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The Garage

Its the Dog Days of Summer, we might as well get a little nostalgic and perhaps whimsical.

Back in the day if you were, and certainly still are a die hard enthusiast / gear head, you had access to or had your own garage to "fool around" with cars.

In our case The Colonel had a garage for a long time.

Why did you need a garage? needed a place to work, fool around with cars. If you did not know your way around a car and perform most pf the work yourself were you a true gear head?

Agreed cars were simpler, and easier to work on back in the day of truly mechanical cars.

There were always these whimsical thoughts of what the ideal garage would be, would contain, and so on. It was the "one day..."

Unless you have cubic financial resources there is a good chance that the "one day..." is still on the wish list with not enough garage, or tool, or cars sort of thing.

Hopefully you have a garage with some tools, an interesting car that brings back memories, and continue to nurture a wish list of that "some day..." to keep the passion fire alive and burning.




Jaguar E-Type

An XKE in Peru, that was driven border to border...interesting story.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation...leave a comment.

FCA is being investigated by the SEC regarding their reporting of sales. It will be not only interesting but also enlightening to see what will transpire. As well as the myriad of comments and opinions that it will generate.

In case you missed it, we had another adpative cruise control experience with a Prius V, it was totally cool. Take a look here.

This week we also shared our thoughts on Canadian Sales for the first half of

Its the Dog Days of Summer, there is road maintenance, construction, yellow pylons all over the place, and we mean all over the place. Lets not forget the lane restrictions which makes it even more interesting. Then its the  congestion heading up to cottage country on a Thrusday night for the week end.

Fascinating how some folks never change, or change very little, or remain encrusted in a layer of "deja vu". We hope that during the Dog Days of Summer you take the time to refresh.

Old race impressive photo gallery from the Hawk at Road America.





Our Thoughts on Utility Vehicles

The other day it struck us...

We know that Canadians are buying more trucks than sedans.

We know that travelling in certain areas of Canada its only pick ups.

But the other day travelling on surface streets of the GTA and dealing with traffic lights, its was truly a "utility" moment. Where are the cars?

Everybody is travelling in a station wagon from back in the day.

How many of these utilities are all wheel drive? Who knows...its not winter to see who is spinning the front wheels.

How do these utilities handle? Resonably well but not as good as a car...we all know that.

Do most folks reallly car about "apexing" a corner? Sure does not look like it. A utility is not the ideal apexer.

Perhaps they were fed up of sitting lower in a sedan? Its possible...why be lost in a sedan in a sea of upright utilities.

They are surely buying more gas? Its a 4 cylinder with a turbo, with a multi speed automatic, its supposed to be economical.

There seems to be more mid size or small utilities than the larger full size versions? Its urban obvious the smaller versions are more popular, and with the 4 cylinder more economical.

Most folks have gone through a utility phase. Agreed we also went through a utlity phase at one time.

Perhaps everyone is in the same utility phase all at once? You think...






Canadian Sales - First Half 2016

Our thoughts on Canadian sales for the first half of 2016.

Yes...record shattering...



Prius with an Adaptive Cruise Control

We were anxious to experience this Prius V with an adaptive cruise control on a road trip, especially that its an hybrid too. While this road trip was developing there have been myriad comments on adaptive cruise controls and presumably self driving cars.

Needless to mention our experience was even more interesting. In light of all the comments and opinions, many by automotive digerati, Yes...we are huge fans of adaptive cruise controls especially for an extended highway drive.


A 2016 Prius V with the Technology Package which includes the adaptive cruise control.


Toyota hybrids are good sellers in Canada, and obvious that the Prius stands out as the "hybrid" of choice. Agreed you might also come across as a "tree hugger" driving an hybrid. Its a little slower than a comparable 4 cylinder with a turbo, and a multi speed automatic transmission on surface streets. On the highway the combination of gas and electric motor is surprisingly smooth, with good power.

The sound from the gasoline engine is misleading since it does not reflect the level of power going to the front wheels.

Adaptive Cruise Control:

We set the cruise control at our desired speed, and its a cool and revealing experience to drive on the 401 with the Prius controlling its speed.

Some points that caught our attention...

  • It recognises motorcycles ahead.
  • Completely seamless operation, and with the hybrid system its even more seamless.
  • Acceleration is with the electric motor engaging, quiet, no down shifts, no roaring engine.
  • Rain - works well even in an aggressive rain shower.
  • Curves - similar to other systems coming up to a sharp curve in the road with vehicles, you are the driver not the adaptive cruise control.
  • Dealing with construction pylons, temporary guard-rails not a problem.
  • Braking is from subtle to aggressive depending on the situation.
  • This Prius quickly instilled confidence in the operation of the adaptive cruise control, and driving the car.
  • Road position is up to the driver, no system can identify to best road position to maintain your set speed.

The real deal that most folks overlook or are not aware.

Having driven a few 4 cylinder vehicles with a multi speed automatic on the highway with a conventional cruise control. In most instances the moment you engage "resume" after braking, its a down shift, engine revving, upshift and so on. Its quite the process to regain the set speed.

With this Prius V, obvious it slows down and resumes by itself, the electric motor engages, its smooth, quiet, efficient, and fast considering its still a 4 cylinder. If you need a more power simply depress the accelerator a touch.

The hybrid system is seriously adept and seamless on the highway.




1961 Chrysler 300G

A comprehensive overview, walk around, and drive of a Chrysler 300G with Jay Leno.






Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Most folks don't drive anymore, its a required activity to go from A to B with a vehicle, but they don't drive especially in big cities with congestion. Interesting the driving or lack of is adapted to the particular circumstances.The imagination and creativity that is applied to alleviate driving is a thing of beauty.

Autonomous vehicles might not come soon enough to resolve the lack of driving.

We always learn new things its part of life. Hybrids with small 4 cylinder engines, usually coupled to a CVT transmission, and assisted by an electric motor. In a recent drive with a Prius V the electric motor is comparable to a turbo, and alleviates down shifts of a conventional automatic transmission. Its seamless on the cruise control.

Some things are enduring, decades ago the idea of passing around the monkey was rampant. With some folks being very good at transferring a monkey especially if they are of the larger size variety. Be assured that the art of passing a monkey around is alive and well in 2016. Some things never go out of fashion, "Let me see what I can do to get this monkey off my back, and transfer the problem to someone else".

Fascinating what folks resort to...

Another thing that is enduring is folks that have a cursory knowledge of "something" and go around behaving as if they invented the wheel, with the limited breath and depth of their knowledge.

Our usual old race cars from the LeMans Classic 2016.




Our thoughts On Adaptive Cruise Control

By now you have probably concluded that we are fans of "adaptive cruise control", especially when having to cover longer distances.

Let's go back a bit and see how we got to be fans.


Several years ago we had a Taurus SHO with adaptive cruise control, while raining hard we were continuously getting a warning that the water was impeding the proper functioning of the cruise control.


At one time we had a Cadillac and returned from downtown with the adaptive cruise on and set, this car managed a variety of speeds and traffic conditions all by was cool. A case of "I'm not touching the gas or brake"


Never tried it in snow.


We are all skeptics at first blush, and on short distances will often over rule the adaptive cruise control, which leads to increased skepticism.


If you ride a bike, instinctively you look farther ahead and sides than in a car. With an adaptive cruise control you do the same, look much farther ahead and anticipate what might come your way.

Longer Distances:

A longer highway distance provides additional time to get familiar with a specific adaptive cruise control. They are not all the same, each has a slightly different variables.

Set Up:

Every adaptive cruise control permits you to establish the distance before it starts reacting/acting. Set up a longer distance, it will act sooner (farther), a shorter distance it will act later (closer). Obvious that a shorter distance leaves the driver less time to over rule.


Some versions accelerate in a sedate fashion after an obstacle has moved out of the way, others are quite aggressive. Very useful to understand how the cruise control will accelerate once the obstacle in front of you has moved out of the lane.

Making Moves:

No adaptive cruise control can anticipate or make "moves" to optimise your "road position". When you need to make a move its completely counter intuitive to what a cruise control does. When you step on the gas the "adaptive" turns off, and resumes after you are no longer on the gas.

Sharper Turns:

Sharper turns with vehicles in both lanes, you are in the left lane, the cruise might get confused with the vehicle in the right lane that is slower than you.

Its Relaxing:

We find it relaxing to use an adaptive cruise control. We pay attention to farther down the road, and let the cruise control deal with closer down the road.

Speed: can scrub off speed and not notice it, someone pulls in front of you, the adaptive cruise will scrub off speed to uphold the set distance, and your vehicle will stay at that speed. Suddenly its why am I travelling xx slower.


Its fascinating to experience a ton of technology working for you while you are cruising down the highway.

Who is Driving?:

The driver, don't ever believe that its the technology, technology is not at the level of actually driving a vehicle on public roads and highways just yet. Distracting yourself which is easier, is appreciably riskier.

The driver is driving...the adaptive is assisting...its that simple.



Our Thoughts on Social Media and the Auto Business

Go back a few years and you surely remember the emergence of social media as a factor in our daily lives. Suddenly Facebook grew larger, Twitter became mainstream, to name a few.

During that time auto manufacturers started participating in the various social media platforms, and the various players involved with those platforms. Yes...some manufacturers took a more pro active role than others interfacing with various platforms users and players.

It was perhaps a quest to seek out influencers that could make a difference.

At some point somebody looked at the budgets that were deployed towards social media. You got it...the returns were challenging to quantify and let alone justify from a conventional perspective.

We all know the results, manufacturers retreated to a known quantity that they could quantify, and justify. On the premise that player A can attract X number of eyeballs in a major publication for a few fleeting seconds.

Dealers in the meantime are also participating in social media. Usually in an attemtp to reach out to their customers, promoting the product they sell, and redistributing factory content and photos.

Agreed...there is a ton of content out there. Who has time to read all this stuff?

At the same time compelling content attracts eyeballs on an ongoing basis. Remember the idea of the "long tail" its exactly what compelling content does, it keeps on attracting eyeballs for a long time. Although it does not convert well to "spending $1.00 to attract 100 eyeballs" as an example.

In reading the KPGM survey of Canadian CEO's they all worry about "customer loyalty" they are literally fearful that customers will go elsewhere. Another is "innovation" fascinating to see Canadian CEO's are concerned about losing an edge to innovation.

When you look at the way the auto business in Canada interfaces with social media, we too would be concerned about "loyalty" and "innovation".