Fun Facts: The 1794 Edition Heritage Toyota Tundra

Where did the model name “1794” come from?

2014-Toyota-Tundra-1794-Edition-front-grilleThe home of the Toyota Tundra is a plant located just south of San Antonio, Texas, a property – once the oldest working ranch in Texas, the JLC Ranch – that provides the 1794 Edition legacy name.

The 1794 Edition name originates from the founding year of the JLC ranch which was 1794, when a young colonist from the Canary Islands, Juan Ignacio de Casanova, received a royal grant for a league of rolling pastureland between Leon Creek and the Medina River.

2014-toyota-tundra_100435258_lOn this land, he established El Rancho de la Purisima Concepcion, and later expanded his holdings to more than 24,000 acres. Ignacio later defended San Antonio from Mexican revolutionary forces attempting to break away from Spain. He served briefly as the Spanish Provincial Governor of Texas before his death in October 1823. His son, Jose Ignacio Perez continued to ranch the land.

During the Texas Revolution, Perez remained loyal to the Mexican Government, placing his family on property along the Rio Grande. He continued to pay taxes on the ranch, which helped him reclaim the land when he returned in 1846. The Texas Republic only recognized the original land grant of 4,000 acres.

This was passed on to Perez’s descendants as the JLC Ranch until it was acquired by Toyota in 2003 for the first (and only) pickup truck plant in Texas, at San Antonio. Thus a true Texan truck it is!

Tops Off to the Italians for the 2013 Fiat 500c Lounge Cabrio

 

Fiat-500C-convertible

Don’t worry; I’m not referencing a topless beach in Capri, Italy, but rather hats off to Fiat, the manufacturer of the 500c Lounge Cabrio for making such an awesome car and to Fiat of Scottsdale for providing me the opportunity to test drive it. You can’t resist taking your top down on a super sexy and fun Fiat 500 convertible no matter what time of year.

 

For me, driving any convertible is a vacation in of itself. I own a 2002 Thunderbird convertible, and every chance I get, I put my top down (on the car) and enjoy the sounds, smells and freedom it evokes. I think convertibles are designed for certain types of car enthusiasts. I also believe that if you’ve never driven one or been a passenger in one, you have no idea what you’re missing. There is something so European and sort of “James Bond-ish” about a convertible car on the open roads or even on the Trader Joe’s parking lot. You shouldn’t make excuses such as your hair will get messed up (wear a hat), or maybe you are afraid of the sun exposure (wear sunglasses and SPF60) or you can’t hear your phone or stereo (pump the volume up). No excuses!

To see the full article visit: http://www.smartfem.com/index.php?s=fiat

 

Volvo “Rolls” Everywhere; 2013 Volvo S60 T5 FWD Platinum

Volvo means “I roll” in Latin. Volvo is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo @ Local Motors

Although Volvo was established in 1915, as a subsidiary of a Swedish Ball Bearing Company, thus (I roll ) the auto manufacturer was officially founded on April 14, 1927.  This is when the first car, the Volvo OV 4 series, known as “Jakob”, rolled out of the factory.

In 1924 the two founders, Gabrielsson and Larson decided to start construction of a Swedish car.  Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden’s rough roads and cold temperatures. I can only imagine if they were from New York building them for the Harlem River Parkway, how similar it would be. In 1990, Volvo sold its car division to Ford Motor Company for $6.45 billion dollars. In 2010 Ford sold its interest in Volvo Cars to the Chinese motor manufacturer Geely Automobile for $1.8 billion.

Here it is; 2013 and although the shapes and sizes have changed, Volvo’s dedication to safety, environment and craftsmanship not only continue, but get better.

Seatbelt 3 point

I test drove the 2013 Volvo S60 T5 FWD recently and took it to the awards dinner for the Active Lifestyle Vehicle event.  I was there with athletes who were reviewing various categories of cars, trucks and SUVs. As I pulled up in the Volvo S60 T5 when I heard one of the football players say… “What is that car she’s driving?”  That is the kind of reaction you get when you’ve not kept up with Volvo’s exterior transformations and technology such as City Safety.

My ride was comfortable from both inside and out, but what impressed me the most was the get up and go when passing other cars and taking sharp turns within the Local Motors factory track.  It felt like a race car with perfect balance, taking corners and stopping at the drop of a feather. If you haven’t driven a Volvo lately, you need to stop stereotyping the car and their genius owners and start driving one.  Not only is Volvo for active lifestyle owners and families, Volvo goes everywhere.

Tailgating at the Volvo Polo Party

Tailgating at the Volvo Polo Party

I recently returned from the Scottsdale Polo Championships with their “horses and horsepower” event with Volvo as a sponsor.  How cool to watch the polo players from all over the world wearing Volvo of Phoenix on their chests. Volvo held its hood high when parked next to Ferraris and Bugatti’s. I met folks who were tailgating out of their Volvo’s just 60 feet from the International Polo match field.  Volvo is safe, sexy, sturdy, sophisticated, sleek, smart and sure to please on the road or in your garage.  I see Volvo S60’s rolling everywhere these days. If you meet an owner of one, just ask where they’ve been lately.

2013 Volvo S60 T5 FWD – Highlights 

Base Price – $32,645 – Price Tested – $42,095.00

Miles Per Gallon – 21 City / 30 Highway

Drivetrain: 2.5 liter turbocharged 5 Cylinder – FWD

6-Speed Geartronic Auto. Trans. W/Sport-Mode

City Safety – Five 3-point safety belts – Sport Pedals

Volvo –  “on call” road assist  – Navigation with RTT

For more details go to www.volvocars.us

…and did you know that Volvo cars are 85% recyclable? 

Who invented the three-point seat belt? Nils Bohlin, a Swedish inventor and introduced it to Volvo in 1959.  Prior to the three-point seat belt there was a lap type belt invented in 1885 that came with hooks and had to be latched to a fixed object.  Thank you Nils !

A similar article was published in smartfem.com at http://www.smartfem.com/automotive/volvo-rolls-everywhere-with-the-2013-volvo-s60-t5-fwd-platinum/.

Tundra Takes on Texas and Trailers

2014 Toyota Tundra 4 X 4 1794 CrewMax Truck

I never considered Toyota as a manufacturer that could design a truck to compete with Ford F-150s or a full size Chevy. Toyota is famous for their Camrys , Highlanders and Corollas and were late bloomers in the full-size truck segment of the market.

Tundra 1784Don’t get me wrong, I’ve test driven a Toyota Tundra before, and thought it was great, but for real Texans to show up in a Toyota Truck it would have to be bigger than Southfork, and prettier than a Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleader on game day.

I wanted a truck that I could tow my vintage l4-ft. travel trailer to a fundraiser in Cave Creek, Arizona. I had access to a Ford F-150 and a big Chevy Silverado but wanted to give the Toyota 1784 Tundra edition a go at it, especially around ‘truck folk’.

Travel Trailer and TundraWhen I got into the truck I sat down on the softest of leather seats, complete with the aroma of new leather that I inhaled for a moment.  It reminded me of the days when a man wore English Leather and I would linger around his neck to get the full experience.  I couldn’t help but feel above it all in the cab, and with the adjustment of the seat and the steering column, I was happy to just sit and look around for five minutes.  Each place I observed and touched I kept saying … this is beautiful, look at the detail here, check out the color of the truck and the color of the upholstery, everywhere I looked I was amazed.

Once I got out of the truck, Cathy Burford and I hitched our “work in progress” trailer to the Tundra, just like a bunch of real ranch hands and cattle herders (OK, that was an exaggeration), but when we take off our high heels we can get pretty rough and tumble.   However, after hitching and driving the tundra we found it so easy we realized we could have kept our heels on.

AZ Fly Girls Inside Trailer Upper shelfOur trailer ( AZFly Girls) isn’t restored yet  on the outside, but the beauty of the 1784 truck towing it made up for that. The minute I started driving, I felt like a real cowgirl and wished I was going to a rodeo.  We met men and women who stopped by the event who owned other brand trucks and wanted a tour of the Tundra as well as the inside of our trailer.

We belong to a group of women called Sister’s on the Fly and there are at least4,000 members across the USA and 75% of them tow and drive a full size truck. Wouldn’t Toyota want to be the truck of choice for these women? After last week, I think the 1784 Tundra will be on many a truck buyer’s shopping list.  My favorite two things about the 1784 Tundra 4X4 are the large center console filing cabinet and the floor mats with a center section to clean your shoe or boot or high heel.

Tundra l784 LogoSo many great things happened that day; we towed the trailer behind the full-size, Tundra CrewMax 4X4, met great people who enjoy restored trailers, vintage décor,  love of the outdoors and driving trucks. We raised money for our charity and introduced and drove a truck that was much like a living room on wheels.  Next we’ll hook the Tundra up to a horse trailer, then a boat, and maybe a ….

Standard and Optional Equipment

5.7 –liter, COHC i-Force V-8 -381 Horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm.

Gas mileage 15 City l7 Highway

Six –speed electronically controlled automatic transmission

Blind spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert

20-inch Chrome Clad Wheels and Bedliner

Prices starting at $43,000 Test Vehicle $49,715.00

Fun Facts: The 1794 Edition Heritage

Where did the model name “1794” come from?

The home of the Toyota Tundra is a plant located just south of San Antonio, Texas, a property – once the oldest working ranch in Texas, the JLC Ranch – that provides the 1794 Edition legacy name.

The 1794 Edition name originates from the founding year of the JLC ranch which was 1794, when a young colonist from the Canary Islands, Juan Ignacio de Casanova, received a royal grant for a league of rolling pastureland between Leon Creek and the Medina River.

On this land, he established El Rancho de la Purisima Concepcion, and later expanded his holdings to more than 24,000 acres. Ignacio later defended San Antonio from Mexican revolutionary forces attempting to break away from Spain. He served briefly as the Spanish Provincial Governor of Texas before his death in October 1823. His son, Jose Ignacio Perez continued to ranch the land.

During the Texas Revolution, Perez remained loyal to the Mexican Government, placing his family on property along the Rio Grande. He continued to pay taxes on the ranch, which helped him reclaim the land when he returned in 1846. The Texas Republic only recognized the original land grant of 4,000 acres.

This was passed on to Perez’s descendants as the JLC Ranch until it was acquired by Toyota in 2003 for the first (and only) pickup truck plant in Texas, at San Antonio. Thus a true Texan truck it is!

Why I love vintage James Bond cars

It seems that vintage is starting to come back around along with tights, leggings, high-waist shorts and come over hair-dos. Aston_Martin_V8_Vantage_Volante_-_ProfileAlong with these vintage loves come a love for the classic James Bond car, like that beautiful Aston Martin that we first drooled over, along with the sexy Sean Connery – my 70’s crush.

Seeing these cars makes me really miss the 70’s. Yet, I appreciate that car lovers like me that just can’t say no to the vintage automobiles.

The newer Aston Martins are wonderful cars but nothing beats a classic. Seeing the classic automobiles zoom up and down the Phoenix highway is a cool walk down memory lane. Nothing beats a classic.

Sean Connery as James BondThough some trends will probably never come back – such as the 1980’s mullet, at least I know that my vintage cars are here to stay along with my younger day memories.

You can’t see the Forester for the Trees; 2014 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Premium

I owned and drove a station wagon from 1979 to 1982.  It was a Chevy wagon and it held three children under the age of four in car seats that were secured with bungee cords and seat belts. Subaru Forester Full ShotI would visit my parents who were 75 miles away equipped with playpen (not pack and play), double stroller and two diaper bags.   I loved my wagon despite my peers who drove Miatas leaving me in their wake of dust, or the occasional smirk from someone looking at me, assuming I was destined to overpopulate humanity.

When did “station wagon” become a bad word?  Well, I know there are crossovers and SUV’s that look like a wagon and function like a wagon, but will not admit they are. OK, Subaru, call the Forester XT Premium a sport utility or crossover activities wagon if you wish, but you should be proud to say you’ve created the station wagon for people and families with an active lifestyle.  I loved driving the 2014 fourth generation Forester and must admit my favorite one at that. It competes with the Chevy Equinox, Toyota Rav 4, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V as well as a few others, but for a family who is active in sports and outdoor hobbies, there is no “other”.

Subaru InteriorThe Forester seats five adults comfortably or two adults and three children with car seats, minus the bungee cords, in the second row. There was plenty of head room for my 6-foot tall husband and leg room for 3 Heidi Klums in the back seat (he wished).The 2014 kept the basic look of the Forester but there is a new grille, smooth sculpted side sheet metal that flows into the tail lamps, like a great plastic surgeon tightening the skin, for a more appealing appearance and aerodynamics.  Subaru gave the 2014 more of a SUV look, unless you get the Turbo, where the look is a little bolder and the hood scoop seems to be gone.

The interior has not changed much, but a true Subaru groupie would not want more than a subtle improvement.  The major gains were in gas mileage.  ( see specs)Like all Subaru models the car handles well and is equipped with a new electric-power-assisted steering system and revised rear suspension. The ride was soft but controlled, giving me the best of both worlds. The car (station wagon) comes standard with Subaru’s highly acclaimed symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which gave me the confidence for any kind of weather conditions.

Subaru Forester CargoEven though I’m past the 70’s and hauling  my own next generation, I can’t help but think the Forester would have been the best form of transportation for my family of five and still allow us to be active and cool when the car seats were removed and the cheerios vacuumed out.Whether you think the Subaru is a crossover, SUV or a station wagon; it really doesn’t matter, as long as it fits your needs.  Whether you are a biker, kayak enthusiasts or share driving with the Nanny, you will not be disappointed.  For a real adventure check out Motor Trends “YouTube” review as the Forester treks through Africa looking for the rare white Rhino.  Safari in Africa or ski the slopes of Snowbowl, your Forester can do it all.  But please no bungee cords.**They were used in conjunction with seatbelts of the l970’s. The safety car seats were not the standards of today and as an overly protective mother I used four bungee cords. I was naive.

Specs on Forester 2.0 XT Premium

Subaru with Bikes in SnowDual Moonroof – Power Tilt/Sliding Sunroof• Driver and Passenger Air Bag/Side and Rear Head Air Bag, Side Air Bag• 4-wheel ABS – Towing – Hitch is an option• All-Wheel Drive – 4-Cylinder Engine• Turbocharged  -Horsepower 250 @ 5,600• Transmission CVT w/OD – Automatic• Gas Mileage:  24 City 32 Hwy.• Pricing:  $21,8l4 to $32,995

Look for this article in the Moon Valley Tattler and the City Sun Times.