About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, May 25, 2018

May 26: Jag's hot rod suv

Quiz time........who was the first company to field a hot rod suv? These days there are many high powered, big, almost lumbering suvs in the market. Mercedes, Audi, Jeep, BMW, Range Rover and several others have excited their buyers with high horsepower sport utes, that will out run just about any sportscar from the recent past. I think that maybe Jeep was the first to do it, but I stand to be corrected. Makes no matter, but now Jaguar has joined the fray with the performance F-Pace SVR.......



Well, not actually Jaguar, but a company that has been associated with them since 1954, Lister. Although an independent enterprise, Lister has been modifying and racing Jags for years. They also work their black magic on the F-Type, the Lister Thunder, which to my mind is a much better use of their resources, but who am I to judge?


Lister has also produced their own cars and a few years ago did a commemorative redo of one of their old race cars. Limited to ten cars at a million bucks US per, they would make yours race ready or something for the street (as if).....


This is the Knobbly Stirling Moss edition. Knobbly? Named for all the bulges. Strange, but true. This is a modern day replica of a car Moss drove to victory so long ago (60 years)........


Over the years, Lister has modified many other Jags and also tried to have success with their own cars. Now this is where I step in with a pithy comment about them staying with their strengths. Strengths like performance and staying away from weaknesses like design. Need proof?


Hands up those of you who think they might have been able to improve on this Lister Storm (yet another meteorological reference). Or how about the visual massaging they did with the XJS........


Compare that to the original..........


My money would have gone into a Lister power plant and left that beautiful body alone, but each to his own and they probably sold two or three to blind aficionados.

Anyway, back to what is important today and that is our love and lust over suvs. And more important, our love and lust over lustier suvs.


The Lister F-Pace, a very serious suv with the world's fastest suv bragging rights on the line. Time to drop by your local Jag dealer, since your new Lambo Urus only does 190 mph. Those runs to the cottage are getting more entertaining by the minute.

Until next time......


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22: Royal wedding cars


Another royal wedding come and gone. Great ceremony for those of you who love the pomp and circumstance. Don't get me wrong, I'm a royalist, just never had much time for wedding ceremonies (except my own, of course). But, what I really have time for is watching the royals arrive and depart and in what cars. Ok, I get that the royal couple has to leave in a fairy tale coach pulled by those beautiful horses. Maybe Justify would like a crack at this position once his racing career is over? But check out the cars before the wedding.......


Meghan's royal ride was this beautiful old Rolls-Royce, which goes to prove that class is timeless. Check out those huge free standing headlights. Something from the 1930's? Nope. This Roller is probably early '50's, since Rolls didn't abandon this style until about 1955. Royal maroon and black. What a beauty.

Next up and moving into the sixties or seventies (who can tell), there was a parade of three Daimler limos bringing some of the other royals......


Again, a classy ride no matter the age. These cars still show up over here at weddings, but always painted white.

And what would Prince Charles show up in? The Queen's hand me down early 60's high top Rolls........


Not really a hand me down, as the royal mews (garages) has a fleet of carriages and cars from which to make their selection. When we visited last September, we saw all the gorgeous and opulent old carriages, along with a few of these royal cars.

And now the the head honcho and her famous carriage, this fairly recent "only a Bentley", which goes to show that when you are the queen, you have nothing to prove........


All very interesting, but what car got everyone's attention? Or, at least the attention of those among you who stayed glued to the TV for the coverage long after the wedding was consigned to history. What could it be?


The answer is........this stunning 1968 Jaguar XKE, but not quite an XKE. This is the Concept E, which means it is electric. Jaguar made this one concept from the bones of a lovely old Jag. Still owned by its creators, the price tag is 350,000 pounds, but it was graciously loaned to the royal family for the day. Why not, as its presence here gave the company far more publicity, than they would ever receive from any number of car shows. And being environmentalists, this car fit the royal couple perfectly.

A royal wedding featuring the royalty of cars. Too rainy for golf, so a good alternative.

Until next time......


Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18: The Cullinan too common?

 The Rolls-Royce Cullinan had just been announced and you were getting excited. Maybe this could be your new ride. Then the realty of it started to sink in. Your neighbour has a Rolls and there is another one just down the street. Dam! You wanted exclusivity and the new Rolls seemed likely not to be able to provide it, for you of such discerning taste. Scanning the interweb, what pops up but this new ride from Italy. Now this looks interesting. Same price point as the Rolls, but with production numbers to ensure that yours would be the only one in the 'hood or maybe the city or country. Now, that folks, is exclusivity.


What manner of vehicle is this one, that has grabbed the attention of our wealthy owner?

This latest arrival on the automotive scene is the Aznom Atulux. Good gawd, another of those bizarre monikers. With a name like that it could be a superhero ("Meet your nemesis, Aznom Atulux.") or a train or even this new whatever.

In trying to determine what exactly is this new creation from Italy, let's peruse a few more pics.........



Call it big for starters, but from whose warped mind did this thing spring? Anyone with half an eye can see that the basis for this luxury ride is a Ram pick-up. Maybe that part is a bit too obvious. Were there a few extra lying around and someone had a bad dream? Actually, Aznom is an Italian manufacturer of very high end custom leather products. Check out their website and you'll find a small section called automotive and that is where the Atulux resides, an all terrain utility luxury vehicle, i.e. Atulux. 

A functional Ram 1500 is ripped apart and made much less useful, but definitely different and unique. Pulled and stretched in order to give its four passengers a memorable ride experience.


An interior wrapped in the best leathers and trimmed with steamed bleached oak. That would have been my guess as well, had I not read the promo materials. And, as seems the norm these days in the highest of the high end vehicles, there is a place to cool the obligatory champagne, all wealthy patrons must have available at all times.......


Not to leave the teatotalers out, the Atulux also comes with a coffee maker.........


That's what one gets in a ride costing as much as a nice house in most places. But does it have to look so much like a misshapen Ram? Maybe for another hundred thousand, they could have altered the distinctive front end. Will those Russian oligarchs or fun loving Arabs really care?

Here are a couple of other options that don't get mentioned in the Atulux catalogue, but everyone knows come with any multi hundred thousand dollar vehicle, no matter how bad it looks........


I wonder if they like coffee?

Until next time.......



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15: Let's agree to disagree

What am I missing?


Whatever I'm missing this car is not missing anything. Look at it, nothing has been left off. New meaning to "over the top"? Ok, so let's cut to the chase, this is a lowrider and I just don't get them. Works of art or ? Whatever you think of them, lowriders are hot. Since their counter culture intro in the early 1950's, they have been a favorite of Hispanic car enthusiasts.


Low and slow, with "interesting" paint jobs. In 1959, hydraulics were added to make these rolling artworks something more. Too low to be driven normally, the hydraulics raised them for cruising the less than mirror smooth streets of southern California. Like what Citroen started doing in the '50's. Then creativity took over. If hydraulics could raise them for cruzen, then what other tricks could they be made to do? You had to ask?



If the sky is the limit, then these thing can be made to reach for the sky, all the while doing everything but dancing in the street and almost doing that. The point being? My point exactly, as I said I just don't get it.

As the lowrider culture has become more mainstream, they even have their own magazine.........


No longer just an Hispanic thing. And as you can see, there is no colour that doesn't go with another. Gotta appreciate the artwork and congratulate the artist, though this is sure not my style. More, more, more and even more seems to be the lowrider credo.

Although any car can be a lowrider, the majority are Chevies, followed by Cadillacs. The most famous lowrder has even been shown on Capitol Hill in Washington..........


.......... and is currently on display at a museum in LA. Each has a name, this notorious Chev is the Gypsy Rose.........




Need I say more?

Mostly Chevrolets, but the odd outlier, like this Ford, sneaks on to the scene (some folks are just contrarians).........


Lowriders. What can I say?


Have to appreciate them for all the work that goes into them. But next time someone says something is over the top, ask them if they've ever seen a lowrider.

Until next time........

Friday, May 11, 2018

May 11: Pass the Grey Poupon, please

Who would have thought it? Who would have ever expected it? Who could even imagine it? Sure, there were the occasional Rolls-Royce station wagons, but they were always built by independent coachbuilders.


But this old world of ours is changing and our thirst for sport utility vehicles just can't be quenched, no matter how many end up in the automobile showrooms of the world. Look at those unexpected car lines that have added suvs over the past few years. Names like Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati, Bentley and surprisingly even Lamborghini. Who could have thought it, expected it, imagined it? All are selling in high numbers and usually much more than the cars in each line. That's a fact the car companies can't ignore. Heck, rumours abound that Ferrari has one in the works. 

So back to yesterday's long expected and anticipated unveiling of the latest high end suv to market, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Named after the biggest raw diamond ever found. How appropriate. Let's clear something up before we go any further, Rolls' new addition is not an suv. Rolls wouldn't lower themselves to join the herd. No sir, the Cullinan is a high bodied vehicle. What? Ask Rolls, cause I have no idea. 

I can tell you that this thing is big........



Big like length half way between the short and the long Escalades. Big like about five inches wider than that huge Cadillac. Big in that its starting price is $325K USD. Note.....starting price, as few of the Cullinan buyers will be interested in an off-the-rack version.

What makes this high bodied vehicle (HBV) a Rolls? Luxury, baby, luxury. An interior to die for.......


And to speak of dying and to make it more Rolls like, suicide doors........


You thinking there must be more to it than this and of course, you would be 100% correct. Where else but on a Rolls-Royce HBV would you have a rear seat option, that lets you picnic at the races (like Ascot, for the plebs amongst you).........


Sit there shaded from the sun, drinking champagne and watching to see if your win, place or show ticket brings home the bacon. But do you really care? Probably not, since you can afford a Cullinan. But tradition is tradition and Rolls upholds tradition so dam well.

Other nice little touches make your new HBV stand out. Things like the leather door panels embossed with the lovely Spirit of Ecstacy. Or simple, but important identifiers, in case anyone has missed the flying lady atop that stand out and very traditional front end.......


When Roll-Royce finally caved to their high end public's demands, you just knew that they would do an suv, oops HBV, in their own unique way. Make it stand out like nothing else in its price range. Actually, it is the only one in that price range, but let's not quibble over semantics.

Cullinan. Time to check your bank account, since the line up outside every Rolls showroom has already started.

Until next time.......


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8: News from the Kremlin!

Hey brother have you heard the news, comrade Vladimir has a new pair of shoes? In this case we'll use "shoes" as a metaphor for his new set of wheels. Got that? For the past few years there has been lots of rumours circulating about a new totally Russian conceived and built limousine. A car that fits the stature of the head thug. There have even been sketches bouncing around the web.........


Years ago, the Russian car maker ZiL was the main supplier of those big, usually black limos, seen running around Moscow with the top party politicos riding in the back, typically behind drawn curtains. That was then, this is now. ZiL is long gone and Mercedes has filled the void. But an ego like Vlad's needs to be stroked and nothing strokes an ego like a limousine that has Russian pride written all over it.

In the past, those big limos copied the looks of American luxomobiles. Cars like Packard and Cadillac.....





Jumping ahead to the present day, one wonders what car this new Russian pride will copy? Or will it break new ground?

Finally, we have the answer. If you keep up on these sort of things, you'll know that Vladimir was inaugurated the other day for the fourth time. Isn't a coronation the best time to show what Russian ingenuity can do with the populace's money? Makes sense to me. May I present the king's new ride.......


So those leaked sketches weren't too far off the mark. Actually they were bang on.



You are forgiven, if you see a resemblance to another well know luxury brand.........



You going to go for gold, then copy the gold standard, which in this case is the Rolls-Royce. How clever and time saving. Vladimir has to be proud of what his countrymen whipped up for him. So proud, that this design is supposed to also generate a sedan.......


.......an suv (of course) and a minivan (are you kidding me?). No longer will those sketchy party officials have to ride around in stretched Mercedes, when Russia's own assembly lines will be cranking out dozens of these new whatevers.

A question............you are an oligarch, have billions of bucks. Do you go for the gold standard or the fake?

Until next time.......

Friday, May 4, 2018

May 4: Look what's coming.......

Where else but China could this picture be taken? Not something you would see in Canada or the US. When I pull in to my neighborhood supermarket in Toronto, the only spots that are empty are the twenty charging stations. Ok, maybe there is the odd Tesla. That's it! But China is obviously an entirely different matter.

When was the last time you read about a new North American electric car (EV) being brought to market? I thought so. On the other hand, it seems to be a weekly occurrence, that some Chinese company is raising the capital to fund, yet another new EV. Don't believe me? You need to read more.

Here is what I've come across lately........



This peculiar looking concept was by Zhiche Auto, which has since changed its name to Singulato. Futuristic and unlikely to hit the market, but their "real" EV has just been shown to the home market. "Real" meaning the one that they expect to be able to produce. Mainstream suv styling, but getting the jump on Rolls-Royce's about to be introduced, new Cullinan with those suicide doors. Should RR be worried?


One down, several to go.

WM Motors has shown three different sized suvs, with the promise of the first one coming out later this year and then a new one each year until 2025! Love the optimism. The reality? Who knows. Anyway, it's great looking..........


Another suv?


Gee, is anyone surprised? This EV is from NIO Motors and is creatively named the ES8, a high performance suv. So what can we expect from the ES9? Sure, a super high performance sportscar.........


And why the heck not? Their execs have to drive something other than just another suv. Production? Any day now according to NIO.

Wondering what EV Xiaopeng Motors has planned? Could it be another suv?



And again, why the heck not, as that's all that is selling these days. Why waste money developing a sedan, which will become a stationary ornament for your showroom?

So, folks, this is the latest from the Forbidden Kingdom. Most of these are China only vehicles, something a company can pull off when the populace tops a few trillion. Any bets on how many new EV's have been announced while I laboured away at this blog? I'll get back to you on that.

Until next time......