About Me

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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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17: Buenos dias, China!

Ah, Mexico. The land of sun, surf, drugs and banditos. Also, our favorite sun destination from which we've recently returned after our fifteenth trip to that Spanish speaking winter retreat.

Being a car guy, I check out what is on the roads, as much as looking for the best fajitas. Sure, Mexico has much of what see in North America and the policia drive Chargers and Taurus cruisers, just like here at home. Then there are the differences and much has changed in the past couple of years. VW has started importing their Spanish Seat line and now Renault also has a strong presence. Even Dacia is present, but they are being sold by their parent company as Renaults.

What surprised me most were the vehicles from BAIC. Who? Good question. BAIC is a Chinese company, that just started selling cars in Mexico a couple of years ago. Are they serious? No doubt, as they are currently assembling cars there and have unveiled plans to build a billion dollar factory to open in 2020. That's serious, folks. They are shipping Mexican cars to South America and they plan to start a North American presence later this year. We'll see.

So what do they have to offer us? For starters a couple of nice little economy cars, the D20 sedan and hatchback.......



But hey, we all know that these type of cars don't sell so well these days in our neck of the woods, so I can't see BAIC planning to make an impact with them. We are worshiping the great suv gods, so if they plan to do more than fill showrooms with cars that are nailed to the floor, there damn well better be an suv or several in the mix. Maybe this pleasant looking X25 could work........



Looks like it would fit right into our hotter than hot compact suv market.

Stepping back a bit, just who is BAIC? They advertise, "Swedish tech, German standard, Italian design". The Swedish part comes from Saab, the company that they bought when GM cut it loose. I don't see any Italian design elements and who knows what German tech means, so let's just take their word for it.
But they need another suv. So what do they got? Something a little bit bigger, like this S3..........


Or the real meat in the BAIC sandwich, this copycat BJ40........


Count the divisions in the grille. Less than Jeep's seven, so BAIC is good to go, no law suit. Of course, the rest of their "Jeep" appears to be identical to the original, so it should be a winner. Speaking of a winner.......



This new BJ20 looks to fit our image as a tough looking suv, that any Texan would be happy to corral. Now we are talking, so if BAIC brings these models stateside, they should expect a few more people in the showroom. Anyone who thought that the Chinese wouldn't come and if they did, with inferior products, eat your words.

Mexico, similar but different. Great food, great beaches, great people and now more interesting cars. And obviously a jumping off spot for the North American market.

Buenos dias, China and your cars.

Until next time.......



Friday, April 13, 2018

April 13: The dictator's new dream ride

Who said that there are no guarantees in this life? Not true. Fake news! There is absolutely one guarantee. One certainty that holds up anywhere in this world. This truth is, that if you are the head of a very small and poor country with the GNP of a slow day at MacDonald's, then the guarantee is that you will be driven around the dump of a country you "own" in a new Mercedes limousine. Case in point, as we see the cheerily chubby Kim Jung-Un, step away from his big Benz Pullman limo.........


This is not a recent phenom, as it has been ever so, going way back to the days of the famous Mercedes 600......



The high rollers also used this car, but they could more easily afford their rolling palace. But for the other, less than affluent places, you could count on the glorious leader showing up on parade day in a car in which the residual in the ashtrays was worth more than most homes. Jealous, Barry?

Good news! Mercedes has attached the famous Maybach name to their latest toy of the super privileged, so if your citizens were worried about your ability to afford a new ride, place your order and show them that all is wonderful. And M-B, knowing their history, is showing this new limo alongside that old "every dictator must have one" 600........



Every conceivable amenity to make the drive thru your impoverished streets a time of great joy. And knowing that you are sensitive to the feelings of your unfortunate citizens, Mercedes has provided nice thick curtains to block out those envious eyes......


......or maybe they are in place, to ensure that the champagne placed in that rear centre console in the bottom picture, doesn't go off in the direct sun?

Again, the folks at Mercedes are no fools. They know how to tug on the heart strings of those autocrats, who longed for the symbolism of the long gone 600, by naming this new limo after that glorious ride from the past. No reason for anyone to think that this is less of a smack in the face to your starving citizenry.


Thinking of overthrowing your current leadership? Then you must be ready to do so in style. Get your Maybach 600 order in asap and show everyone that they can expect more of the same.

Until next time......




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 10: Next?

Everyone is rushing to the pick-up truck table hoping that they aren't too late to get in on our insatiable demand for something most of us will never need. The last entrant was Mercedes with the brand new, Nissan cloned, X Class. Not in North America yet, but you can hold your breath. Hyundai has promised us something based on their recent concepts. Who might be next?

Before you answer, take a look at one of this company's past offerings.........


A real Volkswagen pick-up? Well maybe a nice try from back in the time of those ultra small, car based trucklettes. Something more contemporary would be better.........



Something like the Amarok. This quad cab is sold everywhere else around the world by VW, but not here in North America. Reason? Maybe not for lack of trying. Our local VW execs have had to bow down to the wishes of the German head office and over there, they don't think we need a pick-up over here. Got that? Then last week at the rising in importance New York auto show, the wraps came off of this interesting concept, the Atlas Tanoak.........


Atlas? Tanoak? The first name is easy, as this truck is being built off the Atlas suv platform, one of a few versions that will be forthcoming. The second name? Anyone know what a tanoak is? Not as catchy as F-150 or Ram or Tundra, but each to his own drummer.

Anyway, back to this concept. Nothing for certain yet, but since the platform is available and the Tanoak was intro'd in NYC, maybe we should read something into this? Maybe we should get the idea that the North American brass will have some input into our future products?

Make some minor cosmetic changes and in my opinion the Tanoak is ready to roll, but is VW ready to roll it?

Until next time........



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

March 26: It's the cops!

Relax, it's not the cops, it's only the beloved CMC, aka The Car Modeling Cat, at it again and this time with a couple of county sheriff's cars. As always, the little dear does her research to ensure that our models will be life-like and authentic........


She and I like building police cars and usually try to replicate a specific agency's cars, but sometimes we'll do an accurate representation of what could have been back in the day, but with no particular department in mind. Today we present two 1957 patrol cars, a Chevy and a Ford, from a California county sheriff's department.......



Similar but different, as that is usually the case with police cars. Whereas the Ford has one roof mounted red light and a hood mounted siren, the Chevy has two hood mounted red beacons (stop or else?) and a behind the grille siren (testing out what would become commonplace within a year or two). Both sport rear antennae and similar markings.

As per the highway patrol and many of the sheriffs' departments in California, both of these cruisers feature big for their time motors. The Ford runs a Police Interceptor, while the Chevy has the famous in its day, fuel injected 283 (checkout the markings proudly worn on the front fender). Speeders beware, as not much would be quicker than these two cop cars back in the day.

As always the CMC and I strive for accuracy in our builds and of course, even these fictitious cop cars are no exception. Prove it, you say? Happy to oblige........



Need I say more? Probably not and unusual for me, I won't.

That time again. The time to get pay back for beavering away industriously for the past few months and since it is cold outside, that means a southern holiday, specifically Mexico, one of our favorite hot spots. Back again with keyboard in hand on Tuesday, April 10th.

Until next time......

Friday, March 23, 2018

March 23: Sold out!

Take a close look at this logo. Memorize it? I wouldn't bother, as it's not likely that you'll ever see it while trolling the Walmart lot for a parking space. As an interested car person, it might be handy to use to start a conversation at the next Octoberfest event. The beer flows and the conversation lags, and then you drop this on an unsuspecting but attentive audience.

Our suv loving populace is always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd with their CR-V's, Explorers and even Escalades. Well friendo, with a Karlmann King, you'll stand out more than a rhino at a dog show. More than an exotic dancer at a seniors' home. More than a polish sausage at a vegan's lunch. More than........need I go on?

No sir, with a KK, you'll be the only one, in probably the entire country. So let's see this new standout.........


Another subscriber to the origami school of design, but all the better to deflect the slings arrows of those less fortunate souls in their Bentley and Lamborghini sport utes. Even with a custom paint job, those other pretenders to the suv throne can't hold a candle to the exclusivity of a Karlmann King. Coming out of China at a top speed of 87 mph or 140 kph, this ten of a kind will set you back the price of a nice sized house in my hometown of Toronto. Can't read the fine print in the top pic, ok, let me spell it out for you........$1,850,000 USD. Want to know what that translates to in your currency? Sold out!

This is no mere ugly off roader. No sir, this behemoth is fully armoured (remember those slings and arrows?), so to protect its owner during the next revolution.

A few amenities? Love that carpet. Let's see what Weathertech has to protect this baby.


Fancy something, let's say a touch more utilitarian? But still opulent enough to impress the locals should they get their dirty little nosy noses inside your throne on run flats........


Maybe offer them a Stella while you guzzle your Dom?

Sadly those few Karlmann Kings are sold out. Wondering who might buy such a conveyance? Wonder where the Chinese manufacturer showed this new ride? A picture is worth a thousand words.......


Until next time......



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 20: Not another flying car?

Since forever man has wanted to fly. More than anything he has wanted to be like a bird. He's dreamed about this for years. Never read about ancient man wanting to drive. No, nothing but wanting to soar like an eagle. So along comes Karl Benz and makes the first car. Now what does man think about? You got it, he wants his car to fly like a bird. Some dreams never die, although a few people have trying to make those dreams live.

I could spend the next month blogging about failed efforts to make the flying car dream come true, but ending up with a nightmare.


The flying car. Always a fun topic and quite enjoyable shooting holes in other peoples dreams, at least the car in the air ones. So last week at the Geneva show, what shows up, but the latest effort. Hey, these things get better all the time and this one might actually be a success, but those dreams of everyone buzzing thru the sky avoiding all the other winged marvels isn't something I'll see in my lifetime.

Behold the PAL-V Liberty..........



Priced a little higher than a new Rolls Phantom, but with none of that luxury brand's earth bound restraints. And when all your three friends want to go with you, pretty hard to turn them down with the Rolls. Not a problem with the PAL-V Liberty, as it only has room for one other high flyer. Got the money, then picture yourself sitting behind the wheel of this flying car........


This thing is more techie than The Donald's hair. Feeling nervous? Relax, since when you take delivery, you also get flying lessons, as you actually have to have a pilot's licence before you can leave the ground.

Leave your troubles behind you (or below you), as you soar over 10,000 feet (3500 metres) above the crowds at speeds up to 180 kph.


Your only care will be where to park when you land or maybe avoiding that Boeing 777 coming up behind you. Mere trifles when you are cruising in your very own PAL-V Liberty.

Going to the cottage? Your life is filled with choices, now that you are no longer tied to the ground......


Drive or fly, the possibilities are almost endless. No more traffic jam headaches, simply push a few buttons, rev those engines and away you go, not having to gas up until you are 500 kms away.......


And all along you thought the Dutch were only famous for their wooden shoes. Add another break through to your list of their accomplishments. But thanks to those Dutch dreams, what had seemed but a mere fantasy for many, many years now will be our new reality. A new reality, of course, if you have more money than Midas or have found pirate treasure. So laugh at those old magazine covers. They actually did see the future, although it might have taken longer than they thought......



And take it from me, it will take even longer.

Until next time......


Friday, March 16, 2018

March 16: Filling another niche - the AMG GT Coupe'


Seems perfect, right? Going balls out around your local track in your gift to yourself, a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT. Quality time with the most important person in your life. Wonderful, but way at the back of your mind is that niggling bit of guilt about leaving the family behind on this beautiful day, while you selfishly indulge your inner Lewis Hamilton fantasies. What to do? What to do? Buy the wife another Louis Vuitton handbag? The kids another computer game?

Fear not, since this is Mercedes-Benz we are talking about, the niche filler extraordinaire and they have heard your prayer. Round the corner of your mansion with your loving wife, the kidlings in tow and thrill them with the knowledge, that they'll soon be spending more time with the man they adore..........


Yes sir, your dream of expanding quality time with your family is about to come true, since at last week's Geneva auto show, M-B dropped another hot rod on an unsuspecting public. I mean, who comes up with these ideas? Who thought a four door AMG GT was needed to complete the line? Who started this thought process?

Going way back, someone thought a four door Vette would fly........


We all know how well that went over, but to be fair, this was a handcrafted effort by an aftermarket supplier and only a few ever saw the light of day. Also, it was back in the time when a 10 second 0-60 time was considered a feat, so maybe not enough power to pull those extra bodies. Maybe they'd have better luck with the new one........


And surely Benz wasn't thinking about the Porsche Panamera, when they were planning their family hot ride......


Not really a 911 sedan, just an unusual four door with Porsche styling cues. Capable, but no 911 hunter.

Ferrari has also tweaked us with this modern day family car..........


Nice, but they'd rather spend their developmental dollars on an upcoming suv. Maybe after that one starts outselling the rest of the Ferrari line (shortly after introduction, no doubt) will they drop a four door on us. Those holding their breathe better start making funeral arrangements.

Now back to Mercedes and our family man looking to make the most of his spare time with his loving family. So, everyone grab your helmet, as this ain't no Gran Turismo video game. This is real life and daddy knows how to make all the right moves........


With up to 630 hp and 195 mph Father's Day will never be the same. And all thanks to those niche fillers at Mercedes-Benz.

Until next time.......