California Road Trip Part 1 – Los Angeles area

Earlier this month, Team RedlineNorth had the amazing opportunity to drive the 450 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the ultimate of scenic highways – California State Route 1 also known as Highway One and in certain sections called the Pacific Coast Highway. And of course, as car guys, no such road trip would be done in a simple sedan. Our adventure began at LAX where we picked up our “Bumblebee” yellow Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible from the good folks at Enterprise Exotics.

Camaro SS convertible

Camaro SS convertible

Our first stop was to cruise along the 21 miles of LA’s infamous Mulholland Drive with its incredible curves and vistas of the Hollywood sign and downtown LA.

Halfway up Mulholland Drive

Halfway up Mulholland Drive

LAVista

Later on, we ventured out to LA’s west side hitting Santa Monica and Venice Beach to catch some of LA’s lively beach scene.  Along with the weekend crowds and beautiful bodies we saw some interesting rides which you would expect to see out this way.

Santa Monica Lifeguard - Ford Escape

Santa Monica Lifeguard – Ford Escape Hybrid

Santa Monica Harbour Police truck

Santa Monica Harbour Chevrolet Police Truck

Venice Beach Bronco

Venice Beach Bronco

Surfer Jeep

Surfer Jeep

In the posh, Marina Del Ray this Rolls Royce sits among ordinary trucks and sedans. Welcome to car crazy California!

Rolls Royce Sedan

Rolls Royce Sedan

Be sure to continue checking back as we post more from our Cali trip including coverage from LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum, Santa Barbara’s Wheels and Waves show and Mazda’s Laguna Seca raceway.

Shanghai Auto Show – Part 1

Since 2009, China has been the world’s largest car market and what better place to experience China’s auto industry than to visit the Shanghai Auto show in all its glory. Last week, RedlineNorth had the incredible opportunity to attend China’s largest auto show and it did not disappoint.

2013 Shanghai Auto Show

2013 Shanghai Auto Show

Gone are the days when Chinese consumers mostly purchased fuel sipping compacts and subcompacts as their preferences have now shifted towards more luxurious and larger models including the ever popular SUV.

Shades of the Isuzu Trooper

Shades of the Isuzu Trooper

Many different lifted style off road SUV's were shown

Many different “lifted” style off-road SUV’s were on the show floor

Sure does looks similar to  a Jeep Rubicon?

Sure does look like a Jeep Rubicon?

Here in North America we still do not fully know what to expect with the Chinese built models so it was extra interesting to see them up close. We were impressed with the wide variety of Chinese made products and the overall quality of their fit and finish.

Lifan SUV

Lifan SUV

In recent years, there has been wide criticism from some non-Chinese manufacturers that several of the domestic Chinese models look very similar to their models.  At the show, we did see several examples that would likely fall into this category such as the above image of a Chinese made “Jeep” styled 4×4.

Typical Chinese grocery getter

Typical Chinese grocery getter

And yes, documenting the Shanghai Auto show would not be complete if we did not include some shots of the show’s models. It certainly takes a bit getting use to since the models are serious about their posing and do not leave the car’s side which for a car photographer is a bit of a pain nevertheless that’s the way it is.

One way to sell GMC conversion vans

One way to sell GMC conversion vans

Both camper style and conversion vans are becoming popular in the Chinese market since there is a serious desire to hit the roads and travel around their country like we do here in the West.  With so much new infrastructure of modern roads and highways built over the last decade, RV’ing is now a reality in China. I can only imagine what the roads  look like on their long weekends….

Chinese made Great Wall camper truck

Chinese made Great Wall camper truck

Mercedes-Benz Camper

Mercedes-Benz Camper

Ford Econoline Conversion Vans

Ford Econoline Conversion Vans

And let’s not forget the luxury brands of which China is now the world’s largest consumer. Here’s a glimpse of some purpose-built machines that would even get rap superstar “Drake’s” entourage excited.  Of course, these ones are never coming to North America as they are destined for China’s “nouveau riche” super elite class.

Bentley Limosine

Bentley Limosine

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Coupe

Mercedes-Benz G Wagons

Mercedes-Benz G Wagons

Unfortunately, with all these new vehicles hitting the road, China’s oil import bill is ballooning to record levels along with its traffic congestion and air pollution. In fact, earlier this year in Beijing and Shanghai overall air quality hit record unsafe levels never seen historically.  Throughout China, there is still an ongoing debate on this topic since many experts say the air pollution stems from industry and power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal and not actually from its gasoline cars. Nevertheless having experienced Shanghai first hand, it makes you wonder if this torrid pace can be sustained and what the long-term impact is going to be on China’s environment.

Be sure to check out our second segment on the Shanghai Auto show in the coming days.

Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction

Always the last weekend in October, the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction signifies the unofficial end of the summer car season.  And once again, the auction did not disappoint; as there was a solid crowd bidding on an amazing field of machines hitting the auction block.  From big dollar trailer queens, to quality resto-mods, to that unmolested all original model, the auction truly has it all and is a must attend event for the auto enthusiast.  Nothing beats hearing and seeing these vintage vehicles in action as they change hands to deliver more magic to their new owners.  Oh, how the automobile gods must watch these events with big smiles on their faces.

Here is a quick slide show of what was available at this year’s event.

1950s Jaguar

1929 Ford Roadster

1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible – sold for $90,200 

1950s GMC Pick-up

1970s Mercedes-Benz

1970s Porsche 911

Mopar Muscle Special Model – 600 HP

Vintage Station Wagon

1980s Rolls Royce

1980s Porsche 930 conversion to 911

1956 Ford Thunderbird