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    A 70-Year-Old Ultimate Fighter!

    This Shihan will teach you the meaning of the word "respect"! John Lehner, a guest at the dealership, will be the first to tell you his life has had some texture. Through his trials, he has learned the value of discipline, self-development, restraint, and self-defense.

    At the spry age of 70, John continues to train in martial arts several times a week. He operates South Valley Oyama Karate school in San Jose, but says he prefers full-contact, mixed martial arts because, in his words, "It is more true-to-life."

    Here's a clip of John going through the motions of a routine:

    Today, John paid us a visit, and mentioned he had a video of a ninja version of William Tell knocking gourds out of someone's mouth and hands, whirling nunchucks at 120 miles-per-hour. Naturally, I feel compelled to share that video with you:

    John would also like to kindly remind us, "Remember breaking is a test of a student's capacity to break objects such as wooden boards, bricks to demonstrate technique, to toughen the striking surfaces of the body and to demonstrate the power and correct application of force. Some are spectacular feats!"

    We hope to host John and his crew for a self-defense seminar at the dealership sometime soon, so please let us know if you would be interested in attending such an event.


    Understated, Perhaps Underappreciated

    Today we celebrate an enduring design: the first generation Lexus SC300/SC400/Toyota Soarer. A car that, to this day, looks like no other on the road. That presence is no coincidence.

    Uncommon and unassuming shapes inspired the Lexus designers at the Calty Design Studio in Newport Beach, California. Whereas the architecture for most new car designs is blueprinted with pen and paper, the SC was borne from fluid shapes, moulded using plaster-filled balloons. These forms were morphed into the sculpture that eventually became the car's sheet metal, using three-dimensional software in an era when all other manufacturers were married to the two-dimensional programs of yore.

    The SC synthesizes Japanese sensibility and impeccable build quality with Californian joie de vivre. One can't help but experience the sensations associated with streamlined, traditional, classic sports cars in the prewar tradition when encountering the car.

    LIFE Magazine highlights the role of curves in emotional car design in their photographic series, "In Praise of Cars With Real Curves." This image depicts the definitively voluptuous post-war sportster, the 300SL "Gullwing", a spiritual predecessor to the SC:

    [Via LIFE] Full gallery available here.

    Let's take it back to our roots; here's the original dealer video from the launch of the original, iconic, and enduring Lexus SC:


    Another Lexus Hybrid with Amazing Fuel Economy

    For car enthusiasts looking for the next luxury vehicle with hybrid capabilities, check out the new CT 200h Compact in early 2011.  Word has it, this vehicle will lead the luxury class in fuel economy! This Treehugger article brings even more hype to this trend-setting new model.

    A New Trend? 

    Let's hope this is the beginning of a trend in the US. Some people will always spend more for luxury features, so they should have low-emission and fuel-efficient choices. This seems to work quite well for Europe (though to get to the same point in the US, fuel is going to have to be more expensive).

    [Via Treehugger]


    Employee Wellness

    Today, we invited Susan Taylor from Farm Fresh 2 You to visit us at both of our locations. We had been planning this green employee wellness/appreciation event in honor of St. Patrick's Day for over a month, and even Roxanne and I were amazed with it's success!

    We encourage healthy eating habits as a component of our employee wellness program. It has been a pleasure to observe members of our team start to approach healthly living with enthusiasm. The thrill of making these positive changes together is especially strong when we see friends and family join us in doing so. 

    Farm Fresh 2 You is a family-owned farm in California's Capay Valley. They sell organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the Bay Area, from their store in San Francisco's Ferry Building, and directly to your door. Nearly all of the produce is picked the day before you receive it. We are honored to be San Jose's drop-off point for Farm Fresh 2 You, and have arranged a special rate for our guests and employees who elect to receive their orders at our locations.

    Rather than telling you how good their apples taste, I'd rather show you a sneak peak of our event. Here's Susan Taylor explaining everything herself:


    Wash your pooch!

    You've got dogs? We would like to wash those dogs. So please bring them with you to our service center on April 12th for free dog grooming services with any paid car service, compliments of us.

    You should call now to book your appointment because spots are limited and filling quickly. Also, if you have any other ideas for future Customer Appreciation events, please let us know.

    Here's the flyer we've posted on Yelp and in our electronic newsletter. Here and there are the only places you'll get to see Penny's (Monika Slezak's dog) pretty face!