2013 Scion FR-S

Spiffy sportster rekindles Toyota’s sport coupe tradition

Finally, a new sports coupe from Toyota, albeit offered through its entry-level youngster brand, Scion.

2013 Scion FR-SI’ve missed the Toyota Celica for years now, and I’m not alone, so with the 2013 Scion FR-S, Toyota again has a low-cost sports coupe that looks great and will provide much entertainment for those of us who prefer cars to look sporty and handle likewise. Plus this is a near identical cousin (if that were possible) to Subaru’s new BRZ. They both even have three letters as their name.

Toyota and Subaru worked together on this sports coupe, with really only the sheet metal reflecting their differing visions of what a cool coupe should look like. Both look pretty sexy and I can assure you even some Audi owners were gawking at the Scion, trying to guess its heritage. Continue reading 2013 Scion FR-S


Diecast: Indy 500 Roadsters (Bryan, Marshman)

Replicarz brings back historic Indy 500 models

One racer dominated the Indy Car scene on pavement and dirt during the 1950s. He was a three-time Indy Car champ and winner of the 1958 Indy 500. His name? Jimmy Bryan.

Replicarz Indy 500 laydown roadstrs
Replicarz brings back the Indy 500 laydown roadsters with Bobby Marshman’s 1961 rookie car (back) and Jimmy Bryan’s 1958 Indy winner.

By 1961 sadly Bryan was dead from an odd dirt track accident and there was a young group of hard chargers, including Bobby Marshman who made his mark by finishing seventh in the 1961 Indy 500, winning top rookie honors along with Parnelli Jones.Good news for Indy Car fans, Replicarz has created Bryan’s 1958 Indy winner and Marshman’s flamboyant orange and chrome 1961 Indy racer in 1:18 scale. These are both laydown roadsters, originally designed by George Salih, with his car winning the 1957 and ’58 Indy races. Continue reading Diecast: Indy 500 Roadsters (Bryan, Marshman)

Promo Model: ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country Wagon

1964-Rambler-Classic-Cross-Country, AMC wagons, american motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.com
Photo courtesy: AutoWeek

Like any car guy I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. I like to keep up on what’s new, what’s cool, what’s fast:), and collector cars, mostly from the the 60’s and 70’s. This week I received my AutoWeek newsletter, parused it, and low and behold came across this car. Now of course being an AMC geek I took a closer look at the ’64 Classic 770 Cross Country wagon. Since it usually was cash-strapped, AMC knew the could not go head to head with GM, Ford, and Chrysler so they found a segment the Big Three weren’t in. BTW, did you know that in 1962, Rambler was N0. 1 in station wagon sales?

This ’64 was built on the new Classic, which debuted in 1963, and was named the Motor Trend Car of The Year. The new Classic/Ambassador series was the third all-new Rambler and the second of true midsize proportions.  AMC stretched the standard wheelbase from 108 inches to 112 inches, while reducing overall length by almost an inch making for a lower, more modern profile. The wagon accounted for 34 percent of Classic sales. As a point of reference, the Audi A4 rides on a 110 wheelbase while the Cadillac CTS rides on 113 inch wheelbases.
1964 Rambler Classic Cross County Wagon, AMC, AMC station wagons, American Motors, SavageOnWheels.com
’64 ad from my collection

Like a lot of AMC cars it featured lots of innovations such as curved side glass, an industry first for any car outside the luxury class which contributed to a sophisticated look that was supposed to last a decade. “Uniside” construction, which reduced body stampings by 30 percent. Door openings were welded from two stampings rather than 52. All of this reduced the weight as much as 150 pounds for some models. Dual-circuit brakes, soon required on all cars, were carried over from ’62. In my research for this article, besides the ad on the left, I was able to find a radio spot done by Phyllis Diller. She sounds so young.

In the AutoWeek article by John F. Katz on 10/08/2012, he says the example above belongs to Bruce Ritchie, the second owner, “despite 72,000 original miles, seems to have time-warped directly from the Atlantic City showroom where it was sold brand-new. Look past the rocket-age instrument panel, and you see an interior that’s well-appointed and more upmarket in appearance than almost any contemporary midsize car. The seats are flat and soft, and the steering wheel large and close, but those quirks belong as much to the time as to this particular vehicle. The 196-cid, 127-hp overhead-valve six idles in silence and accelerates with a happy thrum. The steering is predictably linear, while the soft all-coil suspension convincingly replicates the ride (and body roll) of a much larger car. But that was precisely the Rambler’s appeal: big-car comfort and style at 23 mpg.” according to Katz.

While this is not a hot collectible, it is affordable. The car’s original list price was $3,233 and examples like this will go for around $7,900. Best of all, parts are available, and all one has to do is join one of the collector clubs, like the American Motors Owners Association, to find out where they are.

promo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.compromo models, dealer promotional model cars, 1964 Rambler Cross County wagon, American Motors, AMC, SavageOnWheels.comSo here’s my promo model, a two-tone, white over maroon. I’ve had this car for a very long time as you can see by the dust on it. I’m not sure if it was one my dad brought home when he worked at AMC or I bought it at a swap. I do remember seeing these at swap meets. Examples of good ones like mine go for around $50. I was only able to see one on eBay and the current bid was around $35. I did see a ’63 Classic Sedan with a current bid of $90. I have one of them too. A few years back, my dad and I were at the American Motors Owners Association event in Kenosha, where most of the AMC’s were built, and there were some vendors selling the promo models. I was talking to a couple of guys, one who was into collecting promo models year by year and all the colors they came in while the other was collecting just the wagons which I have. Thinking back now to when I was kid, dad brought some many promo models home, many free while some others he paid 2 bucks for, 2 bucks! Quite a few of those were either burned or blown up in my driveway.

My resume


262.844.5737 – paulgeorgedaniel@gmail.com – Pewaukee, WI.


My Digital Resume: http://bit.ly/DigitalMarketingPro

Senior-Level Marketing Leader, Emerging Digital Technologies/Interactive Marketing/

Integrated Marketing/Brand Management/Project Management

 Career Overview

Craftsman of award-winning marketing programs with an extensive digital toolbox utilized to create and execute high ROI partnerships with some of the world’s most recognized and valuable brands. Highly regarded leader ahead of the trends. Skilled in evaluating brand needs and implementing strategies that increase revenue and brand awareness. Developed a reputation of consistently looking at marketing opportunities from a fresh perspective to achieve corporate objects. Extensive experience in magazine publishing, broadcast, retail/consumer goods and services, healthcare, and automotive. Areas of expertise:

»       Integrated Marketing»       Branding

»       Strategic Planning

»       Digital Marketing Strategy

»       Project Management


»       Social Media Marketing»       Research/Data Analysis

»       Experiential Marketing

»       Viral Marketing

»       Partnership Development


Career Highlights

Owner, GrowBizGrow

Pewaukee, WI, 2011 to present

Through research discovered an opportunity to develop web sites for small businesses whose owners do not have the time, or the knowledge, to develop their brand in the digital spaces. Utilizing the latest web technologies, I work with the owner to set goals and then create a site that reflects their business’s personality. Services include all SEO and training on how to maintain their site with the content management system. Current clients include SavageOnWheels.com (niche car review site), AAEN Performance Parts (aftermarket snowmobile manufacture), Cardiff Hills (marketing firm), and the Flying Electrons (a radio control flying club).

»   Researched and developed a niche car review blog site that includes car reviews but also content the major car sites do not have such as reviews of diecast models, slot cars, and promotional model cars. Built on the WordPress platform created branding and marketing plan that includes SEO, social and content marketing.

Marketing Manager/Digital Partnerships/U.S. Brands

Reader’s Digest Association, Greendale, WI, 2009 to 2011          

Assumed total responsibilities in most recent position which was previously held by three managers (Senior Digital Marketing Manager, VP-Circulation, CMO). Developed performance-based partnerships for Taste of Home, The Family Handyman, and Every Day with Rachael Ray brands for a global media and direct marketing company, which connects more than 145 million consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. Collaborated with cross-discipline teams, served as project manager.

»   Developed partnership business model utilizing digital and print assets, executed program, and campaign analysis. Upon completion briefed VP-Consumer Marketing and CMO to determine the viability of the program. Successes were shared with the global best practices team.

»   Forged multi-channel partnership with Macy’s; instrumental in building a new brand through largest annual store event held in multiple major metropolitan markets. Digital assets, websites, e-mail, social while print assets included, print ads and point of purchase. Partnership realized in a 20% increase in the brand’s website traffic (comScore) and subscriptions.

»   Implemented plan to effectively increase revenue by partnering with global consumer goods and services companies, which shared similar demographics with selected Reader’s, Digest brands. Targeted decision makers, negotiated agreements, executed digital plans, resulting in a $100K (500%) increase year over year.

»   Collaborated across disciplines including, circulation marketing, digital, editorial, and sales in executing successful partnerships with, Army and Air Force Exchange, Ancestry.com, Groupon, Macy’s, and Rue La La.

»   Aligned brands with partners in the retail, CPG, utilizing digital spaces, web, social, mobile and e-mail after extensive research.

Group Circulation Manager

Kalmbach Publishing Company, Waukesha, WI, 2007 to 2009

Developed marketing strategies and plans utilizing digital media, direct mail, and partnership marketing for the leading global publisher of special interest/hobbyist magazines. Managed the marketing for four of the company’s 14 magazines, which generated over $4 million in annual revenue.

»   Managed execution of customized marketing programs and budgets. Achieved circulation and profitability goals for assigned magazines, three of which are global category leaders.

»   Analyzed web metrics (Google) and successfully re-launched two magazines websites. Utilizing the latest web technology surpassing circulation revenue goals. In three months, one magazine realized a 45% increase in subscription revenue while the other increased by 50%.

Marketing Director

Laacke & Joys, Milwaukee, WI, 1999 to 2007                                                   

Accountable for positioning, marketing, digital media, market research, public relations, and point of purchase promotions. Recruited to refocus marketing efforts, reverse a flat sales trend, and increase awareness of Wisconsin’s largest independent outdoor specialty retailer.

»   Researched available options for the company’s first e-commerce platform, developed marketing/search engine strategy, and with input from the buyer’s group selected products. Because it was positioned as a niche site, traffic and sales grew 19% faster than projected and within a year generated profits significant enough to begin adding additional staff.

»   Developed a consumer loyalty program through collaboration with cross-functional areas. Crafted marketing plan for launch utilizing multi-channel delivery tactics to deliver messaging and drive memberships. Leveraged e-mails captured from new members; deployed message about upcoming sales event that led to a 15% increase in revenue.

Director, Communications and Marketing

Curative Care Network, Milwaukee, WI, 1996 to 1999

Hired as Director of Public Relations to manage all internal and external communications for the largest tertiary care provider in Southeastern Wisconsin. Within a year was promoted to Director, Communications, acquiring additional duties in developing branding campaigns. Created the organizations first website creatively implementing interactive features.


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications


Public Relations Society of America-Wisconsin Chapter: Four Excellence Awards and Two Awards of Merit • American Hospital Association: Banner Award • Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations & Marketing Society: Excellence Award and Two Awards of Merit • Healthcare Marketing Report: Gold Award, Bronze Award and Certificate of Merit

2012 Hyundai Equus Signature

Full-size luxury has a new name – Equus – and plenty of ponies

Hyundai’s full-size Equus is a fine luxury car with one major drawback, the Hyundai name.

Unlike Honda and its Acura line or Toyota’s Lexus or Nissan’s Infiniti, Hyundai has chosen to simply offer its luxury liner as an extension of its standard line. Thus the Hyundai Equus Signature edition that I tested proudly wears its parent company’s name along with a $59,650 price tag. Continue reading 2012 Hyundai Equus Signature

2012 Nissan Murano SV AWD

Luxurious crossover, quiet comfortable family mover

A lot of time has passed since I last tested Nissan’s fine Murano crossover, yet it remains a solid, quiet, comfortable family mover.Nissan Murano exterior

While many folks buy this in front-drive form, Nissan says, I had the next to top level SL model with AWD. That means it goes for nearly $41 grand, which seems high, until you consider many other crossovers with luxury leanings.

The tested dark metallic blue Murano started at $38,000 and ended up $40,855 with mainly a navigation system upgrade adding to the price. If price is a concern, start shopping at the S level, which begins at $29,960 for front-drive and $31,560 for AWD. There are four trim levels, the top, LE, going for $40,560 with AWD. Continue reading 2012 Nissan Murano SV AWD

Diecast: CMC Ferrari 250 California

CMC’s Ferrari detail excels, including first working trunk latch

There are few, if any, models in the die-cast world as finely made as those produced by CMC. And while pricey, they are well worth the cost for serious, selective collectors.Ferrari 250 California convertible

Consider that the new 1:18 Ferrari 250 California is hand-assembled from 1,634 individual parts including wire-spoked wheels with aluminum rims, each spoke hand-mounted with a single nipple and each tire has a valve stem. Wiring and other under-hood detailing is exquisite and realistic looking, as is the car’s underside. No corners are cut here, thus the premium price tag. Continue reading Diecast: CMC Ferrari 250 California

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