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 30, 2011

Tuesday: Not Civic Minded?

Looks like everyone is dumping on the new Civic and even Consumer Reports gave it the thumbs down ( http://www.consumerreports.org/). This is almost like saying Mom's apple pie sucks or an American admitting to not liking their flag. Yes, it is that bad! What did poor ol' Honda do (or not do) to deserve this. What in the world is going on?

In my opinion, Honda got complacent. They have lead the sales charts in Canada for many years and although threatened (the Mazda3), they haven't lost their crown. Until this year. Hyundai's new Elantra has gotten great reviews for its looks and quality feel. And I believe, has beaten the Civic sales every month so far in 2011.
2011 Elantra

I personally don't think that there is a bad angle on the Elantra. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but my eyesight is pretty good.

As I said, I believe Honda got complacent. After a pretty swoopy last generation Civic, they must have gotten nervous and taken a page out of Toyota's very dull book. Read Consumer Reports and see that it is just not the Civic's styling. But if it was, look at what Honda has been selling overseas for the past few years........

This is their four door model. Actually pictures don't do it justice, as in real life it is a real head turner. And note that I said it has been on sale for a few years.

Most of the other manufacturers have also gotten their acts together and are putting out some dam good cars. For example, the Chevy Cruze and the 2012 Ford Focus. The former is just a very good car, but the latter is another head turner..........
2012 Focus sedan

Just goes to show you that these days, one can not just stand still. Things are moving quickly in this market segment, so to snooze is to lose.

Until next time........

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday: I don't get it!

I don't get this new trend in matte finished cars. When I was growing up the only cars without a shiny finish were the hotrods like this chopped '49 Merc.........


I always thought that they were left this way, because the young dude driving it just didn't have the dough to add a nice shiny paint job  -  probably actually the case. A clean gloss paint finish was something that we worked hard to achieve thru multiple washes and waxing. Matte finishes were caused by faded paint and neglect like this old Trabant........



Unwashed, unloved(?) and definitely not shiny. But now the trend starting in the high end cars and no doubt working its way down the auto food chain is to fore go that "see your face in it" shine for an expensive(?) looking dull finish. Take this Bentley for example.........

(yes, a car this expensive can block a cross walk)

Or this Lambo.......

A custom trend that started with the high buck cars like the Lambo is now being applied at the factory by companies like Mercedes Benz. Or customers are having their cars repainted. A friend's company will apply a matte wrap to your car for about $2500. This is much less expensive than a high quality repaint and can easily be removed by someone with good taste. How soon will it be before your dull, new Camry is ready to pick up? On second thought, maybe a dull finish would suit a Camry.

Also wouldn't a matte finish show every mark and finger print? As I said, I just don't get it.

Until next time........

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday: Euro Cars Part 2


I figured this was a good way to start today's blog. This is a lock on the Danube and you can see the river barge loaded with new cars  -  never see them shipped this way in North America. I believe they are Skoda's but could be something else.

Remember the Dacia that was sold here for a very short time years ago? No? I'm not surprised as it was junk. Now, what about this current version as seen in Salzburg.......


VW short changes us by not selling their new Scirocco here (remember it from years past?). This is one great looking coupe.......

Lots of strange looking stuff in Europe, like this Citroen........


Or how about this Smart Roadster which I'd guess, we'll never see in Canada..........


Or this cute little Opel Tigra passing by Heroes' Square in Budapest...........


When you are a Car Guy, a trip like this is great fun apart from the scenery, because I get to look at all the weird and wonderful rolling stock. My wife wonders why I didn't like Venice last year as much as Florence. Simple.......no cars on the canals!

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday: Euro Cars, part 1

Back from a great trip to Europe, specifically Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. I was really surprised at the expensive rolling stock in Prague and Budapest (Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, Benz, BMW, Audi and even some new Mustangs and Vettes)  -  amazing how quickly the entrepreneur class has risen after the fall of Communism. Everyday cars went from this (whatever it is - Zagropets?).......

To this........
Skoda Superb  -  a Czech Passat

Skoda was sold briefly in Canada many, many years ago and as was typical then for Iron Curtain cars, it was basically junk. Now VW has ownership and it is putting out some very interesting and attractive vehicles  -  how about these two seen in Prague......



As always, there is also the strange stuff like this convertible in Vienna.........

Something based on a Fiat??

Or this older VW pick-up.......


As you would expect there are tons of souvenir shops, but who would go to Prague and buy this for a friend back home?

Something to go with the Lenin mug below right?

I'll do an extra blogs this week to show you some other pics from my trip.

Until next time.......




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday: Macabre?

I like hearses  -  there I've said it. I'm not really thrilled about their cargo nor do I want to be that cargo for some years to come, but I really think they are quite neat. Why? The main reason is that they are one of the few remaining examples of coach built cars. Take this Chrysler 300 for example..........


Not your typical Cadillac or Lincoln, but an interesting interpretation of custom work using a different style of car. Or what about...........

This is a Dodge Grand Caravan made over into a rather different and quite inexpensive van hearse. A funeral home a few blocks from where I live has a Chevy Uplander van hearse along with the more common Cadillac.

Hearses are usually quite fancy, but not nearly as ostentatious as they one were. Look at this example.......


In the 20's, 30's and occasionally in the 40's, hearses wore hand carved side panels  -  yes, hand carved. This was very expensive to do, so it gradually fell out of favor, but that doesn't mean that it has disappeared completely as you can see from this contemporary Japanese hearse......


Looks like a small temple built onto the back of a luxury car. Interestingly, the Japanese also use a variation of the more common North American hearse complete with a Lincoln or Cadillac body. Usually big enough to seat the closest loved ones along with the casket.

When I think of hearses, what usually comes to mind are the slightly(?) over the top cars of the '50's like these two........

Nothing subtle about these two Cadillacs from the early fifties and 1959. We must naturally be more flamboyant, since look what you see when you compare these or even more modern examples to a current European version......


 Plain, but functional. Well that concludes my thoughts for today.

This will be my last blog until the week of the 22nd, since I'll be in Europe. Hope to get some good pics of some different cars.

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