THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #296

Technology, engineering, horsepower, and even insurance rates – everything in the automotive industry is on the rise. We head into this hour chatting with Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, who reviews the 2018 Dodge Demon, Durango SRT, and the Challenger TA. Then, automotive journalist for, Brian Armstead, reviews the 2018 Infiniti Q50S. Next, John Ellis, technology expert of Ellis and Associates, shares information on higher insurance rates for Tesla drivers and discusses how the data generated by our cars may someday be worth more than the cars themselves. Skipping over to some excitement surrounding Monterey Car Week, Gordon McCall, President and CEO of McCall Events, Inc., explains the history behind Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival, and the details of another exclusive event, The Quail. We end the hour with automotive journalist for, Steven Cole Smith, who reviews the Dodge Demon and the Ford Raptor, and shares his experience at the Formula E races in New York City. Get your engines or motors revving, listen now.

  • [00:00:00] Poppin’ Wheelies and Takin’ Charge
  • [00:06:25] Karl Brauer Drives the 2018 Dodge Demon
  • [00:12:30] Challenger Trans Am: Old School Translation
  • [00:19:51] Infiniti Puts Best Foot Forward with Q50 Red Sport
  • [00:30:08] AAA Announces Higher Insurance for Tesla Drivers
  • [00:35:50] Data Generated Could Potentially Mean Free Cars
  • [00:42:11]  Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival
  • [00:48:55] Cars, Planes, and Gourmet Eats
  • [00:54:42] Dodge Demon is Full of Hidden Gems
  • [01:02:03] Ford Raptor is an Unbelievable Truck On or Off-road
  • [01:13:06] Michelin Pickup Design Challenge
  • [01:18:01] Formula E Race on the Streets of New York

Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Poppin’ Wheelies and Takin’ Charge

Alan is no stranger to poppin’ wheelies and smashing picnic tables. Don’t worry, there is a story behind that statement. Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, and Alan swap wheel screeching stories, and Alan sounds off about the insane nature of his Viper ACR. Then, Karl tells about his test drive of the Dodge Demon, and the guys discuss Dodge and their infamous courage to craft cars that gearheads crave, continuing to light fires in the minds of horsepower lovers. Are you craving an animalistic ride?

[00:06:25] Karl Brauer Drives the 2018 Dodge Demon

Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, Karl Brauer, states in a recent Forbes article,  “…Even In Today’s Homogenized Automotive World, Some Brands Still Do Crazy.”  Of course, he is referencing Dodge. Recently invited to drive the new Dodge Demon, Karl raves about how these powerful cars can be functional daily drivers. Switching gears, we chat about the Dodge Durango SRT, which is a 475-HP family vehicle. Comfortable, confident, nimble, this V8 powered SUV drives better than expected. Are you ready to become a part of the ‘brotherhood of muscle’?

[00:12:30] Challenger Trans Am: Old School Translation

Dodge has done it again! Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, is holding strong against his deep desire to purchase the new Challenger Trans Am. Harkening back to Karl’s muscle car days, this car is everything that he loved about the 1970s model with the added glory of new technology. He raves that the sticker price of $40k is more than worth it in terms of handling, acceleration, style, and comfort. The original Challenger TA was design oriented to attack corners, and this new one follows suit. It’s time you fell for a classic muscle car with a new age face lift!

[00:19:51] Infiniti Puts its Best Foot Forward with Q50 S

Even a super tall man, like Brian Armstead, automotive journalist for, can fit well in this car! The Red Sport model is packed 400-HP with a turbocharged V6 engine. This quiet company is releasing excellent cars, and shouldn’t be overlooked. Alan raves about the sound system that he cranked when taking the Q50 S for a drive. Find out if the Infiniti Q50S is the affordable luxury you’re looking for.

[00:30:08] Triple A Announces Higher Insurance for Tesla Drivers

We all love the tech upgrades in new cars, but there is a downside to these luxuries. Recently, AAA has announced that they are raising rates for insurance on Teslas. John Ellis, of Ellis & Associates, explains why. There is no denying it, technology is expensive to repairing is costing insurance companies more than originally estimated. Is convenience worth higher costs?

[00:35:50] Data Generated Could Potentially Mean Free Cars

Sensors are being added all over our cars, lots of data is being generated. John Ellis, technology expert at Ellis & Associates, talks about his new book, The Zero Dollar Car: How the Revolution in Big Data will Change Your Life, and what this means for the car industry. He believes that as more information is recorded by our everyday driving habits, the data complied could potentially become more valuable than the car itself. His book is a warning for us to be aware and prepared, eventually, the collection of our personal experiences and preferences will be monetized. Are you okay with Big Brother accompanying you on your next country drive?

[00:42:11] Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival

Twenty-six years ago Gordon McCall was working in his shop during Monterey Car Week when inspirtaion struck. He decided that he wanted to throw a party that would mix the aviation and automotive hobbies. When he came up with the idea, little did he know that he was the pioneer of this type of event.  It started out as a small, Wednesday event with a few planes, some nice cars, and about 50 people. It has now grown into a posh, popular gathering. In the mood for a legendary night? Gordon McCall, CEO and President of McCall Events, Inc., tells us more.

[00:48:55] Cars, Planes, and Gourmet Eats

Glamourous cars, planes, and culinary delights – McCall’s Motorworks Revival has zoomed its way into the hearts of many that attend Monterey Car Week. Gordon McCall, CEO and President of McCall Events, Inc., divulges details about this premier event. Attendees will be regaled by a luxuriously outfitted C-41, vintage open wheel racers, Maserati single seaters, and the latest super and hyper cars. Gordon has also been involved with another sophisticated event called The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. This 15-year running event is an all-inclusive VIP party that allows you to eat your way through the day and view what is arguably one of the best car shows. Which fabulous party are you dreaming of?

[00:54:42] Dodge Demon is Full of Hidden Gems

Sometimes there is so much hype behind a car that once you climb into it your expectations fall flat. This is NOT the case with the 2018 Dodge Demon Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist at, was delighted to find that Dodge put a lot of effort into the little details of this car. The car can electronically track your driving stats, to keep you ahead of the competition. There is even a $5,000 upgrade for a sunroof that many are opting to buy, just because of its exclusivity. This car is in such high demand that dealers are drastically marking them up, and they are getting away with it. With a low production number of 3,300, it makes sense that some are paying almost double the sticker price to obtain one. How hungry are you for 840-HP?

[01:02:03] Ford Raptor is an Unbelievable Truck On or Off-road

Speeding through the desert and catching air at 100-MPH seems like nothing when you’re doing it inside of a 2018 Ford Raptor. Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist for, recently test drove one of these bad boys and can’t stop raving about it. The V6 twin turbo did not disappoint, and after Steven took this stock truck on Tony Stewart’s dirt track, a dirt track, it didn’t even receive a scratch. It is an extremely tough, capable truck that also feels smooth, comfortable and quiet on the highway. The markup on these guys is pretty high right now due to their capability and versatility, but they are worth it. Learn why this Raptor will make on all the other dinosaurs on the road extinct.

[01:13:06] Michelin Pickup Design Challenge

Every year Michelin North America does a design challenge, and last year it was to design a Le Mans car. This year, they went for utility and chose the category of trucks. Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist for, was on the panel of judges for the contest and shares that they may have seen the future of the pickup truck. He has to keep the winner a secret until they release it in the fall, but he assures us that out of 1,200 entries, the vote was unanimous. Some of the young designers had very different ideas for what constitutes a pickup; it was interesting to see how the world sees a truck. What does your ideal truck look like?

[01:18:01] Formula E Race on the Streets of New York

Wow, the world of racing is changing and it is hard to keep up. Recently, New York City got to experience a Formula E race for the first time and it was done at an old cruise terminal. Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist for, was there and gives us the details about the two-day event that had about 40,000 spectators. The 1.5-mile track sat right in front of the beautiful New York skyline, with the Statue of Liberty in the background. This all electric series is becoming the fastest-growing form of professional racing, and despite its small crowd, it is believed that it will continue to flourish. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Catharine Zeta-Jones were there, possibly as a part of their environmental duties. Major OEMs, such as Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, etc., are hopping on board. The future of racing has arrived, are you ready for the shift?

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 Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner

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This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at

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