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Sometimes You Have to Take A Step Back to Get Ahead....

Nov 24, 2010

I started this blog in March, and it's designed to be about cars, but from a female perspective. I jumped in head first to allow myself to get a feel for it. I will admit, I've made some mistakes but overall, I did well.

Between March and now, I've met with a lot of people, but three guys gave me some pointless thoughts. One guy was telling me how I should interview rappers to tell where they came from and how they're able to afford the cars that they have. That's all well and good, but everyone does it. From other car magazines to the magazines that cater to that particular genre that the artist is categorized in. And then he said that I should have an up-and-coming rappers section on my site. I live in Atlanta, where the majority of people have "a boy who can rap". I'm not an A&R, this isn't a music blog, it's an automotive blog. The whole "Ridin Music" section is if you want some music to listen to while you're riding around, if you want to see about up-and-coming rappers, read Ozone and XXL magazines, not an automotive site.

One guy told me that I should ride around parking lots of clubs and take photos of the cars. Most of those Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Maseratis, Aston Martins, Mercedes S550s, BMW 760Lis, etc that are in club parking lots, are RENTED or in danger of BEING REPOSSESSED !!!! Some guys rent vehicles just for show- like going to the club to see if they can pick up a simple minded girl. Some people live outside of their means and buy Range Rovers and Escalades and don't have anywhere to live, and I know some people who fall in this category.

Another guy said that I shouldn't write at all, and I should just stick to photography, and kept telling me all these things that I should do, and also he was bragging about all the things he wants to do with an automotive magazine that he wants to start, but I still never heard of the magazine that he owns.

Sadly, there's are all real situations. Everyone wants to share their two cents, but their two cents doesn't mean anything if you don't follow through with it. Everyone has ideas. I'm opened to ideas. However: I'm not open to those who talk a good game, but stuff on their end isn't up to par.

I'm not giving up on this site. The step I'm taking back is to correct some mistakes that were made, so that I can bring this blog to the level to where I know it can be.

Mark my words: January 3rd 2011, expect the relaunch of Doing Donuts With Bernie. With the relaunch, you will see: more car show coverage (what the majority of the blog will be dedicated to), some familiar faces (and yes, that does mean household names), as well as shop reviews, test drives, product reviews, and more.

See you'se January 3rd... and Happy Holidays...

Catching Up With Cam of Optima Batteries

Nov 19, 2010



At SEMA, I had my choice of hundreds and hundreds of auto related companies to converse with. When I first started this blog, I reached out many companies and few returned my emails. One of the few companies that did reply happened to be Optima Batteries, and they've kept me in the loop with whatever was going on within the company, even before I registered for SEMA.

But, if you're a little fuzzy on Optima Batteries, I can summarize their company in one sentence- "Optima is a well respected battery company". How do I know that? Their site didn't say it, but I've been to enough car shows, all over the country. I've seen thousands of popped hoods on all types of vehicles, and the most common battery happens to be Optima. I need to have an Optima Battery in my Envoy, but I'll get one shortly.



With that in mind, I made sure I headed to the Optima Batteries area, and I had the pleasure of speaking with Cam, the Director of Product Development and Marketing for Optima Batteries.



Isn't Cam a natural?

I did find an interesting video on youtube about Optima Batteries:




Twenty years with the same battery. If you're a destructive driver (a car wrecker like those on wreckedexotics.com), technically, an Optima Battery can outlast a car.

P.S. Most car enthusiasts use the yellow batteries, but Cam said that I would need a red one to start out with, and when I start to add extra electronical goodies, then I'll have to bump it up to yellow (like what most people have).

Check out this customized Chevy Trailblazer by Custom Chrome

Nov 18, 2010

As we all know, the Chevy Trailblazer is the twin cousin to the GMC Envoy, which means that anything that can be done to the Trailblazer, can be done to an Envoy, so as I saw this, I started to get some ideas.

Check this out...










But I know you want to know more about it, so here's Juan of Custom Chrome of Chicago:



If they could add that horsepower to my Envoy...

Revisiting the Hyundai Equus

Nov 16, 2010

I lightly touched on the Hyundai Equus last week, but now I can talk about since I've seen it, etc.



At the mother of all car shows, SEMA, the Hyundai Equus was reintroduced again, as well as it's more modified sibling, the Dub Edition version. The factory edition is equipped with more than enough options, because it's designed to rival the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8, and the Lexus LS.



At the actual SEMA event, the Dub Edition Hyundai Equus was on the floor, and then one day after SEMA, there was a Hyundai event where you could see the Equus upclose and hopefully drive it. After seeing them both in person, if I had my choice of the two, I would have to go with the Dub Edition and here's why...



For the amenities that the Equus provides, the exterior looks rather plain. The exterior lacks the sleekness that the interior provides. If it looked like the Genesis with what the Equus provides, I would put it on my dream list. Dub didn't do much modifications to the interior because it didn't need it except for the seats.



But I will admit, for Hyundai to price the Equus at a little under $60,000, you do get an awful lot of bonus goodies in one vehicle. The Equus is priced far below it's competition, even the top of the line model (roughly $65,000) provides more value per dollar than its rivals.

Because this is the first time the Equus has appeared in the United States, I'm thinking that the first year's sales would be sluggish. The reason behind that statement would be when you first hear Hyundai, you automatically of the Accent, Sonata, Elantra, etc. Since they're tapping into unfamiliar territory (the luxury market), Americans would have to get used to it. Now in Europe and Asia, that's a different story because the Equus isn't a new model vehicle overseas.

In Vegas, I did have the opportunity to speak with Kimatni of Automotive Rhythms about the Hyundai Equus and he was so kind enough to give everyone a tour of the vehicle...



One day I'll test drive this car, but until then....

New Destinations for the 2012 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Nov 15, 2010



I'd figured that since Bentley redesigned the GT, I knew that the redesigning of the Flying Spur was just around the bend.

The Continental Flying Spur and its sporting stablemate the 200mph (322km/h) Flying Spur Speed are the most successful four-door Grand Tourers in Bentley’s history and among the best-selling ultra-luxury saloons in the world.

Since its launch, the Flying Spur has achieved extraordinary sales success across the globe in traditional markets like the USA, the Middle East and UK as well as emerging luxury markets such as China and Russia.



The Flying Spur has attracted a new generation of luxury car buyers to the Bentley marque and has played a pivotal role in the company’s revitalisation. The Flying Spur’s blend of craftsmanship, dynamic performance, style and practicality appeals in equal measure to those who demand an exciting driving experience and those seeking refinement and comfort.

Now the luxurious style of the Flying Spur is even more compelling with the introduction of a range of dramatic Series 51 designs, first seen on the Continental GT and GTC. Customers of both the Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed models may now select from a range of 14 Series 51 designs, recommended by Bentley’s colour and trim experts. In addition, all Continental Flying Spur and Supersports models are now specified as standard with a state-of-the-art, 30GB touchscreen infotainment system, seamlessly integrated into their handcrafted cabins.



Series 51 represents Bentley design at its most vibrant. It allows customers of both Continental Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed to order ‘off the peg’ from an innovative and exclusive range of recommended combinations created by Bentley’s colour and trim designers at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, England, as Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley’s director of design comments:

“The Series 51 design concept is inspired by the spirit of the inaugural Bentley styling department in Crewe established by the gifted John Blatchley, who shaped the original and iconic 1950s Bentley Continentals. Today, it provides for a virtually bespoke ordering service due to the thousands of configurations available through Bentley’s expansive colour and trim catalogue.”

For Series 51 designs, the Bentley styling team operates on a ‘rule of three’ principle to create complex but harmonising colour schemes of depth and beauty, inspired by a customer’s simple choice of three contrasting colours. With luxurious wood veneers and leather hides as the main canvas, the colour and trim specialists begin with a main interior colour (typically a darker shade) and then select a second insert colour to provide an eye-catching contrast. A critical skill is identifying the third ‘accent’ colour for the stitching and piping.

The same imaginative use of colour is extended to the coachwork of all Series 51 Continental Flying Spurs. A range of striking John Blatchley-inspired duo-tone paint options, with one accent colour sweeping from the bonnet, over the roof and onto the bootlid, may be specified.

The paint range encompasses cool and crisp hues through to rich and fiery shades and everything in between with the Bentley colour and trim team recommending one of the three selected interior colours to complement and highlight the relationship between inside and out.

Bentley has also created a unique Series 51 graphite-finished nine-spoke, 19-inch sports alloy wheel, while twin Series 51 wing badges, positioned behind the front wheel arches, complete the bespoke look.



All 2012 model year Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Supersports coupe and convertible models are now equipped with a new, highly-advanced touchscreen infotainment system that provides rich map imagery and a 30GB on-board hard drive.

An 8-inch screen displays the car’s audio system, telephone, ride and comfort settings as well as the very latest navigation system, which uses both an in-car hard-disc drive and a DVD player to access route data. It also utilises dynamic navigation to avoid heavy traffic spots, locates destinations using geo-tagged photos from an SD memory card and is Google Maps-compatible for most markets.

The infotainment system, with 7-digit postcode entry, combines touchscreen controls and classic Bentley knurled rotary switches to offer instant usability and crystal-clear feedback. The graphic interface of the screen was specified by Bentley’s interior design team to ensure its visuals are wholly in keeping with the classic, handcrafted interior. The ‘knurled’ switches on the screen for example, are ‘virtual’ echoes of the knurled texture of the jewel-like rotary switches below.

The latest Continental Flying Spur and Supersports models also benefit from telephone and music player connectivity, digital television (where available) and DVD movie playback. Music can be played and controlled directly from an iPod as well as from a six-disc CD changer, SD card reader or directly from the car’s hard-disc drive, which can store up to 15GB of music.

The new 2012 model year Continental Flying Spur, Flying Spur Speed and their Series 51 design options, together with the 2012 Supersports coupe and convertible models go on sale from March 2011.

Pick up the Latest Dub Magazine

Nov 10, 2010



Cause Holly Madison is on the cover!!!! And yes, she talks about cars. The same cars that I discussed on here months ago (I was ahead of the curve).

And I quote from Holly's article:
"I'm definitely into cars more than a lot of the girls I know. I love their aesthetics. It's a big part of glamour. It's part of the American Dream."

On newsstands or in your local Borders Bookstore now.

Bernie's back from SEMA....



Like I've been talking about for the past few weeks, SEMA made its annual trip to Las Vegas. Though this blog hasn't been in existence for a full year, I was still able to get my official media pass to cover SEMA.

Besides this being my first time going to SEMA, this was also my first time being on the West Coast, so I had to adjust to the time difference, which is what killed me. The West Coast is different, a bit more calm. They even drive different out there, but everyone drives different than a New Yorker. But I wasn't stopped by Las Vegas P.D. for my driving, and oddly enough, by the second day, I knew my way around Vegas like it was nothing.



Back to SEMA. I underestimated the size of it. Every hall was filled, and I do mean filled. From the North Hall to the South Hall and even the Center Hall in between, it was packed. Outside was just as packed- even the DUB Car Show had a great turnout.

There was so much to do, so much to see, so many people to talk to. I met so many great people from different companies, and they've extended the offer of my coming to their offices to interview people, and I will take them up on their offer.

I have a lot to talk about- from the Hyundai Equus, to some interviews, even down to my powder dusting an faux alloy wheel, that will be broken up into several posts in the upcoming days.

However...

I did post the link to the Outdoor aspect of SEMA and that's where the majority of my photos that were taken are from. Remember that this is SEMA- not the "first annual" car shows that only feature wheels and tires. These cars were done and I enjoyed seeing them. So check out Bernie's 2010 Outdoor SEMA Show, and believe me when I say that there's more to come.

I got a lot of love in Vegas. At times, it was a little too much love. This trip was very much trial-and-error. Somethings I will do better the next time around, but all in all, SEMA was successful... for me anyway.



See you'se next year, Vegas.

Quick Math Problem:

Nov 2, 2010

I hope Math was your best subject in school, cause it certainly was mine.

Alright, here it is:






...



** If you didn't get the math problem, I'll break it down. Bernie plus camera multiply by New York (cause that's where I'm from) minus Atlanta (since that's where I live) plus Vegas (since that's my destination) equals SEMA.

Anyway, I'm still getting invites for events and I did see an invite for lil' ol' me to come out to test drive a Hyundai Equus (which looks cute!!!). Did you see the Dub Edition one??? I'm guessing no, but let me help you out.

This is the original one....



Here's the Dub Edition:



What the guys at Dub did was add an distinctive mesh grille, custom body kit, tinted windows and taillights, and a custom two-tone, gloss black-and-matte charcoal paint job, a Dub Edition custom suspension riding on 24-inch TIS modular style 10 wheels with Pirelli Pzero Nero Tires, a custom trunk enclosure that will be fitted with Infiniti Kappa components including nine Infiniti Kappa series speakers as well as the standard Dub custom leather and suede interior, an illuminated headliner and custom rear bucket seats, and more.

If you haven't realized by now, I'm a sucker for any smoked out/blacked out/stealth vehicle. I need to have a conversation with the guys at Dub that I met at the Memphis show.

I'm gonna be hitting you'se with plenty of updates starting November 7th...

P.S. Rumor has it that if you share your opinion after the test drive, you get a gas card from Shell gas station. You know I need one cause the mpg in my Olive Green Ray of Sunshine breaks my heart... sometimes. I still love him though.

Talon Motors "Invader" to Make Debut at SEMA Show Booth

Nov 1, 2010




The Talon Motors "Invader" combines exotic looks and heart pumping performance with comfortable side-by-side seating. With a center of gravity that is just inches off the road it corners like a super car, but with an open air, close to the road sensation that is unequaled in anything else. The Invader is a radical driving experience that redefines the thrill of high performance motoring.



Specs:

0-60 MPH 3.92 SEC.
TOP SPEED 144 MPH
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.3 G
DISPLACEMENT 1340 CC
MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER 197
LENGTH 138 INCHES
WHEELBASE 90 INCHES
DRY WEIGHT 1040 LBS



So cute... *coughs* Test Drive *coughs*
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