MAMA News

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  • 02 Mar 2021 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently, MAMA members had the opportunity to hear from Mike Glime, Maserati’s head of brand management for North America, and Karl DeBoer, Maserati’s MC20 brand manager, during MAMA’s latest eMeet. Both Glime and DeBoer shared information and updates on the luxury brand’s 2021 model year lineup, including an expanded Trofeo collection with V8 engines in the Levante, Ghibli, and Quattroporte. Overall, the entire 2021 model year lineup receives a significant range of styling updates as well as a new Maserati Intelligent Assistant multimedia system and the addition of active driving assist. 


    MC20

    DeBoer also shared updates on the newly unveiled MC20, which takes the brand back to its racing roots (it has been 20 years since Maserati last produced a supercar, the MC12). He said the MC20 delivers in luxury, performance and sportiness and features the brand’s new Nettuno engine. The MC20’s V6 produces 621 horsepower with 538-lb.-ft. of torque, delivering 0-62 acceleration in under 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 202 mph. The MC20 is expected to arrive in the U.S. in fall 2021.

    For the 2021 model year, Maserati unifies the styling among the Levante, Ghibli, and Quattroporte to make these vehicles instantly recognizable. Key design highlights include a new front grille and rear light clusters that provide a boomerang shape inspired by the 3200 GT. Maserati also gave the lineup modern upgrades inside while keeping signature design cues.


    2021 Maserati Model Year Lineup

    The instrument clusters inside the vehicles are redesigned for the 2021 model year and have received new dials, needles and typography – inspired by timepieces and jewelry, which the brand knows are also important to its customers. The 7-inch TFT display also features improved graphics with a black background and white retro-illuminated dials. Also new for the 2021 model year is the addition of Zegna Pelletessuta, a premium industry-exclusive woven leather interior. It is available on all three nameplates on GranSport/GranLusso trims as well as GTS and Trofeo models.

    All vehicles feature the new generation Maserati Intelligent Assistant multimedia system, powered by an Android Auto operating system. The 2021 infotainment system includes: Bluetooth for multiple devices, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, a reconfigurable home screen, over-the-air updates, Alexa in-vehicle voice assistant, e-call, remote diagnostics control, live navigation services, personal account, and app store access.

    The addition of active driving assist is also available in all three 2021 models. The technology is available as long as the adaptive cruise control system is activated, which aims to reduce driver fatigue and keep the vehicle centered in its lane.


    Levante

    For the 2021 model year, the Levante receives an updated front grille with a tuning fork design, available in chrome for the GranLusso trim and Piano Black for the GranSport. Notable interior updates include significant changes in both design and tech for the central display and instrument cluster. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen receives improved resolution and graphics. The 2021 Levante lineup includes the Levante, Levante S, Levante GTS, and Levante Trofeo.


    Ghibli

    In addition to the rear light clusters, the 2021 Ghibli also receives an updated grille with a tuning fork design, available on the same trims as the Levante. The Ghibli’s center screen is now larger (10.1 inches) and also receives improved resolution and graphics for the 2021 model year.

    The 2021 Ghibli lineup includes the Ghibli, Ghibli S, Ghibli S Q4, and Ghibli Trofeo.


    Quattroporte

    Maserati’s flagship, the Quattroporte, also features the upgraded grille with the same GranLusso and GranSport offerings as the Levante and Ghibli, along with the enhanced boomerang-shaped lighting cluster at the rear. The Quattroporte also receives the same enhanced central screen as the Ghibli, which has been enlarged to 10.1-inches with a curved glass top.  

    The 2021 Quattroporte lineup includes the Quattroporte, Quattroporte S Q4, and Quattroporte Trofeo.

    Trofeo Collection

    The Trofeo collection has been expanded for the 2021 model year to include the Ghibli and Quattroporte, and now, all three models feature a V8 engine that produces 580 horsepower making the Ghibli Trofeo and Quattroporte the fastest Maserati sedans ever built with a top speed of 203 mph. The Levante goes up to 187 mph. Both of the sedans feature Corsa buttons for top performance and enhanced driving dynamics.

    The next MAMA eMeet will be hosted on Wednesday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to noon CDT, led by Nissan to share updates on the newly reinvented 2022 Pathfinder. Registration for that eMeet is now open.

  • 17 Feb 2021 2:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CHICAGO (Feb. 17, 2021) – Today the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) announced the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban as the recipient of the 11th annual Family Vehicle of the Year award and the 2021 Genesis G80 as the Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year during a virtual award presentation.

    MAMA, a nonprofit association comprised of automotive journalists and public relations professionals, developed these two awards to assist car-shopping families in making a wise and decision when selecting a new vehicle.

    “The Family Vehicle of the Year Award is different from others in that it’s focused on just one extremely important category of vehicle,” said MAMA President Harvey Briggs. “Whether mainstream or luxury, families need a vehicle that’s versatile, comfortable, reliable, capable, and provides a good value for the money. More than 90 journalists participated in the voting based on their experience with the entrants, making the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban and Genesis G80 deserving winners in a very competitive field.”

    In addition to the winners, mainstream finalists were the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Highlander for Family Vehicle of the Year and the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Corsair for the luxury category. To qualify for the award, vehicles had to have four doors and be new or significantly updated within the past year.


    “It’s an honor to receive recognition for Tahoe and Suburban as the Family Vehicle of the Year, a role these vehicles have embraced for decades,” said Chevrolet Trucks Marketing Director Bob Krapes. “Both Tahoe and Suburban are iconic vehicles that have been transformed for this generation to offer more of the space and technologies families love and need for life’s journeys.”


    “We are delighted that the Midwest Automotive Media Association has named the all-new Genesis G80 as 2021 Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year,” said Genesis Motor North America President & CEO Mark Del Rosso. “With its bold new design, world-class technologies, and refined driving experience, we are pleased that the 2021 G80 has captured the hearts and minds of customers and industry experts in the Midwest and across the country.”


    Voting for the 2022 MAMA Family Vehicle and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Awards will begin at the 2021 MAMA Rally, currently scheduled to take place Oct. 13-14 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

    For more information about the Midwest Automotive Media Association and its Family Vehicle and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Awards, please visit www.mamaonline.org.


    ###


    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991, and now in its 30th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 211 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from across the country – though based in the Chicago area. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, major issues and new products in the auto industry.

  • 14 Jan 2021 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), an organization comprised of automotive journalists and related industry professionals, elected its 2021 board of directors during its annual January business meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom. Founded in 1991, MAMA celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.


    Harvey Briggs will step into the role of MAMA President. Robert Duffer was elected as Senior Vice President, and Jennifer Newman was re-elected to a second term as Vice President of Membership.

    MAMA Secretary Kelley Enright, Treasurer Larry Nutson and Communications Director Jennifer Morand will carry out the second year of their two-year terms.  

    Damon Bell, who served as MAMA President from 2019-2020, will transition to a two-year term as President Emeritus.  

    During the annual business meeting it was reported that the association currently maintains a membership of 236 automotive journalists and industry professionals serving in the automotive industry or related fields.

    It was also announced that the winners of MAMA’s annual Family Vehicle of the Year and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year awards will be announced via a virtual event in February.

    The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban, 2020 Hyundai Sonata and 2020 Toyota Highlander are the finalists for the MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year Award, and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, 2021 Genesis G80 and 2020 Lincoln Corsair are the finalists for the luxury category.

    For more information on the Midwest Automotive Media Association and related news, visit www.mamaonline.org.

    ###

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991, and now in its 30th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 236 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from across the country – though based in the Chicago area. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, major issues and new products in the auto industry.

  • 06 Jan 2021 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The final MAMA eMeet of the 2020 calendar year was hosted by Kia who took the opportunity to share updates on the 2021 Sorento. Kia Product Strategy Manager, Mark Savino, led the presentation to more than 50 MAMA media members and he fielded a live Q&A at the end of the online meeting.


    Savino shared that while the Sorento nameplate is pushing 20 years of U.S. history, it has been completely redesigned for 2021 offering more capability, more safety technology, heightened performance and a bolder design. The all-new Sorento hit dealerships nationwide in December.

    According to Kia, the 2021 Sorento features an “emotionally expressive” design with an all-new N3 platform, enabling the vehicle to be lighter and stronger. Picking up styling cues from big brother Telluride, the Sorento slots between the three-row Telluride SUV and the compact Sportage. The exterior is more angular and muscular while the interior incorporates bolder and more horizontal lines emphasizing its spaciousness. Another interior bonus is the newly added second-row captains chairs, which can t be found in Sorento s segment competitors.


    In terms of technology, the all-new Sorento comes with an 8-inch standard touchscreen display or an available 10.25-inch HD touchscreen (which is shared with the Telluride).

    The new Sorento is packed with the latest and most advanced safety tech from Kia, including:

    • Forward collision-avoidance assist
    • Lane keeping assist
    • Lane following assist
    • Driver attention warning and lead car departure warning
    • Rear occupant alert with ultrasonic sensors
    • Blind-spot collision-avoidance assist and parallel exit
    • Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist
    • Smart Cruise with Stop & Go
    • Forward collision-avoidance assist
    • Safe exit assist

    According to Kia, there s a Sorento for everyone” as the SUV will be offered in five different trim levels: LX, S, EX, SX and SX-Prestige and available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

    For the first time, three new distinct Sorento models will be offered:


    - X-Line: All-new for Sorento, the new X-Line appearance package features 1-inch higher ground clearance, improved approach/departure angles, more advanced AWD with snow-mode and a more robust roof rack than the outgoing model.

    - SX-Prestige: Offered in a sapphire blue with gloss black accents. According to Savino, Kia’s hero model is the SX-Prestige AWD with X-Line appearance package, a variant that further demonstrates the transformation of the Sorento into a more premium and tech-oriented SUV. The X-Line SX-Prestige AWD trim includes:

    ·   Standard torque-on-demand AWD with center locking differential and downhill descent control

    ·   Increased ride height to 8.3-inch (a 1-inch increase over standard ride height)

    ·   Exclusive bumper and exterior details, such as unique 20-inch alloy wheels and bridge-type roof rack

    - Hybrid (notable as this is Kia’s first-ever hybrid SUV)


    *Plug-in Hybrid variant is forthcoming in 2021

    Four all-new powertrains are also offered on the 2021 Sorento including: 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder gas engine, 2.5-liter turbo, HEV, and PHEV (coming next year).

    Pricing for the 2021 Sorento starts just below $30,000 ($29,390 to be exact) for the LX front-wheel drive and climbs to $42,590 for the top-level X-Line SX-Prestige AWD trim.

    Additional MAMA eMeets will be scheduled for after the New Year; additional updates are forthcoming.

  • 23 Dec 2020 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The significantly refreshed 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe 5-passenger SUV is just beginning to hit dealerships now, and MAMA members got a complete virtual walk-through of all of its new features during an early-December MAMA eMeet. Santa Fe Product Manager Trevor Lai led MAMA members in a Zoom presentation on the 2021 Santa Fe and fielded questions at the end of the presentation.


    Lai shared details on the 2021 Santa Fe’s many enhancements, such as aggressive new styling with advanced front and rear lighting signatures, an optimized body structure, revised suspension, two new gasoline engines, several new technology and safety features, a line-topping Calligraphy trim level, and the Santa Fe’s first hybrid powertrain (with a plug-in hybrid version slated to follow in the near future).


    The exterior shows off a new front fascia highlighted by a striking T-shaped LED light signature and a bold horizontal grille with a three-dimensional crosshatch pattern and sculpted front bumper. Among the other prominent exterior features for the 2021 model year are:

    • LED headlights and daytime running lights
    • LED taillights
    • 17”, 18”, 19” and 20” alloy wheels
    • Roof side rails
    • Power folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators
    • Power panoramic sunroof
    • Exterior silver accents


    Several updates can be found in the interior of the vehicle, including a dramatic new “high-console” center-console design; push-button gear selector; and premium materials throughout the cabin, including available Nappa leather upholstery, soft-touch padding and ambient lighting. The list of standard or available interior features for 2021 includes:

    • Premium Nappa leather seating surfaces (on Calligraphy trim level)
    • Front heated and ventilated seats  
    • Power driver seat plus lumbar support
    • Integrated memory seat system
    • Dual automatic temperature control
    • Shift-by-wire and electric parking brake
    • Heated steering wheel and rear seats
    • Rear window sunshades


    The Santa Fe also boasts a generous list of advanced safety features that come standard with Hyundai’s SmartSense, such as:

    • Forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian and bicyclist detection
    • Blind-spot collision-avoidance assist
    • Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist
    • Lane keeping assist and lane following assist
    • Safe exit warning and rear occupant alert
    • Driver attention warning
    • Highway driving assist
    • Smart cruise control with stop-and-go functionality
    • Parking distance warning (forward and reverse)
    • Parking collision-avoidance assist-reverse
    • Blind view monitor and surround view monitor

    In terms of tech, the 2021 Santa Fe offers a 10.25-inch navigation system, remote smart park assist, hands-free power tailgate with auto-open function, 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, windshield head-up display and 64-color ambient lighting.

    The Santa Fe also offers new connectivity features for 2021. The Hyundai Digital Key smartphone app negates the need for a traditional key fob—the system allows owners to use their smartphone to start/stop the engine, lock/unlock the doors, turn panic mode on/off and open the trunk. Additional connectivity features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, enhanced Blue Link features, wireless device charging and dynamic voice recognition.

    Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive is another available feature. The system tracks vehicle speed and road conditions to control braking between the left and right wheels. It also balances power

    between the front and rear wheels to ensure occupant safety while delivering superior cornering and driving dynamics on multiple road surfaces.

    Additional improvements have been made to the 2021 Santa Fe’s braking, ride and handling, noise reduction, and aerodynamics.

    The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe will start at $26,850 for the SE base trim level, $28,650 for the SEL trim, $38,600 for the Limited, and $42,100 for the Calligraphy.

    The Santa Fe Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2021, and the Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid is expected to arrive later next year. Pricing for the HEV and PHEV models will be announced closer to launch.

    The Hyundai Santa Fe presentation was one of the final MAMA eMeets to wrap up the 2020 calendar year. The MAMA Board of Directors are hard at work to arrange for more MAMA eMeets to resume after the New Year.

  • 18 Nov 2020 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we move toward the new year, it doesn’t appear as though we’ll have much clarity on the state of COVID-19 nor any potential vaccines or other remedies to help stem the tide of the disease. This means it’s very tough to plan for live, in-person events for 2021.


    Nevertheless, the MAMA Spring Rally is on the calendar for May 25 and 26. We will begin discussions shortly after the first of the year. Where those discussions will lead, it’s hard to tell. It’s fairly certain if we host the rally at Road America in May, it will be different from previous years, with social-distancing and other safety measures in place. Just know that we will be monitoring the situation with Road America, The Osthoff, and our manufacturer partners. The most important factor in any decision will be the health and safety of everyone involved.

    We will continue to host virtual product presentations with manufacturers and, when possible, host hybrid online/in person events like our recent Ford F-150 program. We have been getting great feedback from both journalists and manufacturers about the MAMA eMeets and appreciate everyone’s willingness to pivot to the new medium.

    We had hoped to have more clarity on the ability to host events by now, but obviously that isn’t the case. Given the reality of limited in-person gatherings and travel restrictions imposed by some manufacturers and media outlets, we will continue to look for innovative ways to provide value to all and look forward to a time when we can all be together again. 

    Be sure to check our website frequently for updated information, as well as our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

  • 18 Nov 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MAMA Senior Vice President Harvey Briggs has co-authored a lavish new book that provides an insider’s look at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars: Making A Legend is a 296-page hardcover published by ACC Art Books Ltd., and is set to go on sale early next month.


    Harvey and his co-author Simon Van Booy received unprecedented access to Rolls-Royce’s headquarters: the Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex, England. There, they interviewed Rolls-Royce executives, designers, and craftspeople, and saw firsthand how these extraordinary luxury vehicles are made.

    The book is a visual feast. It’s filled with breathtaking photography of Rolls-Royce vehicles both new and vintage, as well as original concept renderings and archival photos that provide important historical context. Photographer Mariona Vilaros contributed extensive behind-the-scenes images of Rolls-Royce’s impressive production facility—a place where old-world craftsmanship and time-honored techniques mix with the latest technology and manufacturing processes—and numerous portraits of the dedicated, highly skilled craftspeople and leaders who bring modern-day Rolls-Royce vehicles to life.

    The text covers all facets of how Rolls-Royces are made, from the initial design and the client’s bespoke customization selections to the meticulous assembly procedures—including detailed overviews of the paint and finishing processes, the woodshop and leather shop, final assembly, and testing/validation. The book closes with a brief history of the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and look at the next chapter of the Rolls-Royce story—the new-for-2021 Ghost.

    Congrats to Harvey on this remarkable achievement!

  • 18 Nov 2020 2:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Most of us know Burt Levy as a friend, fellow colleague and, of course, MAMA member. He was even one of the driving instructors for the MAMA Track Driving School, hosted by Dodge. However, many of us weren’t aware that Burt was a stunt driver in the Blues Brothers movie, for example, or that he has penned multiple award-winning books on racing – one of his strongest interests. We sat down (virtually, of course) with Burt to get his full story (though, deep down we know this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface!).


    Q1:  You were a stunt driver in the Blues Brothers movie. That is incredible! How would you best summarize this experience? 

    BL:  A hoot. Didn’t get the gig by anything but serendipity (and some flinty-eyed bean counters in Hollywood!). The producers had the problem of finding enough experienced, high-speed drivers to put in all those seats. They sure as heck didn’t want to pay union stunt money for that, so they asked around and were steered to local car and racing clubs. I’d been racing pretty successfully and serving as a race-driving instructor for our local amateur clubs and it sounded like fun, so I went to the tryouts at the Dixie Square Shopping Mall, which was used in the movie. The whole idea was you got in one of these wheezy, wobbly old cop cars with one of the stunt coordinators and he told you “do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it and don’t do anything until I tell you.” And then he’d tell you to aim for the far side of this chunked and broken parking lot and floor it. They were tired & beat up but they did have the big, cop-car engines, so pretty soon you’re motoring along at 80 or so—foot still to the floor and the front end hammering and hunting all over the road (not to mention the tree line on the far edge of the lot starting to loom very large indeed!) but if you kept your foot planted until he said “OK, you can back off now,” you were in!

    Q2:  You helped out as an instructor at the MAMA Track Driving School. Many MAMA members received instruction from you...what is your top advice for novice track drivers? 

    BL:  Calm down, don’t hold the wheel in a death grip and RAISE YOUR EYES! One of my instructors many years ago was the late Jim Fitzgerald, who was Paul Newman’s great friend and teammate. He always said that race is more like dancing than anything else, and he was absolutely right. When you’re doing it right, it all becomes a sort of rhythmic flow—not all jerky—and you see far ahead and everything feels like it’s happening in slow motion. I always tell my students it’s like music: the track is the piece of music you have to play and the car is the instrument you play it with. When you’re “in the zone” and you have a really good racecar under you, the car becomes almost invisible and it’s just you and the track…   

    Q3:  What race cars have you driven, or even owned?

    BL:  I haven’t owned many, but I’ve driven and raced a LOT. Started out in 1971 in a real P.o.S. series of self-wrenched Triumph TR3s. Bought a lot of “trick” parts and go-faster goodies from California and wound up with TR3s that went faster and faster for shorter and shorter periods of time. Rarely finished a race. But, I learned, and when I switched to an Alfa Romeo Spider built out of an insurance total, I started winning races and championships. With some backing from the dealership I worked for at the time and Alfa Romeo in New Jersey, I switched to a different Alfa for SCCA National racing in 1983. We ran eight races, won four of them, set two lap records and qualified for the National Championships at Road Atlanta. By then, I’d realized that I couldn’t really afford to continue.

    By then I’d started writing for AutoWeek and On Track magazines, and they’d offered me a gig covering pro races in the Midwest. I told them “no, I’m a RACER, not a writer.” Only I called them back again after the car got rolled into a ball and asked if the correspondent gig was still open? Had no idea how or where I’d ever go racing again. But covering races was a way to stay involved and I made a lot of lifelong racing friends in the pro ranks.

    Did some pro racing of my own thanks to a surprise call from PD Cunningham, who offered me a share of the driving in some endurance races for a fledgling team out of Dayton, MPS Motorsports.

    Serendipity again: Joe Marchetti (who, along with his brothers, used to own and run the famous Como Inn Italian restaurant in Chicago, and also traded in exotic and racing cars…mostly Ferraris) was running a fledgling vintage racing event at Road America (called then the Chicago Historic Races) and wanted me to write a driver’s-eye-view of Road America for his race program (I’d won a few races there and held a lap record). So, I did. And, in return, he put me in a classic 1960 Ferrari 250 SWB (Short WheelBase) Berlinetta at a race at Road Atlanta. I wrote my first “ride mooch” story about the experience for AutoWeek. That led to drives in other classic racing cars, a gig as a track-driving instructor at the Ferrari National Meet and a series of occasionally award-winning stories and columns about racing and test-driving other people’s wonderful cars…the great majority of which I could never dream of affording!

    Q4:  How many different tracks have you raced on? Which was your favorite, and why? 

    BL:  I have raced at almost every road-racing circuit in the United States plus several in Canada and three in the Bahamas. For the sheer joy of driving, I love the flow and elevation changes of the Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mount Tremblant in Canada, the scale, sweep and scenery of Road America, Watkins Glen and the fun of Mid-Ohio. If I had to pick a single favorite, it would have to be my home track, Road America, because of its grandeur and presentation, its unique synergy with the surrounding towns and countryside (which I’ve written about in my books) and the way the track management and board keep pouring profits back into the facility to improve and upgrade it. That just isn’t happening anywhere else.

    Q5:  How did you become a book author? What books have you penned?  

    BL:  I’d been writing for the magazines for a while and had this urge to write a novel about racing just because I hated all the fiction about racing that I’d read or seen on the screen. I thought about it for quite some time. I remember I was sitting around the pool one morning with a massive rum hangover during the 1986 Grand Bahama Vintage Grand Prix (where I was driving for Joe Marchetti) and just started hunting and pecking away on my laptop. It took me eight years because I really had no idea how to write a book and I kept giving up or setting it aside when racing season rolled around. It was a coming-of-age story about a 19-year-old New Jersey gas-station mechanic getting sucked into the glamorous, dangerous and occasionally decadent world of open-road sports car racing during the Eisenhower fifties.

    I finally finished it and sent The Last Open Road off, unrequested and un-agented, to just about every major fiction publisher in New York. They all turned it down. A few of them liked it, but told me “There’s no market for ‘car’ fiction.” Or, as one particularly rude and arrogant Manhattan publishing executive told me: “THOSE people don’t read…”

    But I thought she was wrong. So, my wife and I took out a second mortgage, formed a company, published it ourselves and debuted it at the Road America vintage weekend in July of 1994. It earned wonderful reviews in the motoring (and even some of the mainstream) press here and abroad and garnered tremendous word-of-mouth support on the motorsports and collector-car scenes. That book is now in its 10th hardcover printing, is used in several high school and college-level English classes and is on the recommended reading lists at many libraries and book clubs. It’s also spawned five (soon to be six) sequels: Montezuma’s Ferrari, The Fabulous Trashwagon, Toly’s Ghost, The 200mph Steamroller Book One/Red Reign and The 200mph Steamroller Book Two/The Italian Job plus a short-story collection, A Potside Companion. 

    Q6:  If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? 

    BL:  Don’t stop me now, I’m on a roll… 

    Q7:  Any advice for MAMA members who may want to follow a similar path to yours? 

    BL:  Follow your dreams and don’t be afraid of falling down.

  • 18 Nov 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MAMA extends a heartfelt thank you to many of our OEM partners who have risen to the challenge over the last few months and lent their support during COVID-19. Since we published our last newsletter in July, MAMA has hosted an additional seven eMeet virtual meetings. That brings us to a total of 11 virtual meetings since April! An average of 40 MAMA members log on to each eMeet. It has been an incredible way to keep in touch and see smiling faces as well.


    One-hour presentations, including Q&A, have provided our members with valuable information and insight. A more detailed summary for each of the following virtual meetings can be found at www.mamaonline.org. Here’s a quick snapshot of the latest content:

    • Hyundai kicked off the #MAMAeMeet series with a look at the Venue, an all-new subcompact crossover SUV
    • Ford discussed its popular Transit van and gave more detail on the lineup for 2020
    • Dodge provided an overview of the car market and how “it is not dead”
    • Toyota showcased its all-new 2021 Venza, an urban crossover with a standard AWD hybrid powertrain 
    • Cadillac provided an interesting look into its exciting new virtual showroom, Cadillac Live, and members took a virtual tour of the CT4 and CT5
    • Ford kicked off its meeting with an update on the company’s economic impact on both Chicago and Illinois, and then hosted a walk-around (both virtually and in-person) of the new F-150 Hybrid
    • Lexus featured the latest products from the Lexus brand lineup with a special focus on the 2021 Lexus IS 300 and IS 350 F Sport

    Please keep your eyes open for future MAMA eMeet dates. We are trying to lock in a couple more before the end of the year. If you are interested in a particular topic or have an idea for a MAMA eMeet, please contact MAMA SVP Harvey Briggs.

  • 18 Nov 2020 2:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings, MAMA Members:

    Well, we’re entering the home stretch of a year I’m sure most of us are anxious to put in the rearview mirror. I still find myself thinking back to our Alfa Romeo MAMA luncheon at the Iron Gate Motor Condos on March 4, 2020—a week and a half before the initial COVID-19 shutdowns began. Though there were storm clouds on the horizon then, that lunch stands out in my mind as one of the last “normal” days before the pandemic hit… and that day feels much longer than eight months ago.

    We’re all looking forward to a better 2021, but it’s tough to say what kind of “normal” we will be able to settle back into. However that normal arrives, I think it will come in stages, and not at the flip of switch or the turning of a calendar page. It’s going to be a gradual process, and we will continue to react and adapt as best we can.

    And we’ve seen plenty of effective adaptation this past year. Despite the myriad challenges and hardships brought on by the pandemic, automakers still managed to launch a bevy of outstanding new vehicles—and many of those vehicles are right in the wheelhouse of our Family Vehicle of the Year and Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year awards. Even though we were unable to hold our Spring and Fall Rallies, we are moving forward with our Family Vehicle awards for 2021 (which marks the eleventh year for FVOTY). In-person drive opportunities won’t be possible, but we’re hoping that a good number of our members have been able to test most or all of the candidate vehicles through normal press-loan/event channels and will feel confident in making their picks. We’re still ironing out the details, but stay tuned for a list of candidates and instructions on how to vote in the near future.

    We’re adapting our annual holiday party and business meeting too. We won’t be holding an in-person gathering for either event, but we’re working on a Zoom version of both. Details on those events are forthcoming as well.

    Here’s to better days ahead. All of us at MAMA hope you are staying safe, healthy, and well.

    All for now,

    Damon Bell, MAMA President

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