Las Vegas, NV, USA

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: 2019 SEMA Show

Nov 25, 2019

As we all know, I've been to a lot of car shows. But there's that one show that holds a special place in my heart. I hold the Speciality Equipment Marketing Association trade show (better known as SEMA) on a pedestal. And here's why...

On November 5th to the 8th, over 150,000 people gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the 53rd annual SEMA Show.  SEMA allows those in the automotive industry to see what’s new and the latest trends as well as how the product enhances the look of a vehicle, network with companies, learn how to grow your business in various ways, and also hobnob with some celebrities in the automotive world.

This year was my 10th SEMA Show. I’ve said it many, many times that “I live for SEMA”. Barely surviving off of three hours of sleep, I could not stop smiling when I arrived at the Convention Center. Once I’m done crying tears of joy, I dive right into the chaos- I meet great people who share some of the same similarities as I do and photograph great vehicles while enjoying some great weather.

What did I see? I'm so glad you asked. There were a lot of Toyota Supras. Toyota always has an area and about 80% of their vehicles that were in the Toyota area were Supras. Supras were definitely the car of SEMA. The runner up to the car of SEMA: seasoned Chevy Impalas. Like the past few years, there were a ton of full size trucks on lifted suspension and plenty of vehicles lowered with Accuair Suspension.  Toyo Tires was definitely the tire of choice and the Hoonigan area went through them like crazy. Paint is kinda coming back, but wraps are reigning supreme. Rotiform Wheels was the smartest company there- they didn't have a booth, but oddly enough, they had the largest representation there. There were less supercars compared to last year- of course there were Ferraris and Lamborghini, however I've only seen (and bonded with) one Pagani Huayra.

Sorry for the hold up, I had a family emergency that delayed the release of this post. To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 SEMA Coverage: Sneak Peek, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 4. I decided to shoot a vlog for Day 3. This year was a little different because I didn't cry (like I usually do) at SEMA Ignited. Normally SEMA marks the end of my car show season, but I decided to delay it (by two days) by ending the season where I started it.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 DJ Envy and Lincoln Tech Drive Your Dreams Car Show

Sep 13, 2019

On September 7th, I traveled back to New York to attend DJ Envy and Lincoln Tech's Drive Your Dreams Car Show.

Just to backtrack a bit, DJ Envy is a New York based DJ who just happens to love cars. Last year, Envy decided to put on his first car show. The honest truth of why I didn't attend was because it was too close to SEMA. After the success of the show, he stated that he wanted to change the date of the future show to occur closer to his birthday- which is early September. Staying true to his word, the show went on a few days after his birthday at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

After seeing the photos from last year's show, I knew I had to go, especially since he moved the date. I've listened to Envy for years, so I had an idea of what to expect out of this show. I knew I would see a lot of luxury and exotic cars. I wouldn't expect anything less.

After walking around the Meadowlands Exposition Center, I noticed something. The room was packed- just enough room for venders, food, the stage, and the red carpeted VIP area (again, I wouldn't expect anything less from Envy).  The vehicles were an eclectic mix-  there were luxury, exotic, motorcycles, American muscle, classic, tuner/imports. All of the vehicles had something in common.... they were all vehicles with high quality customizations. I didn't see any chipped paint, scuffed wheels, snagged wrap, torn seats, and/or rust. I almost shed a tear.

Aside of seeing the majority of Envy's personal car collection, I got to see personal cars of the one and only CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees (I had to list him first. Go Yankees), Michael Strahan, 50 Cent, Styles P of the LOX, Offset of the Migos, Pusha T, and then there's this enthusiast...

Curren$y brought 3 cars from New Orleans to the show. I kept saying personal because these are actually their cars. I've been to car shows where they put signage of celebrities names next to some random cars.  All in all, I had no reason to complain. But I left before it got too crowded. Bernie doesn't do crowded indoor spaces.

To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 DJ Envy and Lincoln Tech's Drive Your Dreams Car Show gallery.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 Torres Empire Lowrider Show

Jul 31, 2019

The weekend of July 20th, I made my faithful return to Los Angeles to attend not one, but two car shows. I’m going a little out of order, but I decided to do coverage on the second show first. 

After a four year hiatus, I covered my third Torres Empire Lowrider Show. I had a lot of fun attending the 2011 and the 2015 shows, and thankfully, nothing has changed with this show. It was still held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the room was completely filled with cars and bikes (FYI: Bradley Hall is 347,000 square feet. That is not a small room), crowd still went crazy over the live performances, Torres Empire still held onto their level of standard of the cars that could be a part of the show,  and most importantly- it was still the largest indoor lowrider show in the world.

I said it once, and I'll say it again- "My automotive heart has a special place for lowriders. Although they’ve been around forever, the concept of lowriders is still somewhat new to me. I grew up in New York and let’s be real… there’s no lowriders in New York, especially not on Long Island.  I grew up around tuners and luxury/exotic cars." What I respect the most about Lowriders is that attention to detail. I never had an opportunity to customize a car, but it's obvious that there's a high level of detail in customizing a lowrider.

Walking around Bradley Hall, I saw some familiar vehicles... I did see cars from past Los Angeles car shows, I saw two vehicles from the 2018 SEMA show, and oddly enough... I saw two cars that I photographed in Atlanta, one of which- I just saw at the Krazy Vatos Car Show last month.

I really enjoyed my time emerging myself into Los Angeles culture. It's not Los Angeles automotive culture, it's a part of their overall culture.

If the sneak peek wasn’t enough, feel free to check out Bernie’s 2019 Torres Empire Lowrider Supershow gallery. Thank you for the hospitality, Los Angeles. I will be back.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 King of the South Weekend

Jul 22, 2019

On July 13th and 14th, Official Street Whipz held their famous King of the South Weekend. Atlanta only has one automotive filled weekend- it’s always in July and the V-103 Car and Bike Show falls on a Saturday, and on the very next day, Official Street Whipz has their King of the South Show.

For the second year in a row, I do not have any V-103 Car and Bike Show photos to show off. Last year I couldn't score a media pass in time for the show. This year, they decided not to have the show (hopefully they're restructuring it). Thankfully it left Official Street Whipz run the weekend. Last year, I had fun at the block party, even though I didn't know what to expect. Naturally I decided to show up again this year.

It was packed, but it was a good packed, not the type of packed where the fire marshall has to come.   It was so packed, it took up the entire shopping center (including the parking lot of Pizza Hut,  Zaxby's, and Wells Fargo), it took up the BP gas station in front of the shopping center, it took up the Chevron gas station across the street, AND the Walgreens diagonal from BP. So yes, it was packed.

The very next day was the actual car show at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where it’s been faithfully held since 2015. Car enthusiasts got to show off what their cars are made of in three ways- how the car looks, how it performs on the race track, and how it sounds- meaning the audio system.

Like last year, I’ve noticed a lot of vehicles with excellent paint jobs and wraps, a lot of vehicles on Forgiato, Amani Forged, Rucci Forged, Corleone Forged, and Dub Wheels, there were donks, donks, and more donks, plenty of Ang’s family members (Ang is short for Angela, which is the name of my Dodge Charger and by family members, I mean other Dodge Chargers and Challengers), a lot of Box Chevys, a lot of G-Bodies, and one more thing- there were a lot of donks there… in every color.

Despite the heat (shoutout to my BFF- this portable air conditioner), I had a great weekend and of course, I will be back AGAIN next year. Enough talking because I know my photos are far more interesting than what I have to say. To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 King of the South Mega Show gallery.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: 2019 Goldrush Rally: Atlanta

Jul 3, 2019

Goldrush Rally is one of the world's most premiere luxury rally. In a nutshell, luxury/exotic car owners drive to some of the biggest cities where they meet fans, party, and if they're lucky- they get about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. The rally originally started as a three day journey, then they expanded to seven days, but last year, they expanded it to 10 days. Might I add, the participants ACTUALLY drive. It's not like they're driving from Long Island to Baltimore (4 hours).

My favorite part about the rally is that they document it- the good, the bad, the partying, the pranks, the speeding tickets, everything. Since I'm fortunate to attend SEMA every year, Goldrush Rally debuts their documentary during SEMA week, where they also announced the route for the next rally. At the screening for their 10th anniversary documentary, when I heard them say Atlanta as the third stop, I gasped.

Seven months later and after a seven year break, Goldrush Rally made their triumphant return to Atlanta. One by one, they arrived at TopGolf for their fan experience. And the fans were more than excited to see them.... and I was standing in the rain with them.

Atlanta isn't like New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or Miami. There are supercars here, but there's not a lot. Yes there's Lamborghini Aventadors, McLaren 720s, MAYBE a Porsche 918 etc but to see a Pagani Huyura in Atlanta only happens once a year... if that. Yes, Atlanta has Ferrari 488s, but to see a Ferrari 812 Superfast is still rare, unless you work at the Ferrari dealership. Aside from the cars, the other aspect of the rally that stands out are the participants. They just want to have fun and they have fun driving city to city, meeting everyone who is there to greet them. Although they're not related, the participants love each other like family.

While at TopGolf, I ran into Aimee, who is the marketing director of Goldrush Rally and she told me where the participants were staying and what time they were scheduled to depart the following morning. The next morning at 7 am, I pulled up to the Ritz Carlton in downtown Atlanta to get photos of the cars that didn't go to TopGolf. This isn't the first time I was in a parking deck photographing rally cars, and it certainly won't be the last time.

In true Goldrush Rally fashion, the participants had the Atlanta Police Department (after they got their photos of course) escort them to Interstate 75/85 where they drove to their next stop, which was Cincinnati, Ohio (460 miles, about 7 hour drive). Told you they drive.

To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 GoldRush Rally: Atlanta gallery. And yes, I will be front and center at the screening of this year's documentary.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 Whips By Wade Certified Summer Show

Jun 26, 2019

It's always great to keep hope alive. Last year, I typed "Let’s just hope that the second annual Certified Summer car show will be rain free." And I was right..... On June 15th, 2019, I left the Krazy Vatos Lowrider Super Show early to attend fellow automotive photographer Whips By Wade's second annual Certified Summer Car Show. Aside from the weather, the only other difference was the location. Everything else was the same... which means I wasn't disappointed.

What did I see? I'm glad you asked... I ran into some familiar faces and cars and was introduced to some new faces and new cars. There were donks, boxes, trucks with lifted suspension, lowriders, cars on Forgiato, Amani Forged, or Dub Wheels, American muscle cars (Chevelles, Camaro, etc), cars with candy paint, and more (The “and more” includes the 15% of the cars that didn’t fit in these categories.

Oh, and the golden rule still applied “No stock cars or unfinished projects allowed in show area.” To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 Whips By Wade Certified Summer Car Show gallery.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 Krazy Vatos Lowrider Super Show

Jun 24, 2019

On Saturday, June 15th, Krazy Vatos car club held their annual car show. Like last year, it was held outside of Atlanta in Marietta, GA.

Georgia isn’t known for having lowriders, but this show provides that much needed breath of fresh air. My automotive heart has a special place for lowriders. Although they've been around forever, the concept of Lowriders is still somewhat new. I grew up in New York and let's be real... there's no Lowriders in New York.  I grew up around tuners and luxury/exotic cars. But after moving to Atlanta and actually going to car shows, I got to get up close and personal with a Lowrider. What I love the most about them is the incredible amount of detail that it takes to customize one.

Also I wanted to mention that a proposal did happen at this show, because the owner of this '64 Impala wanted to propose to his now fiancee in front of his car.

Enough talking because I know you would rather see some cars... but this wasn't the only show that I attended that day. To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 Krazy Vatos Car Show gallery.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 Dub Car Show: Charlotte

May 13, 2019

On May 4th, 2019, Dub Magazine held their fourth car show of 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since Charlotte is about 4 hours away from Atlanta, I'd figured that I could drive up to Charlotte to attend the show.

Just like last year, I had a lot of fun at this year's Dub Car Show. This show gave me an opportunity to see custom vehicles that I don't get to see in Atlanta. Ultimate Audio of South Carolina brought the star of the show, which was this particular Chevy Chevelle that belongs to Thomas Davis of the Los Angeles Chargers. This Chevelle had custom paint, on Forgiato Wheels, custom interior (including a Corvette steering wheel), some engine work, and as many University of Georgia logos that they can tastefully incorporate into the design of the car.

Another shop that had a big presence at the show was the Rim Shop of Charlotte. This year, they brought an assortment of vehicles. I spotted a Rolls Royce Ghost, Mercedes S63, Cadillac Escalade, F250 Super Duty, a Polaris Slingshot, Nissan GTR, Oldsmobile 442, Chevy Monte Carlo, Dodge Charger Hellcat, Ford Shelby GT350. I told you their booth was a sampler platter of vehicles.

This Dodge Charger which is named Purple Rain left me partially deaf for a few minutes. The audio wasn't at its highest volume, but I was told that the car has the ability to flood out the entire room.

As you can see, Menace Car Show won a lot of awards. They also brought vehicles such as...

To sum up what was at the show: there were a lot of cars with great paint jobs, a lot of vehicles on Forgiato, Rucci, Dub, Rolling Big Power, and American Forge wheels, some great lowriders, plenty of American Muscle cars, and a lot of trucks- both lowered and on lifts. I think I pretty much described about 75% of the vehicles at the show.

Enough talking because I know you would rather see some photos. To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 Dub Car Show: Charlotte gallery.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 Stuntfest Weekend

May 6, 2019

On April 25th-28th, Stuntfest held their annual weekend. The Stuntfest weekend usually goes as follows- Thursday night is a Meet-and-Greet (which I never go to). Friday night is usually a bonding experience at a strip club (again, I never go to. Plus I already been to them all.) Saturday afternoon is their block party and Sunday is their famous car show.

Stuntfest is one of those car shows that I'm always happy to attend. The reason why is simple. Much like Caffeine and Octane, Caffeine and Exotics, Dub Car Show, Los Magnificos, Torres Empire, Official Street Whipz' King of the South, Krazy Vatos and the newest entry- Whips By Wade, Stuntfest gives me what I want- a car show with a high percentage of show-worthy cars. That's it. Doesn't matter the location, since I will find my way there.

Saturday's block party was held at the Venue Nightclub in Forest Park, which is right outside of Atlanta. The block party was crowded with people, music, food and cars. In a nutshell, it was basically a car show. By now, you know that I'm happy to attend.

Last year's Stuntfest show had crappy weather- cool, cloudy and rain. This year was the complete opposite- hot with clear, sunny skies. By the time I pulled up to Silver Dollar Raceway, I knew what I was in store for... a lot of fun. There were plenty of vehicles on Forgiato, Amani Forged, Rucci, and Dub Wheels, plenty of vehicles painted in a variety of colors, and most importantly– plenty of car show worthy vehicles, which means I had no reason to complain.

Enough talking because I would rather show off some photos. To see the rest of Saturday's photos, click on Bernie's 2019 Stuntfest Block Party gallery and to see the rest of Sunday's photos, click on Bernie's 2019 Stuntfest Car Show gallery. Thank you for another great show.

Bernie's Car Show Coverage: Photos from the 2019 New York Auto Show

Apr 23, 2019

On April 17th and 18th, I had the pleasure of returning home for the 2019 New York Auto Show. Held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan, this show is never one to miss (mostly because this is the closest auto show to my hometown, which is located on Long Island).  With unveilings from Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Acura, Jaguar, Porsche, Range Rover– well almost everyone, there was plenty of ground to cover and plenty of eye candy to capture.

Even though I’m from New York, this was my seventh year going to the New York Auto Show and I absolutely love it. I get a rush of excitement seeing what’s new in the automotive world, as well as some looking at some custom cars within the Tri-State area. I had an excellent time at the show this year, although I (as well as everyone else) noticed that BMW was noticeably missing.

Some of my favorite unveilings were courtesy of Manhattan Motorcars. Because of them, the tri-state area had the opportunity to experience the new Koenigsegg Jesko, Bugatti Chiron 110 ANS, BAC Mono, and the Scuderia Cameron Clickenhaus SCG 003. Aside from those four cars, they also brought the Lamborghini Aventador SV, Lamborghini Urus, Koenigsegg CCX, and the Rimac C-Two.

Porsche unveiled the new limited edition Porsche 911 Speedster with the MSRP of $275750. Only 1948 will be produced. It has 502 horsepower, 346 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Impressive specs, but it is way too small for me. I can easily fit in it, but I can easily overstuff a Porsche within one shopping trip.

One of my favorite cars from the New York Auto Show is from the Mercedes Benz family. Yes, the Maybach seats are ultra plush, but the Mercedes Benz AMG GT63 won my heart. It may have a price tag of $136,500, however, the 577 horsepower, 590 pound-feet of torque, 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and it has more than enough trunk space to survive one of my shopping trips. One day....

Speaking of things that I want from the Mercedes Benz area, they also brought a Maybach inspired bag called The Eve I.

Best use of space goes to Subaru and their collaboration with the Natural Park Foundation to unveil the new Outback.

Toyota did bring the new Supra, however I am disappointed that they didn't bring the Yankees Camry.

Another unveiling that peaked my interest was the Rivian R1S SUV- the first electric full-sized SUV. Despite the size, the R1S can reach 60 mph in under 3 seconds. Three battery packs are available- one offers 240 miles of range, 402 horsepower and 413 lb.-ft. of torque, another battery offers 310 miles of range, 753 horsepower, and 826 lb.-ft of torque, and the third battery can offer 410 miles of range, 700 horsepower, and 826 lb.-ft of torque. Don't rub your eyes, you're reading this correctly. MSRP starts at $72,500.

Aside from the Jesko, the other attention grabber went to the Karlmann King with the world's most expensive SUV- valued at over $2 million. Just look at the interior to see why.

Enough talking because I know you would rather see some photos... I always have a great time at the New York Auto Show. You may not understand but this show holds a special place in my heart.  To see the rest of the photos, check out Bernie's 2019 New York Auto Show gallery.

It felt great going back home.
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