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There is a God, My Envoy Will Live

Apr 29, 2011

Yesterday, I composed a post about what happened to my beloved Envoy. Most of what I wrote has changed.

I received a call today from my insurance company. It was the guy who has to come out and look at the vehicle. He told me that my vehicle was in very good shape even though he's 8 (that's no surprise), and then he gave me the great news, it can be repaired after all.

They arranged to have him sent to the shop of my choice. I chose a shop outside of Atlanta, in which I have previously featured one of their employees cars on this very same site.

Stay tuned, I will be featuring his progression...

Thank you God. But that Nissan Sentra driving "I'm so stupid, I leave my magnetic key underneath my car, nobody could steal my car, and I can lie to my insurance company to get over on them" smuck is still going down... Because the fact of the matter was all of this could have easily been avoided. Lil Fly...

Yuck! "Steering wheels are nine times dirtier than public toilet seats" says IBN Live


The hard working people at Queen Mary University in London claims that there are, about 700 different kinds of bacteria per square inch of steering wheel. That compares to 80 distinct bacteria types on a public toilet seat. On top of that, the trunk has 1,000 bacteria types per square inch. The most common form of bacteria was bacillus cereus, which can cause food poisoning.

The reason cars are so filthy because they're not as maintain as one keeps their house. While we vacuum, dust and disinfect our home on a semi-regular basis, only one third of study participants cleaned their vehicle once a year or more. Although I clean mine at least once a month. Most people (I would say all, but I've been to some nasty houses) take out the trash and vacuum frequently, but how often do people wipe down that nasty steering wheel? Factor in when people eat in their car, brush their hair, apply makeup, some people pick their noses while driving (don't think I haven't seen your nasty behinds), including other unthinkable things.

Aside from the cleanliness of a car, the study also revealed that 66% of motorists did not check the oil and water levels before heading out on a road trip. The same percentage did not know how to change a tire, half weren't able to check if the tire tread was safe, a third had no idea on how to pump air into a tire and more than half couldn't replace a windscreen wiper to save their lives.

Photo: DIY Electric Car

Aston Martin Rapide Courtesy of Platinum Motorsport

The adorable brothers of Platinum Motorsport released photos of an Aston Martin Rapide that's wearing 22 inch Agetro M100 Wheels. Looking good guys...





One thing that I love about the Platinum Motorsport site, is that they believe in using high quality media. And by high quality media, I mean great looking photos and videos. Again, I'm giving credit when it's due, and no, I don't know the Keshishyan Brothers, I just saw them once at SEMA.

Mercedes Benz SL Courtesy of Forgiato Wheels.

Gary released more photos of a black Mercedes Benz SL that's wearing Dieci and Doppio Forgiato Wheels. Cute....




Recapping the New York Auto Show

Since the opportunity of attending and covering the New York Auto Show was taken away from me because of a Nissan Sentra owning ignorant drunk, I was able to find some great looking coverage from the show.

The coverage comes from an online show called "New York Auto Show After Dark" and the host is a model named Serene. I can't prove that she has a knowledge of automobiles. Nine times out of ten, when models host shows on TV and online about cars, they don't have knowledge about cars, they just read what's given to them.

I've included all four of their episodes









I admit, I do like their coverage, however, I would have rather have gone to the show and covered it myself.

In Loving Memory Of....

Apr 28, 2011

First things first, I do apologize for being missing in action, but something came up, and that's the reason for this post and you know there had to be something for me to miss going to New York.


Ever since the existence of Doing Donuts With Bernie, I expressed my love of a particular vehicle... my own. I've created a blog post about him, I've mentioned him in several, several posts. And I quote from the post "I consider my 2003 GMC Envoy SLT my baby. Sounds weird, but I can trust my truck more easily than I can with most people." I bought him on the Monday that Martin Luther King Day is celebrated in 2007 from Critz GMC in Savannah, GA.

Well, on April 26th at 8:45pm, I was involved in a hit and run in midtown Atlanta. The guys driving "stolen" a 2008 Red Nissan Sentra with the license plate "Lil Fly" (registered in Fulton County in Georgia) made a left in front of me. They saw me coming, but decided to make the left anyway. I swerved as much as I could, but what I tried to do wasn't enough, and I was hit on my right front fender (sounds more minor than what it really was). The "thieves" took off as far as they could to a Rite Aid shopping center, abandoned the vehicle, leaving me on Monroe Drive in shock and anger, having my three witnesses comforting me.


My insurance company rendered my ROS (Ray of Sunshine) a total loss. If you take a look above, I lost half of my bumper, a fog light, my hood was hit, my right front fender is touching my tire, I couldn't open my passenger door all the way, my head light glass broke, my parking light glass was broken, the right chrome part of my grille is gone, my radiator was busted because it was leaking, and I'm sure there's more under the hood that suffered. I know some people were calling me that fixes cars by the tow yard. I'm a highly selective person. I don't go to people in the hood to fix cars because they may be cheap, but they won't go a good job. You'll have to go back there more times than necessary. I rather spend the money for it to be done right. But I can't spend the money to fix him, the insurance company is rendering him as done.

I labeled this post as "Stupid People" because my insurance company heard from the owner of the Sentra. She said herself, and told the owner that his story doesn't sound right. Something isn't right in his story. It's full of bull and he'll be called out on it.

But this post isn't about the ignorance of those who live in this world, it's about my loss. I didn't see getting a new vehicle in the near future. I did put that I wanted to customize my truck, I even wrote that I didn't want to trade him. He's taken me up and down the Eastern Seaboard, to Louisville, to Memphis, and most importantly, mix him with my strong will is what got me out of Savannah, GA.

All I could do was cry... I know some people say "It's just a car", but he wasn't. I loved him. Despite these high gas prices, I made sure he had gas, I kept him maintained. Just like me, he didn't look his age. He was 8, but the only way you knew that was that he had both a tape and CD player, if you looked at his high miles (He went out with almost 188,000 miles), or if you ran his VIN. I could easily fool people cause I took pride in how he looked, even if he was stock and only had window decals on him. It was me and my truck, until a few days ago. I may have walked away unscathed, but I lost a piece of me.

I'm holding back the tears as I typed this, because I hate that I had to suffered for other's ignorance. If you gonna take something from me, go for something I could care less about. I don't get attached to people or things easily, but I loved and miss my 2003 GMC Envoy.

He survived in the Bronx but it took an drunken, ignorant, Southern "I drive a Nissan Sentra" smuck to take him out of this world. And because of that smuck, I couldn't go back home (New York) and had to miss the New York Auto Show. You took my truck and you temporarily took New York away from me, as GOD as my witness, you will pay.

***Update*** See the updated post, There Is A God, My Envoy Will Live

Dartz Presents the Iron Diamond... Why?

Apr 26, 2011


Allegedly, this SUV is designed for women. What women are they referring to because I'm not liking it, not one bit. Originally, I was going to show you the entire press release to this monstrosity I mean vehicle, but after I sat down and read it, I decided against it.

According to Dartz, this is the world's First SUV - Safety Uberluxury Vehicle created for ladies by ladies. I'm suspecting that they were probably blind ladies.


However, the last sentence of the press release that a 4th grader wrote happened to be:

Stay tuned - new trends are coming from DARTZ as Vodka and Girls fuel our brains!!!

They should have excluded the last sentence because apparently these women were drunk off of Vodka when they designed this. If women want a safe SUV: they should get it bulletproofed. If they want a safe SUV that doesn't look like everyone else's: they should get it bulletproofed and customized cause this (see photo above) is not it. Bernie will pass... And if what I happened to write ends up in Dartz's hands, make sure this is correctly translated for them. Let them know that no women with eyesight is interested.

I guess if you have money and no design experience, that automatically makes you a designer.

P.S. Doesn't Dwight Howard drive a vehicle like this?

Not Sure How Vorsteiner Wheels Will Look on Your Ride?


The good folks at Vorsteiner redesigned their wheel configurator. The list of the updated features includes: a selection of both European and Non-European vehicles to choose from, Vehicle paint palette to customize the exterior colors, a more dynamic vehicle position allows you to see the lip sizes of each wheels...

AND...

The wheel configurator has compatible viewing screen for both iPads & iPhones.

To try out the wheel configurator, just click on the photo above.

Mercedes Benz SLR Courtesy of Forgiato Wheels...

Forgiato released photos of a Mercedes Benz SLR with 20 and 21 inch Pianura Wheels.




Cute....

Uh Oh! Toyota Recalls 51,000 Tundras


Toyota just announced today that that they're voluntarily recalling 51,000 2011 Toyota Tundras to safely inspect the rear drive shaft. The rear drive shaft in an estimated 0.05 percent of the vehicles may include a component (slip yoke) that could break due to improper casting during the foundry process.

Toyota is aware of one drive shaft slip yoke failure in a customer-owned vehicle. There are no reports of accidents or injuries associated with this condition. No other Lexus or Toyota vehicles are involved in this recall.

Owners of the involved vehicles will receive a letter advising them of this recall by first class mail starting in May 2011.

Toyota dealers will be instructed to perform an inspection to identify a specific "production lot" number located on the rear drive shaft. Based upon the inspection results, in a limited number of cases, the rear drive shaft may need to be replaced.

The inspection is estimated to take ten minutes. If the rear drive shaft needs to be replaced, the repair will take more time depending on the dealer workload. The inspection and / or replacement will be performed at no cost to the vehicle owner.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at
www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Photo: Toyotatundra.info

Project Khan supplies a Customized Maybach 57 for the Royal Wedding

Apr 25, 2011

Project Khan, a customization shop in Bradford, England, has agreed to supply a customized Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 for the Royal Wedding that happens this Friday.


According to Project Khan, the owner, Afzal Kahn has released the ultimate commemorative item to mark HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding day.

The pearl white Project Kahn Maybach 57 complete with the regal-sounding number plate: 4 HRH (For His Royal Highness)– is the ultimate European luxury saloon, sitting magnanimously at Project Kahn headquarters in Bradford as a fitting tribute to the royal couple.

The principal British designer truly believes the Project Kahn Maybach 57 and the 4 HRH number plate is the ultimate tribute for the future king of England and his bride.

"Project Kahn understands the meaning of traveling in style and with the conversion we perform on this prestige vehicle there is no more of a stylish way to travel," said the British designer.


The Pearl White Project Kahn Maybach 57 Vehicle specifications:
Wheels & Tyres
- Kahn RS-D 9.5x22" (Designed to accommodate original center cap)
- Valve Caps

Paintwork & Finishing
- Project Kahn Maybach 57 smoked rear lights

Interior Components
- Project Kahn Interior Package

Safety and Security
- Pentagon privacy glass

Accessories
- Kahn Lightweight Golfing Umbrella with Carbon Fiber Shaft
- Kahn Key Ring

I'm sure that you don't care any more than I do, but it is a customized car.

Uh Oh! Nissan Recalls Almost 200,000 Pathfinders and Infiniti QX4s

A few months ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced an investigation into corrosion problems in older Nissan SUVs. There were 35 cases reported of excessive rusting, with 18 of those cases leading to steering issues.

(2000 Nissan Pathfinder)

This recall currently affects those with the 1997- 2003 Infiniti QX4 and the 1996-2004 Nissan Pathfinder in which the SUV was originally sold or currently registered in the following states:
Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. As you can see, these are all states that have heavy concentrations of road salt that's used.

(1999 Infiniti QX4)

A mixture of water and salt could enter an assembly location hole in the upper strut housing, causing water to collect at the mating surface of the strut housing panel and the inner hood ledge assembly. Over time, this water and salt combo could result in corrosion of the strut tower housing in the vehicles affected above.

What happens if you don't get it checked out?

I'm glad you asked. The strut housing could crack and pull away from the inner hood ledge assembly. This may lead to grinding noises, increased steering effort, and possibly the steering column to break, resulting in the loss of steering control, which basically equals a car accident.

If you're not sure if this affects you, do yourself a favor and call Nissan at 1-800-647-7261.

Ford and Shelby Adds ANOTHER Trim Level to the Mustang Family...

Aside from the 75 previous trim levels to the iconic American Muscle, Ford and Shelby found another trim level to add...


Everyone can't afford to add an extra $40,000 on top of the purchase price of the car to create the Shelby Super Snake, so Shelby created the GTS post-title package for any V-6 or V-8 Mustang models (like my new boo: The Ford Mustang 5.0 GT).

This new kit contains the following...

- A Ford Racing suspension, including new springs, sway bars and a strut tower brace
- A cold air intake
- A Borla exhaust
- Shelby brakes, developed with Baer
- A unique “deep draw” hood
- Black billet grille with a running Mustang logo
- A unique Shelby front fascia
- Shelby LeMans stripes and side stripes
- Shelby GTS badging and a Shelby CSM interior plate
- “Powered by Ford” side badges
- “Shelby” decklid logo

All for the low, low price of $10,000.

As you can see the kit is mainly cosmetic, little with performance. It enhances it a little, but not enough for you to battle a Shelby Super Snake. Either way, you'll still leave a Chevy Camaro SS in the dust, but you could do that with a 5.0 GT without the Shelby enhancements. For more info, check out the official Shelby American site at ShelbyAmerican.com

Photo: topgearrules.org

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: 2011 Dub Car Show: Atlanta


Dub made their return to Atlanta, after missing the 2010 season. Originally, slated for August, they bumped the show up to the Saturday that just passed. In the past, it use to be at the Georgia International Congress Center which is by Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, but this year, they switched it up and rolled the vehicles and the crowds of people to the Georgia World Congress Center in Downtown Atlanta, next the Georgia Dome.

On to the photos...





(I'm about three seconds away to being tired of seeing the new Camaros, but this white convertible with the matching wheels is gorgeous.)

(Look Forgiato brought wheels, but they're weren't free...)

(I salute those who customize an SUV that has the same platform as an Envoy)

(Block is not only the CEO of Block Entertainment, but now he's the Car Show King...)



This post was much less opinionated than the others, because I suspect that I'm on thin ice with Dub. The only way I can get media passes from them is when they're a piece of a larger show (I.E. SEMA, Ocean City, and the New York Auto Show). Thank god, Stuntfest is this Sunday...

For the remainder of the photos, check out the 2011 Dub Car Show Gallery.

Mini Inspired by Goodwood at the Shanghai Auto Show

Apr 22, 2011


The Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which has been rechristened the Rolls-Royce of Minis, has made its world debut at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show. Named for Rolls-Royce’s hometown, the Goodwood is built under the eye of Rolls-Royce advisors. It gets Rolls-Royce paint (Diamond Black Metallic), a Rolls-Royce inspired interior (in their customized color, Cornsilk), and it even gets the Cooper S engine, good for 181 horsepower. As alluring as the outside may be, the inside comes close to over-the-top. Mats are made from thick lambswool, just like on Rolls-Royce models. The Walnut Burr dash is topped with black Nappa leather, just like on a Rolls. Even the switchgear has gone upscale, and now features a piano black finish.


Mini notes in a statement that there are also "high-class" aluminum badges stamped with "Mini Inspired by Goodwood" above the front wheel arches and on the door sills (although the Old Money would never advertise that they are "high-class.")

The Mini Inspired by Goodwood gets the turbocharged 181-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine found in the 2011 Mini Cooper S. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional.



Production of the limited-edition Mini will be limited to 1,000 units worldwide. It will arrive in showrooms in spring 2012. Pricing has yet to be announced, and it won't be cheap.

Bernie's International Lover: The Peugeot SXC Crossover at the Shanghai Auto Show


According to Peugeot, French automaker Peugeot's China Tech Center has created the SXC, a premium hybrid crossover designed specifically for the Chinese market.


The SXC (which stands for Shanghai Crossover Concept) is fitted with a variation of Peugeot's HYbrid4 system, which bundles a small turbocharged four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The 1.6-liter THP engine makes 215 horsepower, while the electric motor adds 70kW, for a combined output of 308 hp. Peugeot says the combination returns average fuel economy of more than 40 mpg.


The SXC is fairly substantial, measuring 191.7 inches long overall. The roomy four-passenger vehicle rides on 22-inch wheels shod with Michelin 255/40R22 tires.

Other features include rear-hinged rear doors, LED lighting and brushed-aluminum accents.



I wonder how much it would cost for this fine crossover to be shipped to little ol' me? Probably way more than the actual worth of the vehicle.

I could use something like this in my life.

Audi A3 E-tron Plug In Hybrid at the Shanghai Auto Show

Apr 21, 2011


According to Audi, this plug-in hybrid derivative of Audi's A3 sedan concept brings together a 209-horsepower, turbocharged and direct-injected 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 26-hp electric motor, with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission handling the shifting duties. Energy is stored in a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.


Audi says the powertrain combination enables 0-60 acceleration in less than 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 144 mph. The A3 E-tron also has a range of up to 34 miles on battery power alone.

Grab your popcorn for the production...



That interior for this car is GORGEOUS!!!! As far as amenities are concerned, it has a flat-bottomed, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, as well as a multimedia/infotainment system, with an 8-inch driver-information display, a WLAN hotspot for Internet access and iPad holders on the front seatbacks.


I hope Audi releases this concept. It gets my thumbs up of approval... until I see it in person.

2012 Rolls Royce Ghost and it's Extended Wheelbase at the Shanghai Auto Show


The extended wheelbase allows more room in the back of the car. Which makes the age old saying true: Bentleys are meant to drive, Rolls Royces are meant to be driven in.


The car's wheelbase stretches 136.4 inches, and overall length is 219.2 inches (up from 212.6 on the standard-length Ghost).

Of course, the 2012 Ghost Extended Wheelbase is not only roomy, but powerful. Its twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 6.6-liter V12 makes 563 horsepower, providing 0-60 acceleration in less than 5.0 seconds, according to Rolls-Royce.

The automaker said the Ghost Extended Wheelbase "will be built to order and is available in only limited numbers for 2011 until full production begins in 2012."


Features include a panoramic sunroof and adaptive air suspension.

Let's Watch...



Talk about a highly dramatic video... but that was their choice in music.

Cute Award-Winning Commerical by Kia Soul



Kia has won the top honor in the Nielsen Automotive Ad of the Year awards for the second year in a row. Their second commercial featuring dancing hamsters with performing Black Sheep's "This Or That". According to Kia, the hamster spots have helped increase Soul sales in a big way. The boxy compact saw its sales figures increase by 50.8 percent last month compared to March 2010. Kia used this particular song "to compare "This," the funky and uniquely styled Soul, to "That," a number of boring and mundane appliances on wheels, cardboard boxes or hamster wheels."


The spot debuted on cable at the end of May 2010 as an extension of the first Soul spot to feature the hamsters in "A New Way to Roll," which depicted boring city and suburban streets inhabited exclusively by hamsters who are mindlessly running in place in their exercise wheels until a molten red Kia Soul pulls up to a stoplight and the passenger window rolls down to reveal a trio of paw-tapping, music-loving hamsters who have in fact found "A New Way to Roll."



Hamsterdam Ave... instead of Amsterdam Ave, H&H instead of H&M. I thought it was cute and well thought out, even though they used a faux Harlem setup. Cuteness does sell...

Volvo's Universe Concept Car Debuts at the Shanghai Auto Show


According to Volvo, The Volvo Concept Universe gets a sleeker look than the current Volvo S80, with a long hood (I think Volvo accomplished that one) and more coupe-like proportions. The concept underscores Volvo's desires to be on an equal footing with BMW and Mercedes-Benz.


Let's Watch...



Powertrain details were not disclosed. Maybe that's a good thing because the body and the interior needs work.


The cabin has a somewhat stark appearance and features a touchscreen "that approaches the hand when the driver reaches toward it," said Volvo in a statement. The cabin molds around the rear seat to "become part of the seating environment," said the automaker. But wait? Is that woodgrain as an accent to a highly modern design?!?!?!?!? Maybe it's the colors that they used in the interior, but I'm not liking this at all. It's too much going on and it's bordering towards being a hot mess... Off white and woodgrain doesn't go together, this isn't a living room in the 1970's.

Because this is a concept car, I hope and pray that they go back to the drawing board and redesign that front end. It's too flat, it needs some sort of shape to it. Followed by tinkering with the interior.

It's a cute car, but it's not quite there yet.

2013 Chevy Malibu Revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show

Chevy Malibu's have come a long way since I drove one in Driver's Ed. Obviously, this doesn't have the passenger side breaks and an Italian New Yorker as a passenger. *sighs* Memories...


One of Chevy's big reveals at the Shanghai Auto Show as well as the New York Auto Show happened to belong to the Chevy Malibu. Fashioned after the 2010 Camero, the newly modeled Chevy Malibu is sure to turn some heads.

Let's look, shall we?



Now, let's watch....



I like the intensity that they were building with the commercial.

I do like the hidden iPod feature. I think that's cute, handy, safe, and I have a feeling that many automakers will be stealing that feature. GM quotes it as a "New radio face that articulates up and down revealing a six-inch-deep hidden storage compartment, a first for a U.S. midsize sedan".


But of course, seeing the car through pictures and video doesn't guarantee the final decision. 2013 Chevy Malibu, I'll see you'se in New York, minus my driver's ed instructor.
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