Why Are Positive Online Reviews So Important?

Florida Fine Cars’ large number of positive online customers reviews are part of the reason the dealership received an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

When it comes to monitoring what consumers say online about Florida Fine Cars, the used car giant has learned the value of great reviews and great customer service, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), one of the country’s most revered online review sites.

While most car dealerships are lucky if they have a dozen or more online reviews posted each month, Florida Fine Cars easily has hundreds of monthly reviews, said Florida Fine Cars Loyalty Manager Ana Mercado. And most of them are positive.

“If people have a bad experience they share it everywhere,” Mercado said.  “Getting them to talk about the positive experiences is important to counteract the negative reviews.”

Florida Fine Cars is a family-owned dealership that’s been in business since 1993. The company has stores in West Palm Beach, Miami, Hollywood and Margate.

In November 2018, the used car dealer received an “A+” rating from the BBB, a distinction that placed the company in the top one percent of all used car dealers in Florida, the BBB said. The A+ rating was largely based on positive customer reviews.

Accreditation signifies “trust and integrity, and an unwavering commitment to consumers” and requires an intense vetting process, according to Donna Mongillo-Dunn, Director of Marketing and Advertising for the BBB in Southeast Florida.

“It’s an achievement. It’s definitely something Florida Fine Cars should be proud of,” Mongillo-Dunn said.BBB Logo (2)

The BBB’s West Palm Beach site is visited by six million viewers seeking information on local businesses so attaining an A+ rating is a very big deal.

But getting positive reviews posted doesn’t happen without a focused effort to get customers to actually write those good reviews.

A customer who’s had a bad consumer experience may post a negative online review as a way of venting their frustration and anger. But a happy and satisfied customer may not feel the need to post an online review because the transaction was positive.

Savvy dealerships like Florida Fine Cars understand that if they don’t encourage happy customers to post about their positive car buying experiences, the only online reviews consumers will come across will be negative ones, even if there are only a few.

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Marketing coordinator Cesar Pentzke says Florida Fine Cars worked to improve customer service for more than a year to receive BBB accreditation.

“We’ve really made a company effort to focus on our customers. We just made a commitment,” said Marketing Coordinator Cesar Pentzke. “It’s really rewarding to finally see BBB accreditation. Just to get that speaks miles. We worked really hard on it for a full year. I really think if you give someone a great experience they are going to want to tell their friends.”

Florida Fine Cars receives a minimum of 400 to 500 new reviews a month on sites like DealerRater, BBB, Google, Edmunds and Yelp. Others come in from from sites like cars.com and CarGurus.com, Mercado said.

“We are trying to make the experience different than any other used car dealership – very unique,” Mercado said. “We are getting a nice amount now and I tackle them all.”

Customers who file online reviews on DealerRater have to go through a process that involves registering before they can post a review. The steps can be a deterrent, but happy customers do it anyway.

Many dealers complain that they can’t get their managers to commit to the online review process, or complain that customers simply don’t want to take the time to write reviews.

Mercado admits it can be a challenge, but noted that Florida Fine Cars’ culture of transparency has contributed greatly to their success in receiving positive online reviews, she said.

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Florida Fine Cars Loyalty Manager Ana Mercado shows off the dealership’s new BBB award with Florida Fine Cars managers.

“We have to be more transparent. These vehicles are pre-owned vehicles and some have been in accidents and we disclose everything. We make sure they don’t leave with any questions unanswered,” Mercado added.

Florida Fine Cars’ reputation as a top notch place to buy used cars continues to grow. Also in 2018, for the second year in a row, the dealership was nationally ranked by Auto Remarketing Magazine as one of the top used car dealers in the country. And for the third year in a row, Florida Fine Cars in 2018 received DealerRater’s Consumer Satisfaction Award for providing top-notch service to customers in the Tri-County area and across the nation.

Dealerships must pay attention to their online reputation because consumers today are tech-savvy and screen companies online before deciding to shop. The more positive reviews a company has, the greater their credibility, Mercado said.

“We are noticing a huge increase in people that are coming to our website to research companies,” Mongillo-Dunn said. She further noted that 65 percent of the consumers who visit the BBB website are doing so from a mobile device.

“This is a technologically savvy consumer,” she added.

Florida Fine Cars doesn’t take its reviews for granted either. Mercado writes personal responses to EVERY SINGLE review that comes in.

Navigating the reviews can be tricky business. The key is always making the customer feel like they have been heard and that their concern is being addressed.

Employees must also always maintain a professional demeanor, too, because someone is ALWAYS watching and listening.

Some customers may rave that their Florida Fine Cars car buying experience was the best in their life. Others may complain about anything from the fuel level in the car to an issue with a floor mat. All have to be answered.

“I tackle the negative reviews by personally calling them myself if I can get the information off the review itself. If not, we respond accordingly and make sure we let them know we tried,” Mercado said. “Other readers are also looking at those negative reviews to see what we do. They could be future customers of ours.”

The way Mercado sees it, answering the BAD and the GOOD just makes sense if a business wants to be perceived as being responsive.

“When I go to a restaurant I actually pull up the reviews and read about it,” Mercado said. “It’s a virtual world these days. You have to stay on top of it all.”

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

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Bugatti Chiron and Tie-Dyed Owner Make Colorful Splash at Car Show

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Tim Schmidt of Ontario throws a “peace”  sign from behind the wheel of his 2018 Bugatti Chiron.

A crowd of admirers surrounded the $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron, videotaping its custom red leather interior, sleek lines and regal presence. The car enthusiasts gushed over its rarity, speculated on its price and wondered about its speed as their smart phones recorded every detail.

The pricey ride was clearly the rock star of the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show, but where was the owner? Where was the rich guy who owned such a decadent set of wheels?

Florida Fine Cars asked some questions and found out!

Tim Schmidt of Ontario was just a stone’s throw away, dressed head to toe in tie dye, wearing fluorescent yellow glasses and sporting a long gray beard and a wicked smile.

“I’m always in tie dye,” Schmidt said grinning, as he took a long drag on an “Export ‘A’ smooth taste” cigarette. “Being a rich person, if I dress up people won’t approach me. But if I dress like this, I’m more approachable. The colors are all about peace, love and happiness.

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Tim Schmidt and his $3.8 million 2018 Bugatti Chiron at a recent Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

It’s a theme reflected in the photos of his Instagram account, which is peppered with pictures of Schmidt and his wife in an array of tie dye apparel, posing with celebrities like Dennis Rodman and Snoop Dogg. And of course, lots of cool cars. His handle is @hapyhipi, with 40,500 followers.

“A lot of people don’t expect a guy like me to get out of a car like that,” Schmidt chuckled. “I’m not above anyone else.”

His Bugatti is a showstopper but Schmidt likes to “drive it like he stole it.” He bought it to enjoy and to date holds a speed record. And he smokes in the car whenever he feels the urge.

“It’s a car,” Schmidt said, as he looked at the Chiron. “I smoke in all my cars. When I’m dead, it won’t make a difference if I smoked in my cars. You gotta enjoy life to the fullest. What do you think I’m going to do? Pull over every 15 minutes?”

 

Bugatti Chiron Captures Speed Record at Titusville Race Track

Schmidt drove the Chiron 261.696 mph on a 2.7-mile stretch in December 2018 at Johnny Boehmer Proving Grounds in Titusville, FL, setting a record for the fastest recorded run.

“I did half a mile faster than they said it was going to go,” Schmidt said, proudly. “It was like someone took an arrow and shot it as smooth as it can be. It was an unbelievable ride.”

Schmidt, a seasonal resident who has a two-bedroom house with a 12-car garage in Fort Lauderdale, owns 35 collectible cars and drives them all. He keeps some cars in Florida and some in Ontario on his 200-acre ranch.

“I buy them to drive them and enjoy them. These (collectors) buy these real expensive cars and park them for four to five years, then take them out for a ride and the warranty has expired,” Schmidt mused. “Why not drive them while they are under warranty? Even if I take one of my cars four or five miles, I am driving it.”

Collector Buys Pricey Cars to Drive, Share and Enjoy

True to his word, he brought seven of his cool cars to the January 2019 Cars and Coffee in Palm Beach Gardens, including a 2014 P-1 McClaren (which belongs to his wife Christine), a 2017 Lamborghini Hurricane, a 2015 Roll Royce Drophead, a 2018 Lamborghini Urus, a 1974 Dune Buggy impi, and a 2015 Lamborghini Aventador. The cars arrived in a head-turning caravan.

The eccentric car collector made his millions working in a family owned business that manufactured plastic car parts for General Motors. The business produced items like windshield wipers, air conditioning ducts, center consoles, dashboards and airbags. The company had locations in Canada, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan.

“My father started the business in 1969. My mom took it over as my dad left the business to her,” he said.

Schmidt loves his cars and he loves talking to car enthusiasts about cars, wherever they are. Recently he drove the Chiron from Fort Lauderdale across Alligator Alley to a small car show at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Many of the college kids marveled that he would actually DRIVE such a pricey vehicle so far in traffic.

“I’m living the dream,” he said laughing. “What else am I supposed to do?”

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#bugattichiron #tiedyecarcollector #floridafinecars

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Whatever Happened to Hood Ornaments?

Flying goose hood ornament on 1931 Ford Model A.

Miniature sculptures once adorned the hoods of a wide variety of motor vehicles, adding charm, character and cachet to the classic cars of yesteryear.

Originally these hood ornaments decorated radiator caps, but after the radiator caps were moved under the hood, these miniature works of art began disappearing for reasons of practicality and safety.

Florida Fine Cars took a dive into the past to look back at some of these beautiful works of hood art and their history.

Hood Ornaments Disappeared Due to Risk, Theft

According to Quora, there were several reasons for their demise:

  • Bad for aerodynamics
  • Projectiles in a crash
  • Harmful to pedestrians
  • Magnets for theft and vandalism

Today’s Rolls Royces are still adorned with the iconic “Spirit of Ecstasy” flying lady, but the hood ornament has been engineered so it retracts into the hood if someone tries to snatch it off.

Another classic hood ornament, the leaping cat that perched atop the hood of Jaguars for years, disappeared in 2005. The classic cat is still present, but in a flat emblem form.

Boyce MotoMeter on radiator cap of 1928 Ford Model A. Hood ornaments originally topped radiator caps but became more decorative after the radiator caps were moved under vehicles’ hoods.

“The Leaper” was retired from the hood as a measure to protect pedestrian safety due to concern over projectiles from motor vehicles that could occur in accidents.

Mercedes three-point star, once a hot item among teen thieves who resold the hood ornaments as status symbols, has been replaced by a flat emblem on the vehicles’ hoods.

“They just cut back on so many of the nice things that make a difference in automobiles,” said car collector and vintage auto buff Ted Vernon, the former star of the now defunct reality show “South Beach Classics.” “Cars are now just stamped out. They are all the same.”

Vernon is the owner of Ted Vernon Specialty Automobiles Inc. in Miami.

On this day Vernon strolls through his car storage warehouse, pointing out examples of the long gone hood ornaments that added elegance to the every day drive. Today many of them sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Hood Ornaments Added Artistry, Beauty and Whimsy to Car Design

The hood ornaments were huge, heavy and most were made of chrome.

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“I have a 1929 Bugatti and the hood ornament is a standing elephant with his trunk in the air,” Vernon said. “The Rolls Royces – if you try to grab the hood ornament (today) it disappears.”

He said Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy flying lady hood ornament is “sacred” to the brand.

“You have to keep it,” Vernon said.

Several classics in his warehouse are old enough to have hood ornaments atop their radiator caps, which were located on the front of the vehicles’ hoods.

The hood ornament doubled as a radiator thermometer, and displayed a temperature gauge so the driver could make sure his engine wasn’t overheating.

The Boyce MotoMeter on the Ford 1929 Model A  was both elegant and functional, as an example.

“It was set in the radiator cap. If it turned red, you knew you had a problem,” Vernon chuckled.

The old hood ornaments added a style and character that has disappeared from modern cars, he noted.

“It’s sad. They have lost their personality. I used to wait as a kid until the first new cars came out every year. They were all designed differently. They were works of art back in the 1950s,” Vernon recalled. “They run better now and the technology is better but they are not fun to be in anymore.”

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#hoodornaments #floridafinecars #usedcars #classics

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Used Hybrids Save Fuel, Money and the Environment

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2015 used Toyota Prius C3 costs $12,199 at Florida Fine Cars.

Whether it’s the pinch of rising gas prices, an increased commute to work or simply the need to cut living expenses, when you’re shopping for a used car, consider an economical pre-owned hybrid.

Going green can save you money and protect the environment, and at Florida Fine Cars, there are many excellent used hybrids to choose from in our huge online inventory of 1,700 used cars.

A hybrid is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle, most commonly an internal combustion engine and one or two electric motors. The cars are fuel-effecient and excellent on mileage.

FFC Logo New CarIf you’ve never considered a pre-owned hybrid, stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check one out. Nearly every make of automobile is producing one and we have many used hybrids available right now.

Florida Fine Cars Offers a Wide Variety of Used Hybrids at Low Prices

According to edmunds.com, more than 2.1 million conventional hybrids have been sold in the United States since the first two-seat Honda Insight hybrid was produced in 1999.

Because they combine electric drive with gasoline engines, hybrids have most of the same mechanical parts and issues that traditional cars and trucks have, Edmunds notes.

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2015 used Honda Accord Hybrid costs $14,898 at Florida Fine Cars.

And the growing used hybrid market is attracting more and more motorists who yearn for fuel-effeciency without the higher pricetag of a brand new hybrid.

Kelly Blue Book rates the following vehicles as the top 10 hybrids for 2018: Chrysler Pacifica hybrid; the Volvo XC60; Volvo  S90; Porsche Panamera; Kia Niro; Kia Niro Plug-in; Honda Clarity Plug-in; Toyota Prius C; Audi A3 Sportback e-tron; and Lexus GS. Edmunds rates the best-selling hybrids as the Toyota Camry, Prius and Avalon; the Ford Fusion; the Honda Accord and the Kia Optima.

And buying any of these vehicles used makes them more affordable and more sensible than ever.

With dozens of these highly-sought after used hybrids to choose from in a world that needs to make greater efforts to “go green,” Florida Fine Cars in West Palm Beach, Margate, Hollywood and Miami offers a broad selection of the best models.

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2015 used Ford Fusion costs $15,799 at Florida Fine Cars.

Stop in at Florida Fine Cars today and see for yourself why we are rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau!

These pre-owned hybrids are just some of the incredible deals Florida Fine Cars has available every day. Browse our impressive online inventory of 1,700 used cars and see how much money you can save. The car of your dreams is just a mouse click away. And “going green” is easier and cheaper than you ever imagined when you shop for your pre-owned hybrid.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and drive home the perfect used hybrid.

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Kids’ Miniature Rides Turn Heads at Popular Car Show

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Sidney Vallon, owner of Palm Beach Classics and founder of MiniMeCars&Coffee, kneels beside a row of batter-powered minis.

NORTH PALM BEACH – Vanessa Mohan watched closely as her daughter Lilli maneuvered around the parking lot at Palm Beach Outlets Mall behind the wheel of a gleaming white Porsche.

The 3-year-old drove like a pro as she whizzed through a cordoned-off driving course as the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show kicked into full swing. The miniature car she was driving didn’t growl like . the life-size Porsches but the 12-volt battery that powered her ride still had a lot of pep.The posse of miniature cars spread across a cordoned-off driving course was  causing a stir.

Welcome to Mini-Me Cars & Coffee, where little kids get to drive cool cars and mimic the “big kids” who show off their pricey toys each month at the popular car show at Palm Beach Outlets Mall. Florida Fine Cars stopped by the driving course to find out more.

“This is her second time,” her mother said smiling. “I like it. It’s something for her to do.”

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Vanessa Mohan with her son Liam at the mini course at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

Mohan’s husband Richie is a car enthusiast who signed Lilli up for the Mini Me program as soon as he saw the kiddie driving course and the lineup of miniature electric cars. Lilli had her own mini, so they brought it to the car show so she could participate.

Organizer Sidney Vallon, owner of Palm Beach Classics, came up with the idea because so many little kids attend the huge car show with their parents. Children ages one to five can participate in the program using their own mini or by renting one he provides.

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“We wanted to make it something fun for them and now they can be behind the wheel,” said Vallon, a father of two. “Every month is bigger and better.”

Mohan and her husband spent about $300 on their daughter’s Moderno Kids miniature electric car, which she uses all the time.

miniinstagram.png“The kids enjoy it, the parents enjoy it,” said Mohan, who had belted her 7-month-old son Liam into her daughter’s mini and was moving it back-and-forth to make him giggle.

Christina Martinez, a board member for MiniMe Cars & Coffee, said most parents bring their children’s own minis so they can drive the mock driving course but some buy miniature vehicles on the spot.

For a $70 annual membership, participants receive an official t-shirt, a MiniMe drivers license, and unlimited use of the driving course.

“We have a police escort and they do a parade around the parking lot,” Martinez said. “We also play games with them in the parking lot afterwards.”

The MiniMe parade starts at 9 a.m. at each Cars & Coffee event and draws a crowd.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,700 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

#floridafinecars #minime #coolrides

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Florida Fine Cars Earns “A+” Rating From Better Business Bureau

BBB Logo (2)WEST PALM BEACH – Family-owned, independent used car dealer Florida Fine Cars has received an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a distinction that places the company in the top one percent of all used car dealers in Florida, the BBB said.

Accreditation signifies “trust and integrity, and an unwavering commitment to consumers” and requires an intense vetting process, according to Donna Mongillo-Dunn, Director of Marketing and Advertising for the BBB in Southeast Florida.

“It’s an achievement. It’s definitely something Florida Fine Cars should be proud of,” Mongillo-Dunn said. The BBB issued the coveted rating in November 2018.

Florida Fine Cars has stores in West Palm Beach, Miami, Hollywood and Margate. The company has been in business since 1993.

Customers who shop at a business with a top BBB rating have the added assurance that the business operates with good ethics.

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Florida Fine Cars shared the news in an Instagram post.

According to the BBB website, “If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB accredited businesses pay a fee for accreditation review and monitoring for continued compliance and for support of BBB services to the public,” the website states.

BBB Rating Signifies Transparency, Honesty and Great Customer Service

Businesses that have earned a BBB rating display the logo on their website so customers know their business practices have been reviewed and rated.

“It’s a pretty intense vetting process in order to become accredited. It includes background searches, the proper licensing, and a review of their social media. You also can’t have too many complaints depending on size of the company,” Mongillo-Dunn said.

Businesses that choose to be rated by the BBB understand that transparency and honesty are key to success and are confident that what they offer will stand up to review, she said.

BBB-rated organizations agree to follow these standards:

  • Build trust
  • Advertise honestly
  • Tell the truth
  • Be transparent
  • Honor promises
  • Be responsive
  • Safeguard privacy
  • Embody integrity

“The most important thing the BBB can offer is what I would call validation-trust ethics. You cannot be part of the BBB and be a sleazy company,” she said. “It means that this company has been properly vetted. This company is following the BBB standards for accreditation and the consumer has place to go to if the business does not behave the way they are supposed to behave and say, ‘I need help.’”

Customers Prefer to Shop at BBB-Rated Businesses, Study Shows

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 A recent consumer survey by the BBB showed that customers searching for used cars preferred to read a BBB profile of business instead of referring to the business’ own website profile.

“Overwhelmingly they wanted to come to the profile we had on file, not the business’s website,” Mongillo-Dunn noted. “They want to go to a neutral website where they see what the BBB has to say about the business, not what the business has to say about themselves.”

2018DealerratercustomersatisThe “A+” BBB rating is Florida Fine Cars most RECENT accolade. Also this year, for the second year in a row, the family owned dealership was nationally ranked by Auto Remarketing Magazine as one of the top used car dealers in the country. Earlier this year, for the third year in a row, Florida Fine Cars also received DealerRater’s Consumer Satisfaction Award for providing top-notch service to customers in the Tri-County area and across the nation.

Mongillo-Dunn said many used car dealers don’t apply for a BBB rating because they know the review process is so intense.

“They are afraid to come forward. A lot of companies are not so transparent and don’t want to be under the watchful eye of the BBB,” she said. “It’s a commitment they are making in their business that they are not allowed to veer from and it’s important for consumers.”

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today, find the perfect ride and drive home your dream car!

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Drivers Stay Focused With “Head Up Display”

One of the coolest driving innovations to help a driver keep his eyes on the road is the “head up display,” a feature that makes driving safer by projecting key information on the windshield.

Head up display is a transparent image projected onto the vehicle’s windshield with vital information like mph.

The system can display information like miles per hour, cruise control speed and safety features like lane departure warning and forward obstruction warning.

The transparent display provides information to drivers without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. The origin of the name stems from a pilot being able to view information with their head positioned “up” and looking forward, instead of angled down looking at lower instruments.

Head Up Displays Evolved from Aviation

First patented by the Royal Air Force during World War II, the head up display enabled the de Havilland Mosquito to fly faster and easier at night, said Road and Track magazine.

Modified for cars, a head up display projects a transparent image on the vehicle’s windshield showing the kind of information the driver would normally get off the vehicle’s dashboard. The virtual image displayed on the windshield appears to be floating around the front edge of the hood.

The information is displayed in the driver’s line of sight so the driver doesn’t have to look away from the road to find out what he or she needs to know.

Head up display shows traffic patterns, miles per hour and road markings.

Premium marques like Audi and BMW are all offering them. But head up displays are also trickling down into the mainstream. They can also be useful in conditions of bad visibility, like fog, because they’re usually connected to systems that use radar and infra-red sensors, so the driver can tell where the road markings are, according to Autobytel.

Vehicles with built-in head-up displays may have a special film or optics-enhancing plastic on the windshield glass to prevent image distortion or secondary reflection.

Different systems may display different functions. For example, the Lexus system can show radio stations and fuel usage while the Cadillac system and several others project an impossible-to-ignore red warning when the forward collision alert activates.

Used cars brands that include the the head up display include certain Buicks, Chevrolets, numerous BMW models, Ford Shelbys, Toyota Prius, certain Volvos, Mazdas, Jaguars, Maseratis and Mini Coopers, to name a few.

Some car experts  believe the feature will eventually become as standard as Bluetooth.

Head Up Apps are an Alternative to Factory Installation

If your vehicle doesn’t have head up technology, you can always download a free app that does pretty much the same thing at no cost, according to HowtoGeek.com.

The apps work by “brightly displaying a reverse image of your speed (tracked through the phone’s internal GPS) on the windshield when the phone is mounted on top of the dashboard itself,” HowtoGeek.com reports. Your windshield then reflects this image back to you with any information the app collects.

There are also third-party head up displays, which work by linking to either your phone’s internal GPS or finding a signal of their own from a satellite. The device then estimates how fast your car is going at any given time, and displays the information back on the windshield. The information and display are less sophisticated.

Florida Fine Cars Makes Used Car Shopping Easy

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our huge selection of quality used cars at tiny prices!

#headup #flordafinecars #eyesontheroad

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Car Show is Backdrop for Photography Class

PALM BEACH GARDENS – Taking GOOD photos of cars is a lot trickier than it seems.

Photo by Maylon Rodriguez

Just ask the students in Isidro Pentzke’s photography class at the Fine Arts Academy at Wellington High School. Pentzke recently took them to the Cars and Coffee Palm Beach car show to take auto pictures. They found out just how challenging it can be and shared their thoughts with Florida Fine Cars:

“There’s a lot of things with cars. They reflect a lot of light so it messes up the photos,” confessed Maylon Rodriguez, 15, who was taking pictures with a Nikon D-3400 at the crowded car show. “It’s my first time taking pictures of cars. A lot of the time you have to step back a bit and study the scene and study what you have to work with. It’s an enlightening experience.”

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Students from Wellington High School pose with teacher Isidro Pentzke and Florida Fine Cars employees at Cars and Coffee Palm Beach.

Photographing Cars Poses Tricky Challenges

The sun reflects off just about every surface on a car. It’s hard to get the whole car in one frame. And sometimes when you do, it still looks wrong. Those are a few of the things the students discovered, and exactly the type of experiences Pentzke wanted his photography students to have. His goal was to get them thinking instead of relying on the camera to do all the work.

“The biggest thing I wanted was to get them out of that program mode and let them learn about light,” Pentzke said.

 

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Pentzke is a Wellington High School alumni with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Lesley University in Boston. He came back to the high school he attended to teach students what he loved.

But getting the right equipment to teach kids photography is expensive. So Pentzke had to be creative. He applied for and received approximately $80,000 in grant money, and his students raised about $10,000 selling cookie dough and candy. He was able to equip his students with state-of-the-art equipment.

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Isidro Pentzke talks to his students about photography at a Cars and Coffee car show.

Pentzke purchased 15 new Nikon cameras with lenses, along with new three top notch printers and 28 new laptop computers. His students were able to get certified to use Photoshop.

“We bus in a lot of kids who may not be able to afford a camera that allows us to do what we teach. I wrote a proposal and told the school this isn’t a theory class, this is a hands-on class,” Pentzke said.

Pentzke was thrilled with the photos his students shot at the Cars and Coffee car show. He challenged the students to get him 10 really good shots each and they delivered.

“They did really well,” Pentzke said.

Students Embrace Hands-On Learning in Outdoor Setting

Taking his photography students OUT of the classroom is part of learning how to capture real life in images, he noted.

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Wellington HS photo students pose with Florida Fine Cars employees at Cars and Coffee Palm.

“We try to get at least once a month different locations. The reason I take them out there is to get them out there in the real world. In my classroom everything is controlled but when we go into the world everything changes,” Pentzke said. “The clouds are one way or the light on the cars is changing. They have to figure out how am I going to meter this car, where is the light coming from and how am I going to frame this car?”

When Rodriguez looked at the photos he had taken, he was happy.

“I was actually pretty impressed with how I did taking pictures of the cars. I did better than I thought I actually did,” Rodriguez said. “The challenge I ran into was pretty much the lighting. A lot of the light was reflecting off the cars and there were a lot of reflections with people in them. I was proud of how detailed they came out and the different angles.”

Photo by Angelina Guadagna

Senior Angelina Guadagna, 17, a car buff who loves to shoot pictures of cars, had a blast finding out what she could do with a camera at the car show.

“I love cars and think they photograph incredibly well. I’ve been studying photography about six years and have gone to multiple different car shows,” said Guadagna, who uses a Sony II 35mm camera. “This is one of the biggest and it’s great being out here with all these different cars and being able to challenge yourself to take pictures of them. It’s tons of fun.”

Photo by Stephanie Monaco

Guadagna was pleased with her photos.

“It was a beautiful day out so the sun provided great lighting. The only issue I ran into was that people turned up in the background,” she said. She said Pentzke encourages his students to come up with new ideas for subject matter and locations for taking photos.

“He really lets us express our creativity,” Guadagna said.

Photography student Stephanie Monaco, 16, a junior, said it was a learning experience shooting cars.

Photo by David Sanchez

“It’s really cool. I like the old cars. My dad’s really into those so I have an appreciation for that too,” Monaco said.

Student David Sanchez, 17, also a junior, said the car show was a great opportunity to practice photography.

“I’m just here to get better at what I do,” Sanchez said. “If you’re not learning something new about photography you’re really not a photographer. I just enjoy doing this. I love my teacher. He’s really helped me to improve.”

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and find the perfect ride at the perfect price.

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What to Do if You’re in an Auto Accident

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Auto crashes can be scary and stressful, making it easy to forget what information you need to gather.

Auto accidents can be frightening and stressful and if you’re involved in one, it’s easy to forget what to do. Florida Fine Cars has compiled some important tips for drivers based on advice from major insurers State Farm, Geico and Travelers.

First and foremost, don’t panic. Accidents are frightening but they can happen to anyone. Keep calm and take a deep breath. There are many actions you NEED to take so it’s essential you stay calm.

  1. Always stop your vehicle. Even if you don’t think there is any damage. Driving away from the scene of an accident can get you into big trouble with the law.
  2. Check on all drivers and passengers. Get medical attention for anyone who is hurt and don’t move anyone who appears to have a neck or back injury.
  3. Call the police if there is significant vehicle damage and get the name and badge numbers of the officers who respond.
  4. Limit discussion of the accident with the other party and don’t admit to any fault or liability. Discuss the accident with your insurance representative, medical professionals and the police only.
  5. Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident. It is also important to obtain the name and phone number of the insurance company and policy number for all involved in the crash as well as the make and model of other involved vehicles. Jot down the license plate numbers of other involved vehicles as well.
  6. Contact your insurance company’s emergency claims number and let them know what happened. Call them from the scene of the accident if possible.
  7. Write down the date and time of the accident, the address, the road you were on and the direction you were traveling and the direction the other car or cars were traveling. Make notations of any relevant driving conditions.
  8. Take pictures if at all possible for your records.
  9. Do NOT admit fault. Simply report the facts.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Great Rides and Tiny Prices

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and drive home the used car of your dreams.

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Florida Fine Cars Employee Rocks Warped Tour With Punk Band

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Cesar “Punski,” singer/songwriter/guitarist and Florida Fine Cars marketing coordinator, performs with Grounds.

WEST PALM BEACH – When the Vans Warped Tour played its final concert in August in West Palm Beach, Florida Fine Cars was represented on stage.

But it wasn’t with cool cars. Instead, Florida Fine Cars marketing coordinator Cesar Pentzke was  rocking out: he’s the singer and guitar player for a punk band called Grounds. He performed on the Korner stage of the huge musical festival on August 5th, where he goes by the name “Cesar Punski”.

His bandmates included Seth Hochstadt, drums; William “Parker” Rockenstien, guitarist; and Reggie Miller, bass and backing vocals.

“I’m a hooligan in the best way,” joked Pentzke, who graduated from Full Sail University with an associate’s degree in recording arts and a bachelor of science in entertainment business.

“I’m a hard core punk rock youth and I live my dreams. I knew this is what I was going to be doing when I was a lot younger.”

Love of Music is Rooted in Childhood and Family Ties

He’s been making music since age 11 when he picked up his dad’s guitar. He also plays trumpet, trombone and drums.

The Warped Tour is a traveling rock festival that has toured the United States annually each summer since 1995. It is the largest traveling music festival in the United States, and is the longest-running touring music festival in North America.

Music is Pentzke’s love and he always makes time for it.

“I have a job to make money. I play music for my soul,” said Pentzke, who is the songwriter for Grounds. “People are in bands because they want to be in a band. Music is a hobby, it’s not a job.”

Pentzke became the marketing coordinator for Florida Fine Cars nearly two years ago. He’s the creative force behind all the cool videos and social media Florida Fine Cars uses to promote its cars and customer service.

But his roots always take him back to punk rock.

Born in San Francisco, Pentzke grew up in Royal Palm Beach, Fl and graduated from Wellington High School. He came from a family of high achievers who love to make music: his dad is a musician and a doctor; his mom sings and is a microbiologist; his paternal grandfather was a composer and his maternal grandfather, a lawyer. His brother teaches high school photography and his sister is a lawyer.

Expectations for Pentzke were high.

“I was either going to go to University of Florida and be a doctor, or go to Orlando and be a punk rocker,” he recalled. “I chose to be a punk rocker.”

He found his place with Grounds in December 2015.

The band released its first album “The Struggle EP” in 2016 with Detres Entertainment Group. They released their second album, “Screen Tested; Mother Approved,” with Takeover Records — on October 13, 2017.  It was Friday the 13th.

Punk Rock’s Raw Emotion Give the Music an Edge

Pentzke loves the raw, reckless emotion associated with punk rock. The mohawk hair styles, the studded leather jackets, the spiked belts. The moshe pits. It all fits together.

“What I first liked about punk rock is that it is dangerous,” said Pentzke, whose arms and legs are covered in tattoos. “Punk music was fast-paced. People would slam each other at concerts. It was the edge I was attracted to. The idea of being on stage and seeing the mosh pit makes me feel like I am doing a great job.”

Unpredictability is part of a punk rock show’s allure, he said.

“Anything can happen. You never know what is going to happen. Not in a bad way – people like to have fun and it’s really cool to travel around and see what people do,” he added.

For years, Pentzke toured Florida and the United States, performing at different clubs, bars and other venues. He had just finished a 30 to 40 day tour when he was hired by Florida Fine Cars.

He loves the fact that his co-workers at Florida Fine Cars are supportive and attend his local performances whenever they can.

“It’s really cool having that much support. To have people care about what you are doing and back you up,” Pentzke said.

Shop Florida Fine Cars Four Locations for Your Dream Car

Florida Fine Cars offers more than 1,500 quality used cars priced thousands below retail at its four locations combined. Florida Fine Cars dealerships are conveniently located in West Palm Beach just north of Palm Beach International Airport and just off Florida’s Turnpike, and in MargateHollywood and Miami.

Used car shopping has never been so easy. Stop by Florida Fine Cars today and check out our tiny prices and huge selection.

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#warpedtour #grounds #cesarpunski