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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dec 22: All I want for Christmas.....

I often get asked if I could have only one car what would it be? Well, since this is the Christmas season and someone, somewhere might want to make my dreams come true, I thought I should share my dream car wish. Being a practical guy and also needing room for golf clubs, I think a four door sedan would be a smart move. Something with a bit of panache, a bit of power and a whole whack of style. The car that makes my very short list is.........


Yep, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 with the AMG Performance Package, which would give my dream ride a nice round 550HP. Now who wouldn't want to deliver presents from behind the wheel of this beaut? Whether you like its looks or not, it sure makes a statement for about $120k large.

Now you are probably thinking that you'd love to help out but the pic below is more your style.....


Sorry, but this just won't do.

Since this will be my last blog until January 10th, the Car Modeling Cat and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or whatever) and a happy New Year.

A Christmas Mercedes of another type

 Until next time.........

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dec 20: Electrifying?

There are many things I just don't get  -  1000's of apps on the new Smart phones, the 100 k/hour speed limit on the 401 and people buying electric cars. Sure sounds like a great idea to pay thousands extra for a pure electric car and then have absolutely no hope at all of ever recovering any of that money thru gas savings. Yes, I know that is probably not the point......apparently it's the principle of the thing.

2012 Nissan Leaf


Take the unfortunate looking little Leaf above. Apart from the driver being stuck in someting that looks like it should have never left the design studio, there is a very real question of exactly how far (or how short) a distance it will actually go on a charge. And keep in mind that you'll need a 240 volt charging system that will set you back over $2000. There was an excellent article in last Saturday's (Dec 17th) Star Wheels section by Peter Bleakney about his experience with a Leaf (http://www.wheels.ca/). Anyway one looks at these cars they are 100% impractical (and expensive).

But what if they made them stand out, so that at least you'd be driving a great looking car? Take a look at what happened between the concept and the reality of the much more practical Chevy Volt.......



A "electrifying" looking electric went to a pudgy little compact sedan that stands out only if one is checking the sticker price. But with a secondary gas motor at least you have a chance of getting where you are going.

Pure electrics? I just don't get their point. Save gas and use electicity  -  where is the savings?

Until next time........

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dec16: Power Play Conclusion

2013 Mustang Shelby GT500

Talking about old and revered car names resurfacing, how about the Mustang Shelby GT500? Ford has used this name from the '60's for the past few years to denote their big dog, top of the line Mustang. It has always had the most power and the most aggressive looks. Apart from the name, the overall look is quite similar to the original as you can see by this '68 version.......


Pretty similar, right? These days though, the power has gone absolutely nuts, no longer is this a 428 Cobra Jet motor with a "measly" 370 or so HP. No, its 2013 namesake has a whopping 650 HP!! This makes it the least expensive car anywhere in the world that will top 200 miles/hour or about 330 kms/hour. For only about $65k you can get into this beast. Now that is amazing. I think that to find the next car with this ability, one would have to move up to a much more expensive Corvette Z06 (and even this car is a steal for its abilities).

A couple of quick Mustang Shelby stories......

1) My Toyota Fleet Manager has a 2010 GT500 convertible  -  couldn't find a Camry with enough power?

2) Back in unversity, one year I was in charge of lining up cars for our winter carnival parade. The local dealers would usually contribute a new convertible for the evening to which I would assign drivers. Much to my surprise, the local Mercury dealer gave us a '68 GT500 convertible like this one......


No question this was going to be my ride for the parade. "Pick it up after lunch and have it back first thing in the morning.", said the sales manager. Well you can just imagine the time that I had in that Mustang  -  cold weather, but dry roads. Whoppee! Whatever were they thinking, giving me that car?

We thought we had it good back in the days of the muscle cars, but nothing could compare to what is available today. Money buys power  -  if only I had the money.

Until next time........

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dec 13:Power Play, Part 2


My last blog dealt with the big motored 1969 Camaro ZL-L, well Ford had a similar Mustang called the Boss 429. Again a very rare model built for one reason only and that was to go extremely fast in a straight line for 1/4 mile, although actually the motor was designed for NASCAR racing. Confusing?

NASCAR wouldn't allow a manufacturer to use a new motor unless a minimum number were built and sold to the general public. To accomplish this, Ford put the 370 HP, 429 cubic inch engine in a Mustang for image reasons and called it the Boss 429. And in this car, it was only meant to go straight like this Boss 429 equipped Maverick driven by the rather famous "Fast Eddie" Schartman........


A rare car today, an original '69 or '70 Mustang Boss 429 can sell for upwards of $300,000. Why didn't we all buy one and put it in a garage? Back then who would have thought that 30 to 40 years later, these relatively cheap cars would be selling for 40-50 times their original prices? These are the numbers that used to be reserved for the classics from the 1920's and 1930's.

So how much for an accurate crystal ball?

Until next time.......


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dec 8: Power Play


Looks like a plain Jane old 1969 Camaro, but you are looking at "gold". One like this sold recently at auction for $307,000 and that was considered to be very low. So what gives? This is the very rare (69 built) Camaro ZL-1  -  it had an aluminium 427 cubic inch motor with an advertised 430 HP, which was extremely understated. These cars were built for 1/4 mile competition like this one driven by Dick Harrell from Illinois.....


As an aside, Dick Harrell also raced a similarly painted and sponsored fuel funny car and died from a crash at (I believe) the Georgetown, Ontario drag strip in September, 1971, when a front tire blew at speed (200 mph).

The ZL-1 was the car and motor combination you needed to have if you were planning to win. This package cost a mere $7200 US, but get this, the engine was a $4160 option charge. So while the base car was $3040, one paid $4160 for the motor! This was more than a new Cadillac at the time. As you can see, they were very subtle with no identifying logos or badging  -  you had to look for the hood bulge.

Over the years, the ZL-1 name became mythical and much revered. So much so, that when Chevrolet announced an ultra high performance version of the new Camaro, the name ZL-1 was dusted off. This time though, the car with this 550 hp motor will look the part.


Big wheels and tires, lowered stance and altered hood. And because this is now and then was then, these cars will actually corner. A far cry from the original which had one purpose only and that was to go very straight, very quickly.

When the rising insurance rates killed the original muscle cars, who would ever have thought that 40 years later, our muscle cars would be much more powerful, use the same names and use less gas! Now if only I could put my golf clubs in the trunk!

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dec 5: Surprise!

A few years back, Toyota and Subaru agreed to work together on a joint shared vehicle. Now we all know that Subaru has all wheel drive (AWD) covered and that is what they are known for (and of course their hot rally cars). So what kind of a car do Toyota and Subaru manage to come up with.......a small suv? Nope. An AWD sedan? No, way. Ok, so what do they do?

How about this.........


And this........

Who would have figured that they'd decide on a hot little coupe and a real beauty at that. Toyota's FR-S (the red car) will be sold under the Scion badge, so maybe Scion will finally have a car that sells. Subaru's version will be called the BRZ. Pricing should be in the low 20's to start, but I'll have to get back to you on the mechanicals.

Who would have thought that this neat little coupe would be the result of these minds meeting? And who would have thought that Toyota would put together such an edgy design? Take a look at the current Scion coupe and tell me that it has mass appeal. We should see the final product at the Detroit show and get all the nasty little details  -  be worth waiting for.

By the way, the Car Modelling Cat and I have started working on a nail polish pink, 1948 Ford custom coupe  -  cool. Had some issues with the Little Red Wagon, so it's temporarily sidelined, but hope to get it finished during the holidays.

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dec 2: Snow Job


Not the ideal car for our snowy winters, but I'm showing this Corvette pic to point out an important fact.......in snow with snow tires even the hottest sportscar is driveable, if you drive sensibly. Compare this shot to this BMW suv.......


How many times have you been driving on a snowy day, only to be passed by some nut in an suv who thinks that they are impervious to the conditions because they have a 4x4 truck? Just because one has a 4x4 sure doesn't mean that you can ignore the conditons. After a snow storm you can always see shots like this in the paper or on the news.......


The sport utility drivers always seem to find the ditches before the other drivers. They think they are the kings (or queens) of the road until they realize that 4 tires slip and slide as easily as 2. There is an old saying that having an suv allows you to get buried deeper and further from the road. Even seemingly short and simple trips can be difficult regardless of what you are piloting. How about this Toyota 4Runner stuck at the end of a driveway.......


Most of us would have shovelled an exit, so that this wouldn't happen. Not this suv driver.........just barge right thru it until you get stuck  -  now try to shovel this brute out.

No, they are not the perfect snow machines. And yes, snow tires would have helped. And no, you cannot drive like a nut. Easy does it and get home safely.

Until nex time.......