Because Girls Like Cars too

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Because Girls Like Cars too

November 29, 2011

It all started with an amazing email on our family vacation to Dallas.  I received an email from the amazing @rosepao1 asking if I was interested in attending the Los Angeles Auto show on behalf of Ford Canada.  Without even checking my calendar, or waiting until we returned home, I answered with an ecstatic YES!!!!!!!!  I am certainly not a car expert, but I do love cars and would never pass up the chance to be able to wonder around the LA Auto Show (which is one of the world’s largest!) The best part? Not only was I invited to attend the show, but I was actually invited to attend during the press days, when the show is in pristine condition and closed to the public.   It was car ogling heaven, not to mention there were more than 50 debuts at the show, which made it all the more exciting.

I had a few debuts on my list that I was anxious to see:

Ford Escape (WORLD debut!)

Infiniti JX (WORLD debut!)

Jag XKR-S (WORLD debut!)

Porsche Panamera GTS (WORLD debut!)

Subaru BRZ concept (WORLD debut!)

Fiat Abarth 500

Cadillac Ciel Concept

Land Rover DC100 Concept

Land Rover Evoque

After doing my research, registering for my press passes and getting my flights sorted, the day finally came when it was time to board the flight in chilly Edmonton and head to sunny Los Angeles.  We arrive early and were greeted by our transportation company and appropriately whisked off in a brand new Lincoln MKX and taken to the posh Montage hotel in Beverly Hills (and yes, the zip code WAS 90210!)  Of course, the street and loading zone of the hotel was dotted with Ferrari’s, Bentley, Porsches and quite a few Fords (the execs were already checked in!)

After quickly unpacking (and shedding a layer of clothing from the flight!) I headed up to the roof top patio for some lunch with a gorgeous view.  It took about 2 minutes for me to brush shoulders with someone famous (Kathy Hilton!)

 

 

 

 

Finally it was time to head to the Belasco Theater for the Mustang Reveal.  We boarded buses at the hotel and headed to LA.  Armed with our VIP bracelets, we were led to the top floor of the Theater into a VIP area with food, a huge open bar and tons of people.  You could look over the balcony below and see the vehicles all covered, just waiting to be revealed by Jim Farley, Ford’s VP of Marketing. Finally the vehicles were unveiled by Farley with some Mustang memory commentary of his own (he kissed his first girlfriend in that car!) The 2013 Boss 302 Mustang & 2013 Shelby GT500 where beefed up and much superior to previous models.  The GT500 has had every system optimized, including a 5.8L V8 supercharged engine with 650hp and 600lb.-ft torque.  If that isn’t awesome enough – Mr. Caroll Shelby himself was there to talk about the new line up of Mustangs. { As a side note – I have always admired Mr. Shelby for his name.  Growing up in a car loving family, I heard him name often and it made the fact that only women with blue hair have my name a slightly easier pill to swallow! }

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the reveals were announced, the party started with The Bravery performing, more food and the delectable dessert bars!

 

 

 

 

It was here that all the Ford Canada reviewers got to know each other a bit – @wildsaw, @carenvy @CocktailDiva @WonderMoms_ca & @KeriBlog.  Not too long after, it was time to head back to the hotel to get our beauty sleep before the big day at the LA Auto show first thing.

@wildaw @carenvy and me!

 

 

 

 

Press credentials, camera, comfy shoes and a plan of what I wanted to see first, I descended on the show.  The first stop was a trip to the petite Petree Hall to check out Porsche.  The hall was gorgeous and clean in pure white (floors, walls, displays – everything!)  The unveiling of the Panamera GTS wasn’t until noon that day, but we were able to check out all of their current models.  From there, we just took it all in – I actually didn’t even take that many pictures at this point.  I was just so thrilled to be walking around what felt to by my own private auto show.  We attended the special advanced preview of the completely redesigned Ford Escape at 9:15a.  We learned from a chief engineer on why they chose to make the design changes as well as learned about some really neat options.  The best option I learned about – opening and closing the rear hatch by making a kicking motion on the rear bumper.  Perfect for a busy mom with her hands full of groceries and kids.  The best part – it wouldn’t open if a ball or cat went under the tailgate – only from the kicking motion of your foot.  Brilliant!  Other female bloggers asked about cup holders (also important to moms – if you allow drinks in the car, that is!) and I asked about the difference between the Edge and the Escape.  Many of my twitter followers asked me the same thing.  Ford responded that their Escape is more cost effective (NOT cheap!) than the Edge, so buyers that perhaps have a tighter budget would opt for the Escape.  I would say that if you are looking for more bells and whistles to go with the ‘superior’ and more expensive Edge, but the Escape certainly has a ton of gadget options; back up camera, leather, heated seats, the cool tailgate sensor, park assist and more.  If you are looking for a small to mid-sized SUV that has a proven track record (the Escape is continuously rated number one) and get’s excellent gas mileage, look no further than the brand new Ford Escape.

 

 

 

 

The remainder of the day I spent wondering the various unveils and manufacturers booths – plus, I made a few food stops on the way.  Nissan had 2 food trucks; one that served Grilled Macaroni & Cheese sandwiches and the other that served ice cream sandwiches.  VERY smart Nissan!  Their area was constantly busy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only personally had 2 celebrity citings at the show; Adam Corolla (as shown below talking to Porsche race driver Patrick Long) and Patrick Dempsey (Mazda driver)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the day, with sore feet and full memory cards, we headed back to the hotel.  @wildsau was planning to head to the Grove to stop by American Girl for his girls.  I decided to split a cab and go with him.  BEST DECISION EVER!  As it turned out the Montage has several house vehicles; Bentleys (the Continental GT variety) Rolls and more.  The Rolls-Royce Ghost just happened to be available, so off we went in style to the Grove in the Ghost – another check off the old buckle list thanks to Ford and this once in a life time trip.  Of course we were total dorks and took a tons of pictures (the usual, of ourselves, of our feet to show the leg room, of the heating system, of the dash and on and on) The driver was amazing and answered all of our questions about his daily driver at work.

 

 

 

 

Later that night we left the hotel again (although not in style like earlier in the day – with a bus load full of car enthusiasts!) and were headed to the world’s most luxurious, Bel-Air Hotel.  The exclusive Bel-Air  underwent a $100 million renovation a few years ago, and just re-opened in October.  We gathered for some lovely drinks on the patio and then headed into a room that beautifully decorates.  The tables were nearly wedding reception-esq with their centerpieces, china, chargers and silverware.  Jim Farley spoke again to us and then we had time to get to know the other people at our tables.

The next morning went by quickly.  We had a quick breakfast at the hotel and then boarded the busses with our luggage and headed back to the show.  I took time to hit the areas I had missed the day before (The concourse hall with Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Mastretta, Rolls, Morgan DOK-ING) and went back to a few places that I didn’t get enough pictures of the day before.  It was an amazing trip that I won’t ever forget!  For more photos, visit http://ow.ly/7IAT5

A huge thank you to Focus Communications in Edmonton, AB – without you, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity at all.  Of course, I also want to thank Ford Canada – as usual, I felt like royalty and had a bit of difficulty resuming my normal boring life upon my return to reality.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 

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