Cars In Detroit

The 2013 North American International Auto Show 

For the third year in a row i went to the Detroit Auto Show in Cobo Hall to see all the new 2013 vehicles.  Here's links to the last two times i've gone:
It was filled with all of the 2013 cars, trucks and the new concept vehicles for 2014 and beyond.  It seemed like every company that i can think of attended this years show, although as usual companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin only brought one or two cars.  As it has always been the Big Three (Ford, GM and Chrysler) have the biggest displays and the largest crowds.  I guess it makes sense.  They are Detroit Cars and this is the Detroit International Auto Show.   

Automotive Dealer

Even before we got into Cobo Hall we saw cars in the hallway.  They were some really cool super cars like this Falcon. I've heard of this company before, i think for a while they made the fastest car in the world, which did something like 250mph. 
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 Parked next to is was a Bentley and Ferrari.  This is the first time i can remember there being super nice cars out in the hallway.

The first thing we saw when we entered was this Nissan NSX Concept. 
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It was a pretty cool looking car but i didn't know anything about it and kind of forgettable.  I'm guessing that since it's a Nissan it has tons of electronics that do the stability control. 

Then we made our way over to Ford, who had the same cool chairs as last year.  Click on the link up at the top from 2012 to see pictures of Karrie sitting in one.  I still really like them.  But you have to be sitting in them to really understand.  If you sit in one direction, the top part acts as a back rest, which is surprisingly comfortable.  If you spin the chair around and sit down the top part acts like a desk to rest your elbows on.
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I still really like them.  But you have to be sitting in them to really understand.  If you sit in one direction, the top part acts as a back rest, which is surprisingly comfortable.  If you spin the chair around and sit down the top part acts like a desk to rest your elbows on.

There was also this really cool looking couch over by the Smart cars. 
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All the furniture at the Auto Show was this sort of art deco style with bold colors and rounded lines.

2013 Vehicles

I would have to say that the highlight of this years show was the new Corvette Stingray.  I can totally see people lining up at the automotive dealer to buy this at above full price. 
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The front end of this car and it's shape from above totally remind me of a Ferrari 458.  I personally think the back end of this new Corvette is a bit bulky, but so have all the Corvette's for the past 10 years.

Everything about the car was cool though.  It had a super high top speed, new gear box, lots of carbon fiber and even got good gas mileage.  All for just a fraction of what a Ferrari cost.

And the really neat thing was that in 2011 i was at the plant where this car was made, GM's Corvette plant in Bowling Green Kentucky.  Back then my favorite car was the ZR1.  I can't wait until they make a "ZR1 version" of this new car.  I bet it's going to be really popular with buyers and especially the Detroit automotive dealers that sell them.

Here's a panorama view of just a small part of the Auto Show floor.
auto show panorama, detroit auto show, north american international
As you can see it wasn't too busy.  We went on a weekday between 6 - 8PM.  As we were leaving it started to fill up.

But there were lots of different people there looking at cars. 
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As always, the main reason for going to the Detroit Auto Show is to see the concept cars, like this Tesla.  It wasn't their Tesla Roadster, it was the newer basic sedan.  It didn't look all that amazing from the outside, but i think the interior was the best i've ever seen.  In case you don't know, Tesla is the automotive dealer that makes electric vehicles with something like 4,000 tiny lithium ion batteries.
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Super simple, just 2 flat screen monitors.  One for the driver behind the steering wheel and one for the center console.  The one in the middle was the size of 2 iPads.  The cool thing about having a screen rather then buttons is that it can adapt.  Meaning that it can change and become anything.  When i was sitting in the car the top half of the screen was the radio and the bottom half was the back-up camera.

Tesla Dashboard - Touch Screen


Then there was this concept from Honda. It was an electric car about the size of a golf cart. 
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I'm still not sold on electric cars being used for an everyday driver.  (at least in my case)  But i could understand something like this.  A small "sports car" that you use on the weekends to drive around town.  I'm guessing that this "2013 vehicle" will never be built for the public but as an automotive concept i think this could work. 

Another thing i liked from Honda was their mouse button controller.  This was in the Honda Civic.  Instead of a big flat screen like in the Tesla, Honda put something like a joystick/mouse with buttons on the side.

Honda Mouse Button Click Control System


This is a car i've always liked and wanted to buy.  The Volvo S60.  It just seems like the perfect car for daily use.  Unlike that tiny electric Honda vehicle, this is practical, safe and would last for years.  It's sporty but still very practical.
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And this blue color reminds me of the bright blue that is on the 2012 Mustangs.  It would be easy to find your car in a crowded parking lot i guess.

Detroit Cars

This is another really cool, and surprisingly fast car.  The Cadillac CTS-V.  I've seen these out at Milford on the GM test track and they are fast.  Tons of horse power and really good suspension for hard cornering.  It's not the typical Cadillac for a 60 year old retiree living in Florida.
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The ugliest cars at the auto show were these two Ferrari's.  You might be looking at the red car here and think "what are you talking about, that looks great".  From the front, yes it's fine.  But when you move around to the side of the car you can see the silver one in the back.
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This is Ferrari's first 4 wheel drive car.  It's also front engine.  It is almost like one group designed the front of the car and another group designed the back.  Then, without speaking to one another just glued their drawings together and said build this.

I did notice a lot of these types of cars.  Small, cheap rear wheel drive sports cars.  Something like the Mazda Miata craze.  
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The difference between this and that 2-seater electric Honda is that these are less than $22,000 and they are actually for sale.  Like the new Chevy Corvette, i think vehicle dealers will be selling a lot of these in 2013. 

I really liked this one, the Jeep FJ Cruiser.  From the outside it does look a bit "plasticy".
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But from the inside it looked really tough and rugged.  This would be the car i would choose if i had to drive in a jungle somewhere.  The shifter and everything felt very sturdy and mechanical. 
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Although as a car in Detroit i'm not sure how much you need an off-road 4-wheel drive Jeep.  Maybe the automotive dealers in a State like Colorado might sell a lot more.

After we were done we left Cobo Hall and decided to take the People Mover over to the Greektown Casino. 
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This was the view out of the front of the first car.

Detroit People Mover - Greektown Casino Station

I liked being up front while we rode through the tunnel.  It felt like some sort of future transportation in a sci-fi movie.
train tunnel, detroit people mover

Overall i did have fun at the Detroit Auto Show.  It seemed like this year there were a lot more cars.  Not counting all the weird electric go-cart things that they had back in 2012.

Donating A Car


How To Donate A Car

So you've decided to get rid of your old car, but don't want to just sell it to a used car dealer.  One if the best options today is to donate your car to charity.  When you donate your car it is a win-win situation for everyone.  You get the full Blue-Book value for your car and some needy person or family receives a great used car.  You should always donate the car to the specific charity directly.  This will avoid any middle-man hidden fees and you can be sure that the vehicle and money get to the people who need it most.
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So lets get into the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How that comes with donating a car.

Donate A Car To Charity

You're ready to get rid of your old car and do something good in the process.  Most car charity's will accept any vehicle that runs.  So just because you might think that it's not worth donating, they will be able to find someone to give it to.
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And this is one big advantage that charity's have over typical used car dealerships.  A used car dealer might only be looking for newer cars that they can turn around and sell.  If the car you are donating has problems with it, the used car dealership might not want the hassle of dealing with warranty's and having to refund money to buyers.  That's why that old 80's and early 90's car with over 180,000 miles is perfect for donating.  It may be old to you, but to someone in need it is the perfect gift.
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Where To Donate A Car

Here's a list sorted by State to the different charities where you can donate your vehicle.
Alabama Car Donation
Arizona Car Donation
Arkansas Car Donation
California Charity Auto
Colorado Charity Auto
Connecticut Charity Auto
Delaware Car Donating
Florida Car Donating
Georgia Car Donating
Hawaii Donating A Car
Idaho Donating A Car
Illinois Donating A Car
Indiana Donate Vehicle to Charity
Iowa Donate Vehicle to Charity
Kansas Donate Vehicle to Charity
Kentucky Car Donation
Louisiana Car Donation
Maine Car Donation
Maryland Auto Charity
Massachusetts Auto Charity
Michigan Auto Charity
Minnesota Auto to Charity
Mississippi Auto to Charity
Missouri Auto to Charity
Montana Auto to Charity
Nebraska Donating the Car
Nevada Donating the Car
New Hampshire Donating the Car
New Jersey Donate Auto
New Mexico Donate Auto
New York Vehicle Donating
North Carolina Vehicle Donating
North Dakota Vehicle Donating
Ohio How to Donate a Car
Oklahoma How to Donate a Car
Oregon How to Donate a Car
Pennsylvania Where to Donate a Car
Rhode Island Where to Donate a Car
South Carolina Where to Donate a Car
South Dakota How to Donate Your Car
Tennessee Car How to Donate Your Car
Texas How to Donate Your Car
Utah Car Vehicle Donation
Vermont Vehicle Donation
Virginia Vehicle Donation
Washington Donating a Car
Washington D.C. Donating a Car
West Virginia Donating a Vehicle
Wisconsin Donating a Vehicle
Wyoming Donating a Vehicle

Here is also a link to an alphabetical listing to every Car Donating Charities in the United States.

Delivery can be made in basically two ways.  Either you can drive and drop off the car yourself or have someone from the auto charity come and pick up the vehicle. 
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How To Get A Tax Deduction For Donating Your Car

Before you donate your car to charity, there's a few things you want to do to make sure you get the full deduction on your taxes at the end of the year.  First thing is to take pictures of the vehicle, just in case the IRS comes, you want to have physical proof that you did own and then donate the car.  Second, determine the Kelly Blue Book value of the car before you go to drop it off.  It only takes around 30 seconds to input your car's information and you will get different values for your car, based on condition. 

To get the Maximum Tax Deduction you should make sure that you get the Private Party Value and not the Trade In Value.  This is another advantage over taking your car to the dealership, the private party value is always higher then the trade in value of a vehicle.

Now, make sure you GET A RECEIPT and keep it in a safe place until tax time.  This is the most important "proof" that you have to show the IRS in case they ask for it. 
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When it does come time to start filling out your taxes, that is when you will receive the money for the car.  You will be filling out a different section based on the value of the car you donated.  If the car was valued LESS than $5,000 then you will fill out Section A - Form 8232.  If your donated car is worth MORE than $5,000 then you will fill out Section B - Form 8232.  It's not complicated at all, just 1 page for each section.  Here is a link to a PDF of the IRS Form 8283 for Noncash Charitable Contributions.  If you do have any questions, here's a link to the IRS Instructions for Form 8283.

Hopefully everything goes well, you donate your car to a family who really needs it and you receive the full value of what the car is worth.  In my opinion, the best part of this whole process is that you don't have to deal with those questionable used car dealers trying to rip you off. 
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2013 Printable Bracket - NCAA College Basketball

I created brackets for this year's 2013 Final Four College Basketball tournament held in Atlanta.

2013 Printable Bracket - NCAA College Basketball, excel, word doc, jpg, gif, pdf, tiff, png

So that everyone is happy i converted the bracket into every format i could think of:
  • PDF
  • Word Docx
  • Word Doc
  • Excel
  • JPG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • BMP
  • TIFF
I also changed the background color so that you can decide what will look the best and easiest to read when it is printed out.  There's nothing worse then when you download a bracket and print it out, only to realize that all the text is blurry.

If you are wondering where you can watch the games live, then click on this link to be able to watch every basketball game live online:   Watch Free TV Online

When March Madness begins you'll can be ready with the first bracket available.  To download and save the images, just right click and select "Save Image As..."  For the word documents bracket and the pdf brackets, just click where it says "Download".

Also in case you are worried you can do a secure download since it is hosted by Google and it's Https, rather than just Http.

So here they are, the 2013 Final Four Brackets for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament.

2013 Printable Bracket - NCAA College Basketbal PDF download

PDF  (.pdf)

PDF (.pdf)


2013 Printable Bracket - NCAA College Basketbal docx download

Word docx  (.docx)

Word docx  (.docx)

2013 Printable Bracket - NCAA College Basketbal word doc

Word doc  (.doc)

Word doc  (.doc)

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Excel  (.xls)

Excel  (.xls)

JPG  (.jpg)

JPG  (.jpg)  -  gray

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GIF  (.gif)

GIF  (.gif)  -  gray

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PNG  (.png)

PNG  (.png)  -  gray

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BMP  (.bmp)

BMP  (.bmp)  -  gray


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TIFF  (.tiff)

TIFF  (.tiff)  - gray

2013 final four bracket, tiff
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I hope that Michigan State and the Big 10 do well in the tournament this year.  Tom Izzo is usually ready to play and my theory is that MSU should be a number 2 seed until proven otherwise.