2009 Philadelphia Car Show

Some ramblings from the Philly Auto Show

Chevy Click

We visit the Philadelphia Auto Show every year. This year was a little bit different since I walk past the convention center every day and have been peeking in the windows to see everyone setting up.

My favorite car for the last three years has been the Audi R8. The Philadelphia High School / UPenn Engineering team is a very close second with their Attack supercar).

There was disappointment around not seeing a plug-in electric at the show. Lots, and lots, of hybrids, but no plug-ins. The meaty exhaust note from 600 raw horsepower is freakin’ exhilarating, but a car that outperforms those 600 horses, while whisper quiet, and plugs in to the outlet in my garage… That’s what I want to own.

The show is on until February 8th. If you’re in Philadelphia you should drop in and see it… It’s not often you get to walk through a hall full of Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Austin-Martins, etc.

You can also see the Ford booth using OS X and VLC Media Player to demonstrate their Microsoft Sync integration :)

Ford and Microsoft Sync

Ford uses OS X at its Microsoft Sync booth

Visit the Flickr set here.

It’s faster to drive this week

Taking the train beats driving, hands down in this city. The price is about the same even with $2 gas, but travel time is shorter and hands are free to write code and read.

This week, the week between Christmas and New Years, I’m back to driving. Traffic is nearly non-existant so one can blaze in to the city. It’s the only week in Philly where this is the case.

42.1 miles per gallon in a ’09 Honda Fit

It’s Thanksgiving, 2008. Happy Turkey Day! I am thankful for many things. Today I am thankful for sqeezing the bejeezuz out of a Fit’s average miles per gallon. Check the above vid… Seriously… From Philadelphia, PA to Gaithersburg, MD, a 136.9 mile drive with minimal total change in elevation, I averaged 42.1 miles per gallon at 67mph. No tricks, the video is legit.

How’d I do it? Careful use of the accelerator and an ample amount of cruise control. On the flats and downhill I used the cruise. On uphills I killed the cruise and pressed the gas just the minimum to maintain speed (the cruise over-accelerated on uphills to regain 1-2 mph). It wasn’t anything extreme or special, just paying attention and making a game out of it.

Link: real-world mileage of the Fit (fueleconomy.gov)

My April Fool’s day special – 1994

Today is the day for geeks to go out and find sites like ThinkGeek which have terrific April Fools day pages. For me, April 1st has an interesting story.

Mazda MX3

At age 17 in 1994 I had been running my own small ceramics manufacturing business for three years. I bought a brand new Mazda MX3 with my own money on December 31st, 1993 (my birthday). On April 1st, 1994, I totaled the car by taking a corner at a great rate of speed on a gravel country road.

The crash was noteworthy in that the car was jumped off a cliff, hit a giant oak tree, sideways, in mid-air before falling the remaining distance. I walked away without a scratch. My passengers, two of which weren’t wearing seat-belts, all walked away with nothing more than bruises (the two in the back seat bonked heads from making out at the time).

Take your corners a little slower today… Calling a family member and convincing him or her it isn’t a prank is hard to do!