Baltimore Auto Show Coverage with Pictures!

I am a bit late in posting these pictures of the Baltimore Auto Show, but better late than never.  The 2012 Baltimore Auto Show was not too much to brag about though.  There were considerably less cars this year and no luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Porsche. Baltimore being poor, I guess it isn't surprising they didn't show this year.  Also there were no exotic cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc.  Worst part of all, no tuner alley!  It was a big letdown compared to the Washington Auto Show.

While I love seeing the new models automakers are offering and what is in store for new year in the car world, I felt the recent Baltimore Auto Show showed how depressed the economy was.  Through the grapevine I heard the convention center tripled there rates, which explained most of it.  Even considering that the displays weren't anything to brag about and people were generally not having much fun it seemed.  It sort of felt like 2008 was happening in the all over again, but hey this is 2012.

I hope next year will reflect a more robust car market and economy.  Also hopefully the Convention Center will lower their rates!

 

2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show – February 10th-12th

Timonium Motorcycle Show - Harley Davidson Iron 883

Some people might be excited about the Baltimore Auto Show that kicked off today.  Those who love motorcycles in the Baltimore area should be equally excited.  That is because the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show is this weekend and looks to be better than every.

The Timonium Motorcycle Show is the Mid-Atlantic regions largest motorcycle show and takes place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.  New bikes from all the major manufacturers will be covering over 175,000 sq ft. of indoor floorspace.  There will also be custom bike galore as bikers car show off their motorcycles to win in the Bike Show in lots of different classes.  Exhibitors will be selling all sorts of motorcycle goods, accessories, and services.

As usual Michele Smith, the actress and model who hosts “Two Wheel Thunder on the Discover Channel, will be at the show all three days.  She will act as a host and master of ceremonies for several of the planned events.  Emilo Rivera, who plays Marcus Alvarez on the hit FX show “Sons of Anarchy,” will be at the show on Saturday and Sunday to meet the fans.  You can meet him up close and personal, but I hope he is nicer than his character on TV.  Ron Finch, the famous custom bike builder, will be in attendance too.  His motorcycles truly are works of art formed out of metal.

Something most guys will be looking forward to is the International Bikini Team competition taking place over the three days of the show.  The lovely contestants will vie for a chance to win a spot to go to the International Bikini Team U.S. Finals in the Bahamas in August.  I can imagine the competition will be strong and the girls will be pulling out all the stops to win.  I will be looking forward to this.

If you love motorcycles, the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show will be the place for you to be this weekend.  The show will be so jam packed with great events, motorcycles, and offerings it is hard to write about it all.  Visit the website for more information and the schedule of events.

What: 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show

When: February 10th-12th (Friday-Sunday)

Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093

Admission: $15 for Adults ($10 with $5 off coupon via website), $5 for Children 10-15 years old, Free Children under 10

 

 

Win Free Tickets to Baltimore’s 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show – February 9th-12th

Free Tickets!

The 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show will be heading into Baltimore this weekend.  I am sure there are a lot of gearheads that are excited about the Auto Show as well as eager consumers looking for a new car this year.

Like last year, Adam's Auto Advice is giving away tickets to the auto show.  This year I am giving away 10 free tickets!  All you need to do is “Like” Adam's Auto Advice Faceboook page and leave a comment below telling me why you deserve these free tickets.  People can include funny car stories, adages or maxims, or just a fun reason why you need a ticket.

For additional chances to win you can also follow my Twitter feed and make sure to Tweet and ReTweet this giveaway.  If you want to be even more ambitious you can become a Facebook Friend, add me to your Google+ Circle, and also include Adam's Auto Advice Google+ Page.

I think you get the idea.  Follow me on social media to get a chance to win, but your chances increase the more social media platforms you follow me on.  You can even increase the likelihood of winning these free tickets by leaving comments on these social media platforms and getting the word out about this giveaway.

Please leave a valid email address when you leave a comment below, so I can contact you if you do win.  The contest ends Thursday February 9th at 11am.  Again, there are 10 tickets in this giveaway.  I will choose the winners based off how much they have shared my content and shown the most enthusiasm for my promoting my website.  Winners can pick-up tickets or have them mailed.  However, I am not responsible for tickets lost in the mail or tickets arriving late via the USPS.

The 2012 Motor Trend International Auto Show will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center from February 9th-12th (Thursday-Sunday.)  For more information please visit:  http://www.motortrendautoshows.com/baltimore/

Washington Auto Show Presents Cool Cars, Concepts, Green Cars, and Policy

Yesterday the 2012 Washington Auto Show opened to the public. Definitely a great event to go to if you are a car lover.

I attended the Public Policy day, the day before the Washing Auto Show opened (January 26th), and got to see all the offerings on hand before the massive crowds. I bet you are wondering what some of the highlights of the show were.

My personal favorites would have to be the Lotus Evora and the Lamborghini Aventador. Lamborghini's are just so amazing, sexy, powerful, over-the-top, etc. Basically everything you want in a supercar.  I imagine this car is on the wall of many young children's rooms across the country. I talked with the salesman from Euro MotorCars, Jamie Gershowitz, about the Evora for awhile. I commented on how the body from from a distance looked like a Tesla. This is because Lotus makes the body shells and chassis for the Tesla Roadster. He told me how fun there were to drive. If I was a dog… I would have been drooling. (Alright, maybe I was drooling just a little bit.)

Definitely the most interesting car there would have to go Freedom Behind The Wheel and the converted Nissan 240SX race car they had on display. All the controls are done with the hands. It is specifically built for soldiers who have lost their legs, but still want to participate in racing. Ryan Downey, who built the car, seems to have refined the controls and cars to be ideal for racing. Best part about their display was they had a race simulator setup to try out the controls. I that that was pretty awesome. I was told I did fairly well.    Unfortunately you can only see this car at auto shows for now.

There were a few concepts on hand as well. “Hybrid” is the keyword and along with “electric” or anything green at auto shows now, and the Washington Auto Show is no different. Toyota NS4 Hybrid and Volvo's XC60 Hybrid were on display. I hope Toyota builds the NS4 Hybrid, because I think it looks super slick. Another concept on display was the Audi E-Tron electric car. Audi is testing a fleet of them in Germany currently, but it no word on when Audi will be testing their electric cars in the US.

Fiat had a little area for doing test drives with the new Fiat 500.  It seemed a lot of press people and government officials were happy to not just look at cars, but actually drive one.  Especially inside the Washington Auto Show.  I thought this was a good idea, but is not necessarily going to make me buy a Fiat 500.  I love the original Fiat 500, but the new one just seems too much of chick car.

The day I attended Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon)gave a speech and talked about what the Senate was doing to try to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Honestly his speech was pretty boring, but I listened intently anyway.  As well Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North American operations (GM), gave a speech at the show.  I guess he came to make sure all the politicians were happy with the job he was doing and what GM is doing.  As well pat himself on the back about making GM number 1 again.  (Just so you know you have natural disasters to thank for that!)

Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation, was in attendance as well. Unlike Senator Merkley and surprisingly Mark Reuss, he is a good public speaker.  He spoke in the Advanced Super Highway section of the hall, which featured electric cars, hybrids, and other green cars from many different automakers.   “This great auto show features some of the best cars in the world” said LaHood about the Washington Auto Show adding “In this hall, you can see what is possible.” In his speech he stressed the importance of the auto bailouts. He claimed the government's actions saved our whole economy and over 1 million jobs. I didn't agree with most of his statements, since I am against bailouts, but whatever.

If you love cars, and are in the DC metro area, I would definitely go checkout the Washington Auto Show.  It runs from January 27th – February 5th, 2012.

The Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, a Successful Racing Weekend for Everyone

Pits next to Camden Yards at the Baltimore Grand Prix

Baltimore had an amazing 3-day Labor Day weekend with the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix.  It had everything you could ask for. huge crowds, good food, checkered flag-girls, tons of media, and a whole lot of fast cars.

In the Izod IndyCar series Will Powers won the Baltimore Grand Prix in a stunning victory. He came out early in the race commanding the track over his rivals and won with 10+ second lead. The win wasn't a complete surprise as he lead the pack during practices.  Second place runner up was Oriol Servia, who felt his name helped him in the humble city of Baltimore (Oriol translates from Spanish meaning Oriole.  Passing Camden Yards must have been good luck!)  He came from a 14th place start.  Third place runner up was Tony Kanaan, who rallied from a 27th place start and recovered from an interesting accident where he flew over Helio Castroneves during the warmup session.

In the American Le Mans series Guy Smith won the in LMP1 class, Kyle Marcelli in LMPC, Wolf Henzler in GT.  An accident where he lost one of his tires during a qualifying lap could not keep Jeroen Bleekemolen from winning in the GTC class.  Amazingly he jumped out of his car grabbed the tire put it into his car and drove into the pits to get it installed.  Luckily nobody was injured and nor was Jeroen's Porsche 911 GT3 racing car.  A great win for Jeroen!

It's clear this was a great event for Baltimore.  “We've set the stage to make this a staple event for Baltimore and the region…We had 160,000 fans over the 3 days.” commented Jay Davidson president of Baltimore Racing Development, the private company that oversaw the planning for the Baltimore Grand Prix. “Baltimore has a successful event to build upon for next year and for years to come.” exclaimed Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, The Mayor of Baltimore.  Scott Artherton president of the American Le Mans series added,  “For a first time event.  Honestly it could not have gone better.”

Many drivers commented on how great the weekend went.  Will Powers winner of the Baltimore Grand Prix noted, “That was the best podium ceremony of my career!”  Other drivers lauded the event as well.  “I couldn't believe the incredible number of fans who came out all three days. Street courses are always a good way to draw a good crowd, and the way the circuit was laid out… reminded me of the huge events we've had at places like Surfers Paradise, Long Beach, and Toronto…  I know we as drivers loved racing in Baltimore.” said Helio Castroneves on ESPN.com.  Tony Kanaan, third place runner up, “It's a beautiful track, bumpy and interesting.”  Oriol Servia “This track is a challenge for both drivers and engineers… I think it is fun.”  Scott Artherton on all the positive feedback from drivers, “Race car drivers are the first ones to offer up an opinion.  Normally it is not constructive and normally it is not good.”

Fans were extremely pleased with the event as well.   “It's awesome.  I go to a lot of these races, Long Beach, St Petersburg, Indianapolis.  Top-notch street course for sure!” said Peter Romero, an Albuquerque Lawyer and immense race fan. “This could be the second crown jewel in the IndyCar circuit…This venue is nicer than Long Beach.  It's crazy!  It's a perfect storm for a street course.” referring to all the hotels and accommodations located around the track.  Many other fans and spectators were equally pleased and enthusiastic about the weekend.

Even with all the delays on getting the track open on Friday for practices, issues seemed to get resolved for the rest of the weekend.  “It's part of the growing pains of dealing with a new track and new race.” said an Andretti Autosport team member whom I spoke with about the delays.  The general confusion among the staff seemed to be resolved as the weekend went on as well.  Everything was smoothed out by Sunday.

This was the first big racing event for the Mid-Atlantic region since Washington DC had a Grand Prix race in 2002.  IndyCar and American Le Mans feel this is a market that needed to be tapped and judging from the crowds, they could not have been more right.  It was truly amazing the sheer number of people all weekend..  The energy was sky-high everywhere.  The event was blessed with great weather, as it came after Hurricane Irene and before an immense amount of rain in Baltimore the following week.  The fans, drivers, media, and policy makers of Baltimore have spoken and many hope racing will be here for a long time to come.