Being named the biggest auto show for consumers in Alabama, the Alabama International Auto Show will have more than four hundred vehicles displayed. Thirty manufacturers will be represented at the show, and visitors can look forward to thrilling test driving opportunities offered by GM. All types of 2009 vehicles will be seen including, Hybrids, imported vehicles, vans, light trucks and SUV’s. If motoring is your passion, then you should not miss out on the Alabama International Auto Show 2009.
For more information, visit the Birmingham Cars website at www.carsbirmingham.com/.
Date: 13 – 16 November 2009
Venue: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex
Country: United States of America
Off road vehicles and the sport of ‘off roading’ have a large and enthusiastic following across the country and, in fact, around the world. It’s a variation on the old ‘my car’s faster than yours!’ jibe, only in this case it’s ‘my car can go where your car can’t!’ Combine this competitiveness with the typical American love of the outdoors and our country’s astounding natural beauty and you have the sport – and accompanying lifestyle – of off-roading.
True off road vehicles are much more than mere SUVs. These beasts have to survive anything the wilderness can throw at them. Boulders, rivers, mud, sand or snow – a good off road vehicle will eat ’em all for breakfast and keep on rolling over hill and dale. When official competition between off road vehicles takes place, it’s usually either Rally Racing, Desert Racing or the relatively new sport of Rockcrawling. The latter is a sight to see, as spindly vehicles, with some slight resemblance to Jeeps, crawl over incredibly rough courses made up of huge boulders and wind-carved rock formations with the agility of overgrown spiders!
Now, your standard off-the-rack SUV or Hummer isn’t any slouch when it comes to mild off-roading, even though precious few sold in urban areas really get tossed about in conditions displayed in their television commercials. Off-roading is as much about image as it is about exploring the wild, less-travelled terrain where pavements are non-existent. When you’re an off-roader, it’s all good!
Production vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from family cars to off-road vehicles and much, much more. Each production vehicle manufacturer will create a number of models for mass production, thus providing people with a wide choice of vehicles to suit their needs and budgets. The auto production industry is a perfect example of market forces in action – successful vehicles sell in great quantities and for a long time, while models rejected by the market are soon withdrawn. The history of the automibile reflects the changing tastes of the buying public, whose demands are quickly met by the production vehicles designed and produced by automakers worldwide – and competition for consumer dollars is fierce.
In the United States, the main manufacturers of production vehicles are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (now officially DaimlerChrysler) – traditionally known as ‘The Big Three’. There used to be many more independent automakers, but almost all have gone out of business or have been absorbed by their larger rivals. Some of these bygone makers of American production vehicles were Studebaker, Packard, Hudson, Nash, Willys and Kaiser. A few of these small independent manufacturers joined forces to form American Motors (AMC), but even this wasn’t enough to ensure survival and AMC was bought out by Chrysler in the mid 1970s.
Foreign production vehicles began arriving on American shores after the Second World War. Names like MG, Triumph and Jaguar (England), Volkswagen and Mercedes (Germany), Fiat and Alfa Romeo (Italy) and Renault (France) achieved varying amounts of success here. However, it was the Japanese who have made the biggest impact, and are now the largest foreign-owned manufacturers of production vehicles in the USA. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru are the biggest names and most successful.
Many types of production vehicles are manufactured to directly meet certain automotive needs. Jeep specializes in off-road vehicles that are able to cope with rough terrain and are perfect for adventurous people who want to explore. Porsche and Lamborghini are well known for their powerful and luxurious sports cars. If there’s a recognizable need in the market, you can be sure the automakers will address it with a new production vehicle!
Ever since the invention of the wheel, mankind has been searching for better ways to travel faster and more effectively. This process has taken many thousands of years yet one competition has helped to speed it up rapidly: The Great Race which took place nearly a century ago. It spawned a generation of auto racing events that have captured the imagination of car enthusiasts in the United States and internationally.
“The Greatest Auto Race of 1908” consisted of six teams driving the most modern vehicles of the time around the world. The race covered an amazing distance of 22,000 miles and took seven months to complete with only the three teams and vehicles arriving at the finish line in Paris, France. The race created incredible enthusiasm for the automobile and raised the visibility of the sport of racing to unimaginable popularity.
The Great Race captured the imagination of the public and car manufacturers and spurred developments in the automotive industry. In America, a race known as the Great American Race began to be held annually and this year the event is celebrating its 25th year anniversary. Today the race is seen as being the ultimate automotive adventure and participants proudly display and drive their antique motor vehicles over impressive distances to not only win prizes but also to prove the value and robustness of their antique motor vehicles.
Today there are many different versions of the race which all stem from the same origins – the Great Race of 1908. There are coast-to-coast competitions for Muscle Cars and Hot Rods and technology races where the emphasis is on higher performance fuels rather than on the cars themselves. Interestingly enough, in the 2003 race it was discovered that the 80-year-old Ford’ Model T proved to be more fuel-efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle. This proved the value of the competition and resulted in design changes and driver habits (as well as acceptable standards) of fuel consumption.
The specialty classic automobile events and vintage races attract visitors from across the country that enjoys watching this great annual event. So why try it yourself? The next Great American Race will be held from June 30 to July 14 2007, so be sure to add it to your calendar!
In 1898, Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat, set the first land speed record at a break-neck speed of 39.24 M.P.H. In October of 1997, Andy Green of Great Britain moved the needle past the 763 M.P.H mark and becoming the first person to break the sound barrier on land. The need for speed has come a long way.
Since the inception of the motorized vehicle, man as continually pushed the envelope when it comes to speed and how fast we can push our machines. Moreover, the innovation that comes with this need is truly amazing. Mr. Chasseloup-Laubat started with an electric powered vehicle to attain his record run and was a breakthrough in science of that day and today the drivers are using a turbofan, which is essentially an airplane engine.
Over the years, many types of engines have been used from the electric that was used in 1898 followed by steam powered and then the internal combustion engine to today’s turbofan, man will continually seek out a way to make the land vehicle faster. To look at the automobiles and vehicles that are breaking the sound barrier, you would see something that resembles a rocket, for a person to go that fast a rocket would definitely be needed.
If you ever have the chance to travel to some remote desert, like Nevada’s Black Rock where Mr. Green broke the sound barrier, to witness these speed records, fasten your seat belt, hold on and don’t blink because at these speeds the checkered flag is waved quickly.