultivate the community. There are 750,000 Hagerty Driver’s Club Members. Hagerty also partners with video games, like Gran Turismo, where you can take advantage of some Hagerty Diver’s Club Member perks in game. Hagerty is about, “creating on ramps and lowering the barrier to entry.” They know that people that are in their 20s and 30s are gaming, and even more women are now gaming. Hagerty wants to give them the opportunity to discover cars. In today’s day and age, it is not abnormal that people are discovering different cars and what they like in games. In Gran Turismo, if you earn enough credits to get to the Legends Dealer, you gain access the Hagerty Collection where you will have the opportunity to learn about the cars that are available that day and go through the history. It’s yet another way to get people involved and appreciate the history and love of cars. Hagerty Driver’s Club Members can receive a special code that will give them access to a limited car in Gran Turismo with a special Hagerty Livery that they can enjoy in game. Each year, you have the chance to receive a special car from Hagerty as long as you are a member. Mobil 1 partners with Rocket League, bringing a different sort of relationship between consumers and companies. Rocket League has a virtual high octane car that players have the ability to use in game. from Mobil 1.
Both Hagerty and Mobil 1 work to bring new people into the community as lover’s of cars and driving. Mobil 1 focuses on quality gas for your car. This partnership also wants to focus on car care with a purpose. Hagerty protects it’s club members with roadside assistance and with their firm foundation of insurance. When Hagerty receives a claim, they are able to help keep our beloved cars on the road so that we can continue to enjoy them. The products of both Hargety and Mobil 1 are top quality, and they will continue to deliver that to us in new and exciting ways. Doug describes the partnership as just a natural alignment.
Mobil 1 and Hagerty have been working on this partnership for about a year. They are excited to continue to cultivate the driving culture. I spoke with Ryan Allen, Mobil 1’s Brand and Partnership Manager, and he states that a lot of people simply view cars as a commute. But there are just as many of us that view cars as more than that, where we enjoy the actual drive. Through the partnership, they are trying to bring a lot of the joy of driving back to the consumer. There will be some very unique content that will come as a result.
He goes on to say that it is not always necessarily about the car, but the love and joy of driving, which is where they are trying to get back to. They want to celebrate the love of driving and the act of driving together as a community. Mobil 1 has access to many driver’s in Formula 1, NASCAR and NHRA. Bringing Hagerty and Mobil 1 together is going to bring about some unique content, that goes above and beyond what they have already created on their own.
The ultimate goal is to continue building the community for generation to come. The future of car culture and driving is in the hands of those who may not have discovered it yet, and continuing to expose it to as many people as possible. This partnership will give them an abundance of avenues to be able to do that.
We look forward to what this newfound partnership will bring to our community.