Friday, August 26, 2011

06-24-11 HOT ROD Magazine Cruise Night

This was the inaugural HOT ROD Magazine Cruise Night at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA. I first heard about this when Hot Rod Editor David Freiberger e-mailed their flyer to see if I would help promote the event. It sounded like fun so I called my buddy Roger Rohrdanz who shoots for Hot Rod Hotline and Drive to see if he was interested, turned out he was and we cruised over there in his recently completed '50 Ford. Since we went up early to beat the traffic I decided to call another buddy, Thomas Voehringer, Archivist at Source Interlink to see if he had time to chat with us.

They are just a few blocks away from the Automobile Driving Museum so we stopped in and Tom showed us around the archives. The archives consist mostly of negatives from the Petersen days of the magazines and he has been working hard to put some form of order to thousands upon thousands of frames of film. His results can be seen in many of their recent automotive publications as they seem to be of great interest to most enthusiasts! That was fun but on to the cruise...

Fortunately we arrived early enough to get a parking space right in front...

The museum was open to all as usual, donations welcome for admission, and after a brief stroll through the great cars on display in there we headed outside to see the cars arriving for the cruise.

Freiberger arrived in the "Crusher Camaro" and the party was on...

Food trucks were there to feed the crowd and this one with flames really fit in...

I think El Segundo's finest wanted to hang out with us...

This cruise takes place on the last Friday of each month, check out SoCalCarCulture for details...

Pat Ganahl, legendary automotive journalist, cruised over to check it out...

Various Clubs were represented...

Starlite Rod & Kustom had some of their recent creations on display...

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Friday, August 19, 2011

06-21-11 Tuesday Night Cruise at Fuddrucker's

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cadillac Ciel Concept Celebrates the Journey

Images © Copyright General Motors

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. –   Cadillac today unveiled the Ciel concept, an elegant, open-air grand-touring car inspired by the natural beauty of the California coast.
The Ciel – pronounced “C-L,” the French translation for sky – is a four-seat convertible that opens a new chapter in Cadillac’s design and product ascent, pushing the brand’s Art & Science philosophy into a new stratum. Ciel is a new expression of Cadillac’s historical grandeur, as well as a celebration of open-air motoring.

“Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future,” said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. “Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey.”
The spacious and elegant Ciel is a grand gesture that explores themes driving Cadillac’s explorations into range-topping flagship luxury. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine, paired with a hybrid system using lithium-ion battery technology.

Driving California’s Highway 1 in an open car while the sun sets, from Big Sur north to Monterey, is the type of journey the Ciel team envisioned during its design.
“The Ciel is about the romance of the drive,” said Dean. “It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac’s vision for the future.”
The four-door Ciel embraces the social aspects of a recreational journey, with generous room for two couples. It evokes the spirit of the classics with a long, low proportion. The doors are French-style, with the rear doors hinged at the rear – there is no B-pillar – to reveal a sweeping view of the dramatic interior. Distinguishing fender lines run from nose to tail, and nickel-plated bright work accents the body lines, enhancing the visual length of the car and honoring Cadillac touring cars of the past.
Ciel’s exterior flows seamlessly into the cabin, with the body color rolling over on top of the interior door panels. Like the exterior, the passenger space is accented with sweeping nickel-plated trim. It divides the body-color upper sections from a complementing beige lower color.  Italian Olive wood, machined aluminum and hand-tipped leather are elements that flow through the interior, complementing the primary colors with warm, rich tones.

 “There is authentic craftsmanship in the way the exterior and interior elements meld, much like a vintage wooden boat,” said Gael Buzyn, interior design manager. “It is romantic, not only in its form, but the materials – nothing smells as good as real wood and leather. It blends together for a rewarding feeling of uncompromising luxury.”

Ciel literally and figuratively reflects the driving experience along the California coastline. The Cabernet paint color, developed specifically for Ciel, is inspired by the rich translucence of a glass of red wine held up to the sunlight.
A prominent, polished aluminum windshield frame serves as in important structural element of the vehicle, as well as aesthetic one, recalling classic open cars of the past. Additional exterior cues, including a shield grille and vertical lighting elements, are pure Cadillac, but suggest a more organic interpretation of the brand’s signature design language that emphasizes the artistic and natural sides of it. The body sides, for example, are more rounded, sweeping upward. Bright work is used to bring contrast to the deep paint color, but plays a more supporting role.

The car rides on large, beautifully finished wheels that feature brushed nickel plating over milled billet aluminum, matching the materials and appearance of other trim. Carbon ceramic brake rotors are visible behind the 22-inch rims, a visual clue to the Ciel’s foundation of performance.
And owing to Cadillac’s heritage of advanced technology, the headlamps and taillamps feature LED lighting elements – including a unique daytime running light graphic on the front of the vehicle that is generated with gradated LED lighting.

Simplicity, authenticity and spaciousness were the guiding principles when it came to developing the Ciel’s interior.
“With the Ciel, the journey is the thing, so the interior is a place of uncompromising comfort and elegance, with technology that only makes the journey more enjoyable,” said Buzyn. “Simplicity and lightness ensure nothing distracts from the open driving experience, while the color and materials lend the feeling that the vehicle’s environment blends with the surroundings.”
A wheelbase of 125 inches – about 12 inches longer than a CTS sedan – provides generous space. Luxurious seats are bisected by a “floating” center console that runs from the instrument panel to the rear of the interior. It effectively creates a very personal space for each passenger and houses access to hidden connectivity portals for each person in the vehicle – allowing them to make dinner reservations, check the weather at their destination or even upload photos of the trip via social media sights.
Simplicity is also the watchword with the Ciel’s instrument panel, which features a minimalist gauge cluster that doesn’t impede or distract from the outward view. But while reserved in its form, it exemplifies Cadillac’s attention to details and its priority on authentic materials. The climate vents, for example, are mostly hidden and their airflow is distributed indirectly.
Transparent gauges deliver their information within a detailed, brushed-aluminum housing that has the intricate depth of a high-quality chronograph. They offer dual readouts – analog and digital – as well as an information hierarchy. Additional interior features include:
  • Sloping bolsters on the seats that allow passengers to slide into the seats more comfortably
  • A personal device storage area on the front of the console with inductive charging and Bluetooth connectivity
  • A power-assisted transmission shifter that deploys as soon as the engine is started
  • Lighting in the armrests that combines a natural light well for daytime driving and ambient lighting for nighttime drives
  • Door storage areas that are inspired by premium fashion accessories and open with high-quality zippers
  • Pull-out blankets are available for all three passengers and retract automatically
  • All the seats have heating and cooling features, along with a drawer containing sun lotion, sun glasses and towels, as well as aromatherapy that is controlled from the rear armrest.
But perhaps the defining element of the Ciel’s cabin is the incorporation of Italian Olive wood on the doors, instrument panel, console and the front seatbacks, adding warmth and craftsmanship to a car designed to provoke an emotional response.
“Milled solid wood delivers richness and a sensual feeling of authenticity in the visual impact of the grain, its feel and aroma, which a veneer simply cannot,” said Buzyn. “Even in our high-tech, connected world, luxury customers crave touches of old-world craftsmanship – the Ciel simply reflects that with a blend of the latest technology.”
Italian Olive wood is a premium yet sustainable material and the material used in the Ciel came from a single fallen and recycled tree, from a west coast producer of premium olive oil. It was painstakingly prepared, including drying in a kiln, before it was cut for the concept vehicle. The numerous pieces were then photographed so that the grain could be matched precisely. Each component was hand-milled and finished by expert woodworking craftsmen.
The rear seating area is detailed with elegant flourishes. The rear seat passengers can pull a leather tab, which reveals a cashmere blanket that stretches across the seating area to ward off a chill. The wood trim in the rear center console opens to reveal a small humidor, stocked with a few cigars.
“From the materials used to create it to the space and experience it offers passengers, the Ciel represents a unique perspective on luxury, but not the only one,” said Dean. “Along with other concepts, such as the ULC, Cadillac is demonstrating that the bandwidth of the Art & Science philosophy is wide, indeed – and we’re going to make it even wider.”

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

California Pollution Watchdog OKs GM Hot Rod Engine Only OEM with authorized, emissions-compliant high-performance engine

Image © Copyright General Motors

The E-ROD 5.3L crate engine package is getting the green light from the California Air Resources Board, which says it can be legally installed in 1995-and-earlier cars and trucks that predate OBD II on-board emissions diagnostics.

The certification – carrying Executive Order D-126-31 – is the second in GM Performance Parts’   E-ROD lineup to get the all-clear for use on some 20 million pre-1996 vehicles on California roads. Both manual and automatic versions of the E-ROD 5.3L are good to go.
All E-ROD systems include required emissions equipment, such as catalytic converters and a fuel tank evaporative emission canister, along with an engine control module calibrated for a balance of performance and efficiency.
GM Performance Parts E-ROD systems also deliver on the expectations of a new generation of hot rodders and custom car builders, for whom greater fuel economy and lower emissions play more important roles in their projects.
“GMPP is leading the way with engine systems and supporting components that enable enthusiasts to build a car that complies with the law, satisfies their desire for a cleaner hot rod and doesn’t sacrifice the performance they want,” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts.
The E-ROD 5.3L is rated at 326 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. It carries a suggested price of $7,125 and is based on the 5.3L V-8 with an aluminum cylinder block that is used in the Chevrolet Silverado and other full-size and midsize GM trucks.

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Cadillac ELR

Images © Copyright General Motors

DETROIT – The innovative Cadillac Converj Concept, a dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology, is moving forward as a production car that will be called the Cadillac ELR.
Development of the ELR is just underway, so details on performance, price and timing will be announced later.
The Cadillac ELR will feature an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It uses electricity as its primary source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to extended-range mode to enable driving for hundreds of additional miles.
 “The concept generated instant enthusiasm,” said Don Butler, vice president-Cadillac Marketing. “Like other milestone Cadillac models of the past, the ELR will offer something not otherwise present – the combination of electric propulsion with striking design and the fun of luxury coupe driving.”
Cadillac selected the name ELR to indicate the car’s electric propulsion technology, in keeping with the brand’s 3-letter international model naming convention.
The Converj Concept sparked the idea of combining the desirability of a grand touring coupe with electrification, said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design.
“There’s no mistaking it for anything but a Cadillac, an aggressive, forward-leaning profile and proportion showcases a uniquely shaped, modern vision of a personal luxury 2+2,” Welburn said.
Cadillac will reveal another new concept car on Thursday, Aug. 18, at a special event prior to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Cadillac also recently announced it will add two new vehicles to its product lineup in 2012, the XTS large luxury sedan and an all-new luxury compact sedan codenamed ATS.

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06-19-11 41st Annual Murrieta Father's Day Show

The 41st Annual Father's Day Show in Murrietta showcased an amazing assortment of cars and trucks, something for most every taste. Brett Harrell from High Energy Sound and Light Productions provided the DJ services and did a great job entertaining the crowd all day! Brett's truck is always cool to look at too.

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06-18-11 Laguna Niguel Car Show

Popular Hot Rodding's famed "Project X" made an appearance at this local show.

This was a great little show that I will look forward to attending  next year.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

06-18-11 5th Annual AAA Employee's Invitational Car Show

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You won't Believe This!

Got this email today...

"Hi, I'm casting a brand new television reality show that takes place in the DMV.

We're looking to cast people with amazing, unique, coo or different vehicles (ATVs, bikes Vespas, jet skis, etc.) who need to come to the DMV for a variety of reasons: registering an outrageous or cool vehicle, taking/retaking the drivers test, making sure to get the perfect DMV photo for their license, etc."

Should any of you decide to audition for this please let us know how that works out!

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SoCalCarCulture - THE place to find out what is happening in Southern California's Car Culture!