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, 2016

Dec 22: Santa time again

"Santa Claus is coming to town!"
Isn't tradition wonderful? Santa cruising the skies of our vast planet in his little sleigh, pulled by those amazingly talented reindeer, none of whom ever seem to age. Must be the Christmas magic at work, since I dare say, Amazon would find Santa's feat hard to match, even with their fleet of drones. Debating the reality of Mr. S. Claus and his magical abilities should be left for another time and place, maybe over a beer during the Summer heatwaves, so let's finish off the year with something Christmasy, yet car related. Ok?

How about we browse thru a few Christmas cards.........that traditional way of saying we remember who you are, but were too busy during the year to contact you. Let's check out a few with neat car pics. This one from Zagato looks like a keeper to me..........


You know that you'll never see a car like they show under your tree, but isn't Christmas about dreaming? Maybe next year, they will be kind enough to drop the bow, so you can get a real good look at that Zagato model in the foreground?

Old cars are always ending up on cards. Reminiscent of an old time Christmas? Or just dreaming of the way things used to be or at least used to be when tinted (or tainted?) by nostalgia.......



Ah yes, nothing says Christmas like an old car (I guess). So feeling very nostalgic today, why don't I show one more holiday greeting featuring a golden (in this case red) oldie.....


But as we all know, this time of year is about more than just old cars and a holiday background......


Look closely and you'll see that this card from (well, you can read), is a holiday greeting, but for me it's much more about those beautiful cars. And from the size of the greeting, it is for Maserati as well. From this commercial for the Italian brand to a general card from someone or company in England, highlighting a few of that country's past triumphs (no pun intended)........


Ah, isn't tradition wonderful? Good times, good friends and a few great old and new cars. Could it possibly be any better? Sure, it could, just add a little bit of tacky glitz to brighten up the holiday........ 


And so it comes the time to close out my blogs for 2016 and to wish all my readers a very happy holiday. Enjoy the break, dream cars and hope to have you back here in the new year.

Until January 4th.........


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dec 20: Mighty F-150's

Comin' at ya, the 2018 Ford Raptor, the biggest Big Kahuna of the streets and fields. Or is it? Meant to be a rock em, sock em, high powered ride with the ability to do real off road runs to your local grocery store ("Hey, that's my lawn you just ran over!"). Powered by a very cool 450 HP V6 motor. V6? Amazing what technology can do. When I was younger having a V6 anything was a mark of shame, not something to brag about to your neighbours (you know, like the one whose lawn you just destroyed). These are great times, aren't they?

But pull up to the Christmas party in this beast and you will certainly get their attention, regardless of the engine type.......


.......as this brute has all the necessary suspension work to back up those brawny, good looks. And all for around $70k Canadian, plus freight and pdi, one might say that this truck is almost a bargain. One might say that.

On the other hand (yes, there is always that other hand), what do you think of when you hear the word, Shelby? Would this picture be a good guess?


Yes, I'd say, it would be a very good guess. But open up your mind to other possibilities and in doing so, think of that Raptor pick-up. Think harder and maybe this will be something you would visualize........


Same paint job and many of the same design cues as the Mustang version, but this Shelby Ford F-150 truck is much more than a superficial paint and tape job. Way more. And for a price of more than double the Raptor, it should be. A truck like this should be as capable on road as off and should have gobs of big power, with which to intimidate the flora, the fauna and the wildlife, as you rocket across the landscape. Of course, the Shelby F-150 has all of that, as it is motivated by a whopping 700 HP powerplant.


Yes, sir, this truck is the real deal and with only five hundred made, a very scarce real deal. Unlikely you'll see yourself coming down the street, like you would in a regular F-150. How much would you pay for this individuality? Well, as you read above, you'll pay close to $150k, to have this bruiser sitting in your driveway. On the other hand (there's that hand again), if one has that kind of coin to spread around, just maybe this truck would be useful to tow around a few other of their prized possessions.......


No question, this would be the ideal match up and by comparison to the price of a real and original Shelby Cobra, the F-150 version is merely chump change. A great looking combo in anyone's book.

With Christmas literally days away and you worrying that the family's gift to you will be a touch underwhelming, maybe this is the time to treat yourself? Do a quick internet search and try to snag one of these very scarce and very individualized Shelby F-150's to brighten up your holiday.


Make those Christmas visits to your depressingly less fortunate relatives something, that they will talk about for a long time to come.

Until next time.......







Friday, December 16, 2016

Dec 16: Alfa Romeo? Who cares?


There he is, the young stud cruising down the highway on his way to the continuation of his illicit affair with the very hot and promiscuous Mrs. Robinson. Not a care in his world, that is until he starts to fall in love with her daughter (see the movie). But let's forget about young lust and love and focus instead on his hot, red Italian ride. Doesn't everyone, at least anyone with an interest in cars, known that Benjamin Braddock's stead is an Alfa Romeo? Its starring role in this film probably gave a spike to Alfa'a sales. This car became such an integral part of the movie, that years later Alfa dubbed their entry level Spider, the Graduate Edition, shortly before pulling up stakes and leaving the North America market to the domestics, the Pacific rim countries and the other European manufacturers. Why did they leave? Simple. Low sales and not the most reliable cars, compared what was available elsewhere. Alfa Romeo? Who cares?

Well somebody cared, because the North American market is huge and the top brass at parent company Fiat was eyeing a return to these fickle shores. They thought, let's get the ball rolling with a high zoot model, that would harken back to Alfa's racing heritage, the Competizione...........


I'm sure there were a few around Toronto, but I've never seen one. Price? If you have to ask (you know that line)........it was about a quarter million US dollars and only a couple of hundred or so ended up over here.

Supposed to wet our appetite for the Alfa brand and make us long for what we no longer had. Now that they had our attention, they brought out a less costly sportscar, the 4c.......


...........which was priced under a $100k. It received reasonable reviews and the testers seemed to like its looks, but I've never figured out why. This one was supposed to set the stage for a full on onslaught of Alfa Romeo branded vehicles, but if the 4c's low sales were any indication, it would be a long, hard road.

But wait, the main event was just about to be introduced, the Giulia, starting with the Quadrifoglio......


......a real balls out sports sedan to compete with the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63, also priced comparably. Impressive? Sure and Alfa will sell a few, but it will be the garden variety version that will have to support the brand, the "normal" Giulia.......


I believe this Giulia will be around the $40-$50k mark. Now, this is where things fall part for me. Sure the slow selling 4c was a good car and the rockin' Quadrifoglio, will attract a few buyers, but really, how many people over here are waiting with baited breath for this brand to reappear and with everyday models? Look at what else is in this price range.......the 3 series, the C Class, the A4, the Q50 and the ATS. Other than a few people with a soft spot for Italian iron, I don't think Alfa has a chance to make the effort worthwhile.

Now, we all know that in North America, the sedan is dying a death of a thousand cuts, as suv's blanket the landscape and Alfa is not blind to this fact. Hence the recent introduction at the LA show of the Stelvio sport ute........


Again a nice vehicle, but up against its numerous competitors, can this vehicle help to make an impact for Alfa? Personally, I doubt it. I just don't see that our countrymen and women have been waiting for Alfa Romeo to reappear and when it does, lining up to be the first on their block. Oops, I'm wrong about that, as there will be a rush of early adopters, but once they have been satisfied, watch out Alfa, as I fear that your showrooms will be empty.

The love affair, that Alfa thinks we have with their brand, is in my opinion, unrequited. The Italians love the brand, love its heritage, love the thought of being behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo.


North Americans, not so much. Alfa is simply a rare Italian confection, that the road testers will fawn over, but the general populace will pass by on their way to the much better known brands.

Doubt what I say? Ok, let's revisit this and check out those sales figures, in about, say, two years. But as I said before, Alfa Romeo? Who cares.

Until next time.......





Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dec 13: Transparency in the car business

Not quite sure what you are looking at here? A pick-up truck after an ice storm or what? If you are a Canadian TV watcher, then you immediately know the answer. This is the Canadian Tire Ice Truck. A truck body made entirely of ice, but obviously with a real drivetrain and chassis. Great idea for those cold winter climate locations, but this thing was completely impractical, since one could never go south for a holiday or even go into an underground parking garage. An advertising gimmick, but not something to be seen on a showroom floor (unless the heating was broken). But most important, what this creation was, was transparent, although illogically so. Someone must have a better idea. Glad you asked (you did, didn't you?).

We want to see a real transparent car. One that can handle the daily rigors of everyday driving. Something like this 1940 Pontiac........


Great idea. You can look under the hood, without opening it. You always have great visibility - no blind spots! No need for a glass sunroof. People can see who is driving this cool car and know that you are a person of unusual taste. This was not the last car manufacturer to think that there might be a market for such a car. Don't believe me? A brief lesson.......


And you thought only Pontiac in the dark old days just prior to World War II, probed the market for transparency. Not a chance......



Now, of course, one must realize that dressing appropriately is very important in a see thru car. A short, leg and thigh exposing dress like this could cause multiple car accidents. Heck, it would be worse than texting while driving. Otherwise, a very good idea. No more asking about your car's unique features, as everyone can see them for themselves. And so easy to clean, just Windex it.

Even a conservative company like Honda has ventured into transparency.........


.......but will they have the guts to actually produce something like this? Maybe after they have stopped playing around with their nearly unsellable hybrids, they'll be willing to give transparency the opportunity it deserves.

There have been some half hearted efforts to produce a mainstream see thru auto, even up to the present day. Initially only the power plants have been exposed........




.......but, hey, I can see the time, when some forwarding thinking manufacturer will have the guts to go all the way and not just show off the engine. Let's encourage a company to be the first one. Be the first and probably the only one on your block. Ignore the comments about your, shall we say, interesting taste.


And as anyone can see, the interest is so high, that even the current US president is giving his views on this unique vehiclar concept........


So let's get on board and not leave it up to some small innovative start up company to scoop the big guys and corner the transparency market.......



It's too late for Pontiac, but they had the right idea way back in 1940........


May I be so bold as to suggest that someone start a petition to get your favorite car company to get moving on this great idea. Sure there are shortcomings, like nowhere to hide valuables, but heck, who cares about minor issues like that, when you are the guy or gal with a transparent car? No sir, this is the future, so let's get on board.

Until next time.......


Friday, December 9, 2016

Dec 9: Holden - Opel - Buick

Those were the good old days. The days when Holden, GM's Australian nameplate, could design and build cars, that were unique to that island continent. And some of them were great cars. You doubt that? Just look at the Chevy Caprice police car, that is being sold in the US. What is it? An Australian Holden Caprice. And how about the late Pontiac G8, which morphed into the Chevy SS, both were lightly rebadged Holden Commodores, like the one in the picture. But as I've blogged before, cars unique to Australia are no more, so the entire Holden line will now be rebadged Opels (as many of them already are). Which brings us to today's topic.

If you like cars, you gotta check out Carscoops. Updated seemingly by the minute, this site has all sorts of good car stuff, such a pic of the new Holden Commodore, which they got the scoop on........













.......and showed in all its glory earlier this week. What's so interesting about this new for 2018 Commodore, is that it will be, of course, a rebadged Opel, in this case the Insignia, which has yet to break cover. So once you saw this new Holden, you also saw the new Opel, which has been running around Europe under heavy camouflage......


Now that Carscoops had unveiled the Commodore, by extension, it has also unveiled the Insignia. Simply take the Opel logo and insert it into the Commodore grille, replacing the Holden badge. Quickly done and viola', you have the newly designed for 2018, Opel Insignia.........


Simple, right? Now let's take this a little further and a little closer to home. The current model Buick Regal is another Opel, also an Insignia, but with a Buick crest on a Buick type grille.......



See how easy it is to make a new car, as nothing else will be changed. No need for any more cloak and dagger disguises, but of course, we won't see the real thing until its possible grand unveiling at the auto show in Detroit in early January (or New York in April). But now you don't have to wait, since you've already seen it here.

Is the Regal an important car? One might not think so, but with the Buick brand selling over a million cars in 2016, draw your own conclusions (in case you were wondering, they should be the same as mine).

I don't see myself sitting behind the wheel of this Buick...........


........but gee, it's a beautiful looking ride. When the designers at GM get it right, they really nail it. Call it a Holden, an Opel or a Buick, it's all the same and it's all good. A beautiful new sedan as all the buyers are flocking to crossovers. And you saw it here second, right after Carscoops.

Until next time........




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dec 6: Iconic Derelicts?















Did you miss the boat when any of these bruisers above were new in dealers' showrooms? Do you lust after a good used Toyota FJ or a Ford Bronco or even a big ol' Dodge Power Wagon? I feel your pain, not that I would ever want one of these vehicles, but I know all about car lust. Well, just like my blog last Friday about a creative Russian, there is a company in Los Angeles, that had an interesting idea several years ago and decided to run with it. The trucks above are visual restorations, but with absolutely up to date chassis, drivetrains and interiors. Geared towards someone with fond memories of what they once had, or wished they once had, and who now has the money to scratch that vehicular itch. I knew you'd ask  -  $250,000 USD or there abouts.

Blame Jonathan Ward for these perfect replicas and before you try to out think him with some other idea, look at this.......


Just a bunch of derelict old cars, rotting away until Mother Nature reclaims what was originally taken from her. The end of the road for these once proud cars? Think again and think again of Jonathan Ward. He had the idea of resurrecting some of these heaps, but unlike those restoration shops bringing the perfect old car back to original perfection, he had this idea......


Leave the exterior more or less as he found it, so less concern about where one parks, but update the interior, the chassis and drivetrain, much like the trucks.


Now this wouldn't work for me, as I'm not into sleeper vehicles. If had a great old car, I'd want it to look like a great old car. But others feel differently and Jonathan Ward has tapped into their wants and desires (even if they didn't know they wanted it to begin with). His Derelict line takes an old ride, like this late 40's Buick, and drops a modern chassis underneath. Great handling and with something like a Corvette motor, amazing performance, from what looks like a car on its way to its final reward.

This baby won't have a place at your local concours, but watch their collective jaws drop as you power away from those trailer queens. They can only wish they were as capable as this early '50's Buick Roadmaster......



 Even if you are more of a family man, Derelict has a car for you.....


 Actually any old car you desire can be given the Derelict treatment, just bring money. Even with price tags reaching $350,000 USD, there is a line up of clients waiting for their ride, expected to be ready in about three years.

Park anywhere, enjoy the thrill of people looking down their noses at you, temporarily at least, until you thunder away, heading into the next corner with aplomb. Gosh, it's great what unlimited financial resources will buy.

Whether an Icon or a Derelict, this whole idea is beyond me, but that is why we are all different and have found different ways to spend our money. So, the next time you wish you had a perfect old 4x4 or a ratty old ride, think of Jonathan Ward. But maybe those other vehicles aren't for you, so just ask, he might have something else in mind, that will help you write that big cheque......


Until next time......