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, August 15, 2017

August 15: Hyundai Rising (Racing?)

Be still my heart. Who doesn't experience a fit of longing, when seeing a years old Hyundai Excel and realizing the road warrior potential under its sleek hood? Who said, "Nobody"? Come on now, any car person worth the name knows the history of Hyundai and their ability to make cars, that can carve corners with the best of them. Of course this is all crap. No Hyundai has ever been able to corner much better than a Freightliner with a full load and be about as quick.

Those road warrior comments would better be directed towards the much beloved VW GTI, the leader of the hot hatch segment, since its introduction way back when Fido was a pup.........


Bring out a new hot hatch and every single, solitary car magazine throws down the gauntlet and does a comparison test of the newbie against the tried and true GTI. 

So now back to Hyundai. Great A to B cars. Competent. Good looking. Great quality. Exciting? Who are you kidding. Take the current 2017 Elantra GT........


One of the best looking cars on the road, but show it a corner and you can show it the door, folks, as this one will fight with that Freightliner for bragging rights. Never count Hyundai out? You should know that this company has accomplished just about everything they have set out to do. Quality, design, you name it. Now they are setting out to make their cars handle. GTI beware? I can see those comparison tests being set up as I write this.

Competition? Yeah, there is some and it ain't just from that hero worshipped Vdub. Check out the competitors, that we have here in Canada, from Honda, Nissan, Subaru and even Ford......




And of course, if you throw in the competition Hyundai is up against in Europe......well, let's just say it's lots. But give this company a challenge and wait for the results. In this case, the result is the new for 2018 Elantra GT Sport.......


Dual exhausts? Hey, if you think you've got a cookin' car, tell the world about it (optional at extra cost). But just look at this car. Not a line wrong and just a small touch over 200 HP to back up those hot hatch claims. Hyundai makes classy looking cars to get our attention, whereas Toyota gets our attention by folding metal into unsual, overstyled shapes. Which would you prefer?

So for 2018, this new Elantra GT Sport promises to be as exciting as a Donald Trump presidency and probably much more reliable.

Until next time.......


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9: What's a Bristol?

Prince Charles drove one.


Good for him, but what are we talking about? Surprising that at the Creemore old car show I recently attended, there were these two old Brit cars. Surprising, since they were cars that usually turned up at a British Car Day and unusual in that there can't be that many in Canada. But there they were at Creemore, two of them. Two Bristols.

Bristol was and (maybe is) a car company that has been around since the the late '40's. Never making too many cars each year, usually a couple of hundred or less, pretty much handmade. And in its exiastence, Bristol only made eighteeen different models. Talk about restrained output. At Creemore there was an old one and one from the '70's. The company ground to a halt about 2003 and then worked on the older cars until finally closing in 2011.

A trait of Bristol cars was their design, which was usually just a touch off kilter........


Not quite right in their proportions, you might say. Like that girl in high school, with the beautiful hair, great complexion, a figure to die for and one eye higher than the other. Basically nice, but just a touch off.

Even the cars that they ran at Le Mans were distinctly Bristols.......



Just a little different and slightly off. In my younger years, I had a Dinky Toy of this car in British Racing Green. Didn't know what a Bristol was, but it was always one of my favorites.

Back to quirky........



Something distinctly "Bristol" about these two back ends? Yeah, I agree, but take a look at this Bristol plane from WW 2 and tell me that you don't find something a little off on it as well.........


So, they come by their design quirks honestly. Back to the cars.........


.......where else would you think a spare tire should or could go? There's that word quirky again. Good old Bristol.

Famous old car names never seem to die and in 2013 Bristol was resurrected again with the promise of a new and improved car for the 2000's. Like alliterations? Ok, so how does the Bristol Bullet roll off your tongue? Here is that car shown for the first time late last year........


Do you see what I see? How can this be a true Bristol, since there is not a line out of place. Now, maybe the fact that it has no roof or a provision for one makes up for it. How much is an old name worth? In this case slightly more than $400k Canadian. All you tweed blazer wearing high rollers line up over here, please. And be patient, as they won't be coming off the production line like Toyotas.

And now the question everyone will be asking, "Will Prince be driving one?"

Until next time........




Friday, August 4, 2017

August 4: A cop story

A cold January night back in 1973. Just passed thru Colebrook, New Hampshire. A glance in my rearview and my heart sinks. I had been making great time cruising thru southern New Brunswick, into Maine and now crossing New Hampshire, just a half mile or so from the Vermont border. This Friday night in the dead of winter had found the roads to be clear and fast, at least for this young buck from Saint John, New Brunswick. Headed to Montreal for the weekend to show big brother my hot new car. Pushing the speed limit was easy in my high powered ride. Just a couple of hours from pulling into my bro's suburban driveway. Now those lights.......


A statie was behind me. Should I gas it and cross the border into Vermont? Would he follow? Am I an idiot? The answer being no to all of these, I pull over and take my medecine. Jail time or a fine?


Maybe I'd be given a ticket and told to mail in my fine? Sure thing, Barry. And maybe those fun loving state police would give me a high speed escort to the Canadian border. The live free or die folks of this White Mountain state were not about to do either of those things and never see or hear from this Canadian ever again. Not a chance. I had to follow the cruiser back into Colebrook and into the town hall parking lot.


Out of our cars and into the police station in the building's basement (this was a very small town). Here's the deal........they would set a court date and I could come back and argue my case (if I had one). But, and here is the big "but", I would have to post bail, which was probably the same price as the ticket. The process? Call the local judge (he was at a party) and wait for him to arrive, hopefully in a good mood. While waiting, the cop gave me the classic line....."If this had happened last year, you'd have trouble breathing about now." Good God, they used to hang speeders? Not so dramatic, there had been lots of rain and the basement had been flooded. Whew!

True story with one change, the model depicting my driver was not the car I had at that time, but another model the Car Modeling Cat and I have just finished, a '67 Dodge Coronet R/T. Want to see a real one?


 I'd humbly say, the CMC and I did a pretty good job of replicating this Hemi car in 1/25th scale. But as always, that is just our opinion (and a good one).

And of course, the bit player in this scenario, is the New Hampshire state police car, also faithfully replicated. Here is a newer version of that high powered state patroller, who lit me up just before the Vermont border and you can see it is also a good representation of that dreaded sight in the rearview.......


What a cat! Always working alongside me to make our scale cars, me bringing back my youth, her just enjoying herself, as she takes on another challenge. A challenge, you say? Just try to make a model when you have paws.......


There's a bit more to our New Hampshire story and probably the best part. Ask me next time we meet.

Until next time.......



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1: Creemore finale


Any blog that starts with ZZ Top has got to be good. Right? And any old car show that is worth its name has got to have a knock off of ZZ's famous Eliminator '32 Ford. Right? So, the Creemore old car show earned its stripes, by having this beautuful Elimnator clone front and centre.........


And this was just the start........


Creemore did its self proud, as there was a wonderful variety of interesting stuff, from the stock old cars to muscle and finally, in today's blog, rod and customs. Pick your favorite type and enjoy.

Favorites from the classic Beach Boys type of little deuce coupe, perfectly done in the '50's and '60's style.......


......to the always popular rodded Ford pick-up.......


.......and then mix in a Chip Foose type of old custom and you can see how varied was the Creemore mix of rods and customs........


And in case the customs left you cold and wondering why anyone would chop up a possibly beautiful old car, there was the occasional perfectly restored oldie, with nary a line out of place.......


But back to the customs, where paint is always the first thing that grabs one's attention.......


Low and slow or fat and fast? My guess, would be the latter, or else this Chevy's hood would be nailed shut. Nice contrast and those classic Chevy disc brake wheels are a great, understated touch.

And speaking of Von Dutch (which we weren't), nothing says a classic custom like Von Dutch style pinstriping........


Done entirely by a very steady hand (no caffeine addicts need apply). Try this on your own car one sunny Sunday with easily removable paint. One way to gain a real appreciation for this art form.

The classic old hot rod idea, a big motor in a little car.......


Recognize this one? In my opinion, one of the ugliest cars ever, this is an old Allard from the early '50's or a newer version of that oldie. A terrible looking old Brit car with a big Cadillac motor stuffed under that long ugly hood. Why anyone would think it was a good idea to reproduce this car these days is beyond me. And to park it beside a lovely, late '50's, early '60's Mercedes 190 SL just excerbates the problem.

Aren't old customs and rods supposed to be creative? Look closely at these flames......


Not just a terrific job of airbrushing, but a very good set of skulls worked into those hot red flames. And check out that pitch black paint. Works of art all around.

A wonderful Saturday morning in a semi quaint old Ontario town. And if the cars don't do it for you, check out the pic of the lovely lady, I have called my wife for over 38 years. Which is more appealing?

Until next time.......