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By Steven S. Brooks Published: April 18, 2012

Great News About The Soap Box Derby!

By Steven S. Brooks Published: March 31, 2012

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.

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Collector Car Auction This Weekend!

By Steven S. Brooks Published: March 28, 2012

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.

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When Did Korean Cars Become Cool?

By Steven S. Brooks Published: March 23, 2012

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.

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What was your favorite car at the Cleveland Auto Show?

By Steven S. Brooks Published: February 28, 2012

A coworker was at the Cleveland Auto Show over the weekend and came in very excited about what he saw. His impression was that it was bigger than it has been in years and the manufacturers were pulling out all stops with their presentations and displays. When I asked him what his favorite car of the show was, he surprised me by saying the new Subaru BRZ.  Not that I don't think this new entry level sports car (to be offered in a Scion version also) is very cool, I just thought he would pick a more exotic model.

 If you had a chance to get to the show or if you have been looking at new cars, which new model impresses you the most?

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Time for the Canton Hot Rod Show

By Steven S. Brooks Published: February 17, 2012

Even though this has been a very mild winter by all accounts, it has been a long time since cruise-in and car show season. The Canton Hot Rod Show gives enthusiasts a little taste of what we've been missing these past several months.

 Held at the Canton Memorial Civic Center this weekend, Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 19, over 130 customized show cars and 30 motorcycles will be displayed in the warmth and comfort of the arena. Several cars have been invited from out of the area as well as some of the nicer examples of local show cars. Though this segment of the hobby is not my absolute favorite, I make a point of attending and am always impressed  by the craftsmanship involved in building these cars.

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What’s Your Favorite Road Food?

By Steven S. Brooks Published: February 16, 2012

The expanse of the U.S. highway system spawned an entirely new culinary experience in the twentieth century; the roadside restaurant.  Originally mom and pop snack shacks, they grew into chains like Howard Johnson's, Stuckey's and such. Now there are plazas on toll roads where you are actually captive to the offerings that the state has deemed appropriate.

 Regardless, everyone has their favorite road food memories. I still fondly remember stopping at the giant Isaly's when we went to visit my aunt and uncle in Youngstown. Chip-chop ham on soft, buttered white bread was better than any lobster or prime strip steak to my pre-teen taste buds, especially since I knew it would be followed by a double scoop ice cream cone. What is your favorite road food memeory?

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