Category Archives: Manufacturer news

Scion Coming to SEMA

SEMA Signage
SEMA Show in Las Vegas

Toyota’s Scion brand is prepping for the upcoming SEMA Show in a big way by teasing out two sketches of some customized, tricked out Scion’s. Scion will showcase in Las Vegas at least two models; a Slayer Mobile Amp tC themed after trash metal band Slayer and a Riley Hawk Skate Tour xB named for the pro skateboarder.

Scion

Scion’s have always branded and positioned themselves as an entry market for coming of age drivers and buyers and offer many ways to customize the cars right off the dealer’s lot.
Last year Toyota had some neat racer inspired cars plus a “Tanked” Highlander which we showcased here. Now we’ll have to be sure and check out the Scion cars this year!

Scion SlayerSlayer

You’d expect a Slayer dedicated show car to focus on the music and you wouldn’t be wrong.

The music is going to be pumping out of this tC for sure. Slayer is a California formed heavy metal band and has won two Grammy awards. It will be interesting to see if any of the four band members make it out for the debut of this Scion.

Riley Hawk

Riley Hawk’s ride, an xB, will present a flashback to the 70’s van craze. His ride will have shag carpet, bubble windows and wood paneling on the interior. Can’t wait to see it in person at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. There is bound to be enough room for his skateboard in this tricked out Scion!Scion Hawk

Riley Hawk is the son of Tony Hawk, who revolutionized skateboarding on the West Coast. Riley is only 21 years of age and is already an award winning skater, but suspect Dad had to explain what shag carpeting was about!

SEMA

The sketches are a bit limited in presenting what the final version will look like, but can’t wait to see the outcomes in a month at the SEMA Show. We’ll keep our eye peeled for more progress updates.

 

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Artwork courtesy of Toyota ©

 

i3 from BMW San Diego spotted

i3

i3 passenger side 2

The i3 is BMW’s answer to the hybrid world.  It is the all electric answer from Germany for sustainable cars.  But seeing these cars in person, might be harder than finding a public accessible plug in spot!

i3 carbon body and carbon footprint

The i3 uses carbon fiber strengthened plastic in the body panels and the use of electricity and their lithium ion battery should lower the carbon footprint of the car that goes 0-60 in seven seconds.  Electric cars are known for their instant on thrust/torque.

i3 BMW passenger side

I3 spotted

Recently while on assignment in San Diego, we spotted TWO i3’s – also on assignment.  They were running around the harbor of San Diego Bay, presumably involved in a commercial spot.  These cars are still pretty rare and mainly hitting the car shows try to prime the pump.  My guess is the video may even end up on the cutting room floor, if that is where they discard digital footage these days.

Photo car

Photo car 2

While you are looking at these shots, take a look at the tricked out photo car –  Porsche.  the flat black paint helps to reduce reflections in the car model and the long extended boom allows for a variety of action shots.

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Barrett-Jackson Florida Update

Barrett-Jackson wrapped up their three days of car auctions on Sunday with sales exceeding $25 million in sales for over 500 vehicles.  The auction was held in Palm Beach, Florida and crowds were evident throughout the auction.  The prices were right and seven cars linked to charities sold for over $2.25 million dollars.

Detroit Muscle

Among the cars being auctioned off were Chevrolet’s first 2015 Camaro Z/28 for $500,000, a 2013 Mustang from the Hollywood film, Need for Speed went for $300,000 and the first production 2015 Z06 Corvette went for a smooth $1 million dollars!

Three Preview Cars from Barrett-Jackson Did Well

Previously we previewed three classics to keep an eye on and the prices sure were high for these beauties.

DSCN3364

The 57 fuel injected Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible went for $110,000.

DSCN3358

The 1971 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible went for $104,500.

DSCN3359

The silver 1967 Corvette coupe went for $165,000

Not bad for just three cars!

Barrett-Jackson TV Coverage Changes for 2015

Perhaps responding to complaints/concerns of their recent coverage on a variety of Fox stations, Barrett-Jackson announced that starting in 2015 with their Scottsdale auction the television coverage will be on Discovery and the Velocity channel.  That might be a better linkage for the car auction, especially with the heavy emphasis that Velocity gives to cars and restoration shows.  Wonder who the reporters will be?

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Teens Drive Smart Kicks Off with Bridgestone

Teens Drive Smart is a half day safe driving course focused on young drivers.  Four different times are offered on a weekend and allows youths to learn more about safe driving habits and get behind the wheel of a BMW 328i to practice what they are taught.

Teens Drive Smart

The course is offered FREE of charge and gives parents another chance to make their child safer behind the wheel.  Sometimes a youngster will listen more to outsiders than a parent.  Last year the course was offered at seven locations across the country

Registration

The course is offered FREE of charge but often fills up quickly.  Interested teens can sign up now and I encourage readers to sign up early, before the courses are closed.  More information can be found here

Bridgestone

Tire manufacturer Bridgestone sponsors this course and is part of their safety outreach.  Our own two sons attended a similar half day course back in the day and they appreciated the chance to drive a road course and try out some evasive moves without a risk (or wearing out my tires).

Sites where Teens Drive Smart will be held

This year the course will be offered in at least twelve sites starting with Phoenix, Arizona.  They also will be at Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami and Nashville.  There is also a chance for other sites to be added and you can be notified of the full schedule here.

Here’s some photos from a “similar” course sponsored by Bridgestone at the previous Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, AZ

 

And some in car views of the BMW’s in action

Bridgestone In BMW View

Bridgestone in BMW View 2

Another View from in car

 

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Tanked works on a Highlander

Tanked is a popular show on the Animal Planet where two brothers-in-law working in Las Vegas make custom fish tanks.  Their skill and ingenuity is enviable.

Toyota Highlander
Highlander morphed by Tanked

Las Vegas

Seems appropriate that the firm is based in Las Vegas, which is also the home for the SEMA Show.  At last year’s show, Toyota showed off a SpongeBob and SquarePants themed Highlander with the interior dedicated to a fish tank.  The 800 gallon tank consumes most of the interior of  the spacious Toyota Highlander.

The engine was removed and replaced with the pumps and filters for the aquarium.

Toyota Highlander

The representatives from Toyota were very pleased with the outcome  and is a big hit with the younger kids.  You had to look close to realize that there were actual fish swimming around in the tank.  Twenty species were in the tank including starfish and clown fish.

The exterior artwork on the Highlander mimicked the SpongBob SquarePants theme as well

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Corvettes at Barrett-Jackson Auctions

Corvettes Rule

The number one manufacturer offered for sale at Barrett-Jackson?  Consistently, year after year – Chevrolet.  The number one model – no contest – the Corvette!

The Barrett-Jackson Auction starts on Tuesday, January 14th, and over the six days of car sales , with over 1400 vehicles offered up for sale – 136 will be Corvettes!  Hands down the Corvette will be the number one model sold.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that the Corvette, covering seven generations (or model changes), has been around since 1953.  But this is still a huge tribute to the American sports car.

Here are just a few pictures to whet your appetite – enjoy the sneak preview and let us know which is your favorite.

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Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro selling at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage Does It Again

Gas Monkey Garage, from Dallas and the stars of Fast N’ Loud on the Discovery Channel, will be auctioning off their last COPO Camaro at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale on Saturday January 17th during the first of two “prime time” schedules for that day.

Gas Monkey Garage COPO Camaro
Driver side view

COPO Camaro

The COPO Camaro was developed by Chevrolet to be a drag strip car and certified to NHRA certification levels.  Each year Chevy sells 69 units, which are NOT street legal, by way of a lottery system.  This past year Richard Rawlings and his partner bought out an additional 20 chassis’s from Chevrolet which are considered CRC- Certified Race Chassis.  So these come with the power train components.  Gas Monkey Garage then offered them for sale with either the buyer adding on the optional go fast components or leave with just the chassis.Gas Monkey Grage COPO Camaro Interior

Barrett-Jackson Auction

At the 2013 Reno Barrett-Jackson auction they sold a similar COPO Camaro, but one that Rawlings and his financial backer actually had a hand in building and was featured on Fast N’ Loud.

Of the twenty originally available only this one and a rolling chassis are left.  The one being auctioned lists as being the only one with the Gas Monkey Garage decals.  This one is offered at auction with a three speed automatic transmission instead of the more traditional two speeds.  And they stuffed a 454 LSX engine under the hood.

At the auction Barrett-Jackson has set up two time slots for their Salon Collection cars on Saturday.  The first will be from 1-3 (local time MST) and shown on the Fox Channel.  Probably the first time a car auction has been shown on nationwide television by a big four broadcaster.  They then have a second two hour block on Saturday shown on the National geographic Channel from 5-7 MST.

Prediction?

This COPO Camaro will be the third one sold.  The one in Reno sold for $137,500.    What do you think this one sells for?  Their web site shows the remaining rolling chassis originally was selling for $85,000  and now offered for $75,000.

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Photos Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson