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First Energy's announcement on Wednesday that it was coming as the title sponsor for the All-American Soap Box Derby is fantastic news for our entire community. With such a prominent title sponsor, the Derby has the ability to attract other sponsors and give it a real shot to returning to the national spotlight.
In its heyday, the All-American had participants from around the world and had extensive national media coverage. It was a weeklong community celebration with parades and festivals leading up to the actual championship races. Racers, their families and supporters went back to their home towns dazzled by the welcoming nature and vibrancy of our community.
I know I've posted about this before but, just as a reminder, Classic Motorcar Auctions' spring auction is this Saturday at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. I just looked at the updated consignment list and it's pretty interesting. Some great pre-war Classics will definitely entice the seasoned collector. What I found most interesting is the number of entry level collector cars which can be bought for a reasonable price and enjoyed immediately. There are also some very cool memorabilia items which will be sold prior to the cars. If you're a baby boomer from this area like I am, you will find the wonderful 8' by 4' Isaly's sign hard to resist.
It wasn't too long ago when the only reason to buy a Korean made car was the fact that you couldn't afford anything else. They weren't well built, they weren't that attractive and they weren't even that fuel efficient. They were cheap to buy and, even though you didn't brag about what you drove, they did a decent job of getting you from point A to point B within a modest budget.
Recently, almost overnight, it seems like almost all the cool cars from Asian manufacturers are coming from Korea. The latest larger sedans from Hyundai and Kia are loaded with style and features that make similar offerings from Honda and Toyota seem old-hat. The Kia Soul is a runaway hit across all demographic lines (gotta' love the dancing hamster commercials) and the Hyundai Veloster is the new shining star of the hot hatch category. Hyundai's super-premium Equus line is receiving accolades from around the world for its quality and value. Even the entry level offerings from Hyundai and Kia have developed an excellent reputation for quality with their 100,000 mile/10 year warranties.