2014 Baltimore Auto Show this Weekend

baltimore auto show
Baltimore Auto Show

Just thought I'd let everyone know that the 2014 Baltimore Auto Show kickoffs today.  The show will run through the weekend ending on Sunday.  (February 6th – February 9th).  Like usual it takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center.  You will be able to see and get into new 2014 and 2015 model vehicles for a variety of auto manufacturers.  If you are looking into buying a new car, it would be a good place to attend so you can see all the cars in one place.  Checkout some of the vehicles at the show in the past.

Additionally there will be plug-in electric vehicles and green cars showcased as well as some exotic cars.  At the 2013 Baltimore Auto Show there were not as many so I'm not what the Italian car situation will be like.  (Yeah, people go mainly to see Italian cars.)  The DuPont Registry Live will have ultra-high end and exotic cars on display though.   Some concept cars will be at the show as well.

You will also be able to test drives vehicles from General Motors and Chrysler.   Here are the cars that you will be able to test drive at the Baltimore Auto Show;

• Cadillac – Cadillac CTS Sedan, CTS Sedan Performance, CTS Sedan Luxury, CTS-V Coupe, SRX Performance, XTS Platinum, ATS Luxury and Escalade Platinum
• Chevrolet, Buick, GMC – Chevrolet Spark, Sonic, Volt, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Equinox, Traverse and Silverado; Buick Encore, Regal and LaCrosse; and GMC Terrain, Acadia and Sierra
• The Chrysler Drive – Chrysler 300, Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel, Fiat 500, Fiat 500L, Dodge Charger, Dodge Dart, Dodge Durango and Ram 1500

This year the Baltimore Auto Show is bringing back the Tjin Edition RoadShow display from the car designer Neil Tjin.  The Tijin Edition RoadShow showcases his SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) vehicles and all the custom rides that have been features at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Back at the Auto Show in 2011 there was a large custom car section on the upper levels.  Again there will be a Custom Car Zone to see several aftermarket vehicles, tuners, customs, hot rods and exotics, brought to by the OC Car Show (as in Ocean City.)

One change this year is the Baltimore Auto Show app.  You can visit iTunes or Google Play to download the new Motor Trend Auto Shows free mobile App for the iPhone or Android. Use the App to buy tickets, map your route, view participating manufacturers and get vehicle information at a glance.

Unfortunately this year I forgot to request Complimentary Baltimore Auto Show tickets.  Next year I will try to remember.

Keep in mind that when you purchase a ticket you get a Free 1-year subscription to Motor Trend magazine.  You can receive a one-year print or digital subscription to Motor Trend magazine (a $12 value) just for attending, courtesy of the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association. Simply complete the subscription card at the auto show, or online, and receive 12 issues for the rest of the year.

There is a Family Day  on Sunday, February 9,which means all children 12 and under are admitted Free when accompanied by a paying adult.  Spider Man will be at the auto show, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, as well as Iron Man, from 2:30 p.m.to 5 p.m.

What: 2014 Baltimore Auto Show

Date: Thursday, February 6th – Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Location: Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt St, Baltimore MD, 21201

Ticket Prices: $12 for adults; $10 for seniors (62 and older) on Saturday and Sunday; $8 for seniors (62 and older) on Thursday and Friday, military (with D.O.D. ID) and $5 for children 7-12. Children 6 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Website:  AutoShowBaltimore.com

Parking Panda Android app finally Released

parking panda android app

Parking Panda recently announced they have released an app for Android smartphones on Google Play.  The Baltimore based parking service has long had an app available for Apple iOS devices but Android smartphone users were left out.  Fortunately for us that is not the case anymore.

Some of you might be thinking, “What is Parking Panda?”  I first wrote about the innovative parking service back in October of 2011.  (Man… that feels like a long time ago.)  Essentially the idea is that you have a parking space you want to rentout and earn some extra cash on, you can go onto the website or app and it allows you to list your parking spot easily.  Additionally if you need parking you can go use Parking Panda to find a space near a Convention Center or ballpark when parking gets crowded.

The parking service is currently in over 20+ cities across the country.  The latest cities Parking Panda added includes Houston and Dallas.  In addition they have partnerships with many garages as well as private parking space owners.  Parking Panda recently became the official parking sponsor of the Verizon Center in Washington DC.

This is a smart since this allows parking garage operators to better anticipate and sell their spaces in advance.  This saves people time looking for a space and probably makes the garage more money I assume.  (Although originally the idea behind Parking Panda was that the service would be for individuals.)

I was one of the first people to download the Parking Panda Android app it seems to work pretty well.  I might use Parking Panda when I need to find a parking spot in Philadelphia for Affiliate Summit soon.  I haven't decided whether to drive or take the train into Philly.  The train will be more relaxing but parking will be easy with the Parking Panda Android app. 🙂

Parking Panda not only has added cities but I've noticed the site is faster and more intuitive since it launched 2 years ago.  Hopefully Nick Miller and Adam Zilberbaum, the co-founders, will continue to make additional improvements to Parking Panda and make parking less of a pain for everyone.

 

Stop Big Brother Maryland merges with Maryland Driver’s Alliance

I thought Maryland drivers would like to know that the organization that used to be known as  Stop Big Brother Maryland has now joined forces and merged with the Maryland Driver's Alliance.   Stop Big Brother Maryland advocated against automated traffic enforcement measures such as speed cameras, mobile speed vans, and red- light cameras

The Maryland Driver's License has the same mission and looks like it has been around since 2008.  There website has information regarding traffic enforcement bills and measures, cameras errors, and shows how your local Maryland representative voted.  All useful information that should help people make informed decisions whether you are for or against these automated traffic enforcement measures.

StopBigBrotherMD.org is now part of the Maryland Drivers Alliance.

Our mission is to protect the rights of Maryland drivers. We oppose the corrupting effect which automated enforcement has on our justice system. We are your source of information for everything Maryland officials don't want you to know about speed cameras.

We support responsible enforcement of traffic laws by human officials and the proper application of traffic engineering principals to improve safety. Drivers should always make safety their first priority.

Visit the website if you would like to learn more: http://www.mddriversalliance.org/

Celebrate Veterans Day with 45% Off at Standard Auto Parts

I hope most people are enjoying Veteran's Day today.  If you are a veteran or in the military currently please know I appreciate your service and what you have done or currently are doing for America.  As well I am sure that lots of other people appreciate your service even if they don't say it everyday.

For Veterans Day I thought I would just let all veterans and military members know that Standard Auto Parts, a local and family own Baltimore auto parts company, offers 40% off on auto part purchases.  Standard offers these discounts as a “Thank You” for everything veterans and the military does.  (This includes helping people recently in Hurricane Sandy.)  In case you were wondering, yes the discount is valid even when it's not Veterans Day.

An important note, not all auto parts not have as great a discount as 40% off and it doesn't apply to fluids to my understanding.  However 40% off is extremely generous considering that I don't know any other auto parts company in the Baltimore area that can match this deal.  Standard Auto Parts also extends the generous discount to police, firefighters, and postal workers.

Standard is a company that especially appreciates service and they want to show that by offering great deals on auto parts.  To find your nearest Standard Auto Parts location in Baltimore, visit their Standard Auto Parts website.

 

19th Century Romanian Wagon For Sale!

19th Century Romanian Wagon at Second Chance

A couple days ago I stopped by a neat warehouse in downtown Baltimore called Second Chance.  The motto of the place is “Retrain, Reclaim, Renew!”  Essentially the idea is to deconstruct buildings instead of demolishing them.  This saves materials, valuable resources, and money.  After deconstructing a building Second Chance takes building materials as well as furniture, cabinets, sinks, toilets, vanities, counter-tops, statues, mirrors, etc. and sells them in this warehouse.  If you need to buy building material or need a hard to-find part, say a doorknob or handle, Second Chance most likely has it.

There is a lot of really cool and interesting things that Second Chance carries in it's 200,000 sq. foot warehouse.  However, the most interesting item that this Auto Journalist and Blogger found there was a 4-wheeled vehicle, of course.  That was the above pictured 19th Century Romanian Wagon that was up for sale.  For a cool $4,500 you could take it home.  Unfortunately I don't have that kind of money or space to store a wagon, but if you do I recommend going down to Second Chance to check it out!

The Romanian Wagon made me think about how far modern society has come since the horse-drawn carriage days and how automobiles have changed the way people get around.  Imagine having to operate this wagon with a horse?  People complain a lot of about maintaining cars, fueling them up, and washing then, etc.  Think how they have made transportation so much easier and more efficient.  (Funny thing is some farmers and people in many parts of the world still use these types of horse drawn carriages to till soil and to get around.)

The wagon is representative of Second Chance as a whole in my opinion.  Just because something is old, worn, or isn't cutting edge technology doesn't mean it doesn't have value or can't be used by someone.  However, I am glad I didn't have to use the wagon to get to and from Second Chance.

For more pictures of the wagon check out my Flickr Photo Set.

Cross Keys Exxon, Your Baltimore Neighborhood Mechanic

Cross Keys Exxon

UPDATE – The manager of, Mike Sullivan, unfortunately passed away.  This repair shop is now under new management.

If you are looking for a reliable Baltimore auto repair shopin the area, look no further than Cross Keys Exxon.  Located conveniently on the corner of Falls Rd and Cold Spring Lane near Roland Park, Guilford, Hampden, and Medfield Cross Keys Exxon has been providing general auto repair services since July, 2007.

Owner and Master ASE Certified Mechanic Mike Sullivan runs the shop with his special blend of friendly service and attention to detail.  He tries to make sure all customers are happy with work performed, which includes anything from oil changes to engine replacements.

Mike has been a mechanic since 1972.  He's seen it all when it comes to fixing cars.  He even was a technical trainer for a major auto repair chain, showing other mechanics all around the Baltimore metro area how to perform auto repairs.

What sets Cross Keys apart from the other shops in the area, is Mike takes the time to explain services and repairs to customers.  Cross Keys doesn't try to “upsell” on unnecessary jobs and services like most auto repair shops and chain operations.  The mechanics focus on what is needed and what they feel is best for the car and customer.

Services provided at Cross Keys include, MD State Inspections, Oil Changes, Tire Rotations, Routine Maintenance, Computer and Electronics Repairs,  Engine Replacements, Transmission Replacements, and any other mechanical repair your car or vehicle could need.

He tries to ensure that all auto parts he buys and uses for vehicle repairs are quality parts.  He likes ordering from local parts supplier, such as Standard Auto Parts (which is a family run business), that are as concerned with quality as he is.

Since Cross Keys is close to Johns Hopkins and Loyola he offers a 20% student discount on labor (not parts).  All you need to do is to show a valid student ID to receive the discount.

Best part of taking your car to get fixed at Cross Keys, you can pick-up and drop-off your car 24 hours a day 7 days a week!  There is gas station attendant at Cross Keys Exxon at all times, which allows you to easily drop your car off safely if you work odd hours.  Additionally if you need to pick-up your car after the shop closes, it's not a problem since the attendant accepts payment from customers.

Sullivan has been happy to be in business for almost 5 years, “I am the neighborhood mechanic that everyone can feel comfortable coming to” says Sullivan.  He hopes to continue repairing cars, trucks, or whatever you might bring in for repair for many more years with the same level of service he has come to be known for.  If you need a great neighborhood mechanic, give Cross Keys a call.

Cross Keys Exxon

4434 Falls Road

Baltimore, MD 21211

Phone: #410-366-6828 

Website: http://crosskeysexxon.com

St. Patrick Day “Tipsy Taxi” Service

Happy St. Patrick Day!  I am sure most people in Baltimore will be celebrating this holiday by going out to a bar or restaurant and having a few drinks.  Why not have a little fun, right?  It is important to remember to not drink and drive though.  You not only endanger yourself when driving intoxicated but fellow drivers and passengers on the road.  If you are going out tonight you might want to remember to call the “Tipsy Taxi.”

What is the Tipsy Taxi?  It is a collaboration between the American Automobile Association (AAA) and Yellow Cab that tries to keep drunk drivers off the road on holidays that usually involve consuming large amounts of alcohol.  To help with St Patrick's Day celebrations they are offering the service tonight.

That means on St. Patrick Day, Saturday March 17th, between from 4 pm – 4 am anyone who is at a Baltimore city restaurant or bar can call (#1-877-963-TAXI) and get a Free Ride home.

There are a few restrictions to using Tipsy Taxi though.  You must 21-years-old and need to live in the Baltimore metro area.  The taxi rides are Free but after $50 bucks, the rest of the ride is on you.  Still it is a pretty sweet deal and a good idea to keep intoxicated drivers off the road.

Supposedly the Tipsy Taxi line is busiest between 12 am – 2:30 am.  So keep that in mind if you call then.   Remember if you are drinking tonight please call the Tipsy Taxi number #1-877-963-TAXI.

Have fun and stay safe!