Bullitt on the Big Screen in the Rain in a Mustang

Yes, it’s true I’m a car lover.  

Why else would I be writing to you via my JulesOnWheelz.net Blog!  

Being a car lover should not be confused with loving being in a car…for too long…nine hours to be exact.  This is the preface to my story today…yes it’s true.

Driving from Kentucky to Michigan is anything but scenic, but there are the skylines of Indianapolis and Detroit that rise from the rubble to proudly display their splendor.  

Soooooo, “Why” might be one of the words that pass across your lips…well…remember I’m a car lover.  The Woodward Dream Cruise called my name and I came.

Like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, advertise it and they will come.  Thousands upon thousands of cars and car lovers descend on the State of Michigan every year.  So here I am.

My reward tonight, at 8 pm sharp, was the luxury of sitting front row in a brand new 2019 Mustang GT convertible as my movie post for the showing of “Bullitt” starring Steve McQueen.  Ford’s clever event drew a small crowd due to rain showers but as the film started the sun was setting and putting on a show all her own.

rainy sunset on Woodward

As dusk settled, there he was…Steve McQueen.  Heart-throb, idol, racer, actor. His baby blues and that turtleneck a snippet of American culture to stand the test of time.       

Girls loved him, guys wanted to BE him. It really didn’t matter what Frank Bullitt’s profession was, he was cool already.  Add to that, JJZ 109 and a chase scene up and down the hills of San Francisco and you’ve got a hit!  

RDR 838 didn’t have a chance.  So many hub caps, so little time.

As I lounged in the lap of luxury, the sprinkles started.  To the rescue were Ford team members to bring up the top and windows to protect me and the supple leather beneath.  Ironically, Steve McQueen was fresh out of the shower as I looked through raindrops on the windshield…he and I both were a bit damp.  

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My cocoon was complete as darkness fell.  As Ford paid attention to detail by providing in-car stereo sound of the movie, I was drawn to details about the movie that might just pass by others…this should not surprise you if you’ve been a loyal follower…details are my game.  

Steve McQueen’s shoes are one such example.  Characterized as one with “delicate feet”, those wraparound style tobacco brown suede chukka-style ankle boots looked like he was ready for winter…not a sunny San Fran afternoon.  The turtleneck and tweed blazer completed the look, I guess Steve could handle the heat.

The second and less famous chase scene put those toes to the test. Running past airplanes on the Tarmac, through grass and yes, through the airport, made for an ending to remember.  

He was a tree-hugger before his time…those shoes were also featured in his other movies, “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “Papillion”.  Their sturdy English construction paid off in the end.  I guess that’s enough about shoes, I’m not Imelda Marcos.

Pony emblem screen

As I said above, Steve is the ultimate man, he could make burlap look good, and the Mustang isn’t bad either!

He schooled us all on parallel parking, BTW.

I’m looking forward to seeing that 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2 + 2 Fastback tomorrow.  

Would have loved to see Steve too, but we all know he’ll be there in spirit.

Maybe he will whisper “shotgun” on the way home…

Epitome of Elegance – A Day at the Concours

*WARNING* Elegant photos of automobiles displayed in a beautiful setting present in this post.  Prepare to spend some time gawking…

Elegance, it’s a lost art.  Men in suits, ladies in dresses and hats.  Seems we have reserved this elegance for Wall Street and the Kentucky Derby alone, but pulling out all the stops, I present to you the Epitome of Elegance…The Concours d’Elegance of America.

A few fancy dresses, hats and a sea of blue sport coats were definitely present, but it was the cars that brought the elegance to the Inn at St. John’s this past Sunday in Plymouth, Michigan.

Normally I would be in attendance at a venue like this for the golf, but to my pleasure I was beckon come for an award, an Automotive Heritage Journalism Award.  Honored and humbled, this event started my day with a bang.  Friends and family flanked the Brembo tent table to cheer on their favorite blogger.

2018 AHJA JulesOnWheelz

Jules and Steve Purdy

Veteran journalist and Chief Judge Gary Witzenberg did the honors.  Organizer Steve Purdy was on hand for an “atta boy” as well.  Check “award-winning blogger” off my bucket list.  Now, enough about me…let’s get to the cars!

They started to roll in at 6 am.  Fresh from the media table, I with my treasured award and media credential around my neck proudly, moseyed down the course towards delight.  Arranged over three long fairways, the green velvet underfoot gave a cool layer to the ankles as I watched the owners prepping for the day with fevered brows.

1958 Pontiac Parisienne Convertible by GM

Ahh the smell of Meguiar’s and turf in the morning.  As the sunrise cut through the cloud of polish it was prime time for exhibitors to take one last look around the show…the calm before the storm.  The grown-up amusement park was soon to open.

From find to famous, some entries were fully restored.  Scrapbooks with pictures of every stage of resolution were proudly shown.  One that stood out was a car that was almost completely destroyed and saved by local Detroit businessman Jim George, seen in the background of this photo below.

Jules and 1958 Bentley SI Continental Drophead Coupe

More details to come in a future post, but know that this bullet ridden, gutted, rust heap made its way to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for its cotillion in 2017.

Divided into classes like Jazz Age, American Post War, and Modern Collectibles, each car is judged by an esteemed group of car experts in blue sport coats.  They stroll the fairway with clipboards crowning “best-in-class” which then move onto the “best-in-show” competition.  Ribbons appear on the windshield later in the day.

I’m able to spot Wayne Carini from the Velocity Channel’s show Chasing Classic Cars, whom I met on Saturday, scoping the merchandise.  I continue to be impressed with Wayne as he strolled leisurely amongst the bevy of beauties. Later he would gladly pose for a picture with my family as he is one to encourage the young who are interested in cars.  *See teenagers in photo below.  **Yes, teenage girls.

Mornings with Wayne

Now…find a comfy seat and settle in…

I don’t apologize for the number…narrowing was never my strong suit, the more the merrier.

1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible
1958 Edsel Pacer Convertible
1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable
1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable
1937 Bugatti T57S Coupe 2
1937 Bugatti T57S Coupe Owned by 2018 Distinguished Judge Keith Crane
1937 Bugatti T57S Coupe
more of the 1937 Bugatti T57S
1915 Stanley Mountain Wagon
1915 Stanley Mountain Wagon
1939 Bugatti T57 Cabriolet by Letourneur
1939 Bugatti T57 Cabriolet by Letourneur
Bugatti racer
Bugatti racer
Bugatti emblem hood ornament
Bugatti hood emblem
57 Lancia and 50 Aston Martin
Left – 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe, Right – 1957 Lancia B24S Convertible
1957 Lancia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina
1957 Lancia B24S Convertible by Pinin Farina
1950 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe
1950 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe
1950 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe front
more 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe
Minty Fresh
1947 Deleheye 135M Cabriolet by Henri Chaprone
Mercedes
Mercedes
Lovely Lady RR
Rolls Royce
1958 Ford Thunderbird Roadster
1958 Ford Thunderbird Roadster
1962 Sunbeam 11 by Thomas Harrington
1962 Sunbeam 11 by Thomas Harrington

Flip ups

King rat and The Judge

Whew! Ending with a King is appropriate.

The bridge from found to famous, barn find to blue ribbon is paved with mystery.  The story is the treasure.

Get out to a concours someday, you just may pick up something more than a sunburn.

Maybe even an elegant award.

Title photo:  1966 Bosley Interstate MKII 2-door Coupe by Carrozzeria Bosley

Cars, Coffee and Carini

The sun arose to greet the loyal enthusiasts early Saturday in Pure Michigan.  A day had come for car lovers all over the midwest to show their wares, drool over their hopes, and appreciate the one and only Concours d’Elegance of America.

Michigan sign

A bevy of volunteers shine every year and for the past 40 in Plymouth to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  Park here, eat there, show there, you get my drift. Over three hundred beloved beauties would be showing up shortly to be judged on their merits and loved by their fans…but that would happen on Sunday.  

Hagerty sales

Today is Saturday.  No fanfare, no judging, some polishing (diapers included) and just plain showing off.  Buy your “Shift Happens” and “Three Pedals No Problem” t-shirts at the Hagerty booth. 

The venue, The Inn at St. John’s. Today is no wedding but for many of those present, they’re married to their cars.

The stage set, I start my cruise around the asphalt…wondering what treasures I’ll find…that’s the fun.

Cars, check. Coffee (sponsored by Biggby Coffee), check. Donuts, check.  Here are just a few of the well-loved autos on display…Hagerty played a big part as a major sponsor as well as Car and Driver and M1Concourse.

Jules in Hagerty

Hagerty’s Classic Car Ride and Drive was a chance to drive/ride in a classic.  15 minutes in one of these and I’m hooked. Hagerty is happy to help me insure it, it’s their specialty.

CCC classic

“The Judge” – can you find the diaper in the picture above? lol

CCC Mustang (1)

CCC Mustang

Bullitt fuel cover

2001 Bullitt Mustang CCC

CCC Mustang interior

Bullitt fuel cover 2

2017 Bullitt CCC

Green car guys were ecstatic…Mustangs galore…Bullitts anyone?

I’ve never seen so much Highland Green in my life!

CCC Dodge SRT

CCC fire engine.JPEG

Every show brings a few unique looks…a shoe salesman from Arizona used this truck for his business before a local Detroiter got his hands on it.

My stroll through the maze begins to slow as the sun rises high in the sky.  The witching hour approaches. “The One That Got Away” seminar is being hosted by Hagerty.  Their featured panelist, none other than Wayne Carini himself from Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars, will be in attendance. 

Also present on the panel, Jeff Lane of Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN, and Dave Kinney writer at Automobile Magazine.

A chance to meet Wayne highlights my trip to automobile Mecca.  

Hagerty’s Brad Philips did a great job of moderating the gathering of over 300 in the Judea Room of The Inn.  Slides were shown of cars that each of the guests had owned.

Their happiness/regret was highlighted by showing what they paid for the car and then what it would be worth now if they had kept it.  Sounds simple right…boring…NO WAY! 

Responsible for valuations was Vice President of Valuation Services Brian Rabold from Hagerty. His comedic anecdotes meant to stir conversation from the panel, worked like a charm.  The all-too-familiar PowerPoint format came to life.

Stories, it’s always the stories, that win the day.  Hearing each account of purchase, circumstance, and thought process was fascinating.  Most of us have an epiphany of some sort as we recall our past choices. These accounts were laden with them.  First cars, mid-life crisis cars, sentimental cars, the list goes on. Some are still owned to this day and bring pleasure to families and friends.  Some tax the owner so, they are happy to see them leave the garage.

The oohs, the ahhhs.  All expressed sincerely, by both crowd and panel.

Wrapping up the almost one hour presentation was a Q & A session.  One guest wanted to know what to buy.  The comment was made by the panel, “are you a polisher or a driver”?  Chuckles radiated through the room like spectators doing the wave at a baseball game. 

Polisher? Buy a car that runs well.  The latter…get your on-board toolkit ready and snatch up one of those hard to fix, but really awesome to drive, barn finds.

Jules and Wayne Carini wide

After meeting Wayne in person, I can understand why he’s so successful.  Those piercing blue eyes, that moustache and every hair in place, but as personable as you could ask for.  He exudes kindness and never refuses a fan photo-op.

As you can see above…I took my opportunity.

I walk away from this Saturday in July realizing again that cars bring us together.

I’m glad to be part of this culture…It makes me happy.

So did Wayne.

 

All You Need in the All-New Ford EcoSport

Needs. Wants.

Your parents (if you were lucky) explained the difference between these two words to you at a young age.  Usually it was defined as a battle.  Good vs. evil.  Day vs. night.  Self-sufficient vs. in debt.

Not so with the all-new Ford EcoSport.  It’s everything you need and all you could want in a sub-compact utility vehicle.

Starting at just $19,995 the EcoSport fits the bill for anyone looking for a car-like feel with the capacity of an SUV.  Trims include the S, SE, SES, and Titanium edition topping out with a starting price of $25,880.

Seeing is believing.

paint pallette and EcoSport.jpeg

The EcoSport greets its drivers with grace and style.  Artful lines and balanced curves give it a universal appeal.  It paints a picture of capability to perform in all venues and carries itself well, just like all the cargo that fits in it’s up to 50 cu. ft. of space with back seats down. A 60/40 split accommodates one more passenger as long as they don’t mind snuggling up to cargo.

A swinging rear tailgate takes a bit of getting used to, but as long as there is sufficient surrounding space, its easy to operate and a refreshing difference in the class.

Cargo in EcoSport

rear door EcoSport

Driver and front seat passenger will enjoy dimensions found in larger SUVs with all controls conveniently close.  Ford’s SYNC® 3 connects via an available 8-in. touchscreen.

I became a fan of the bold orange accents in the EcoSport I drove.  Add the ability to change between 10 different settings of ambient light and you’re ready to start your own party.

dash EcoSport

interior front EcoSport

back seat EcoSport

Ford’s partnership with Amazon’s Alexa voice control via SYNC® 3 through AppLink® connects home to auto providing voice navigation, traffic, over 30,000 skills, Amazon Prime Shopping and connects with Smart Home devices. Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ chime in as well.

BTW, don’t shop while driving.

I just had to get that in.

I must be channeling Captain Obvious.

Make the downloads complete in the App Store by clicking on FordPass™ to find, reserve, and pay for parking, and compare fuel prices along your journey.  Get specific vehicle info and schedule service at your fingertips while gaining the ability to lock, unlock, and remotely start your vehicle if it is equipped with that option.

riverboat and EcoSport

Cruising around town you will enjoy the “Sport” of the EcoSport with its 1.0 L EcoBoost® engine marked with 123 horsepower @6000 RPMs.  “Eco” votes tally up with its 27/29 mpg coming standard in the S, SE and Titanium trims.

The SES boasts a fulfilling 2.0 L Ti-VCT, 4-cylinder direct injection engine (I-4), six-speed automatic with Select Shift and Intelligent 4WD. Just a few mpgs are sacrificed with its 23/29 mpg rating.  The 25 combined mpg is exactly what I clocked within my touring duration.

P.S. The 166 horsepower @ 6500 RPMs in the SES is nothing to shake a stick at…

The EcoSport brings to the table some of the best safety features Ford has to offer.  Traction Control and Stop/Start engine aspects are adjustable via buttons on the console when equipped with 4WD.

start stop trac control EcoSport

Seating for five and their safety is prioritized with driving aides like a rear view camera, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), and cross-traffic alert.

3 diamonds and EcoSport

Ford’s Advance Trac®, Roll Stability Control™ (RSC) and Hill Start Assist bring control with comfort and provide a pleasant ride experience for everyone, be it teenagers, new families or seniors looking for something a little smaller than the standard SUV while never compromising style.

tile alcove and EcoSport

With all of that said…

Columbia Theater and EcoSport

1903 pictured the beginning of a legacy at the Ford Motor Company.  115 years of having a corner on the automobile market like no other, is still in their blood.

Customer driven, Ford and it’s “no compromise” attitude have provided generations with the transportation they need and all the options and style they want.

Everything you need and all you could want…

They better add mind-reading to their resume’.

Add $995 for destination.

Modern. Relevant. Real. The 2018 VW Tiguan

Making a splash for summer, here comes the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.  Loaded with style and class, this VW is working its way into the hearts of car lovers everywhere.

This second generation Tiguan stands out in the small SUV market with its “Americanized” size (10.6 inches longer in wheel base) and storage capability (more than double the cargo room) when compared with the previous generation.

Satisfying the needs of the American market is important to Volkswagen and we see it through model re-designs and the release of the family sized Atlas.

Having laid eyes upon all the new models in one place this past February at the Chicago Auto Show, I’d say that Volkswagen is making its way back into the pocketbooks and garages of the American buyer.

Cynthia's

The star of the show isn’t shy when it comes to fashion.  The clean uninterrupted style line from front to back highlights it’s size with flair.  Available 17-20″ wheels make a sporty addition to the fun-to-drive Tiguan.  Volkswagen‘s history of producing fun is ever-present in today’s offerings much as it was in the icons that preceded them.

Industrial

Volkswagen is working on a new American legacy, unknown to many, in Chattanooga, TN.  Besides being the production home of the Atlas, Volkswagen Chattanooga is cooperating with Chattanooga State Community College and the local Hamilton County Schools.

The Mechatronics Akademie celebrated its first graduating class this year. The two-year mechatronics is an extension program at Chattanooga State for eligible Hamilton County high school students. Their day is divided evenly into high school/college courses.  The combo of traditional and hands-on technical training provides opportunities to learn computing, mechanics and electronics.

Volkswagen Academy is the three-year program offered after high school.  It includes on site education at CSCC and a paid internship at VW Chattanooga.  Students who graduate garner a conditional job offer for employment at Volkswagen Chattanooga.

Graduating high school with forty hours of college credit and having a conditional job offer after a paid apprenticeship are needles in a haystack called the “future” and VW has found a way to guide young people into fulfilling careers while specifically training the type of workforce they need to make the hoped-for impact in the United States automobile market.

White wall and Tiguan

Enter models like the Jetta and Tiguan.  I covered the Jetta this spring and found it equally responsive and fun-to-drive like the Tiguan. Marketing is specific to young, hip, professionals who want more performance and space.  They get both with the Tiguan.

Starting at just $24,595 (in FWD) the 2.0 Liter TSI® 16-valve DOHC Turbo 4-cylinder direct fuel injection engine provides 184 horsepower and spunk to boot without sacrificing MPG.  21/27 MPG for a combined 23 MPG is exactly what I charted during its week-long stay.  The “start-stop” feature can be turned on and off at the console if it’s not to your liking. Tiptronic® is an available paddle shifting option for the die-hard lovers of a manual transmission.  You’re welcome.

VW Tiguan TSI engine closeup

Volkswagen’s 4MOTION® AWD with Active Control allows for customization based on conditions by just turning a knob.  Press the “MODE” and more choices within the four settings appear on the 8″ Discover Media screen. Want a digital compass, steering angle display and altimeter display during off-road adventures?  Done.

My first car was a Volkswagen, an orange Rabbit to be exact.  It’s paint was not a luxurious as the Habanero Orange Metallic of this Tiguan.  Shocker.

Ahhhhh…but I digress…moving on…

A feature that caught my eye, unique to VW, was the “Think Blue.” trainer.  Whether you’re a first time driver or just trying to get the most MPGs out of a tank the “Think Blue.” trainer is an asset.  Using visuals on the Discover Media screen, driving habits are analyzed in real-time and scores as well as charts are used to gauge driving efficiency.

Oh to have had this in my Rabbit back then…I would have had more quarters to spend on Centipede and Galaga at the arcade.

Think Blue Trainer

Creature comforts like leg room are generous in the Tiguan.  The open air feel of the panoramic sunroof compliment the snug (only for small children) third row seat option.  As with most small SUVs, drop the back seat and haul as much as you like but sacrifice passenger space.  Not with the Tiguan.  Dropping the seats in the small third row gives abundant space for kit and kaboodle while keeping the second passenger row intact.

Eye-catching, head-turning, cool.  Exterior features highlight the Tiguan’s design strategically.  Four trim levels, S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium are available.  My SEL Premium starts at $33,850 and clocked in at $35,545 as driven.

An available R-line® edition will be ready this fall that sports 19″ “Trenton” wheels for the SEL and 20″ “Braselton” wheels for the SEL Premium.  Front and rear bumpers as well as wheel arches and skirting claim new design and exterior R-line® badging.

Frenchtown Station and Tiguan

Last and certainly not least, the Tiguan is overflowing with safety features.  Driver and front passenger front and side airbags.  Side Curtain Protection® to mitigate head impact side-to-side.  Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Engine Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution  (EBD) and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and an Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS).

Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and Forward Collision Warning plus Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring display in the Discover Media 8″ touchscreen along with the rear view camera fortify the Tiguan’s shield of protection.

VW CAR-NET® uses App-Connect® to integrate the Tiguan to your smart phone.

Driver care packages include the Customer First Warranty that provides for 6-year/72,000 miles.  7-year/100,000 mile corrosion perforation warranty and 3-year/36,000 mile 24-hour roadside assistance program including jump starts, towing, tire changes, out of fuel and lock-out services round out assurances from Volkswagen.

Stripes and Tiguan

Go ahead.  Give the Tiguan a look.  Volkswagen is betting on it.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Pacifica!

What’s the old saying,  “getting there is half the fun”?  Well…I would agree.  The one-two punch of the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois and getting there in the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid confirms it.

Metropolis sign

Why a van?  Why not!

No matter your age or station in life there’s always room for a van.  Whether you’re a parent toting children back and forth to school and sports, or a grandparent who likes to have a little more room for your golf clubs on the way to see those grandchildren, or anything in-between, the Pacifica Hybrid is a “Super” choice.

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Starting any trip requires some logistics.  “How far, how long, how fun” are all questions being asked by the crew.  “In what” can easily be answered…the Pacifica Hybrid of course.  Everyone can agree on its treasure trove of “Super” assets.

First, it’s “Super” passenger space.  Room for seven adults comfortably, yes comfortably, even in the third row of the Hybrid edition.  A seat can be added in the second row of the gas version to bring the passenger number to full at eight.

Head, hip and leg room are all ample and suitable for the long haul.  Daydreamers can drink in the blue sky via the panoramic sunroof and third row-ers have their own sunroof as well—Chrysler thought of everything.  Take that nap, all the seats recline!

 

 

Creature comforts like vented/heated seats are a luxury for the driver and whoever calls “shotgun”.  In the hot summer heat its a luxury few find, let alone in a van!

Up to eight humans come with quite a bit of stuff.  The cargo area is spaciously “Super”.  Suitcases, golf clubs, snacks, pillows, etc. all stack nicely behind the third row seat in the 32.3 cu. ft. of space.

If needed and passenger count is down, drop the third row into its Stow ‘n Go® position and more than double the holding power.  Flush fit, as seen above left, can be expanded by removing the captain’s chairs for a full sheet of plywood’s space making the need for a truck obsolete for some.  “Back up the truck” just got a whole new look!

Maybe there’s some room for extra Superman souvenirs after all…

 

 

tour bus stop

Next, a “family room on wheels” is often used to describe the “Super” entertainment options in  the Pacifica Hybrid. 8.4 inches of the Uconnect 4 screen in my Pacifica make travelling and controlling the rolling movie theater easy.  Blue-ray™, on-board games, apps, wireless headsets, available 4G WiFi, etc. go the extra mile to give the trip a lift for those munchkins and teens alike. Add the app on your smartphone and it’s features are at your fingertips from anywhere.

One of my favorites was the License Plate game.  Yes, it is as it was in the good old days, just touch the state on the screen.  A good game of checkers against the computer and maybe some math practice when desperate. The driver has peace at last…except when the optional 20 speaker HARMAN KARDON® system is in use.

Pacifica games

Active Noise Cancellation technology screens road noise but not the peals of joy as you motor down the highway in a luxury liner fit for a king.  The king rules this road by taking advantage of the Chrysler Pacifica’s “Super” Hybrid capability.

84 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) when using both electric and gas and 33 miles in the all-electric mode.  It is the only “electric” van on the market at this time. The hybrid version qualifies for a $7500 Federal Tax Credit.

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Don’t think that just because it’s a hybrid that it’s not powerful.  260 hp moves the hybrid version down the interstate with a 3.6-Liter Pentastar V-6 eHybrid engine.  A charging schedule can be programmed and a MOPAR charging station added to the accessories in your garage.  Set up for charging when electricity costs are at non-peak for your area.  The Pacifica Hybrid will let you know how long it will take to fully charge.

A  Regenerative Braking System generates energy during braking and coasting that occurs in city stop/go traffic.  Battery life is added without a direct plug-in.

The Pacifica gleaned 27 MPG with mixed highway and city driving in line with it’s professed 19/28 MPG combined.  Click here to calculate estimated energy and fuel cost based on your driving needs.

 

 

Lastly, summer solstice beckons us come to spend long sunny days tripping the light fantastic until sunset punctuates the end-of-day.  Whether it’s the Superman Festival in Metropolis,  Disney World, or just to grandma’s house, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is ready and waiting to give you and yours a “Super” trip.

Chrysler Pacific Hybrid starts at $39,995 for the Touring PLUS.

Add $1095 for destination fee.

$48,580 as driven in Limited trim.

*NOTE:  Superman was portrayed by Lonnie Johnson, Director of Heroes for Kids, a non-profit organization benefiting children and the community through fundraising events in the Perryville, Missouri area.  They can be found on Facebook and directly contacted at heroesforkidsperryvillemo@hotmail.com for more information.

Jules and Superman

 

Steppin’ Out With the Nissan Murano

Summer road trips lead to many new experiences.  No matter the destination, the Nissan Murano arrives in style with performance and a spacious interior fit for all types of fun.

Cruising the streets of my town I found myself right at home, literally, in the Nissan Murano.  Seeing Muranos driving around western Kentucky, namely Paducah, I was curious what all the fuss was about.  My cousin owns a Murano and LOVES it.  So what makes it tick?

Nissan North America, Inc.’s headquarters being located in Franklin, TN brings the brand regional bragging rights.  Rogues, Rogue Sports, and Muranos dot the landscape like junebugs in June around these parts.  After driving the Nissan Murano, I now know why.

Assembled on the same line as the Nissan Frontier and Nissan TITAN trucks, the Murano hails from the Canton, MS plant.  Its design and “sculptural” body sides are trademark on the 2018. Details like the boomerang-style headlights and taillights make it easy to identify day or night. Its jet-inspired roof-line provides balance as one glances from the roof rack to the 18″ wheels.

Murano murals

 

Murano full front

 

Murano rear view

 

Murano tail and fin

All 2018 Muranos come with Nissan’s flagship technology package, NissanConnect.  Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and 8 inch color display anchor the dash.  Beef up the experience with options like an eleven speaker BOSE® audio system.

Murano full dash

Ample head, side and leg room for all five passengers allows everyone from babies to basketball stars comfort in the cabin. The large, sweeping windshield gives one the feeling of captain-of-the-seas as sight lines are clear.  Rear sight lines are less prominent with this cabin design.

Storage is a no-brainer with 67 cu. ft of cargo room with the second row seats flat.  32 cu. ft with them up and a 60/40 split configuration ready to be engaged.

Murano back seat

 

Murano full cargo

 

Murano 60_40 split

Four trims, S, SV, SL and Platinum allow for safety options through Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility system that mitigate the rear sight lines like Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and the Intelligent Around View® Monitor.   In addition, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (FEB) Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) balance the Murano’s size with information at the driver’s fingertips.  Cameras top off at four and radar sensors three for the complete safety trifecta.

The 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine produces 260 horses and 240 lb-ft of torque. Its Advanced XTronic transmission senses situations and supplies the needed mechanical response to put drivers at ease whether the drive is around town or becomes a road trip.

21/28 mpg makes the Murano easy on the wallet.  After all, those babies and basketball stars need to be fed right?  I’d recommend Kirchoff’s Bakery and Deli  and The Mellow Mushroom if you’re in Paducah.

Murano balcony

The Nissan Murano begins and ends at $30,800 and $42,230 respectively, in FWD.

AWD brings price points of $32,200 to $43,830.

Options may be added, see Nissan’s website for more details on the Murano.

Next time you’re steppin’ out on the town, yours or mine, step into a Nissan Murano.

You’ll feel right at home.