Honoring Penske at the 2012 WAS

no thumb

On Thursday, January 26 President of GM North America Mark Reuss, and Chairman of Crain Communications Keith Crain, will take the stage at the 2012 Washington Auto Show to present Roger Penske with the Keith Crain Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award.

Automotive News reports, “The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the auto industry.” One look at Roger Penske’s accomplishments and it is clear to see that his contributions to the automotive industry have been nothing short of just that… significant.

Roger Penske’s passion for cars and the automotive industry started at a young age. The son of a car dealer, Penske spent his teenage years as a “lot boy” for a dealership while he honed his ability to build lasting and meaningful relationships with anyone he came into contact with. This quality is reflected in the words of his colleagues. Keith Crain had this to say about the Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: “For his ingenuity as an entrepreneur and his passion for speed and the art of design, Roger Penske is a visionary in the automotive industry.”

The Penske Corporation oversees operations at more than 1,800 locations employing more than 36,000 people worldwide. The Penske Truck Leasing company, which provides customers with everything from complete fleet management to residential moving trucks, is comprised of over 1000 locations worldwide. The Penske retail automotive business has grown to over 325 franchises including the largest Toyota dealership in the United States. However, Roger Penske’s accomplishments are not confined to the automotive sales and leasing industry, Penske is also the recipient of the Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year Award.

The Penske Racing Team captured their first Championship Car victory in the Pocono 500 on July 3, 1971. Since then, they have stacked up 340 major race victories, over 400 pole positions and 23 National Championships. In addition to those staggering numbers, the Penske Racing Team has dominated the Indianapolis 500 by taking home 15 checkered flags over the last 4 years. The closest competitor has achieved this feat only 5 times in the history of the race.

The Washington Auto Show is the largest public show in the capital. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest D.C., the event will feature more than 700 new makes and models from over 42 manufacturers. The Keith Crain Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented upon commencement of the 2012 Washington Auto Show on January 26 and it will be followed by a dinner reception at 7:00PM. For more information about how you can be a part of this celebratory award ceremony visit the Washington Auto Show website at

Information in this article courtesy of

Picture Courtesy of

read more

Guess who is “Surfing” Into The SEMA Auto Show…Oakley?

no thumb

The SEMA Auto Show kicked off in Las Vegas this week to a multitude of custom designed cars.  Among those was the Oakley Surf Tacoma, customized for surfers.  SEMA, which is short for Specialty Equipment Market Association, is an aftermarket auto event that showcases OEM specials and custom designs.

Based on the 4×4 Toyota Tacoma, the Oakley Surf Tacoma received a number of enhancements by Smithbuilt to make the vehicle a perfect fit for surfers.  Such enhancements include a GPS, space for surfboards, a barbecue grill, a cooler, and even a shower.  At the show, Australian surfing pro Tom Whitaker was ready to answer questions and talk about the Oakley Surf Tacoma.


They also added a supercharger to give the Tacoma a horsepower of 304 and installed a Flowmaster exhaust.  The suspension received a number of upgrades: an Icon Stage 3 lift kit, Billet top A arms, new leaf springs for height, and front coil-over system.  The interior received upgrades of its own, including Wet Okole Hawaii custom-embroidered seat covers made out of wetsuit materials.  The Tacoma also got an upgraded sound system from Kicker.


While you might not find surfers on the shores of Lake Erie, you have to admit that the ride is pretty awesome – especially that paint job.  You can expect to see the Toyota Tacoma in Ohio, though.  Starting at $16,365 with a 2.7 L 4-cylinder engine, 6 speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive, the Tacoma gets an EPA estimated gas mileage of 21 in the city and 25 on the highway.  If you’re interested in test-driving the Tacoma, please don’t hesitate to stop your Penske Toyota dealerships.

read more