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, February 28, 2012

Feb 28: Daytona 500 and the Mystery Cruze, Part 2

Matt Kenseth's winning Best Buy #17

Finally, after about 6 hours Matt Kenseth crossed the finish line first and won the 2012 Daytona 500. This marathon race weekend started on Sunday, but after lengthy rain delays, it rolled at 7 pm Monday night and rolled and rolled and rolled.

Typical of what is called "pack racing", there were multiple accidents. Pack racing is where all the cars are running in a large pack, almost touching front, back and sides, at (now get this) just under 200 mph, yes that's miles per hour! One small mistake usually causes a multi car wreck and last night was no exception, however a 2 hour red flag (racing is stopped) due to a bizarre situation was the reason for its marathon length.

Very powerful jet dryers are used to clean the track during caution periods. These are basically jet helicopter engines mounted on a trailer pulled by a truck. During a late caution, Juan Pablo Montoya was running quickly trying to catch the pack of cars, when something went wrong with his car causing it to slide sideways right into the jet dryer (see You Tube "Jet dryer on fire" for some great video). Not only did he total his race car, but did considerable damage to the dryer, the pull truck and its driver. Not surprising considering he was going close to 130 mph. The resulting fire from 200 gallons of jet fuel and clean up took close to 2 hours, hence one very long race.

The Mystery Cruze I mentioned in my last blog looks like it was a screw up. The ski prize pack from the Sick Kids Lottery, that included the Cruze 5 door has been deleted from the lottery website. I also checked at the auto show as to when this car was coming here and was told probably not this year. Interesting that this was not caught before being publicized. Mystery Cruze indeed!

Until next time.......


Friday, February 24, 2012

Feb 24: Mystery Cruze

Have any of you noticed the latest brochure from the Sick Kids Lottery in Toronto? There is a great picture of a Chevy Cruze and ski vacation package, not a surprise, but the Cruze is the European 5 door like this one........

Great looking hatch and just what is needed in this segment of the market. The interesting thing about the ad shown here......

..........is that this model is not available in Canada or the US. I've checked the Chevy website and there is no mention of it coming to Canada, actually no mention of it period. Also no mention of it being shown at the Toronto Auto Show. Interesting shot, since it is not one that was picked up off the web in error. Today I'm headed to the auto show, so I will be looking for this model. Car sleuth in action?? Mystery Cruze indeed!

Big NASCAR weekend with the Daytona 500 running on Sunday  -  starts the season off with a bang, actually several of them since crashes are common place in this race. My favorite? Dale Jr would be my #1 choice, but there are any number of drivers that I'd like to see win, just not one of the Busch brothers. By the way, the CMC is not a race fan.

Until next time........

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feb 21: Little Red Wagon - Finally done

Well, after several months of inactivity on a model with poor instructions, the Car Modelling Cat and I finally finished the "Little Red Wagon" drag truck. What in the world is that you ask? Look below for the easiest explanation (a pic is worth 1000 words)........



The one on the left is a photo from the mid '60's showing this wheelstander in action, while the one on the right is the model we just completed. The idea of a wheelstander is to have a huge motor positioned in such a way that the front end will rise on rapid acceleration and stay up for the length of the 1/4 mile dragstrip. Usually there are two metal pieces that connect with the track to create quite a spark show, especially at night. The point? Personally, I never figured it out and feel that it is a waste of a big engine.

Why did I make this kit then? Nostalgia mainly, as it takes me back to the drag racing of the '60's and '70's. I have collected/made a few of these old drag cars, like this one.........


"Colour Me Gone" was a 1964 super stock Dodge racing out of Detroit. This is a 1/24th plastic model, painted and decaled to look like the original.

Anyway, I'm glad to be done with the truck model, liked the way it turned out, but it put me and the CMC in a model making rut. Speaking of the Car Modeling Cat, she and I are now working on a '65 Mercury Park Lane two door hardtop. You can see below that she is right into it.......


Racing again at Daytona this past weekend with the Budweiser Shootout. Great finish. Not a Kyle Busch fan in the least, but give him credit, what a hell of a driver. Out of control twice at over 180 mph and he saved it. Absolutely friggin' amazing! Daytona 500 this weekend  -  should be interesting.

Until next time........

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feb 17: Bentleys - Money to Burn

Win the lotto or just have the proverbial rich uncle die? Wonder how to spend your millions in a meaningful way that will not only enrich you, but also those who see you? I have the ideal solution, take one very expensive car, let's say a Bentley and have it rebuilt into a body style that is unique to only you.

How about a nice Bentley wagon.......


This four wagon from the '80's or '90's would be great for hauling those precious antiques you'll be buying. Or maybe just load it up with all your money, so you'll never have to use one of those pesky ATM's again.

Too big and not quite sporty enough? Ok, then try this on for size........


A Continental GT wagon that would be perfect for a drive in the country. Lots of room for the picnic hamper, the champagne and that really expensive mustard, that you always have to carry around when you drive a car such as this one.

Still haven't seen quite what you want or you're not really a wagon type. Well, this next one is one of six made, but still rather exclusive........


This Rapier was made for the Sultan of Brunei and you know how good his taste is (don't you?). A great looking sedan that is entirely custom made with not one panel coming from a production car. Yeah, I know there are 6 people who already have them, but they are probably not your neighbours.

Money to burn? Great taste? You're right, they don't always go hand in hand as this pic shows in abundance.......

Yes, you are correct, this is that well know thespian Paris Hilton, showing us what "money to burn" and questionable taste can do. She'll never lose this thing on Rodeo Drive. Oh Paris, how could you!

I feel for those poor individuals who suddenly have millions and have no idea how to spend (waste?) them. This blog is being done as a public service and remember since I can supply any car sold in Canada I can always help.

Until next time.......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb 14: Toronto Auto Show

Since I love cars, a blog on Valentine's Day is very appropriate, although I'll keep the chocolates and flowers for myself. This is the week all the car guys/gals in Toronto look forward to each year  -  the auto show comes to town. Eye candy extraordinaire along with the frustration of knowing we'll never be able to possess some of the cars that so pull at our emotions.

Toronto has an interesting show, although one has to keep in mind that this is not Detroit and most of the Detroit concepts make their way to Chicago's show not ours (maybe Toronto a year later). Nevertheless, since our show is a mix of future, current and past cars, it is more varied than most shows and worth the time. Here is a very small sampling of what should interest us this year.......


Yeah baby, this is the Jaguar C-X16 concept that's been making the show rounds recently, teasing us with the possibility of a production version in the near future. The problem? Jag has been showing various "inexpensive" sports cars for a few years and they still only sell the grand tourers. Great to look at though.

This next one from Acura has been confirmed for production and in case you want one, you'll have about 2-3 years to save up........

This shot from Detroit last month shows the next NSX. I love it, but to my eyes it looks a lot like the Lamborghini Aventador with its very sharp lines. Lots of character and if anything like the last one, lots of bang for your (not my unfortunately) buck.

Ok let's cool things down with a car that's important, but most importantly affordable.......


This is the 2013 Dodge Dart. Important because Chrysler Corp doesn't have anything (or anything good) in this very important category. Based on an Alfa Romeo platform, it should handle very well as long as they don't mess around with the suspension too much. Good looking little number.

And about the cars from the past........


The Triumph club is putting on a large display of past models (they'd have to be wouldn't they?), probably including a TR2 like the one in the pic  -  classic British racing green. Also on show will be winners from last year's various cruise nights  -  classics, hot rods and customs.

Oh one more thing......if you've been losing sleep wondering where to get a new Sham Wow (and who hasn't been), there is bound to be a fast talking sales guy ready sell you this "miracle" product. Even the Car Modeling Cat was getting excited, until I explained to her, that she's an indoor cat and there will be no shows in her future.

Hope you get to the show (don't go on weekends) and enjoy the eye candy (the cars, of course).

Until next time........

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feb 10: Factory Muscle


There was a time in our country long ago, when you could walk into your local Dodge or Plymouth dealer and order a factory made, ready to race Hemi Dart drag car  -  sort of. Although this is true, only 80 were made and they were sold to know racers. But the interesting part is that they were sold at all and sold ready to race  -  no back seat, Plexiglas windows, fiberglass front end, no radio, no heater, no insulation, rear fenders cut out for tire clearance and a 426 cubic inch Hemi engine. The pic above shows exactly how they looked when they were sold to the end user.


This magazine article from back in 1968 shows a completed batch ready for shipment. Oh, there was one caveat  -  there was also a note in the glove box stating that this car was only to be used for "timed acceleration contests", was not to be street driven and carried absolutely no warranty. Good times, eh?

But did you know that today, much the same thing is available? Dodge sells a Challenger that is ready to race with a V10........

I don't know who this happy dude is, but he's just taken delivery of his Challenger with the Mopar Drag Pak and will be headed to the strip shortly.

Not to be outdone, Ford also has a similar Mustang.........


Ford actually did make a very few Cobra Jet specials for drag racing back in 1968, but they didn't get near the press or nor have they attained the Godzilla like reputation of the Hemi Darts.

But what about Chevrolet?

Back in the heyday of these Super/Stock (S/S) factory race cars, Chevrolet was quietly putting together special 427 Camaros, called COPO's (Central Office Production Order) and selling them to acknowledged performance dealerships. Recently Chev unveiled a drag race special Camaro ZL-1(above), which like its Mustang and Challenger counterparts will be sold "strip" ready.

Neat the way things have changed over the past 40 odd years and yet in some ways have stayed the same. I used to drag race my Plymouth, but insurance costs precluded my having the big engine. Maybe my time hasn't yet come? I'll talk to my wife (and I know where this is going to go).

Speaking of drag racing, I'm still struggling to finish my model of the Little Red Wagon wheelstander  -  not a bad kit, but it has lousy instructions. Even the Car Modeling Cat has been challenged. Hope to have it finally completed within a couple of weeks.

Until next time........

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feb 7: Car Movies

What are some of the greatest car movies......Le Mans? Grand Prix? Those two probably come to mind most often, but there are some cult classics that are right up there. Here are three of my favorites......

I really like "Two Lane Blacktop"  -  occasionally a cut version is shown on late night TV, but if you can rent the original it's much better. Singer James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson cross the country racing for money. Not an Oscar pic in anyone's book, but fun. Some of the scenes shot at a major drag race are good history.

 
"Vanishing Point" featured Barry Newman as the driver trying to deliver a Challenger 340 across the western United States in record time. Great car chase action, interesting characters and the smash ending scene is "to die for".

The star Challenger was recently made into a plastic model kit as well as a large scale diecast model. As in all of these movies, the car is the star.






TV movie "California Kid" featured a pre "Apocalypse Now" Martin Sheen as a visiting hot rodder, who attracts the attention of the poisonous local sheriff, Vic Morrow. As well as Sheen's unltra cool '32 Ford coupe, the police cruiser was also a star. Morrow's ride was a very big motored '57 Plymouth Fury two door  -  looked and sounded great in all its scenes.


How cool does Sheen look in this scene as he
prepares to go head to head with the local lawman?











I believe all of these movies may be available on dvd and there are scenes from each on YouTube. Sheen being chased by the sheriff down a mountain road is quite exciting.

Any other hidden gems that you know of?

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

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feb 3: Macabre 2 - Lincolns

The most popular blog I've ever done was on hearses and as you would know if you had read it, I really like these custom automobiles. Here are a few more.......recently Lincoln funeral cars were in the news, when who else but the Yankee hating Dear Leader of North Korea showed up at his own funeral with no less than four Lincoln funeral cars  -  go figure!

None of these cars was an actual hearse, but all appeared to be mid '70's armoured limousines, except for one late '90's sedan. Note that the casket is on the roof, but as he was such a small guy, they could have put it in the trunk.

The North Koreans are not the only ones who love to depart in this good old American marque. How about these different models from Japan.........


This pic shows a style that I believe is unique to Japan........a hearse with room for the closest family members as well (only the expired member is in the very back). Macabre or what? Funny that in a country that is very tight for space, this super long version is quite popular.

Looking for something with a touch more bling? Then this '80's Town Car moveable temple should fit the bill beautifully.......


Like to see this in something a little newer from say around 2000.........


Now since we are checking out some of what I consider to be rather outrageous designs, let's take a look at this unique creation from the '30's or '40's........


Don't ask, because I just don't know. And finally let's get a better pic of the North Korean Lincolns as they take the little bouffanted fella to his final reward.......


We should all be so happy to ride off into the sunset in a shiny black Lincoln Town Car. Way to go, little guy!

Until next time........