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, August 20, 2019

August 20: A new covertible? Apart from the top, what am I missing?

What is a nice compact suv like this doing in today's blog about convertibles? As an aside, this neat looking trucklette is one that we aren't supposed to ever get on these shores. Time will tell, of course, but the way we are soaking up suvs, like a sponge does water, I wouldn't count on the big "No!", currently coming from this company's head office as the final say. Oh, in case you were wondering, this is the new VW T-Roq. I'd buy one for the name alone. Which brings me to the point of today's ramblings.

Ever look at an suv and picture it topless, the wind blowing thru your hair as you carefreely carve your way along a beautiful coastal highway? No, I didn't think so, but a few people do, so VW last week announced that they were doing the cabrio bit with their lovely new T-Roq. Behold this wonderous machine.......


Neat looking in a topless brick kind of way, but not nearly as cool as the suv from which it has sprung. Who wants a topless suv in the first place? Yeah, I know, there is supposedly a market for everything. Remember the Murano drop top? You don't do you? Let me refresh your memory banks.......


This hideous creation sold in double digit numbers to our neighbours to the south. Occasionally I'll see one around Toronto. It should have a big question mark on it. Saner heads at Nissan Canada didn't see a market for this sporty(?) suv up here and wisely took a bathroom break, when the commitment sheet was being passed around.

But great ideas never die. Right? If it failed for Nissan, why not give it a try with our suv? This must have been the talk at Land Rover, when they decided to chop off the upper part of their Evoque.......


.......and yes, what says, fun in the sun more than an suv riding topless thru an overcast, snowy landscape? I dream of moments like this. I've come to the conclusion, that there is too much money spread around folks with questionable taste. If this wasn't the case, then why would I be seeing a few of these Evoque cabs cruising around my city? And to top it off, a satellite radio is a $460 option on this $70k Land Rover. Oh my, I'm getting a headache.

Where is this all going? What suv will be the next one to head out into the sun minus that cozy roof? Can we expect something like this.........


So far Hyundai is only using this Sante Fe for promotional purposes, but I still have nightmares about seeing one at the local dealer. Maybe the Pope will want one in white.

The good news? I read the local paper every morning trying find some. Tough job. Then I come to work, which I love 'cause I'm all about cars, then I see what VW has wrought and I get the shivers and not from the A/C. Oh well, I should thank VW, since without this new unveiling, I'd wouldn't know what to write about today.

Until next time, which will be September 4th, as I'm off on a road trip holiday to the beautiful Gaspe'. Great place for a topless suv.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August 13: Never enough power?


When is enough not really enough?

Dodge has whipped up an excellent big motored cop car, that should be able to chase down all but the wildest rides.........


Not fast enough? Well then, a quick call ahead brings out a few buddies, who can catch that super fast scofflaw before he crosses the state line. The Charger's big thumping Hemi or the amazing EcoBoost V6 in Ford's Police Interceptor would usually be able to handle most speed demons loose on the roads.

Apparently not all police agencies feel that is the case.

Remember in the not too distance past, when the police had to use some pretty sporty rides to catch the fast guys? Cars like a Camaro or this Mustang 5.0 litre........


But that was before the big, new traditional police sedans started carrying a rockin' mill under their hoods. Good enough? Like I said, apparently not. Look at what the Florida State Police just unveiled and added to their fleet.......


A bigger stick to hunt down all those Vettes, Lambos and Porsches, that haunt the highways way down south. Someone pulls a gun? You pull a bigger one, like the scene from Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino. Problem solved. 

There must be a lot of problems south of the border (as if we didn't know), since we are seeing more of this bigger gun syndrome, when it comes to their cop cars. Examples, please.......

Texas State Police
Richland County, South Carolina
New Jersey State Police
Broward County, Florida
Yikes! Don't these guys call ahead like our own provincial police do? Not a chance and with luck they'll generate a good chase sequence for A&E's Live PD. Time to strap on that six shooter, a bullet proof vest and saddle up your hot steed, this looks like it's going to be fun.

But when is enough, not really enough?

Are we going to see an escalation of these hot cop car rides until there is absolutely nothing that can out gun them? Think Europe, where it's not unusual to see a Porsche hunting down those speed merchants. Or Italy, where there are a few Lambos draped in police garb. Or even New South Wales in Australia, as they have a few wild cop cars. What might we seen hitting the asphalt on this side of the Atlantic?

Longview, Texas police
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit video game
Part fiction, part reality. What's next? In the hunt for the ultimate speed machine that nothing could out run, is it possible that this promo race car is a prognosticator of the future?


Light this baby up and no Ferrari, ZR1 or Bugatti would stand a chance. Downside? Isn't there always? In this case, that huge motor's life expectancy is less than two minutes. But hey, the chase is going to be over by then anyway. This looks like the biggest gun to me. But where does this all end?

Never enough power? I guess not, but what about some sanity and simply call ahead, like we do in the frozen north? Food for thought.

Until next time......

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August 7: I was there


Imagine a big time racing series. It attracts the best drivers. The best teams. Also the best sponsors. The bigger the series, the harder it is to win at that level. When you get your trophy, you know you've beaten the best. So when something like this happens this past weekend, it is rather incredible.........

This feat took thirty two years. Thirty two years! That alone is amazing. How many other racers or anyone else has been at the top of their game for that long?

I was there at the beginning of his run for the history books. Back in 1987 at the NHRA Grandnational event just outside of Montreal. The Sunday finals had been rained out, so I went back Monday morning with my wife, my brother and his wife. All three were not drag racing fans, but the finals were free, since it was only going to take about an hour or less to wrap up this event. Barbara had never seen or more importantly heard a fuel funny car, so when Force pulled to the staging area and started up, she jumped, covered her ears and swore never to come to another drag race. Minutes later, John Force finally won a big event after many runner ups........


John Force. Perennial loser, but a great promoter. Check out all those big time sponsors on this "loser's" car. He may not have won before, but everyone knew that he was there. Now all these years later, he notches that milestone win total..........


John Force is seventy years old. Think about that. These cars, with their 11,000 HP (also think about that for a second), are all about reaction time. A millisecond makes all the difference, when you are covering the track in 3.97 seconds with a top end velocity of 320 mph. I'm that age and by the time I think about pulling away from a traffic light, three seconds are already up. I bet he can grab flies in mid-air.

At the beginning Force was a down on his luck truck driver putting any spare cash into his low buck funny car trying to make a name for himself. Having a name like Force helped.........


That was in an era, when you would work on your car in your garage. Times change, but Force still has the work done in his garage. It's just a little bigger.........


......and he has two, one in California and one in Indianapolis. He also has a couple of funny car teams and a couple of top fuel dragster teams. Big changes for this one time lowly truck driver, now a multimillionaire.

Has it been easy? When you've raced for that long, you have the hard times along with the good times. For instance, twelve years ago the crash below broke his wrist, ankle and several fingers. Told he was never going to race again. Seems he proved them wrong.


 Seventy years old and not finished yet. Reads like the American dream. From this very low buck, old funny car.......


 .......to these modern facilities (times two)............


Next time someone says you're too old. Think of John Force, as you ease your walker up to the starting line.

Until next time.......


Thursday, August 1, 2019

August 2: Who would think it?

Know what this is? I might be jumping the gun, but I think this might be the logo for the first Chinese car to reach our shores. Then again, maybe not. What I know for sure is that this is the actual logo for the Lynk & Co brand of cars that will soon to headed to Europe. This is an off shoot of the big manufacturer Geely, who among other things has rescued Volvo from going the way of that other Scandinavian brand, Saab.  Anyone who underestimated how well they would resuscitate Volvo, lost their bet, as that brand now features a stellar line of high quality vehicles.

Lynk & Co (sounds like a trendy clothing shop at a high end Toronto mall) currently has three vehicles in their quiver. Take a guess......a sedan, the 03......

 

..........and surprise, surprise an suv, the 02........


......and yet another surprise, the 03.........

 
 

 The question that is blowing in the wind is obvious, what might come after these "0's"? Good question and if your said 04 and 05 suvs of some sort, I believe you might be in the ballpark, or at least at the front gate. Maybe even a "coupe" suv (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em)........



Now, let's go back to that Volvo connection. Like many manufacturers (Kia, Hyundai, VW), one can make several car lines off of a successful (or not) platform. Geely is no exception. Here is the vehicle that the 01 is based on...........


See the family resemblance to this XC60? Not really, as they have done a very nice redesign cover up.

Ok China, we are waiting. Where are your cars and trucks? Only a few years ago, we would be laughing at what they might send over, but being no dummies, they have held off until they can sell vehicles up to date in design and technology. That day has arrived, along with the US president's tariffs. Might be awhile before this formidable juggernaut shows up here, but they will. Count on it.

And Lynk & Co, with their Volvo offshoots just might lead the charge.

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


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July 29: Back from the dead

Ever wish you could go back in time? Wish there was such a thing as a zombie? Well friendo, today your wishes might be answered. First off, no, you can't go back in time and secondly, there are no such things as zombies (relax kids, there's still a Santa Claus). But, what if something from the past came to you? What if it was a car? What if it was an Alvis?


Ok, enough with the 20 questions. Alvis was a boutique British car maker in the grand tradition of Rolls and Bentley, but like so many of the other forgotten car brands, Alvis is poised to make like a zombie and rise again from the dead. And also like going back in time, the cars being raised are duplicates of what this famous old car company made way back when they viable.

You say you can't remember what rolled off of their hand assembled line? Names like the Parkward Drophead or the Lancefield Concealed Hood or the Bertelli Coupe don't ring a bell. So, I guess you are just like the rest of us. Let me refresh what's in that cobweb encased noggin of yours........



From 1919 until 1968 Alvis hand built some classic British touring cars, but as modern tech caught up with their antiquated ways, sales declined and the old days weren't like the new days and sadly, this old Brit closed its doors forever. We thought. Now Alvis has been resurrected, but not with some new glam mobile or more likely an suv. No the new Alvis line is the old Alvis line, detail for detail with a few new safety features thrown in.

Those old classics appeal to you, but you don't have a mechanic on staff to keep one running? But you do have a large bank account for something new, so look no further........

 

Whether the '30's or the '60's appeal to you, the new, but old, Alvis line has something for you. No suv? No problem (thank goodness). Beautiful old cars in the grand 1930's tradition or something much more contemporary, assuming your definition of contemporary means a car fifty plus years old.

About this time the question arises of exactly how much one of these dreams rides might set a well healed person back? Keep in mind that the new Alvis is meticulously hand built over 4000 to 5000 hours and in some cases using old original parts (not sure if that is actually a positive feature). A guess? Well, you are in luck, as the prices are about 250,000 British pounds. Speaking of which, that pound has taken a pounding (no pun intended) this week, so lock your order in asap.

Want to relive those good old days and party like it's 1965 or well before?


 Ok, I hear you and so does Alvis. They are ready to make your antiquated dreams come true. And if you are a touch concerned that there might another Alvis in your hood, each model is limited to only twenty five. I can see your knees weakening, your heart pounding and your cheque book (or e-tranfer) coming slowly to hand.

Better be quick, the dead don't come back to life that often!

Until next time.......


Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 26: It's a coupe. Really?

So listen up, folks.......every single dictionary on the planet states that a coupe is a two door vehicle. Every single one! I could rant on this for a few more lines, but throwing my hands up in the air, I'll shout, "I give up!". If the car manufacturers persist in calling anything with a roof that even remotely slopes a coupe, well then, so be it.

Cars I can understand, but these suv coupes have me flummoxed. Dam BMW for starting this hideous trend back ten years or so. Designs progress and Mercedes improved suv coupes were somewhat better. A hell of a lot better by comparison, but not what I'd call great looking. Time heals all design wounds and these two latest coupe suv's finally get it right, except of course for that stupid name.

First off, the Porsche Cayenne.......


Not a bad line on this latest misnamed suv. Now compare it to its baby sister, the Macan.......


So the Cayenne becomes a coupe, while the Macan with the same roof line is simply an suv. Go figure. At least they both look good, so why worry about semantics? Though it makes one wonder what a Macan coupe might look like.

Our next new addition is from Audi doing their first suv coupe, the A3........

 

Someone please give these guys a gold star, along with Porsche, as this is a a great looking addition to their line of suv's. I've liked Audi's for the past few years, but their designs have been conservative, maybe almost too conservative. That has changed recently with the Q8 and now the look alike "baby" suv, the Q3.......


......followed by that new Q3 coupe.

What would our world be without choices?

Now that I'm almost over the misuse of the word coupe, it looks like I can get over the awful looking suv coupes, if the other manufacturers can suggest that their stylists stay a little later and do a good design, instead of leaving early with mediocrity.

Until next time......

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23: The 2020 Corvette - FINALLY!!

FINALLY!!

After too many years of speculation and huge amounts of anticipation, Chevrolet has finally unveiled the biggest change the Corvette has ever undertaken, by transforming it into a mid-engined supercar. For the longest time, many believed that there was a better chance of Trump telling the truth, than there was of a mid-motored Vette. At least with the Trump, there is still something to long for, however unrealistic that hope may be.


Controversial? Of course. When the Corvette dropped the hidden headlights awhile back folks complained. Same with the round rear taillights being changed to what you see above. Should never have happened, screamed those rabid Corvette fans. Hyperventilating in the extreme. So this wholesale change is causing, well, let"s just say that the riots in Hong Kong are mild by comparison. A daily newsletter I subscribe to normally gets about thirty comments on a subject where folks have strong opinions, but yesterday when readers were asked about the new Vette, about 180! Me? I like the new design, think it looks like a Corvette. 

But changes get made, life goes on and this icon gets better and better. There came a point where there was only so much that could be done with the old layout and most of the other supercars no longer had their motor upfront. Progress versus emotion.

Long way from the beginning back in 1953.........

 
 

Not the good ol' days, when one compares this six cylinder boat anchor to what came after it. Every red blooded car person should have had a Vette at some point and I was no exception. Unfortunately my ride was from the mid-1970's and if you remember, that time was hell on performance. My "big" motored Stingray couldn't crack a 10 second 0-60 time, but hey, it was still a Vette........

 

Flash forward to 2020's Stingray. Looking like a rocket on wheels and with an interior that would give those early Corvette drivers a Tylenol headache. Extra strength even.


And now you are asking the most important and obvious question, how much? Again speculation had some wild numbers up on the board, but Chevrolet tells us the correct one is about $60k USD. Now, that folks is one amazing number to enter the realm of the everyday supercar. Try to match it with anything else, anywhere. Canadian money? Still a blow out bargain.

How many of our car dreams come to pass? For the progressive Corvette buyer, this one hasn't come soon enough, but worth every minute (hour, day, week, year, decade) of the wait.

Until next time.......