3 Years/36K Miles Bumper to Bumper Team Hall & Nass #Motorama LIVE All Access Movie

5 12 2012

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http://youtu.be/g1bzdW1lXRc

Welcome to the 3 Years/36K Miles Bumper to Bumper Team Hall & Nass #Motorama LIVE All Access Movie, celebrating our 2 Year Anniversary of #Motorama LIVE on Twitter! 3 Years/36K Miles Bumper to Bumper takes you on a journey of fast cars, cool people and amazing events with Team Hall & Nass and Motorama LIVE from the first week of December 2009 through the first week of December 2012.

This 42 minute feature movie contains a LOT of never before seen footage from our Team Hall & Nass years and the best of the best clips so far from our Motorama LIVE years. We could have gone back further and included a LOT more footage, but if we didn’t cut it where we did and condense it down to these 42 minutes, it might have become ‘Gone With the Motorama’, and let’s face it, no one should watch that much of our foolishness in one sitting.

So gather your friends and family around the computer, television or your mobile device, get some salty snacks, some frosty cold beverages, and enjoy some of the craziest, zaniest “best of” moments captured in the 3 Years/36K Miles Bumper to Bumper Team Hall & Nass #Motorama LIVE All Access Movie!

Thank you to EVERYONE who has supported us over the last several years, from our friends and families, our fans, our sponsors, our OEM friends, reps, event managers, everyone who has ever used the #Motorama hashtag on Twitter, and last, but certainly NOT least, our amazing #Motorama LIVE staff members, without ALL of whom none of this would be possible. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough.

Join us for #Motorama LIVE every Wednesday from 9-11 PM Eastern on Twitter! Just search on and use the #Motorama hashtag to join the conversation! #Motorama LIVE, THE most fun automotive enthusiast and motorsports #Carmmunity on Twitter!





Team Hall & Nass Drive the 2011 Cadillac DTS

25 04 2011


Team Hall & Nass Drive the 2011 Cadillac DTS

Preface

When Team Hall & Nass learned that 2011 would be the last year of the Cadillac DTS, we decided we just HAD to do a review of one before that last big Caddy build by the “old GM” sailed off into the sunset. Why? Because we like big, old school Cadillacs!

This review also happens to technically be a Team Hall & Nass review, but we also conducted it with our Motorama LIVE audience in mind. If you’re confused by all of this, visit both the TeamHallnNass.com site as well as the MotoramaLIVE.com site for more information on what both entities are all about.

Be sure to check out our 2011 Cadillac DTS videos, coming soon on our Team Hall & Nass YouTube channel YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. Yes, a bit of hoonage of the DTS will ensue!


DTS – The Last Cadillac DeVille

While the “new GM” has done a superb job of cranking out cool new cars under the Cadillac brand, such as the CTS sedan/coupe/wagon, the ground pounding uber Cadillac CTS-V sedan/coupe/wagon, and the ultimate new Cadillac SRX crossover, the DTS has kind of been relegated to second class citizen/afterthought status. The big bodied Northstar V8-powered Cadillac DeVille Touring Sedan (DTS) is the last of the big Cadillacs still being produced by GM that has been around since the “old GM” was cranking out profits on SUVs and DotComs were still considered a wise investment. Because of this, the DTS is often thought of as the “old man car” or “airport limo service car.”

But the DTS roots run much deeper than just a long-in-the-tooth platform car that has fallen behind its siblings in terms of power, options and design. It’s also the last in a long, storied history of the DeVille moniker, a badge worn proudly by big bodied Cadillac cruisers for half a century. In fact, it wasn’t so long ago that when you heard the word Cadillac, the Coupe DeVille or Sedan DeVille was likely the first car that came to mind (except for maybe the Eldorado).


Cadillac holds a special place in my family, and it all started with the DeVille. Growing up, we always had GM cars, but in 1980, my dad, my great uncle and my cousin all decided they wanted to step it up beyond just owning Corvettes and pickup trucks. So they walked into our local Cadillac dealer and bought all three cars sitting on the showroom floor. My great uncle got a red Sedan DeVille, my cousin got a black Coupe DeVille and my dad got a blue Coupe DeVille for my mom. In true old school fashion, they all paid cash and drove them right off the showroom floor. Thus began my family’s long run of driving Cadillacs.

Those three Cadillac Coupe DeVilles were true classic Caddys in every sense of the word. They were big, they were long, they had 500-cubic inch big block motors, they would light the rear tires up with a flick of the right foot, they rode like you were floating on a cloud, they had enough body roll to scare you to death, but they were indestructible. But more than anything, when you rolled up in a Coupe DeVille, people noticed. Why? Simple. Because it was a Cadillac.

Sadly, 2011 is the last year for the Cadillac DTS. Instead of being updated or refreshed, Cadillac has plans to launch an entirely new car to replace the DTS for 2012, under a completely different moniker. While there is little doubt the new car will be awesome like the rest of the new Cadillac line, it is also sad, because this may be the last car to ever be badged as a Cadillac DeVille. So in short, we HAD to review this car before it heads off into the sunset. In a way, it was almost like saying goodbye to a family member.


Describing the 2011 Cadillac DTS

Many adjectives are associated with the DTS by today’s luxury car buyers and the enthusiast community alike. Most are less than kind, and we feel that is a shame. Why? Well, for starters, the DTS may be long in the tooth, but it’s still got more bite in terms of classic Cadillac style and comfort than anyone remembers. After all, when was the last time anyone took the time to review a DTS? Exactly. So let us refresh your memory of a true gem.

The DTS is the last Cadillac that instantly reminds you of what driving a Cadillac used to mean. It is big. It is plush. It rides like you are floating on a cloud, absorbing pot holes and bumpy roads like a dream so you barely notice as you cruise along. (We are convinced the powers-that-be in Dallas who can do something about the ridiculously bumpy roads must all drive Cadillac DTSes and thus not be able to feel how rough the roads are!) The hood on the DTS is long enough to play golf on, and its trunk is big enough to take your entire wardrobe on a road trip, while still allowing room for your golf clubs, the kitchen sink and anything else you might have riding around back there. We’re talking old school room and comfort at its finest here.

But isn’t all this talk of “old school” exactly what’s wrong with the DTS? In a word, NO. It is exactly why the DTS is the hidden gem of the 2011 Cadillac lineup. The CTS is a great car in any flavor. The CTS-V is the ultimate American uber sport luxo dream car come true. It’s like a Corvette Z06 with a backseat in a stealth wrapper! The SRX is a car any soccer mom or family on the go can enjoy. But only the DTS reminds you every second you are inside of it that you are in a Cadillac. Old school, new school, any school. The DTS is a true Cadillac no matter how you drive it, use it, or enjoy it. It’s got what the others, awesome as they are, seem to lack just a bit of – that classic Cadillac style.


We weren’t the only people who thought this, either. Just ask any of our Team Hall & Nass neighbors. These are the people who are always checking out the various automobiles that grace our driveway each week. There is quite often a brand new something out in front of our house, and believe me, the neighbors all notice. It’s not that uncommon to go outside and find someone looking over whatever we’re driving and asking questions about it. Until now, the Corvettes are always the crowd favorite. Well, guess what may have taken the crown?

We had more people stop by and ask us about the Cadillac DTS than anything shy of a Corvette. No, we’re not kidding. For starters, no one had to ask “what is that?” Just like they all know what a Corvette is, they all know the DTS is a Cadillac. But it didn’t stop there. Requests to sit inside and to take a spin around the block rivaled the last Corvette we had. You can’t make stuff up like this, folks. Young and old, guys and girls, they all wanted to check out the big Caddy. Once inside, they were amazed by the space. The air-conditioned seats. The massage chairs. The smell of the leather – that distinctive Cadillac leather smell. They loved the whole nine yards. We’d let them fire it up, and when the Northstar V8 rumbled to life, more than a few revved the throttle and grinned. They reacted exactly like they do when we have a Corvette on display. Only they could actually see themselves owning and driving the DTS. It was like having a magic carpet sitting out in front of our house for two weeks. Everyone wanted to take a ride! That’s the magic of an old school brand new Cadillac. Even we were surprised. VERY!


Driving the 2011 Cadillac DTS

For starters, if you haven’t heard the sound of a Northstar V8 lately, then let me reassure you, you need to. Most luxury car makers try to make their cabins quiet inside. While the Cadillac DTS is fairly quiet, there is no mistaking the sweet sound of American muscle when you turn the key in the ignition and the Northstar rumbles to life. Pull the Caddy into gear and the growl invites you to stand on the throttle just so you can hear it. Go to wide open throttle and the combination of the roar through the firewall and the rush that propels the big DTS forward is, quite honestly, both surprising and addicting! So much so that we shouldn’t even tell you what our around-town MPG average was. It’s really not fair considering every single time we left a stop sign, a traffic light, or just felt the need to drive it like we stole it, we immediately went to wide open throttle and held it there as long as conditions would allow. We did this at EVERY opportunity.

While we had the DTS for two whole weeks, we sadly didn’t have a chance to do a lot of highway driving. What little bit we did resulted in fuel consumption just shy of 20 MPG with highway cruising average at 70 MPH. Of course, that was with my gal behind the wheel. I never saw better than 16.7 MPG, and far worse in town. It was just too hard to resist the urge to dig into the throttle and roll out every time. It sounds and feels that good!


As our local group that goes to Cars and Coffee found out one Saturday morning on the Dallas North Tollway, the DTS will accelerate a lot faster than anyone anticipates. It was fun blowing past a line of BMW Dinan Stage 3 cars and Burnout Radio’s Challenger SRT-8 in the DTS. Needless to say, when we pulled into Cars & Coffee with the Caddy in the lead, everyone in our group had a newfound respect for the Cadillac DTS. Seeing it get up and move also stopped the “old man car” comments.

Granted, most people who buy the 2011 Cadillac DTS will not drive it like they stole it. But they will be amazed when their big floating cloud of a Caddy takes off like it was shot out of a cannon and corners without the body roll they would have experienced in the Cadillacs of old. This big Caddy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


A couple of things shocked us about the DTS. After a few days, we popped the hood to clean it up for a photo shoot. Not only was the Northstar V8 sitting wrong direction in the engine bay (that’s right, the DTS is a front wheel drive), but upon inspection of the Cadillac.com website, we discovered that big Northstar V8 in the DTS is only putting out 292 horsepower. WHAT?!? That’s right. It has less than 300 horsepower, and it is putting it to the pavement through the wrong wheels. Obviously, we hadn’t really pushed the Caddy hard through a corner in the first few days, but there seriously wasn’t a hint of torque steer to give away that the DTS was front wheel drive. It took off like it was shot and rolled out quickly no matter how long you stayed in the throttle. It feels like you’re driving a 350+ horsepower rear wheel drive car, not a 292 HP FWD sedan. You might call this an engineering feat, but we have another word for it – amazing.

In Summary

Just because the 2011 Cadillac DTS is near the end of its long production run doesn’t mean it’s any less than a great car. In fact, it means they’re had quite a long time to refine it into one sweet ride. This Caddy is absolutely loaded! The DTS has a great sounding Bose stereo system with in-dash navigation and XM satellite radio, OnStar, plush comfortable front seats with two-position push button memory combination driver seat, tilt/telescopic heated leather steering wheel with wood grain, power mirror settings, three-position driver and passenger seat air conditioning, three-position driver and passenger seat upper and lower zone heating, and last but not least, massage seats that allow you to alternate the heating and cooling for relief of back or leg discomfort on long road trips. The options carry into the roomy back seats with three-position heated rear seats, flip down leather center arm rest with two large cup holders, and separate rear passenger HVAC heating and cooling controls.


The DTS is the last car that Cadillac makes that actually looks, rides and feels like an old school Cadillac. It has a long hood, a massive trunk, floating ride, and big V8 growl. It is plush, it is comfortable, and even though it weighs nearly three tons, it will flat out get up and haul. After spending two weeks behind the wheel, the better-looking half of the Team Hall & Nass duo coined the DTS “the Cadillac of Cadillacs.” I couldn’t agree more.

Team Hall & Nass Buy, Wait or Skip Rating

Based on our impressions of our time behind the wheel of the Cadillac DTS, coupled with other enthusiasts, friends and neighbors we showed the car to, we’re going to give the 2011 Cadillac DTS a ‘Buy’ rating. Cadillac has gone in a different direction with all of their new cars, and while they are all pretty awesome, there is something special about this last of the old school Caddys. We wish it wasn’t front wheel drive, but then again, it doesn’t drive like one. We’re not entirely sure what Cadillac is going to replace the DTS with (ATS, XTS, ???), but no matter what they come out with next, this is likely your last chance to buy something remotely close to a true Cadillac DeVille. That alone is reason enough to buy this car in our book. After all, the DTS is “the Cadillac of Cadillacs.”

When you visit your Cadillac dealer to test drive the DTS, do us a favor and tell them Team Hall & Nass sent you. If you do buy a DTS, please let us know! We always love hearing about our fans’ rides, and so does GM when we tell them about you. In turn, it makes them feel better about giving us access to their cars to review and share with you. We appreciate your support!

Team Hall & Nass and Motorama LIVE Cadillac DTS Coverage

We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass 2011 Cadillac DTS coverage. Be sure to check out our videos on the 2011 Cadillac DTS, coming soon to our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. Stay tuned as we continue to share our experience of what life is like behind the wheel of other exciting new vehicles on TeamHallnNass.com and on MotoramaLIVE.com.

Our 2011 Cadillac DTS Was NOT a GM Media Car

This is usually where we publicly thank our friends at GM and on the GM South Central US Communications Team for allowing us to review another one of their cars. However, this particular car didn’t come from the GM media fleet. In fact, to our knowledge, GM no longer has Cadillac DTS sedans available for media reviews since this model is near end of life. Because we wanted to review this car before it drives off into the sunset, we rented it from the Hertz Rental Car Company. It was only a month into service and had just over 5,000 miles on it when we picked it up. Granted, coming out of Las Vegas, it was filthy beyond belief inside and out, but after the healthy dose of detailing elbow grease and car care products we applied, it was (almost) back to looking as good as new.

As many of you are aware, Team Hall & Nass rent a LOT of cars from Hertz every year for business and personal travel. Thanks to our Hertz Presidential Status, we obtained a Caddy that usually rents for well over $100 per day for less than $600 for two weeks. That’s right. We spent our own hard-earned money to rent a fully loaded brand new Cadillac DTS from Hertz just to review. Ever hear of any automotive review team doing that? Well, we’re anything but conventional, and we hope y’all enjoy that about us, too!

Disclaimer

Due to FTC guidelines, please note that GM did not pay us to write or film any of this, nor did they ask us to. After reading this and/or watching our videos, they may even prefer that we hadn’t. The same could probably be said for the fine folks at the Hertz Rental Car Company! We sincerely thank all of you, our amazing fans for taking the time to read all about it. We appreciate you all!

This site entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Learn more about Pirate Pig at TeamHallnNass.com. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~

Motorama LIVE!

If you are an automotive enthusiast, or would enjoy learning more about cool cars, automotive trends, auto shows, events and anything else that goes on in the automotive world, join us for our wildly popular weekly interactive automotive enthusiast discussion Motorama LIVE, every Wednesday from 9-11 PM Eastern, only on Twitter! Check us out at MotoramaLIVE.com, ‘Like’ Motorama LIVE on Facebook, and of course, follow us on Twitter @MotoramaLIVE Twitter.com/MotoramaLIVE. To join the conversation, just use the #Motorama hashtag and jump in! We’ll see you on Motorama LIVE!





Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio CTS-V Sedan Drive – Caught on Camera(s)

4 02 2010

Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio CTS-V Sedan Drive – Caught on Camera(s)

If you read our recent post titled, “Team Hall & Nass Review the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan,” then you experienced our impression of what life is like behind the wheel of the “fastest V8 production sedan in the world.”

However, after we went back and read all the pretty words we used to describe the CTS-V, we still felt it just didn’t do the car justice. So this time around (because we love our fans so much), we’re not going to just tell you … we’re going to show you.

Do keep in mind what you are about to see isn’t some sterile trackside show or closed course challenge. Oh no! This is real world driving. Want to witness the real fun quotient of how well a CTS-V can perform in daily traffic with four adults in the car from the ticket-free comfort of your own chair? Actions (or in this case, actions on video) speak louder than words.

Please check out (preferably, in sequential order) all of the video segments of our Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio CTS-V ride and drive on our YouTube channel(s): YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass and YouTube.com/BurnoutRadio.

Please note that Burnout Radio (for their own self-preservation reasons) posted select, edited, somewhat “sanitized” parts of the events captured on their camera. While their videos are shorter, they leave out some of the speed antics and much of the humorous commentary.

However, being the crazy, experiential junkies we are here at Team Hall & Nass, we’ve posting ours in a format more like you’d expect from us. It’s raw and unedited (except for splitting it up into four segments to fit within YouTube’s file size restrictions), but deliver the full flavor and experience of the run. Make sure you watch them all. Believe me … you’ll get your money’s worth!

While there is a lot of talking (since it is a rolling interview), fear not! All that yakking is interspersed with the sweet sounds of LSA-filled roars, Pilot Sport squeals, and visible passenger reactions as we let this puppy run as safely as possible in and through traffic. We hope you enjoy the show!

Warning/Disclaimer Section

Please, for the love of all that’s holy, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, in traffic, or on your own. Laughable as it may sound, we are somewhat “trained professionals” (granted on a non-closed course, risking life, limb, and media car, but hey, we signed the ‘you brake it, you buy it’ paperwork). Also, please keep in mind that we were VERY well behaved most of the time and honestly didn’t have the car, its occupants, or anyone else around us in any strain at any time.

Also, if you happen to work for GM, Cadillac, or (God forbid) any of its insurers, then we highly recommend sticking with viewing Charlie’s “edited” videos on the Burnout Radio YouTube page. Otherwise, please continue to our TeamHallnNass YouTube page, strap yourself in, and enjoy the ride!

Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week Coverage

We hope y’all enjoyed this late addition to our Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week coverage. Optimally, we had planned on launching this post and these videos during Cadillac Week, but thanks to some unforeseen (and highly unfortunate) connectivity issues with our ISP in our Dallas location (read AT&T is officially on our POO list) we simply couldn’t upload them in time. Since they are too good to let go to waste, we hope you enjoy them now!

Due to new FTC guidelines, please note that GM didn’t pay us to write any of this, to film or to post footage of this. They did not ask us to either. (After watching our videos, they may even prefer that we hadn’t!). They simply provided dinner and access to their cars and, in turn, we had the “Cadillac” of experiences. We sincerely thank everyone at GM and Cadillac South Central Region marketing who made this possible, and all of you, our amazing fans. We couldn’t do this without you. We love you all!

This blog entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~





Team Hall & Nass Super Fun Marketing Descriptions of the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan

29 01 2010

Team Hall & Nass Super Fun Marketing Descriptions of the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan

Preview

As a wrap up to our Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week coverage, we just couldn’t help but throw this last post in. It’s admittedly outrageous and a bit over the top, but at the very least, we think it will entertain many of you. Enjoy!

This is So Not Official GM Language

The “official” GM wording used within the pages of the 2010 Cadillac brochure describes the CTS-V Sedan as “the fastest V8 production sedan in the world.” Yes, in as few clean, sane, safe words as possible, we couldn’t agree more. It certainly is.

However, there are corporate sanitary product descriptions … and then there are the Team Hall & Nass product descriptions. We were not asked to provide language to be placed within the brochure of the 2010 CTS-V. However, if we had been, the following are examples of what we feel best describe what the true driving experience is really like albeit in a tongue in cheek sort of way. Better strap in now … this will get a bit curvy!

CTS-V Sedan – Turn Ons Delivered

We’re relatively certain that you have all witnessed the all too cleaver commercials Cadillac filmed for the launch of the second generation CTS sedan. You know the one. “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?” In a word – priceless!

However, when the current generation CTS-V Sedan was unleashed on the world, we feel GM missed a wonderful opportunity to take one of the best brand commercials they’ve ever done to the next level. Something a bit bolder, a bit spicier, that would represent just how much hotter the V performs over the already amazing base model.

So without further adieu, here is a glimpse of what Team Hall & Nass might have done.

The Actress – A slightly younger, more attractive, voluptuous blonde behind the wheel.

The Female Narrator’s Statement(s) – “Remember when we introduced you to the seductive new CTS and simply asked, ‘when you turn your car on, does it return the favor?’ Well, if she didn’t get your attention, meet her younger, enhanced, more powerful sister, V. With a lot more umph and vavoom under her hood, she simply takes your breath away. The Cadillac CTS-V. Can you handle it?”

“Remember when we introduced you to the seductive new CTS and simply asked, ‘when you turn your car on, does it return the favor?’ Well, if she didn’t get your attention, meet her younger, enhanced, more powerful sister, V. She asks a simpler question – ‘Think you can you handle it?’ Breathtaking performance. The Cadillac CTS-V.”

CTS-V Sedan – Family Friendly Synergy

Here’s a new idea for a “new GM.” Cross-brand family oriented marketing strategies to address the changing needs of performance-oriented expecting families. Trust me, there are big numbers hidden here. How many people out there (admittedly, mostly men) have to go through the agony of selling their Corvette when a wedding or baby comes into the picture? Sure, you can sell them a Tahoe, but seriously. No self-respecting Corvette owner wants to give up driving something that fun just because of life changes. Why not put a cross-brand synergistic strategy in place to help? Create targeted CTS-V Sedan materials and place them inside of Chevrolet dealerships. Then offer the dealers a cross-brand monetary incentive program to cross-sell. Here are a couple of examples of language that could go inside a Corvette to CTS-V “family conversion” marketing piece.

“Getting married? Having kids? Own a Corvette? Not all of life’s big changes have to be so drastic. Welcome to the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan. It’s like a Z06 with a back seat. Performance you’re used to in a family-friendly package. Child seat optional.”

“Getting married? Having kids? Own a Corvette? Not all of life’s big changes have to be so drastic. Welcome to the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan. Performance you’re used to in a family-friendly package. Now, driving your family can be fun too.”

Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week Coverage

We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week coverage as much as we enjoyed the privilege of being able to provide it to you. It’s truly been the “Cadillac” of weeks for us!

We would also appreciate it very much if y’all would take a moment and let us know what you thought of all this. Did you like it? Did you not? Was it worth reading? Was it detailed enough? Too wordy? Too spicy? Want more paprika? Do tell! You can let us know via comments on our blog, Tweets on Twitter (@TeamHallnNass) or email us at TeamHallnNass(at)yahoo.com. It’s your turn to talk. Team Hall & Nass is listening!

Due to new FTC guidelines, please note that GM didn’t pay us to write any of this, nor did they ask us to. (After reading some of this, they may even prefer that we hadn’t!). They simply provided dinner and access to their cars and, in turn, we had the “Cadillac” of experiences. We sincerely thank everyone at GM and Cadillac South Central Region marketing who made this possible, and all of you, our amazing fans. We couldn’t do this without you. We love you all!

This blog entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~





Team Hall & Nass 2010 Cadillac Week Challenge Twitter Contest

28 01 2010

Team Hall & Nass 2010 Cadillac Week Challenge Twitter Contest

As you are aware (or should be if you are reading this post), we recently attended the Cadillac Culinary Media Tour, an event for select members of the Texas automotive media to experience what life is like for the “typical” Cadillac owner. We enjoyed the experience so much that we decided to dedicate an entire week of coverage to different aspects of the event, and to the amazing Cadillac vehicles we experienced.

As a fun way to say thank you to all of our loyal Team Hall & Nass fans for your amazing support of our Cadillac Week coverage, we are conducting an exciting #CadillacWeekChallenge contest to see who is enjoying our daily #CadillacWeek content the most. The winner will receive a cool “Cadillac-related prize!”

Snapshot Review of How to Play (explained in much greater detail below)

– Follow @TeamHallnNass on Twitter so you can play along and be eligible to win!
– As soon as you see us Tweet a contest question (a Q followed by #CadillacWeekChallenge), be the first to Tweet us via @ reply only with the correct answer and you win that round!
– Remember to tell us what Q you are replying to (Q1, Q8, etc.) and place the #CadillacWeekChallenge hash in your answer (if there is room).
– Remember that ALL of the answers to all of the contest questions are either within our TeamHallnNass.wordpress.com Cadillac Week posts, within our @TeamHallnNass Cadillac Week Tweets, or within one of our four Cadillac Week YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass videos.
– If you are truly stumped, @ reply us and say “I’m Stumped” and we may Tweet out additional hints.
– Don’t stress or give up! We aren’t going to make this THAT hard.
– Have fun! That’s what Team Hall & Nass #CadillacWeek is all about!
– Remember to keep following and RTing our #CadillacWeek coverage through Friday.
– Be sure to tell all of your friends as well! We love new picking up new fans! We do all this craziness for y’all!

When the Contest Will Occur

Our Cadillac Week Challenge Twitter Contest will take place beginning on Thursday, January 28th 2010 at 8 PM EST and will conclude on Friday, January 29th 2010 at 8 PM EST. Be sure to tune in to @TeamHallnNass on Twitter during this 24 hour period as questions can occur at any time (though we may have to sleep somewhere in there too!). Most of the contest questions will occur on Friday during US daylight hours, but not all!

The winner will be announced on Twitter AND on the TeamHallnNass blog! The winner must be able to be reached via DM (which is why you have to follow @TeamHallnNass) in order to discuss shipping. Afterward, your prize will be shipped to you the following week from our super-secret Team Hall & Nass location.

How to Play (in much greater detail)

To keep things as simple as possible, we are going to ask a series of questions (via Twitter) and the first person who responds to us via Twitter with the correct answer to each question (via an @ or DM) will be acknowledged as having won that round. The person who wins the most rounds by the end of the contest week will win the “Cadillac-related prize.”

To make things easier, we’re going to be providing several hints on what areas (posts, vids or Tweets) the answers to the questions are located in. So if you’re stumped, @ or DM and say, “I’m stumped!” The more people who are stumped, the easier/more obvious we’ll make the hints and/or the questions. We want this to be fun for y’all, not work!

All contest questions Tweeted out by us will be designated with the hashtag #CadillacWeekChallenge. It is a good idea to place this hashtag along with the numerical designation of the question you are answering (i.e.: Q1, Q5, Q10, etc.) in your response along with your answer to alleviate any potential confusion on either end (ours or yours).

Example:

Us – TeamHallnNass #CadillacWeekChallenge Q1. What week are we celebrating?
You – @TeamHallnNass The Q1 answer is Cadillac Week #CadillacWeekChallenge
Us – TeamHallnNass @BIGHallnNassFan You are correct! You’ve won round Q1!

See how easy that is?

How and Where to Find ALL of the Answers

Each day this week, there has been at least one new Cadillac-related post daily on our blog. In addition, be sure to review every Cadillac-related Tweet this week (beginning on Monday, January 25th at 12:01 AM EST through Friday, January 29th at 8 PM EST, or up until the last question of the contest, whichever comes first). Last, but certainly not least, make sure you view all four segments of our CTS-V ride and drive review that will be posted on our YouTube page on Thursday, January 28th. Be sure to listen to all of the things that are said out loud within these videos.

Again, all of the answers to all of the questions in the contest can be found within our TeamHallnNass.wordpress.com Cadillac blog content, OR within our YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass page Cadillac videos, OR within our @TeamHallnNass Cadillac Tweets on Twitter. There are no ringers, no tricks, and no hidden answers. Everything is (or will be) posted in plain sight for all to see!

Plus, remember that we’re going to be providing several hints on what areas (posts, vids or Tweets) the answers to the questions are located in. So if you’re stumped, @ or DM and say, “I’m stumped!” The more people who are stumped, the easier/more obvious we’ll make the hints and/or the questions. We want this to be fun, not work!

The Prize

One lucky winner will be awarded a “Cadillac-related prize” by Team Hall & Nass. What is it exactly? Well, we don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say it’s something not very expensive, but actually pretty cool. No, it’s not a Cadillac (we wish!). But it is a Cadillac-related item, provided to us by General Motors (not for this contest, but as a personal gift to us). We just love and appreciate our fans so much that we want one of you to have a chance to win it! So play for laughs and play for fun, but answer to win!

The Rules

You MUST follow @TeamHallnNass on Twitter to be eligible to win. Don’t worry, you can always unfollow us after the contest should you choose to, but we hope you’ll stick around for our continued hijinx for the 2010 season and beyond.

The person who responds on Twitter to @TeamHallnNass (via @ reply only) with the most correct answers first (round winners) at the end of our Cadillac Week Challenge will be the winner!

Not a Twitter user? Sign up today at Twitter.com and follow @TeamHallnNass to play!

Due to only having one prize to award, there can only be one prize winner. All decisions on the contest, the rules, judgments, etc. will be determined by Team Hall & Nass, and our rulings and decisions will be deemed final.

Tie Breaker (if necessary)

In the event of a tie, those who are tied for the lead will be notified via Twitter and a playoff will be held. If necessary, the playoff will be conducted beginning at 8 PM EST on Friday, January 29th 2010. The playoff will consist of a series of bonus Cadillac Week Challenge questions will be asked one at a time until the tie is broken (by the same conventional challenge rules listed above). It will be a sudden death playoff round, so you’ll have to be at the ready to answer quickly and correctly.

Exclusions

All of our fans and followers are welcome (and encouraged) to play. However, any employee (or affiliate) of General Motors or Cadillac are (unfortunately) ineligible to win. This is only because y’all have an unfair knowledge advantage of all the questions we are going to ask within this contest!

Furthermore, Charlie and Nick from Burnout Radio are not eligible to play, win, or even to shout answers out, since they participated in this event with us. They know too much, and therefore, must die! (JUST KIDDING)!

We hope you enjoy the #CadillacWeekChallenge and wish you all the best of luck! Let the games begin!





Team Hall & Nass Review the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan

27 01 2010

Team Hall & Nass Review the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan

Preface

Team Hall & Nass recently attended the Cadillac Culinary Media Tour, an event for select members of the Texas automotive media to experience what life is like for the “typical” Cadillac owner. At the event, we got a little crazy. Alongside of our good friends Charlie and Nick from Burnout Radio (@BurnoutRadio on Twitter), we managed to get behind the wheel of a brand new 2010 CTS-V Sedan and put it though some real world driving paces. What transpired once we “commandeered” the CTS-V was most likely not typical of many Cadillac owners, especially in rush hour traffic, unless your name just happens to be Andy Pilgrim.

While the CTS-V was just one of the Cadillacs we experienced at the event, we had so much to say about our impression of driving this particular machine that simply including those thoughts in one section of our overall event blog post(s) wouldn’t do. Plus, as an added bonus, we filmed all the action of our Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio ride and drive critique with not one, but two cameras. We’ll circle back to that in a bit.

After you read this post, we also encourage you to read our companion two-part blog post titled “Team Hall & Nass Preview the 2010 Cadillac Lifestyle, Parts 1 & 2.” Within those posts you will learn more about the overall event, how we managed to “steal the V” and what happened when we got busted for it!

So, without further adieu, we hope you enjoy our impression of what life is like behind the wheel of the “fastest V8 production sedan in the world.”

Describing the 2010 CTS-V Sedan

There are many words I could use to describe what driving the CTS-V is like, but few would truly do the car justice. If you’re a fan of the car, then no doubt, you’ve already heard the big numbers it puts up. But just in case you haven’t, I’ll share them with you here (from memory, no less). GMs supercharged all aluminum LSA small block making 556 horsepower at the flywheel and generating 551 foot pounds of torque. Six piston Brembo calipers out front, four piston Brembos out back. A six speed manual transmission (or, in the case of our media car, a six-speed automatic). 0-60 in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 198 miles per hour (limited to 175 miles per hour in the automatic). The list goes on and on, but those are the baseline things you need to know.

I’d love to tell you all about the amazing interior of the car, the many creature comforts, the styling, the details, and all that jazz. Truth is, due to the nature of the event, we had to grab it and go. From that point on, all I did was adjust the mirrors, the seat, the wheel and drive. I’m sure it has amazing ergonomics that I could go on and on about. We just didn’t have time to fully experience all of that. Perhaps if we’re very lucky we’ll get more hands on time with a CTS-V sometime again real soon so we can take our time and explore all of the details. I, for one, would like to explore the driver information system and get detailed on the types of real time vehicle performance and operation information available to the driver, how it is accessed and the manner in which it is displayed. But like I said, there wasn’t time for all of that. We had to grab it, take it, and just drive it. After all, isn’t how it drives what you want to know about this car anyway? Yeah, we thought so.

Driving the 2010 CTS-V Sedan

First things first. No, sadly, we didn’t get to test top end or downforce effects at sustained higher end speeds. I know, I know. However, even though we were unfortunately stuck in horrific rush hour traffic, we still managed to have some fun. This car is so viciously quick on the throttle (and the brakes) that you can drop back and then fill up the hole in the flow faster than anyone else can realize there was ever an opening to contemplate getting into. Want to break triple digits inside a long city block? This car will do it. Want to light the tires on fire? HA! As amazing as the traction control system is (truly, it’s that good), melting rubber is still easy to achieve at any speed. Just plant your right foot and hold on! Want to elicit shock, disbelief and awe from a new Porsche 911 owner (and his passenger) by merely letting him hear the sound of the engine revving? Been there, done that.

Since we did have to navigate some very heavy rush hour traffic and a few side roads in between discovering (or creating) patches of clean road to enjoy, the entire drive was treated as a rolling interview. If you’re familiar with the regular podcasts done by Burnout Radio, then you know what to expect. However, if you’re not, then know that we discussed and critiqued the car on the fly for the entire ride. It helps that both Charlie and I like the sound of our own voices as well, but hey! That’s a whole other story (way too long to post on here)!

Keeping the Power on the Pavement

Former Indy 500 winner and current Rally X driver Kenny Brack did an excellent job at the 2009 Summer X Games of reminding everyone in the racing and extreme sports world of a very simple, but long held, principle in the world of motorsports. Tire smoke and drifting a car sure looks cool, but every second your wheels are not in solid contact with the pavement, you’re not putting maximum power to the ground. Thus, you’re losing time. Remember, all the horsepower in the world doesn’t matter if you can’t make the tires put the power on the pavement.

The aforementioned traction control system is beyond amazing on the CTS-V. With 556 horsepower on tap, you would expect the car to be near impossible to drive hard without it constantly breaking the tires loose. Wrong. Even when I tried to powerslide it out of the parking lot, it held the pavement amazingly well and launched us forward. Sure, we slid a little, but not like we would have if I’d have turned the traction controls off.

It also doesn’t hurt anything that the car comes equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport tires, either. Yes, the same rubber found on the Corvette ZR1 and on any serious sports car owner’s rims that values supreme street traction over high replacement costs. They’re so sticky, they are almost like having racing tires for the street.

Driving this car is in many ways comparable to driving the 505 horsepower Chevrolet Corvette Z06. In fact, I’ve stated publicly (many times) that the CTS-V Sedan is a lot like a Z06, just with two extra doors and a back seat for ten grand less. It definitely shares that immediate rush of endless power and torque that will propel the car forward at a rate most people have never felt, and frankly, that many can’t handle.

Is it that quick? Yes. It pins you back deep into the seats as if you’ve been shot out of a cannon. The car accelerates as quickly as a big block Chevelle that can pick its front tires up off the ground. In fact, it takes off just as well from a standing start as it does rolling along at 70 mph (or greater). Just point, aim and shoot! But how does it corner? Does it feel nimble when you throw it around or does it feel like a big, heavy sedan? The answer, in every category we experienced, was you quickly forget you are in a sedan. It didn’t take me long to go into Corvette mentality.

However, a key difference between the Caddy and the Z06 Corvette is that you can put the power to the ground a lot quicker and keep it planted throughout the first three gears in the CTS-V. I’m talking wide open throttle. In a Z06, um, well, without racing tires or launch control, not so much. No matter how skilled you are, launch a Z06 at wide open throttle and most of that power goes up in tire smoke. Very expensive tire smoke. Shift and repeat, shift and repeat again. Needless to say, I strongly believe the Z06 should come from Chevrolet wearing Pilot Sports as well (ahem, if you’re listening GM, please and thank you).

Another interesting point is that while the CTS-V has 51 more horsepower than a Z06, it also weighs roughly a thousand pounds more. Those extra pounds probably help keep the rear tires planted when you dig into the throttle. Yet even with the extra weight helping with traction, you’d still expect a car with 551 foot pounds of torque to be a handful to drive. It’s not. But don’t let that lull you into comfort, either. One good stab of the throttle at the wrong time, in a curve or on wet pavement, can (and eventually will) override any traction system that’s trying to save you from yourself.

However, while the amount of “hold back” or “saving grace” of the system almost defies physics, it also lets you have enough freedom to thoroughly enjoy the massive power of the car without feeling overly restricted (at least on the street). There were clearly more engineering hours devoted to this area than the guys in the white jackets will likely ever get credit for. To all of them, we say it here. Kudos!

Key Difference in Driving a CTS-V Sedan Versus a Traditional Sports Car

With all this talk of horsepower, traction, acceleration, etc., it’s almost easy to forget what car we are talking about or why we were invited to this event. The point was to experience what life is like for a “typical” Cadillac owner. So in that spirit, I offer this explanation of (at least in my mind) what is likely the key difference most operators will experience between driving their CTS-V Sedan and driving a two-door sports car.

When you purchase a sports car of any similar performance level, you are more likely to drive it on twisty back roads or on a track than to go, say, pick up the groceries. You go into the purchase expecting it to behave like a sports car. Therefore, every time you strap into it, you mentally prepare yourself for what you are about to do behind the wheel and how you plan to do it. At least, we hope.

However, when you purchase a Cadillac, even the uber fast CTS-V Sedan, you may expect it to be fast, but you also have to keep in mind that most of these customers will probably be driving it to dinner, the airport, the opera, etc., far more often than in a competition-type setting. So, unless the owner actually understands what driving a 556 horsepower car is like (which few people really, truly do), then you don’t want them to unpleasantly “surprise” themselves too often. They aren’t going to think “race car” when they strap in each time. In fact, more often than not, they are going to think pedestrian thoughts. It’s a different approach to entering a similarly capable supercar animal.

So while on the one hand, having a 556 horsepower sedan is the coolest thing on earth, you also have to remember that Cadillac is charged with serving it up in a package that is much more civilized than a race car, enabling function to match form. This is another area where the traction control system on this car is phenomenal and key to the safety of the car. It keeps the car planted and in control in situations where cars of similar power to weight ratio would be sideways and/or all over the road, enabling you to drive your kids to school, your significant other to dinner, or even making a run to the grocery store, all without (as much) constant threat of getting sideways or taking out the guardrail. Essentially, it is as much about preventative safety and going “slow enough” as it is about putting down power and going “fast enough.”

Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but the CTS-V Sedan was not built to be a race car, per se (just don’t tell Andy Pilgrim that). It was built to be a luxurious daily driver. It is a car that most “typical” Cadillac owners, with a little bit of diligence and common sense, can probably handle driving everyday without fear. Though a little healthy fear wouldn’t hurt (just saying)!

Extreme Stealth Value

One of the key attributes that I’m fairly certain Cadillac or GM is not likely to tout (but that this car delivers buckets of) is what we like to call “stealth value.” That is, to the untrained eye (which includes roughly 98% or more of the general populace), the CTS-V Sedan blends in. Especially if you order yours in a non-flashy color (such as white, silver or charcoal). On face value alone, it looks like a typical Cadillac family sedan.

What? But why oh why would anyone want their awesome hot rod Caddy to blend in? Two words – Hamthrax evasion. You see, no one expects this car to take off like a rocket ship or to be comfortably cruising down the interstate at triple digits. Not that most of you would do that very often (yeah, riiight).

Even for those who like to drive at 20 over the limit (or so) but are always concerned about getting pinched by the Hamthrax (ahem, any color Corvette + speed = instant attention), this car offers the perfect solution. Cops aren’t looking for family sedans. They are looking for the guy in the Corvette, the Camaro, or those other high horsepower coupes that are all trying to slip under the radar … and failing miserably.

In these times of empty state coffers, the fuzz are out in force, going after the easy revenue now more than ever. But if you factor in potential savings over the life of the car by avoiding tickets and insurance rate increases, that “stealth value” could really add up to substantial savings in operating costs! Hey, Team Hall & Nass is just looking out for you! It’s what Pirate Pig, our Hamthrax-avoiding mascot, likes for us to do. Viva la Pirate Pig! :@)~

Easy to Lose Yourself In

After enjoying the CTS-V far longer than we probably should have, but not nearly as long as we’d have liked to, the moment came to return the car. A few miles before reaching our destination, the Four Season Resort in Las Colinas, I handed over the controls of the car to Charlie. He got to do a few hard launches from the lights and dove on the brakes plenty, but not much in the way of speed runs. There was too much traffic!

For the record, I do feel bad for hogging up the majority of the drive time. Feel bad for Charlie, that is. Honestly, I was enjoying driving this car so much that had he not reminded me to pull over and switch off, the thought of getting out of the car would have never occurred to me. Sorry Charlie!

The one thing Charlie got to do that was a real defining moment on our drive (and on the video) is when we pulled up at a light behind a new Porsche 911. With a little encouragement from me, Charlie put the Caddy into neutral and cleaned the throttle out a couple of times. What played out in front of us was priceless. First, the heads of both the driver and the passenger immediately jerked up and around. Then, the driver reached for his rearview mirror, adjusted it, and we could actually see his eyeballs bulge in the mirror’s reflection. That’s right, bud. That deep roar that just shook you and your Porsche to its very core? Yeah, that came out from under the hood of the Cadillac sedan parked on your rear bumper. The reaction was priceless! This is not your mother’s Cadillac. This is the big bad wolf in sheep’s clothing that is going to outrun the whole flock (and your grandmother too).

In Summary

We love the CTS-V. It’s the first sedan ever considered truly worthy of the Team Hall & Nass garage. In fact, given how we typically drive (even on a daily basis), it is probably the best overall car for us to own. It is so much more than just (as stated by Cadillac themselves) “the fastest production V8 sedan in the world.” We believe it is also “the most fun you can have in a car with four doors. Period.”

However, we’d really like to spend a full day (or a few) behind the wheel where we can explore the capabilities and characteristics of the car somewhere other than in Dallas rush hour traffic. I could spend at least a few hours just examining the interior features of the car and plenty of time under the hood as well. There is really just so much car there for the money. At $70,000 and change (very well equipped) that’s a tall order, but this is one of those rare cars that can deliver loads of performance and value for the big price tag.

It’s no secret that we hold the C6 Corvette platform up as our personal standard for what any performance car should be like. While that may seem unfair to many, in this case, it is not, as this is a true and worthy competitor to all four flavors of the current C6.

If the car is missing anything, we only have one request. Bring back the ducks on the Cadillac emblem. Only this time around, put them in a V formation. The Cadillac CTS-V. It doesn’t just quack, it honks!

In summary, the best thing we can say (other than we want one) is this: You don’t have to ask if this car will return the favor. Just save the “after smoke” for the tires.

“We’re SO Not Worthy … THANK YOU GM”

Though we said this in both parts of our Cadillac Lifestyle posts, and it certainly bears repeating again here. We’d like to publicly thank Donna McLallen (@GMTexas on Twitter), Vicki Cosgrove and everyone on the GM South Central US Team for being kind enough (and crazy enough) to invite us to this event. Without their kind, good faith invitation, we wouldn’t be able to bring you, the wonderful fans and followers of Team Hall & Nass, this incredible tale to enjoy. We owe you a big one (as well as some brake pads linings and perhaps a bit of tire tread too …)!

Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week Coverage

We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week coverage thus far. Tune in tomorrow for what may be our most exciting post of the week, titled, “Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio CTS-V Sedan Drive – Caught on Camera(s).” It’s a post of few words … well, of the written variety. Remember the two video cameras I mentioned at the top of this post? That’s right! Better dig out your driving gloves, zip up that fire suit and tighten down those belts. You’re going with us on a wild and crazy ride!

Due to new FTC guidelines, please note that GM didn’t pay us to write any of this, nor did they ask us to. (After reading some of this, they may even prefer that we hadn’t!). They simply provided dinner and access to their cars and, in turn, we had the “Cadillac” of experiences. We sincerely thank everyone at GM and Cadillac South Central Region marketing who made this possible, and all of you, our amazing fans. We couldn’t do this without you. We love you all!

This blog entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~





Team Hall & Nass Preview the 2010 Cadillac Lifestyle, Part 2 of 2

26 01 2010

Team Hall & Nass Preview the 2010 Cadillac Lifestyle, Part 2 of 2

Working Our Way to Checkpoint Two

When Charlie said he didn’t know where we were going, he wasn’t kidding! After a series of u-turns and wrong turns, it finally occurs to me that I have a nav system in the dash in front of me. DUH! However, before I can plug in the address of the next checkpoint, Donna from GM calls my cell and tells me I am less than a block away. Sure enough, when we pull around one of the many office buildings (all there seems to be in this part of Las Colinas), we discover both a row of Cadillacs sitting there and Donna standing there shaking her head at us. Oops!

After I quickly summarize that I got “punked” by Charlie, she just laughs and escorts us inside and up to the top of the office building for our next surprise. I don’t know what the scene was when everyone else pulled into Via Real at Checkpoint One, but this was impressive!

Breathtaking Views from the Top

The “super secret” and hard to find Checkpoint Two was none other than the exclusive and private La Cima Club. Perched on top of the Williams Square building in Irving, Texas (known as host to the “world’s largest equestrian sculpture” in front of the building), the unobstructed view in all directions is unparalleled by any other building in the area. On a clear day (which it certainly was on our visit), you can see all of the skyscrapers of Dallas (10 miles to the east) and of Fort Worth (30 miles to the west) and all points in between. But the ClubCorp-owned La Cima is not just known for its breathtaking views and private membership. It’s known for its exquisite fine dining. The fine folks at GM and Cadillac did not let this “typical” Cadillac owner’s experience evade us either.

As we dined on hand-prepared lobster rolls and sipped fine, non-alcoholic sparkling cider (after all, this is a driving event!), we were entertained by a presentation from both the general manager of the club and the head sous chef, who had returned to La Cima after years of working in other equally impressive establishments. It was quite the tasty snack!

As an added bonus, Nick (Charlie’s partner in crime and the other half of Burnout Radio) had joined us for the remainder of the evening, so I knew the next leg was likely going to contain even more fun-filled hijinx and laughs. Boy howdy! If I’d only known what was coming next!

Breathtaking Views from the Valet Stand

While I can (and do) appreciate fine dining and breathtaking views of Dallas, did I happen to mention what GM and Cadillac had lined up for we, the lucky few, to climb all over, experience and drive at this event? Here is the rundown: About a dozen second generation 2010 SRX Crossovers, an all-new 2010 CTS Sport Wagon, and the coup de gras – a silver 2010 CTS-V Sedan.

When first invited to this event, I had been told there “may” be a CTS-V on hand, but no guarantees. On the day of the event, I had reached out to Donna at GM and inquired about the CTS-V again. She had said “maybe so … but who knows?” I had jokingly tweeted her that if it was going to be there, I hoped they brought an extra set of Michelin Pilot Sports and brake pads because between myself and Burnout Radio they were likely going to need replacing after, and perhaps even during, the event. Her reply, “NOT if you’d like to be invited back!”

All joking aside, I really didn’t expect to get a chance to drive the CTS-V. As I was leaving Checkpoint One, I noticed a silver CTS-V sitting there, but it was awaiting one of the Cadillac reps to drive it to the next stop after we were all gone. So I figured it was there for us to see, but not necessarily to drive. I figured I’d do well to get my hands on the CTS Sport Wagon for the run from Checkpoint Two to Three. At least then I would have a chance to find out just how well the Wagon would get away from Charlie in the SRX.

However, as I looked out over the lineup of Caddys in the valet area of the Williams Square building, there sat the silver CTS-V, quietly off to the side. So while the rest of the crowd was getting intimate with a guided tour of the SRX’s many cool interior and exterior features, I eased across the lot and began taking photos of and admiring the CTS-V up close and personal.

Contemplating Grand Theft Auto

It wasn’t the first CTS-V I’d seen, nor was it the first one I could get inside of. It was, however, the first one I may actually have an outside shot at getting behind the wheel of unsupervised with an opportunity to see what it actually would do (albeit on traffic jam-filled roads for a very short duration of time). Nonetheless, it was just too close to not try to beg, borrow, or even to come up with a strategy to “steal” a few rare moments of driving time in it, if it came down to that.

As if they could read my mind, another GM rep approached where I was standing and encouraged me to “come on over and hear all about the SRX” … but my mind was spinning on ways to get behind he wheel of the CTS-V.

After a few brief words with Charlie and Nick about how it would be nice to “snag” the CTS-V, I turned my attention to chatting up the Cadillac rep. As it turns out, Thomas D’Angelo, Cadillac’s new Regional Marketing Manager for the South Central Region, was a real joy to talk to. He had moved to Texas from Southern California and was settling into the market. We talked quite a bit about what Cadillac is doing to distinguish themselves as a brand, the exciting new lineup of cars, and all sorts of good things. Finally, I got around to asking him if there was any chance at getting some seat time in the CTS-V. He said it might be tough, but hopefully we’d get a chance at some point.

Committing Grand Theft Auto

No sooner than those words had been uttered, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Nick easing over to the CTS-V. At first he appeared to be admiring it, but then, suddenly, it happened. Nick slipped into the passenger seat of the CTS-V, their photographer Katie climbed into the back, and Charlie, suddenly standing next to the driver’s door, grinned at me, and then gave me the “come on” wave.

I quickly excused myself from the conversation and made a beeline across the parking lot. Charlie says, “Get in. QUICK!” Not being one to dally, I only paused long enough to ask, “You sure you don’t want to drive?” To which he responded, “We’ll switch out later, but I’m not going to pass up a Team Hall & Nass ride along. Now get in and let’s get out of here!” I didn’t hesitate to ask additional questions. It was go time.

A few brief moments later, with two video cameras rolling (mine filming from Nick’s lap up at me as I drove, Katie filming forward from the right rear), I pulled the CTS-V into gear and we slipped out of the parking lot and around the building. As I neared the exit onto the surface street, I made sure everyone had their seat belts securely fastened. I then tromped on the throttle and sideways we went out of the exit and through traffic in search of some open road.

CTS-V Sedan – The Caddy So Nice We Covered It Twice

There are not enough colorful words, phrases, etc. to describe what our brief time behind the wheel of the CTS-V was like. In fact, we used so many trying to that, after writing it all out, we decided it warranted its own separate blog entry. Yeah, we went on about it that much (and it was worth every letter). So be sure to check out our separate post titled “Team Hall & Nass Preview the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V” for our superfluous attempt at trying to describe what it’s like behind the wheel of this classy beast.

As an added bonus, when you read our separate blog entry all about our impression of the CTS-V from behind the wheel, you will receive instructions on where and how to view the complete Team Hall & Nass and Burnout Radio event, exactly as it happened, all on video. Believe me, you’re going to want to witness the mayhem. It’s quite the scene!

Is It Really Stealing If You Return It? – The Joy and the Guilt

As our all too brief drive of the CTS-V drew to a close, we turned into the entrance of the Four Seasons and pulled up to the front. Immediately, two things were very noticeable. One was the unmistakable smell of hot brakes and rubber emanating from the car. (Man, I’m sure glad Charlie was behind the wheel for the last leg!). The second, which was actually the first thing I noticed, was Donna from GM. She was standing there amongst others from GM with her arms folded. She didn’t look amused. In fact, she had what one could only describe as a classic “mom” look on her face. Ot oh. We were SO busted!

I figured I’d just throw myself at the mercy of the court, but before I could even get a word out, she began the conversation. It went something like this:

Donna (with stern face) – “Did you get my text?”
Me (with sheepish face) – “Um, sorry, no. We were a little busy …”
Donna – “You know, as soon as they realized the CTS-V was missing, I didn’t even have to look around for you guys. I knew where it (and you) went. There was no doubt!”
Me – “Well, we, um, kinda, sorta, um, yeah. Hey! It wasn’t all my idea!”
Donna – (still stern) “Yeah. Uh huh. Riight.”
Me (grinning) – “Well, we were here to ‘experience the Cadillac lifestyle’ and all. We just couldn’t resist! Plus, you know that we babied it. I mean, sure, we drove it, but, I swear, we behaved very well! Besides, we were in stuck in traffic most of the time. We didn’t even break XXX mph … ish (wink).”
Donna (shaking her head and perhaps suppressing a smile) – “I don’t want to know about that! I’m just glad you brought it back!”

As we walked inside to yet another exquisite treat for the palate, I quickly checked my phone. Sure enough, two missed calls and one text from none other than Donna. I took a breath and then opened the text. It read, “Hmmm hmmm. You hijacked the V. You know, they’re making me stand in the cold until you show up….”

I’ve known Donna for awhile on Twitter and have met her in person before, but I didn’t know her that well before this event. So I didn’t know for sure if we had really stepped in it, or not. I immediately found her inside of the event and apologized profusely. At that moment, I believe our friendship bonded. She couldn’t keep the stern face up any longer. She laughed and told me it was okay and that she was teasing.

Now, to this day, while I’m fairly certain that Donna was kidding me about the teasing, I secretly hope they didn’t really make her stand out in the cold and wait for those crazies she invited from the “online world” to their media event to return their $70k+ hot rod Cadillac. (Then again, she was standing out there and looked more than a bit relieved when we first pulled in …). Of course, we did return it, we drove it with reasonable care, and we praised it on Twitter live from the event. And now (finally) here on our blog and on YouTube, we are more than happy to do not only one, but two posts on the topic. The car(s), the event, and the fine folks at GM all deserve praise on all counts. There wasn’t a single thing they could have done better for us. It was more than we deserved, and we really, really appreciate it!

Checkpoint Three – The Four Seasons Las Colinas

Any feelings I had of guilt were quickly replaced with euphoria as I sampled some of the delectable treats the executive chef had prepared for us. However, the deserts were truly mind melting. Kind of like those Michelins out in the parking lot …! We were entertained by a description of the selections by the head sous chef, and given the run down of the resort and events it typically hosts by the general manager of the hotel. It was everything you expect from the Four Seasons. Good show!

Checkpoint Four – Via Real Restaurant

It was a short walk (yes, walk, not drive) outside the back of the Four Seasons over to Via Real. Back to where the evening began. Upon entry, we were treated to the option of driving any of the Cadillacs that had been brought over to the parking lot, or to begin consuming fine alcoholic beverages if we were finished experiencing the vehicles. Even though I thought about obtaining the CTS Sport Wagon for a nice drive, I also figured I’d let the tires cool off for a bit and instead enjoy the networking.

There was an interesting mix of traditional and non-traditional media present, but again, there were only a few of us in total. I met a gentleman who, upon sharing with him that we do a bit of rallying, told me how many Gumball 3000s he’d been on. I had to laugh. You just never know where fellow rally enthusiasts are going to show up.

We spent the rest of the evening chatting up the fine folks at GM, and of course, enjoying the appetizers, entrees and dessert selections Via Real had prepared for us. The dinner was amazing, the company was grand, and the event as a whole was first class all the way.

In Summary

It is my wish that no matter what your background or station in life, that at some point, if not everyday, each and every one of you reading this get to experience the “Cadillac lifestyle” as the General intended. Believe me, it is worth every penny!

Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week Coverage

We hope y’all are enjoying our Team Hall & Nass Cadillac Week coverage. The carnage (we mean, coverage) continues tomorrow with our CTS-V ride and drive preview. Better get ready to strap yourself in and/or hold onto something tight for that one!

Due to new FTC guidelines, please note that GM didn’t pay us to write any of this, nor did they ask us to. (After reading some of this, they may even prefer that we hadn’t!). They simply provided dinner and access to their cars and, in turn, we had the “Cadillac” of experiences. We sincerely thank everyone at GM and Cadillac South Central Region marketing who made this possible, and all of you, our amazing fans. We couldn’t do this without you. We love you all!

This blog entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~