If you can’t tell by the inconsistency of the post, blogging for Perks Garage is not my full time occupation. It is a passion of mine and delivering content is my goal. Staying relevant by trying to post something, even if it is just a photo that I took while out and about. Add a filter, crop, enhance, then post. I want to deliver more content, more stories and more photos so that means that I need to hit the streets more often and engage with the public. Enough with the disclaimer, lets get to the meat of this post.
Over the years I have been working on creating content with the goal to be a credible source of automotive content. I see Perks Garage eventually being mentioned in conversation with the likes of the veterans like Lieberman, Harris, Farah, or Lago, so I push forward as I work on sharpening my skills. I have gone to car shows, car meets, drive events and captured my handy work when I have a repair or modification. Solicited myself in the efforts of being recognized in the industry as a journalist and “amateur” photographer. For the last couple of years I have reached out to the promotional media group that puts on the Orange County International Auto Show to request media credentials. Provided my website and blog post samples as my “resume” for validity and they would add me to the list providing me access to the annual show. I am very thankful to be granted the access prior to the shows official opening to the public. This year, I have been busy with life and the 2018 show was rolling around again. I was afraid that I would not be able to submit my request in time and miss out. The day I found a moment to finally open up my email and prepare my template to send out, I noticed that I had an email from the same promotional media group that I usually send my request to. This time they actually reached out to me and extended an invite. WHAT??? I have made it to the official list and they are offering me the opportunity that I am usually seeking. Looks like I am moving up a little bit 🙂
This year, I have been looking at the direction I wanted to take the blog and dabbled in a few promotional T-Shirts, an official Perks Garage email address, and over the past week created and had some business cards printed. they came out pretty nice thanks to the help of my wife. It was time to get official, and just in time. I quickly RSVP’d for the event with joy in my heart. After requested a vacay day from the 9-5 , I geared up with my Canon Eos, GoPro, and my trusty Note 5, which takes amazing photos by the way. The day of the show, I made sure all the batteries were charged, my Perks Garage t-shirt was laid out, and my lunch was packed. With a half of tank of gas in the Focus ST, I headed to the OC to make some magic happen.
I arrived at the gate of the convention center and the attendant welcomed me to the show and said that will be $16 for parking. I paused for a moment and told her I was here as media and she quickly apologized and said “Welcome, pull right in and enjoy the show. Have a great time.” Awww, the power of a press pass lol. I won’t let this go to my head.
After parking and making my way to the registration booth, they checked my name off the list, handed me my lanyard and I walked right in and started capturing the layout and the cars on display. My plan was to video the entire floor, then walk back through taking shots with my Canon and Note 5. I had looked up some photography tips prior to the show to prepare myself to get some good shots with the Canon. With the media day access you can take as many photos as you need with no one is interrupting or rushing you along. No kids jumping in the front seat of the car you are trying to capture hollering “that’s my car!” Or parents dropping their off their unaccompanied minors at a random car so they can go get up close and personal with the car they are looking to buy. Believe me, it’s great. The only downside to the early media access is that not all of the active displays are not up and running. For example, Jeep has a very nice off-road course they take riders on to get a feel for the capabilities of the brand.
I could have come back when the show opened to the public to get those shots, but I was on a tight schedule, so pictures of the parked vehicles will have to to for today.
If I think about it, this may have been the first time I ever sat inside of a Jeep Wrangler. I have always liked them with the removable doors and roof. Very cool vehicles, although a bit on the expensive side.
During my day I took well over 500 photos and have edited some and still have some editing to do. You can see most of them in this post but there are more on the Perks Garage Facebook page.
Having a media pass allows you access to the show and a majority of the vehicles. There are still some exotics that are off limits and prohibited from access. Whether it be trying to open the locked doors of a 488 Italia
or trying to rub up on the carbon fiber goodness of the Koenigsegg Agera RS Draken, I still tried, but held back by that ultra exclusive velvet rope that is reserved only for VIP’s.
Even though I am not quite there yet, I did ask and was quickly denied by the guy from duPont Registry to go behind the Pagani he had on display to take some photos. Next time! He did reluctantly agree to use my phone to take a pic of the exhaust.
Here is the photo the rep took of the Pagani for me.
A photographer he is not so I had to doctor it up a bit. As you can see it came out pretty blurry.
The show was really nice and I was able to take some good photos. I love these shows because I can sit inside a few of my wishlist cars…Acura NSX, Audi R8 Spyder V10, Audi RS5 Sportback, Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, BMW M6 GrandCoupe and Corvette ZR1!!!
I showed my wife some of the photos I took and I have apparently been given the thumbs up on buying this 450hp Biturbo Sonoma Metallic Green Audi RS5! #audigoals
Here are more of the pics that I took and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.
Now this is the type of open arms welcome I could get used to.
This is why Audi steals my heart. As if the interior of the R8 isn’t enough, look at the layout of the 2019 Audi A7.
2019 Audi S4
Audi’s all electric E-Tron 55 Quattro SUV. Amazing!
How a stable should look. Colorful and full of Motor Trends best drivers cars.
The all-new Lexus UX250 Hybrid modified to appeal to the tuner crowd.
Guess who’s back? The Chevy Blazer has finally returned for 2019. There is a beefier V6 RS packaged version as well.
Rutledge Wood inspired Camry
The Ram section was next to the Jeep off-road adventure and they also had a driving course set-up for attendants of the car show.
2019 RDX A-Apec
Turbo Honda K24 swap in this Sprite
2019 MDX A-Spec
Jaguar’s I-PACE is ready for delivery and it is definitely a looker and worthy of a test drive. I am more and more impressed with the styling of Jag and this new I-PACE is very attractive inside and out.
I found myself singing Rick Ross’s #astonmartinmusic as I walked through this display.
I ended the day with a couple of test drives with Mazda. As they were the only manufacturer available to fall prey to my abuse behind the wheel. I started with the Mazda MX5 RF and was very impressed with the comfort and roominess over my first gen Miata. The interior of the 5-door hatchback Mazda 3 Touring was very nice for a sub $30k car.
Both cars are very nice and it is great to see that the Mazda 3 Touring has a heads-up display. A feature generally reserved for higher end cars choosing double the price of this car. I tried to get a good feel for the vehicles and felt that they drove very well on my very pedestrian 5 minutes scoots on the public streets around the convention center, I did wish that they were manual transmissions, but we would probably have an unscheduled drift session with me behind the wheel of the RF, so I’ll take what I can get.
A great day and thanks to Spin Communications for inviting me out.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned.
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