Category Archives: Just for Fun

Nissan GT Academy 2015 Champion Announced

Nissan LogoThe top finishers from each country showed up for the deciding race in Silverstone: Matthew Simmons from Australia, Ryan Lynch from the United States (we were rooting for him at Blackburn Nissan, as you might expect), Hüseyin Dağli from Turkey, Ali Samy from North Africa, and Juan Carlos Carmona from Mexico, in that order on the grid based on their qualifying performances.

The race was a nail-biting eight-lap sprint. Simmons was off to a great start but too slow in the first corner and dropped to third. Lynch missed a braking point and nearly spun, after which the fight for first was all between Dağli and Simmons, who left everyone else behind as they raced for victory.

When it seemed as though Simmons might finally have cemented first place with back-to-back fastest lap times, a mechanical fault caused his car to lose power and he fell back to third.

Though Dağli won the race, in an unprecedented move, the judges deliberated for an hour before finally announcing Simmons as the GT Academy 2015 champion, signifying the start of his new career as a professional racing driver.

This Season, Remember These Home Pool Safety Tips

At public pools, there are typically rules and lifeguards ensuring the safety of all the swimmers. But what about at home pools? You can help prevent accidents at your home pool by establishing your own rules.

Here are a few home pool safety tips to get you started:

  • underwaterSecure your pool with some sort of fencing so that unattended intruders can’t get inside.
  • Be sure that all swimmers know how to swim efficiently, and never leave any swimmers–especially children–unmonitored.
  • Keep the proper chemical levels active in your pool to make sure the water stays safe and hygienic.
  • Enforce basic rules such as “no running” and “no diving in shallow area,” which can truly make a difference, especially for those who aren’t strong swimmers.
  • Have an emergency first-aid kit nearby, just in case it is needed.

Do you have any other tips? Let us know your ideas in the comments.

How to Decide Between Manual Vs. Automatic

manual transmissionCars with manual transmissions—the fearsome “stick shift”—get a bad rap. But once you learn to drive one, there are plenty of advantages to a manual transmission—just as automatic transmissions have their pros and cons. Here’s a rundown of how to decide between manual vs. automatic.

Automatic cars are easy. You brake to put the car into drive or park, and the car shifts to the right gear for you as you speed up. It’s convenient and lets you keep your full attention on your surroundings. However, automatic cars are more expensive than manual cars, and their fuel economy and acceleration tend to be worse.

automatic transmissionSo while you get more bang for your buck with a manual, there are also plenty of drawbacks. Most cars are automatic, so your choices for a manual are limited, and they can be difficult to handle, especially in dense stop-and-go traffic that requires a lot of shifting. Plus, since most people aren’t looking to buy manual, you might have trouble reselling it.

If you have the time to develop the skill, manual could be a better, cheaper option for you, but automatics are great too! It all depends on your preference.

The e-NV200 Gets Turned into Nissan’s Mobile Party Van

party peopleRecently, the Nissan brand—a major sponsor of the UEFA Champions League—revealed a new, exciting version of the e-NV200 at the League Final match. The special e-NV200, called the “PART e-VAN,” showed up to rock the Olympiastadion in Berlin. The awesome van is basically a Nissan’s mobile party van, with awesome disco capabilities and more.

The van comes with a disco ball solar panel array, which allows the van’s roof to absorb sunlight and turn it right into juice for the perfect party. The vehicle also comes with an augmented reality system—including two screens that allow you to project that augmented reality on the sides of the van. Basically, the augmented reality system allows you to jump into your favorite party scenario and then show it off to all your friends via social media.

The van also has a DJ booth, a cocktail mixer, an LED dance floor, and all kinds of other features. The electronic mobile party machine, after its debut in Berlin, will continue to scoot its way around Europe. It will show up next at the 24 Hour of Le Mans. “Nissan has time and again proven its commitment to electric cars, and as we electrify Berlin with the 100% electric e-NV200 here at the Olympiastadion – it’s the energy from our fans that inspires us to innovate,” said Bastien Schupp, Vice President of Marketing for Nissan Europe.

Ongoing Nissan Scavenger Hunt Will Award a New Altima to Winner

Nissan AltimaNissan is hosting an all-new contest for its many adoring fans to possibly win a brand-new Altima–in the form of a scavenger hunt. That’s right; the automaker will be revealing clues via social media, as hunters all around the country try to get to the end of the puzzle first.

The scavenger hunt is somewhat of a sequel to Nissan’s “Ride of Your Life” campaign from last year, when the company would take surprise mall shoppers on trips in a new Altima with a professional driver.

But now–gasp!–the Altima from that same mall location has been “stolen,” only to be retrieved and then kept forever by whoever wins the scavenger hunt, or the Altima Chase.

To become a part of the Nissan scavenger hunt, be sure to follow the brand on all forms of social media. There will be countless competitors, so be sure to set up your mobile device for alerts from Nissan. Happy hunting!

Nissan Donates $500,000 to MS History and Civil Rights Museum

studentsNissan has generously contributed to the beloved MS History and Civil Rights Museum to help support new construction and future exhibits. In fact, Nissan donated a total of $500,000 to the museum.

Nissan has special ties with Mississippi as it was the first automaker to bring a plant here which now employs over 6,000 people. The brand’s dedication to providing for our state and country has truly been remarkable, and even more so now with the generous donation to the museum.

Jeffrey Webster, director of Diversity and Inclusion for Nissan North America said, “This project seeks to tell the full story of Mississippi’s past while also magnifying hopes for the future. This contribution continues Nissan’s commitment to diversity, education and service in our community.”

We at Blackburn Nissan are happy to see Nissan contributing to places in our home state and appreciate their overall commitment to improving the local communities.

Nissan Unshutters its Glow-in-the-Dark LEAF EV

2015 Nissan LEAF
2015 Nissan LEAF

There were already plenty of reasons to love the Nissan LEAF. After all, it’s not the world’s best-selling EV for nothing. But that didn’t stop Nissan from making a totally cool, glow-in-the-dark LEAF model either. In true LEAF fashion, too, the car glows thanks to a secret formula of all-organic materials.

Of course, these organic materials also make the car somewhat impractical from a mass-market standpoint—at least for right now. But, as a Nissan press release noted, if the technology is ever implemented, it will be both valuable and durable. “It contains a very rare natural earth product called Strontium Aluminate, which is solid, odorless, and chemically and biologically inert,” the press release stated. “Nissan’s unique paint, if made commercially available, would last for 25 years.”

We don’t know if we’ll ever see the Nissan LEAF glowing in the dark as a market vehicle, but we can always hope. It’s cool to see the brand offering such innovative technologies, yet finding ways to make those technologies as green as the car’s powertrain. Come see us at Blackburn Nissan to learn more about what Nissan has in store.

History of the Chicago Auto Show

Downtown Chicago
The home of the Chicago Auto Show!

The Chicago Auto Show was first held in March 1901 inside the Coliseum exposition hall. The ticket price was 50 cents for the general public. The event was held at the Coliseum for 35 consecutive showings. Starting in 1935—the 36th show—the Chicago Auto Show moved to the International Amphitheatre. Samuel Miles, known as the Father of the modern auto show, served as show manager from the show’s inception to 1932. A wooden track allowed the public to drive and dispelled worry about the “horseless carriages.” Occasionally, one of the cars would break off the track and crash.

The 1940s eventually rolled around. This time, costumed entertainers appeared during the Dame Fashion stage show. The ‘Dame’ wore a skirt 16 feet wide which concealed new cars. When a new car was ready to be unveiled, the ‘skirt’ opened and the car drove out. A Nationality Queen contest embraced Chicago’s “melting pot” likeness as well.

After the United States’ involvement in World War II, the first official car show was held in 1950—the 42nd Chicago Auto Show. It was titled “Wheels of Freedom,” ran for nine days, and brought in 478,000 visitors.

Each decade, more changes were seen at the event. More cars, new models, and more visitors all arrived in the 60s. In the 1970s, small cars became trendy and stole the show. In 1980, the floor space expanded to 600,000 square feet and 700 vehicles filled the area. The 72nd Chicago Auto Show took place in 1980, drawing in 946,215 visitors. Numbers grew throughout the decade. More next-generation cars and concepts made their debut in the 1990s.

At the turn of the century, Mayor Richard. M. Daley stated that nothing had shaped the 1900s more than the automobile. In 2010 we saw many of the predecessors and first generation models we can still see on roadways today.

This year, 2015, marks the 107th Chicago Auto Show. Floor space has expanded to over a million square feet at the McCormick Place. 107 years later, the hype, excitement, and awe inspired by the Chicago Auto show is still in the air. We at Blackburn Nissan are excited to see what models we’ll soon have in our showroom.

If you’re interested learning more about the history of the Chicago Auto Show, read about it on the event’s website.

Nissan GT-R Rips through Mazda Touge Run at Motorhead Hill Climb

There’s nothing like taking a tuned car ‘round the touge run with tires screaming at every corner. In Motorhead magazine’s latest video feature, Takada and his crew took several racing teams for a special hillclimb event at the Mazda Turnpike of Japan’s Hakone Mountain, and the result was just pure fun for us gearheads.

Our favorite run came from professional D1 GP driver Kawabata Masato, who muscled his Toyo Tires R35 Nissan GT-R drift car in a nail-biting fifth gear, full throttle around the frighteningly-high Hakone bridge!

Veteran Super GT and D1 GP star Nob Taniguchi put on a good show in an attempt to one-up Masato in his tuned HKS GT600 GT-R, but we doubt anything could have trumped that epic drift.


Check out the video below for the full recap of the Motorhead Hill Climb. If that Nissan GT-R looked as mighty to you as it did us, come give it an up-close look at Blackburn Nissan.

Nic Hamman Wins Nissan GT Academy Season 4

Nissan GT Academy Season 4Nic Hamman, a Wisconsin native and lifelong racing enthusiast, has won the fourth season of Nissan GT Academy, a program that takes the best virtual Gran Turismo gamers and turns them into real racecar drivers.

Hamman secured his crown in a group of 11 racers on the Silverstone circuit in England, driving a Nissan 370Z on the road course. Far from the world of PlayStation, these racers faced entirely real conditions.

“The whole thing has been an awesome experience for me,” Hamman told Nissan. “I can’t thank everyone at Nissan, Sony PlayStation and Silverstone enough for giving me this opportunity and believing in me.”

It’s programs like Nissan GT Academy that make Nissan such an interactive and forward-thinking company. That attitude is clearly reflected in Nissan’s vehicles, which are always intuitive, innovative, and efficient.

Visit us at Blackburn Nissan to check out one of the many available models we have in store. Congratulations to the Nissan GT Academy Season 4 winner, Nic Hamman!