OC Auto Show

If you can’t tell by the inconsistency of the post, blogging for Perks Garage is not my full time occupation. It is a passion of mine and delivering content is my goal. Staying relevant by trying to post something, even if it is just a photo that I took while out and about. Add a filter, crop, enhance, then post. I want to deliver more content, more stories and more photos so that means that I need to hit the streets more often and engage with the public. Enough with the disclaimer, lets get to the meat of this post.

Over the years I have been working on creating content with the goal to be a credible source of automotive content. I see Perks Garage eventually being mentioned in conversation with the likes of the veterans like Lieberman, Harris, Farah, or Lago, so I push forward as I work on sharpening my skills. I have gone to car shows, car meets, drive events and captured my handy work when I have a repair or modification. Solicited myself in the efforts of being recognized in the industry as a journalist and “amateur” photographer. For the last couple of years I have reached out to the promotional media group that puts on the Orange County International Auto Show to request media credentials. Provided my website and blog post samples as my “resume” for validity and they would add me to the list providing me access to the annual show. I am very thankful to be granted the access prior to the shows official opening to the public. This year, I have been busy with life and the 2018 show was rolling around again. I was afraid that I would not be able to submit my request in time and miss out. The day I found a moment to finally open up my email and prepare my template to send out, I noticed that I had an email from the same promotional media group that I usually send my request to. This time they actually reached out to me and extended an invite. WHAT??? I have made it to the official list and they are offering me the opportunity that I am usually seeking. Looks like I am moving up a little bit ūüôā

This year, I have been looking at the direction I wanted to take the blog and dabbled in a few promotional T-Shirts, an official Perks Garage email address, and over the past week created and had some business cards printed. they came out pretty nice thanks to the help of my wife. It was time to get official, and just in time. I quickly RSVP’d for the event with joy in my heart. After requested a vacay day from the 9-5 , I geared up with my Canon Eos, GoPro, and my trusty Note 5, which takes amazing photos by the way. The day of the show, I made sure all the batteries were charged, my Perks Garage t-shirt was laid out, and my lunch was packed. With a half of tank of gas in the Focus ST, I headed to the OC to make some magic happen.

I arrived at the gate of the convention center and the attendant welcomed me to the show and said that will be $16 for parking. I paused for a moment and told her I was here as media and she quickly apologized and said “Welcome, pull right in and enjoy the show. Have a great time.” Awww, the power of a press pass lol. I won’t let this go to my head.

After parking and making my way to the registration booth, they checked my name off the list, handed me my lanyard and I walked right in and started capturing the layout and the cars on display. My plan was to video the entire floor, then walk back through taking shots with my Canon and Note 5. I had looked up some photography tips prior to the show to prepare myself to get some good shots with the Canon. With the media day access you can take as many photos as you need with no one is interrupting or rushing you along. No kids jumping in the front seat of the car you are trying to capture hollering “that’s my car!” Or parents dropping their off their unaccompanied minors at a random car so they can go get up close and personal with the car they are looking to buy. Believe me, it’s great. The only downside to the early media access is that not all of the active displays are not up and running. For example, Jeep has a very nice off-road course they take riders on to get a feel for the capabilities of the brand.

I could have come back when the show opened to the public to get those shots, but I was on a tight schedule, so pictures of the parked vehicles will have to to for today.

If I think about it, this may have been the first time I ever sat inside of a Jeep Wrangler. I have always liked them with the removable doors and roof. Very cool vehicles, although a bit on the expensive side.

IMG_2630

IMG_2629

IMG_2631

During my day I took well over 500 photos and have edited some and still have some editing to do. You can see most of them in this post but there are more on the Perks Garage Facebook page.

Having a media pass allows you access to the show and a majority of the vehicles. There are still some exotics that are off limits and prohibited from access. Whether it be trying to open the locked doors of a 488 Italia

IMG_2395

IMG_2432

IMG_2433

or trying to rub up on the carbon fiber goodness of the Koenigsegg Agera RS Draken, I still tried, but held back by that ultra exclusive velvet rope that is reserved only for VIP’s.

IMG_2420

IMG_2423

Even though I am not quite there yet, I did ask and was quickly denied by the guy from duPont Registry to go behind the Pagani he had on display to take some photos. Next time! He did reluctantly agree to use my phone to take a pic of the exhaust.

Here is the photo the rep took of the Pagani for me.

20181004_143159-2

A photographer he is not so I had to doctor it up a bit. As you can see it came out pretty blurry.

The show was really nice and I was able to take some good photos. I love these shows because I can sit inside a few of my wishlist cars…Acura NSX, Audi R8 Spyder V10, Audi RS5 Sportback, Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, BMW M6 GrandCoupe and Corvette ZR1!!!

I showed my wife some of the photos I took and I have apparently been given the thumbs up on buying this 450hp Biturbo Sonoma Metallic Green Audi RS5! #audigoals

20181004_122957

20181004_123023

20181004_123030

20181004_123152

Here are more of the pics that I took and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

20181004_104002

20181004_104028

20181004_113230

20181004_113331

20181004_113346

20181004_113414

20181004_113445

20181004_120216

IMG_2417

IMG_2415

20181004_120241

20181004_120251

20181004_120308

20181004_120547

20181004_120601

Now this is the type of open arms welcome I could get used to.

20181004_122910

20181004_122918

20181004_122939

This is why Audi steals my heart. As if the interior of the R8 isn’t enough, look at the layout of the 2019 Audi A7.

IMG_2486

IMG_2487

20181004_124251

2019 Audi S4

IMG_2483

IMG_2478

20181004_123202-1

Audi’s all electric E-Tron 55 Quattro SUV. Amazing!

20181004_124308

20181004_124321

20181004_124334

20181004_125625-2

How a stable should look. Colorful and full of Motor Trends best drivers cars.

20181004_125650

The all-new Lexus UX250 Hybrid modified to appeal to the tuner crowd.

20181004_130223

20181004_130244

20181004_130257

20181004_130517

ZR1 goodness!

20181004_131045

IMG_2532

IMG_2539

IMG_2537

IMG_2533 - edit

Guess who’s back? The Chevy Blazer has finally returned for 2019. There is a beefier V6 RS packaged version as well.

20181004_131305

20181004_131538

20181004_131347

20181004_131401

20181004_131429

20181004_131517

20181004_131314

20181004_131902

20181004_131916

20181004_132830

20181004_132852

Rutledge Wood inspired Camry

IMG_2572

20181004_133004_001

20181004_133054

20181004_133107

20181004_135422

20181004_135520

20181004_140844

IMG_2663

IMG_2658

IMG_2666

The Ram section was next to the Jeep off-road adventure and they also had a driving course set-up for attendants of the car show.

IMG_2677

20181004_141407

2019 RDX A-Apec

20181004_142006

20181004_142102

Turbo Honda K24 swap in this Sprite

20181004_142314

20181004_142331

20181004_142400

IMG_2696

20181004_142645

20181004_142701

IMG_2700

IMG_2702

IMG_2705

IMG_2697

20181004_142737

20181004_143125

20181004_150802

20181004_150814

2019 MDX A-Spec

20181004_151242

20181004_151258

IMG_2685

IMG_2683

IMG_2682

IMG_2681

IMG_2679

IMG_2371 - edit

M…M…M!!!

IMG_2437 - edit

IMG_2449

IMG_2444

IMG_2450

IMG_2440

IMG_2431

IMG_2448

Jaguar’s I-PACE is ready for delivery and it is definitely a looker and worthy of a test drive. I am more and more impressed with the styling of Jag and this new I-PACE is very attractive inside and out.

IMG_2455

IMG_2457

IMG_2459

IMG_2426

I found myself singing Rick Ross’s #astonmartinmusic as I walked through this display.

IMG_2396

IMG_2397

IMG_2398

IMG_2401

IMG_2403

IMG_2410

IMG_2408

IMG_2414

IMG_2407

IMG_2555

IMG_2593

I ended the day with a couple of test drives with Mazda. As they were the only manufacturer available to fall prey to my abuse behind the wheel. I started with the Mazda MX5 RF and was very impressed with the comfort and roominess over my first gen Miata. The interior of the 5-door hatchback Mazda 3 Touring was very nice for a sub $30k car.

20181004_143906

20181004_143916

20181004_143924

20181004_145345

20181004_145319 - Copy

20181004_145339 - Copy

20181004_145330

Both cars are very nice and it is great to see that the Mazda 3 Touring has a heads-up display. A feature generally reserved for higher end cars choosing double the price of this car. I tried to get a good feel for the vehicles and felt that they drove very well on my very pedestrian 5 minutes scoots on the public streets around the convention center, I did wish that they were manual transmissions, but we would probably have an unscheduled drift session with me behind the wheel of the RF, so I’ll take what I can get.

A great day and thanks to Spin Communications for inviting me out.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned.

#OCAutoShow

Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel

All photos were taken by and are the property of Perks Garage. Unauthorized use of these photos is strictly prohibited. Please contact us at perksgarageblog@gmail.com

Going Deutsche

This is what life should look and feel like everyday.  Wake up. Brush your teeth. S, S, S.  Grab a bite to eat. Then pull out of the garage and hit the track in any one of these nicely appointed German suits.  

Audi Q2

Oh the Europeans and their posh customized lifestyle!  

No shade or hate, as I’ve told I have a little British man hiding inside of me.

Video courtesy of VWHome

Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel.

I got the car blues

I know that it’s January, but I am so very glad that the month of October is done as this had been the most nerve racking and stressful month to date. ¬†You know when people say “don’t take your car to the dealer for repairs because you always leave with more things wrong when you get it back.” ¬†I used to think that was a bunch of bull until it happened to me.

After wrapping up my media visit to the Orange County International Auto Show I returned to my car what could be described as a crime scene. ¬†There was a pool of fluid running from under my car. When I started the car, it would groan in agony as I attempted to turn the very heavy feeling steering wheel. ¬†Great! ¬†The power steering went out in horrific fashion after enjoying my first automotive media event. ¬†My goal for the day was to leave the show, grab a bite to eat and then go shop for a car for my son. ¬†Now I’m stranded in Orange County and the shop I usually go to is 40+ miles away.

Knowing that there was no way that my car could be repaired this late in the afternoon I decided to give the local Audi dealership a call.  I was going they could take my car in today and provide me a loaner since I still needed to be mobile.  They were willing to allow me to drop off my car and provide me a loaner, I just needed to get towed there.  I called up AAA and they dispatched a very nice tow truck driver to the rescue.  Since my car is lowered and all-wheel-drive, a flatbed truck is always recommended.  The problem this day was that my car was parked between the 1st and 2nd level of a multi-level parking structure.  Adding to the dilemma, the Auto Show just opened to the public and hundreds of cars were arriving. Great!

The AAA driver arrived in one of the smaller trucks that only tows the front 2 wheels. This style of truck was dispatched because it was small enough to fit inside the parking structure.  After assessing my car, the driver was advised by dispatch not to start the car.  He was instructed to roll the car out of the parking structure without starting it so as to not damage the power steering pump.  I would then need to wait for a larger flatbed tow truck that would be better equipped to transport an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

I assisted the tow truck driver with pushing the car safely down the ramp and out into the wide open parking lot of the convention center.  I waited patiently for a flatbed truck to arrive and transport my vehicle to the near by Audi dealership.  The dealership was great in taking in my car and providing me with a loaner.  I had the pleasure of driving a nicely equipped 2016 A6 2.0T for the week as they repaired my car. At the end of the week I received a hefty bill for the replacement of new power steering lines and I was back in the TT.

Over the next few days of driving, a multitude of issues occurred. ¬†First the belly pan that protects the underside of my car drooped down and dragged itself along the freeway for a few miles turning it into Swiss cheese. ¬†I was able to add some zip ties so that it would no longer scrape the ground. ¬†A few days later the AC stopped blowing cold air. ¬†That was a long sweaty drive back home from Fontana…smh! ¬†I contacted the dealer about these issues on Saturday and was advised to bring it in and they would look at it. ¬†That following Monday on my way to the dealership my car starts overheating forcing me to have it towed once again.¬†The dealership diagnosed a faulty wire harness that burned out and could have potentially set fire to the car. ¬†There are reports of this happening and is a known issue with VW/AUDI with their older platform vehicles, namely the Beetle, Audi TT and GTI, all of the same era (2000-2005). ¬†This faulty wire harness is like an artery that connects the alternator, battery and a few other vital vehicle electronics. So as you can see, it’s an important harness. ¬†I had it towed in and I was back in another loaner. This time it’s a 2016 A3 1.8T.

 (Pretty nice interior)

Another week goes by and my car is ready for pick up once again. ¬†I return the loaner A3, which I was not that impressed with, but it was more impressive than the A6 I had a week prior. ¬†The A6 just didn’t feel right…kinda quirky I guess. ¬†I pick up the TT leaving behind another paycheck at the dealership for the repair work and headed home on a Thursday night. ¬†Tuesday morning of the following week as I was headed to catch my commuter bus, the dashboard lights of the TT all start flashing and the car starts losing power.

I was able to safely pull off of the freeway and immediately contacted the dealership. ¬†They refused to send out a tow truck for my vehicle because I did not purchase my vehicle from them, so AAA gets the business for a 3rd time this month. ¬†No offense, but if I have to listen to another tow truck driver tell me his life story, I’ll have to pass on them giving me a ride in and just walk the 40 miles to work, lol.

Now remember when I said how that wire harness was important and connected to basically the heart of the car. ¬†Well the tech at Audi didn’t bother to check the alternator or battery before releasing the car to me last week and they both needed replacing. ¬†I assume that I am not the only person finding all this a little too coincidental. ¬†Loaner #3 was another 2016 A3. ¬†After talking with the dealership about all the money they were siphoning from my bank account, I picked up a very budget friendly alternator which they agreed to install at a discounted rate. ¬†Before picking up the TT after they replaced the alternator they call to tell me I now need a new battery. My words to the service writer “You mean to tell me that you let the battery drain as it was sitting in your bay waiting to get repaired. This is ridiculous.” ¬†After a bit of arguing they installed a new battery for free.

Upon picking up the car I recalled my conversation with the service manager about taking care of my belly pan as that was my initial complaint about their work they performed (tech didn’t secure the pan). ¬†Well guess what, they didn’t take care of it. ¬†I stormed into his office and after giving him a few choice words, he agreed to order me one and I could come back and have them install it on the car. ¬†I’ll be back for the pan, but no touchy! ¬†A month later and more electrical issues have started to surface with this car. ¬†I’ve got the German car blues.

Now I see why you don’t take your car to a stealership or but a German car without a warranty because the dealership will find ways to get paid and shift blame.

I’m sorry for the long post, but I had to share my story.

Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel.

What does Audi and laser beams have in common?

Audi is leading the automotive industry not only with it’s “virtual cockpit” dash displays in a number of their vehicles, but also with it’s innovative laser light technology that is currently fitted in the headlights of their Euro-spec cars.  This headlight technology was released a year ago oversees and they are now bringing that same futuristic tech over here in the 2017 Audi R8 Exclusive Edition. 

Check the video just released by Audi USA.


Video courtesy of Audi and YouTube . 

Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel.

2016 Orange County International Auto Show…Press Coverage

Well, it finally happened.  I was granted a media pass to cover the #Orangecountyinternationalautoshow.  This opportunity was a great way to get in and take pics and video before the little sticky hand kids were allowed to enter and muck up everything.  Perks Garage is very thankful for the access and looking forward to covering more events in the near future.

During my prep for the event, I have been working on setting up a YouTube channel to host the videos we take here at Perks Garage to provide a full in debt review of features and functionality of vehicles, both new and old.

It felt pretty good to arrive at the auto show and be asked for my confirmation letter as then granted access. ¬†I quickly parked the Audi, grabbed my gear and headed in for an unobstructed point of view of the cars on display, and the layout of the event. ¬†Once inside a greeting table confirmed my name was on the list and provided me with my pass. ¬†I was too late to receive a lanyard but I didn’t care…I have arrived. ¬†There were plenty of other people from various media outlets. ¬†Local News channels, fellow bloggers, YouTubers, and even some foreign independent channels roaming the floor. ¬†Everyone was taking pictures and videos and interviewing people spewing out vehicle specs. ¬†It is like a Hollywood gala for auto enthusiast…the bright lights and cameras minus the boogie attitudes. ¬†I was¬†not quiet ready to interview people, I just wanted to act as the cameraman/ videographer.

I had on hand my Canon, Galaxy Note 5 and a small handheld video recorder. ¬†I took loooootttttsss of pictures and quite a few videos. ¬†I took my time and was able to see every vehicle and even test drive a few that they made available for us. ¬†Mazda, Honda and Toyota to name a few were on hand to do test drive demos soI jumped at the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5. ¬†Disappointment quickly set in when I found out it was an automatic and the streets were pretty congested by that time. ¬†After the test drive and brief survey, I did receive¬†an email invite to attend a Mazda MX-5 track event, so that will make up for the weak test drive. ¬†Insert corny car nut verbiage riiight…here! ¬†“Yay Mazda…Zoom-Zoom!”

All in all the event was great.  Free access, free snacks and drinks, unobstructed views and full access to some very nice vehicles.  Thank you Orange County International Auto Show for the media pass.

Now on to some pics…A LOT OF THEM! ¬†Scroll down to check out some video footage.

#orangecountyinternationalautoshow

Don’t forget to Like¬†us out on Facebook¬†.

Also check out our new Perks Garage YouTube channel for more coverage.

Here are a couple of the videos available on the channel.

Please to like and Subscribe!

All images and videos property of Perks Garage 2016!