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Mar 31, 2010

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Bernie's Top 10 Vehicles: The Toyota FJ Cruiser



Of course, this is on my "must test drive" list...

The Toyota FJ Cruiser was originally a concept car and then it was green lighted for production form. It's considered a retro-style compact SUV, and thanks to the response of the consumers, production began in early 2006.

Let's talk specs, shall we???

The FJ Cruiser is working with
  • 4.0L 1GR-FE DOHC V6 Engine with 239 hp.
  • Available in 6-speed Manual (Full time Four Wheel Drive) or 5-speed Automatic (Part time Four Wheel Drive or Full time Rear Wheel Drive)
  • 0-60: 7.8 seconds
  • 60-0 (Breaking): 126.6 ft
  • Top Speed: 120 mph
  • MPG: 17 city and 22 highway with a 19 gallon fuel tank for the Automatic. Manual is a little different (15 city and 19 highway)



  • Exterior: Two-tone exterior color (color-keyed body with white roof top)
    Multi-reflector halogen headlamps
    Black bumpers with metallic silver trim
    Silver-painted mirrors
    Washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers
    Rear window defogger with intelligent timer
    Rear-hatch glass window with release lever
    Two full doors and two access doors with silver-trim door handles (Suicide Door style)
    Black overfenders with integrated mud flaps (Mud flaps bother me, I always think of pickup trucks)
    (5) 17 inches with the vehicle. (Note: The spare is a full size tire)

    (Photo from carbodydesign.com)

  • Interior: The same stuff that any SUV would have: Flat dash panels with pipe-like structure with silver instrument-panel trim
    color-keyed center instrument-panel trim
    Tilt 3-spoke steering wheel with silver trim
    Analog instrument meters with backlit white surface area on tachometer, speedometer, fuel, temp and volt meters
    CFC-free air conditioning
    AM/FM/MP3 CD player with six speakers
    Auxiliary audio jack
    Dual sun visors with driver's side vanity mirrors
    Four cup holders and two bottle holders
    Power windows and door locks
    Fabric-trimmed 8-way manual-adjustable driver's seat with armrest
    Fabric-trimmed 4-way manual-adjustable passenger seat with seatback pocket
    Fabric-trimmed 60/40 split rear seats with tumble/removable bottom cushion and fold-down seatback
    Key cylinder light
    Rear window defogger, and more

  • As far as recalls are concerned: Surprisingly there's not a lot, and it wasn't affected by the "Sticking Accelerator Petal" recall earlier this year.
Other than the two that were customized at Unique Autosports, I have yet to see one customized (Which is what I love). If I were to get this vehicle, this is what I would do to it: Buy it in Black Diamond and black it all out. Black out the white roof top. Upgrade the audio system by making it the six disc changer, change the front hazard lights from orange to clear, black out the tail lights, get a custom spare tire cover, and throw some black 22’s on it. I looked at the photos of the FJ Cruiser on Toyota.com, and they were all off-roading. Sorry, but off-roading to me is driving on a pothole covered street of Manhattan. I’m just sayin…

2010 New York International Auto Show is just a few days away

Mar 30, 2010



I'm not being biased, but the New York International Auto Show is the only Auto Show (other than Detroit) that matters the most. Here's why: If a car makes it's "North American Debut", 75% (if not more) debuts in New York, followed by Detroit. Example: the car I've been waiting to see, the Nissan Juke (Don't judge), makes it's debut at the 2010 New York Auto Show. The same car will not be seen at the AJC International Car Show, until 2011, IF Nissan shows up that year. (I say that because Nissan didn't show up to the 2010 one).

Let me rewind the tapes a little. Even though Car and Automobile means virtually the same thing, an Auto Show and a Car Show are two different shows. Car Shows tend to customized vehicles (I.E. Dub, Hot Import Nights, NOPI, Funkmaster Flex), while Auto Shows are primarily stock vehicles as well as Concept vehicles that may not get the green light for production (Still crying over the Chrysler Imperial). Got it???

Alright, back to the NYIAS. The New York International Auto Show will be held to the public April 2-11 (Open on Easter, you know New Yorkers don't take a day off for NOTHING), but media has two days before (March 31 and April 1st), and I'll be a part of media next year.

Production Car Introductions are:
  • 2011 Acura TSX Sport Wagon
  • 2011 BMW 335is (North American debut)
  • 2011 BMW X5
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze RS package
  • 2011 Hyundai Equus
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata Turbo
  • 2011 Infiniti QX56
  • 2011 Kia Optima
  • 2011 Lexus CT200h (North American debut)
  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
  • 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (North American debut)
  • 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX
And the one vehicle I'm waiting to see in person, the 2011 Nissan Juke (as it makes it's North American debut) Location: It's always at the Jacob Javits Convention Center which is on 11th Ave, up the street from Chelsea Piers and the Bentley of Manhattan Dealership. (Javits Convention Center Photo by Jim Henderson/Wikipedia)

Bernie's Safety Tip: If you'se going to walk to the Auto Show from your hotel/ nearest subway stop, BE CAREFUL around the Lincoln Tunnel entrance ramp, because it is not far from the Convention Center. Sometimes NYPD is there to direct traffic, and sometimes they're not, so pay attention when you'se crossing the street, unless if you'se want to get cursed out.

I'm going to the 2011 New York International Show, but until then....

Who wouldn't want to design their own show car?????

Mar 28, 2010

I'm dying to do my own show car, especially after my favorite sports team.



My vision would be to have a car based off of the 2009 World Champions and the sports team that has had the most championships in the history of Sports. If you know me, you know I love the New York Yankees, (Hometown pride, you know) so why not do a Yankees vehicle. When I crashed Unique Autosports one day (When they were on LI), I talked to Will's Cousin, Pete, about it and he said that he's seen some Yankees vehicles, but they weren't fully customized.

I googled "customized Yankees cars" and the most customized vehicle that I've found was a Ford Mustang that was up for auction. The purpose was to commemorate the opening of the brand new Yankees Stadium. It's a 2010 Convertible Ford Mustang GT painted white with blue pinstripes and the emblems on it. The interior is stock, the wheels are stock, the only thing is that Derek Jeter signed the dashboard.

(photo courtesy of Absolute Auctions & Reality)

I know mine will be different. Originally I had my heart set on using my beloved Betsey ('94 Corolla) but because of Pops, she met with an early death. So I'm not sure of the make and model of the vehicle that I want to create this masterpiece, but I do know it'll be white with blue pinstripes, white rims with blue accents, emblems and "New York Yankees" written on it. I'm going to change the performance aspect, suicide doors, custom dash, gauges, audio system, etc. I know I'm being general, but I don't want dudes showing up to the Funkmaster Flex Car Show with my idea. Sorry, but you know....

Alright, if you want to see more photos of the 2010 Yankees Mustang, click here (Abosulte Auctions & Reality) to see more photos of the vehicle. P.S. Check out the hotness in photo 74, I'm referring to the tall guy on the right, in the white outfit, and the red hat...

Update: Young Dro’s Cadillac Escalade EXT

Mar 26, 2010



*Note: These photos were taken June 2008 at Big Kuntry’s video shoot “The Baddest” in Atlanta.


At ANY Grand Hustle video shoot, you know there has to be cameos from whoever is affiliated with the label. Even though the song is Kuntry’s and it featured Trey Songz, it didn’t hurt that T.I.P, Lil’ Duval, DJ Drama, Xtacy, Fantasia (Well you know her brother is signed to the label as well), as well as the owner of this vehicle.



Dro pulls up in his 2007-2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT that was customized in a different way… I’ve never seen rose gold accents on a vehicle, but I’m all for originally. Let’s break this down…



Like I said before, instead of the silver accents, he went with rose gold accents. He added the accents to the side mirrors, rose gold to the air vents, rose gold door handles, rose gold to the running boards, rose gold… rose gold…. rose gold.



Dro put Asanti wheels on his truck… and made them rose gold. Because of lack of space in the wheel well, they look like they’re 26 inches, maybe 28s.

On the back of the vehicle, over the EXT, he added his name with the Iced Out Emblemz and made them sparkle.



Finally… the grille. He kept it stock… to a certain point. He rose gold it out, even the vent behind the grill. And instead of the Cadillac logo, he put his own.



Bless his heart, but I have two questions: Does he still have this truck, and if he does, what does in the interior look like??? And I've seen him a million times after I took these photos...

Update: He does still have this truck...



Told you. And this was just an ordinary day with Grand Hustle. And with them, it's never just an ordinary day. For more photos from this day, head to Just an ordinary day with Grand Hustle gallery @betrueatl.com

Bernie's Top 10 Vehicles.

Mar 25, 2010

Since I'm gonna talk about vehicles, shouldn't I post my top 10 vehicles??? I will break them down by specs, how I would customize it, and all that other good stuff, down the line. But FOR NOW, here's my random list.

  • Yukon Denali Hybrid (GMC heard my suggestion, yes!!!!)
  • Nissan Juke (Not out yet, but you know...)
  • Bentley Continental GT Speed (The word "Speed" makes a difference, stay tuned)
  • Range Rover Sport (Not sure about the Supercharged)
  • Mercedes CLS 500
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • BMW 645i
  • Mid 90's Civic
  • My old school pick: 1955 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible (Reason behind it is coming.)
  • **Note: Don't judge by the way I'm gonna put it, but the latest Hood Favorite Vehicle. Once I break down Hood Fav, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Stay tuned, Sunshines.....

Bernie's Test Drive: 2011 Kia Sorento V-6

Mar 24, 2010



So at the AJC International Car Show, they have it where you can test drive a Kia Sorento. I wanted to do it because I've never driven a Kia and I've seen them on the road, but personally, I'm not familiar with them. Let's talk specs first...

I burned rubber in the 3.5-liter V6 with 273 horsepower that has a six-speed automatic transmission.
Gas milage: 19 (city)/ 25 (highway)... (Must be nice...)
It goes from 0-60 in 9.6 seconds. (Laughs)
The interior looks more spacious than the exterior, but the third row KILLS the trunk space.
Navigational System, Six Disc Changer, Panoramic sunroof, Push button-start ignition.

There's no need for me to go on, and here's why.

Honestly speaking, the Kia Sorento isn't the crossover for me. I liked the interior (since it was black, seats were comfy, ehhh) But there wasn't anything overly spectacular. Anything that was considered spectacular in the Kia, can be added to my Envoy (ie, Navigational System, Disc Changer, Push button-start ignition, etc).

If you're one of those people who doesn't drive alot, and when they do, they need room for their things, or if you don't want a lot of options in your vehicle, then yes, the Kia Sorento is for you. But for Bernie, I'll pass...

For more information for the Kia Sorento, shimmy over to The Official Website of Kia Sorento

Give me some feedback...

Ridin Music: Yung Joc feat. Lil' Wayne "Drip"

Mar 23, 2010



Such a gorgeous picture of Joc. Yung Joc surprised me (in a good way) with this song that features Lil' Wayne. It's obvious that I like the song enough to put it on here, but honestly, I wasn't a fan of the chorus. (Like I said, keep it 100. I'm not a "yes" chick or "that's hot" chick. Overall, good song. You know the deal, click on the photo above for the link if you want to download it...

Ridin Music: Ludacris feat. Nicki Minaj "My Chick Bad"

Mar 22, 2010




Alright, I've been riding around to this for a few days, so I might as well post it.

Off Of Ludacris' new album, Battle of the Sexes, one of the tracks is "My Chick's Bad" feat. New York's own, Nicki Minaj. You can listen to the song, and if you'se like it, feel free to download it. (Click on the photo for the download link.)


Recapping 2009 "Funkmaster Flex" Car Show in Louisville, KY

Mar 21, 2010

I put Funkmaster Flex in quotes cause he didn’t show. I went to this show because I thought Flex was going to be there and also cause I’ve never been to KY. I immediately thought that the show was gonna be a bunch of barely customized cars and that was it. I’m happy to say that Louisville proved me wrong.

Corvette
One of my favs was the Yellow Corvette. It was actually customized- multiple speakers and TVs in the doors,

Corvette
Yellow and Black interior, ostrich on the seats,

Corvette
big screen TV and speakers in the trunk. Look at the photos I took…

Dough Boy Monte CarloCorvetteCorvette
Another customized fav was the Dough Boy Fresh Monte Carlo. I like how the interior was coordinated and CLEAN. Everything matches wile keeping the old school appeal to it.


But the best vehicle here isn’t meant for the highway. This six year old boy has an Escalade EXT. Let’s run down the list…

Toy Escalade
Custom paint job
Custom exhaust
Custom Interior
Tinted windows
Navigational System
Custom wheels and…
An audio system that sounds better than what’s in some people’s cars.

Toy EscaladeToy Escalade

If this is what Franco’s truck looks like now, wait until he gets his first real set of wheels. I’m just sayin….

Of course, there were the vehicles that made you wonder what the owner was thinking:
H2
like the H2 on Daytons,
Escalade
the hideous body kit on this Escalade

Tahoe

and the Tahoe with the ridiculous rear bumper.

To see more photos from this show, click here….

NOPI's Back and They're Coming to Atlanta... and other cities.


The company that showed me what a real car show is, is FINALLY Back!!!!!!!!! After a three loooooooonnnnnnnnnng year break, NOPI will be back in Atlanta and a few other places. The two day show will include drag racing, car shows (Yay!!!!), models (Please leave the raggity ones at home. I'm not suppose to look better than the models.), music, and more. Here's the schedule as follows:


1. New England Dragway Epping, NH 7/2-7/3/2010
2. ETown Dragway Englishtown, NJ 7/24-7/25/2010 (They should have just said NJ instead of NY. Englishtown is 45 miles away from City Hall in Manhattan or 54 miles from both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. I got to look out of my New Yorkers.)
3. Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, GA 7/31-8/1/2010
4. Miami, FL 8/13-8/14/2010
5. Angel Stadium Anaheim, CA 8/21-8/22/2010
6. Chicago, IL TBD
7. Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, NV 9/17-9/18/2010

My First Car Show: 2007 NOPI Nationals

Mar 20, 2010

The first show I've ever attended spoiled me greatly. At first, I thought I was attending the Funkmaster Flex Car Show in Atlanta, then when I got there, it was the NOPI Nationals with Flex having a small part of the show. Despite the slightly hefty admission fee ($45 for one day, $55 for two days), it was worth it.

Envoy
Like every show, there's cars that entered who didn't have any customizations done to it (Don't you just hate that), but the stock vehicles were few and far between, thank god. There were vehicles that you don't normally see customized- Like this GMC Envoy (NO, this isn't mine)

Expedition
Hardwood floors inside of an Expedition.


Mazdas with crazy sound systems that don't allow for passengers.


Girly Honda Civics done right (I better not catch a dude driving driving this)


Love the LV seats!!!


The Mitsubishi Eclipse with the metal floors that coordinate with the rest of the vehicle.


And my favorite, the Dodge Charger that will cost a lot to make it stock again.

Going to NOPI as my first car show was well worth it, but I thought that all car shows were going to be like that. Was I wrong or what???? I LOVED NOPI, and too bad that was the last time NOPI came to Atlanta, whice forced me to be subjected to HORRIBLE car shows like the V-103 Car and Bike Concert in Atlanta. Yeah, I said it...

For more photos from this show, you can go to my gallery on my site

Ridin to The King Is Back...

If I'm gonna be talking about cars, why not provide links to some songs that I would play in my vehicle. It's only right, it's only fair. I'm not gonna post garbage, and I'm keeping it 100...


Tip



To kick off the Ridin Music section, why not provide a new song from T.I. called "I'm Back" (Click on the image to get the link). There will be A LOT more Ridin Music cause I always have a lot of music in the Envoy. Exclusives and favorites, but never garbage.

Let Bernie Test Drive Some Vehicles!!!!!

Mar 19, 2010

You ever notice how when you read reviews on vehicles, they don't tell you some of the important details. I, along with millions of other people, live in a city, which means the gas milage is just as important as the MSRP. Even worse, the city that I live in once had a gas shortage, just a few short years ago. Unless is you're one of those "Keeping Up With the Joneses, or in some cases, the Kardashians (You know you watch the show, don't deny it)", like what Atlanta is filled with, things should be taken into account before you "sign and drive". And I hate how most professional test drives are always done on the open road. Sorry, not all of us live in Montana.

For example:

  • How comfy are those seats with you're stuck in traffic or on road trips???

  • How good does Young Jeezy sound through the stock audio system???

  • Can the vehicle handle riding on the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for those who don't know New York), actually the question should be Does the driver know how to drive on the BQE. I say that cause not every driver can drive in NY without getting into a bunch of accidents.

  • And if you're a driver like me: How much higher will your insurance be since you bought ___________________ (fill make and model here)

    I gotta know how smooth the ride is, how plush the seats are, and how good does "Reasonable Doubt" and "Paper Trail" sound before I make my final decisions. I know those albums I named aren't Jeezy albums, but as much as I like him, he can't get that much shine. Sorry Jay.

    My list of vehicles that I want to test drive is coming soon, and by test drive, I don't mean going to the dealership, pretending that I want to buy one, and getting a 10 minute test drive. No, I want the assignment test drive where you get the keys for the day or week and have to write an article about it. And I will write an article about it.
  • Tom Tom's Gangsta Twist...

    Mar 11, 2010

    This has been out for months, but I wanted to give my take on it. So the Tom Tom GPS folks decided to use Snoop's voice instead of that annoying GPS voice to help direct you on where you gotta go. Also, if you'se not familiar with LA (Like me), he can also point you to some of his favorite places. Basically, you can ride with Snoop for $13 (obviously not including the price of the Tom Tom) I love it!!!! And here's why: I'm familiar with Snoop, however, he's not my favorite rapper, but he's had some great songs and he would be the best person for it. Snoop is a personable person and most importantly, he has a distinct, recognizable voice along with his own vernacular (Chuuuuch on tha move), so that's why I love it. Honestly speaking, I'm one of the few people who don't need a GPS (meaning: I can follow directions and read a map), but I would buy one just to hear Snoop tell me how to get to wherever I need to go to in Atlanta, New York, or whatever city that I terrorize with my driving.  Thought of the moment: If you make a wrong turn, will Snoop curse you out???

    "Girls don't shoot cars, Girls stand next to cars and lie on them..."

    The title to this post is very stupid, cause guys still think like that... and this was a quote in an article.

    My name is Bernadette, and for a long, long time, I was called Bernie for short. Growing up, I wasn't like typical girls. At the age of 5, I picked up my first camera and at the age of 8, I discovered my love for cars. Guys would assume that my love for cars and photography came from my dad, but sadly my father is too, too conservative to appreciate cars or the arts. Lucky me...

    Since September 2007, I've been hooked on car shows. That month, I attended my first show- NOPI Nationals/Funkmaster Flex Car Show in Atlanta, GA. After that show, I started going to more and more car shows, and slowly fazing out the events and productions that I once covered in the Metro Atlanta Area.

    I started Doing Donuts With Bernie as a way to get my feet wet since I wanted to put on my own car show. As I continued blogging, my motive behind Doing Donuts With Bernie changed. I honestly love going to car shows all over the country. My dream job would literally be to go around the world to cover car shows- regardless of what type of show or which crowd they cater to. I've been to lowrider shows, import shows, old school/hot rod shows, and hood shows (you know- donks, boxes, SUVs, Camaros, Chargers, etc). No matter what type of car show it is, it shares the same theory- I consider the customization of a car or even the purchase of a specific car a form of self-expression, basically like an art form. Going to car shows in different locations are fun- you get to meet people and you get to see a different way of doing things.

    I still have a lot of things up my sleeve with what I want to do with this blog, because I do believe that my vision will come alive.

    By no means do I claim to know everything about the auto industry. I'm just a girl who loves cars and how people customize them. This site is based on of my opinion and those I interview, it is not set in stone.

    "You Talkin To Me???"

    Mar 10, 2010










    Here's my contact info. If you want to reach me by email, facebook, youtube, rss feed, twitter, or my photography page, here you go.

    ****





    ** Please Note: If you want to contact me for upcoming car shows, advertising/sponsorship, or questions send me an email to DoingDonutsWithBernie@gmail.com. If you're gonna use my email address to send me your demo to pass to _____________ (insert rapper, producer, DJ, label CEO's name here), trust and believe that I will delete it. This isn't an open mic blog.)
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