On Wednesday, May 13th 2015, Cool Rides Online Champion Curt Kimmel arrived in Ocean City, MD to represent Gold Eagle products and Cool Rides Online. Upon his arrival to the Ocean City Convention Center parking lot, it appeared that a mini-car show was already in progress. Many car and truck owners were showing off their “cool rides” even before the official start of the event on the 14th! After arriving, an even official showed him to the location of the Cool Rides Online/Gold Eagle booth where he would be stationed for the next few days.
One thing that never changes in Ocean City is the hot rods that cruise up and down Coastal Highway. Spectators line the parking lots and curbs in anticipation for “burnouts” and the roar and rumble of the “blown” engines that fly by. Young and old gather to show off their “wheels” and the smell of burning rubber fills the air. The Ocean City Police are also on hand to deter anyone from going too far, safety is a main concern for these events and the drivers are advised that traffic laws will be strictly enforced.
The first night was just a taste of what was to come. Cruisin’ Ocean City brings thousands of people together every year. Old friends are reunited and new friendships are developed with one thing in common: the love for hot, fast machines.
On Thursday morning, Kimmel set up the “Cool Rides Online” table and supplies. The CRO booth was situated next to a Maryland State Trooper who had his newly completed 1967 Ford Galaxie Cruiser, complete with authentic radar, radio, police equipment and “bubble gum” red light on top. Alongside of the “replica” was a current State Police Cruiser. The trooper was a hit with the majority of the crowd. One of the highlights for Kimmel was when the trooper had people walk a white line (as in a sobriety test). After they completed this task, he had them don goggles that gave the effect of being intoxicated. Participants staggered, reached out to support themselves, or failed to find the white line entirely. Kimmel felt that it was an effective training aid which definitely opened the eyes of those who attempted to pass the test.
The Ocean City Convention Center parking lot continued to fill up with amazing hot rods as the hours passed. As a representative for Cool Rides Online and Gold Eagle products, Kimmel greeted several participants and provided them with samples of 303® Aerospace Protectant and STA-BIL® Fuel Stabilizer. Many of the people were already familiar with STA-BIL products but the 303® and Cool Rides Online were new to them. So, Kimmel provided them with business cards providing instructions on how to get to the website.
While working the Cool Rides Online booth, Kimmel noticed a friend of his from the military who had a nice Dodge Charger that had work done at Petty’s Garage (Richard Petty’s speed shop) a year or so ago. He was also approached by a member of a car club in Virginia who asked Kimmel for several CRO business cards so he could share them with his fellow car club members.
On Friday, Kimmel continued giving away samples of Gold Eagle products and sharing information with the participants and guests about the best online car show, “Cool Rides Online”. Again, of the number of people who stopped by the booth, several were already familiar with STA-BIL® Products. Very few had ever heard of 303® Aerospace Protectant so Kimmel happily provided samples and encouraged them to try it out on their vehicles. One thing that Kimmel noticed was that, when the booth was manned, people were very polite in asking for a free pen, decal, or sample. When the booth was unattended, however, he noticed people grabbing handfuls of free product. He figured that they were accumulating pens for the next school year or planning on sharing with their friends. Kimmel even witnessed one woman putting handfuls of STA-BIL® pens into her purse. So, he made sure to keep a close watch on the booth so that other guests didn’t get too “overenthusiastic” about the free samples he had to offer.
Another highlight was Tom Wopat, “Luke Duke”, from the “Dukes of Hazzard” fame being featured. People lined up for autographs and “photo ops” at the Convention Center and Tom was also promoting his CDs. Kimmel counted himself among the fans who took advantage of this opportunity. The following day, Tom was scheduled to head down to the Ocean City Inlet to meet and greet the guests and participants there.
In the parking lot, Kimmel found a “General Lee” replica and the owner showed him all the different autographs of the stars who were associated with the show that signed his trunk!
Ocean City, Maryland is known for its windy days and Saturday was no different. The day started out very cool in the morning and got considerably hotter as the sun rose in the sky. Toward the afternoon, the wind started picking up and, with it, the Cool Rides Online table of supplies and samples. Kimmel found himself and some passers-by scrambling the parking lot trying to retrieve all the decals, gift cards, and samples that were sent into the wind.
Kimmel met one promoter for an indoor show in Maryland insisted that Gold Eagle attend his show. He provided Kimmel with a flyer which he will pass on. Kimmel took that as another positive opportunity to educate car and truck enthusiasts about what Cool Rides Online is all about.
Christie Brimberry from “Gas Monkey Garage” was the celebrity on hand at the Convention Center that day. People lined up to meet her and Kimmel asked her if the show was as crazy as it seemed. She replied that it was “even crazier”. The 1960 Gas Monkey Bel Air was on display in the ballroom of the Convention Center.
During the three days that he was in the Convention Center parking lot, Kimmel also noticed several young girls and boys touting trophies of their own. He soon learned that they had competed in remote control car races inside. To Kimmel, there is nothing better than having a venue that caters to both young and old, male and female. For the spouses that may not be interested in the “cool rides”, there were even vendors on hand selling jewelry, clothing, and accessories.
As day three came to a close Kimmel felt enthused that Gold Eagle/Cool Rides Online’s presence at the show would bring additional “Cool Riders” to the website and generate more purchases of Gold Eagle’s products at the registers. There was one day left!
Sunday morning was rainy and Kimmel ventured down to the Inlet parking lot where the majority of hot rods, classics, and antique cars were parked and where the major sponsors of the event were located. The Inlet parking lot is also the place where the cars and trucks end up after cursing down the boardwalk. Since he had packed up his booth the previous day, Kimmel wandered around the parking lot talking to the participants and telling them about Cool Rides Online.
As he approached a dark grey, 1954 Cadillac, the owner asked, “Where did you get that hat?” (Kimmel was wearing his Cool Rides Online baseball cap). Kimmel told him that he represented Cool Rides Online. The man then replied, “I am in the calendar,” and reached into the interior of his “cool ride” and showed Kimmel that his car on the Cool Rides Online Calendar for the month of November. He then went on to tell Kimmel about all the free products and hats that he received for winning “Car of the Week”, “Car of the Month”, etc. As he had driven to the inlet that morning, that same grey Cadillac had been beside Kimmel but he had not known that he was Cool Rides Online family! Rodney Updegrave, the owner of this great looking car, was proof positive of what CRO is all about!
Kimmel had a great five days Cruisin’ Ocean City as a representative of Cool Rides Online. He was given an opportunity to tell the thousands of car and truck enthusiasts how they could continuously show off their “cool rides” on the internet at Coolridesonline.com and receive great products and recognition from Gold Eagle. Overall, Kimmel gave STA-BIL®, Cool Rides Online, and 303® Products great exposure!
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