Tag: cars


Performance with Conscience

I visited the Ronn Motor Company two weeks ago, before going to Chicago (to film an infomercial for The Awakening Course) and then Ohio (to visit family).

I’m impressed.

This small group of people, located only an hour from my home here in Texas, are making automotive history.

Creating an on-board hydrogen-gasoline injection system is innovative enough. But their car looks, well, incredible.


Two years ago I told the Panoz Automotive Company that I wanted them to build me an “environmentally friendly muscle car.” They haven’t done it yet.

But Ronn Motors is up to bat and they are looking good. I ordered a custom made version of it today. It’ll be a 550 HP super charged hybrid. I’ll have it sometime in early 2009.

Besides the fact that their Scorpion will get over 40 miles per gallon and have zero emissions, yet still go over 200 mph, they are doing their best to stay green in all areas. Their new motto is “Performance with Conscience.”

I think more businesses can go this route. There’s nothing wrong with making money, but adding in the element of consideration of others and the planet is good business, too.

Ronn Motors isn’t the only auto company trying to make a difference, of course.

I wrote about the Tesla all-electric car over a year ago. While the car looks breathtaking, too, it’s totally silent. A friend saw it drive off and said, “It’s the fastest golf cart ever!”

While an all-electric vehicle has advantages, I think silence isn’t one of them. I was almost hit by an airport cart last week in Cleveland. I couldn’t hear it coming up behind me. A totally silent car on the road is going to be dangerous until the public retrains itself to “hear” it.

Plus you still have to pay to charge all those batteries.

And those batteries are $89 each — and the Tesla has over 6,000 of them.

Plus they’ll need dumped someplace one day.

And there’s no service center for the car yet. When I talked to Tesla about ordering their car a year ago, they talked me out of it, saying it would cost an additional $8,000 to service it in Texas.

I admire Tesla for going in the right direction, but they aren’t there yet. I think the Scorpion is more on the money: it’s an eco-friendly muscle car. Until an all water or all solar car that looks good, sounds good, and races good comes along, it’ll due for me.

Of course, I’ll still keep Ladybug and Francine.

Ao Akua,


PS — Now I just need to figure out what color to paint my Scorpion and what to name her. Suggestions?


Save Gas: Drive a Scorpion!

How are you handling higher gas prices? 

Do you moan and groan when you pull up to refill your car?

Some people complain, others just walk or car pool or bike more, and still others invent new solutions — like cool new cars.

Since I enjoy attracting new cars, I’m impressed with the latter group of people.

They are seeing opportunities and acting on them.

I’ve heard of all electric cars (such as the Tesla), all water cars, all solar cars, and of course a wide variety of hybrids.

One of the new hybrids has me excited. It’s a hydrogen-gas hybrid that’s still a super exotic race car. A limited edition one, to boot.

It’s called The Scorpion.


And it’s made right here in Texas, in fact only an hour away from my home.

Ronn Motor Company, Inc., based near Austin, was founded by automotive entrepreneur and visionary Ronn Maxwell, and former Dell, Inc. executive Adrian Pylypec.


Their car was just proclaimed Publisher’s Choice in the August issue of duPont REGISTRY: A Buyers Gallery of Fine Automobiles®.

The engine in the Scorpion hot rod is an Acura 3.5 litre V6, which generates 450 hp in twin turbo configuration. 

That’s about 200 mph.

Yet it gets about 40 miles per gallon.

And the CO2 emissions are nearly zero.

For a street legal race car, this is astonishing. 

The great gas mileage and zero emissions are due to a blend of hydrogen and gasoline.

As I understand it, the hydrogen is generated directly from an on-board water tank that holds 3 gallons of water, and only has to be refilled every 1,000 miles.

This clever solution avoids the need for heavy and expensive hydrogen tanks in the car itself.

Never before has an auto manufacturer included a hydrogen generator as a standard part of an automobile. This could be the end of the catalytic convertor.

I haven’t seen the actual car yet, but plan to visit the shop where it’s being made and ride in one later this week.

And at $150,000, I may order one of the first ones, or a special edition version of it, for myself.

My point here is that when you see a problem, do you also see the opportunity?

Donny Deutsch of CNBC’s The Big Idea repeatedly says that when you complain about something, right there is your ticket to wealth.

Other people might have the same complaint. Solve it and get rich.

Personally, I’ve never liked scorpions — until now.

Ao Akua,


PS — You can read more about The Scorpion, and see some more pictures, at www.ronnmotors.com The company is also looking for investors, and has publicly traded stock. Visit their site for details.


Automotive Entertainment

cars-road.jpg I spent a long weekend in Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina to do one thing: drive exotic super cars.

But I got much more than I bargained for.

I’ll explain that in a minute.

I went to the World Class Driving experience. This is where you get to drive five super expensive and super fast super cars. It’s a great way to find out what kind of car you want to attract. The ones I drove were —


Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
Callaway C16 Coupe
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
Maserati GranTurismo
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

The car I wanted to drive the most was the McLaren. But I ended up driving it last. I first “had” to drive the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.


Nothing shabby about the Ferrari. It’s fast, lean, and made for speed. I quickly felt at home in it. The pedal shifts on the steering wheel seemed odd to me, since I’m used to driving a stick shift, such as the one in Francine. But I quickly adapted.

The car I drove next was the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. I didn’t like it. The brakes are specialized ones that are designed to stop the car DEAD at a touch. Trying to touch them and not put myself through the windshield was a true challenge. I never mastered it. Nerissa still has seat belt burns on her neck.

The Maserati GranTurismo was next. It’s the cheapest of the cars at $120,000. It drives and rides like a luxury car, but it has power hidden under the hood that would make it blur past most other luxury models. Nerissa loved riding in this one best. But I’m sure she still prefers her Toyota Camry hybrid.


Next was the Callaway C16 Coupe. This rare Corvette inspired super car was uncomfortable, mostly because the bucket seats were made for a horse jockey and not an Internet marketer with a larger butt. Nerissa didn’t like it, either.

And, finally, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.


This is a bullet ready to be fired into outer space. No wonder it has space-ship like swing-wing doors. It’s a rocket, a 617-horsepower ungodly powerful road monster that no untrained human should be allowed to drive.

The brakes are like the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera’s and need to get used to or else you’ll wear the windshield on your face.

The car has an untamed beast (think The Hulk) under the hood that roars to be set free. But there’s no place to set it free. I went 80 miles an hour in it when it’s capable of over 200. This engineering masterpiece sells for half a million dollars. I want two.

But driving the cars through the beautiful North Carolina hills wasn’t the highlight of the trip.

The real perk was meeting the man behind World Class Driving, Jean-Paul Libert.


Jean-Paul is an inspiring man. He heard that I’m the author of numerous marketing books and had lots of questions about how Americans think. He’s confused that in America employees don’t honor their employers. He’s also confused why a handshake agreement isn’t enough in the USA.

Jean-Paul is from Belgium and came up with the idea for World Class Driving a few years ago. He started with no money at all.


But he knows marketing.

He said he wants to provide people with “automotive entertainment.” He wants them to have an experience. I liked him right then and there. This is what I say all buyers want these days.

His market isn’t worried about gas prices but isn’t ready to spend several hundred thousand dollars on a car. I think he would like my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, and probably Dan Kennedy’s new one, No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent. I’ll send him both books as a gift.

I think there are numerous lessons in this post. Everything from taking time to pursue your passions to keeping in mind what your customers want most: a new experience.

Ao Akua,


PS – While in Asheville, we also visited the largest mansion in the USA: the Biltmore Estate. It’s unimaginably huge. It takes two hours just to stroll through it. More on that in another post.

Note: Left click on any image to enlarge it.


Attracting Hercules' Car

steve-reeves-2.jpg Hercules had a car?

Well, sorta.

Legendary bodybuilder Steve Reeves became a world famous movie star with the 1958 Italian film Fatiche di Ercole, Le, known in the U.S. as Hercules.

Reeves inspired thousands, from Sly Stallone to Arnold S. to, well, me.

Stallone saw Reeves in a movie, came out of the theatre pumped up, and decided right then and there to become fit.

Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote, “Steve Reeves is a great man and has contributed much to the sport of bodybuilding. Steve was a great inspiration to me.”

Lou Ferrigno said, “After seeing Goliath and the Barbarians, I decided to start bodybuilding and look like Steve.”

When I wanted to get fit, I imagined what I might look like as Steve Reeves. So I had Nerissa photoshop my face on steve-reeves-joe.JPG Steve’s body. (See above pic. Left click on it to enlarge.)

I’ll never look exactly like Steve Reeves (nobody will), but the “vision tool” helped inspire me to take action, enter seven fitness contests, and lose eighty pounds.

Steve was 6’1, 215 pounds and won several contests, including Mr. America. His natural approach to fitness and the classic physique remain valid, though most people seeking muscle today are seeking mutant size gains at the expense of health.


Not Reeves.  He was anti-steroid, all natural, and very humble, honorable and hard-working. 

I never met Reeves. It’s a major regret. I have books by and about him, including some very scare and expensive biographies, such as the rare Steve Reeves: Worlds to Conquer.

When I wanted to train with a legend, I went to Frank Zane, as Reeves was long gone.

But recently I heard Steve Reeves’ car was for sale. Since I’ve become pretty good at attracting cars, I decided to go for it.

It’s a 1977 Jaguar XJS, V-12, silver, with only 56K miles on it.


Story is Reeves went into a showroom in Beverly Hills in 1977, saw the car and asked to buy it.

He was told no, (How do you tell Hercules no???) that the car was on hold for actor Rock Hudson.

Reeves said he knew Hudson was out of the country shooting a movie, and said to sell the car to him and get another for Hudson.

The salesman agreed. (Again, how do you tell Hercules no???)

Reeves bought the car and kept it until his death in 2000.

It’s been sitting in a garage ever since.

The man who has the car is in charge of Reeves estate. He wanted to show the car at the upcoming Steve Reeves Film Festival, but needed to make room in his home for another car he bought for himself. He was finally thinking of selling it.

I sensed a win-win-win opportunity brewing in the air…

I asked him to let me buy the car, but said he could keep it for the festival and I’d pick it up after it.

Furthermore, I added, fix the car up, repaint it, and make it something Reeves would be proud of and his fans would love to see. I said I would gladly pay to have the car restored to showroom condition.


Why did I offer so much?

1. Steve’s car deserves to be perfect for the spirit of Steve. It’s a classic car museum piece.

2. Steve’s fans deserve to see the car looking pristine (which would also make the man putting on the event look good).

3. Steve’s car would be ready for me to drive off after the event and head to Texas with it. 🙂

This win-win-win appealed to the owner and he agreed to sell me Steve’s car on the spot.


There are several lessons here, of course. Here’s one:

reeves-bio.jpg  I think many people try to buy items without considering the possible win-win negotiations that can be made.

I learned this lesson when I researched marketing genius P.T. Barnum and saw the creative way he bought The American Museum — with no money — and turned it into his first big success and his greatest love. (Story is in my book, There’s a Customer Born Every Minute.)

It’s not win-lose but win-win when you think of what the other person wants and also keep in mind what you want.

I’ve never thought of myself as a master of negotiation, but I do know that if I get what I want, and the other person gets what they want, and anyone else involved is happy, then I contribute peace to the world.

Steve Reeves, I believe, would approve.

Ao Akua,


PS – Confession time: After I bought Reeves’ car, I had second thoughts. Buyer’s remorse began to creep in. Who was I to buy yet another car? I already have Steven Tyler’s Panoz Roadster and of course Francine and two BMWs. And I work at home and rarely drive anywhere. (!) But then my personal fitness trainer, Scott York, called. He congratulated me on the triumphant purchase and sharp deal, and said “Considering how much you idolize Steve Reeves, this is a historic moment.” He’s right. The car will become a touchstone of legend to me. It’s actually priceless.

PPS — Scott will accompany me to pick up the car at the Steve Reeves Film Festival August 21-22 in San Diego. For details on the Festival see www.stevereeves.com/inc-sris-news.htm 

Note: You can see the excitement in my face as Nerissa films me talking about buying the Hercules car on my video blog at http://drjoevitale.blogspot.com/