I attended my first Heels and Wheels event where the concept is to celebrate women’s enthusiasm for cars and to highlight the growing presence of women in all areas relating to cars. This event was about 3 days long and we stayed at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful hotel that overlooked the ocean and the Santa Monica Pier.
A variety of women were in attendance, those whose love for cars ranged from simply driving them, to restoring them, to the engineering of the transmissions.
There was a female representative present from every manufacturer of the vehicles sent for us to test drive and they gave an overview of each car. There were also several presentations; I listened to a female engineer from FCA give a presentation on her design of the power train for the Chrysler Pacifica and a woman from Hagerty spoke about farm tractors and old cars she fully restored. I met a lot of female journalists whose knowledge of cars was impressive.
The line up of vehicles that were brought was also impressive; there was a wide variety, from the 2019 Aston Martin Superleggera DBS to a 1966 Ford Mustang. The loop where we test drove these cars was in Santa Monica on the Pacific Coast Highway.
The first vehicle I drove was the 1966 Ford Mustang and it was so fun to drive, it brought back many memories of having to pump the brake, the play in the wheel, the old style stereo and many other old school features. There is a company called Driveshare by Hagerty and the concept is the same as Airbnb but with cars and this ‘66 mustang was from that company.
I drove the Aston Martin Superleggera DBS and gained a whole new level of respect for the power that car holds; 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds and can literally knock the wind out of you! It was beautiful inside and out, hugged the road, had a sport+ mode and turned some heads. This beast has a v12 twin-turbo, with 715 HP and 663 torque. The price tag on this starts at 303,000 and worth every penny! A fun fact I learned about the material used in the aston martin is that the animals that the leather is harvested from are kept in a field where there are no barbed wires and there are no mosquitoes! Each car is also assigned one seamstress that does all the stitching for that car.
One of the cars that impressed me was the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace. This car had a sport+ mode and I felt in control even at high speeds. The ride was smooth with a V8 engine 8 speed, 502 torque and 550 HP , the interior was gorgeous with seats that seemed to hug your body. It also carries a reasonable price tag starting at 79,990.
Already owning a GMC, of course I couldn’t wait to drive the new 2019 GMC Sierra Denali, it was an impressive truck that offered six functions and positions for loading solutions or a standing workstation. Under the hood is a 5.3L V* VVT DI and 420 HP. Starting price on this truck is 67,000. It has a longer wheelbase and three inches more rear legroom that previous model.
I also got the opportunity to check out:
2019 Buick Enclave Future
- 3.6L DOHC with direct injection
- Nine speed
- 310 HP
- 266 Torque
- Great fuel economy- 18/26/21
- Starting at 54,495
2019 Cadillac XT4
- 2.0 Turbo charged, direct injection, auto stop/start
- Hydra-Matic, 9 speed
- 237 HP
- 258 Torque
- Fuel economy 24/30
- Starting at 34,795
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
- LT5 6.2L Supercharged V8 with dual fuel system
- 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match 8-speed paddle-shift automatic
- 755 HP
- 715 Torque
- fuel economy manual 13/19 automatic 12/20
- Starting at 121,995
2019 Infinity Q60 Red Sport 400
- 3.0 V6
- 7-speed automatic
- 400 HP
- 350 Torque
- Fuel economy 19/21/26
- Starting at 56,900
2020 Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic HSE
- Mild-Hybrid 2.0L Turbocharged inline four cylinder
- 9-speed automatic
- 296 HP
- 295 Torque
- Fuel economy 21/26/23
- Starting at 55,800
2019 Dodge Durango SRT
- 392 cubic inch HEMI V8
- TorqueFlite 8 speed Automatic
- 475 HP
- 470 Torque
- Fuel economy 15/13/19
- Starting at 62,995
The event was very organized and stayed on schedule with presentations and drive time. There was a plethora of representatives and information shared on the cars and new things in production. Overall I had an excellent time at this event and I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet, listen and learn from all these knowledgable women.