PHX Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year the International Automobile Show sponsored by Motor Trend makes its rounds through Phoenix over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The show opens on Thanksgiving day and allows those who want a break from Turkey dreaming and Black Friday shopping to see some cars.  Or perhaps it is a last minute distraction to protect the wallets of consumer’s so they can afford a new car.

We have made this a tradition since we moved to Phoenix.  You can usually find tickets for free and the crowds are light in the late morning of Thanksgiving Day–that allows you to get into the cars, walk around and check them out without too much of a hassle.  As you enter the hall this year you were dazzled by a large presentation of high end automobiles (Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lotus and Ferrari) secured behind a large rope barrier.  Look but do not touch these beauties!

PHX Auto Show

We had a list of cars we wanted to see during the show.  We are not actively looking for a new car but, with all of the recent redesigns and new model launches we had a short list to check out.  Check out our One Phrase Reviews below.

Fiat 500 –> Very Interested, but Forget It
Volkswagen Beetle –> Who Cares-No one else did either
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited –> Upgraded Nicely
Mini Cooper Coupe –> Very Nice
Mini Cooper Countryman –> Very Nice
Hyundai Veloster –> Needs a Real Engine
Land Rover Evoque –> Hipster Material
BMW X3 –> Too Small/Cheap Materials
BMW X5 –> Very Nice, but Pricey

Make sure you take the opportunity to get out to your local New Car show when it makes it’s rounds this year.  It is great to be able to explore the cars without a dealer and have a chance to see how the crowds react to the potential purchase.

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Former Glory #1

When Rock meets Rolls–The Rocking Rolls
Rocking Rolls

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Imperial Palace-A Car Museum You Can Shop

The Auto Collections at The Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada (@AutoCollection on Twitter) is billed as The World’s Largest Classic Car Showroom.  A significant number of the cars on display are for sale from the $14,500 Yugo to the multi-million dollar Ferrari’s and Rolls Royce’s.  If it catches your eye and your budget–just step over to the sales office and start the paperwork.

The last time I visited this museum was back in 2001 while on a business trip.  The museum appears to have been expanded and the collection has been turned over significantly.   A tip for those who plan ahead–you can visit their website and print a free admission coupon.

Imperial Palace

This Cadillac convertible was located in the Grand Salon and appears to be suited for the Joker or Prince–who knows?  The purple on black color scheme was an absolutely amazing combination for such a stylish car.  The extensive use of chrome accented the lines and paint of this vehicle.
Imperial Palace

This 1946 Delahaye 135MS Roadster in a beautiful blue jumped off the floor with its flowing lines and classic styling.  This car has lived the life with time being spent in Hollywood and racing in Monterey.
Imperial Palace

I am willing to admit that I am getting older and my tastes are changing.  I used to hear my grandfather talking about the classic cars of the 1920′s and 1930′s and I just didn’t get it.  They lacked the flowing lines and big engines of the 1970′s muscle cars of my generation.

I can confidently say that I now get it! The workmanship, detail and materials were incredible and should be appreciated as a bygone era.  Of course this 100pt restoration of a 1931 Ford Model A doesn’t make it difficult to see all of those aspects.  You can take it home for $75,000 and impress the neighbor’s grandparents.  I am sure they get it.
Imperial Palace

If you find yourself in Las Vegas, don’t miss your chance to get out of the smoke filled casinos and make the journey over to the Imperial Palace Hotel parking garage to fill your eyes and noses (yes, oil and gas does smell better than smoke to me) with the Auto Collection.

Check out the full photo gallery here with more than 200 photos from my two different visits.

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Faces in Places Car’s Edition #2

Radiator caps…that’s is as simple as it gets. The hood ornament or mascot found its humble beginnings in the radiator cap. Manufacturers wanted to make even this simple cap a unique feature of their brand. Individuals and artists also used the hood ornament as a way to personalize their cars. These mascots could embody a variety of forms including, human, animal and abstract shapes and could be made from chrome, brass and even glass.

Sadly, these mascots have disappeared from the modern automobile as aerodynamics and crumple zones have become more important. The Rolls-Royce’s, Spirit of Ecstasy, is one of the last holdouts and even she neatly tucks herself away at the flick of a switch to protect her from vandals and thieves in the latest generation. If fact many enthusiasts collect original and replica mascots as a way to enjoy the thrill of automobile collecting without the space or expense.

Below are a few small faces from female mascots that we have photographed over time.

Hood OrnamentHood Ornament 

Hood Ornament

Keep your eyes posted–Faces can be found everywhere.

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