This weekend is hands down the biggest weekend for all men and women who consider themselves certified “Honda heads”! The Eibach meet is one of the biggest car meets in the country and THE biggest Honda meet ever in history to ever happen in any place at any time. OK, maybe that last part is an exaggeration but still! In fact the Eibach meet is so big, that they can’t even hold the event at Eibach anymore.
This year the famous meet will be held in the massive parking lot at Storm Stadium in Lake Elsinore, CA. Sure it is a little bit farther out than Eibach’s facility but the extra space will allow more room for all the epic Honda-ness. Enough talk! I shall provide you with the details and you shall make plans for your exodus!
What results when film geniuses Clash Productions are combined with a snow camo’d Nissan GT-R, a ski slope, and snowmobile chase cameras? Two and a half minutes of AWESOME that is as pure as…well the driven snow (I make no pun apologies!).
This is one of those occasions in which a “where” and especially a “why” are completely unnecessary. All that you need to know is that a crew out in Sweeden dubbed “Team Ice Ricers” decided to answer the question: “can a GT-R climb a ski slope?”
This weekend was a treat for me. For a long time I loved visiting the annual Toyotafest (produced by T.O.R.C.). Unfortunately for the last few years the Toyotafest has landed on my birthday (May 9th). Naturally I have other plans on my birthday so I have been unable to attend. This year I got lucky and the Toyotafest fell a week earlier than it usually does! Needless to say it was a treat to be able to finally visit the event again after a few years and let me just say it is just as impressive as I remember it!
True Toyota corporate’s presence is smaller than I remember but that just made more room for owners to show off their toys (you see what I did there?). Toyotafest’s entry price of “free 99″ drew in tons of Toyota fans and car fans a like to the event and the quality of some of the cars on display kept them inside all day.
As usual there was a great mix of old school restored rides, modern builds, and cool one-offs. I combed through it all and shot the best of the best, some of which you can see here by clicking on the thumbnails. The rest of the pictures can be seen by vising the Facebook gallery.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach plays host to several motorsport events over the course of one weekend. In fact there is so much going on that sometimes once one event is over they have to get out of the way to make room for another event. One such example is the Mother’s Car Show. You see, the ALMS main race takes place on Saturday but the Mother’s Car show takes place on the same real estate used by ALMS for their paddock. So, by Saturday night all the big rigs, equipment, trailers, and teams from ALMS are gone to make way for the car show. By Sunday morning what once was a hub for all things LeMans becomes a sea of gleaming super cars.
Traditionally it is one of the first things I shoot Sunday morning, and this year was no different. There were a slew of top notch automotive art on hand and armed with my trusty camera I snapped all the cars I thought were worth snapping. There are some preview thumbnails below and you can hit the red text for the full gallery on our Facebook page.
If you are reading this then I think it might be safe to assume that like me, you are passionate about cars, a “gearhead” as most would say. If that’s true then you probably know what its like to try to explain your passion to a non-gearhead. They find it hard to understand how someone can be fixated on what they think is just a machine. They might even think you’re a bit crazy.
The truth is only a gearhead can really understand another gearhead. That sentiment is captured in a beautifully poignant way in the film piece below by Steve Ketner (presented by Clash Production) called “A Best Friend’s Story”. Despite being only two minutes long we learn chapters about when a man’s passion for cars began, and how he defines his relationship with his beloved Mazda MX-5.
Breaking news from Subaru USA. It looks like they are taking a whole new approach in how they develop their cars by building them according to media hype and rumors. They have announced they will take all the rumored features of the BRZ and build them into a real car. The result: an AWD turbo convertible diesel hybrid! Oh, it will also be a two seater…
If you think this is a joke you can see the actual press release from Subaru below and click the source link to see it on Subaru’s media site. No foolin’!
Cherry Hill, N.J., - Bowing to continued media and internet speculation, Subaru of America has confirmed that it will launch an AWD Twin-Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ for sale in 2015. The new model essentially takes all of the media and internet rumors surrounding the highly successful BRZ sports car and delivers them in one fell swoop.
A spokesman for the company said: “Having just launched the current model to widespread critical acclaim, we are tired of fighting off the constant speculation about what’s “next” and so we are just giving in and delivering all the speculation in one vehicle.”
The new model, which is expected to have a starting price, will however NOT come with a much anticipated rear back-up camera. The spokesman confirmed that after shoehorning two convertible switches (up and down) onto the fascia there just wasn’t room for any more instruments. The AWD Turbo Convertible two-seater Diesel Hybrid BRZ will come in a single color, noseeum black and will be hand produced at Subaru’s Brigadoon facility.
St. Patricks day weekend was cause for celebration for many people all over the country but it was also a big weekend for motorsport freaks like us. In addition to Sebring the past weekend also saw the return of Formula One. I decided to kick the weekend off by paying a visit to one of my favorite meets: Cars & Coffee in Irvine.
It was the first time I had been to the meet since the start of the year so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see an even more eclectic mix of cars than I was used to. There was everything from million-dollar exotics to a few rare classics. I even saw a crazy turbo-diesel zombie apocalypse truck! (more on that in a later post).
However, I would have to say the meet’s biggest attention getter was a genuine Bugatti Veyron brought by Symbolic Motor Cars of San Diego. As jaded as I am these days even I am still impressed with a Veyron sighting. I have only been in the presence of Bugatti’s hyper-car four times and only two of which (counting the weekend) were “wild” sightings.
All in all it was a great trip. If you haven’t been to Cars & Coffee I would highly recommend checking it out. If you’re saying to yourself: “Hey jerk, I don’t live in Southern California!” I would say “don’t interrupt me while I’m talking!” See, the cool thing about Cars & Coffee is that it is something of an organization now so there are meets in several places all across America; even in Europe! Just head to CarsAndCoffeeOnline.com to find the closest meet to you.
The 2013 Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach is about a month away and the wheels are officially in motion (no pun intended). Today, the list of participants in this year’s Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race were announced and it looks like some favorites are returning but there will be some new faces as well. Last year’s winner, Adam Corolla will be returning to defend his crown and Top Gear USA host Rutledge Wood will also once again return to the grid. Also joining the race this year is Michelle Rodriguez AKA “Letty” from the upcoming Fast 6 movie.
The Pro-Celebrity race is one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Me and my friends like to call the race “celebrity pinball” because its almost guranteed the drivers are going to bounce off each other or the walls. It really is great fun to watch and this year will be the first that the Scion FR-S is the official race car and I think the first time in history that the Toyota Pro-Celebrity race is run with rear-wheel drive cars. This is going to be awesome!
And, as always the real winner in all of this are the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Miller’s Children’s Hospital of Long Beach, and the Racing For Kids Foundation. All of these great organizations get donations every year from Toyota, the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, and the race participants.
For the full list of race participants, scroll down…
Cristian Castro (@CristianCastro):Grammy Award-nominated and best-selling Mexican pop singer. Famous from a young age, one of his best known albums is “Mi Vida Sin Tu Amor,” with four singles in the top ten of Billboard’s Hot Latin tracks. In April, he will release a new album “Primera Fila,” celebrating 20 years as a singer.
Kate del Castillo (@katedelcastillo):Mexico’s most acclaimed actress, best known for her starring role in long-running mini-series “La Reina del Sur.” Other credits include “Under the Same Moon,” “Trade” and a guest appearance on the Showtime series “Weeds.”
Brett Davern(@BDavv): Actor who stars as Jake Rosati in MTV’s hit series “Awkward.” Other credits include the film, “Beautiful Ohio” and appearances in “Cold Case,” “CSI: Miami,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Medium.”
Jenna Elfman(@JennaElfman): Actress known for her quirky role on the TV series “Dharma & Greg,” which earned her a Golden Globe Award. She now stars as the first lady in the family comedy “1600 Penn.” Film credits include “Friends with Benefits” and “Keeping the Faith.”
Jessica Hardy(@swimhardy): A multiple world record-holder in swimming and a 2012 Olympic medalist. A Long Beach, Calif. native, she also does motivational speaking and served as an ambassador for the United States Olympic Committee Team For Tomorrow.
Jesse Metcalfe(@JesseMetcalfe):Actor best known for his role as a teen gardener on “Desperate Housewives” and who currently stars in the TNT continuation of “Dallas,” based on the 1978 series of the same name. Film credits include “John Tucker Must Die” and “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.”
Dakota Meyer (@Dakota_Meyer): Former U.S. Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his 2009 actions in Afghanistan. He wrote, Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, fundraises with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the Hiring Our Heroes program.
Jackson Rathbone (@JacksonRathbone): Actor best known for playing Jasper Hale in the hit “Twilight” movie series. Other film credits include “The Last Airbender.”
Michelle Rodriguez (@MRodOfficial): Film actress best known for her tough girl physical roles, including starring in the record-breaking sci-fi film “Avatar,” the successful “Fast & Furious” franchise, the 2012 hit “Resident Evil: Retribution” and as a tough LAPD cop in TV’s “Lost.”
Jeremy Sisto (@JeremySisto):Actor best known for playing Billy Chenowith on the series “Six Feet Under.” He also played Detective Cyrus Lupo on “Law & Order” and currently stars in the series “Suburgatory.”
Mark Steines(@MarkSteines):Emmy award-winning journalist and host of the Hallmark Channel’s new how-to show, “Home & Family.” He spent more than 17 years on “Entertainment Tonight,” establishing himself as a trusted and charismatic figure in entertainment news.
Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes): Emmy award-winning comedian, writer and actress who ranks among Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People in America. She has hosted her own late night talk show, “The Wanda Sykes Show” and has appeared on TV shows including, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and films such as “Evan Almighty.”
Michael Trucco(@MichaelTrucco): Actor best known for playing Samuel Anders on SyFy’s acclaimed series “Battlestar Galactica” and Justin Patrick on the USA Network series “Fairly Legal.” Other credits include appearances on “Revenge,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “One Tree Hill.”
Rutledge Wood (@RutledgeWood): Auto racing analyst on Fox Sports/SPEED and co-host of “Top Gear USA.”
Having good credit is essential to many financial milestones of life. Good credit is needed for things like renting a nice apartment, buying a house, getting a business loan, even some employers check the credit history of potential employees. However people do not usually associate good credit with test driving a car; financing a car sure but a test drive?
It looks like a new trend is starting to develop among dealerships. If you want to test out their flagship cars then better be ready to have your credit run! User “aj996tt” of the 6SpeedOnline forum (lets call him “AJ”) from Texasfound out the hard way. See, AJ was in the market for a new car. Hes a family man so he had a few trucks and SUVs on the top of his list but he kept his options open for sports cars as well. On his list of potential sports cars was the upcoming Corvette Stingray and the current Nissan GT-R
He stopped by one local Nissan dealership to check out the GT-R for himself. The staff at the dealership seemed to be from the “pinky ring and gold chain” crowd as AJ described it but the manager was nice and gave him a quick tour around “godzilla. Unfortunately, the weather was bad that day so he never went on a test drive.
Later, he was contacted by a sales rep from the Orr Nissan dealership in Corinth, TX. The rep invited AJ to check out a 2013 GT-R they had in stock. The listed price seemed like a good deal so AJ took them up on their offer and went out to the location of the car which was actually a good 50 miles away from Corinth, in Greenville, TX.
Once he reached the location he was told only a manager could show him the car. Once he finally met said manager he immediately informed AJ he could only test drive the car after filling out a credit application and being approved for financing. AJ promptly expressed his displeasure of being subjected to a credit check for a car he wasn’t even sure he wanted and then left the dealership after some choice words were exchanged.
AJ happened to have a friend who works in the legal dept at Nissan corporate and she informed him that the “credit before drive” policy is something being adapted by many OEMs with their dealerships. AJ says he has never been asked to do such a thing when shopping at Mercedes or Porsche dealerships. Frustrated, he vented to his fellow forum members.
Many users agreed that the practice smacks of “poor business etiquette” and that they have never been subjected to such a thing in their past dealings. However a user “YellowBull” who also happens to be a GM of a dealership chimed in and made some good points.
YellowBull’s take is with a car like the GT-R which is just as popular with young broke college kids as it is with affluent older adults, dealerships need to take measures to weed out the “tire kickers” and joy ride seekers, from serious buyers.
But AJ was a serious buyer and the whole experience has turned him off to GT-R’s period. What do you think? Would you be willing to submit a credit application to test drive a GT-R? Or do you think its wrong for dealers to demand such a thing from customers, even if it is in regards to a high-dollar sports car?
In a little less than an hour Nissan will launch a live press announcement concerning the future of NISMO worldwide. Up to now little is known and in the original press release CEO Carlos Ghosn was pretty vague on the what this would be about. We do know that the announcement has something to do with NISMO’s future motorsport plans but they might also announce a few new NISMO badged vehicles. Honestly I have no idea.
The good news is that we can find out together! Just scroll down for the live stream of the press announcement!
UPDATE: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn just announced that in the next 12 months there will be a “GT-R NISMO”
UPDATE #2: Here is the official Press Release on the GT-R NISMO
YOKOHAMA, Japan – NISMO is planning to work its magic on the famed Nissan GT-R as the flagship of a new range of performance models.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd announced today that NISMO, its dedicated global performance road car and motorsports arm, is developing a new, higher-powered road version of the iconic Nissan GT-R.
The GT-R NISMO will be the third NISMO-badged model to emerge from Nissan’s performance-oriented brand as part of a strategy to add a range of exciting, innovative performance models across the Nissan range.
NISMO, with a new global headquarters near Yokohama, Japan officially opening today, already has deep experience in developing and preparing the Nissan GT-R for the racetrack. That expertise will go into creating GT-R NISMO.
“It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of NISMO road cars without including the GT-R,” said Nissan President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. “The standard road car is a global supercar and the GT-R’s performance on track reflects the passion and talents of the NISMO team. The GT-R NISMO will be special and I can’t wait to drive it.”
Already a legendary name to millions of video gamers and motorsports fans around the world thanks to Sony’s Gran Turismo® video racing series and Skyline’s on-track success since 1969, it’s no wonder that, together with acclaim for its road-going versions from leading automotive publications, the GT-R has achieved cult status.
The NISMO team’s intimate knowledge comes from their involvement in racing the GT-R and is a good precursor to the development of the new NISMO road car.
“We know that enthusiasts around the world will be itching to know more about the forthcoming GT-R NISMO,” said NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani. “It’s too early to share any details yet, but fans can be certain we’ll be applying all of our motorsport expertise to creating a GT-R NISMO worthy of the name.”
The current production 2014 model year Nissan GT-R has received evolutionary design and engineering enhancements based around feedback from competing in last year’s 24-Hours Nürburgring, and its success in Super GT and Global GT series.
As a result, the vehicle’s overall performance has been dramatically increased, high-speed stability improved and ride quality vastly more refined.
In development now, the new GT-R NISMO will sit at the top of the new Nissan NISMO range of performance vehicles, and be available alongside the standard model in Nissan’s specialized GT-R dealerships next year.
Technical specifications and performance figures will be released closer to launch.