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!
A few weeks ago I was walking around the Inner Harbor. When I was walking by the National Aquarium I saw something interesting… a Chevy Volt! The Chevy Volt is GM's media-darling electric car that also has a regular gas engine. It can go for 40 miles on the electric engine, but then you can use the gas engine to go further. It is great place because of the high foot traffic. (Of course, I was the only person interested enough to stop and look at the car.) If you want to check-out the Chevy Volt, go down to the Inner Harbor. I am not sure if it is still there though!
Today I used the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit on my friend Brandon's Chevy Venture van. (It was actually his Mom's van.) The van has about 230,000 miles on it, making it a good vehicle to test the kit on. Of course the headlights already had a lens restoration done on them 1 year ago. Still that restoration has worn off and left the headlights in bad shape again. You can see in the pictures below they are still cloudy and hazy. Cloudy headlights reduce your ability to see clearly when you have your lights on a night and makes it more difficult for other drivers to see you as well. Having cloudy headlights is really a safety issue and not just an appearance annoyance. I would keep this in mind if you have a vehicle that has hazy, cloudy, or yellowed headlights.
Overall the Sylvania kit took me around 1 hour and 30 minutes to use. I give it a “Good” rating as there are improvements that could be made. The kit should have included an extra sheet of 600 grit sandpaper. If you have large headlights that are are seriously cloudy you might need to do more sanding than suggested, for instance the right-hand headlight needed more work. (I timed doing each side evenly from the instructions.) For the Venture the amount of sandpaper was adequate, but as the instructions stated you do need to cut the paper in half to make sure you have enough for doing each headlight. The instructions could have been printed on slightly sturdier paper and been a bit larger. I found it difficult to read the tiny print while doing the restoration. What did I like about the kit? Compared to the 3M kit I tested on my own Mom's Van about 1 year ago, the Sylvania kit has a UV Clearcoat. As far as I know Sylvania is the only company that sells these kits with a UV Clearcoat. This is important as this is what will protect your headlights from getting cloudy and hazy again. The Slyvania kit might last longer because of the UV Clearcoat. Only time will tell! The 3M kit did come out better when I used it because that uses a drill. The Slyvania kit you do by hand, but it worked well and did not take nearly as long as I thought.
Brandon and I were pleased with how the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit worked and felt it was definitely worth the time to do it. Would I recommend it… yes I would. Why? Simply because of the UV Clearcoat. If your headlights were seriously cloudy, yellowed, or hazy… I might recommend another kit though as I do not see doing it by hand would work. Overall we both were pleased. It definitely will help Brandon and his family drive safely in the van.
If you are interested in buying a kit, they retail for $20 and are sold in most auto parts stores.
If you are a GM fan, there is only 1 place to be this weekend. GM Nationals in Carlisle, PA! It's one of the largest GM events and it will be packed with awesome events and activities for fans of all things Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, GMC, and Oldsmobile.
The event will include, Hot-Rodders of Tomorrow high school program with scholarship money to be awarded. The art of GM. Industry guests and celebrity appearances. A vintage vehicle certification program for helping restorers. You could win an engine (GM LS-style small block crate engine) just for attending the show. Rausch Creek Off Road Park will be there with trainers and seminars will be run. There will be a giveaway of a 1975 Cosworth Vega. A chance to sit in Bruce Larson’s USA-1 Camaro or USA-1 Corvette. A dyno challenge and burnout contest. Probably one of guy's favorite events Miss Carlisle GM Nationals (where girls will obviously be judged in bikinis). What I have listed is not even everything that's going on… there are even more great events at GM Nationals this weekend!
What: Carlisle GM Nationals
When: Friday – Sunday (June 24 – June 26, 2011)
Where: Carlisle State Fairgrounds, 1000 Bryn Mawr Road, Carlisle, PA 17013
Admission: Adults $8, Children 8 and under are Free
This weekend is the GM Nationals are Carlisle fairground in Carlisle Pennsylvania. The event includes all past and present General motors brands and models. Even the discontinued brands have a very strong showing.
The Camaro owners association also holds their national meet at this event. In past years they have drawn near 1000 camaros.
This year there will also be a large gathering of Monte Carlos at this event. Tom Gleave president of the New York Monte Carlo Club said his club will be there. They will be bringing many of there cars. According to pre-registration Monte Carlos should have a large presence this year.
Tomorrow (Sunday) at Jerry's Chevrolet and the Chesapeake Corvette Club will be hosting the 7th Annual All GM Car Show. That means plenty of Chevy's, Pontiacs, Buicks, and GMC's, and Oldsmobile's will be there on display for attendees to check out. The show usually has about 80-100 cars and trucks, ranging from classic cars to new cars. There will be trophies for 9 different classes of vehicles. Parts will be for sale at a 10% discount, and there will be some deals on high performance engines you don't want to miss. The first 100 entrants will get a nice Dash plaque to hang in their garage. There will be food and refreshments, pit beef, ham & turkey. Best part about the show is that all the proceeds will benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic. In the past the show has raised over $15,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. If you like GM cars and want to spend the day having fun while helping a good cause, head over to Jerry's for this car show.
What: 7th Annual All GM Car Show at Jerry's Chevrolet
When: Sunday, June 5th 2011 (Rain date Sunday, June 12th)