Sunday, January 31, 2016

Washington DC Auto Show Highlights!

Chevy Bolt
The big new car show in DC was wrapping up this weekend, so I headed north on Saturday and took these photos. While I'm partial to the new stuff, the performance cars, and certain brands like FIAT since I drive one, I tried to get some shots of just about every brand.

One thing that stuck out was that several manufacturers had new hybrids, electrics, and a few fuel cell vehicles on display, so I've tried to include the new stuff this time.

New this year is the Chevrolet electric Bolt.

Toyota Mirai
Toyota has a huge range of cars, trucks, and SUVs, and they had their fuel cell vehicle on display, which if I read the signs right is the Mirai. The upward opening gull wing doors were very cool, and the display also included a hydrogen fuelling pump, as well as a bottom view of the Mirai so that we could see the yellow carbon fiber hydrogen tanks.

If hydrogen fuel cars make it big some day, then that would be cool, since by combining their on board hydrogen with oxygen in the air, the only emission is water! Scientists call that H2O, so I'll take their word for it.

Mirai bottom view

Another display, which I'm pretty darn sure was just a concept vehicle, was the Toyota i-Real, which appears to be a three wheeled one-person vehicle.

Here's a front quarter view, and I'll just say that yes it is very small!

Toyota had this big map on display, which shows their facilities in the US, so it's amazing to see how many places they build cars.

Our Camry was built in Georgetown KY, and from looking at the website I know they offer factory tours there, so maybe these other locations do the same.

You can click on any photo to see it larger!

Until a few years ago, there were usually just two kinds of police cars, the old Chevy Caprice and the Ford Crown Victoria. Then for a short time I believe that no one was making police package automobiles, but now we're back in business with this one from Ford.

They also had a police SUV on display at Ford, so it shouldn't be long before used versions show up at government auctions, and we can all dream of getting that used cop car bluesmobile like the Blues Brothers!

Alfa Romeo had these two cars on display, the yellow one is the 4C and the other is the new Giulia. The 4C has been on sale in the US since last year, and is a sharp looking two seater, with mid engine and a carbon fiber tub.

The Giulia should go on sale either late this year or maybe in 2017.

The Alfa Romeo 4C had a lot of admirers at the auto show, although I'd have to say the kid on the left was not quite as excited to be there as his parents!

The newest FIAT in the US is the 500X, shown here in orange. The base models start right at $20,000, and if you get one of the fancier ones you can get it in all wheel drive.

This car was introduced with the "Blue Pill" commercial at last year's Super Bowl, and is now appearing in some TV spots from the new Zoolander 2 movie.

In addition to the new cars on display, there were a few special interest clubs that were showing their older cars, and none was cooler than this 1931 16 cylinder Cadillac.

Just thinking that the new Camaros and Mustangs come in either 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, or up to 8 cylinders, and that this Caddy has twice that number is just amazing.

Another display had various gas powered cars that had been converted to electric, and the coolest of those was this Porsche 914, compelte with photo cells on the rear deck.

These originally came with either 4 or 6 cylinders, but certainly not electric!

In the "cars I'd buy if I won the lottery" department, there were two McLaren road cars on display, and this white one was my favorite. Sitting along several Bentleys, they certainly looked much faster!

The McLaren company is probably better known for their Formula 1 and other racing cars, but they have been putting more energy into their road cars lately.

Continuing with new cars, how about a Kia Soul electric? This one you can see is re-charging, with the electrical connection located in the front grill of the car.

The two tone paint job was kind of cool, and if the number of electric re-charging stations continues to grow I'm sure we'll see more and more electric cars.

The Mini folks continue cranking out various versions of their car, and while I'm not an expert on them, this part of the display was nice. They had this red tool box filled with tools, and added the computer screen in the lid to display info on their cars.

The rest of the display included info on various racing Mini Coopers, so even though their cars still have the big circular display in the center of the dash, they continue making fun cars.

In the Mazda area, the big news is the re-designed MX-5, which from now on we'll just call the Miata. They had three of them on display, and this white one was just as popular as the others in red and gray.

From all the various reviews I've read, the Mazda folks continue to make the Miata better and better, and I'm sure before long we'll see some brand new current generation Miatas autocrossing.

BMW had their two electric cars on display, the smaller i3 and this monster, the i8, which I believe prices out in the $100,000 range.

The i3 is a bit more affordable, somewhere north of $40,000, so count your pennies in the piggy bank and get one now! I've only driven the i3, and it was very good, so I would have to guess the i8 is awesome.

The Jaguar folks also bring you Land Rovers, but now for the first time they're building a Jaguar SUV, and here it is in blue.

If I had to bet, I'd say that it will be a big seller, but if it was my car I'd have to say pass on a JAG SUV and get their F-Type sports car.

Sorry I don't remember what model of Infiniti this is, but it's new, and unlike the rest of the day I managed to get a pretty good photo without a bazillion people in the way!

Infiniti is the higher end brand of Nissan, so I'll get to a few Nissans later.

Lexus is the high end version of Toyota, and I still don't like this enormous grill they've slapped on most of their cars. Let's leave it to personal preference, so if you like it then that's great.

 Audi has been selling cars like crazy in the US, and while I've only seen a few of these A8 models, I'd love to drive one! This has a V10 motor, looks great, and I'm sure costs more than I make. That's why I buy lottery tickets!

Acura is the higher end Honda cars, and I thought this view of their display area was interesting because the only cars in it are in the photo on the wall. That blue car? That's their next halo car, the NSX, which is being built in Ohio of all places. Hey, I'm from Ohio too, so how cool is that?

Seriously though, I was sorry not to see a real NSX at the show, so I glanced at a few TLs and TLX models and moved on.

This little yellow car is the Honda Fit. It's NOT the high end of anything, since I believe it is Honda's cheapest car. This one had a sticker of $18,500, and from reviews I've read, the Honda Fit is a good little car that carries a lot of stuff in the back. However,

The color. Yellow I can live with sometimes, but this yellow. This yellow is, well, uhmmmm, bad. I'll vote it "worst car color I've seen this year".

What color is it?

 According to the sticker, the color is:


Mystic? Yes, it's a mystery to me too.
Yellow? Yes, it's yellow, accent the "OWWW".
P?  Yes, it's definitely P. colored.

I must stop there.

More highlights coming later this week.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Dare to Be Different!

Susie Wolff recently retired from motor racing, which included being a test driver for the Williams F1 team for the past few years. She is the president of a new initiative announced just this week that is designed to inspire more women to enter the field of competitive driving and all other work related to racing, titled Dare To Be Different D2BD LINK. You can also visit their Facebook page at D2BD Facebook LINK

As part of the UK based Motor Sports Association, Dare to Be Different will be focusing on helping younger girls gain knowledge and experience in driving by interacting with women that are already in the business such as Susie Wolff.   MSA is the official governing body of four wheeled motor sport in the UK MSA LINK

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kart Race #1 Results!

Safety First!
Time to Dust off the Helmet for 2016!

Last weekend Brian was in Las Vegas for the SCCA national convention, and then managed to get back to South Carolina despite having to fly through snowstorm Jonas. I imagine he might be writing up a blog post about the latest news from the Sports Car Club of America, and his dinner with new SCCA Hall of Fame inductees Roger Penske and Randy Pobst, but meanwhile, up here in Virginia, at winter Kart race #1 with the Tidewater Sports Car Club TSCC LINK  last night I managed to finish in 6th place! Oh, and there were a total of 6 drivers, so let's focus on "6th place" instead of "LAST" or "SLOWEST"!

G-Force indoor karts in Portsmouth has a mean little indoor track with real gas powered engine karts, so it's basically all about putting your foot on the gas and holding on around the turns! In three run groups, we did the first two as practice and then the final time was our official race for the night. For the race we lined up based on best lap in the practice sessions, so unfortunately for me I spent the entire race in last. Spinning out on the first lap didn't help any, but overall I felt pretty good by steadily lowering my best lap time from 30.312 in the first session, down to 29.7 in the next session, and then a best lap of 28.005 in the race. Also somewhat encouraging was getting 12 of my 15 laps in the race to be faster than my best time in the 2nd session. Yes, when you are driving BEHIND everyone else you're looking just to improve your lap times!

Rapunzel Karted Here!

If you haven't tried karting yet, then you are missing out on a fun way to improve your driving, which for me is asking for tips from the other drivers and figuring out how to improve my technique and go faster. Hey, if you want to see my spin out and getting lapped, check out the video on Facebook at this link:   Kart Race Video

Monday, January 25, 2016

TSCC Karting Series Kick-Off!

Brian Karting at a previous event (outdoors!)
Tuesday January 26th will be the first race in the Tidewater Sports Car Club's Kart racing series for this winter, so even though it's cold outside, the indoor karting season is about to heat up! This race series will take place every Tuesday night for six weeks at G-Force Karts G-Force in Portsmouth VA. For drivers that compete in at least 4 of the 6 events, points will be awarded to determine the overall kart champ. I'm hoping that my schedule will allow me to make most of the events, maybe even all six. For more details on the TSCC, the kart series, or the upcoming autocross season schedule, check out more info on their web page: TSCC Karting LINK

Besides having fun driving a kart (did I mention that this is indoors?), this should be a good chance to also try mounting the Go-Pro camera on my helmet for some track level video. I'll test that out on Tuesday, so more to follow on that. Like most driving competitions, my goal will be to not be LAST, since there are just too many good drivers out there to expect to win anything. Each week's racing will have a couple of qualifying races, and then the fastest times from those will determine poll position and the rest of the grid for the main race for that evening's points. The organizers ask drivers to be there at 6:30PM to make sure everyone is signed up, and then driving starts at 7PM. For only $30 bucks, it sounds like a bargain to me!

From the TSCC website, here's how the points and overall championship will work:


Championship points will be determined by finishing position in the main races. Points will be awarded to all competitors that finish the final race. The best 4 of 6 events will be used to determine the series championship. In the event of a tie, the tie breaker will be the fastest qualifying lap time from the series. Points will be awarded as follows:


So if I managed to win four races and score the maximum 48 points I'd be king of the world! Realistically down here on Earth, I'll be happy to score any points!

Driving a kart is how most professional drivers (not me) get started these days, so if you have a youngster that you want to be a future world champion, then you need to get them into karting now! One thing I like about driving a kart is that most places that offer it also require you to wear at least a helmet and some neck padding, so safety counts even in a kart. The NMS team is fully equipped with our helmets and kart neck pads courtesy of Track Side Tim in Irmo SC, and we suggest them as your first stop if you need a good price on any driving safety gear. Check out their link at Trackside Tim LINK

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Winter Driving Tips: Survey Says:

I don't know about the weather where you live right now, but here in Virginia there's a winter storm and/or blizzard going on, so I think it's time for a few simple reminders on winter driving safety. Instead of just passing on some tips I've heard, or tips from just one source, I did a short search for winter driving safety tips on several websites, then made a master list of their suggestions, and then compared the lists to find the tips that were repeated the most on the following five websites. Each of these groups or companies is interested in traffic safety, so if the majority of them recommend the same thing to make us all safer, then these should be some good tips that can help everyone.

1. The most common tip was basically to "know your brakes". Whether your car is front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or all wheel drive, it will handle differently on snow and ice, so you need to adjust your driving technique and braking technique. If you have Anti-Lock brakes or not, that will also affect how your car brakes. One great tip related to this (and that is a TON OF FUN to follow) is to get out there on a big EMPTY parking lot and drive in the snow, SLAM on the brakes, practice turning, punch the gas, and drive by yourself to get a better feel for how your car handles on slippery surfaces. Driving safely and smoothly on snow is just like the directions on how to get to Carnegie Hall; "practice, practice, practice".

2.  If you've somehow ended up stuck in a car that is stuck in the snow, the most common advice is to STAY WITH THE CAR. This would apply if you're stranded in unfamiliar territory in a blizzard, and your safest warmest place is in a car that someone may be able to find and rescue you. So, this also would not be too bad if you've planned to have water and food in that car. Maybe some blankets and a cell phone that's charged up would help. Oh, and surely you didn't let your gas tank get down to empty, so now you're all set to safely run the car a bit if you need some heat...which also means you've made sure the tail pipe isn't clogged with snow so that you don't get exhaust fumes in the car.
One exception to this that can save your life in certain conditions is if you've somehow slammed into a gigantic multi-car pile up in bad visibility like heavy snow or fog. If you're the newest person to join this crash pile-up, then the odds are that someone else is coming right behind you and might crash into YOU. If that might be the case, I've read of people that realized this, got out of the car and got away from the car, which helped them avoid being the next injury. Coming close to a 130 car pile-up on New Year's Eve in Michigan one year taught me this one.

3.  Let other people  know your route and travel plans if bad weather is coming. This is kind of like the rule of always letting your  mom know when you got home or got somewhere else, because there's probably someone that cares about you. In this case of bad weather, letting someone else know you'll arrive in Pittsburgh at 10 pm might be the only way they'll know you might be stranded somewhere if you don't show up by the next morning.

4.  Finally, and this is my favorite tip because it might be a good reason to buy some more car parts and work on the car, MAINTAIN YOUR CAR. In the case of bad weather, this means replace the five year old battery before it dies and leaves you stuck somewhere you don't want to be. Keep more than a half tank of gas in your car. Take a look at those tires and see if you have any tread, or maybe you need snow tires, or maybe your tires need chains where you're going.

Here's the source of these tips, and you can find plenty more out there I'm sure:

American Automobile Association   AAA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration    OSHA

Travelers Insurance   Travelers Insurance

Car Talk   Car Talk

National Traffic Safety Institute   NTSI

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Would You Buy A Used Car From Jerry Seinfeld?

Brian is currently attending the national convention of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) out in some hick town called Las Vegas Nevada, so the rest of us are here in the East waiting on the next snow storm or blizzard or apocalypse or zombie attack or heaven forbid Presidential Debate.

But car wise, this little tidbit of info that Jerry Seinfeld will be selling just a few 1950s Porsches from his collection caught my eye. Would you buy a used car from him? If so, then now is your chance! Jerry is selling a few cars from his collection at an upcoming auction, and according to this article WSJ LINK in the Wall Street Journal,

The auction will be held by Gooding and Company at Amelia Island in Floriday on March 11th. So if you have a few million and either love cool old Porsches or Jerry Seinfeld's cars (or both), check out this link: Gooding and Company LINK

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Does the World Need Another Car Magazine?

Yes, the world needs another car magazine (or two or three), and I just found it at the local Barnes and Noble! This is the first issue of "Via Corsa", which is written for car fans that actually use their cars to go places and do interesting things! What does that mean? Looks like it means it's not a racing magazine. It's not for just mechanics and gear heads with wrenches in their pockets, even though there is nothing wrong with either!

What really caught my eye was the 20 page cover story, which details a visit to the Ferrari factory and various parts of the Ferrari business in Maranello Italy. Apparently anyone can take the factory tour, as long as you can prove that you own a Ferrari! In this case, the writer was visiting to custom order a new Ferrari, so of course his local dealer was happy to assist in making the trip, and attended as well.

Several other articles were fun to read, such as a short interview with former racer Sir Stirling Moss, a visit to Neuschwanstein castle in Germany, some info on old Route 66, and a new-to-me auto museum in England that thanks to this article I need to visit! Throw in a drive with Jay Leno, a few more interesting places to drive in the US, even more than that, and you've got a snazzy little magazine.

You can check out the Via Corsa website at VIA CORSA LINK

So to answer the question, there's always room for more magazines (or TV shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc), and it's even better if you find one that you like.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Schedule for the Tidewater Sports Car Club 2016!

What's That TSCC Link Again?

It's been a wet and even snowy day so far here on the Chesapeake and Atlantic Ocean side of the world, so the thought of another warm summer of autocross should warm things up a bit! The local Tidewater Sports Car Club is the biggest group in this area that sponsors autocross and other driving events, so I was very happy to see their 2016 schedule on line today for the first time.

13 FIAT Abarth = With New Tires!

This club has a great deal on memberships and season long registration if you plan on entering most of their autocross events. For one very reasonable price you can pay for all the autocross days up front, and at a great discount to the regular price! I signed up using this feature last year, and even with missing one event it was a bargain!

Brian and the Mighty 99 Miata!

For more information, you can always find the TSCC link on our blog, right over there on the right of the screen! Several of the events will be local at Pungo and some at the Little Creek Naval Base at ACU-4. A couple of events will also be just over the border in North Carolina at the Academi training area, and some at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research NCCAR LINK just off of I-95. Both the Academi and NCCAR should be very cool autocross events, with the course set up on a track (still with cones) instead of our regular parking lot.

My goal this year is to compete at all the regular Autocross events, and hopefully some other "extra" ones too. Without any further delay, here it is:


** Pending Approval
26 Mar.Autocross/Novice School Pungo
27 Mar.Autocross #1 at Pungo
23 Apr.Gripfest 10 at NCCAR
24 Apr.Autocross #2 at NCCAR
07 May.** Spring Track Attack at Academi
21 May.** Test and Tune at ACU:4
22 May.** Autocross #3 at ACU:4
19 Jun.** Autocross #4 at ACU:4
17 Jul.** Autocross #5 at ACU:4
20 Aug.** VAC Day 1 at ACU:4
21 Aug.** VAC Day 2 at ACU:4
03 Sep.** Fall Track Attack at Academi
18 Sep.** Autocross #7 at ACU:4
16 Oct.Autocross #8 at Pungo
29 Oct.Gripfest 11 at NCCAR
20 Nov.Autocross #9 Pungo

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pope Francis Wants You To Drive Safely!

Pope Francis with FIA officials

Officials from the United Nations and the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA)  FIA LINK met with Pope Francis yesterday to raise awareness of traffic safety around the world. The FIA governs international racing such as Formula 1, but is also involved with general vehicle issues and safety world wide. The story is at this link: FIA STORY LINK

Some of the safety facts are staggering: over 50 million people are injured due to auto accidents every year, resulting in over 1.5 million deaths. The FIA also sponsors the #SaveKidsLives campaign to increase safety for children in automobiles. More info is available at this link: #SaveKidsLives LINK

For more information about this meeting, and a video, visit the story on at RomeReports LINK.  

The Nixon Motor Sports team also fully supports safety awareness, the use of seat belts at all times, following traffic laws and signs, and always agrees with Junior Brown who sings "If you wanna race then get on a race track".

Thursday, January 14, 2016

National Association of Automobile Museums

One Building Just for the Ford Model A
Since the NMS team didn't win the 1.5 BILLION dollar Powerball lottery last night, I guess we're back at work and looking ahead to a normal 2016 of autocross, car shows, and car museums on the weekends.

If you are looking for an automotive museum near you, check out this link NAAM LINK. This is the National Association of Automobile Museums.

 One interesting feature on their website allows you to enter your zip code and search for auto museums near you. Another page has a list of member museums, NAAM LIST LINK

Whether your interest is in one particular brand of automobile, older models, racing cars, or all things on four wheels, I'm sure there are some cool museums out there worth visiting.

Awesome Pierce Arrow Hood Ornament

Photos on this page are from my visit last summer to the Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners Michigan. This huge collection is great for a short visit or a full day if you really like to read about all the cars on display. GILMORE LINK

One drawback of NOT being a billionaire lottery winner is not being able to start my own auto collection and museum. Oh well, at least we have all these other places to visit!

Hot Rod Exhibit

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Congratulations John Surtees, CBE

Henry and John Surtees CBE

 In case you were wondering who was the ONLY person to EVER win BOTH a motorcycle world championship AND a Formula 1 world championship, the answer is John Surtees. John won four titles on two wheels, and one Formula 1 title (on four wheels most of the time!). In case you thought that accomplishment was worthy of some sort of official recognition, maybe from someone who, you know, is officially "OFFICIAL", then you'll be happy to know that he was recently named a Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. FI Story LINK

John's son Henry was also a racing driver, but following his death in an accident in 2009, John created the Henry Surtees Foundation in memory of his son, Henry, to assist people with accidental injuries & help young people to develop their capabilities. You can check out their web page at Henry Surtees Foundation LINK or on their Facebook page:  HSF Facebook LINK

Thursday, January 7, 2016

How YOU Can Buy An Indy Car!


Coming up January 29-30, you (and me if I win the 700 million dollar lottery!) will have a chance to bid on an Indy car that will race this year!

Specifically, this is Ryan Hunter-Reay's Andretti Autosport chassis car body (minus the engine) that is up for auction. As the winner of this auction, you will get to own the car at a later date, like when the Andretti team is finished racing it for the next few seasons!

The tricky part is that all Indy cars are the same, all built by the Dallara folks, and the basic body isn't going to change until 2018, so Andretti will be using "your" auction car for a few more seasons! The car up for auction is the number 28, and the chassis has been racing since 2012.

At first that sounds like kind of a raw deal, I mean really, owning a car that someone else continues to control, race, and drive! To lessen the sting, the winning bidder will also receive admission for 2 to Indy car races while the Andretti team races it, so that actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal if you're an Indy car fan! Once you get the winning car, it will just be missing one little thing, called the engine! Apparently all the teams lease their engines from the manufacturers. Details, details, details. Somehow I think you'll be able to afford an engine if you can afford the car's pre-auction estimate of around $700,000.

You can get more details about the auction on this car from Gooding and Company at this link Andretti Autosport AUCTION LINK  In case you haven't noticed, the January auctions in Arizona by several of the big auto auction companies have become very popular over the past few years, to include tons of live coverage on TV.

Another article I found has more info from Racer Magazine: AUCTION LINK

For more on the Andretti Autosport team that races in Indycar, Indy Lights, Global Rallycross, Formula E, and Pro Mazda, check out their page: ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT LINK

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So You Need a Batmobile?

If you NEED a Batmobile, then these guys can build one for you! Here's an introduction: Batmobile Story LINK

Of course we're talking old-TV-show-Batmobile, not one of the newer fancier ones you'll see riding around Gotham city in one of the 50 or so newer Batman movies! Geeze, are there any male actors that HAVEN'T played Batman yet?

The company that builds these Batmobiles is Fiberglass Freaks, and you can check out their webpage at this LINK One thing that made me laugh was that the website is If you still can't get enough Bat-Tastic Batmobile info, check out the Fiberglass Freaks Facebook page too: FF on Facebook LINK

Spoiler alert, it looks like the prices start around $145,000. The good news is that the Powerball lottery tonight has a prize of 400 MILLION, so turning that money into a fleet of BATMOBILES sounds like a good thing to do if you win!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016: Cars and Coffee Virginia Beach

Here at the NMS-North headquarters in Virginia Beach, we enjoy visiting the monthly Cars and Coffee, which is an informal gathering of the motor heads on the first Saturday of every month. Typically there are a lot of folks hanging out talking cars, and walking about and inspecting all the other vehicles on display, and just maybe having that first cup of coffee of the day. This is a free event that goes from 7-9AM and is strictly a social event with no judging, no contests, no prizes, just fellow enthusiasts doing their "car thing" together. If you're a car person, there's probably a similar type of event near you. If not, you could easily start your own. Just do an Internet search for "Cars and Coffee", "Gasoline and Caffeine", or "Car Show" and I bet you'll find something close to home!

Here's a look at some of the cars spotted this weekend, courtesy of our NMS-North Newly Upgraded Digital Image Capture Device, AKA: new Olympus "Tough" camera.

First up, representing Germany, two BMWs in white, M3 on the left.

A few years ago the NMS team got to drive some new BMW 135s at their test track in Greer South Carolina, and we gave them a thumb's up rating!

The company has been around for a while, so they'll likely make it some day!

Next, on behalf of the United States of America, the loyal pick up truck!

I don't have the exact numbers, but the many versions of the Ford F150 pick up continue to be the leading seller vehicle in the US.

While they currently aren't making the smaller Ford Ranger pick up, there continues to be talk that it might come back!
The NMS team is currently truck-less, but our 97 Ford Ranger was pretty much indestructible, and
as far as we know is still on the road today.

We had the smaller engined 4 cylinder, and even though we bought it used and the fuel gauge never worked, it pretty much always got the job done.

One day it didn't want to shift into gear, so other than being out of transmission oil it was OK! A new fill up of transmission oil and it was good to go!

There were a larger than usual number of Italian cars at Cars and Coffee today (meaning "more than 1").

Here is one of two Lamborghinis spotted at C&C. This one must have just found a new owner, judging by the new paper license tag.

I'm sure that if I'm ever faced with the horrible choice of what expensive car to buy after winning the lottery that the Lambo will be on the short list!

In honor of jolly old England, how about a Triumph Stag?

The TR3, TR4, TR6, TR7, TR8, and Spitfire models are more commonly seen these days, but the Stag always catches my eye.

I like the groovy chrome, four headlights, and one of a kind stag emblem in the grille too. Just don't confuse it with a John Deere logo.

Quick, back to Italy, with a red Ferrari 328 (or 308, hard to tell) on the left and a FIAT 600 Multipla on the right.

I've seen a lot of Ferraris compared to how many old FIATs are still on the road. The Multipla has seating for six, is rear engine, and certainly would come in 2nd place in a race with the Ferrari!

Hey they're both Italian, mid or rear engine, and not something you see every day!

Like it or not, here's another Italian, this one an Alfa Romeo Milano.

With Alfa trying to be serious about returning to the US, I hope to start seeing the Giulia sedans hitting the streets later this year. Their only car here now is the expensive 4C, which is cheap for an all carbon fiber tub, but out of my price range.

After 2016 we won't be seeing the Honda Accord Crosstour being sold anymore, so if you like it, grab one now.

Other than that, I think the Crosstour is mostly known for being ugly and not selling well. That makes this custom Spider-Man graphic package probably the best looking Crosstour in the world! That's likely going to be my best creative thing to say, it's kind of chilly out here on January 2nd!

Back across the Atlantic from Virginia Beach we get back to the English Lotus in ORANGE!

Normally you'd think the yellow Lamborghini next to it would be the most ridiculous attention grabbing car in a photo, but next to an ORANGE Lotus, the Italian finishes in 2nd place!

For some reason there is a Colin Chapman signature on the driver's door frame, not sure why since Mr. Chapman (founder of Lotus) passed away some years ago before this one was built.

Two more Italians for you, my red FIAT 500 Abarth and another one in gray.

If you want to speak a bit of Italian, instead of gray and red, just say Grigio and Rosso.

Mr. Grigio has some extra badging, while the Rosso is chock full of stickers. Each sticker adds 10 horsepower, so that makes me faster!

There were a LOT of Subarus at Cars and Coffee, and this Subaru wagon caught my eye for the hilarious stickers. The fonts of these decals are all mimicking some well known auto parts companies, but when you actually read them, it's obviously someone's witty take on the "wagon as grocery getter" list of Eggs, Milk, Bananas, Ham, and Pepper.

Cars folks are known to have a sense of humor, and this one wins!

Here's an international combo of American and German electric cars, with a Chevy Volt and a BMW i3.

After test driving both of these models at an event a few years ago, I'd recommend the BMW as the better driver.

The green Triumph has now been surrounded by two white Porsches.

While the white cars are a few decades newer, much more expensive, and way faster than the Stag, having an old English classic in your garage would be cool.

Maybe I should say, "having an old English classic CAR in your garage would be cool", so you don't think I'm talking about Her Majesty.