First Month of Cars

As a car enthusiast, I’ve always dreamed of driving high end luxury and sports cars. Little did I know that I would accomplish this goal by the end of the first week of my internship.

During your first week at a new job, you would expect to get acquainted to the office and get settled into your new role. I would have never thought that during my first week I would drive cars that combined cost almost half a million dollars and had over 2,000 horsepower.

My first day on the job I was tasked with picking up new cars for Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection. These cars just happened to be a Maserati GranTurismo and an Aston Martin DB9, both convertibles. And then naturally, we needed to get pictures of these beautiful pieces of machinery. And who better to drive it than the new intern?

On Thursday, I was told I had to take a Heritage car home because…work. I was fine with driving anything, but had my favorites already picked out. At the top of the list was the Porsche Speedster. So guess what I got to take home on a beautiful, sunny afternoon? Read about my evening here!

Being the marketing events intern, helping out with events sometimes means driving cars around. On Saturday, I was told that I would be giving rides to guests at a Kentucky Derby party. It wasn’t until I arrived at the dealership that I realized I would be giving drives to guests in a gorgeous $176,000 Bentley convertible. Thankfully the seats massage you while you’re driving, because you better believe I was stressed out while trying to maneuver that beast down the highway. That Bentley and I are now best friends. As everyone was getting ready to head home from the party, the cars also needed to head back to their home at luxury. I figured I would drive my new best friend back, until I was offered a small black key. I didn’t even realize what I was being offered until I saw the car the key opened.
For those of you who aren’t as obsessed with cars that “wear lipstick”, this is an Aston Martin Vantage GT. It’s not slow. It’s not quiet. And it’s sure not boring. Driving back, I felt more like a rockstar than ever before.

The following week was just as exciting. Now that I knew what to expect, I figured I wouldn’t be so nervous driving these nice cars. Think again!

All cars need to be serviced, so after they’re done being taken care of at the luxury dealer, someone has to go pick them up and bring them back home. On Wednesday that car was a Ferrari F430. Thankfully I only had to drive it a few blocks, because I’m not sure my heart would have been able to handle much more of that.

Fast forward a few weeks to a day on the track. Morrie’s sponsored a track day at Brainerd International Raceway and of course I had to come. To…chaperone the cars. Or something. As a Road America fan, I love watching cars race around the track, so I was absolutely thrilled just to be in the environment. But that wasn’t the end of my day. Baby Blue and I were allowed to drive on the track as fast as our hearts desired. As soon as I got home that night, I proudly ordered up a Brainerd track sticker to add to the collection.

The following days and weeks have been a blur of driving, attending events and all the shenanigans that goes along with that. I can’t even imagine an internship that is more perfect for me than this.

New Goings On

May is a fantastic month, and I’m not just saying that because it’s the birth month of myself. There are many things happening next month, and I wanted to keep everyone in the loop! For your convenience, I have put together a blog post of FAQs I have been receiving about what the goings on are.

Q: New goings on, Lauren?

A: Yes! New job, new place to live, new cats to adopt! (See Tony, now I wrote about it, so it has to happen.)

Q: Who will you be working for?

A: Morrie’s Automotive based out of Minnetonka.

Q: What will you be doing?

A: I’m a marketing events intern, which means I’ll be helping prepare, set up and carry the events out. I’ll also help with their social media and blogs. (Check them out here and here and here.) I’ll be surrounded by beautiful vehicles while I try my hardest not to drool on them.

Q: Where will you be living?

A: For the month of May, I’ll be moving into Tony’s house in Woodbury. In June we’ll move closer to the cities. We haven’t 100% decided on where yet.

Q: Will you share a ridiculous number of pictures on Instagram to make me jealous?

A: You better believe it.

8 States in 15 Hours…And Back

Ever since I bought my first Volkswagen, I realized how tight knit the community of drivers was. But even I didn’t fully comprehend the extent of this until I bought my R32. Wookies in the Woods started as an event to honor the 2004 R32, but has since grown to include other models of the R32 and Golf R. I bought my R soon after Wookies last year, so I knew this year I had to attend. Being one half of an R32 power couple, it was a big decision deciding whether Tony and I would both take our cars or not. Since the red R was being a little sassy leading up to the event, we decided to take the blue R this year.

The event is held in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, right off a stretch of road known as the “tail of the dragon”, one of the greatest driving roads in the US, with 318 turns in 11 miles.

We started our 1,000 mile journey at 8PM on Tuesday, driving through Chicago at about 1AM, and it was a weird experience with nobody on the roads. After driving through numerous states and stopping to take a few naps, we finally made it to the cabin where we were staying. Since there were only 5,000 2004 R32s made, it was extremely cool to see so many of them gathered in one area. Over the next few days, we drove to waterfalls, scenic overlooks, and through the mountains. On Saturday, everyone gathered for the “sound off”, where only Rs were allowed to park and rev their engines for all to hear.

I was so excited to be part of the events and activity going on, and I can’t wait to go back next year in the new and improved red R!

We can’t help how attractive we are.

 

In Like a Lion…

Okay, so I’m a few days late on the end of March update. But here it is! Because who doesn’t want to read about someone else’s month??

March definitely came in like a lion, with the first few days being 65 degrees, and then quickly taking a downturn for the worse.

My mom was in Florida for the first 10 days of March, so that meant I had a lot of pasta. Then, to honor my mom’s return to dairy land, we went to a new wine bar in La Crosse, and had the fanciest “cheese journey” I’ve ever seen. So much cheese. So very Wisconsin.

Tony and I had a long weekend together, so we traveled across Wisconsin to Milwaukee to explore what it had to offer. We toured numerous breweries, explored hipster coffee shops, saw mansions, walked on Lambeau Field, lost credit cards (okay, so maybe that part was just me…).
  

And then, in the biggest and best news of all…I was reunited with my R32!! I had been counting down to this day for 4 months, and being able to drive a manual transmission was easily the highlight of my month.

Just look at how comfortable the Subaru looks being on that trailer. (It was then sold before it made it off the trailer again.)

The last few days of March were very nerve-wracking but so exciting. More news on that to come… 😉

Leap Right Into It (I’m so sorry)

It’s so strange how the days themselves seem to go by so slowly, yet the month itself goes by at an alarming rate of speed.

For the month of February, I’ve mostly been working. I started my job at Caribou Coffee, and even though I have to wake up before the earth has been created, I really enjoy it.

 There was a snowstorm in the beginning of the month, and my cat/model loved it.

My dad bought my mom an Eos, because our family needed yet another Volkswagen.

 My dad, boyfriend and I went to the Chicago Auto Show (year #7 in a row) and after we visited a luxury dealership.


After spending a day drooling over cars, we went to the Shedd Aquarium to look at some big, fancy fish!

I took more pictures of coffee, because there are never enough.

3 Volkswagen aficionados at the Chicago Auto show! 2 of the 3 have R32s, the other is temporarily stuck driving a Subaru. On the bright side, March is the month I finally return to my regularly scheduled driving habits!

Tony and I spent the one 60 degree day of February exploring Minneapolis and St. Paul!

My mom is headed down to Florida for the first week in March, so if anyone has extra groceries, please feel free to send them my way!

Chicago Auto Show #6

This year was an extra special Chicago auto show! Since my parents are living in Florida, my dad flew up for the weekend just so we could continue our yearly tradition! This year marked the 6th year in a row. And so, here are some of my favorite things at #CAS2015! Rocking our Volkswagen gear! […]

German Engineering

lauren dad and vws

It began as a simple 2004 Volkswagen Jetta. I was moving on from my 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet, which was an adorable car, but didn’t fit my suitcase full of black and grey clothes or my location in northern Wisconsin. A family friend was moving to Boston, and therefore didn’t need his car anymore. I looked at numerous cars before I decided I wanted to buy another Jetta. I’ve owned more than enough unhappy VR6’s, which made me hesitant to invest in what I thought would be a unreliable money pit. But after finding out the car had everything on my “must have” list (sunroof, heated seats and a clutch pedal), I was sold. Even better, we knew the previous owner had taken excellent care of it. When I finally got the car, I was so excited to have more than 100HP! (My Cabriolet had maybe 4 by the time I owned it) I thought I was being careful about my speeding, until I was pulled over 4 days later… Because my dad knew about my affinity for speed, he decided it was time to get me on a real racetrack. We’ve gone to Road America numerous times, and have loved every minute of watching the racecars zoom past. This time, it was my turn. We were able to get on the track during a drive-around event held while the real racers had their lunch. Finally, an opportunity for me to truly use my turbo! As I sped around corners and passed numerous cars, I felt a rush of happiness and excitement that I’ve never felt before. I had become more attached to this car in the first 2 months of owning it than I had become to any of my other 6 cars. 

A few months later, my fellow Volkswagen loving friend asked me when I was going to start modifying my car. I told him I was saving my money for a faster and more exciting car, that my Jetta just wasn’t worth it. I figured if I kept this car completely stock, it would be easier to sell for more money, making me able to achieve my dream of owning a Fahrenheit GLI. This idea lasted up to the day I found out APR was having a sale on tunes. After I got my car back, I knew I had made the right choice. It did, however, make it much easier to disobey the speed limits…

After that, it seems like everything happened at once. I immediately bought Bilstein coilovers and BBS wheels to make my car look more like a GLI. Because of this, I decided to rebadge my basic Jetta as a “JetLI”, half Jetta, half GLI.

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One of one. #JetLI #Jetta #GLI #Volkswagen #mk4

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(I do have to credit Jordan Simon with this idea, or he’ll never let me live it down.) I upgraded my brakes to those off a 20th anniversary edition GTI. At this point I had parts from so many different cars that even I was confused about what my car was. And from that moment on, my car had become the Confused Volkswagen. 

I’ve always loved Volkswagens, but this car has made me feel like I’ve become truly immersed in the Volkswagen community and experience. I’ve met awesome new people that have taught me more than I ever thought I could know about cars. I plan on continuing to upgrade my car thanks to all these wonderful people and opportunities, and can’t wait to see what label my car will achieve next.