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.

Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22: Hey Toronto, make up your mind

 Remember this Toronto police car colour?


Being of a certain age, I do. This bright yellow livery was used for years and years and years. Stands out. Easy to spot. Then for a couple of reasons this was no longer going to work. One reason was something about using paint with too much lead in it (couldn't get a yellow without it?). Another, was that they looked too much like New York taxis. Sure, I bet they were being hailed all the time by vacationing NYCers. And being Canadian, the coppers probably took those people to their destinations at no charge!


But like the song says, all things must pass, and the charge was on to join the new white trend in police vehicles.......


Add a nice set of blue and white stripes and no one was being harmed with leaded paint or wasting time as a taxi service. This continued for a while until some bright soul decided those stripes had to stand out more, hence make them wider.......


Not a bad look, conservative but effective. An easy change. But around this time, police car graphics started to get rather flamboyant, well at least in the context of them being on a police car. Somebody actually had graphic artists design the paint schemes, instead of simply using someone who had a ruler. So eventually, although late to the party, TO had to follow........


Bright white (is there any other white?) and a more contemporary design for those red and blue stripes. Looks good and everyone's happy. Well, not exactly everyone. After a relatively short time and a new police chief, another change was in order (necessary?). Let's do a complete turn around..........


Use that same graphic package, but now on a more sombre grey background. Good looking, but doesn't stand out like a white cruiser. Never mind. The reason for the change? The chief just wanted it and liked grey. Reason enough? Not so fast. So the police board, put a stop to the change. Too militaristic. Too unfriendly looking. Unapproachable. Really? Does any police car look friendly and approachable?

Now we had the "old" white cruisers mixed in with quite a few of these new grey ones.

Pause to rethink this change without pissing off the new chief, but still have a cop car that looked somewhat friendlier than the chief's choice. Solution? Let's add white doors.......


......and order a ton of them, since they now look so much friendlier.......


Good move. Now, until all those white and all those grey cruisers get used up, we have three distinct police car liveries at every major crime scene. Interesting and I bet we may be unique in this regard.

Worried about your police car being unapproachable? Want to make them more friendly looking? Ok, then look no further than a car we have used in the past to enthrall the city's children. Have this one cruising the city streets and everyone would approach it. Maybe even paint it grey?


Where is Blinky when when need him most?

Until next time.......


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19: Dads' Day car show

What better way to celebrate Fathers' Day than to take your dad to an exotic car show. Make him realize that he'll never own anything remotely like this because he decided to have you. A pleasant thought? Which brings me to today's blog. Each Fathers' Day, an exotic car show is held on Toronto's Mink Mile in the high end Yorkville area. How appropriate. Now all those Lambos, Porsches and Rolls that cruise this area, can be seen standing still.

And what better way to start the highlights than with a gold Rolls-Royce Wraith........



Not enough to spend half a mil on your fancy new ride, one has to personalize it, so that it will stand out from all those other ubiquitous Rollers cruising your 'hood. Good thing that gold Flying Lady drops into the grille, so no one touches it with their grubby paws. A first world problem.

Can't pony up the coin for a new Rolls, but like the exclusivity of a one of a kind ride? How about making your own, like this guy did..........


Good looking? Not really. Unique? Absolutely. This is one way to get into my blog.

Want another way to stand out? When was the last time or the first time you saw an Israeli Sabra (yes, the spelling is correct)? Same here, this was my first one..........



Cheap and cheery and way less costly than anything in those rows of McLarens or Lambos.......



Speaking of Lamborghini's, the Toronto dealer sold about 110 last year and is on track to double that in 2018. I guess not so rare?

A Morgan anyone? Strangely exclusive or exclusively strange? Not quite a retro design, not quite modern, so why bother? Good question, but this was one of the few in the country in all its glory on the Mink Mile.....


This one is rarer than any Ferrari or such, but I can think of better ways to be rare. And speaking of rare, this 911 RS might be one of the few in the country and at well over $300k CDN that's not a surprise. If you love Porsches, then that puddle of drool is probably yours.


And finally what exotic car show these days doesn't have one of the new Ford GT's? Done up in racing livery, but not a race car. When you have the coin to spend on a gorgeous ride like this, paint it anyway you want.


So back to dad and your special time with him last Sunday. If he had not decided to give you life, then maybe he too could have been showing his exotic ride. But what the heck, it was a good decision and his old Camry is looking better all the time. Ain't love grand?

Until next time.......


Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15: Glamping fun?

Glamping. You know this term, it applies to upscale camping or whatever passes for upscale camping these days. The original glamping might have been in one of those old VW camper vans, that roamed our highways and biways in years gone by. They worked for me, since I don't think mankind (personkind? humankind?) was meant to sleep under canvas. Don't see many of those Vdub vans around here these days, but cross the Atlantic and these very compact rv's still adorn peaceful meadows, while their owners enjoy their leisure time. And the non owners dream, while looking longingly at your nomadic lifestyle (well, at least for a week or two).

You have to know that they have an avid following, when there is a monthly magazine devoted to the worshipping of the past. Hope springs eternal for a rebirth of this classic vacation vehicle. And now the hopes and dreams of those happy wanderers are getting closer to reality. I told you before about the new electric VW van, that harkens back to the good old days of the famous VW bus (next picture, please)........


A perfect model to turn into what came to us many years ago. Pop open the roof and the sides and "We don't need no stinkin' Winnebago!"................ 


But this is where it gets interesting. Can those VW dreamers be turned onto something else the same size and maybe even with the same character (if you squint). Who might be looking to fill this niche? A hint, perhaps......



Recognize these little carry alls? Look again, as they are the Nissan VV commercial vans, that we sometimes see as a taxi, but most often as mini panel vans. But paint them in those distinctly '50's pastels and look out world. These things say VW camper van, but with a Japanese accent..........


Get the e version, if you've blown your wade on the van and can't afford the gas to run it. How perfect is this little caravan? Just the size needed to cruise those narrow European streets and those beautiful winding mountain roads. A little interior imagination and you can become the king or queen of a fully decked out vacation home on wheels.


Your friends want to join you? Tell them to get their own.

Yes folks, the past will be the future, when these concepts from Nissan go into production shortly. Good move before VW comes up with the same idea for their upcoming electric blast from the past. Will we see them in North America? Unlikely as our rv's seem to be getting bigger all the time. Hope springs eternal? Sure why not, write to Nissan USA and make mine turquoise.

Until next time.......



Friday, June 8, 2018

June 8: Another coupe(?) - Audi Q8

Who ever decided the the word "coupe" should also apply to a swoopy four door? Craziness, I tell you. And who ever decided that same word should apply to a sport ute, that had a fastback? More craziness. And this nuttiness began with that proverbial designer of strange looking cars, BMW.......


When I saw this X6 at the Detroit auto show years ago, it left me breathless and not in a good way. And time hasn't eased its visual pain. Coupe or whatever, it was as ugly and ill conceived as a Trump tweet.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Mercedes finally answered the call to compete with the X6 and their effort was much better, although not what The Donald would consider making a pass at, if it were a female (he's just so fussy)......


Ok, so you get the idea that these so called sport ute coupes are here to stay. Hey, even Lambo has one and it might be worthy of the name coupe, even if it does have four doors........


And speaking of this Lamborghini, the most recent addition to this small field and a direct competitor to BMW and Benz, is the new Q8 from Audi..........



Speaking of the Lambo and then going to the Q8? What's up with that? Maybe because they both ride on the same platform, as does the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayga. Good company to keep, folks.

Audi's designs are conservatively classy and this newest arrival is a case in point. Taken on its own, it is gorgeous, but compared to the BMW and the Benz it is the goddess Venus incarnate. And maybe truly deserving of the misnomer "coupe" for a four door suv?

Getting ready for another glamour shot
No details yet on what will power this beauty, but probably a hybrid. But hey, who cares? I'd love to be seen in this new ride, even if it were powered by coal or pixie dust.

Audi has had years to see how the others misinterpreted their coupe suv's and they used the time wisely. Maybe the others will finally see the light.

Until next time (away until the 15th).........


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 5: What price exclusivity - the Eadon Green Zeclat

The casino at Monte Carlo. All the high rollers head to this iconic address to see and be seen (mostly the latter). The mere plebs, like most of us, also head there to see those gorgeous rides parked out front, as a warning to lesser folks, do not enter if you can't afford the price of admission. Here's test for all you eagle eyed car folks......what is that fastback lurking in the lower right of this pic?

If you said you had no idea, I'd agree, except this is my blog and I know the answer. If you said a Rolls-Royce, you'd also be correct to a point. This is the Black Cuillin by that, until recently, unknown British coachbuilder Eadon Green........


Based on a V12 Rolls Wraith, this custom job was a concept to show the world just what Eadon Green was all about. Looks to me like a company rebodying a modern car to make it look like something from way back in time. But as I said, it's just a concept.

At the recent Geneva auto show, EG showed their first production car, the Zeclat (a name which means exactly what?).........

And a few displays over, Chevrolet showed the car upon which the Zeclat was based.........


Who would have thought? And why?

Eadon Green is ready to produce up to twenty five of these retro-mobiles, so that you too can show up at the casino in Monte Carlo in high style. Exclusive? Goes without saying. Price? Well that's a crap shoot. If EG makes all twenty five, then the price would be about $800,000 USD. Those orders don't materialize and only a handful come out the factory door? Then expect to pay closer to $1.3 mil USD. Better get all your friends on board to lower the price of this budget breaker.



Take an extremely competent supercar like the Vette and clothe it in a suspect old style. Again the question, why? Are there that many Russian oligarchs or oil royalty looking for something like this? Apparently EG thinks so.

Life is too short to quibble over the small stuff. You want to stand out? Then you gotta pay the price. Contact Eadon Green and have them transform your contemporary beauty into their idea of this coachbuilt dream......


Be the only one in your country and hope like heck there are twenty four others thinking exactly like you.

Until next time.......



Friday, June 1, 2018

June 1: Chrysler - what's in a name?

Maybe I'm jumping the gun on this. Maybe I should wait until next week. The rumour the other day was that FCA, the Fiat/Chrysler combo would be announcing today that the Chrysler name would be going down in history or would, at the very least, be consigned to history. A bit of back story...... a short while ago it was announced that the Chrysler car line, as it was, would be reduced to just one car, the 300. Today or very shortly, the word is that  it will be announced that even the 300 would be dropped, leaving the only Chrysler branded vehicle being the successful Pacifica van. The latter could easily become a top of the line Grand Caravan (a no brainer). Alternatively the 300 sales could be confined to North America before being shown the door. Time will tell.

Chrysler. Another famous name going into the dumpster that is being pulled by an suv.

Chrysler. What a history. Let's look at a few of the cars that stand out for me, starting with the Airflows from the mid 1930's........


   
They look fine now, but taken in context of 1934 they were style wise way ahead of their time and subsequently the good old car buying public was not ready for them. Nice try.

Jumping ahead to the early '50's Chrysler became famous for their beautiful concept cars, that invariably came out of Italy. Maybe they should have built one or two of these beauts........

  
Further along in the '50's, the powerhouse Chrysler 300C was introduced. It might have been the first real muscle car and it cleaned up on the NASCAR circuit, back when the cars were raced pretty much as they came off the showroom floor........


 
 
And these were followed up by a string of letter cars (D,E,F, etc) that defined the brand and change hands today for big money between collectors........


Moving into the 1960's, Chrysler worked long and hard on a turbine powered car. They even made fifty and loaned them out to "normal" people, so they could get quick real world feedback. I remember one came to the dealer in my little city. I stood behind it as it was unloaded and very nearly got burned, such was the heat coming from its exhausts. One of the drawbacks to a turbine.


Nice idea and it got Chrysler lots of publicity as an engineering focused brand.

Moving along, not much happened that was good and in an effort to reinvent themselves, the cab forward models of the early '90's were brought to market. I had one. Tons of room for a kind of mid-sized car........


.....and quite good looking. Problems? Absolutely. The A/C usually broke, along with the transmission. Glad I only had mine for just over a year. A good friend took over my lease and had nothing but problems. Low mileage, since it was always in the shop. Nice way to try to make a comeback.

Into the 2000's and Chrysler had another resurgence with the gangster/rapper 300. Make it black with deep tinted windows and this thing gave off a threatening vibe........


Mine was done up this way. Was there any movie at the time, that didn't use the 300C, whenever the bad guys drove up? Everyone wanted one. I even used to see this car in Europe in greater numbers than any other American vehicle.

But that was then and this is now. Chrysler has basically left the 300 alone for thirteen years and in the car business that is an eternity. Probably is with any product. Meanwhile suvs have breached the sedans' castle walls and have slayed most of these four door formerly stalwart models. The horror!

Which brings us back to today and the rumoured announcement. At today's ride and drive in Italy for all FCA products, there was no mention of Chrysler. Nothing. Will it stay or will it go? I'm putting my bet on the latter.

Until next time......



                                                                                                                          

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29: Water baby

Got one of these things hanging around? You know an old Ford Fiesta or even a new one. Sitting on a cliff overlooking the ocean and frustrated about its land locked capabilities. So much world, so little time. A first world dilemma?

Now for the good news. Be land locked no more and now that Summer is nearly here, what better time to explore the endless possibilities of a Dutton Surf?

What the.......? Yes, I know you are thinking, what in the world is a Dutton Surf?


Wonder no more, as the DS is a kit that can be put on the Fiesta's frame after chucking your Ford's anonymous looking body panels. Unattractively cute, like most cars that want to be boats, this little transformed Fiesta now will have 4x4 abilities and best of all, it will be amphibious. And like any good dual purpose car/boat, it excels at neither. Cruise at a death defying 85 mph on land or a snooze inducing 6 mph on the body of water of your choice.


Be the envy of your friends, as they are restricted to cruising the highways and biways, while you head out to the open sea to explore what were inaccessible horizons for you in the past........


Or embark on a group adventure with all your new Fiesta-less voyagers........


Yes, the Dutton Surf is the smart Summer choice. You won't be the only one who has realized their water logged dreams, as DS's are being seen in greater numbers every day.


Now you know where all those Fiestas have gone.

Until next time.......