Drive the Blues Away – Lemay ACM

If you have lived in Seattle for more than a year you understand the feeling that comes over you in the months of December through February. The dark days, endless rain and early nightfall. This year the Lemay ACM held an evening of blues music, alcohol, hors d’oeuvre and of course cars. The event was titled “Drive the Blues Away”.

Drive the Blues Away

Of course, it was dark and rained endlessly during the event. The weather outside, didn’t slow the event down because it took place inside the massive main hall of the museum. Just a few hundred car enthusiasts enjoying craft beer and liquor while wondering the huge collection. The whole time the sound of blues could be heard coming from the live bands.

Drive the Blues Away

As band after band played, we wondered the ramps admiring the classic cars and listening to music. Occasionally, we grabbed a bite, refreshed our drink and watched a song or two being played by the bands.

Drive the Blues Away

This classic Cadillac greated the visitors in the main lobby with its Arizona themed paint job. This car was big enough to serve a blues band as they toured the bar circuit.

Drive the Blues Away

The Gibson guitar company was also there with a collection of instruments to browse and play if you felt so inclined. The star of the collection was a special guitar (50 unit production run) they built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Corvette.

Drive the Blues Away

The Lemay ACM is a great place that is always looking to do different and unique events. It also does a great job of keeping the displays fresh and new.

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1st Annual PetSmart Car Show

This was a day of firsts:

  • 1st 100 degree day of 2011 in Phoenix
  • 1st Annual PetSmart SSG Car Show

Everywhere I have worked you get to know the cooler cars that lurk in the parking lot.  You recognize and quietly catalog the cars and eventually connect with the owners over time.  These are the cars that only make it out of the home garage on a great weather day or on a special  Friday.  PetSmart SSG (Store Support Group) is no different with more than 1,000 employees filling the campus.

PetSmart Car Show

About 20 cars and a couple of Harley motorcycles made the trip to the 6th floor of the parking garage that afternoon.  The time out of the office and ability to talk cars made for a nice distraction from the tasks of the day.
PetSmart Car Show

The collection of cars ranged from antique to modern and hot rods to Smart cars.  Although dominated by a collection of Corvettes and Mustangs the more unique cars gathered some attention too.
PetSmart Car Show

You won’t find this on the advertised list of car shows in Phoenix so don’t miss your chance to check out the Photo Gallery from the PetSmart event.


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Mr. Pappagiorgio, I presume?

Well, four slot machines and I won four cars. You know, I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car. I put a dollar in, I got a car.

Who can forget that scene in Vegas Vacation when Rusty wins a car each time he drops some change in a slot machine. On a recent trip to Vegas my wife and I hit the casino floor after running the Vegas half marathon to try just that same feat. We stayed at the Mandalay Bay hotel and they featured a Corvette and a BMW 328 convertible on the casino floor.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

The Corvette stand even featured a Barrett-Jackson themed series of slot machines. Within a few minutes of sliding dollars into this slot machine the thrill was gone and my wife didn’t have a set of car keys in her hands. I guess the Corvette was not in the plans for this trip.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

A bit later I sat in front of the slot machines hosting the brand new BMW 328. A few dollars slid from my fingers into the slot and yet again I suffered the same fate of losing as my wife earlier did. The video displays touted the fact that a couple had won a 2007 BMW. Did they win the car in 2007 or did they win a 2 or 3 year old car. We started to remember previous trips to Vegas and went back through some photos.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

During a trip to Vegas in 2003 we tried to win a BMW Z3 roadster. That car was actually from 1998 and I had previously tried to win it in 2001. While I did walk away from that particular set of slot machines with a few coins more in my pocket than when I started I still did not get a set of keys.

Win a Car--Griswold Style

That Z3 is probably still sitting on the platform–except now it has made a million plus dollars for the casino over the many years. I tried to do some research on the odds of actually winning a car and it is like anything else in Vegas. I could not find any actual odds on winning a car but like the old saying goes, ” A fool and his money are easily parted.”

Win a Car--Griswold Style

The real question is:

  • Who wins these cars?
  • How often do they win them?
  • Why are they always sports cars?
  • I guess the casino’s know how to tap into our emotions with HOT cars and FLASHY lights and LOUD sounds.

    Win a Car--Griswold Style

    Next time in Las Vegas or any other gambling spot take a minute to drop a dollar in the slot machine and try your luck. You never know–you might pull the lever and take home a brand new (or few year old) sports car just like Rusty.

    Best of Luck!

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    Barrett Jackson 2008

    Sports Fanatics have Super Bowl
    Movie Fans have the Oscars
    Car Nuts have Barrett-Jackson

    This is the penultimate event in the car auction world. The cars seen and sold here are excellent examples of iron and steel. This year was no exception with over a 1,500 cars sold in a NO reserve auction format.

    The event itself is just one of 5 or 6 auctions that hit Phoenix each January. The Barrett Jackson event is by far the largest and most significant of all of them. Acres of cars, memorabilia and vendors fill the area and give the avid enthusiast hours if not days of fun. The event builds to a fury over the week leading to the Saturday Night Main event all broadcast on the Speed channel.

    Some of the highlights on Saturday included:

    Rondine, a one of a kind 1963 Chevy Corvette designed by Pininfarina for $1.6 million dollars. This car was gorgeous what else can you say about classic Italian design coupled with a Corvette.

    1963 Corvette

    Robosaurus, not your typical car auction item, sold for $575,000. The new owners are responsible for feeding and care of this beast. During the auction he swore allegiance to his new owner and tried to bid up his price I am just glad he did not breathe fire while sitting next to the stage.


    The real star of the evening had to be the sale of the very first ZR1 corvette to roll off the production line later this year. Jay Leno helped introduced the car and helped with the auction. In the end, the car sold for a cool million dollars with a bulk of the money going to the United Way. The new owner had two options pick the car up at the factory and get the VIP treatment or pick it up in Jay Leno’s garage. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


    Visit the Photo Gallery to see 85 photos from the event.? If you want to visit the Phoenix area next year to catch the auctions here is a list of all of the auctions.(Russo and Steele, RM Auctions, Silver Auctions, Gooding & Company and?Kruse.)

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