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, February 17, 2017

Feb 17: Family Day weekend reads

Here we are in Toronto looking forward to the first holiday weekend of the year, Family Day long weekend. A Monday off in February, granted to folks in Ontario, to help us thru the winter and (obviously) to garner a few extra votes (it worked). So one could plan something with their family or do something much more fun, like read. Being a voracious reader, mostly non-fiction, entering the world of a new book is a treat for me. Occasionally though, good fiction presents itself, so I acquiesce to its charms. Today, I thought I'd share some classic car guy/gal reads, which open up a world most of us are probably unfamiliar with.

Let's start with something from my youth......


A nice little read about a young guy who buys a beat up old MG TC and fixes it up to become the envy of his friends. When I was about twelve or thirteen, this was a riveting read, so take my comments in the context of a young kid. Not available thru your local library? Amazon has a hardcover for $653 or a used paperback for $237. The latter might be a good bet and might be in good condition, as this was not the type of book for a young kid to read in the bathroom, if you get my drift.

Want something a bit more meaty? Something, although not worthy of a literary prize, still stands the test of time? Look no further than.......


A classic Henry Gregor Felsen book (Google him), dealing in depth with the issues of its time....... "Speed....Danger....Death!" Does it get any better than that? Almost like a Donald Trump press conference. Trying to broaden its appeal to a more upscale reader, this book was also published with a more sedate cover, but it didn't take away from the gripping story between the eye catching binding.

Hooked on the classics? Then you'll want to latch onto this read, another one by that illustrious commentator of his times, Henry Gregor Felsen.......


"They don't want to die - they just don't believe they can get killed!" Wow! I really believe that line on the cover says it all and if that doesn't doesn't make you want to grab this book, run home and start reading, well, I just don't know what will.

To my mind, anything with the word hot rod, in its title has got to be good. Although sometimes it's easy to get these masterpieces mixed up, when recommending them to others in your book club or even some casual acquaintence you met on the subway. They're all good reads, so you'll impress others with your literary knowledge and good taste, no matter which one they pick up.



Looking for something with a touch more depth? Something delving into the more compelling issues of the day? Then I heartily recommend, that you add these titles to your personal library........
























Not sure which ones have garnered those sought after literary awards, but back in the day, all the best actors and actresses wanted to be considered for starring roles, should any of these make it to the big screen. Imagine Tom Hanks or Jennifer Lawrence in Hot Rod Gang Rumble? Oscar nominations for sure.

I know many of you don't have the time or attention span for a good book, so why not pick up one of those comics devoted to our beloved car culture. The Clint Curtis series will provide moments, if not complete minutes, of top notch entertainment.


After a few of these raw stories of life in the fast lane, I believe you'll want to puruse something a little more relaxing. Something that involves stories about a normal family's road trips. With dad in his stylishly, shady chapeau and his apple pie baking, cigarette smoking wife in the back seat, these tales of life on the road are more than just fun reading.......


Follow this family's adventures, as dad takes their perfect kids out for ice cream, while mom, back at the motel, engages in, shall we say, more adult pastimes with the local truckers. This is a fun read for the entire family.

Family Day long weekend, a great time to kick back and catch up on top notch literature. Enjoy!

Until next time......



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Feb 14: Maybach again


Maybach. A name most of us car folks would associate with those gorgeous classics from the years before WW II. Cars that were like rolling sculptures. A name worth remembering, but to corporate giant Mercedes-Benz, it was also a name worth resurrecting. A name brought back to compete with rival BMW's rejuvenated Rolls Royce line. Corporate jealousy? Probably. Corporate rivalry? Definitely. So in the early 2000's, they trotted out the easily lost in a crowd and easily forgotten, ultra expensive Maybach 52/62 line. Against the prestigious Rollers, the Maybach had all the class of a sardine boat and not a new one, at that. Nothing to make it stand out, except as the ride of the spoiled offspring of  the " too much money, too fast" crowd.

After being sent to an early demise, the Maybach name plate was once again dusted off, but this time M-B did it right and simply put it on a nicely modified S Class with an interior just oozing luxury and at a much more realistic price......


Understated elegance and at about $250k Canadian, definitely more affordable than the over priced 52/62. Of course, "more affordable" is relative, but something a one hit wonder rapper could afford or even the dictator of a non oil rich African country.

But one car does not a product line make (or something like that). So once again Mercedes looked at their huge line of vehicles and pondered, what other model could benefit from the Maybach treatment and would be a good companion to the big sedan?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?


Sure thing and a great(?) idea. Mercedes thought, let's take the G wagen, that military mainstay, that has been adopted in its jewel encrusted form by those wealthy folks looking for a unique, but clunky vehicle, that screams money. Something that says, I have so much coin, that I don't care how stupid my ride looks.

So M-B looked no further than the G wagen and decided to make this unique ride even more unique. Those aspiring rappers and African dictators can now start putting down their deposits. Ensure that they are the first ones in their hood or continent to get the Maybachized G wagen.

Behold the G650 Landaulet........


Yep, add a little length, rip off the back of the roof, spice up the interior and viola', the G650 Landaulet is born. Soon to be a mainstay of your town's richest neighbourhoods. Yes sir, now Maybach gets a sport ute to live or die for (if you are a dictator).



And who wouldn't be proud to pull up to your moneyed friends' mansions in this rolling example of how to use fine leather? Of course, those back seats beg the question, who is going to drive this thing? With those butter soft, luxurious loungers, oh so cushy throw cushions and open back end, this is an suv that absolutely screams, "Hire a chauffeur!".


The old adage, know your customer, probably applies to this new Maybach. Someone like me would never have thought up this variation of this hideous vehicle. Heck, someone like me, would never have had the G wagen leave the military. But someone deep in the heart of Mercedes saw that there was money to be made with this vehicle. Let's just hope it isn't the same person who came up with idea for the Maybach 52/62.

Until next time........






Friday, February 10, 2017

Feb 10: Electrifying cars from the Orient














Behold brother, I have seen the light. I have seen the future and it (might) look like what I'm going to share with you today. Yes, others have come before me and proclaimed that they too have seen the future, that they too have the gift of vision, but I'm for real, so listen up, or in this case read on. Be enlightened like you never have been before.

Let's raise the curtain on what is to come, at least in the minds of my fellow dreamers.........


For many years, it has been predicted that we'd soon be seeing cars from China in the huge North American market. Hasn't happened. Sure, there are a couple of vehicles being sold here that are manufactured in China, but these are not Chinese cars. That is about to change, if one believes the press releases and the unveilings going on at various car shows around the world. Blame Elon Musk and his extremely successful Tesla line. Why? Because the next onslaught of electric cars are going to be targeted at the forwar thinking rich and they are going to come from China.

This one from the Wanxiang Group should look familiar, as it has been sold here in the recent past......


If those amongst you, said, "Hey, BWT, that's a Fisker Karma!", you would be wrong. The Fisker is no more, but our Chinese friends in the Wanxiang Group saw a great future in a car, that had already been developed, so they bought the bones of the company and plan to start selling this car again as a full electric and give it the catchy name, Elux. Look, I don't make this stuff up. Great way to save a ton of developmental costs and in short order start setting up dealerships in the local auto mall. At least, that is their plan.

Next up is a much more ambitious future, as seen by Lucid Motors........


.......with this gorgeous sedan concept, that gets my vote on looks alone. Plug it in or fill it up with gas, I'd be happy to be seen cruising my hood in this Lucidmobile......


Yep, if the rich are falling over themselves to get a Tesla S, then Lucid Motors figures to give them another expensive alternative. And make it even better looking. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

Now, these companies are all dreaming and not in a bad way, but the biggest dreamers of all are the folks from Faraday Future and they are getting the most press. And after looking at their possible future vehicle line up, who could blame the scribes for not following the concept introductions of this company like lemmings?

Want wild?















Batman's next ride? Quite possibly yes. You know the old adage, go big or go home, well, it looks like Faraday Future is using that as their motto. A starling looking car, but now they have our attention, what "normal" ride might they have up their sleeve? Something that might possibly cause the Tesla S some jitters in the market place......

Yeah, this Le See sedan should do it. Gorgeous from every angle. Faraday has no cred, you say? Well, neither did Tesla when they first came out with their Lotus based electric, but certainly not electrifying sports car. But, look where they are now. Every well to do neighbourhood is crawling with Tesla S's, but this is North America and companies cannot survive on one great looking sedan. They need an suv and if the Tesla X is any example, it sure doesn't have to be good looking. So what is Faraday proposing?

Take a look.......



This model, the FF91  -  no kidding, this concept bears that peculiar moniker  -  is scheduled to be the first Faraday Future model to the post. Any chance it might be a success? In the first few hours that the order books were open, they took 64,000 orders. Those with substantial coin, line up here.

But hey, before we start seeing these electric dream cars in our hoods, there is a very long road and to build it, one needs to pave it with cash and huge amounts of it. History is littered with the broken dreams of cars that were proposed, but didn't get past the concept stage. And all those developmental dollars ended up, as in this pic, going down the drain..........


And only time will tell.

Until next time........



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Feb 7: Instrument panel confusion


There it was staring up at me from my dashboard display. Oops, I meant instrument panel (showing your age again, BWT?). Everywhere I looked in my owners' panel drew a blank, but surely that little yellow circle couldn't be a good sign? Then tucked away somewhere on page 3825 of my rather comprehensive manual, I saw a note of explanation of this little yellow beacon. It was a weather indicator. A what? You know, it indicates the weather. When it was sunny, it was yellow, at night it was dark grey, when it was cloudy it showed a sun with clouds, when it was overcast it was all clouds and one day, it showed clouds with a lightening bolt. Give me strength. Of all the useless info to have when I'm driving, is an instrument panel icon informing me of the weather, I could see by simply  looking out the window or thru the sunroof. But, hey folks that's what it has come to.

Wonder how many other somewhat interesting icons there are..........


Hope and pray they all don't come on at once. If they do, I suggest you take cover.

Yes, I know, technology is a good thing and I sure don't have any problem with that, although I'm not so sure I need to be able to change the colour of the car in my display to any one of the many shades available, but I can if I want to in my Maxima. But there is info that is terrific, such as the low tire pressure warning system........


Remember the not so long ago days, when you were notified via a dash board light, that one of your tires had low air pressure? Sure you do, but the better displays now show you which one it is and the exact pressure in all the tires. Now that is good intel. Out of curiosity, what vehicle has tire pressures shown in the display above (no prize for the correct answer)?

Technology can be perplexing. I read somewhere recently that most owners of the new techie vehicles, end up knowing about 25% of what their instrument panel display can conjure up. That sounds about right. On my last car, I was nearing the end of its lease, when I found that by touching a certain icon, I could replay the last song or the last newscast or whatever. Neat feature, never used it, even when I knew it was there. How many people would?

What about all those cameras, which we now have to aid in parking? Great idea and with mine I can amaze onlookers by parallel parking to within an inch of the other cars. I love the surround view camera, like shown below, but can't figure out how they get those great overhead views. Where the heck is it?


All I ask it to make the info useful and if you can't make it useful, make it really big, like this info screen for the Tesla X.......


Credit to Tesla, this screen is like a small TV and has the best graphics I've ever seen in a car or suv or whatever (that would be the Tesla X). Something to look at, while your supposedly autonomous vehicle mows down pedestrians and other annoying impediments, as it drives you to work. I told you technology was great. And speaking of Tesla, this display on an S can tell you when Elon Musk is calling to make sure all is a-ok........


But get over the interesting and useful stuff and let's see the real rocket science........


When you are driving along and this is in front of you, do you know what you are looking at? Maybe a bit too complicated? Well, I'm here to tell you, that with the rarity and price of the car within which this display resides, it is nothing for 99.99% of us to worry about. Let those billionaires have their fun and be confused while doing it.

There was time when this is what presented itself to you, when you sat behind the wheel.......


This fount of knowledge let you know your speed, engine temperature and maybe a couple of other minor bits. Straightforward and quite typical for its time. Everyone know exactly what they had in front of them. Great, eh? Sure for its day, but even if some of today's info might be unnecessary or unknown to the driver, this is the wheel I'd much prefer to be behind......


Even if the info I receive might be a touch disturbing at times.......


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



Friday, February 3, 2017

Feb 3: Rick Dore's beautiful cars

Up until a week ago this logo meant absolutely nothing to me. Me, the car guy extraordinaire (at least in my own mind), had no idea who or what company was behind this stylized "RD". I like to pride myself on knowing a few of the top players in most automotive fields, but this one slipped by me. In my younger years, there might have been some wrist slashing, but these days, it is simply live and learn.

When I was doing my blog on the famous old Oakland Roadster Show, I came across some stunning designs and I came across the name of Rick Dore. A little research (what the heck did we do before the net?) turned up a wealth of great looking cars, that customizer Rick Dore has been turning out for many years. Many of which were like the work of those long gone European coach builders. Cars like, the famous Aquarius.........


.......which was built for a famous rocker. In 2014 this won many of the awards, that customizers work extra hard to win. I'd call this a tribute to the old Franay coach built cars of the late '40's. Don't agree? Look if up.

Or this exquisite brown beauty, Slow Burn........


And get a load of that paint, over a mile deep and descending. Makes me just want to caress this car's bodywork (enough already, this is a family friendly blog).

That afore mentioned rocker has commissioned more than one work of art from Rick Dore like this one, named appropriately the Black Pearl, which won the coveted Custom of the Year award..........



Isn't it great to have money? And for the traditionalist and for also the same rocker, Voodoo Priest.......


Interesting how many rockers love their cars and, of course, they have the coin to make their car fantasies come true, along with the help of a super creative designer like Rick Dore.

Then there are Rick Dore's typical custom jobs, beautifully done, but enhancing the original's lines as opposed to creating something almost from scratch........

1953 Buick Skylark Skyscraper
All with paint to die for, assuming that one wants to die for paint.......




.......and all with those catchy, sometimes clever names.......

1956 Lincoln Mark II Remarkable
1957 Buick Lavender Persuasion
All these cars and over the past twenty plus years, I'd never heard of Rick Dore. Gee, that's enough to almost make me doubt myself as a true car guy (almost, but not quite). Maybe I should watch a bit more TV, as this Discovery channel show, focusing on Dore and his work, hit the air waves in 2014......


Ok, so now I'm educated about this artist in metal. Now, I'll check out his stuff from time to time to see what new creations he is creating. Now, I know lots about Rick Dore, no wonder he looks so pleased.....


Until next time......