Detailing in Colorado… Winter!!!

Posted in Car Care, Exotic Cars, Lotus, Tips & Tricks with tags , , , on February 26, 2008 by coscooper

Dirty CarKeeping ANY car clean in Colorado is a “challenge”. With the variation of weather, cars in Colorado and the front-range can look pretty filthy in a short period. A lot of cars have that “Grey” vertical washed look that makes even the newest car look old and dreary.

For those of us who love to keep their car looking good all year round, this can be a major challenge. Especially in the winter! Getting out with water, the water bucket and soap is probably the LAST thing you want to do, even on a good sunny day. Water is cold. Period. Even taking it to the local car wash has it’s challenges. You have to bundle up and wear gloves unless you like cold hands and the annoying over spray.

So, what choices do you have? Well, you could put in an indoor heated car wash in your garage, but I suspect not all of us have that kind of discretionary disposable income to invest in such luxury. You could wait for a sunny AND warm day that hovers above 40 and attempt to clean the car.

Alas, I’ve stumbled upon a product that is, well, AWESOME. No, I do not work for them, nor do I have any affiliation or am even selling for them on commission. I just love this product and the fact that it does what it says.

Optimum No Rinse car wash for cold climatesOptimum No Rinse car wash. This is the miracle chemical for those of us in colder climates. The gist of the product is, you can wash your car indoors, in the garage, with just a gallon of water and a good rag. My intent is to just introduce the product, not give a blow-by-blow detailed guide on HOW to use it. That I’ll save for another time. However, suffice it to say, this product does everything it promises and in a weird sadistic way, is actually FUN to use. I even keep a spray bottle of it on a shelf for those quick details. It’s cheaper than the over-the-counter quick detail products and easier to use.

I really don’t know what’s in this stuff, but it has some cool property that attracts dirt and makes it easier to clean up a car as well as offering a slight shine at the end. Of course that depends on what kind of wax you use and how often you protect your car. Dull finished cars will still look, well, dull. It’s great, but not a miracle working agent.

I now like to keep all of my cars and trucks clean and nice looking even on those nasty snow blowing cold days. All it takes is about 15 minutes, a little water and Optimum No Rinse.

Colorado Racing

Posted in Business, Exotic Cars, Racing, Sports Cars on February 23, 2008 by coscooper

With the closing of several tracks in and around the front-range, which approximately consists of the area along the I-25 corridor from Northern Colorado, Ft Collins to Colorado Springs and south, several auto racing enthusiast have started looking at the Eastern Plains for space to build a track. The idea’s are more inline with clubs for car enthusiasts who own sports cars, exotic cars, for track only cars and specialty cars that can hardly be driven as intended on the “public” streets.

There are currently three different companies that are in different stages of their business model and building process. However, eventually, they all profess to being built by 2009 or sooner. If you’re a car enthusiast, sports car or exotic car owner, this should be good news and probably can’t happen fast enough.

Here’s a general break-down and brief description of each company and their web site. Personally, I’ve not been involved with anyone of these companies, have simply followed their progress and anticipate a future opportunity to be able to take one of my cars out and have a “track day” experience.

Genoa Motorsports
Genoa Motorsports LogoProbably one of the older and closer to reality than the other three is Genoa Motorsports. They announced their new club track back in early 2006 and have had a web site dedicated to the project progress and plans since that time. They’re located out east near the town of Genoa, approximately an hour from Denver. According to their web site, land has been secured, permits readied and they’re suppose to be breaking ground this summer, 2007, on the 6.26 mile “set” of two tracks. They’re sponsored by several local entrepreneurs and racing business’s. Genoa Motorsports has big plans to build dual tracks, paddock and car storage facilities. They’re offering business opportunities geared around the racing scene and have options for future business’s to grow around the track. From what is presented on their web site, it appears they’re focusing on enthusiasts, car clubs of all varieties and private individuals.

Being backed by private enterprise and open to all clubs, individuals and business’s alike, make it an attractive option for car enthusiast and car owners to “exercise” their exotic or sports car that has the ability to handle their track design. Check out their web site on a regular basis for updates, announcements and other information about when they’ll be open.

High Plains Raceway
High Plains Raceway One of the more recently announced tracks also out east of Denver, High Plains Raceway. They’re location is a bit closer than Genoa, but a little bit different focus. According to their web site, they’re backed by 5 major Denver based car clubs:

CAMA (Colorado Amateur Motorsports Associates) is the entity created by the group of five clubs which were the majority users of Second Creek. These clubs are Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA), Porsche Club of America, Rocky Mtn. Region (PCA-RMR), Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing (RMVR), the Colorado Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), and the Multi-Car Club Alliance (MCCA). The Multi-Car Club Alliance is a collective of eight other car clubs, specifically: the Alfa Romeo Club of Colorado; Audi Club; BMWCCA, Rocky Mountain Chapter; Colorado Exotic Car Association (CECA); Lotus Colorado; Mercedes Benz Club of America, Mile-High Section; Viper Club, Colorado Region; and the Z-Car Club of Colorado.

..and seem to be more focused on these 5 car enthusiasts. However, they do offer open options for track days for individuals as well.

Since they seem to be more focused on racing and racing clubs, they may have a different audience and customer than the other two. While this is just opinion and hopefully one of the investors do not flame me, I think they’re geared for the “regular” guy who can afford a fast car and want to exercise it’s ability on a track. While they may not state that specifically, it appears like they’re track will be more affordable and will get a lot of traction for just about anyone.

The Ring of the Rockies (Motorsports Country Club)
Motorsports Country ClubThe third raceway/track company that has thrown it’s hat into the ring looks to be more of a “country club” style business model. The Ring of the Rockies or the Motorssports Country Club seems to be the most aggressive in styling and their over-all design. I think they’re trying to cator to the high-end car owner. Not real clear from their site. It currently looks like the Genoa Motorsports site looked about 3 years ago, so it has promise.

Being the youngest in the group, they seem to be the furthest behind. However, according to their site, they have the land purchased and are accepting membership and investment funds. So, they may be catching up quickly.

Conclusion
There seems to be a lot of interest in this model and idea, so hopefully one or two of these will succeed so those who live in the front-range, love cars, exotic car owners, sports car owners and car enthusiast alike will benefit. The biggest question is how will three different companies with similar models survive in this market? While Denver and the front-range are a nicely sized population and more people move in every day, the entire state only has about 4.5 million people living here. 75% of that population is on the front-range. That’s a small market for such aggressive projects.

Keep your fingers crossed and eyes on these ventures. I know I wish them well and when my wind-fall comes in, I’ll consider an investment for sure. I know I can’t wait to take my Lotus out for a track run.

Love My Lotus…

Posted in Exotic Cars, Lotus on February 17, 2008 by coscooper

No matter what happens, I swear, I seem to keep on loving the little car. Recently, I had a situation where the shifter broke during a “test” drive. Since winter isn’t the best time to drive around Colorado, you have to take in the nice days when they come. So, after a nice day I decided to take the Lotus for a spin down into Denver. A few friends were getting together for Pizza and a beer. I figured a good stretch of legs for the Lotus was perfect way to end the day.

p8230052.jpgOn the way to LODO, the shifter broke. Imagine my surprise when the shift stick went limp in my hands and I was in neutral. Not much to do but coast and see how far I could get. Turns out, I was near an exit close to a Lowes. Purchased a screw driver and took off the center cover only to discover that the actual metal shaft had actually broke in two.

Fortunately, I could now access the base of the shifter and limp it home. The funny thing was, instead of getting annoyed and upset, which you would normally do after spending so much for an impractical roadster. Instead, I just looked at it as a challenge and an opportunity. The little car is just too much fun to get mad at it.

Long story, short, the shifter was replaced under warranty and now I’m back in the saddle without any problems. Just a little blip on the map of Lotus ownership. But, no matter what happens to this little car, I just keep on loving it like that special person in your life, faults and all.

Denver Auto Show

Posted in Exotic Cars on February 14, 2008 by coscooper

Denver Auto ShowWhile the Denver Auto Show is exclusive to Exotic Cars or high performance sports cars, it does have a lot of cars on display. Last year, the Audi R8 was some what of a highlight. However, it’s also just a great day out here in Denver to see a lot of different cars.

According to the management companies web site, there are going to be some surprises. They’re anticipating showing off the new Corvette ZR1, Fords going to have their new F-150 and FordFlex. Chevy will be showing off their Aveo5.

Suzuki will be displaying their concepts, BaseCamp & Quay, which would seem to have some appeal to Coloradans who get out in the high country quit bit. It’s not my cup of tea as I’m an old Jeep and tent traditionalist, but it may have some uses for convenience and fun.

Based on the 2007 XL7, the BaseCamp concept offers cutting-edge design and technology to fulfill the needs of outdoor enthusiasts. The Equator-based Quay concept is designed to suit recreational boating and watersports lifestyles, with a customized paint job that reflects the look of Suzuki’s line of marine engines.

Besides these concepts, I’m sure Lamborghini will have something there, possibly a stealth new Reventon. That’d be cool. Bentley has really increased their stock at FOD, so they should have some interesting cars on display. Lotus has released the new “California” version of the Elise which adds a bit of luxury to their typically bare bones car.

If you live in Denver or are in the Denver area March 26th through 30th, check out the Denver Auto Show. You can pre-purchase eTickets as well. It’s worth a few hours of your time to check out the new cars and possibly get a glimpse of something new.

R8, Rockies, Winter?

Posted in Exotic Cars with tags , , , , on February 14, 2008 by coscooper

Audi R8 in the RockiesI was thumbing through a recent copy of “Autoweek” magazine and ran across an interesting Colorado related article called, Snowball. I believe the activity took place mid-winter and it featured an exotic sports car, the Audi R8 being driven along the Colorado Grand Rally route that takes place every early fall, September or so. (Which if you’re in the Colorado area, should check out. It features pre-1961 cars of various categories.) The route starts in Durango and goes through Telluride and on to Crested Butte.

The article takes a modern day Audi R8 and follows the same route, but with a twist of snow. It was a short snippet of an article, but it had an impact as I thought, man, that’s one gutsy trip considering they’ve been measuring their snow fall in FEET, not inches. They did something I’m not sure I’d really attempt, drive a $100K plus car through twisting ice/snow covered roads in the southwestern Rocky Moutains of Colorado in the winter. It’s treacherous to say the least, but had to be a blast if you have the right “stones”.

Blog oddity

Posted in Business, Exotic Cars on February 12, 2008 by coscooper

Well, it’s hard to really find a decent car blog that’s not dedicated to “selling something”. I really started this blog for 2008 to post stuff I find about exotic cars and hopefully items of interest around the Denver area.

I went looking for a few decent exotic car blogs to put in the blogroll so I could keep up, but all I found was “P-blogs” or, Promotion Blogs. Their only intent is to promote themselves and/or other companies they’re associated with. Kind of shameless, but I guess that’s what it is. While of course I own a very small exotic car rental company, I really have no intention of single mindedly promoting it here. While I’ll post comments and possible issues here, the intent is more around cars in general, other companies and other car owners I may run into.

If you find any decent exotic, supercar, sports car or other car related blogs that are interesting, shoot me an email so I can look it over and possibly include it in the blogroll.

Cool cars!

Posted in Exotic Cars with tags , , , on January 16, 2008 by coscooper

If you’re in the Denver area, you should check out The Motorsports Gallery down on Larimer, downtown Denver. They have a great selection of cars to buy, but if you’re not in the market or otherwise, you should still check them out. They like people just popping in and looking around.

1_full5.jpgPlus, they have several cars not listed on their web site that are awesome to look at up1_full4.jpg close and personal. Besides the cars for sale in their show room and on their site, they have a Porsche GT and a Ferrari Enzo. Probably the only place in Denver or Colorado for that matter where you can look at either of these cars up close without being hassled by a sales guy asking stupid questions like, “what’s it gonna take to get you in that car TODAY?”

You should check them out either way. You might actually find something you like and just can’t do without. If you see Mike or Russ, tell them I sent you.

-Shane

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