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Jax ‘Vette on national poster

The Corvette is celebrating its 68th anniversary this year. with eight generations produced since the first C1 model premiered on June 30, 1953. So it’s no surprise that June 30 was officially designated “National Corvette Day” by Congress back in 2008. So the Hagerty Drivers Foundation celebrated that anniversary this year with a poster showing all eight generations.

The collection includes a Jacksonville family’s white C7 Corvette in the lower left. And its photo, plus the sunny image of the Polo White 1953 C1 in the upper left, were taken by local photographer Nick Williams.

The Corvette was born out of the fertile mind of GM Chief Designer Harley J. Earl in the early 1950s, dreaming of an American sports car, yet inspired by the great European sports cars of the time. In 1953, Earl introduced the Corvette as his latest “dream car” at GM’s Motorama show in New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel grand ballroom, and it was a hit. The fiberglass body C1 roadster appeared the next year, the first 300 built in Flint. But for the past 30 years, the mid-engine C8 is built in Bowling Green, Ky.

Originally a Chrysler air-conditioning unit factory, the facility was completely refurbished into a modern automotive facility. Since then, the facility has doubled in size, and Bowling Green has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for over 30 years.

The MINI Urbanaut concept car.

MINI unveils EV van

MINI has unveiled a real Vision Urbanaut concept car, six months after it showed off the design as a “virtual vision,” so people can “engage more extensively with the spatial concept and sustainable materials at work,” it said. Premiered July 1 at the DLD Summer conference in Munich, the all-electric people mover is a sleek rounded box with a lounge-like cabin that can be configured to fit the passengers it’s carrying,. And MINI has also created three profiles called Chill, Wanderlust, and Vibe, allowing the exterior and interior to change to “reflect the MINI moment at hand,” it says.

That includes fragrance, sound and ambient lighting. For example, Chill makes the interior into a kind of retreat to relax or work with full concentration. There’s a glass roof, small inside table and front seats that rotate so occupants can join the chat. And the Wanderlust mode allows the Urbanaut to be driven, a tap on a MINI logo unfolds the steering wheel and pedals from a cushioned front shelf.

The parking layout for the July 10 Caffeine and Octane at The Avenues, including a Porsche Corner and a large area for classics..

Caffeine and Octane is here

The new Caffeine and Octane Jacksonville premieres at 8 a.m. Saturday at The Avenues mall at 10300 Southside Blvd. And organizers have issued a map to show where some of the expected hundreds of classics, sports cars and exotics can show off until 11 a.m. at the revived mega-cruise in on the east side of the mall.

As the map shows, vehicles in the Central Lot (red) must remain in place until 11 a.m., so do not park there if you are not able to stay, 11am. Exhibit Lots (blue on map), Exotics Lot and the Porsche Corner (far right) allow participant vehicles to come and go throughout the event, although cruising is not allowed for safety reasons. The Exhibit Lots are also the best option for clubs and large same make/model groups. This event will also celebrate local and national military vehicles with a dedicated parking and display area.

The city’s biggest local cruise-in was renamed Caffeine and Octane Jacksonville after joining forces with the integrated brand behind North America’s largest monthly car show in Dunwoody, Ga., and the “Caffeine and Octane” television show on the NBC Sports Network. The event returns at the same times on Saturday Aug. 14 and Sept. 11, with more to come through the year.

For more information, visit First Coast Car Culture on the web at https://bit.ly/3gPRvVQ.

A Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV getting a charge.

Poll shows Fla. most EV-friendly

Florida ranks top in the nation in a newly-released US Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, which evaluates how consumer-friendly each state is for purchasing an electric vehicle. Florida’s top marks are a result of the state permitting direct-to-consumer sales, which are prohibited in 17 states, says the ConsumerChoiceCenter.org index.

“Florida has prioritized consumer access for electric vehicles, and other states should follow Florida’s lead,” Consumer Choice Center North American Affairs Manager David Clement said. ” … In today’s age of limitless information at your fingertips, and healthy competition in the auto industry, these restrictions are far past their expiration date. Other states should do exactly what Florida did, and allow for direct-to-consumer sales.”

Clement, who authored the study, also said Florida should be commended for its technology-neutral approach to registration fees. Florida licenses vehicles based on their weight, and does not discriminate against EVs, or hybrid plug-ins. Unfortunately, consumers in 28 states face disproportionate licensing fees if they seek to register their EV, he said.

Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549