“If you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.” Terry Terry Pratchett, Author of Discworld.
Saying goodbye to my GPS, turn-by-turn directions, and thoughts of self driving cars for a weekend, I accepted an invitation join the Rebelle Rally for a two-day Basic Navigation Class. Yes, the old-fashioned kind with a compass and map, a skill-set I found to be quite humbling -- yet empowering to learn.
What is the Rebelle Rally?
The Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid in the United States, coming together in large part by the efforts of off-road pro Emily Miller, visionary and leader. Teams of two women, (driver/navigator), will spend seven days driving mostly off-road from Lake Tahoe to the sand dunes of Southern California. Best of all, you get to leave your cell phone, computer, GPS, & headaches behind. It’s all about YOU. And your endless abilities.
We know there are lots of different reasons why everyone loves their Mom. I might be 50 years old, but she still buys a lot of my clothes (because she loves to shop!). And when I was younger, she always used to slip me money for gas.
What about you? In honor of the approaching Mother's Day celebration on May 8, Nissan is looking for awesome-mom stories from its fans. If you've got a great story you want to share about your mom via social media, Nissan wants to hear from you. And to sweeten the story, 50 fans will win their mom a limited-edition #BoxOfNissans chocolates, so unique they cannot be purchased in any store.
Christina Kelley says she has “always been interested in cars from a very young age.” Born in Bronx, New York, but raised in Northern California, the 45-year-old is quite proud of her custom 1965 Cadillac Calais two-door hardtop.
Christina smiles when she says she is “married to my best friend, Brian.” The pair have been together 20 years and have seven kids and three grandchildren. According to Christina, “My husband does all of the work on my Cadi and I adore him for it.”
They found the 1965 Cadillac Calais in late 2013 at an estate sale in Oakland with about 63,000 miles on the odometer; Christina says “We put a new battery in it, and it started right up!” The classic Cadillac has since been repainted with Egyptian Gold paint from the Lexus catalog, and boasts a candy-colored thumbprint-patterned roof and fish scales along the sides. The interior has been completely reupholstered with Cashmere-colored leather and vinyl. The suspension has been modified with an Air Ride system that allows the body to sit on the ground when lowered. Under the hood is the original 340-horsepower, 429-cubic-inch V-8 engine and Turbo-Hydramatic transmission: “We replaced the hoses and performed basic maintenance, but otherwise, the engine is pretty much stock,” Christina explains.
Lexus teamed up with Christine Overstreet of Heels & Wheels to bring 22 women journalists to experience the performance side of the brand in Palm Springs, California. We were welcomed to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage. The Ritz-Carlton has a beautiful view overlooking the panoramic sights of Palm Springs along with fire pits with comfy chairs to relax on chilly desert winter evenings. We dined our first evening at The Edge Steakhouse, a cliff-side dining experience 650 feet above the desert floor with a breathtaking view with entertainment provided by @jonigray automotive journalist and soul singing diva.
The Lexus Difference
Peggy Turner, VP Customer Service and Leigh Anne Sessions of Lexus Communications introduced us over flutes of champagne about "The Lexus Difference". This newly launched effort in 2015 is intended to attract the three demographics whose spending power is accelerating: women and millennials. "We treat our customers as guests in our home," said Lexus Vice President of Customer Service Peggy Turner. Along these lines, Lexus is teaming up with a Japanese perfumery At-Aroma to develop a signature scent so every showroom a customer walks into always has the same, comforting smell. We had an opportunity to smell-test and vote on our favorites, the human sense of smell affects 75% of daily emotions and plays an important role in memory. They're also looking to be more fashion-forward, currently in negotiations with a major designer to create a sophisticated uniform for their female sales team. This is a two-fold effort to not only have their employees looking sharp to guests, but to also attract more females to a sales career with Lexus.
Lexus understands how critical it is to speak to a female audience without talking down to them and this is essential factor in making a sale. "The Lexus Difference" program is available to any of Lexus’s U.S. dealership to opt-into and participate in. It will be interesting to follow if they do gain market-share with women luxury buyers as the program continues to roll-out in 2016.
There were many more women oriented leadership events for those attending AAPEX and SEMA 2015 than any prior year. Standing ovation to the convention planners on making this happen. Was so refreshing to see the growing support and highlighting of so many amazingly talented women!
Here are some highlights:
Cause-Marketing panel during AAPEX hosted by Wexco Industries / AutoTex Pink in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation
Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com moderated the panel on Cause Marketing during AAPEX in Las Vegas hosted by Paula Lombard and AutoTex Pink wiper blades. Executives from the National Breast Cancer Foundation participated as well AutoTexPink CEO Paula Lombard, Quick Chadwick of Tire Pros, Amy Mattinat current President of the Car Care Council Women's Board and more.
The AutoTexPink Wiper Blade program raised $270,000 in support of breast cancer research and program to date.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network’s mission is to provide networking, education, and recognition opportunities for professional women in the specialty-equipment industry, which will enhance their careers and positively impact the growth of the entire automotive aftermarket.
The SBN Women Driven Education Program—Newly created for 2015, this program captures networking, education and community in one event at the SEMA Show.
The 4th annual #HeelsandWheels2015 event hosted at the Four Seasons Westlake Village, California this year was educational, entertaining, zany and OHHH what a driving experience. My driving partner Brandy Schaffels, Chief Editor here at AskPatty.com, and I drove 13 cars (and 1 truck) totaling $667,430 and 4,293 horsepower per Mary Lowry of CarsandMe.
Big thanks to Buick's Kristin Rubi; Dodge's Kristin Starnes; GMC's Kelly Wysocki; Infiniti's Aileen Clarke; Jaguar & Land Rover's Halie Schmidt; Kia's Amy Corsinita; Lexus's Leigh Anne Sessions; Mazda's Carley Hummel; Mitsubishi's Laura Conrad; Nissan's Paige Presley; and Volkswagen's Jessica Anderson and Jeannine Ginivan for the opportunity to drive a little and dream a little!
I’ve been in the automotive industry for more than 25 years and have driven many cars at media events all across the country. From my Los Angeles home base, I’ve driven through much of California, and into Nevada and Arizona, but I’ve never actually taken a cross-country road trip in my own car. After some ribbing from a friend, who in those same 25 years has driven throughout most of the US, we decided it was time for me to undertake my first substantial multi-state driving adventure.
This is where I confess that -- even though I’ve spent nearly 30 years in the automotive industry -- I didn’t know what to do next.
It’s okay: You can laugh and point at the “car girl” who doesn’t know how to repair her own car. I know about these things in theory. I know how to check my oil level and tire pressure and could jump a battery or change a tire if I had to, but when it comes to real life, I rely on mechanics (and Auto Club) for the practical application of most of my car’s care.
So, when I saw the brown splashes beneath my beloved 2011 Ford Fiesta -- which has just passed its fourth birthday and has barely 45,000 miles on the odometer -- I kinda panicked. I’m a writer, not a mechanic, and I’m okay with that.
There’s much to love about this adorable little car! Called the “Jolly,” and created in the late Fifties and early Sixties off the Fiat 500 and 600, this cute little convertible was originally modified by the Italian design house Ghia to be a luxury vehicle for wealthy Europeans and for export into the United States market.
It’s widely said that the Fiat 500 of 1957 was Italy’s answer to the Volkswagen Beetle. This modified little Fiat beach buggy may have been marketed worldwide as the Jolly, but it was best known in Europe as “La Spiaggina” -- a word loosely translated as something like "beach-ette." According to the MicroCarMuseum, the name “Jolly” also means "joker" in Italian, but also transates to something light, fun, funny and pretty in other languages.