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Monday
May302016

Too Much of Everything

Is too much of everything worse than not enough or none?

In 2016 we have information, big data, knowledge, instructional videos, and all sorts of other stuff readily available to anyone and everyone with a couple of clicks.

Lets not forget the myriad of analysts, pundits, experts, that all have an opinion on anythimg, and everything.

Did we forget the millions of smart devices that make ot easier, and perhaps even empower a bunch of folks.

Ever wonder what happens to all this stuff? Or who uses all this stuff? Or what are the end results?

Which leads us at Strada to wonder how many folks get lost in the trees (details), and miss the forest (big picture). While making flawed decisions which are not productive.

On the last Monday of May 2016, reflect on this for a moment. How much is too much?

At the end of the day you stll need to make your own decisions, choose and engage in your own path, decide how "politically correct" you want to be, and be accountable for your own results.

In 2016 you also need to protect, while promoting your brand (yourself). All the while protecting your privacy.

What does it have to do with the auto business? Everything!

 

 

Saturday
May282016

1973 Honda CB175

A fascinating Saturday morning video...enjoy.

 

 

Friday
May272016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Its the annual racing week end on the horizon, Monaco, Indy 500, to name a few.

It will be fascinating to see how Canadian sales conclude for May, its a challenging month for a lot of folks in the business.

In case you missed Deal Post Mortem, we find it fascinating to observe the level of "superficial comments/advice" that are dispensed on an ongoing basis.

Have you noticed the various discussions and polls regarding driverless cars / autonomous vehicles. At first blush it would seem that almost no one wants an AV, at the same time many have a limited desire to drive. Its an interesting paradox...especially when you commute in and around the GTA.

While manufacturers are investing in various car sharing companies.

Did you miss our thoughts on exhaust systems? Its a bit of old and a bit of new...take a look you will find it interesting.

The Colonel has this thing about screen savers, its usually the same feline, and gets changed 3-4 times a year. Interesting enough its never a vehicle always a big cat...yes a tiger. This latest screen saver update the tiger has been replaced by a wolf with piercing eyes, next to a carcass.

Perhaps you are wondering what on earth does a screen saver has to do with cars, or the car business. The wolf and the carcass can be turned into a myriad of analogies. Care to tell us about your screen saver?

An impressive photo gallery of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2016...enjoy.

 

Monday
May232016

Exhaust System Efficiency and Sound

At times we come across "material" that truly juggles the memory bank. We have featured Engine Master videos on a few occasions. This one caught our attention for the content, but also the memories.

Here is the deal...

Decades ago when all sorts of stuff on cars was done on a budget, being a student, paying tuitions might have had something to do with it. Way back in the day we quickly grasped that having an efficient exhaust system was a way to conserve horsepower, enjoy the sound of the engine, and make some noise too.

Headers: don't even think about it...totally beyond the budget of the time.

Glasspack Mufflers: absolutely...they were affordable and made noise.

Tailpipes: the shorter the better...we knew that...plus it was less money. Which implied that the tailpies usually ended just ahead of the rear axle.

Pipes: factory stock diameter usually it was 2 inches or a touch less.

What is interesting about this video? Its a reminder of what we were doing decades ago on a very tight budget, and finding ways to compensate for the additional restriction of full length tail pipes. 

Fascinating how a video awakens the memory bank.

Years later, on different cars, with a different budget, knowing a good exhaust shop that made tubing was the way to go to modify a exhaust system. Especially during the early years of catalytic converters which were very restrictive.

Modify an engine to gain an additional 1,000 RPM on top, and a catalytic converter ensured that the engine never gained the top end you were expecting. The good exhaust shop was essential to literally redesign most of the exhaust system.

Back then a balance line between the pipes was essential to compensate for full length tailpipes.

Can you get creative with modern cars? Absolutely from the catalytic converters, oxygen sensors back. While many performance versions have an X pipe to replace the balance line from back in the day.

Fascinating to notice that what we used to do on the tightest of budgets decades ago is still done today.

The deal with exhaust sound...

There is the difference, back in the day mufflers were upstream in the exhaust system closer to the engine. Today mufflers are downstream closer to the tailpipe outlets.

The placement of the mufflers generates completely different sounds, especially for V8's.

 

 

Saturday
May212016

1961 CHP Dodge Polara

Watch this cool video, a comprehensive walk around with Jay Leno, and you even go for a ride.

 

 

 

 

Friday
May202016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, on the cusp of a long week end, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Are we finally getting warmer climatic conditions? Sure looks like it...yes we will take it.

Have you ever noticed the amount of "autotainment" (auto entertainement) that is disseminated on a daily basis? It sort of makes sense, it engages the folks that thrive on a glancing knowledge of autos, and the auto business. Agreed...it also generates additional fleeting eyeballs.

As you know at Strada we are not in the "autotainment" business.

The early ground tremors are reporting that May is developing into a more challenging month for dealers to sell new vehicles. Perhaps its a question of how much can you pull ahead? We will see by the end of the month.

Think about this...

Is Maserati the sedan and utility line of Ferrari? It sure looks like it. Can we also throw in Alfa Romeo as the economy line? Perhaps a case of premium economy?

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Agreed...we are full of questions this morning, with at least some answers.

Another "think about it"

Buick: The folks that should be buying/leasing a Buick have a cursary understanding of the brand, and where Buick "used to fit" in the auto landscape. Agreed...the folks in China have a better understanding of Buick.

When a brand falls through the cracks, and stays there for decades, trying to resurrect it to resonate with a new generation of customers...not so easy.

One more "think about it"

We have reached the point where being politically correct, sensative, understanding, and putting up with all sorts of sh!t is reaching new and higher heights. In a world where all sorts of algorithms can deal with a ton of issues, and routine decisions. It often seems that humans turn into their own algorithms to review every minor detail, comment, and action.

Go figure...

If you have been around drag racing for a few decades, you surely remember Reher-Morrison in Pro Stock. Its a fascinating story of how they got an edge from the Rat Motor they were using at the time. Its a great read for a long week end.

Our habitual old race cars from the Goodwood Members Meeting...enjoy.

 

 

Wednesday
May182016

More Whimsical Thoughts

There are a myriad of Ten of this and that...and it keeps on going.

In our case The Colonel as for a long time entertained the list of what cars would you like to own, keep, and why? Its not the Ten of anything, its just cars and some trucks.

You have to factor in an immense garage to keep all thes vehicles, the garage is a discussion for another time.

Here we go in no order, or the entire list, just a sampling.

Shoebox Chevy: You need a shoebox Chevy especially if you are a Chevrolet fan, and a small block aficionado.

1967 Big Block Corvette: make it two a coupe and a roadster with side pipes, almost 50 years old, the rumble, the exhaust fumes, you need one.

1957 Cadillac Fleetwood: the one with the stainless roof, batwing air filter on the dual quads, suicide doors, stunning 60 year old car.

Testarossa: the one with the flat 12, to remind yourself of what happens when you shift in 3rd on a strong run, and the car made a strong statement 30 years ago.

450SEL 6.9: a big block Benz, its overkill, its cool, with Michelin XWX tires.

1963 Biscayne Coupe: nothing spectacular, the first car, why not.

V16 Cadillac: there is something magical about an 80 year old V16 Cadillac.

1967/68 Camaro: a reminder of a 67 with a Detroit locker differential and winter driving.

1964 Impala SS: wth a 327, 4 speed, tach on the dash, another reminder of "should have kept the car".

1985 500SEL: for the original 126 look but now with a 5 liter, ABS brakes.

1992 600SEL: the 140 with the old V12, and a reminder of the one with tweaked CPU's

1963 Buick Wildcat: a 4 door hardtop a reminder of a dark green Wildcat from decades ago, with a nailhead.

GMC Astro: with an 8V71, RTO9513, 12 front, SQHD in the back, Hendrickson suspension a strong reminder of the guy that used to work on these trucks.

GMC General: with an 8V92T, RTO12513, 12 front, SQHP in the back, RTE380 with a 60 inch spread, 34 inch sleeper, yes...another reminder.

GMC Pick Up: half ton, fenderside, short box, with a 454 another reminder from way back in the day.

275GTB: long nose with 6 Webers, an incredible short ride from decades ago.

1965 Buick Riviera GS: with the dual quads, finned valve and spark plug covers, and its the first version of the Riviera.

Rolls-Royce Cloud III: with the wider grille, 4 headlamps, V8...you need one of those...just because.

Hot Rod: something from Bobby Alloway with a big block...just because.

1996 Impala SS: all sorts of memories about a few of them.

Viper: the early version, an epic drive on the A1A with the Strada crew.

Fat Boy: obvious that you need at least 1 motorcycle.

These are some that come to mind, yes its a big garage by now.

If you have a tighter budget, and less garage...no kidding.

The toys are Chevrolet, the sedan is a Benz, the truck is a GMC, the bike is a Harley. In the toy department, you need a "hard core" mechanical Chevrolet, the Benz is a sedan rear wheel drive, with a V8 and waftability, its a GMC for a myriad of reasons, if not a Harley something that looks like a Harley.

 

 

Tuesday
May172016

The Mercedes F1 Incident At Barcelona

Today's Formula 1 is a game of strategy, DRS, a mixture of tires, and pit stops. Often the driver is along for the ride, more than the drive.

At Strada we are no longer huge fans of F1, simply because there is more "strategy" at play than racing, and invitably most races become a procession more than a race. Obvious that excitement takes a back seat.

Last Sunday's F1 race by the 4th turn suddenly became very interesting with both Mercedes cars taking themselves out of the race. Really interesting...

Its clear that Mercedes still does not have team orders, while the drivers are allowed to race with each other, and this year Rosaberg has an upper hand on Hamilton.

What totally captivated up were the various comments from stakeholders, pundits, fans, analysts. The comments were a realistic portrayl of how quickly stuff develops, and the various twists and turns that it can take.

In 2016 its politically correct to review videos a gazillion times, review data, review the myriad of buttons on a steering wheel, while deferring to further data analysis prior to making a decision. Racing incidents develop in nano seconds, its cool to have the technology to review the nano seconds in slower motion, and from various angles.

What truly caught our attention...

  • Getting lost in the technology, analysis, making politically correct statements.
  • Obfuscating reality, while not arriving at a decision.
  • Deferring to further analysis of the data, to not publicly make a decision known.
  • Deferring to the race stewards to see what the decision should be (a racing incident).
  • A tainting of favoratism towards one driver or another.

In the meantime "you race to win"...."you race for the team to win"..."you race for at least a podium finish".

Obvious that when 2 cars from the same team take themselves out on the 4th turn of the first lap, something is wrong, and all the analysis and data will not compensate that "something is wrong". Although deferring to data, the process, the further analysis is part of the 2016 decision process.

The stewards wash their hands by calling it a racing incident, and deferring the matter in the court of Mercedes. The drivers each see the incident from their perspective, while acknowledging the decision of the stewards.

Niki Lauda made it bluntly clear that it was "unacceptable" and made a strong hint as to whe he saw as the instigator (Hamilton) of the incident.

Sir Jackie Stewart, also made strong hints as to who should have excercised a "level head" instead of a hot head (Hamilton).

Its fascinating that folks that are not in the "career business" arrive at a quick decision, while folks that are in the "F1 career business" generate content for the sake of content, and deferring a decision which is pretty obvious to millions of folks.

What do you think?

 

 

Saturday
May142016

Engine Overhaul

The video caught our attention, its a vivid reminder, and more important nostalgia from decades ago.

Here is the deal

Back in the day with limited budgets, tuitions, older cars, rebuilding an engine over a week end was almost normal. Using the same procedures as they are doing in the video.

We used to be at least 2, and often more to deal with the parts washing.

In the video they do not mention a few budget tricks to polish a camshaft, cutting the ridge at the top of the cylinder, and a few other items like washing the block and a bunch of parts with laundry detergent to get all the grease residue out.

Its not the car, or the engine, its the nostagia of this video that is priceless.

The goal was to finish on a Saturday night even late or early into Sunday morning.

Don't even get The Colonel going about how many engines were overhauled on a week end.

 

Friday
May132016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday the 13th, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation. Agreed Port Dover is a busy place with motocycles today.

"Old Propaganda" by Jay Koka 

Do you ever get the impression or better the reality that at times "stuff" either goes well or totally backwards. Its been one of those weeks at Strada, either real good, or just plain serious yogurt moments. Its all part of life and moving forward, while being thankful for what we have...

A memorable moment was experiencing the adaptive cruise control of the Honda Civic in a congested highway environment. Its dramatically more relaxing to drive with an adaptive cruise control. It was a Wow moment as well as totally cool.

Are you surprised with the generosity of Canadians towards Fort Mac? We are not surprised, and perhaps we are a little inspired too.

Have you noticed how much "autotainment" is generated on a daily basis. Back in the day the individual that "had a glancing knowledge of cars and the business" could be assimilated to what is "autotainment" today. Its pedestrian knowledge with a wide appeal, attracts eyeballs, and is of little value besides providing automotive entertainement.

At Strada we tell you up front that we are not in the eyeball business, we prefer to provoke your thought process. While expanding your knowledge base.

Our usual old race cars from the Jarama Classic 2016...impressive photography.