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Auto Show:  2011 Philadelphia Auto Show

2011 Philadelphia Auto Show - A Hip-Hop Contingent at the Philly Auto Show

by Autotrader February 2011
February 3, 2011

At the DUB Live! display, the mood was anything but mellow. The 35,000 sq. ft. space sponsored by DUB magazine, a publication that covers the urban automotive lifestyle, was alive with pulsing music, wild looking vehicles and a groovy crowd.

“The turn out was so good this year that next year we’ll get our own hall,” explained John Ramos, director of events for DUB magazine. He took us on a tour of the space, pointing out the big draws that included Boston Celtic Shaquille O’Neill’s 2010 Ford Mustang Convertible, Hip Hop Artist Nelly’s 2010 Ford Mustang and Philadelphia Eagle DeSean Jackson’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.

A booth from Killer Kreations, a customized automotive paint studio out of South Philadelphia, showed off eye candy galore. Founded in 1996 by Fred Sicoli, a self-taught airbrush artist, the booth displayed everything from tapped out bikes to tattooed trucks with brilliant paint jobs.

In another corner, the giveaways from Monster Energy, the addictive drink induced with ginseng, B vitamins and caffeine, were a huge hit. And then there was the booth for Pirelli, known for performance tires…or is it for their calendars featuring provocative photos like movie star, Julianne Moore? The stand’s specialist was none other than a stunning dark haired vixen (Danica Patrick look-alike?) outfitted in tight black leather that was more than willing to pose for pictures.

In the background, thumping loud music–a live feed of hip-hop and R & B courtesy of Wired 96.5 FM, a local station. “When the guys start cranking it’s ridiculous!” exclaimed Ramos.

And if you want to take cranking up another notch, Imagine Audio, “the next level in car audio and electronics” can do that. We were drawn to a decked out 2000 Ford F-150, lit up to the nines with all kinds of technology. The owner of Imagine Audio, Marc Balzer, noted, “I gave out 400 business cards on the first day of the show and I don’t force them on anyone. That’s phenomenal!”

The Ford F-150, Balzer’s daily ride, has five viewing screens, two on the visors, a couple at the base of the front seats (facing out) and another in the back. “Why did you do that?” we questioned. His answer, “Why not?”

Why not, indeed. Balzer’s ride was replete with a 3600-watt audio system, Bluetooth, flashing lights and well, you name it, the truck had it all. And as far as having all that and more, the motorcycle displays were a big draw for families.

We overheard one teen saying to her father. “Hey dad, I found the bike I want!” She pointed to a lavishly assembled Candy Fire Red Kawasaki Vulcan Vaquero. Low, lean and mean, the Vulcan also sports a radio. The MSRP? An easy $16,499.

If all that hip-hop is too rich for your blood, outside the DUB Live! area was a Mini-track–a 30 by 20 ft. banked course with six NASCAR replicas. The cost is minimal. In fact, two rides are less expensive than one! One race will run you $3, it’s $2 for five and the winner gets a free spin around the track.

HOLLY REICH writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on

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2011 Philadelphia Auto Show - A Hip-Hop Contingent at the Philly Auto Show - Autotrader