Luxury (and some non) automotive brands make some strange an unexpected lifestyle products to complement their cars. While cars were everywhere today at IAA ~ i found myself drawn to the shopping side of the show, exploring the spaces and booth designs and constantly gravitating towards the style shops that most luxury booths had… the products found within were often to be expected ~ jackets, golf balls, model cars, USB keys, keychains, mugs/espresso sets… the less unusual i’ve rounded up for you on the next page! Everything from that Mercedes bobble head of a dog above ~ to SLK Red Nail polish, Lotus Backgammon, Citroen weights, Maserati Ethernet cords, Bugatti Deodorant, Smart Ice Cubes, Bentley jewelry boxes, and more…. including this strange trend of USB keys that look like car keys!
Entries tagged with: cars
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IAA is one of the biggest auto shows in the world ~ quite fascinating besides the car are the luxury automakers “style” stores ~ filled with goods they are selling outside to complement their cars. Increasing trend? Toddler Cars! A great way for junior to be just like mommy and daddy? Nice way to start the brand loyalty young? And some really are SO cute. So take a peek at ones i found wandering the show floor over at Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Hyundai on the next page.
p.s. While many others have variations of these push/walk cars as well, these are the ones i actually saw today on the show floor!
There isn’t much to say here ~ but you can’t help but stop and stare when amongst a sea of cars you see a huge Bumblebee from Transformers between the Chevy Camaro and Volt… and secretly wish it would move. or talk. or… TRANSFORM? (And then secretly hope the rest on the floor are robots in disguise too… can you imagine which would be autobots and which would be decepticons?) This one is specially for Ganden, Shawn, and Madeline ~ take a peek at all the pics on the next page! He’s HUGE!
Currently in Frankfurt for the IAA with Mercedes-Benz, i’ll be hosting a live interview with Christoph Horn, Director of Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars and Anders Sundt Jensen, Director of Brand Communication Mercedes-Benz Cars, about the new products and features at the IAA tomorrow that you can view live on their Facebook page just after the streamed press conference! Please tweet questions you want me to ask with the hashtag #mbLiveTalk, and i’ll try to get answers for you!
As for sneak peeks, tonight was the pre-press conference event with sneak peaks all around… including getting to run around the 3 story “booth” of a space that has housed everything from rock concerts to tennis matches and for the last decade or so ~ Mercedes-Benz at IAA! One of the most noteworthy details beyond the breath taking facade they’ve constructed with in? The history of Mercedes through model cars (and a stuffed MOOSE) that you encounter between the escalators as you head from the ground floor to the 3rd. Take a peek at a video on the next page, as well as more pictures of the space!
Shopping for a car in the mall. Pick up a pair of shoes, grab a bite in the food court, then saunter in to a store to build your car on an iPad and email it to yourself, then hop down into the parking garage for a quick test drive?
Tomorrow, LA based tech startup/car company, CODA, officially opens their first store in Century City ~ perhaps store isn’t even the right word ~ it’s an “experience center/meeting place” in which shoppers can learn about electric vehicles (EVs). Completely green ~ the facade and ceiling are made of reclaimed wood, the plywood is all formaldehyde free, even their wall graphics and pamphlets use eco friendly printing and materials. With a car parked outside, you can’t miss it’s location near the movie theater and food court, and even if you don’t peek in, the window inspires you with “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And when you’re ready for a test drive (or while looking for a parking space) ~ you can’t miss the special CODA section in the parking garage directly below the store with CODA’s waiting for you to give them a spin.
I love this trend of stores that are focused on the lifestyle and experience of a space versus simply selling their product. The theme of creating inviting spaces to engage buyers and could be buyers in a relaxed setting ~ and bringing the products and stores to where people already congregate (versus the usual destination streets filled with car dealerships.) is very Apple store like ~ and in fact Tesla brought on the man who helped create the first few to do theirs… and the team at CODA admitted Apple inspired their as well, and even strategically placed their first store near an apple store (across the way and down a few doors!) to attract people who like such experiential spaces. Will we be seeing more of these? I wonder which other genres will be next ~ is this going to continue to be an EV trend?
But first ~ take a peek into the beautifully designed CODA space in Century City as well as their test drive area in the parking garage on the next page!
Leave it to GearPatrol to come hand deliver their Onia collaboration Amaury board shorts in a 2012 Nissan GT-R in a nearly matching blue (their shorts are far less sparkly than the car thankfully) ~ So what better way to unbox it ~ than to unbox them together… so we popped the hood of the car to see the beast within, opened up the zipper pouch the shorts come in… and even found that the coin pocket they specially lined for the collab is a PERFECT fit for your GT-R key! And to top it off, when you start the car up, she even announces that there is a “High surf warning around current location.” Exactly when you need board shorts! So we promptly hopped in the car and took off along the beach to Malibu for lunch… though it’s currently one of the fastest production cars to lap the Nürburgring… we sadly didn’t have a chance to really see what it could do. Keep an eye over at GearPatrol to see what they have been up to with it soon! But for now, take a look at the GP x Onia Board Shorts and my favorite details of the 2012 Nissan GT-R on the next page.
p.s. After unboxing Louboutins on the Mars Red C63, it seemed appropriate to switch to blue and unbox the GP x Onia on the GT-R. What next?
So you’ve seen the Making Of… well, here is a look at our 6 playful experimental mini videos of new ways to look at Bentleys! Watch them all. We had fun finding the perfect clips and fun music to set the mood for each one…
Nothing quite like new toys, new cars, good friends, and a day of experimenting in beautiful LA weather with Mister C being the home base for the day… two weeks ago we brought our new Contour+ mini HD action cam with us to meet up with Bentley’s fleet en route to Monterey… armed with suction cups, we had far too much fun mounting the camera and driving all over beverly hills, bel air, and late night through the tunnel in santa monica and on pch… take a peek at the setups, as well as the beautiful 1936/37 Mercedes Roadster we found!
This series of Unexpected Combos posts is sponsored by P&G Downy.
I never thought i’d pop open my freezer and grab mini frozen 911s, Caymans, Cayennes and Panameras to chill my drink. Or create little traffic jams with… and watch them melt. Or… freeze little people inside of them to have drivers and passengers? Or… make mini chocolate Porsches?
So when tasked to share Unexpected Combinations with Downy ~ these Porsche Driver’s Selection Ice Cube Trays were hard to pass up. Amongst all the luxurious goodies and automobiles both super old and futuristically new at Monterey Auto Week, the one thing i impulsively bought as soon as walking into the madness of Concours d’Elegance was this ice cube tray! And while they are more cookie cutter silhouettes with slight patterns on them (which melt off way too fast) ~ they are still pretty fun! Though i’m now tempted to make silicon molds of my old hot wheels for more accurate ice cube trays! Check out the fun i had with them on the next page!
Here’s a first from Shawn, our automotive editor, who has been exploring the world of Concours D’Elegance this weekend with me ~ i was mesmerized by these beautiful classic Mercedes-Benz White Knights!
With Mercedes Benz celebrating their 125th anniversary, they commanded the stage and 18th hole on Sunday at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach. Lining the coast, the “White Knights” stood side by side collectively paying tribute to the Pre-War German engineering and racing of Benz and Daimler. While they are all immaculate, the 1909 Blitzen-Benz is with out a doubt the grand-daddy. The 21.5 Liter four-cylinder laid down 200hp and set the world land speed record of 141mph on April 23, 1911 at Daytona Beach. It is exactly these milestones of the “White knights” that brought Mercedes their glory on and off the track. These legendary cars will remain some of the finest German engineering through time. Take a look at some of their stunning details on the next page.
We ended up at an unexpected oasis amongst the madness of Monterey Auto Week when we drove up into Monterra Woods to join friends at the Aston Martin Estate. They took over a beautiful house and filled it with a brilliant mix of lifestyle brands from Far Niente Wines and Louis Roederer Champagne, to Emanuel Andren’s Chocolates from Sweden… Vizio 3D tvs and CxC Driving Simulators, to Flexjet by Bombardier and Worth magazine… There was even a tailor, diamonds, non-alcoholic cocktails (test drives happening!), and of course Aston Martins ~ from the V12 Zagato and One-77 to Virage Coupés, Vantage S Roadster, and Rapide. They created a beautiful space with relaxing indoor and outdoor areas, and endless things to do. Favorite? While waiting for test drives, the garage had two 3-large-screen simulators with racing seats that throw you around almost as hard as a real F1 car. (Of course, had we planned a bit better ~ i’m sure test driving the Astons would have been the favorite!) All in all, there was so much to see and do, and it was the perfect way to get a feel for the lifestyle they imagine around the marque. There were even herds of deer and flocks of turkeys roaming nearby! Take a peek and explore the estate and details on the next page!
We went offroading in the new Range Rover Evoque! I had no idea while wandering around between the beautiful cars on the golf course at The Quail that just behind the course is one of 4 Land Rover Driving Schools. It takes you straight up into the lush trees of Carmel as you twist and turn along their dirt track… occasionally with a camera man popping out as you round a corer ~ after all, this was fun test drive experience Range Rover set up for Quail visitors to experience what the Evoque can really do. The highlight? The glass roof is amazing! And when clean, the pictures and view you get through it are incredible! While having grown up in many SUVs, i must say the clearance in the front was a bit tough, particularly while trying to navigate their offroad course, but there are some UI details that are pretty interesting… take a peek on the next page at the mini-adventure and some Evoque details!
One of the most fascinating spectacles yesterday was watching how they unload and maneuver/roll precious, concept cars into the putting green in front of the Lodge at Pebble Beach. Especially fun to watch? The unload of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Roadster Concept… a hydrogen electric fuel-cell powered, joystick controlled, bicycle wheeled buggy. While the press pics have been floating for 2+ years, there was something intriguing about seeing it being semi-driven/rolled around and seeing the responses on people (especially kids) faces as they watched in wonder, perhaps even imagining a reality where that could be what we drive. The wood panels on grass technique was fun to watch, take a peek at the process and details on the next page.
Having spent the day with the newest Bentley’s all over LA on wednesday ~ and then being convinced to spontaneously pop up to Monterey Auto Week… the time warp to see Bentleys of the past amongst their contemporaries is quite a trip. While I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to attend on such short notice, but Bentley swooped in and have been helping guide us through the week. They were kind enough to invite us in to the world of The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, which we were told was an event not to be missed amongst the endless car events of the weekend. They weren’t kidding. It was an incredible introduction to the classic cars, while still getting to play with the supercars of today… all while lounging on golf courses… without playing any golf. Driving cars along golf cart paths and all over greens felt so wrong, yet is so normal here! One of our surprising favorites of the show turned out to be this green 1927 Bentley 6.5L coupe! So take a peek at the awesome car above in detail… as well as a silly unboxing of the jacket that saved me from the windy/mistiness that is the monterey peninsula… on the next page!
Spotted at The Quail, this Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 is a beast of a car ~ and not just visually… one of the most fascinating things at the Quail was seeing the car stripped down to its carbon fiber chassis and all that is inside it. It’s their fastest production car Lamborghini has ever made ~ and drew quite the crowd of enthusiasts and buyers. On a sillier note, their uniforms were polo shirts with the Lamborghini signature bull looking much like the Big Polo Ponies ~ even with the orange matching the Aventador popping off their blue. Check it out on the next page…
They really just don’t make horseless carriages like they used to anymore. This is the brake light of the 1917 Packard Twin Six 2-35 All-Weather Landaulet. Is it not amazing? Also the license plate actually says, “Horseless Carriage” on it. See the closeups, on the next page.
Last night, we previewed the Gooding & Co Auction at Pebble Beach and the collection is mind blowing. Each iconic car flashes you back to a nostalgic time of its own… and of course amongst the fun, i got lost in the amazing details… so here’s a roundup of hood ornaments and a bit more that grabbed me… i think i’m also lusting after classic cars in black and white, but more to come on that later… to the next page!
It’s a beautiful thing when a brand wants to encourage passionate, playful exploration. When Bentley invited us to join a fleet of their cars, Brian Gush - Head of Drivetrain and Motorsports, Robin Page - Head of Interior, a skeleton film crew, designer Cory Grosser, and former lead designer of Nokia/founder of Vertu - Frank Nuovo at Mister C in Beverly Hills, to just “be creative and play,” how could i resist? So we loaded up a bunch of new (and old) toys ~ and spent the day all over beverly hills and bel air playfully exploring these cars in new and inspiring ways… and while there is much to come from that… first things first!
At around 11am we ended up borrowing the Bentley Supersports Convertible ~ jetting back out to one of my favorite bluffs near home, and had fun playfully shooting it underneath the unbelievably bright moon and stars while overlooking pacific coast highway far below and the vast expanse of ocean and ~ it’s definitely different at night! Shawn managed to take some stunning shots of the car ~ and while he patiently took those, you can also see some of the silliness i ran around shooting in between on the next page! The car simply glows in the moonlight…
Fresh in my inbox ~ my dad’s latest adventure seems to have landed him at Art Center for the new 2011 Pagani Huayra’s photoshoot on its way up to Pebble Beach ~ where all the stunning cars are migrating next week… from the sleek and agressive exterior styling i can’t stop staring at (and that COLOR!) ~ to the carbon fiber leaf like side mirrors ~ to the steampunk-retrofab interiors (the BUTTONS!) ~ and well, the Mercedes-AMG V-12 twin turbos and carbon fiber chasis and body… there is so much lustworthy loveliness to stare at, take a peek at his pics on the next page. Seriously, this seems like the hardest week to try to car shop with so many incredible launches and lustworthy cars passing through… enjoy the design details and sketches!
On delayed San Diego Comic Con adventures ~ one of the last things i imaged writing about was Disney’s Phineas and Ferb booth. But it was massive. Had impressive branding… and a converted trailer that was turned into a HUGE Platy-BUS. Seriously, how impressive and eye catching is that thing? Making of video of it on the next page is surreal. While i must admit i’ve caught a few of the cartoon episodes, enough to at least make sense of what was going on… visually, the booth was like entering a crazy cartoon world, and they definitely took it above and beyond. Inflatable tree… with karaoke, guitar, and little platypus stools beneath it… large purple “evil incorporated” blimp flying above… and food truck like trailer serving up limited edition blind box toys of Perry the platypus pet that turns super spy… Then there’s the bizarre branding overload, with nice display cases showing off everything from the Kraft Mac & Cheese version of the characters and fruit snacks to band aids and toothbrushes… as well as other toys. It looked less like they were pitching those to kids and parents, but like a brand display to show off how far they can reach. Anyhow, it was quite a world they created… So things design worthy to note? The Platy-BUS and making of, the platypus stools, and the packaging details… check it all out on the next page!
So i already showed you the car accident mess i was in here. Sadly my car is totalled, but luckily i’m on the mend ~ and trying to figure out the next car and how to get better as fast as possible! On a separate note… friends and family checking out the accident pics noticed that i might have been hit by a 2012 Honda CR-V in stealth super secret prototype mode? (Bonus points to my dad and Acquire for noticing this!) And all the info and mysterious lack of data on the year/make/ of the car by the police/guy who hit me… and that he was from Ohio and may work for Honda… and checking out spyshots of the 2012 Honda CR-V the design and coverings seem to match really well… So it does seem to point to them being right? Did i really nearly get crushed in my car by a super stealth 2012 Honda CR-V?!?! See pics from the scene of the accident as well as spyshots for comparison on the next page!
Wow. So some of you may have heard on twitter and/or facebook that it’s been a rough few days, since i got in a car accident on Sunday. Sadly out of nowhere a car made a harsh left turn into me (when we were supposed to merge on to PCH) pushing me into stopped oncoming traffic. 4 car collision blocking PCH. Not fun. Airbag in my face upon impact, cops, firemen, and tow trucks on site in no time ~ neckbrace on ~ out of the car and on to a stretcher and into an ambulance and straight to the ER. Apparently it is just like the TV shows ~ the views of rolling by staring at the ambulance ceiling… and the hallways of hospitals from the room with the TV to the xray machines and back… Watched some of The World Is Not Enough from what seemed to be a James Bond marathon on Syfy while waiting. And i was lucky ~ really really lucky apparently ~ while my car is TOTALLED (poor poor car - see pics on the next page) ~ i managed to escape with a separated clavicle leaving my arm in a sling and neck pains that need icing/heating, and quite a bit of bruising everywhere the seatbelt makes contact. Hopefully, that’s all, but they do say things sometimes creep up on you as your body adjusts to the trauma?
Anyhow ~ it’s been a rough few days ~ and that’s why i’ve been pretty quiet. Dealing with the nice insurance guys ~ the collision guys who just shake their head when they see the state of my car and look in wonder at how i survived so unscathed… and starting to come to terms with the fact that my Toyota Highlander that took such good care of me the last 5 years is pretty much a goner (though, amazing how well it took such an impact and protected me!) needs replacing. So car shopping begins now? Ideas? And along the whole insane catastrophe, couldn’t help but to snap a few pics with the HTC Sensation - so take a peek of pics during, after, and the state of my car on the next page!
Almost exactly a month ago ~ i shared a peek into my insane days in Pittsburgh with the Toyota Ideas for Good teams ~ a combo of Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deeplocal, and CMU folks to name a few ~ making the ideas of winners to apply Toyota technologies to other purposes ~ all in the name of GOOD! The ambitious weekend of going from ideation to fully functioning prototypes was one of the most inspiring whirlwind trips i’ve had the pleasure of being pulled into.
So as a recap ~ what have you seen so far? The ROLLERCOASTER Deeplocal made from prius parts! Day 1 chaos! Adventures with the Firetruck! And if you recall ~ throughout the amazing experience, i found myself dancing around the various film crews doing their thing, constantly shuffling to stay out of shots while sneaking a few of my own, till i realized my shots were ultimately documenting their process! So finally, here it is… the awesome recap video to tie that weekend together that Slim Pictures did a great job on. And for a bit more silliness? More sneak peeks at the inspiring weekend… See it all on the next page…
This post is a NOTCOT Exclusive sponsored by Honda as part of their Super Civic Quest running across the internet. Odds are you either found this post like a normal NOTCOTer or found your way here through the Super Civic Quest!
You found it! The hipster lumberjack and his squirrel, the ninja asian girl, the luchador, the monster, and the zombie! What do they all have in common? 2012 Honda Civics - one customized for each of them! How fun is the idea that amongst all kinds of crazy new features, your car can be a super digital photo frame? Yes, you can actually set wallpapers on your car dash with the i-MID system (available on the EX model with navigation) - so instantly flip over from checking your mileage range, making phone calls, exploring your mp3 player… back to any picture of your choice! And Honda’s given us an exclusive set of wallpapers with their latest characters as part of this secret quest spread throughout the internet… Their videos crack me up too! So check out the videos and wallpapers… and maybe the clue to your next destination… on the next page! Happy hunting!
It’s a little absurd that it takes Mercedes-Benz inviting me to a German press trip that starts with a night in the Shangri-La in Santa Monica… to take my camera out and get some new perspectives on a place blocks from where i spent the first 5 years of my life… and minutes from my current house. But it also seemed too perfect not to show you some fun car shots too! So i wandered out after dinner across to the park and to one of the bridges that goes over PCH tonight, and i forgot how absolutely mesmerizing it is staring out at the views and the cars zooming past you in both directions. Take a peek on the next page…