Category Archives: Automobiles

The Open Road – A Case of Vehicular Genetics

In today’s world of vehicular incest, where car manufacturers are continually blending elements from within their own family of vehicles, it is always interesting to see just what will be hitting the streets in the upcoming model line ups.

It is never a surprise to see a design feature from a brand’s higher end lines trickle down into their lower end models.  It happens so frequently that we rarely batt an eye when doing a double take on the highway because one model looks so entirely similar to another.   More so, the plot thickens when automakers share design elements across brand lines.  Case in point, the Volkswagen Toureag has a very similar rear end to the Porsche Cayenne.  In it’s simplest of terms, it makes sense.  Keeps costs down, ensure brand recognition (rather than moniker division), and ensures the consumer believes they are getting a higher end product at a lower end cost.

I’m all for it.

Sometimes.

So it should come as no surprise that Ford looked within their brands for the design of the new 2013 Fusion.  Granted it’s a striking vehicle with a design that is less “Hertz Gold Member Downgrade” and more “Normal People Might Want to Drive Me”.   If you’re a car buff like me, you’ve already ventured a guess at just what family member influenced the new design.  And you’d probably be right if it weren’t for the fact that said brand is no longer in Ford’s stable of brands after being sold to a UK investment group.

So tell me…. do you think the mother in this case was the Aston Martin DB9 Coupe?

Or am I just off my rocker.

Images via [1] [2]

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The Open Road – Pebble Beach

I’m a fan of countdowns. 

They get you excited.  They remind you that something awesome is around the corner.  Though the one downside to countdowns is the inevitable piddle stain on the carpet because you just couldn’t contain your anticipation.

I’m guilty of that from time to time.

Though I have hardwood floors.

And a dog.

It’s easy to blame piddle marks on the dog.

Because she’s a dog.

If you haven’t already noticed, I like to talk about cars on this little ole’ blog of mine.  I can’t help but talk about the Audi R8 or the Bentley EXP concept or the really hideous Aston Martin Lagonda SUV concept.  It might be ugly as all get up but I still want to talk about it.

Which brings me to my own personal countdown.

21 Days. That’s right readers, 21 days and I’ll be off to Carmel for a few days of NOTHING BUT CARS.  Vintage automobiles. Brand new super cars. And of course a little personal one on one time with the Bentley GTC W12. It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven. I may have to bring more than one change of pants.

So if you notice that there is a little number in the bottom of my blog posts just remember that it’s me getting all excited.

And trying not to piddle on the floor.

Images via [1] [2]

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The Open Road – The Exotic SUV Epidemic Spreads to Aston Martin

Here’s a riddle for you. 

What is rumored to cost $480,000 , have a conceptual front end that slightly resembles a really bad mechanical shark (or mechanical bull for that matter), and could be the dilution of an already stagnate brand?

If you guessed a pre-owned tract house in Southern California you’d only be partially correct.  But if you guessed the resurrection of the Lagonda brand for Aston Martin then I need to award you some brownie points.  And yes, you heard right.  A rumored price of nearly a half a million dollars.  You do realize that is the cost of five supercharged Range Rover Sports.

So a few weeks back I posted a little diatribe on the resurgence of the SUV.  No the run of the mill “buy ‘em off the lot” SUVs from Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet.  But the SUV of the five figure variety.  Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini are all throwing their hats into the ring, introducing vehicles that are certainly no strangers to decades of automotive prowess.  I would be all for it so long as each manufacturer took their time to perfect their product rather than sending to the proverbial automotive runway four wheeled art projects so strife with design mis-conceptions that the end result is a bit of steel that only a mother could love.  So it was with regret that this morning I stumbled upon a piece of news from the automotive industry – the rumored rebirth of Aston’s failed Lagonda line.  As an SUV.

If you’ve watched a James Bond movie of any caliber (be it Connery or Brosnan) you’ve no doubt been affected by the brilliance that is the Aston Martin line up.  They offer all of three vehicle types at any one time (the benefits of being super high end and small in stature) with a variety of variants, none of which resemble a big bulky block that is an SUV.  Their vehicles are sleek marvels of a technological nature and even Steve (my other half) has been caught drooling over photos in magazines.  I’ve got a photo somewhere of him drooling over the real thing. To the detriment of its actual owner.

And when AM introduced the Rapide, I thought to myself… what the hell.  At the very least, the Rapide continued the great lines that have come to be known as the AM Vantage, a vehicle that I wouldn’t mind being caught doing 110 in.  In fact, I’d probably frame that ticket.

But sadly… their designers, a group of men and women who only know the beauty that is the coupe (and the sedan which looks like a coupe) have put pen to paper (or mouse to desktop) and failed miserably at concocting what can only be described as … well…. ugly.  Pikachu called and wants his grin back.  And floppy tail.  It’s so bad I nearly didn’t post pictures because I wanted to keep the beauty that is my blog intact.

But I’m doing it anyway.  Just so you have an excuse to drink away the tears later.

I’ll apologize later.

My advice to Aston?  Please put it back in it’s cage.  Or take it behind the barn and put it out of its misery.  Because if you don’t, your consumer will.

Images via [1, 2, 3]

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The Open Road – Ferraris Make Loud Noises

If there is one thing boys do well it is make car noises.

We start out at an early age though typically those early vrooms are more like showers for anyone standing near them than an actual car noise. And as we get older we only perfect the talent.

That is unless we can find an alternative.

One of the great things about Las Vegas is that there are no shortage of experiences waiting around every corner. When I was born here (yes, I’m a native of Nevada….) some 30 years ago the whole idea that was Vegas then was gambling (with real coins and real slot arms) and maybe a bit of Wayne Newton. I distinctly remember getting pawned off on the arcade at the Circus Circus with a few rolls of quarters while my parents were out trying to out luck Lady Luck.

The Las Vegas of the 80s is no longer the Las Vegas of today. A major town for foodies. A mecca for shopping (a woman at Tiffany today told me there are four T&CO locations on the strip within walking distance of each other). A hotspot for entertainers looking to retire.

And my favorite – experiences. I’m all for a great helicopter ride over the strip. Or an insanely sexy dining experience. But as I mentioned, you never know when you will turn a corner and stumble upon something new.

Like a Ferrari F430 GT.

In which an instructor will take you two laps round the Las Vegas Speedway.

Or let you drive five laps round same said Speedway. It would probably be the most expensive 5.5 miles of your life but who the hell cares when you’re behind the wheel of a seriously ferocious red beast capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in just around 3.5 seconds, pushing you back into those very capable racing seats with G-forces of 1.5. Yes. That’s a one. And a point five.

And for those of you into fashion like I am? They dress you. In a matching speed suit. Shut up right?

You know guys…. I do have a birthday coming up.

The Ferrari F430 GT Dream Racing Experience
Starting at $175.00
www.dreamracing.com
Change of pants not included

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though if there was one time I would want to be, it would be now.

Images via Dream Racing.

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The Open Road – If Bentley & Chanel Had a Love Child….

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  Recently Bentley has gotten a bad rap.

No.  I don’t mean that P.Diddy put a Conti GT in his newest video and the “song” was sub-par.

Honestly, I’ve dished a bit of it myself.  Not because I’m a BMW driver (I am…).  Not because I can’t afford one (yet)(I can’t).  And certainly not because I don’t appreciate a piece of artwork on four wheels (I can and do). But because they are sending to market this:

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not the best looking SUV on the block.  We all know that.  The press knows that.  Bentley knows that.  Which is why they’ve sent it back once before for a redesign before introducing the hard concept to the public.  Opinions are subjective and I have to respect Bentley’s lead designer, David Hilton for sticking to his guns.  I mean hell, we all took Chris Bangle (then head of BMW’s design team) over the coals for introducing what has come to affectionately be known as the Bangle Bustle, a design motif present on the last body style 6 and 7 series BMW.  In the end and since his departure in 2009, we’ve seen a drastic tone down and “rental-car” sensibility come from BMW’s current design staff.

Basically we may turn our noses at the quad headlight design on the EXP 9 F concept now but considering Hilton claims the design is reflective of Bentleys to come, we better get used to it.  Like it or don’t buy it I say.

So we’re beating Hilton with a cat o’ nine tails all because it looks like Takashi Murakami designed the front end of his happy monster SUV.  BUT…. there is redemption my friends.  Ultimately, Bentley did not fail us when it came to what they do best.  If you’ve ever sat in one, drove one or just plain ogled one you know what I’m talking about.

The Interior.

Say what you will about the four-eyed beast but leave your insults for the exterior because Bentley has gone the uber distance to make sure you’ll forget all about them once you’re behind the wheel.  I don’t normally swoon over interiors (with exception to vintage vehicle interiors made with REAL wood from REAL trees cut down by REAL men) but I’ll gladly ogle this one.

Handcrafted elements from bronze, aluminum and gunmetal.

Silk wool floormats.

Diamond quilted soft-touch leather.

Bespoke picnic hampers and a cooled compartment for champagne.

Are we talking about a country house or a car because I’m confused reading Bentley’s description.  Though they may cost nearly the same (it’s rumoured the EXP 9 F will start at $200,000 USD) only the Bentley can be easily moved.  And yes, it comes with an awning over the tailgate to “protect those seated there”.  I figured you were asking that question because you know this is an option you really want.

Julia Roberts would have killed to have one of these in the polo scene of Pretty WomanWhoop Whoop Whoop.

Though really, take a closer peek at the interior.  Bentley has taken great strides in blending a perfected mix of vintage aerospace, current technological innovation, and a lady’s Chanel bag.  Although the gentle negative curve of the veneer dash is sexy, the upward “swoop” of the door panels racy, and the quilted leather absolutely orgasmic, it is that singular aluminum & leather unit that runs from front to back finally encompassing the rear the mirror that truly makes this interior something straight out of First Class on Air Emirates.

Did you catch sight of the Union Jack motif in the door sills?  How about the contrasting body matched leather welt around the dashboard? Or that gentle curve of the seat foundation that looks like Hermes included four saddles? That’s contrasting stitched leather on the ceiling people.  THE CEILING.

Did I mention it has a compartment for champagne?

Have I swooned enough?  Have I made up for my incessant torturous remarks about the four headlamps and curiously vague tail lights?  We’ll leave that up to the PR people at Bentley to decide.  I’m hoping it has.

D.Coop was not compensated for this post though I’m really hoping Bentley let’s me sit in this thing when it hits the states. 

Images courtesy [1], [2], [3], [4]

 

 

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The Open Road – A Resurgence of the SUV?

Vroom

I’m certain that by now you’re entirely thrilled that I’m not tweeting about kitchen cabinetry and faucetry and hardware and what will soon become my best of/worst of show.  And you’re probably jealous that I just spent 48 hours in the third best city in the county (behind New York and Los Angeles) with some of the most awesome Twitter friends a boy could have (waving hi to my stalkeratzi!).

I’m kinda tired of kitchens too.  As much as I like to cook, I’m a realist and know someone will need to clean up after.  Break time!  Or in today’s case, Brake Time!

It really is interesting to see what pops up in my Twitter feed as it ranges from design and interiors down the line to random political stories and someone begging for a vote on some online contest somewhere.  Some of my favorite posts, however, tend to stem from the automotive industry.  If you really want to see where design is headed, take a peek at what is rolling out of the European automotive design studios.  Considering the amount of dinero it takes to produce a concept and eventual production vehicle, they are about as ahead of the trends as it gets.

Interestingly enough, the one consistent thread connecting a great deal of the auto tweets is the introduction of not one, not two, but THREE exotic SUVs to the marketplace.  I don’t mean concept vehicles that a few guys thought up around a conference table.  I mean, honest to goodness, straight to production Sports Utility Vehicles that will eventually end up in someone’s garage in Palm Beach or Greenwich or Malibu (your garage too so long as you have the checking account or mortgage to withstand the financial blow).

As an aside, it has always been my theory that you can foretell the state of the US economy by watching the Automotive Industry.  For the last several years the AI has pushed the “small car”, almost to the point that I want to put one in neutral and physically push one over a cliff. Diamler made their SMART car all the rage.  Nissan took to the roads in their Leaf.  Chrysler brought Fiat’s quintessential 500 (and it’s variants) back to the US.  And Toyota turned the Prius into the Best Selling “Ugly car” of the century (I’m going to call it Yugo from now on).

It was uncool if you didn’t have a car that could easily fit into the rear compartment of your SUV.

But now.  Ostentation is back in full swing.  Cadillac Escalades with Chrome wheels.  Ford Excursions and seating for 8 (plus two dogs and matching golf clubs). The Hummer H1. Or H2. Or H3. All of them were at one point, the pinnacle of giant suburban vehicles .  Vehicles meant to carry cargo.  Not groceries but true cargo of sorts.  Like the crates you see in an Indiana Jones movie.  But instead, they’re carrying kids to school.  Or soccer practice.  Or Ballet.  Or their acting coach.  And doing it on 8 miles a gallon.

And now, they’re back again.  But this time, they’re sporting serious nameplates.  Lamborghini.  Bentley.  Maserati.  I’ll see your spinning chrome wheels and raise you an integrated champagne bucket.  Is this the beginning of a new chapter in drag racing?  Two moms in Jimmy Choos revving their engines at a stop light and seeing who can hit 30 miles an hour quicker?

Let me say, I’m no purist when it comes to vehicles.  I grew up with muscle cars but my first new car was a 2002 BMW 325 convertible with all the bells and whistles. I worked my way up to the X6 a few years back and now I’m trying to tout my environmental horn by sticking with a shared 328 coupe and my Car2Go membership.  I’m no stranger to vehicle innovation.  And by no means do I keep my opinions to myself.

My theory is this. Once upon a time, this one manufacturer known for it’s quick convertibles and coupes (nary a sedan in sight) desired to revamp it’s image as being the “car for the mid-life crisis”.  Lost?  Here in California, up to about 2006 or 2007, nearly every Porsche spotted on the road was sporting a 40-something male reliving their youth.  Along came the Cayenne (and later the Panamera).  Purists screamed bloody murder.  Ferdinand Porsche died.  But the Cayenne quickly became the best selling vehicle in Porsche’s line up.  Anyway, I would never say that the sales figures for Lambo, the Big B, and my ever favorite “car with the catfish grille” are turning into ghost towns, but I have a feeling they’re trying to work a new angle.  Trying to catch new buyers to offset what might be a slightly negative connotation.

Herein lies the problem.  Competition breeds innovation.  Normally.  In this case, competition has bred three designs that should spend more time on the drawing board.  Lamborghini’s design is a near knock off of BMW’s X6 (which has been criticized from day one and yet lauded by everyone, including myself).  Bentley appears to have tasked the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami to design its front end and kinda sorta forgot about the rear end (though let me tell you, I’m in love with the Chanel-esque quilted leather seats). And Maserati, well it still appears that the catfish is their major design influence. All three are ok but they’ve neglected to remember that you can’t just put a coupe body on a Tourag frame and call it an SUV.

Rant much?

So my point?  Stick with what you’re good at.  Bentley, Maserati and Lambo are never going to be hurting for customers so long as they continue to produce uber-exclusive vehicles that not only appear in every rap video known to man but are also the wet-dreams of every 15 year old boy.  As I like to say, be a master of some and not a jack of all.

Blah.

Lamborghini Urus – Available Model Year 2015, Base Price: $200,000

(Photo courtesy Untitled Magazine)

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept – Available Model Year 2014, Base Price $200,000

(Photo courtesy Bentley Motors )

Maserati Kubang – Available Model Year 2013, Base Price rumored to be low $100K

(Photo courtesy Inside Line)

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  However, if you have any of the above SUVs, please feel free to take me for a ride so you can prove me wrong.

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Show me the Carfax! The 1956 Maserati 2000 Gran Turismo Allemano Coupe

Living in California I’ve come to expect the un-expected. 

Seriously.  Things that happen here just don’t happen in other places.  Things like spotting Octomom Angelina Jolie shopping at a Ralphs with her baseball team in tow.  Like being able to surf and ski the same day (and not on the same body of water). Like pulling up to an intersection and seeing three Bentleys, two Ferraris, and a dealership’s worth of BMWs, Mercedes and Porsche At. The. Same. Time.  It happens and interestingly enough, it doesn’t phase me anymore. I’ve relatives in Iowa and Nebraska that come here, point these things out, and my response is a bland “Oh, I hadn’t noticed”.

Anyway, one of those random little moments happened on Saturday.  Steve and I are casually grazing over vehicles in search of the Beast’s replacement.  As much as I love that big black ball of steel, I wouldn’t mind a smaller car payment and something a little nicer on gas (comes back to that Walking the Walk I talked about last week). The result is that we’re finding ourselves in some random places looking at just as random vehicles.

So we thought we’d stop in to our local CarMax.  You know, the Wal-Mart of vehicle shopping.  Lots of cars but also, lots of blue polyester.  Similarity?  Hmmmm…. I’ll let you draw the conclusion. Let’s just say it’s not a place that is normally going to get my motor racing.

Until Friday.  When I spotted this little number just outside the front door. Parked by itself. Alone. Poor thing.  I snapped a photo and went on my merry way not knowing that I’d seen something VERY special.  Like one in sixty special.  Like hand built, no two alike special.

So special that it was a rather rare 1956 Maserati 2000 GT Allemano Coupe. 

Let me put it this way.  You DON’T see this car outside of the Cours d’Elegance. Certainly I talk about great vehicles here on the D.Coop Bloggie.  I’m sure you’ve all see my post about the Audi R8 Spyder. I mean, I talk about it ad naseum so you should have seen it.  Seriously.  What are you waiting for.  I’ll wait.  But this little beast, this is in a completely different territory.

Built between 1955 and 1957, the Allemano Coupe was considered the last of Maserati’s coach built vehicles.  Maserati had initially turned to builder of choice, Pinin Farina, to clothe the last of their hand built machines.  But alas, Farina had already committed to Ferrari (bastard). The result, a trifecta of boutique Italian coach builders were selected as the principal des vestements.  Ultimately this little twist of affairs made the coupe that much more rare.  Allemano produced only 2+2 bodies, better known as the coupe. Frua, whose influence can still be seen in today’s BMWs, produced Spyder bodies.  Zagato (Aston Martin Vanquish Roadster anyone?) turned out spectacular competition race bodies.  What this meant was that because only 60 Maserati 2000 GTs were ever produced, the Allemano Coupe is only one of 21.  Total.

There are more people that win the lottery each day then there are Allemano Coupes.  And of course, you’d probably need to win the lottery to afford one. A “fixer-upper” went to auction in 2006 and sold in the $180,000 USD range making clean, perfect, d’Elegance examples fetch numbers that would make four years at Harvard seem affordable.

But alas.  Just as any other dream, this one was short lived. After a short tour around the Wal-Max (or Car-mart) parking lot, the GT had vanished leaving me wondering “Just what WAS it doing here?”.

Will I see it again?  Probably not.  But it’s sighting I can chalk up to my Big Foot Bucket List.

Minus the footprints.  And the hair.

Images via: D.Coop, Maserati-Alfieri

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A Bull in a China Shop. My Time with the Audi R8 Spyder

Sometimes things happen and you’re not quite sure how they happened and why you got to be so damn lucky but that they did and now you can’t stop smiling and people want you to wipe that “damn look” off of your face before they say something cynical just to get you to stop smiling.  Thursday I experienced just that. A ring on the cell phone and a voice on the other line….

“Hello Mr. Smith.  This is Audi Concierge.  We’ve an opening in our R8 Private Drive this Saturday …. “

Needless to say, if you’d read my 25 Things post over the new year, you’d understand why I needed to change my pants after putting down the phone. Thank goodness I was not going commando because that would have necessitated reupholstering a chair. I was a poodle excited to see their owner for the thirtieth time.

Fast forward to Saturday.  I won’t bore you with details.  Making the drive to the Lodge at Torrey Pines.  Meeting with Audi’s product specialists.  Or even the nice little presentation by Steven (enjoy the rules of the road. Pssshhhh…).  No one really wants to hear about that stuff.  I will say there is nothing like the feeling of stepping into a private parking lot and finding eight Audi R8s bathed in the glow of the California sun.  Two coupes, the rest newly introduced Spyders. A mix of V8 and V10s.  Ours was red, a very cherry red V8 Spyder. Low slung, ready to pounce even with the engine quiet.  Inside, a set of keys, a map, and one of those Nextel radios (you didn’t think they’d let us get that disconnected did you… these are $150,000 super cars).

A turn of the key.  A taught grumble from the V8 stowed behind our seats. Top down (19 seconds  precisely). Forget the stereo, we wouldn’t need it anyway.  I distinctly recall needing to change my pants yet again.  Somewhere, the automobile Gods had determined that I would be behind the wheel of hand-built German beast.  Check for a pulse and we’re off.

Here in Southern California the sight of a supercar on any stretch of our freeway is really no cause for celebration.  You might get one head turn.  A teenage boy slugging his father and pointing. Some middle aged toupee wearing gentleman letting a little smile show beneath his mustache. But when you have eight high powered exotics the scenery is much different. Heads turn. Windows roll down. You have conversations with random strangers at stop lights.  It’s paparazzi like. Instant celebrity status though you know for a fact it isn’t you they’re gawking over.  One tap on the gas pedal and amidst the growl of the exhaust, you’re gone.  Your fans far behind you.

I could talk about performance and motor specs and … but I’m sure it’d bore you. I mean who needs to know that your particular V8 was capable of 187 miles per hour and had no problem making the 60 mark in just over four seconds.  Or that the v10 in our group could produce 10 miles more and make 60 in under four seconds. No no.  I’ll leave that to the experts at Car & Driver or Automobile.  Instead, let’s talk styling. You all know this is my foray and one that I take very seriously (even at 104 miles per hour. Shhh… don’t tell Audi).

Let me say that Audi did a great deal of justice to the Spyder. Typical exotics are covered in extraneous lines, superfluous details, wasted opportunities to create seamless sightlines.  What you won’t find littering the exterior are odd vents and crazy corners and superficial nothingness.  No line out of place.  If it weren’t for the somewhat unflattering rear hood vents that had a strange resemblance to the raised hairs on a very pissed off dog’s back and what has become Audi’s trademark wide angle front grill, you’d have not much of an idea that you have a storm of a vehicle.  And by storm, I mean that you’ll leave a lot of destruction in your wake but that people will still seek you out. Yeah.  Like a tornado.

In the Spyder, versus the standard Coupe, I’m happy to see the side fin disappear. I was never a huge fan of the off color piece of metal just behind the passenger and driver door. In some ways, the ability to add in that detail as an option was just a way to break up the sleek lines, maybe make it appear slower to the police vehicles you will inevitably pass on your way to higher insurance rates.

As for the interiors… wait… I forgot to look. Joking!  Audi has upped their ante over the years.  I remember driving an A3 a decade ago and remarking that the interior detailing in most of Audi’s line up had absolutely no characteristics. A decade ago bland and unremarkable would have been favorable terms.  Times have changed.  The R8’s interior was clean. There was minimal fuss and what fuss existed, only came from a light sprinkling of nickel finish and a few carbon fiber details.  Audi put a great deal of effort into not making this car a Ferrari or a Lambo or some other over-fibered example of macho-osity.  No, this is a gentleman’s interior.  Well trimmed leather. A few satin nickel rings around important gauges.  A Formula-1 loop of carbon fiber ran from the driver side door handle, up over the wheel and down to the left of the navi screen.  It was like playing with the Hot Wheels of my childhood. Whee!

Of course, there is still some work to do, this is a first iteration mind you.  I wasn’t a fan of the paddle shifters’ ergonomics.  Flat and thin, the level of confidence from these pieces of plastic were minimal at best.  The push of the heating system was light at lower speeds. I found that the center console was lacking in user intuitive-ness (is that a word) and I gave up on pushing buttons in an effort to focus solely on the road ahead.  In other words, Audi has put a great deal of attention in making sure the driver is at one with the road, but that there are still a few speedbumps.  For some drivers, they’ll set the radio, heat, and other controls once and never use them again.  For me, I drive.  Daily. To the tune of 30,000 miles a year.  Audi will get it… I’m sure of it. Especially if they continue to advertise the R8 as a daily driver.

Really the worst part about this car was giving the keys back at the end of our 90 minutes.  Stepping out of the driver’s seat left me with this pang of emptiness. Someone had taken my candy and promised to not give it back. I was elated and sad at the same time.  Wait… Was I in love?  Or was it just the pure unadulterated lust of pushing a piece of machinery to it’s limits and enjoying every glorifying moment.  The Audi would even have given me a ring… four of them to be exact.  Perfectly sized.  My size.

Back to the real world.

For more information about the Audi R8 and the R8 Spyder, click through to AudiUSA.com

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.

All images are copyright D.Coop and cannot be used without permission.

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All That Glitters Isn’t Gold … It’s Pink!

Things are coming up pink here at D.Coop. No, I’m not designing Barbie’s Dream House (though wouldn’t that be fun!)  Actually with October coming to a close I wanted to highlight a few of the awesome one-offs and limited editions that have come through my in-box benefiting breast cancer research.

That's my mom (and my niece) after her third 3-Day Walk! She's my Hero!

Now normally I try to avoid the serious subjects around these parts but this is one of those few times where I’ll put down my drink and have a real fireside chat. A few years back the Smith Family had a little scare with Breast Cancer and the result is that I wear pink.  Real Men Wear Pink.  Remember that ya’ll.

Anyway, the awesome thing about October is that my in-box becomes a-glow with all things pink. Scarves and pins and t-shirts and awesome little items.  But my favorites are the biggies. I love when designers go all Barbie and the big ticket items turn pink!  So in honor of the upcoming holiday season, I thought I’d put together a few of my favorites. You might want to keep your wallets and purses hidden because all of these gifts are going to make a big dent in your holiday shopping budget!

Fritz Hansen Swan Chair by Vincente Wolf

SuiteNYC collaborated with 19 iconic designers including Diane Von Furstenburg, Jonathon Adler, and Campion Platt to create special single editions of the Fritz Hansen Swan Chair as part of their Pink Swan Project with proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  I could devote an entire blog series to the 19 chairs themselves but I’m afraid the proliferation of pink might overload the WordPress servers!  None the less, you still have time to bid on a chair by your favorite designers.

Retail value of $3,000. Auction ends October 31st on Charitybuzz.com.

Viking Professional Series 30″ Range

Viking Range has paired with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to auction a special one-off pink version of their Professional Series range.  The highest bidder has the choice of either gas or electric and comes with it’s own matching pink hood.  You may just have a show kitchen but it will be a show kitchen with a cause!

Retail value of $7,000. Auction ends November 7th on eBay.

2012 Fiat 500, Pink Ribbon Edition

Available in a limited edition of 250 production models, the Fiat Brand has introduced a special Pink Ribbon Edition of it’s uber-popular, uber-cute 500 model.  Fiat has pledged $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for each sale with a minimum donation of $50,000. It isn’t the Bentley below but then again, the Fiat may be much easier on the wallet!

Starting at $22,000 from Fiat USA

Ralph Lauren Pink Alligator Ricky 33 Bag

Range. Check.  Car. Check. Bag? Check!  Ralph Lauren has introduced his iconic Ricky 33 in a limited edition pink alligator with proceeds going to his very own Pink Polo Fund. Question – just where did Ralph Lauren find the pink alligators?

$16,995 from Ralph Lauren

2012 Bentley Continental GT in “Passion Pink”

Commissioned by Symbolic Motorcars in La Jolla with proceeds of it’s $250,000 sale benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure, this is the ONLY Passion Pink GT in the world.

$250,000 from Symbolic Motorcars

For more information and how to support Breast Cancer research, please click through to the benefiting foundations below:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Pink Pony Fund

D.Coop received no compensation for this post.

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Sunday Flashbacks – It can’t already be October!

JC I can’t believe it is already October. 

Not to mention that it also is Quarterly Sales Tax time here in the State of California.  Luckily it wasn’t so horrible but I swear they always have their hands out.  Kinda like teenagers. Yes, California is one big acne ridden teenage. Thank goodness it hasn’t hit puberty yet because then we’d all be in trouble.

Anyway, on to this week’s crap I did and what to look forward to in the near future.


Stuff I did

  • Fire for Apartment Dwellers.  I’m always trying to think of my fellow renters in my posts.  See our Wednesday post on MomTrends for just how to accomplish FIRE!

Pour Another Drink and Watch What Happens Next

  • And the pilot is moving!  Candy (@artofthespa on Twitter) and I are off and running on our new pilot series, Treasure Transformers.  We’re looking for talented, creative individuals who have on air panache and want to participate.  Auditions are coming up again on October 21st from 12 to 4 at the Jackie Robinson Center in Pasadena.  Send me a message and I’ll forward the deets.
  • One of my favorite charity events is coming up on the 20th. Chairs for Chairity is awesomeness on four legs (or wheels, three legs, stumps…).  Tickets are $15.00 at the door ($10 in advance) and well worth it quite simply because it’s supporting the Make a Wish Foundation.  Click HERE for details.

Awesomeness that Makes Me Happy (Don’t piddle K?)

  • After seeing the Fiat 500 by Gucci I found out that they’re also making a limited edition version to support breast cancer research.  Get one of the 250 before they’re gone.
  • My fave Lesbian in the world (no kidding… if only…) Hannah Hart (@Harto on Twitter) has come up with another of her awesome-sauce cooking shows but this time it’s a totally cool music video.  Let them eat cake!
  • Ok, one more food related awesomeness.  It’s an alarm clock.  It wakes you with the smell of bacon.  I’m not kidding.  I. Die. See it here….

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Urban Outfitters never fails to amaze me with their little gifts.  Last night as Steve and I were looking for a disposable flask for his company party (shhhhh) and I have to show you what I found. Yeah… keep the glasses on the damn coasters. Seriously.  I’m just mad I didn’t think of it first.


Done and Done.

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