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, March 24, 2017

March 24: A unique delivery

Hands up, who doesn't like pizza and who doesn't like sitting back at home waiting for their cheese and tomato pie to arrive, bubbling hot from the oven? And now hands up, who is a touch disappointed, when their pizza arrives, slightly less than hot and and far from bubbly? Of course, the answer to all of the above is all of us. Yeah, those beat up old Corollas and worse yet, motorbikes with those dumb back rack carriers, just don't cut it when we want that fresh from the oven goodness.

Other methods are also, not exactly efficient, but all are worth checking out.........



If this converted lowrider VW van even made it to your home, it would be a miracle, regardless of how hot or chilled its package was. Yes sir, this one is a no go from the get go. And this fleet of lovely(?) Toyota hybrids aren't much better.......


Great to save gas on your deliveries, but any hybrid benefits from careful driving, not those mad dashes from the pizza oven to your home. So, unfortunately this method, while good for the pizza shop owner, just won't work for the end eater - you and me!

What else might be worth considering?


I actually think this might work, but I was distraught to read that it was the shop owner's personal ride and not the hoped for delivery machine of my dreams. Nix this one as well.

So, why not a drone? These days they are being used to deliver everything from books to bombs.......


........but any sharp eyed observer, will see right away, that there is not an insulated wrap around the pie, so all that air rushing by this speedy delivery conveyance negates the main reason for using a drone. Back to the drawing board.

The guys behind the Domino's Pizza chain have been mulling over this dilemma for years. Economical delivery vehicles have been key from the start, but as we all know, unless you live next door to the oven, that age old problem of luke warm pizza pie persists. Still, Domino's has had an interesting assortment of delivery vehicles........




What to do, what to do?

Finally, those bright souls at Domino's came up with the obvious solution. So obvious, that no one else has thought of it before.......


 Now we're talking and what a great idea. Take one economical Chevy Spark and build a real pizza oven into the back seat. Make it accessable to the driver from the outside of the car and quicker than a Donald Trump tweet, one gets a really hot pizza. No fake news here.


And to top it off, I bet this things smells wonderful, as it cruises the biways to your abode. Nothing but good feelings and added sales for the folks at Domino's. Talk about a terrific marketing tool. And for a car guy or gal, an interesting vehicle to look over, while chowing down on their favorite toppings. But be careful, that pizza is HOT!

So there you have it........a problem proposed and a problem solved and it only took sixty years!

Vacation alert.......it's that time again, when those overseas countries beckon, so there will be no blogging from yours truly, as he trips around Greece. Back on April 11th with (hopefully) interesting new insights.

Until next time........




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21: Hot rod Lincoln?


 Surely they must have been kidding, comparing a huge, relatively soft riding Lincoln Mark Seven coupe (the two door kind) to a taut handling Mercedes 560 SEC. Don't advertising types have any shame? Well, you can read the ad, so apparently not. Written with a straight face, no doubt. True or not, maybe this car kept a few Lincoln enthusiasts in the fold, but I doubt very many, if any, buyers said to themselves, "I better check out that new Mark Seven before blowing my coin on a new Mercedes."
The power of positive thinking. This was Lincoln's kick at the can, that Cadillac was also kicking around. Trying to transform a big, traditional American luxury yacht into a corner carver, that even a Benz or BMW driver could love. Did it work? If you are any sort of a car person, you already know the answer.

There used to be a song about a hot rod Lincoln way, way back in the days, when the only German car anyone on this side of the Atlantic bought was a strange little round creation called a Beetle. So a "hot rod" Lincoln was relative to what else was available over here at the time.

Now, the important thing here is, that some imaginative soul thought a model kit of a real hot rod Lincoln, might be a good idea. So, of course, my trusty companion, the Car Modeling Cat (CMC) and I took this kit, that I had bought fifteen years ago and made our own hot rod Mark Seven.......



Usually these kits are based on a real car that someone somewhere had built in real life, but no amount of research has found any info on any pro street Lincoln Mark Seven ever being built. So, of all the cars the model company could have used, strange that they chose this subject. Oh well, they did and the CMC and I built it. And since it was a supposed drag strip terror, I posed it with a vintage funny car (talk about imagination).

The transformation from street car to pro street is less than subtle. By the way, the idea of a pro street car is one that resembles a production car, but with a monster motor and huge slicks at the rear. No one would ever mistake one for the other, but at a quick glance, they do look sort of similar. Until in real life, when that monster motor is cranked to life.

Stock 1985 Mark Seven

Maybe this is the way Ford should have made their original Mark Seven and marketed it as faster than any Mercedes ever........in a straight line?

Ridiculous or not. Real or imagined, the CMC and I brought to miniature life this car, that the Lincoln division of Ford, at one time thought they might have a true competitor for those European brands. I don't always know what is going on in that furry little creature's head, but I'm convinced while building this model, she shared my thought of how ridiculous this car was........


A Mercedes competitor indeed.

Until next time.......


Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17: A green day

Nothing says happy St. Patrick's Day like a lovely green card with a vintage Buick LeSabre on it, green of course. For those amongst you who send out Saint Paddy's Day cards (does anyone?), this might be one to consider for next year for all your car buff friends. How to celebrate this unusual day? Unusual, since I've never quite figured out why this particular country gets its own day, when folks celebrate by drinking a green beverage, wearing a bit of green or dying their city's river green (Chicago, I'm talking to you).

Ok, so let's give into the need for green and see how a car guy or gal can celebrate this auspicious(?) occasion. Let's go extreme first.......


We all know that if you have a smart car, at some time you must dress it up. I believe this is actually written into the sales contract. And proof must be sent back to the Fatherland. Now this little smart costume must have taken a while to plan and probably longer to execute. Cover car with dirt, plant grass seed, water liberally and wait until after March 17th, before you mow it. Brilliant. Why is it you never see Buicks or BMW's being this creative. Might it have to do with good taste?

Moving right along to crass commercialism........


This money wise sponsor, decided that they must appeal to the Irish and for the race weekend closest to the 17th, show up at the track with a St. Paddy's Day themed ride. Could it have anything to do with the driver's last name being Patrick? Now, there is your insightful question for the day.

Back to the future with this string of DeLoreans or is it back to the past?


Either way, a few green bits, a green t-shirt and a nattily attired teddy bear all say, I'm in the spirit and so is my famous car. Just by luck this driver found a few other like minded owners. Strange but true.

Another car that is always destined to be dressed up for these special occasions is the good old VW Beetle. One way or another, they will always find their way into the local parade......



And as luck would have it, this one also happens to be green. Just how Irish can one be?

And now for the ultimate St. Patrick's Day ride and it doesn't even have to be painted green or decorated.....


The real and the first Irish car, the Shamrock, not that pretender the DeLorean. Show up at your local pub on the 17th in one of these and I'll guarantee you won't buy a drink all day. A couple of interesting background facts about this rarety.......only ten were built and the left over parts were dumped into a lake. Must have been before recyling.

I hope that these car ideas for St. Paddy's Day are not too late for you create your own breath taking ride. The local dollar store should be able to provide all the high quality decor you'll need to tranform your pride and joy.

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day and remember to go green.

Until next time.......



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14: Porsche station wagon?


Of course this isn't a Porsche station wagon, but I wonder if this is where the idea came from, a 1965 Pontiac wagon, the pride of suburbia way back in the distant 1960's. Come on, get serious, Barry. No way a big family hauler like this, with its typical floaty ride, was an inspiration for anything Porsche did, except maybe a boat anchor. Don't think so?

Here is the father of the modern day Porsche, Ferry Porsche........


And yes, I know his father designed the original 356, but Ferry guided this brand on its way to its present day greatness. Ferry was the guy behind the 911 and its now iconic design, elements of which have lived on in almost every Porsche car, since its introduction back in 1964.

So, now back to that family's dream ride, the 1965 Pontiac. A little known fact is that Ferry had one of these behemoths, that he used in Germany back in the day. Here's a guy who loved and promoted cars that handled, driving a big ol' American station wagon, thru the narrow streets and countryside of 1960's Germany. A Pontiac wagon, the antithesis of everything Ferry Porsche believed in automobile wise. So, just maybe, he secretly wanted a wagon in the car line that bore his name? Maybe there could be a station wagon designed around a Porsche?

Well, yes, there could be and there was and here is the first one, a wagon designed around the front engined 928 and given to him as a present on his 75th birthday........




























So, that tells us something. It tells us that the man liked his wagons or maybe his employees just got sick and tired of seeing their boss cruising around in that big old Poncho. Either way, maybe this got Porsche to thinking, that a station wagon might be a good fit for their line. Naturally, the term station wagon would have to be dumped for the more upscale term shooting brake (a station wagon by any other name).

Not surprisingly nothing came of this, since this was the time when a sports car company only made sports cars or also, maybe there wasn't the money to experiment on the less than successful 928. But things changed and these days Porsche has become an suv and sedan (Panamera) company with a few sports cars thrown into the mix (look at the sales numbers, bucko).

So, just maybe the timing is right to resurrect Ferry's idea of a station wagon, oops, shooting brake for the Porsche line. And of course, with the new and quite beautiful Panamera about to hit the streets, what a great time to add a more practical vehicle for those few suv adverse folks remaining. And, if you have been paying attention to what was shown at last week's Geneva auto show, you'd know that this car has finally arrived.......













Not a bad line on this beauty, except as I mentioned recently, the bottom one, at least for us poor wannabe's. Another good reason to strive for financial greatness.

Using our imagination, we can see Ferry Porsche loving his Pontiac wagon and wishing his company could find a way to make one, so that he could husle around the highways and biways of Germany a tad quicker and more precisely than with his trusty Pontiac. If only Ferry had lived to 108, so he could see what his wishes and desires had eventually wrought. If only.......

Until next time......



Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10: What's Bentley up to?

Another intro at this week's Geneva show was the Mulliner Edition, Bentley Bentayga (another name that rolls off the tongue like a spitball on a windy day).......



Just like the big Bentley sedans, this suv will never see anything remotely resembling off road, but will come in handy when they are repaving the entrance to the country club. Is this what Bentley has become? Big, semi sporting luxury sedans, that have the cache', but not the price tag of a Rolls (not a criticism, by the way). Hey, look, I know that Bentley does a super coupe from time to time, but what about tradition? What about the old days? Well folks, Bentley hasn't forgotten their past, based on what else was shown at Geneva (no fair to skip to the end).

James Bond is equated with Aston Martin, but in Ian Fleming's original books, this famous super spy was behind the wheel of his beloved blower Bentley........



This was the Bentley of old, a hulking and powerful sportscar, that could rip around the laneways of Great Britain on her majesty's secret service. Perfect for James B and just about as stealthy as his latter day Astons.

Back in the day, Bentley even had what became known as the Blue Train Special, famous for being a high performance coupe, but just look at those achingly beautiful lines........



Back in those simpler times, when the idle (and rich) country gents had time on their hands, they conceived unusual ways to pass the time, when maybe it was a touch too brisk to play cricket or croquet. Imaginative gents decided that racing a train across France would be a great way to see the countryside. The train in question was called the Blue Train and Woolf Barnato, challenged it with his Bentley, which became known as the (drum roll, please), Blue Train Special. Racing from Calais to the French Riviera, Woolf beat the train by four minutes. Only four minutes you say? Yep, but think of the roads back then and give Woolf a hearty pat on his derriere for his efforts. I wonder what kind of a cricket player he was?

Since this illustrious nameplate was given new life by its owner VW, Bentley has teased us with the idea of a real sportscar, first with the EXP10 Speed 6.........



Note the less than subtle 6 in the grille, in case you were wondering what was just about to pass you. Lovely, but wouldn't a roadster stir the heart strings even more? Yes, of course, and now to the other very interesting Geneva debut at the Bentley display, the EXP12 Speed 6........


......complete with the cross stitch upholstery of the old Blue Train Special.......


The powertrain? Well folks, this is the new millenium, so some sort of hybrid power plant has been mentioned, but since this is a concept, Bentley could tell us it runs on Donald Trump's hot air and who are we to dispute it?

But wouldn't it be great if Bentley brought back a two seater like this, but will they? I haven't the slightest idea, but if I wanted to bet on a sure thing, I might pony up a few bucks on some version of this car becoming a reality. I don't believe I'd lose.


The only bad line on this beauty, might be the bottom one, so start saving.

Not living in the past, but remembering and respecting it, is Bentley's credo and VW has done this old nameplate proud. So grab your cheque book, debit card or whatever and trot on down to your nearest Bentley retailer. Tell them you are serious and get in line for one of these two seaters. Be the first on your block and remember........there is more to life than an suv.


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



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7: VW Arteon - coupe or sedan


Definition: coupe - a car with a fixed roof and two doors

Just like that lovely 4 Series Bimmer in the pic above, a coupe had always been a two door car. This had been the case for years and years and years, but all that changed a few short years ago, when Mercedes introduced their very swoopy CLS........


.....and decided that the hell with it, this four door was going to be a coupe. Well, that was just plain wrong. Kinda like calling a square a circle, because it suited your marketing department. No matter how good looking the CLS was and man, was it ever good looking, this automobile was a sedan. Just because they called it a coupe, didn't make it thus.

Well good ol' Barry, your car guy, is spitting into the wind with this argument, because others have followed suit, since it suits them and they can't let Mercedes have the only four door two door (if you get my drift) car on the block. The other two big German luxury brands quickly stepped up to the plate. BMW followed with their 6 Series Gran Coupe.......


......followed by their smaller 4 Series Gran Coupe.........


........and Audi with their A5 Sportback........


Heck, even VW brought out their strangely named CC.......


With the possible exception of the VW CC, all were terrific looking, but why call them coupes, when they were sedans? Wonder what the Oxford dictionary's coupe defintion reads like these days?

So, your blogger is no longer going against the flow.......to an certain extent. I love and embrace these new designs, but will call them what I see fit. Anyway, when was the last time you saw a CC? There are a few around, but I'm sure it never lived up to VW's hopes and dream's sales in North America. That might change now, that the CC's replacement has been introduced today at the Geneva auto show's press preview. Of course, this depends, as always, on price and apparently this may hit our shores as a premium VW..

Behold, the new Arteon........


Now, there is a name that rolls off the tongue, second only to Nissan's Qashqai as unusually unusual names. No matter, this is one great looking coupe, oops, sedan, whatever. Right up there with the efforts of Benz and BMW, in my ever so humble opinion.

So as the coupe trend grows marginally (think of anyone else with a sedan coupe or coupe sedan?), I keep going back to their misnomer. I'll always wonder why Mercedes tried to re-invent or redefine a definition?Why did it take a renaming to start another niche in the car business? Questions for the ages.

Now, I wonder what other treats will spring forth from the Generva auto show?

Until next time.......





Friday, March 3, 2017

March 3: Z16

Here I am on Friday, March 3rd rockin' the '60's once again and rest assured, not for the last time. The sixties, a time of free love, the British music invasion, foreign wars (has that ever changed?) and the dawn of the muscle car. Big motored cars had been around for a few years to some extend, but always in full sized cars. That changed in 1964, when Pontiac brought out, against corporate wishes, the soon to be legendary GTO. In essence a big motor in an intermediate sized car. Expecting to sell a few, they were overwhelmed with the response. Now the flood gates were opened and the band wagon rolling (two cliches in one sentence), everyone had to get on or get out of the way. Good old Chevrolet might have been expected to be a bit quicker out of the starting blocks, but it took until '66 for them to really get going. One caveat to that, was an extremely limited production Chevelle Malibu called the Z16, which packed their new 396 cubic inch big block. How limited you say? Is two hundred limited enough for you?

Basically a progenitor of what was to come, the Z16 Malibu was essentially a way for Chevrolet to say, hey wait another year and we'll also have wild ride to help wreck havoc on the streets.















So, why bring this up today, you ask? Good question and the answer is........my trusty companion, the Car Modeling Cat (CMC) and I finally got around to building our version of this rare muscle car. Looking like a typical Malibu with a couple of exceptions. The back was slightly different around the lights, it wore the new for '65 fake (but great looking) mag wheel hubcaps and it announced that it carried the big 396 engine, with those signs on the front fender (ok, so there were three exceptions).

Once again, is this real or Memorex?


Why only make two hundred? No idea. Maybe Chev really got caught off guard and couldn't make the changes necessary to accomodate, that bigger motor in time to do a full production run. Those two hundred were basically promo vehicles for the press and the car magazine testers to flog and to tell the world, that Chev had something really good for 1966, so hang on to your wallet a bit longer. Instant gratification wasn't so instant fifty years ago.

A muscle car "classic" these days, I believe a good condition Z16 tops $200k. Our model was substantially less. If you are saying to yourself, man, I'd like to get my paws on one of those, then you know how the CMC felt when building ours.......


........as her little paws were all over this classic muscle machine.

Back in the day with those muscular rides, this became a common scene and was one of the reasons, cop cars had to use the biggest motors they could get, in order to run down those scoflaws with their raging hormones and their, "Ain't nothing ever going to happen to me." attitudes.


So obviously, over the many years between then and now, some things never change.

While many of us wish we could have some car or cars of our past dreams, the CMC and I have created our own wish list, but in miniature. Easy to buy, easy to maintain, hard to dust, but there at anytime for us to pick up and look over. Life doesn't get any better.

Until next time........