We could have the 10 of this or that, but its not our style, and if you are seeking anything in particular use the search feature and see what comes up.
Who is this guy? After almost 10 years some folks know who he is, other still know him has The Colonel. He remains the main guy at Strada. Yes...its a work of passion, which still burns bright.
What do we know about that auto business? Probably not enough, and perhaps too much. Is that vague enough for you. We just hope that if you are a regular reader, we have provoked your thought process on a few occasions, to make it worth your time.
We are not in the eyeball business...lets leave it at that.
We enjoy doing vehicle reviews, especially of vehicles that grasp our attention. Yes...they are all pretty darn good too.
We are a boutique publication, not for everyone, its appeals to folks that seek to be provoked, want a different perspective, an advantage.
Your Own Editor
Absolutely...there is a ton of stuff out there chasing eyeballs, and/or protecting interests, and/or promoting snake oil.
We are closet Cadillac fans, maiby not so much closet. Still waiting for Cadillac to emerge...we might just wait a long time
The Colonel has been driving a Benz for decades...lets leave it at that. Maiby not, V8, sedan, rear wheel drive.
"You have bowties flowing in your veins" referring to The Colonel.
Totally cool, right stance, a bigger than smaller engine, enduring, lasting
A immense sense of freedom, a liberating, relaxing experience to go for a bike ride.
Heavy Duty Trucks
"Have you thanked a truck today?" Everything we consume was hauled by a truck at one point or another. Old school 2 cycle Detroit Diesels are very special. A Peterbilt with an aluminum hood/rivets remains cool
In 2015 they are positively huge, and cool too.
Its a station wagon from back in the day, in most cases it provides traction to 4 wheels, its the family kicker, its useful.
Its an hideous experience...while saving time. Everything is an option...
Another incresingly hideous experience...unreal, scary, frustrating especially in the GTA, or any major metro area.
Through the years you have heard talk about a "Shoebox Chevy" on a few occasions. Its this imaginary 2 door post 55 or 56 Chevy with 2016 performance. If you evr wondered what a shoebox Chevy would look like...take a look.
We are always thankful and appreciative for what we have, and wish the best to others.
Prior to navigation systems, maps were useful, as well as knowing how to quickly situate yourself while using a map. Some of the best maps are from MapArt.
Navigation be it in a vehicle or a smart device is appreciably easier to use than any map, since the navigation will immediately situate you, and guide you to your destination. However, you having knowledge of your destination is very useful.
The early navigation systems relied on mapping CD's which required regular updates of the CD's to have current maps. As well the hardware was bulky, often located in the trunk of a car or the cargo area of a utility vehicle.
One thing has not changed, all navigation systems rely on GPS satellites which orbit at 20,000 kms above earth. To locate your position the navigation system must capture a signal from at least 3 satellites. Think about this for a moment. Here you are in your vehicle, capturing signals from 3 satellites orbiting at 20,000 kms to know where you are, and where you are going. Fascinating...while we take it for granted.
The stubby antenna on the roof is capturing GPS signals, satellite radio signals, while you are enjoying uninterrupted music, and know exactly where you are at all times. Pretty cool stuff.
Obvious that every navigation system, although they all tell you your position, and guide you where you want to go, have different features in locating various landmarks.
One more thing
The stubborn old fool driving that insists in absolutely knowing where he is going, asks the younger individual "Are we on the right road, you have been here several times?"....the reply "Don't know, every time I was here I followed the navigation system".
One last thing
The old fool still insists in knowing where he is using his brains, and not relying only on a navigation system. It raises the fun factor of navigating unfamiliar locations.
Do you remember old school dashboards, with a prominent speed indicator, and perhaps a temperature and oil pressure gauge, a simple sound system, complemented by temperature control knobs.
Those were the days of "idiot lights" that would not forewarn you, but simply turn on when you were in deep yogurt.
They were the days when enthusiasts/gearheads wanted a temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, ammeter, and obvious a tachometer.
Lets take a look at a few of these gauges...
It was essential to know how fast you were spinning and engine, while staying on the right side of the red line. This often resulted with a "tach" mounted on the steering column. Back then you did not want to over rev a performance engine. Today you want to stay away from the rev limiter.
It was essential to know the temperature of the engine, and in cold climates at one time there was a summer and winter thermostat. With the onset of pollution controls all engines were running "hotter" to improve emissions. Thermostatic fans, auxiliary electric fans its for another time. On very cold days the gauge will run up to open the thermostat, then the temperature drops once the thermostat opens. You have to wonder who pays attention to temperature variations.
Old school you wanted a mechanical oil pressure gauge with a copper line. Obvious this transferred engine sounds to the interior of the car...but it was fun. The rule of thumb...10 lbs of pressure for 1,000 RPM, you were spinning an engine to 6,000 you wanted to see 60 lbs of pressure. The gauge also indicated when an engine was properly warmed up, that you could start hitting the red line.
Remember the old ammeter (generator) with the + and - on the dial, now replaced by the voltmeter (alternator). You want to be over 14 volts. ideally you need the battery to start a vehicle, then the alternator takes care of all the electrical requirements.
Do you remember the old school temperature controls with levers, cables, valves in the heater lines, and constantly adjusting and fine tuning the interior temperature. To this day these manual controls in various forms are still widespread; with the addition of the air conditioning variable. By now you know that at Strada we have a dislike for these manual controls. We prefer that automatic, set it, and forget is controls.
It all started with the lowly AM radio with knobs, which progressed to push buttons, wonder bar, floor button. The advent of AM-FM with a rear speaker, subsequently stereo with at least 4 speakers. Casettes, CD's, Bluetooth, USB plugs. Aftermarket sound systems were a big business for several years.
Back in the day the sound of a high performance V8 was always more entertaining than a lowly AM radio with a single speaker in the dash.
To this day if you have a "killer" sound system in a vehicle, you will need a CD player/changer to truly experience your sound system. Think about this...
For countless years especially with luxury cars manufacturers adherent to a constant dash layout. On the premise that their customers were not expected to acquire a new dash learning curve. Think about this for a moment...
Have you ever noticed that some driving moments even after countless years remain fresh and crisp in your memory bank. Often these moments lasted for a few minutes, which at the time seemed much longer.
If you are of a certain age, you perhaps remember that Renault had a modest assembly line in St.Bruno on the south shore of Montreal. If by chance back then you were commuting to the south shore of Montreal the 30 (autoroute 30) was in the process of being constructed. But the stretch heading west from the 20 to St.Bruno and Chemin Chambly was completed at the time.
Stretch of highway going nowhere, hardly any traffic at any time, and no urgency to clear snow in winter.
On winter mornings that it had snowed, going from the 20 to the 30 was an interesting experience, of finding the 30 not cleared yet, with literally a tire trail in the snow and a wide expanse of white. It was simple, follow the single tire trail in the snow, and stay a good distance from the vehicle in front of you, while driving in a cautious, safe fashion.
Driving a GM product the tire trail was right sized, driving a Renault the tire trail was slightly wider than the Renault.
There is an appealing aspect to driving in a good amount of fresh, fluffy snow at a reasonable speed, some will blow over the hood, while there is a cloud of snow behind the car.
This particular morning...with fresh unplowed snow on the 30.
There is a Renault in the 30 on ramp in front of the GM car, on the 30 as the cloud of snow behind the Renault is distancing itself from the GM car. The individual in the Renault is gaining speed perhaps to increase the momentum to overcome the narrower track of the Renault or just to have fun.
The Colonel in the GM car gathers more speed to keep up with the cloud of snow of the Renault in front of him in the tire trail.
The thought process:
Going reasonably fast in a tire trail, no other vehicles on the road, stay a distance from the cloud. If anything happens to that narrow tracked Renault in front of you that you can't see, ideally you don;t want to hit it.
As this thought process is evolving, suddenly the cloud of snow in front of The Colonel gets appreciably bigger.
Something happened to the Renault in front of you, get off the gas, don't even think of braking, you have no clue what is under this snow, stuck on a deserted highway in the middle of fields is not much fun.
Whatever happened...the Renault is no longer on the road, in the tire trail, its in the median. The reason for the bigger cloud of snow as it flew off the road.
Back then cellular phones were a figment of the imagination. The Colonel reaching his office called Renault in St.Bruno to advise them that probably one of their employee was in the median of the 30 a few kilometers from the plant.
Keep in mind that bias belted tires of the day were incredibly slippery on snow compared to radial tires of today.
Its supposed to be a softer shopping season, its not cold, there is no snow, climate change. Interesting enough wherever we have been to shop...it was a case of full on shopping, wait in line to check out...go figure.
On a philosophical note, we are running out on 2015, is it the usual where did the time go?
In our case its we managed to do this, that, complete another, deal with change, and more unexpected change. While finding time to be appreciative and thankful for 2015. We hope its the same for you.
The other day we were reading a piece on older European cars of the luxury persuasion for less than $10,000...which got us wondering why anyone would even consider writing about older luxury cars for less than 10K. Its easy to write about it, not as easy to actually own one. As we often said in Project 200K its absolutely not for everyone.
An informative article "A Look Inside VW", if you are familiar with German auto companies, its a reminder of the old school German management system, which obviously is enduring at VW.
From the Globe and Mail "Canadians should be enjoying lower prices at the gas pump given the wreckage in the oil market, BMO Nesbitt Burns says". At Strada we have been telling you for months now that oil companies prefer to see gas at $1.00 a liter...anything less does not fit with their business model.
We expect December to be a record, or near record month in Canadian sales.
CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been powering the Canadian economy for the past several years, everyone has known that CMS empowered by cheap money is powering the economy. Now it seems that everyone is concerned. Perhaps its the answer to the question "How long can it last?".
Informative charts that describe Canada,
In the meantime the Federal Reserve has finally raised the interest rate in the US by 0.0025% (quarter point) ...yes it will have ramifications in Canada.
Our usual old race cars from the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours, and impressive photo gallery from way back in the day.