Category: cars


Yesterday, I went to the Lia Car Show in Schenectady.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of cars that were on display there.  Not only were there some amazing classics, but there were also a couple high-end sports cars.  Here are some of the pictures I took at the show.

See ya soon!

McLarenF1

Back in 1992, Gordon Murray and McLaren Automotive made the fast production car in the world.  The McLaren F1 was, and still is the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world.

I remember it like it was just yesterday.  I was in London in March of 1998 and the news channels were buzzing with the story –  The McLaren F1 became the fastest production car with a top speed of 240 miles per hour.  That was straight from the factory with no mods.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see a few of these cars in person.  The picture here is one that Turner Motorsports brought every year.  There was also another one that came to Lime Rock that had raced in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  That was a serious privilege.  Not many people get to see a car with that kind of history.

One day at the track, I saw a lucky reporter get a ride in the McLaren.  It was every car lover’s dream.  If you’re not familiar with the McLaren, the driver seat is actually in the middle.  There are two seats that are set back on either side of the driver’s seat.  The three seats sort of look like a triangle.  That reported climbed in, got buckled, and probably got the ride of his life.  I was very envious that day.

I wanted to write this story because Gordon Murray has just released his T25 concept “city car“.  It is smaller than a Smart ForTwo and has the same seating setup as the McLaren F1.  It is a 51hp car that is said to get 61.9 miles per gallon.  That is impressive!  One of his main purposes for designing this car was to cut down on congestion and being able to park 2 T25s in a single parking space.

Their new MP4-12C looks like it has a Ferrari front end and roofline, paired with a Lamborghini lower half and vents on the side.  Not an original design if you ask me.  But with 600hp, I bet it’s a blast to drive.

I am following up on a previous blog I wrote about some of the people I interact with on an almost daily basis. Some of these you will have seen before, but I have added a few others to the list that I have met over the last month or so.  I read a post a few months ago that said instead of clogging up Twitter with the #ff’s, make a list in a blog and have people follow from there.  So, here ya go…

The coolest of the cool

Dom P. – One of the funniest guys I know.
Jerry P. – Dom’s brother and the other funniest guy I know.  Check out his blog.
Cassie – Organizer extraordinaire of the Albany Tweetup.
Kelly – See Kelly for special ‘meat’ sales.
Emily – Kelly’s co-worker and photographer. Check out her blog.
John J. – Albany’s own celebrity. Everyone knows John.
Bill – Beer guru and tech dood.
Keith – Web designer and all around good guy.
Andrew – Code guru and blogger.
Rose – My honey. She also has a blog.
Brian – Shoots video like a pro with his Canon 7d.
Humbearto – Reporter for the Times Union. Moved to Seattle and Albany misses him greatly.
CuteElla – Heart of gold and she also has a blog
Jim – Phish fanatic
Stickfigureman – awesome Stick Figure posts
Angelos – Beer and wine brewer
Amy – PR, Social Media consultant and blogger
Kevin – No nonsense, tell it like it is kinda guy. He has a blog too. Also a self proclaimed “sex symbol”.
Terri – Our favorite Realtor. She is the best. Her blog rocks too.
Sue – Local 911 dispatcher.
AllOverAlbany – Great blog and good people.
John G. – Producer and voice actor in Albany
TonyWeb designer.
IrisiraBlog
Jaci Sabolsky
Jennifer McIntosh
Katie the Intern
Kate Birch
Trish – Painfully shy chick.  Go say hi and make her come out of her shell
Mike Bucc – News junkie and really funny
Di – Bangin’ Canadian and my 90s hip hop buddy
Roz – My source for good information
Goose – Entertainer extraordinaire and funny guy.
Mike Keane – Great guy.  Funny too!
Sue – Helped me in a huge way with the pool!
GoldWing987 – A fellow rider

Here’s a few categories of people or companies that I follow and interact with on a regular basis. Feel free to follow them if you’re interested.

Photography

Scott BournePhotofocus blogger and photography pioneer.
Trey Ratcliff – AKA Stuck in Customs. Some of the most amazing HDR I have ever seen.
Amazing Pics – They pick out great pics and share them.
Nikon – The best cameras in the world.
Alex Suarez – Photography and technology blog.
Adorama – Photography supplies.
Fluck – Photography blog
Canvas On DemandSite for great canvas prints. I had them print a 16×20 for me and it was gorgeous.
Peta Pixel – Awesome blog with tips and tricks for photographers.

Motorcycles

Harley Brother – Harley events
Joe Rocket – A motorcycle junkie with some great links
Harley-Davidson© – The motorcycle company, silly.
Kurt Sutter – Executive Producer of Sons of Anarchy.
Motorcycle Fans – Awesome news and a daily photo blog

News

Kristi Gustafson – Times Union’s OTE blogger.
Amanda Talar – Times Union’s East Greenbush blogger.
Naomi Seldon – Times Union’s Simpler Living blogger.
Mike Huber – Times Union’s Interactive Audience Manager
Channel 10 News
Metroland

Cars

Top Gear
Keeler Motor Car

Blogs (Those not mentioned previously)

Rude Cactus Blog
GreebleMonkeyPhotoblog
WordPressBlogging platform
Christa WatsonIt’s Like Christ with an A
Albany InsuranceAlbany Insurance Professional
Rob MadeoMan of a Certain Age
Kari VanAlstineChronicles of Chronic Pain and Wreckless Abandon
Jen HernandezSweetly Tart

Miscellaneous

Uncommon Grounds – Coffee house in Albany and Saratoga
Price Chopper – Grocery shopping
511 Traffic – Local traffic
Boob Emancipate – Who doesn’t like boobs?
InTune GP -My cousin’s husband. He makes guitar picks for a majority of the rock bands out there.
Newegg – Computer parts at great prices.
Woot – Daily deals.
Wootoff – Crazy specials.
Shawn KingYour Mac Life
Alyssa Milano – Yes, the actress from Who’s the Boss.  She has some really great Tweets.  I really enjoy reading them.

That’s quite a few of the people I follow. I know I have missed a bunch, but this is a good start.  Please feel free to add people or businesses that I missed or that you think would be good to follow. Please follow me at TCRPMG and subscribe to this blog. See ya soon!

**Image borrowed from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/ ***

Yesterday, I got the July issue of Motor Trend in the mail.  As I look at the cover, a topic pops into my head…

Did they run out of ideas for new muscle cars  and have to re-make the muscle cars of years past?  Is it a nostalgia thing, or are they just not coming up with new styles that the gearheads will like?  It seems like every couple issues, they test the same models.

Chevy made a new version of the late 60s Camaro.  I like that it looks quite a bit like (what I consider their best body style) the ’68 Camaro.  What I don’t like is that it looks a little ‘small’.  It doesn’t seem as beefy as the old Camaros.  I did not care for the Camaro after the late ’60s.  The new ones are the first I kind of like since then.

Ford did the same thing with the Mustang.  After the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, the love affair with the old ’67 Shelby GT500 was re-ignited.  Ford jumped on it and tried to make a modern day version of a breathtakingly beautiful car.  In my opinion, they failed horribly.  I was never a Mustang fan before I saw the movie, and I still am not.  I do, however, really like the ’67 Shelby GT500.  There are a lot of kit cars running around now replicating “Eleanor“.  The new Mustangs just don’t have a good look like the old ones did.

Another car that has been reincarnated is the Dodge Challenger.  I like the look of this car quite a bit.  I think Dodge did a great job at replicating the car and keeping it proportionate to it’s predecessor.  I wish they had done the same thing with the Charger.  I am a huge “Dukes of Hazzard” fan and love that orange car with the 01 on the side of it.  What did they come out with?  Some big, ugly, four door tank.  Fail.

Everyone has a favorite muscle car, like the Chevelle, Charger or the GTO.  Does that mean that we can expect to see these cars again in the future?  Are they going to bring back the Gremlin, or the Pacer?  Why can’t they come up with new cars that appeal to the gearheads?  Or is the Prowler a sign of what happens when they try that?  What car would you like to see redone?

On the road again

Sorry to give you a short post, but I am out in the Berkshires and my access to internet was very limited.  I have to take my mother to Boston in a few hours for a small eye surgery procedure.  It’s around midnight now, and I have to be up at 3am, so I am gonna run off to bed.  I promise a couple good posts to make up for it next week. 

Hopefully I can snag a few pictures while she is in surgery or on the ride down or back.  I think we might hit rush hour traffic, so I am leaving extra early to make sure we are there by her appointment at 8am.  See ya soon!

Yesterday, I did something I have never done before.  I participated in a “peaceful rally”.  This rally was put on by the members of ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) of New York.  The purpose for this rally is to fight the profiling of motorcycles and illegal roadblocks that target only motorcycles.  We rode downtown to the the Capitol building to make our voices heard.

The New York State Capitol

The bikers came out in large numbers.  I would guess that there were four or five hundred motorcycles that met in Schodack and rode into downtown Albany.  The line of motorcycles for a mile or so in front of you and behind you is quite impressive.

Halfway up the street

A little farther up the street. The bikes went on forever.

One of the main issues that were discussed today were the roadblocks that target only motorcycles on the way to Americade and the Harley Rendevous.  The police pull over motorcycles and issue ridiculous tickets for exhaust, helmet and license violations.  It’s not right.  I understand the helmet and license issue.  I wear a full face helmet all year round and would never ride with a brain bucket or no helmet at all.  That is my choice.  If people want to ride without a helmet, that is their choice.

What bothers me is these roadblocks are basically entrapment.  They only pull motorcycles over.  While you are there, they look at your pipes.  If they are not stock pipes, you get a ticket.  That is total crap.  My bike is obnoxiously loud (quote from my friends) and I wont change it.  I changed my pipes once.  I was going for my road test at the DMV and figured I would get flack for the pipes, so I had them swapped for the day.  On my way to the DMV, a car came over in my lane and I had nowhere to go but into the guard rail  I made my peace, confident I wasn’t walking away from this one.  Quick thinking on my part and a fast bike got me out of it.  I punched it and leaned it hard and was able to swerve clear of the guard rail.

That day, I swore to never change those pipes.  Most people think it’s just to be annoying, but people just don’t see you when you’re on the bike.  They are too busy eating or texting while driving and swerving all over the road.  I saw a t-shirt today that was dead on, but I didn’t get a picture of it.  It said “I’m sorry my loud pipes disturbed your phone call”.  Funny, but sad.  It amazes me how little people pay attention when they drive while talking on the phone.

Most people don’t understand or just don’t care that loud pipes do save lives.  I’m not saying I’ve never made unnecessary noise.  But for the most part, they are there for safety.  With my bike being as loud as it is, if you hit me and say you didn’t hear me (or feel the vibrations from the exhaust) there’s a problem.  You know when I am in your blind spot.  You know when I am next to you.

I can rant and rave here all day, but if I can reach a few people at a time and make them aware of motorcycles, it will make me very happy.  The best thing I have seen so far is a slogan that reads “Look Twice.  Save a Life.  Motorcycles are everywhere.”  There are a few variations of this saying.  Take the two seconds to turn your head and see if we are next to you.  Put down the phone and turn your head to see who’s there.  And this doesn’t just go for bikes.  We wouldn’t have all the accidents we do if people would just pay more attention.  It could save your life.  See ya soon!

“I wish I was a little bit taller, wish I was a baller…”- Skee Lo

Earlier in the week, I heard that Keeler Smart Center Latham was hosting a Smart Car test drive at Crossgates yesterday and today.  I found out about it through Keeler’s tweets encouraging people to stop down.  So yesterday, Rose and I stopped down to check it out.  I had always wanted to drive one of the Smart cars, but never had the chance.

I had seen them for years before they came to the states a few years ago.  In my travels to Europe, and at Lime Rock in Connecticut.  The car at Lime Rock was most likely brought to the states and converted to US EPA standards.  That was way back in the late 90s or early 2000s, long before they began importing them for sale here.

Recently, I had seen them on the road here and there in the Capital District, and even see one up the street at a neighbor’s house every day.  It is bright yellow.  You can’t miss it.

Two of the people at the event were marketing reps for Smart USA, and I also met John Sterrett from the Latham Smart Center.  He went with me on my test drive.  Great guy!  We discussed the Smart car as well as sports cars and motorcycles.  Who could ask for a better co-pilot?  I got to drive the Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet in Blue Metallic and Rose drove the Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe in Red.

Here is the common misconception about these cars – they are incredibly roomy inside.  The car had lots of legroom and quite a bit of headroom.  There was even a decent amount of storage behind the seats for luggage or groceries, whichever you may be hauling.  They come equipped with a 1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine.  It’s not the fastest car you will ever drive, but it will pay off at the gas pump, as they get 41 miles per gallon according to the Smart USA website.  With gas now back to over $3 a gallon, that plays a huge factor in many people’s decision of which new car to buy.

The other question a lot of people ask is about the safety of such a small car.  The Smart ForTwo cars have a very high 5-star safety rating per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  That is pretty impressive in itself.  I would feel very safe in this car.  heck, it can’t be any worse that being on a motorcycle in traffic.  At least people might see you in the car.

The event is going on tomorrow as well.  Make sure you stop down and check them out. Sorry about the crappy pics.  All I had with me was my cell and was shooting into the sun.  I tweaked them a touch in Photoshop to make them  little better.   See ya soon!

As some of you may know, I am a huge car freak. I love high end sports cars. Ferrari is my favorite exotic car marque of all.  I even have the tattoo to prove it! Whenever there is a car show that may have high end sports cars in the area, I grab the camera and head off to get some pictures and see some works of art.

Two summers ago, the Saratoga Automobile Museum hosted the Fall Ferrari Festival on their grounds. The weather was not ideal for Ferraris, so i did not expect a great turnout. It was a gloomy, overcast day in the Saratoga area. The rain was threatening to dampen our spirits, and our souls. A few brave souls came out despite the showers and showed us their amazing automobiles. All in all, I would say there were about 10 Ferraris that made an appearance. Mostly F430s and 360s, but a few older cars came as well. A special treat was the Ferrari SuperAmerica. I hadn’t seen one of these in person, so I was quite happy.

Ferrari SuperAmerica

There was even a Ferrari Testarossa there.  In Italian, Testarossa means ‘Red Head’.  In Ferrari’s case, it refers to the red-painted cam covers on the engine.   As I wandered around the show, taking in all of the sights and got this shot with an F430 in the foreground and a Testarossa in the background.  Both of them are shown in front of the Saratoga Auto Museum.

It may have been raining that day, but in my mind it was beautiful out.  Any day that you get to spend in the presence of Ferraris is a great day in my book.  Here are a couple more I took that day.  Enjoy!

See ya soon!