Since our last update there has been a flurry of activity on the 1968 Dodge Charger. To date the restoration has truly been a team effort. Upon arrival at Morrie’s Long Lake Bodyworks facility our team of 22 body technicians each enthusiastically volunteered to work on a particular body panel. In the images below you can actually see where each technician’s name has been written on the car to mark his territory. Each has been tasked with stripping, repairing, straightening and preparing their assigned part(s) for paint.
As they have dug deeper into it, the Charger is proving to be as clean as it originally looked. Rust has been almost wholly nonexistent and the dry California climate has really preserved the car nicely. This has certainly helped keep the schedule on track. In less than a week’s time much progress has been made and a number of panels are nearly ready for final paint. The team is shooting to have all the bodywork done and car delivered to our Brooklyn Park Bodyworks location by February 11th. From there the panels will be reattached and painting commence.
Stay tuned as the transformation process continues. We’re planning on getting some great photo and video footage of the painting and subsequent assembly processes.
This week Morrie’s had the opportunity to attend the 2013 North American International Auto in Detroit. The show was marked by a number of vehicle debuts from domestic and overseas automakers. While C7 Corvette was the show’s media darling, Ford literarily dropped a big one on attendees with the unexpected display of their F150 Atlas Concept Vehicle. Other notable concept vehicles included the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept, Nissan Resonance SUV concept, Lincoln MKC Concept, BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept, Toyota Corolla Furia concept, Acura NSX concept plus a few others. These concept vehicles all provide clues, some more accurate than others, as to how future production models might look. The production vehicle debuts were equally impressive, illustrating what will actually see on the roads in the near future. These included the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, Audi RS7, Shelby Focus ST, Kia Cadenza, Nissan Versa Note, Cadillac ELR, Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible and C7 Corvette.
Please read along as we elaborate more fully on some of the more noteworthy vehicles that fall within Morrie’s portfolio of brands. Also be sure to check our YouTube and Facebook pages soon to see videos we put together for each vehicle highlighted below.
Weather patterns change quickly here in the midwest and so do road conditions. In the blink of an eye you could be stranded in your vehicle so we did some research of our own to help you be more prepared. We talked to employees in different departments at our Chippewa Valley Mazda dealership and they provided some helpful tips to ensure safe winter driving.
Our staff recommends that you keep these items in your car at all times in case of emergency: A blanket, water, a knife or scissors, glow sticks, road flares, a flashlight, hand and feet warmers, a first aid kit, matches, a candle, booster cables, hat and gloves, an extra set of warm clothes, an ice scraper, and a bag of road salt, sand, or kitty litter.
With icy conditions, our Service Manager suggests using kitty litter or road salt if you get stuck. Put the litter under your tires to help gain added traction. Our Sales Manager suggests digging snow away from your exhaust pipe if you become stuck in deep snow. This prevents the exhaust from seeping back into your vehicle and becoming a hazard. Some other suggestions from staff members included staying in your vehicle until emergency personnel arrive, always carrying a cell phone with a car charger, and packing a snack that won’t spoil or freeze. Maneuvering the roads in Wisconsin/Minnesota during winter months can be dangerous, but being prepared with some of the simple tips above can help if you find yourself stranded.
Photographer & proud owner of a 2013 Subaru WRX
It seems like it was just yesterday that I bought my ’94 Miata. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the little Miata, driving it all over the Midwest and wringing out everything the chassis and engine had whenever I could. As much as I loved the car, it was taken away from me in September when a woman driving a 2012 VW Jetta ran a stop sign and t-boned my car right in the driver’s side door.
Luckily, I wasn’t injured aside from a few cuts and bruises but the car was a total loss. After sorting things out with insurance, I decided that this time around I’d get something a little more practical and comfortable to use as a daily driver and to carry around all of my camera gear. With the money I got from insurance, I had enough to cover about half the cost of something used that might fit what I was looking for, or I could use the money as a down payment on something newer. I decided that if I was going to be taking on debt to own a better daily driver, I should try to get something that fit as many of my needs as possible.
A recent trip to the LA Auto show to see the unveiling of the all-new 2014 Mazda6, amongst many other exciting cars, triggered a trifecta of firsts for me. This was my first trip to a major auto show, my first (and second) time to an In-N-Out Burger and the first time I’ve driven a Mazda MX-5 Miata more than 100 yards. The latter came complements of Mazda USA, who graciously provided me and a colleague with a 2013 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition to drive during our stay in SoCal. The MX-5 proved to be a great car to drive up and down Pacific Coast Highway.
Perhaps it was the pre-trip excitement, a bad frame of reference or poor planning, but it wasn’t until we arrived at Mazda HQ in Irvine, California, that we realized that our car would be challenged in the cargo carrying department. You see, in addition to our regular luggage and briefcases, we were also hauling a full load of camera gear to get footage at the show. In a prior life I spent many years working for company that sold two-seat roadsters, that shall remain unnamed, offering substantial trunk space in a front and rear trunk. It was not until we had our rendezvous with the MX-5 in Mazda’s parking lot that it finally clicked that not all convertibles are adept at swallowing large pieces of luggage. Despite its Spartan trunk space, some creative packing allowed us to fit everything quite snugly in the car. So snug, in fact, that when it came time grab the camera to snap a picture of our packing prowess, I realized it was in the bottom of the trunk. So, you will have to envision a trunk overflowing with luggage and equipment.
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting our annual Cadillac Season’s Best Customer Appreciation Event. Past customers and attendees enjoyed live entertainment by local recording artist, Ali Washington and hors d’oeuvres and refreshments catered from Christos Café.
Guests who brought items to donate to the Salvation Army were also entered into a raffle where they had the chance to win prizes varying from a flat screen TV, to a full body detail for their vehicle. Everyone will undoubtedly agree that the highlight of the night was when NFL star Adrian Peterson made an appearance.
Adrian signed autographs, interacted with guests, posed for photos and the kids were all thrilled to meet him. The event was a great success and we were delighted to be able to honor our valuable customers and bring everyone together during the holiday season. In the future we hope to host more events at Cadillac and continue to get involved with our customers and community members. For more information on Morrie’s Cadillac visit our website.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in St. Louis Park, when Adam borrowed one of our 2013 Santa Fe Sport’s to do some shopping at Ridgedale Mall.
Adam’s mood, on the drive there, was not so sunny. A terrible anxiety griped him as his thoughts turned to the space assets of the vehicle. Adam had never tried to fit anything as large as the 52” TV and iMac, he was planning on picking up for his parents, into a Santa Fe.
California is widely known for its influence on car culture. With over 37 million residents, California ranks higher than many countries in terms of annual automotive purchases. Whereas the LA Auto Show was once just another mid-sized auto show, over the last few years it joined the ranks amongst the big three shows. And many argue that the LA Auto Show is the most important show for all but domestic manufacturers.
This past week we made the trip out to the show for press days and we are excited to give you a glimpse at the highlights. While we were sure to checkout all vehicles on display, our main goal was to see what our brands had to offer.
We will be piecing together our video footage shortly for each of our brands, but in the meantime we’ve put together the synopsis below to tide you over.
Undoubtedly, the most noticeable vehicle at Bentley was the new GT3 concept. The Bentley GT3 Coupe and 2014 GT Speed made their North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto show. The GT3 racecar, first revealed at the Paris Auto Show, marks Bentley’s return to competitive GT sport car racing. While the car is still considered a concept, it is currently undergoing testing with the goal of participated in motorsports events towards the end of 2013.
One thing we do know is that the GT3 coupe is loosely based on the new 2014 Bentley GT Speed, which also debuted at the show. The 205 mpg GT Speed is Bentley’s fastest car ever. The reworked bi-turbo 6.0l W12 that propels it generates 616hp and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds. Bentley reports that the GT Speed can sprint from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and I have no reason to doubt them. The GT Speed rolls on unique 21 inch wheels, which accompanied with the 10mm decrease in ride height, really make the GTSpeed pop. Stiffened springs and anti-roll bars reportedly sharpen handling and massive 16.5 inch carbon brakes with 8-piston calipers provide substantial stopping power.
Bentley also displayed the latest Mulliner driving specification on the Mulsanne, but the two GT models certainly garnered the most attention.
This year Ford’s emphasis was on the Fiesta. For 2014 the Fiesta gets a mild refresh, but the biggest news was what is to come under the hood. At the show, amidst much pomp and circumstance including a live outdoor Ken Block Gymkhana show, Ford confirmed that their 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine will join the Fiesta lineup. Ford expects the Ecoboost Fiesta to be the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market in the US. Despite exceeding the current 1.6 liter engines horsepower and torque figures, the 1.0liter turbocharged 3-cylinder is expected to deliver fuel economy in the neighborhood of 45 miles per gallon. This makes the Fiesta a legitimate competitor to more expensive, fuel sipping hybrids.
Ford also announced the addition of an ST model to the Fiesta range. The Fiesta ST massages the 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine to generate 197 horsepower and 214 lb./ft. of torque. Despite the cars elevated levels of performance, it is still projected to return up to 34 miles per gallon. This of course assumes that you’re not constantly flooring the loud pedal.
Overshadowed by all of the Fiesta fan-fare, Ford also debuted the new Transit Connect 7-seat van.
With America’s B-Segment booming, subcompact cars are becoming the fastest growing market in the United States today. Some attribute this to rising fuel costs or a down economy, but maybe today’s American car buyer is realizing Europe’s little secret: You don’t have to drive an SUV to haul your family of three.
One possibility may be more and more manufactures are going with the “less is more” motto. Today’s subcompact cars are safer, roomier, and offer the same technological capabilities as their bigger brothers. They have twice as much horsepower as their 1980′s counterparts, while still providing outstanding fuel economy. And lets not forget how devilishly handsome they have become. However, not everyone shares this perspective. If you strip down most subcompacts, they’re small, cheap, and underpowered. Sounds a bit degrading, unless you’re building a racecar. In that case, it actually sounds a bit enticing.
A few years ago, the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) developed a B Spec (subcompact) class that falls within the showroom stock category. Technical jargon aside, it was developed to create a class possessing the smallest, cheapest cars in a manufacturer’s line-up, while restricting engine modifications creating an even playing field. It seems they’ve created a class which caters to small, inexpensive, underpowered cars. Perfect for those on a tight budget or those looking for a new challenge. You could say SCCA took the “less is more” motto and ran with it.
Earlier this year, Twin Cities Luxury Auto was approached by a loyal client who was interested in building a new racecar. The client, a motorsports enthusiast, was drawn in by the principles of the B-Spec class: challenging, affordable and fun. So we sat down with the client and TCLA’s Michael Ashby, an experienced motorsports driver with Mazda, to discuss the ins and outs. After months of collaboration, the idea of building a spec series racecar became a reality.
With joint efforts of both Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda and Twin Cities Luxury Auto, our Mazda 2 B-spec racecar build is underway. Please follow us on this journey and continue to check our progress here on the blog.
Ahhhh Thanksgiving. A holiday to give thanks, stuff our faces with an embarrassingly array of calorie laden treats and for some, an opportunity to brave the crowds at the mall in hopes of getting a deal that’s too good to be true. I for one checked all the boxes in this trifecta and added one more. I spent the extended holiday weekend enjoying the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.
When it first debuted in 1986, the Nissan Pathfinder was a true body on frame 4-wheel drive truck that was arguably better suited for off-road hijinks than on-road comfort. Throughout the years, the Pathfinder has evolved away from its off-road, path finding roots, and more towards suburban errand running. Don’t take this as a bad thing, though. Just consider it a different kind of path finding that better aligns with consumer preference.