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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dec 21: My next car - decisions, decisions

2009 Acura TL SH-AWD
Being a car guy, I'm usually thinking about my next car shortly after getting a new one. Like most common folk, there is only so much money to go around, so I settle on day dreaming between my new arrivals, which are usually every 3-4 years (term of my leases). Actually, I don't mind this at all, since I like my cars and enjoy the time that I have with them. But now I'm less than four months away from the end of my current lease and since I order my cars, I'll have to decide by the end of January. Decisions, decisions.

I currently drive a Acura TL SH-AWD similar to the pic above, but with the "mandatory" deep tinted glass. It is black with the umber interior  -  a very striking combo that you either love or hate. Lots of power and super handling (just read the reviews). So what to get next? My prerequisites are.......

- lots of front seat leg room since I'm 6'5"
- great handling
- good power
- good looks
- cache' (at least in my mind)
- must fit my budget

.........and not necessarily in that order.

I always have a very short list, so here is what is currently on mine.......

300C, but has to be the Hemi

Audi A4  -  tubo, generally low on power

Cadillac CTS - ticks all the boxes, but about to be redone

Cadillac ATS - interesting new competitor
Those are the nominees and they are all rather different from one another. The Chrysler is your traditional American iron, but it handles well with the Benz E class chassis and it has gobs of power. Before the TL, I had one and that car was super fast. The A4 goes well with the turbo, but power is low for stoplight to stoplight runs. I've always liked the CTS and this design is great looking, even if it is being redone for 2014. The new kid is the ATS, a real BMW 3 series competitor. Its V6 has huge power, but the 4 cylinder is intriguing and very quick.

Cars that fall into this area, but I don't give a minute's thought are the Infiniti G37 (great car, but it's been around too long), BMW 328i (another great car, but not a fan) and the Mercedes C class (can't afford the C63, so it's a no go).

Something to think about over the holidays. What would you suggest???

Savor this blog, since it's my last one until January 8th. Even avid car bloggers need a rest.

Have a happy holiday season and thank you for faithfully reading, I'm now over 70,000 hits. Kinda cool.

Until January 8th......

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dec 18: Attention Superheroes - Batmobile for sale

Yes, sir, all kidding aside, now is the time for you to don your magical cape, black mask and bat ears. No more joking around, this is your time to become the real superhero that you always knew you could be.

Now you can ride in style with the one and the only phenomenal Batmobile. No copy, this is the real one, the original and it is going on the auction block in January. Return those Christmas gifts for cash and start bidding!

A little bit of history........even great super hero cars like the BM have to start somewhere, so what do you think was the origin of this black beauty? If you guessed a Lincoln, you are correct. If you think that answer is nuts, then stay tuned........

.........way back in 1955 Lincoln did a dream car called the Futura. They even made it into a plastic model kit and since I have good taste, I don't have it in my collection. Just look at it, doesn't it look futuristic? Well, maybe not from today's prospective, but at the time, it looked like it could do everything but fly. In hindsight, it actually looks quite a bit like a fish.

Ford toured the country's autoshows with the Futura and even had it featured in the movie, "It Started with a Kiss" (no, I've never heard of it either). But all good things must come to an end. Enter the famous California customizer, George Barris, he of the outrageous and usually tasteless designs. George buys it and when the TV show "Batman" is looking for an appropriately super car for our hero, the Futura is transformed .......

George Barris with his Batmobile
A few changes and the Futura becomes the original Batmobile and this is the one that is up for auction. Sure, there have been a few copies over the years, but this is the bona vide original Futura that was transformed. Barris kept it all these years, occasionally changing the trim colours and also bringing it out to numerous shows.
Batmobile and trailer in front of Barris Kustoms in 1966
You've got to have it. Right? Of course you do, you are a superhero. Right again? Then zip down to Scottsdale, Arizona the week of January 14th and get your bidder's card at the Barret-Jackson Collector Car Auction. Keep in mind that this is the real deal and that you'll be up against some serious high rollers. Beer bottle return money won't cut it here.

And one last thing, Batman, send me a pic of you standing beside your latest acquisition.

Until next time.......

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dec 14: Dream car - BMW Gran Coupe

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yes, sir, that is exactly who is doing the designing at BMW these days. How else can you explain the gawd awful design of the GT and then across the showroom floor you see the stunning new Gran Coupe (there's that misnomer again).......

How does it get any better than this beauty? Well, how about a little tweaking to make it the just announced powerhouse M........

Either way, this is a great design, but going back to the GT, what the heck happened? How could the same studio produce this abomination? And this is not a one off misstep for BMW.....consider the X6 (I can't even show a pic, it is so nauseating) or the strangely fronted X1 and X3. And even the upcoming 2014 3 series GT is questionable.

This new Gran Coupe is a continuation of the gorgeous new 645 (real) coupe and cabrio.........

Usually the two door is the line's contest winner, but in this case, you could make a good argument for the Gran Coupe being the beauty queen. If one had the money, how about all three in the driveway? Now that is ridiculous, but a cool fantasy none the less (what - the car or the coin?).

So back to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We can only hope that the former wins out and purges the terrifying Mr. Hyde from the BMW design studios. I'll keep you posted.

Until next time......

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dec 11: Too similar?

2013 Honda Accord

2013 Hyundai Genesis
 The all new Accord.......well all new to Honda, but when I first saw it, I thought that it had a very familiar rear end (just like that girl I remember from high school). Viola! It came to me, it was the Hyundai Genesis rear all over again. The good thing is that they are both quite attractive, but it brings up the thought  -  why do they have to be similar at all? There are so many good designers and so many good design elements, why do cars have to be so similar? Look, I go back aways, back to a time, when no car looked like another. Now so many of the cars want to look like BMW's  -  check out the back roof line (the C pillar) design on most new cars.

A couple of other note worthy new designs came to mind..........

Honda Civic
.......and the Kia Forte.......

Look closely......check out the headlights, the back lights, that C pillar and the line on the lower body side. Even the wheels are similar. Who was sneaking around somebody else's design studio? Want the look of the Civic, but with a longer warranty, then get the Kia.

Lexus has a new signature grille, different and somewhat controversial, but at least it is unique to Lexus. But wait is it?
2013 Lexus ES350

2013 Altima
Seems to me that the Nissan Altima has stolen some of the Lexus' thunder or at least one of their design elements. Actually, the Altima front end, to me anyway, is more attractive.

Too similar? I sure think so with all of these new designs. You can find more more examples, but to my mind, these are three of the more blatant. And once again the question is, why? Aren't their designers paid enough? With this in mind are there any other designs that you can think of?

Until next time.......

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dec 7: '58 Plymouth and The Car Modelling Cat

Always really liked the '58 Plymouth in the airy two door hardtop style and red/white was particularly attractive. So when the Car Modelling Cat (CMC) and I tackled this model it was a given that it would mimic the colours of the real car above.

Sure, I can't drive it, but I can look at it forever and it'll never breakdown. I think I've mentioned before, that although we skip the motors in our models, we try to make the outside look at realistic as possible.......

.......even down to the miniature Ontario licence plate. All the chrome is painstakingly applied and often this part of the build is very painful. The CMC stays away from this bit, as you can well imagine, she can't get her paws around the x-acto knife.......

The CMC  -  always a willing helper

One thing about the cars in those days, you certainly could tell them apart. I mean, I'm a car guy (car fanatic?) and even the "great" BWT, sometimes get caught out these days. Check out the 2013 Honda Civic and Kia Forte. Both were shown at the recent LA Auto Show, matter of fact, I originally had them in last Tuesday's blog, until I realized they looked like the same car.

And once again, I gotta tell ya, it's a treat to be able to have cars as a hobby and make a living selling them as well. A model life?

Until next time......

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec 4: LA Auto Show

2013 Toyota Rav4
Yea! The car show season has started (get a life, Barry). No seriously, with the Los Angeles Show that is on now, the North American car show season has started and it runs until the New York show in April. Great time for a car guy, since new models and concepts are shown. I sell cars and I still can't get enough of this metal (and I actually do have a full life otherwise).

The intros go from the ridiculous.......

..........ok, so maybe not so ridiculous, but rather unlikely to be in a Benz showroom anytime soon is their Ener-G-Force. This would surely scare off all of the grey haired S class buyers.

To the mundane.......

............Ford's new Transit Connect wagon, which continues their policy of bringing successful European models to the North Amercan market.

And now anything in between......

Showroom ready(?) Bentley GT3 racer concept
Jaguar XFR-S........what more is there to say?
To one of my favorites.......

Not that I'm in love with the Mini, but I sure do like how BMW has added and added to their ever expanding line up of models. What is this Mini Paceman? Simply a two door version of the Countryman suv. Who would have thought that the world needed this version?

All sorts of other intros, like the quickly revised 2013 Honda Civic, with exterior and interior changes to the brand new, but widely panned, 2012 model..........

.......and Acura's new RLX top line luxury model, once again trying to pick-up where the Legend left off and subsequent models have failed......
Yep, this is my time. I stay tuned for all the new intros and concepts as the auto show press days unfold. Next up Detroit in January. Stay tuned.

Until next time.......