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, May 30, 2017

May 30: What price poor taste?

Just when you thought that money could buy you everything, Rolls-Royce comes along and proves that you were right.........


Introduced the other day at Italy's Corso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este (close your eyes and spell it), this is the Rolls Sweptail. Looking like a bigger Wraith, this car is so much more.......



So, just what is this unusually styled big Roller? Before you start to call your local dealer, trying to order one for yourself, you should know a few specifics. First and foremost, this car is a one off, two seater coachbuilt Rolls, based on the Phantom and designed for a very exacting buyer. This person wanted Rolls to create a car, that was a modern take on the elegant, custom bodied Rolls-Royce's of the '20's and '30's. I guess it has some of those elements, but it's hardly what I would call attractive like many of those old classics.

So, what price is poor taste? Good question, but if one goes back over a few special cars that Rolls has done for their best clients, you'll see that while money might be able to buy you everything, it sure as hell doesn't guarantee good taste. Want me to prove it? Say no more.........


Call it lumpy to be kind, but this old custom didn't look good in its day and other than as a curiousity, doesn't look good today. Costly? One can only imagine. And how about the famous Honeymoon Express.......




Back when this was designed, the Rolls cabriolets were lovely examples of what a classic beauty should look like and it sure wasn't like this unusually proportioned one off. Fins? Sure they were all the rage, but did this Rolls really need them? Beauty is in the eye etc and its price, of course, was in the money can buy you anything range.

Moving right along to a couple of other customs built for clients with discerning(?) taste and huge bank accounts.........


If I said these designs were breath taking, would that have the same meaning, as saying these designs took my breath away? I don't think so. What price is poor taste? One could bet it would be high in either of these cases.

But, not only did questionable taste and money collide with just two seater models.........


Whew! What designer signed their name to this hideous one off for a client, who had the money to stand out in a very unfortunate way? Not a good line anywhere on this monstrosity. If Rolls didn't sue them, they should have.

And now back to our signature piece, the Sweptail. What did I say about the price of poor taste? Want to put a dollar figure on this big Roller?


 Without being able to read minds, I can tell that you are way too low. Think again. No, still too low. Rolls-Royce reportedly created this questionable behemoth for a touch under $13M USD. Talk about breath taking. Even Drake would have to think twice before plunking down that much of his hard earned coin.

What price poor taste? Now you know.

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





Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26: BMW tries again


Beautiful silhouette. Must be a Jag or more likely an Aston, a little too swoopy for a Benz and definitely not an Audi. Who's left?

For years Mercedes has had a big two door hardtop in its S Class line. A real image maker and bank account breaker, but always a beauty. Just look at these last three designs and try to argue with that comment.......


















I told my loving wife, that when we sold the house a couple of years back, instead of buying the apartment, we should invest a couple of hundred grand in a fine automobile. I still smart from where she whacked me upside the head. Hey, look, I'm a car guy, so it made perfect sense to me. I guess the difference is that our apartment has gone up by a $100K or so, while one of these beautiful Mercedes would still be depreciating.
Oh well, such is life.

Now back to that gorgeous silhouette. I've always wondered why that racy German luxury brand, BMW didn't have a big two door to go head to head with their arch rival Mercedes? These guys trade the sales race back and fore on a regular basis, so you would think each would match the other in every category. Not so, my friends. Sure, BMW has tried a high roller coupe from time to time, but these big guys have lacked staying power. Remember this one........


 The lonely 850. A very nice design, but obviously with sales that matched the desolate countryside where this one was photographed. Like the design and have always wanted one of these good looking coupes? A quick check on AutoTrader.ca found a half dozen around our great country, selling for $10-$20,000, with one very low kilometre example asking $39,000. So for cheap money, just about anyone can buy one of these beautiful money pits. Tell your kids the winter holiday has to be cancelled, because a light just came on the instrument panel.

Once again back to that gorgeous silhouette. BMW has had its share of bad designs, which for some unknown reason sell very well. X6, I'm looking at you. And they have had some great designs, which haven't sold worth a dam. The recently discontinued 6 series coupe comes to mind. But hand it to BMW, they keep trying and if there is any justice in this world that amazing silhouette, when transformed into metal as the 2018 8 Series, will sell like wildfire. Don't believe me? Check it out, baby.........



Of course, in our suv-centric world, adding all-wheel drive, fender flares and raising it a couple of inches would absolutely guarantee great sales. But, thankfully, that won't happen, so this new high end coupe will have to live (and hopefully not die) on its own merits.


So, BMW tries once again. And, just maybe this time, my loving wife will loosen up those purse strings for her car crazed other half. Happy Birthday?

Until next time........




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 24: Used Australian for sale

We came this close to having the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck roaming our highways and biways. How close is "this close"......really close and it was only the cancelling of the brand, that kept this unusual Australian native from ripping up our roads. An idea whose time had long passed in North America, but an idea that those wild and crazy Aussies have been building for the past, God knows how many years. Sure, there would be those few outliers, who would have dropped the coin to have the only one of these on their block, but probably the closing of Pontiac saved the dealers from having these Sport Trucks collecting dust on dealers' lots. My opinion, of course, but I've never doubted my ability to get things wrong.

Can't sleep at night thinking about what might have been? Yeah, I feel for you, buddy, but help is on the way. A company in Colorado has seen the light and has been importing these unique cars (trucks?) for a number of years. Just the thing for someone who wants to be different and wants to have their steering wheel on the right hand side of the dash.


Show up at your local cruise night in something like this heated up orange Falcon and you'd have to beat away the crowds. Not a Ford folk? Rest easy, my friend, as Left Hand Utes also sells Holdens, which with a simple and inexpensive switch of the grille can be made into a Chevy. And since the current US only Chevy SS, also started out as a Holden, your ute can easily be converted to left hand drive, i.e. Left Hand Utes 


Amaze your friends. Be the envy of all of those old Ranchero and El Camino fans, who have been lost for the past thirty years, as that was about the time the last of those American car/truck hybrids rolled off an American assembly line. Right there, that should tell you something about their North American popularity.

But those Aussies are another matter entirely. So, now that Ford and GM have stopped making unique vehicles for the local market, what will those ute lovin' Aussies turn to? I mean, just look at the variety of Holden utes that have been available, from mild to wild........


And how will they feel when they go looking for a good used ute, only to see their local dealer boxing them up to ship to Colorado? Oh, the pain. Just to be safe, maybe they should only do this in the dead of night.

But luckily for us, we have Left Hand Utes, who are bringing these oddities to our shores. Ok, so I see that you are about to ask, how much? Good question, but most of their prices aren't listed. One was, though. For a 2012.5 Holden SS, they wanted a princely $47,500 USD. Do the math, folks. That's about $70k Canadian for a used trucklet, that might have sold new here, if the Pontiac brand had been retained, for about $45k. Man, you sure do have to love your ute to be willing to pony up that kind of coin just to be utenique (cute, Barry). 

After you get over the sticker shock and still want to get your ute fix, why not go for what might have been, but never was? You got it, they'll also swap in a Pontiac G8 front clip, so you'll really have something that will get those heads scratching at your local cruise.


Thinking a trip to Colorado might be a good use of your money? Then why not drop into Left Hand Utes? Ask them to dig deep into your pockets and also max out your credit cards to bring home a gently used Aussie ute? Maybe even buy a bale of hay to throw in the back, so people will think you are actually going to use it for what it was intended. 

And remember, just because God gave you brains, doesn't mean you have to use them.

Until next time........



Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19: Love those wagons


Thank you, Volvo. Once again the good ol' wagonmaster has risen from (almost) the ashes and with its Chinese owner at the helm is producing great new cars and suvs. More importantly, as before they are selling their wagons in North America. Just look at the beautuful lines on the V90 above and the smaller V60 below. Gorgeous. Who needs an suv?


Of course, this is North America, so because these two are wagons, their appeal is limited to those few folks who haven't drunk the suv Kool-Aid. As I've said before, there are a few people who understand that a wagon is a great vehicle, very practical (hate that term), but more importantly to me and should be to you, they look great and handle like a car. So, Volvo has the guts to try to sell a real station wagon to us folks on this side of the Atlantic. But even Volvo is aware of the suv tide and offers both of these models in an suv kind of vehicle, the XC (for cross country)........



Raise them up a couple of inches and add those charcoal fender flares and voila', here is a bona fide suv, at least in the minds of those suv-centric folks, like this happy lass above, who feel that a regular wagon is beneath them or won't do the job. Strange, since even the normal Volvo wagons are all-wheel drive.

Another question. Why is it that with one exception, only the premium brands attempt to sell us a station wagon?


Mercedes has done this for years and have given us one wagon from their varied assortmant available in Europe. Ok, so they sell a few wagons here, but even Benz are not stupid, so seeing an opportunity, they will soon be selling us a raised wagon like the Volvo, the All-Terrain........


Even Audi gave up on their wagons over here a few years ago. For a while in the '80's and '90's, they actually moved quite a few of these sensible vehicles. Now, using the Volvo trick, they have brought back the Allroad.......


.......because a regular wagon, like this blue one, on which the Allroad is based, just didn't cut it over here.........


Why are we so stuck on those suvs? It's not because they have that much more room for stuff, because compared to these wagons they don't. They also aren't much, if any, more capable. The other question is, why with one exception, are only the premium brands even trying to sell a wagon over here? Thanks to Volvo, Mercedes and BMW for having a real station wagon in their line up and at that, the latter two only have one each.

And now to that one exception. The wagon for those poor unfortunate folks, who cannot spend into the stratosphere for their daily transportation, the VW Golf Sportwagon............


But even VW are not stupid (putting aside their decision to screw around with their diesels), so they too have seen the suv light and just last year have modified their the Sportwagon into this Alltrack........


All because, us North Americans believe a vehicle like this denotes a certain amount of cool. I mean, can there be any other reason for this change?

Now Buick is planning to bring the Opel Insignia to us in wagon form.......


Gorgeous, but quite frankly are they nuts? Caddy couldn't sell their beautiful CTS wagon, so why in the world does GM think that this Buick wagon will crank up their sales? Good question. But of course, there will be another version of this model........


Yes, you guessed it.........slightly raised and with those ubiquitous fender flares. Will it sell? Not sure, but knowing our market, it has one heck of a lot better chance than its wagon sibling.

Am I a lost soul crying in the wilderness with no one to hear me? Hey, folks, give your head a shake and take a step back to those days of yore, when a wagon was a smart choice as a family vehicle. Back in the day, the station wagon was usually the most expensive vehicle in the line, so there was a certain amount of status, if you had the top model. Can those days ever reappear or am I dreaming in technicolour?


You decide, but I already know the answer.

Until next time.......


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16: Ready for the Apocalypse?

There is no denying, that with the current "shaky finger on the red button" US president, we are probably closer to the apocalypse than ever before. So as a public service, this blog today will point out vehicles, which would be good choices with which to plan your survival, along with those enduring coakroaches, which seem to be able to live through anything.

Let's start with the very best vehicle to live thru that anything and be the envy of those among us who also made it thru to the other side, whatever that will be. This beast of the post apocalyptic era is the amazing Kiravan.........


This one of a kind vehicle is definitely a money is no object proposition. Equipped with everything one could possibly need to start a new country. Load her up with Kraft dinner and you would be good to go until you breathed your last. The price? Hey, let's get one thing clear right now, if you have to ask....... Well, you know the rest of that cliche.


But, if you did ask the price, you should know that there is only one Kiravan, but its creators would be more than happy to build another one just for you. The cost? Priceless!

Of course, not everyone will need what the unique Kiravan offers, so let's check out the more modest, but still imposing alternatives for the day, when that shaky fingered dude, shoots first and asks questions later.

You have to know that Mercedes would offer up something costly (although much less than the Kiravan), but with the rock solid quality, that will be needed in the times to come. I mean, how many Benz dealers will still be operating after the Big One?

 


 A place for everything and just maybe easier to maneuvre without the Kiravan's huge trailer. Yes, you'll have to give up a few niceties, that the Kiravan offers, but what the heck, you pocketed mucho savings.

Other companies have equally impressive rides to carry you across the decimated landscape, with or without a trailer........



















Looking at what these other manufacturers have to offer, you can tell immediately, that I'm not the only person thinking positively (or negatively?) of the future. I call it the Boy Scout credo.....always be prepared.
None of us are hoping for these kind of times, but it's good to know that we'll have options, if they do come to pass.

As I said, bring money, but with the size of these behemoths, wouldn't it be a good idea to pool your resources with a few friends or (worse case) some relatives and step up to the plate now? Purchase your future ride and keep it at the ready in your backyard, just in case.


High enough in that driver's seat to avoid the slings and arrows of those less fortunate souls, who didn't have the foresight to see what was coming. No one can blame you for being that little bit smarter.

And now back to the penultimate, post apocalyptic vehicle, the incredible Kiravan..........


Just the thing to grind across that dismal landscape, as you look for anyone else who might have survived, or try to avoid them.

I'm happy to be able to present these options to you, so you won't left wondering how to get around in your ineffective, country club crossover. Another public service of this blog, just bring money.

Until next time.......


Friday, May 12, 2017

May 12: Happy Mother's Day

Wouldn't this be almost sexist, or at the very least stereotypical, showing a happy mother by her cherished van just prior to Mother's Day (May 14th, if you have just returned from an alien abduction and lack a calendar)? Seems to me most moms drive a van because they have to and it is the most practical solution to carting around copious numbers of the neighbourhood kidlings. In my business, they always tell me they'd prefer something else and will get it once the kids move out or don't want to be seen with their parents anymore. Something else? Could be anything, but it ain't a van.

Over the years, the car manufacturers have tried to appeal to mom's desire to drive something that really says who she is. Time to ramble thru automobile history and see how some of them have appealed to the fairer (their term, not mine) sex.

I never thought that I had "a way with women", probably somewhat of the opposite. Back in the '50's, Buick had a car, that they felt had a mesmerizing effect on the opposite sex..........


Dreamers? No way, no how, this car would have wrapped moms and other females around its huge steering wheel. Mind you, back in its day, there weren't a ton of interesting choices, but I can bet this early '50's coupe wasn't one of them. Moving on........


Yes, this is certainly more like it. Give your wife a sport utility and you've made her day. Make it a Mercedes and you've also made your night (if you get my drift, friendo). But in the real world, Mercedes are not always the vehicles being wrapped for her special day.

Now, going way back long before any of us were born (even my 102 year old neighbour), this car company decided to cover their bases and not leave any female out........


.......but, why they didn't add aunt or grandmother, I don't know. Note, that they also say that children can operate this car with ease. Just what were they thinking?

Moving forward a few years, Chrysler brought out a car, that, well, you can read the headline.........


Not sure an ad like this would fly today, but for mom's everywhere Chrysler had her car (in their opinion). But, was that car designed especially for a women, like this Buick purports to be?


From what I can see, this very happy mom (and who wouldn't be happy behind the wheel of this somewhat sporty, crocus yellow behemoth) is about to back over her bike riding daughter. Happy Mother's Day?

Most mothers are saints, when it comes to loving their kids. Ugly or beautiful, smart or stupid, a mother's love transends the ordinary, when it comes to her offspring and according to VW, even her vehicle, if it was the very first minivan........


The percocious youngster is dragging his mom to her minivan, when she'd far rather be in that yellow Buick. 

Ford also felt they had it covered, when it came to features that would appeal to Mrs. America. As you can see in this ad, Ford thought moms liked features, such as seats, headlights and a steering wheel.......


This ad was probably ahead of its time, as I believe most women (mom's and otherwise), even today, find these features things they would like on any vehicle they are driving. Just a feeling I have.

What does a mom really want? There was a time, when this was a foregone conclusion and Cadillac nailed it with their ads........



I mean, back in the day, what self respecting mom wouldn't like to show up at their kid's rugby practice or piano recital in a Cadillac? Even today, that is still the case in many neighbourhoods, when those Escalades are lined up outside of the local private school. The more things change........

And now to my favorite car for any woman, mom or otherwise. Ah yes, the Dodge La Femme..........


What says woman better than a soft pink and cream car with pink rosebud upholstery? Not lacking in those other inportant features either, as it came complete with those things so important to the woman in your life. Things like a pink raincoat, bonnet and umbrella. Want more? Also, a pink purse with pink coloured comb, cigarette lighter and compact. Yep, Dodge really nailed it with this dream ride for the moms of North America.

Now back to 2017. Make her Sunday more meaningful and get her out of the family hauler for the day. Rent her a Mercedes, a Bimmer, a Caddy or a Corvette. Let her experience a carefree, but not car free day, away from the drudgery of her humdrum existence (think I might be overstating it a bit?).

Happy Mother's Day.

Until next time.......