As part of this year's Snow Days festivities, the folks at Downtown GR have put together an ice sculpture competition. The whole family walked around and scoped out some of the entries, and they are incredible! Definitely plan to see the Boxer statue on Monroe Mall, but hands down our favorite was the peace-loving VW Bus in front of Downtown GR's office on Pearl St.
My Family Car News
While waiting for the NAIAS livestream to load, thought it might be nice to post some pics and video from last week's Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas. May we present for your viewing pleasure, the Chrysler Portal Concept.
Chrysler Portal Concept - Press Conference
From all of us here at MyFamilyCar, we wish you the Merriest of Christmases, the Happiest of Hanukkahs and the Seasoniest of Greetings! Please enjoy the newest Snowkhana from Ford, and it's 4 predecessors.
Snowkhana 4: Ho Ho Hokhana
Snowkhana 3: YULE TUBE
After years of using traditional Christmas light timers, this year when we pulled the timers out of the light box, we couldn't find the pins that turn the lights on and off. I was not sad. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity to try out a smart plug. After doing some research I found that the best deal to be had on an Apple HomeKit friendly smart plug was to buy an iDevices Switch from Lowe's. They are 30% off though December 31st. As a bonus when you setup your plug, you can choose to have it register with iDevices, at which point they will send you 30% off anything on their website (I'm looking at the thermostat). For the purpose of Christmas decorations I bought 2, one for the Christmas tree, the other was placed inside my garage, where my outside lights are plugged in. These particular plugs are not recommended for outdoor use, iDevices makes a different switch for use outdoors. After 2 weeks I can say that they are working flawlessly! When setting them up, I had no problems with the tree outlet, as it is in the same room as my router. For the outlet in the garage, I found it easier to do the initial setup while plugged into an outlet inside my home, then move the switch out to the garage. One of the added benefits to these devices is that they track electricity usage so that I know exactly how much my Christmas lights are going to contribute to my electric bill this month (less than $1!). While $35 each is very expensive compared to traditional timers, I am hoping to recoup some of that by using them in other areas of my home throughout the rest of the year.
Earlier today, Ford of Europe posted a teaser for Snowkhana 5. The real thing arrives this Thursday the 15th. To jog your memory, I am posting the first 4 below. Enjoy!!
I try not to put much stock in to rumors, but according to Automotive News (subscription required), there is a report that FCA plans to reveal an all electric Chrysler Pacifica minivan at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Earlier in the week it was revealed that FCA would be holding a press conference at CES rather than at the North American International Auto Show press days. The news of the CES presentation make me hopeful that the EV minivan rumor is true. CES kicks off on January 3rd. NAIAS press days are January 9 & 10, the show is open to the public January 14-22.
In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, coming soon.
Last month at EICMA, Vespa unveiled their Elettrica Concept. Vespa is targeting production in the second half of next year, but offered few additional details, neglecting to mention range, price, or countries it may be sold in. I find it very attractive, and for the right price I could be very tempted. Vespa tends to price their models at or near the top of their various segments, but in this case I hope that they are able to undercut the upcoming BMW C-Evolution maxi scooter. I have posted the full press release below.
VESPA ELETTRICA – THE MOBILITY OF THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO VESPA
The Piaggio Group invests in electric motors to redesign the mobility of the future.
Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project, the new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.
Over four billion of the seven billion people residing on Earth live and work in heavily populated urban areas. New supercities are constantly springing up and, becoming increasingly interconnected, a phenomenon which is set to drive economic and social development. Today almost 80% of the world's GDP is generated in these huge urban metropoles, which in turn consume 80% of the world's energy. Higher and higher numbers of people are flocking to these cities, whose size is increasing to accommodate them despite the risk of social collapse owing to liveability problems. The world's 600 largest cities are now home to 20% of the world's population and they generate more than 50% of global wealth.
The mobility sector is facing a change of scenery that poses epoch-making challenges connected to the environment, pollution and the quality of life.
In its most advanced developments, the electric engine is currently the favoured solution for the requirements of this new mobility.
A technological and cultural challenge
The Piaggio Group, whose tradition in electric motors dates back as far as the mid-seventies and who launched the first and best-sold hybrid scooter, is investing in the electric mobility of the future, presenting the Vespa Elettrica project at Eicma 2016.
It was only right that such a big challenge would be tackled under the wing of the Vespa brand.
Vespa has changed the lives of entire generations all over the world, always giving the most advanced answer to their desire for mobility that has skilfully interpreted and evolved while still remaining true to itself.
On the back of more than 18 million models, over 1.5 million of which have been sold in the last decade alone, such global success has turned the brand into a universal symbol of elegance and technology.
Now the Vespa Elettrica project confirms the Piaggio Group's commitment, not only to people mobility, but to a desire to change the way in which people move.
Because of the excellence of this project, the Piaggio Group is assessing the most advanced players in the sector on a global level to develop innovative technological electric motor solutions together. This concept will be translated into the final version of the Vespa Elettrica, for which production and sales are planned for the second half of 2017.
The Vespa Elettrica will, first and foremost, be a true Vespa, bringing the very latest in electric technology to a vehicle that will retain all the features that have been vital to its success.
The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions.
A perfect mix of excitement, technology and environmental friendliness that only Vespa can create. Like it has always done in its first seventy years of history.
From all of us to all of you, we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!!!
This is the second time that I am writing about the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, and probably the last. This past weekend, I went to visit the WPCM after hearing that it would be closing again, this time for good. While the museum used to be open full time, it was closed a few years back, but left more or less in its entirety. It would be opened once or twice a year for special occasions, like the employee car show each June. As a result of the turnout at these events, the museum was reopened, not full-time, but much more regularly than it had been, staffed solely by volunteers. Despite not needing to cover any salaries, it seems that it still wasn't able to support itself, and is closing much more permanently this time. Your last chance to view the museum is the weekend of December 17 & 18. Chrysler plans to keep the collection together, but rather than leave it in the museum, will be converting the museum building into offices, and putting the cars in deep storage, bringing them out occasionally for various events. Sadly, my first visit to the museum was during one of the special occasions, the employee car show in 2013. I say sadly, because it is such a wonderful venue! While I was thrilled to experience it, I instantly regretted not having made the trek sooner. From the handful of people I've discussed the museum with, they'd either never heard of it, or wished they'd visited sooner as well. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum will be missed! If you are in the Detroit area December 17 or 18, and have the chance, do stop in to say goodbye!
This past Saturday, my wife and I stopped by the Fido Motors Cafe to grab a coffee and take a peak at the Fido Motors Model 1 LE scooter. Let's start with the cafe. The ambience is wonderful, and Mack, my new coffee guru, is one serious car enthusiast. We were having such a great conversation, that I forgot to tip! I'll make up for it next time I visit. As for the coffee, I ordered a Beer-Reduction Caramel Latte, and it was the best latte I have ever had. I implore you to check this place out! In lieu of advertising, all of the coffee drinks are 50% off through the rest of 2016, top notch coffee, at unbelievable prices!! Seriously, a must visit if you're in Kalamazoo. 1415 Fulford Street; Kalamazoo, MI 49001.
To see the scooter, scroll down!
Here is the Fido Motors Model 1 LE. The LE is for limited edition. I love the utilitarian vaguely retro vibe of this machine! Check out fidomotors.com for more information, or you can watch the two videos below to see the little guy in action!!