Results tagged “Knoxville car scene”

The 2012 Auto Show; Knoxville-style

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The Show:

This month marks my second year in East Tennessee. While Knoxville is a far cry from the streets and lifestyle of Southern California, one thing in common for both cities is the need for transportation. Not to say that mass transit doesn't exist, but let's face it, neither cities have the public transit infrastructure of say a city like San Francisco or London. And while one will not see the ever popular exotics or high-end vehicles on a daily basis here, autos are still the most ideal way to get from A to B.

A sea of new model cars, with Danny Hamlin's #11 car in the foreground

Enter the Knoxville News Sentinel and their annual Auto Show, this marks the 24th year for this long-running event. The venue is downtown in the convention center just next to the famed Sun Sphere and the World's fair park. It has been East Tennessee's answer to the larger annual shows held in such places as Detroit, L.A., and New York. While this venue is a smaller scale, the energy is very much the same level.

The 2012 CTS-V is the most car you will find with a $64,000 price tag

This was my second year attending the event and it's very much needed with the absence of attending one of the larger shows in my life. Many of the 2012 models provided for the show come from local dealers. The remaining vehicles, like the new Lexus LFA for example, comes in from the manufacturer from the larger show circuit.

The Star:

The definite show stealer was the Lexus LFA. This vehicle has spent many of the past years as a prototype car. It began life in 2000 as a supercar project simply code named "P280". The first completed prototype came to life in June 2003. Less than two years later the now-called LFA was premiered at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. I first caught a real-life glimpse of this car while shooting a 4-part series at the 2009 L.A. Auto Show.

Lexus' supercar simply called; the LFA

In August 2009 Toyota's CEO Akio Toyoda officially announced the vehicle would enter production. The final determination (accompanied with many sale/lease stipulations) was that production will be capped at 500 cars (150 U.S.-bound). Production was set to run December 2010-December 2012 with an average output of 20 cars per month.

While the LFA is beautiful, a true gearhead still thinks about what else one could buy with a $375,000 budget. personally I would add a Corvette Z06 and a Ferrari 458 Italia to my collection, but that's just me! Some will pay the price for originality, or exclusivity.


This show had it's highlights, from the LFA to the the new Beetle, the latest Mini line-up, and the pony cars from the big three. At the end of the day no matter what size the venue, seeing the latest innovations in the automotive world is a real treat.

Cars and Coffee in Knoxville

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It's been over a year since making the 2100 mile move cross country from sunny Southern California to beautiful Knoxville Tennessee. One thing I have missed the most is the car scene. No one can deny that Socal is the hottest spot for car enthusiast. Just within 15 miles of my home I could visit such companies as Borla, Magnuson Superchargers and Wilwood Brake company to name a few.

It's also hard to have a weekend go by in SoCal without some kind of auto event. From the Running of the Bulls (Lamborghini club run up the pacific coast), to the plethora of make and even model-specific car shows, any given weekend of the year you can find fellow gearheads eager to share their rides and passion for all-automotive.


After arriving in early 2010, I found that there is a bit of an auto scene in Knoxville as well. One of several auto-related invents includes a gathering called Cars and Coffee. This get together exists thanks to the European Auto Garage. These guys have a focus on maintenance and customization of euro-specific lines (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc.). They also have a personal passion for all things engine-related.


I found out about this get together from a Knoxville-local longtime friend and fellow gearhead; Tom Tharp. Tom is an analytical guy that too enjoys all aspects of cars and is very involved in fabrication and customization of his own cars.

Being I travel so much for work I was not able to attend my first C&C until May of this year. They host one every month during the nicer seasons of the year. I was very impressed with the assortment of cars. Unlike a California car show with the usual super-cars, hot rods and American muscle, this show had anything and a hodgepodge of cars. The variety kept me much more enthralled with each and every ride.


Then next C&C is being held July 2nd from 9a-12p. I think I will be taking the Triumph Daytona 675 this time. The weather is right and I need to get more seat time on the bike. I am hoping my Boulevard "bobber-style" motorcycle project will be completed by August's gathering (hurry up on painting that fender Micah!). But no matter what you ride or drive, make time if in town to stop by and check out this event. You will enjoy the cars, camaraderie, and coffee...if that's your cup of tea!

Lance C. Lambert is our expert Motorhead, and blogs of all things wheels related.