We’re in New York this week covering the 2016 New York International Auto Show during the press preview. In addition to creating a ton of fresh video content from the showfloor, we made sure to snap a ton of photos of our favorite new (and some old) cars that we found at the show. Now, we love the big international auto shows as much as anybody but we’re going to walk you through some of the highlights so keep reading!
First up, Mazda excited us with the MX-5 RF, a retractible hardtop model that carries more of a targa look when the top is stowed. It’s a great new look for our favorite convertible and we think Mazda really outdid themselves this time. How could you not love that shape?!?
Nissan also rolled out another updated version of the GT-R. With more power, more comfort, and more luxurious materials throughout, the GT-R continues to justify its existence for another year while we wait with bated breath for a completely new version that is rumored to come out next year as a 2018 model. Still, it’s hard to fault Nissan for building a bright orange, 580 hp rocketship, but the real stars of the Nissan booth were all the vintage GT-Rs they brought out for the show, dating back to 1969!
Cuban Film Festival – Thursday March 24th
The Minnesota Cuba Committee, in partnership with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul and the Cuban Film Institute, presents the 7th edition of the Minnesota Cuban Film Festival. This Thursday marks the fifth film screening in a series of six. Just bring your Spanish translator because the films are in Spanish.
Macy’s Flower Show – Now until April 3rd
You don’t need to go to Denver to enjoy some good greenery. Over the next few weeks the eight floor of Macy’s downtown will come alive with grasses, tropical flowers, cacti, and other green and not-so-green flora. It’s too bad we don’t have a VW bus in the MHCC fleet. It would fit this event perfectly.
Smoke Signals BBQ and Brewfest – Saturday, March 26th
Generally we’re not fan of smoke, whether it’s blue smoke from a tailpipe or any other variety, but we can’t turn down a little smoked barbeque. This Saturday Indeed Brewing is paring some of the finest BBQ with some of their tasty suds at Smoke Signals. Throw in an outdoor bonfire for good measure you’ve got a great trifecta.
Hopefully you’ve already claimed your free tickets for the 2016 Twin Cities Auto Show but if you haven’t made it to the convention center yet, the show is still running through this weekend. Check out our guide on what to see while you’re there!
We usually go to all the big auto shows around the country like Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York, but there’s something special about our home show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We stopped by the 2016 Twin Cities Auto Show earlier this week to poke around and enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere we have here in Minneapolis. The 43rd Annual Twin Cities Auto Show ends this weekend so hurry up and register for free tickets with your Morrie’s store of choice and get to the show while you still can!
Top of the morning to you! Grab yourself a green beverage and saddle up to see what our St. Patrick’s Day Top 5 favorite cars will be. Let’s not waste any time getting to the list so here they are.
#1 Aston Martin Rapide S
Pentland Green has never looked so good on anything. This 2015 Aston features an Eifel Green Leather interior that is unmistakable for anything but green. When you catch that pot o’ gold make sure to swing through Morrie’s Luxury Auto to pick up this beautiful Aston Martin Rapide S. Imagine all this green luxury and a 552hp V12… you know it’s good.
#2 Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt” Mustang
One of the best car chase scenes in movie history may still be from, “Bullitt” a 1968 classic featuring Lightning Steve McQueen behind the wheel of a 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback. A classic American styled vehicle with a green paint job that makes this a solid choice for enjoying the lovely weather we hope to have this year. Check out the chase scene from “Bullitt” on YouTube here
#3 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept
This is one we hope to see in more of a production model soon enough, but as of now you can’t argue with just how good this Bentley looks. This color might be perfectly suited to the concept, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing this on the new Bentayga SUV from Bentley. Since Green can look good on any classic British sports car, and it’s fitting since the UK is much closer to Ireland than we are across the pond, they should get the nod on this one.
#4 Ford Focus SVT RS1 / 2013 SEMA Focus ST
Another overseas release that wasn’t sent to the states (Until the Focus RS for 2016) doesn’t make this vehicle avoidable from our list. Maybe even import one of these to Dublin and go in search of the leprechaun holding all that gold to buy up the Aston Martin Rapide S we mentioned earlier. If the new body style of the Focus is more your style then you need to check out the Green Filter rendering of the Focus ST. It was built and brought out to SEMA in 2013. The classic racing livery it features is a sure fire way to have a bit of fun and look good during St. Patty’s Day.
#5 Nissan Leaf
100% electric and 100% amazing fuel economy, there isn’t anything more green than an actual green car. The Nissan Leaf would be the perfect car to cruise around the city to pick up a brisket to make with a bit of cabbage on the side.
Thanks for checking out the list and make sure to let us know what else you think we should add. Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
It’s always a good feeling to give back, and last night at the Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection Dojo we did something a little unconventional. Several Morrie’s employees came together to pack 100 backpacks with care for PAB’S PACKS, a local non-profit that has a very unique mission.
Their mission is to deliver backpacks full of comfort items to teens with chronic illnesses that spend a lot of time in the hospital. “PAB” is for Pia and Abbie, the founders and Chief Inspiration Officers of PAB’S PACKS. PAB’S was created after both Pia and Abbie (long time friends) spent time in the hospital dealing with their own battles with chronic illnesses. During their time in the hospital they both felt the need to help other teens in some way after their long stays and frequent visits to the hospital.
Each pack is filled with a items that are meant to give the teens some comfort and to let them know someone is thinking about them. A comfortable blanket, stress ball in the shape of a heart, Pabby the Penguin (their stuffed mascot), chap stick, a notebook, a pre-stamped postcard, and our favorite – a personalized note to the teen. Each personalized card is signed with “We got your back” to let teens know they are not alone in their circumstances.
Morrie’s and PAB’S PACKS will be hand delivering the backpacks tomorrow at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Morrie’s is excited to be partnering with PAB’S PACKS and we look forward to helping pack and distribute more backpacks in the future!
Visit pabspacks.org to learn more.
MINNETONKA, Minn., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Fremont Private Holdings, LLC (“FPH”) and Karl Schmidt announced that they have completed the acquisition of Morrie’s Automotive Group (“Morrie’s” or the “Company”), owner and operator of 11 automotive dealership locations. FPH, Schmidt and management acquired the Company from Morrie Wagener and the Wagener family.
Morrie’s was founded in the 1960s when Morrie Wagener purchased a single automotive dealership where he worked as a mechanic and manager. Today, the Company has grown to become one of the largest automotive retail groups in the Twin Cities. Since inception, Morrie’s has been run as a family business that emphasized customer service and satisfaction. The Company’s values were formalized nearly seven years ago, when Morrie’s developed its “Buy Happy” promise. The Company offers a no-haggle, best-price approach where vehicles have predetermined prices, which are not negotiable. The Company continues that philosophy today, helping customers have fun purchasing vehicles and focusing on service in a customer-friendly environment.
Morrie’s will continue to be led by CEO Karl Schmidt, who commented, “FPH is the perfect partner for our business. We share the same vision for the Company, and FPH brings a strong knowledge of the industry as well as access to the capital and resources necessary to enable us to continue to improve our offerings and better serve our customers.”
According to Scott Earthy, Managing Partner of FPH, “We look forward to our partnership with Karl and his team, who created the Buy Happy promise and have led Morrie’s to where it is today. The Company is one of the leading dealership groups in the Twin Cities area. We are excited about the opportunity we have to enhance our operations and expand in the Upper Midwest region over time.”
Tim Sheehy, Partner of FPH, added, “Morrie’s exemplifies everything we look for in an investment – an attractive, unique service offering, a proven and dedicated team, and a demonstrated history of success. We look forward to working closely with Karl and the management team to achieve our strategic goals.”
For more information on Morrie’s, please visit http://www.morries.com.
About Morrie’s Automotive Group
Morrie’s Automotive Group was founded in 1960 by Morrie Wagener, a graduate of Dunwoody College of Technology. Currently, Morrie’s Automotive Group offers 10 brands, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, Maserati, Mazda, Nissan and Subaru with locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.morries.com.
About Fremont Private Holdings
Fremont Private Holdings is the direct private investment arm of Fremont Group, the investment office for the Bechtel family. FPH makes platform investments of $30 million to $100 million in growing family and founder-owned operating businesses generating $15 million to $50 million in EBITDA. FPH looks to build businesses in partnership with management over the long term and considers both majority and minority investments in a wide variety of industries. For more information, visit www.fremontprivateholdings.com.
Tribute Night at Amsterdam Bar and Hall – Friday, March 4th
Unless you have a Delorean and can time travel back to the early nineties it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to hear Weezer’s entire Blue Album, Alice in Chains’ Dirt and Nirvana’s Nevermind performed live from start to finish. Fortunately, you won’t need Marty McFly’s help this weekend because all three albums will be performed atAmsterdam Bar and Hall’s Tribute night. All this for just $10.
MMA at Mystic – Friday, March 4th
The last fight we saw at a casino was between two seniors trying to stake their claim on a lucrative penny slot. This weekend you can witness more intense fighting when the MMA heads to Mystic Lake. We’re not big on fighting, but you probably knew that since we’re looking for a Volkswagen Hippie Bus.
Bedrace for bridging – Saturday, March 5th
There’s nothing quite like snuggling up in a warm bed — while hurtling down a snowy ski slope. If this sounds like your idea of fun you have to check out the Subway Bed Race for Bridging. This annual winter extravaganza pairs mattresses of all sizes with exuberant individuals looking for a different type of winter activity.
Minnesota Roller Girls Home Season Championship – Saturday, March 5th
Hell on wheels. That’s what we’d call our roller derby team if we had one. Alas, we don’t so we have to resort to watching others play. We’re in luck because theMinnesota Roller Girls Home Season Championship kicks off this Saturday.
A shortlist of upcoming events that piqued our interest
Adult Coloring Club – Thursday, February 25th
Who says coloring should only be for kids? The Coloring Club MPLS gives artistic adults an opportunity to put their colored pencils to use, which is good for people like Amber (one of our graphic designers) who have “coloring degrees” and want to keep up on their skills. Throw in $5 beers from Eastlake Craft Brewery (the event host) and coloring sheets from local artists and you can’t go wrong.
WinterFest at the Union Depot – Friday, February 26th
When he was in town last week Vice President Joe Biden had nothing but good things to say about St. Paul’s Union Depot. If that’s not reason enough to plan a visit maybe a little beer might persuade you. This Friday the Minnesota Craft Brewers guild is hosting Winterfest, a tribute to Minnesota beer. Chase out the winter chill with a multitude of Winter Warmers, hearty food, beer education, entertainment and music
Tech Fest 2016 – Saturday, February 26th
We’re all for introducing our youth to engineering, mechanics and hands-on technology. If we don’t who is going to fix all of these old cars we’ve collected? All kidding aside, The Works Museum is hosting a neat family engineering and technology fair offering hours of technology exploration for the whole family. Consider it a good alternative to sitting home on the couch.
Red Bull Crashed Ice – February 26th and February 27th
The icy spectacle known as Red Bull Crashed Ice returns to St. Paul this weekend for its fifth straight year in a row and serves as the grand finale of the worldwide four-stop tour. If you’ve never been it’s definitely something you should check out. Also be sure to check out the Crashed Ice Village. If you’re looking for easy travel to and from St. Paul Metro Transit will be offering a variety of free shuttles.
For the last few years, we’ve been sponsoring the Wayzata Chilly Open. In addition to being a great big chili cook-off for the businesses in Wayzata and neighboring cities, Lake Minnetonka plays host to thousands of “golfers” and spectators who come out to play 9 holes worth of golf on the ice. This year, three distinct courses were set up out on the ice, with Morrie’s sponsoring one of the courses. We set up a booth for Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection and brought our Banana Bronco out on the ice.
The theme this year was “Superheroes” so we turned our hole into a cityscape straight from Spiderman, complete with action figures. If a golfer knocked one of the villains (either the Green Goblin or Venom) off the top of our cityscape they got an automatic hole-in-one! We had a great time out on the ice meeting all the golfers and spectators that came by our booth and were happy to keep people warm with our fire bit. Some of the costumes were really fun and over the top too! Take a look at our photo gallery below to see what we mean.