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 25+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A Good Joke

I love a good joke and love a great joke even more. Irony? Sure, that will also work. All of which brings me to an article I read in yesterday's paper (remember them?) about a Chinese company protesting about a US company's patent infringement. Get that? The Chinese complaining about patent infringement. The great knock off kings complaining. Now, that's a great joke. And tons of irony.

The auto companies have been complaining about the Chinese designs for a few years. Land Rover even took Land Wind to court over their blatant knock off of the very popular Land Rover Evoque. How similar you ask? A picture is worth.......well you know.........


A gold star to those of you who can pick out the real deal over the knock off. Not that easy, eh? And who wants a gold star anyway?

There are many examples, but I'll show you a few of my favorites..........

Here's a classic from Geely, the Xing Yue..........

Look familiar? Maybe like a BMW X6?

How about this very popular Ford sedan, the Fusion.........

Well, popular until the suv steamroller met up with it. Still someone in the Forbidden Kingdom liked it enough to come up with something rather similar, the Geely Bo Rui........


And now a Chinese company has the gall to complain about patent infringement? Guess they have a better sense of humour than I thought. The strange part is, that many of the new designs coming out of China are very distinctive in a good way. Beautiful is a good description of a few. So why carbon copy a vehicle from somewhere else in the world? Especially when you might want to sell your product in the other's home market. It happened in Europe with a BMW knock off and also the Land Wind. Crazy times.

See something different in the look of today's blog? So do I. The format has been changed by Blogspot, so it will take me a few blogs to find my way. Patience, please.

Until next time.......

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28: The Great Pause

So what did you do to keep busy while the world shut down? Took a trip? Not likely. Called a few friends? Probably. Read a bit? Yep. Went for walks? Yes. Watched tons of Netflix? Definitely. Did some baking? Maybe. Cruised the net? Of course.

And if you are fortunate to have an engaging hobby, this was a great time to spend quality time working on a few new projects.

Me? You know I'm your Car Guy and my hobby is building models of all those great cars, that I'd like to have in my garage or that I find interesting.  A quick look at one of my walls of shelves shows you that there are a lot of good ol' American cars that I'd like to own and drive. Call me the Jay Leno of model cars. Jay has hundreds of the real thing, worth millions, but I have hundreds of 1/24th scale replicas worth_____? Who knows, but they won't amount to an early retirement.



And yes, I did all those other activities that I list above, but with the models, my buddy, the Car Modelling Cat (CMC) and I, built or rebuilt several. Rebuilt? I've been working this hobby for years, but most of the models I built eons ago, were done to my skill level of that time (give me a 3 out of 10). So I take the old model apart (most come apart easily), repaint them, chrome them up, add details where necessary and viola, a restored classic looking like the day a proud owner drove it off of the showroom floor.

Here she is, the darling little CMC, looking over many of the models we worked on during that too long pause. A mixture of old and new, but they include a couple of state police cars, a '65 Caddy, a '60 Valiant and a '63 Mercury...........


 Like anything, some were easier to pull apart and redo than others and one, we are still working on, is agonizing, because it simply won't give in to our deconstruction efforts. Oh well.

Here's an example of a toughy..........


When first built, I was a mere pup and I gave this 1963 Pontiac Bonneville a lousy paint job, so this time around we had to remove it, which was not an easy task. Compare it to the real thing........


Not a bad job under the circumstances and a definite improvement over a much younger Barry's 1963 effort. Although hard to see, our model even has the gold Bonneville lettering on the grille and side trim.

Let's hope our leaders get it right and we can eliminate this dam virus. Hope that we don't have to go into another long pause and shut down. If we do, how are you going to spend your days?

Until next time........

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

July 22: A new contender!

The Hummer H2 is dead. Long live the Hummer H2! 

But how could this be? Easy, if you are an Estonian company with a desire to serve the needs of all those needy folks (with copious amounts of coins), who want and need something, that almost no one else has. Something like this Dartz Black Stallion, based on the gone and forgotten H2........

 

And yes, of course it is armoured. Just what any sane individual needs, along with an interior that would put any standard H2 to shame. In case you were wondering, the alligator (crocodile?) trim on the dash is extra.


Impressed? Well you should be.

Here is the mission statement of the Dartz company.......Bullet proof opulence trusted by billionaires, tzars, superstars, generals and dictator (sic) since 1869. So obviously their products were not always based on the Hummer, any Hummer. Or, they have a sense of humour. Either way, their products make a statement that is hard to ignore.

But, if you feel, that your new ride may be ignored, upgrade to the Aladeen Edition's chromed plated tackiness........



With its interior of buttery soft, cheese coloured leather. A Saudi prince's dream ride, for sure.

Like the idea of a Black Stallion, but with the added benefit of the see and be seen rear quarters, then the Royal Landaulet is your kind of ride.......


Time to talk dollars and sense, well at least dollars. Check under those sofa cushions and vending machines for any loose change, Bucko, because you'll need it. These creations range from around $500,000 to $800,000 Cdn before the lizard hide gets added to your instrument panel. And to think you berated your neighbour for spending so much on his H2 a few years back.

Show up at Dartz with cheque in hand and a little imagination. Let them create some concoction just for you. And at less than a million per, your $ will be well spent and you'll get a ride as rare and distinctive as the Bugatti you also own. But that cost over $3 million. A penny saved, etc.

Until next time.......

Monday, July 13, 2020

July 13: Tractor power

 What is it about tractors that makes these companies (at least two of them) want to build high powered, high priced sports cars?

Today's pop quiz.......what are those two companies? Give up? Aston Martin and Lamborghini. Is it any surprise about Lambo, when you peruse the sleek farmyard friendly lines of this blue and orange original. Imagine the pigs squealing in delight, as this looker chugged into view.

Yes, good ol' Lamborghini, whose cars have usually been a bit over the top. Not the smooth lines of a Ferrari, but lines that would cut your throat if given the chance. No wonder Car & Driver chose to pose this vision in black with a Countach for a cover way back when.........

 

Was there a car kid anywhere, back in the day, who didn't have a Countach poster on their bedroom wall? Or at least that magazine cover, which covered two basic teenage needs? Which finally brings me to today's topic.

Although always in your face, the latest Lambo harkens back to those Countach days, so time to start printing up wall posters for car kids everywhere. Behold their latest wild child, the Sian, available in both spyder (top) and coupe form.........

 

For all you environmentalists longing for a really wild ride, but having difficulty seeing your way past a Prius, relax, as this Lambo is a hybrid. Your choice, buy about 150 Prius sedans or one Sian for the same price. Economies of scale won't work with this equation.

Some important numbers........Lamborghini will build 63 coupes and 19 spyders. Get it? 1963, which is when the first sportscar to wear the Lambo name was introduced. Cute.

By the way, with a beginning price of $3,700,000 USD, you might think this car would be a hard sell. Wrong, of course, as all have been pre-sold. Let's see......how many Russian oligarchs are there? How many Saudi princes? And of course, let's not forget the Sultan of Brunei and one for the Dubai police. Those eighty two being built just might be enough.

I peaked your interest with that tractor picture and then let you down talking about an exotic sportscar? Ok, so there is one in every crowd. The Sian is a no-go, but this latest Lamborghini tractor should make you break out into a cold sweat........

Sorry, no wall posters are available.

Until next time and stay safe.........

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8: Wild in the streets!

Looking for a good old American sedan? Something unpretentious for you and four good friends to cruise around in with lots of interior space? Something full size, that can be had for less than $40k CDN. Something that looks just like your local cop cars? Well folks, I have your ride. Step right up and take a look at this 2020 Dodge Charger, which has been around basically unchanged since 2005.

Boring? Absolutely! So how about spicing it up? What might be a nice addition to this family sedan for 2021? Leather? A sunroof? GPS? Or how about a neat little symbol on the front fender? Something like this........


So what's the catch?

The catch is that this symbol will turn your humdrum Charger into something a little less mundane. Something that will still fit all your friends (assuming you have only four). Something that will keep your local tire dealer in business. Something that will excite the local constabulary. Something that will strike terror in the hearts of all those exotic car owners, who think that their mucho expensive cars can't be beat.

The catch is this demon symbol with the red eye means, that your Charger is packing a mighty 797 HP under that air scooped hood, making scenes like this common place in your neighbourhood......


Yes sir, it was only a matter of time until those horsepower addled folks at Dodge decided that the Charger Hellcat simply wasn't enough with its mere 707 HP. So for only (and I mean "only) about $100,000 you can embarrass your local fancy car owners, who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars more for bragging rights and still don't crank out this much wonderful power.


Take an ordinary Dodge sedan, throw on a wide body kit, an air scoop, humongous tires, this intriguing little devil symbol and you create the wet dream fantasy of every red blooded North American car guy or gal. Gee, we live in a great time.



What will those crazies from Dodge think of next?

Until next time and stay safe........

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

July 1: Redesigning an icon

Quick, what is the best selling vehicle in North America and probably the second best selling in the whole, wild world? Gold star to anyone with the correct answer. A hint........


From humble beginnings over a hundred years ago, this best seller has become a titan in the world of vehicle sales. The answer? The Ford F-150 pick-up truck. Mull over these 2019 numbers.......

- Toyota sold about 334,000 Camrys 

- Toyota sold about 110,000 Tundra pick-ups

- Ford sold over 900,000 F-150 pick-ups

Want to put those F-150 sales in perspective? The next best selling vehicle, also a truck, lags about 260,000 units behind! 

All new for 2021, Ford had to be faced with the dilemma, how do you redesign an icon? How do you take what is your biggest profit centre, make it better and not alienate an extremely loyal customer base? Faced with this challenge, here is what Ford has done for 2021.......


Want to see what this model replaces...........


Yes, folks, all new. But let's go back fifteen years to see what the 2005 F-150 looked like.......


This is what I would call gentle evolution. Very much like BMW practices. Listen up, folks, when you sell this many of a vehicle, you sure as heck don't mess with a good thing. 

It wasn't always like this, since in the distance past, a new pick-up looked like a whole new truck whenever the design changed. Get out your magnifying glass and give this evolution of the F-150 a good look........


Why so popular? Firstly there is the construction industry, but bigger than that is the market of everyday people, who feel the need to have a big pick-up bed behind them for those Costco toilet paper runs. The feeling that your huge F-150 can go anywhere, even though you probably wouldn't be going there anyway.


Yes sir, with a truck like the F-150 you have to be very careful with each new redesign to make sure that your target market recognizes the vehicle, that they love so much. Improve it. Modify it slightly. But for Pete's sake, do not CHANGE it. Make sure that the next generation of F-150 buyers can still identify the truck that they fell in love with as kids........


Until next time........


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24: Moving day

Live in Quebec? If you did, you would know that moving day is the end of June. All the apartment leases come due and everyone hits the road to their new place. Why that date? Who knows, but trying to rent a truck to move or hiring a moving company at this time is very tough. How tough, you ask? Maybe it's better just to load up the old car and head to your next home. How hard can that be?


Yes, it's a given that one has to be creative, but with a little rope, a couple of bungee cords and lots of imagination, you could do it. Not having a back bumper, like the car above helps in tying things down.

Got the whole family and all the relatives to move? To show how to do this efficiently, we have to cross the ocean or oceans, to those lands where their citizens know the economy of scale. They know how to pack both belongings and all of the relatives and make the move in one single, simple trip.


A happier group would be hard to find. We should take a lesson from these industrious souls.

Understand of course, that a move of this scale might just wreak havoc on the the underpinnings of your fine automobile. Creatively has its disadvantages.


 But think for a moment, that if these folks can pack for moving like this, how smart would they be in piling goods on a transport truck? No doubt they would be exceptional and by doing so, would probably be able to decrease the huge number of trucks on our streets and highways. How great would that be?
 
 

Of course, with loads like this, there are often disadvantages, if one hasn't packed things exactly right........


But done correctly, an efficiently loaded vehicle can be a real benefit to our crowded cities. Even the numbers of bike couriers could be reduced substantially, all it takes is imagination........


Now back to our friends in Quebec..........

Make moving day fun. Get all your friends and family involved. Make a day of it and enjoy the experience. Take lots of pictures for those unbelievers from the other provinces.


And remember, a family that moves together __________ (fill in the blank).

Until next time.........