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Thursday
Oct022014

Mercedes-Benz 600

A comprehensive walk around of the Mercedes-Benz 600 with Jay Leno. If you are not familiar with a 600 Jay's comments are not hyperbole, its a phenomenal car for its time. Jay omitted to mention the double calipers on the front brakes, and the stainless steel exhaust system.

Notice that Jay makes several references to the price of parts...yes that expensive.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Oct012014

Behind Closed Doors

The relationship between manufacturers and dealers...another ebook.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep302014

Ferrari

With all the recent talk about Ferrari, it is appropriate to end the month with thoughts from The Colonel on Ferrari. Although he already mentioned his opinion a few days ago.

Lets get going...

Q: Colonel Good Morning, how long have you been aware and experienced Ferrari's?

A: Its been a few decades.

Q: A few decades, what an understatement, the plate on that car is from 1965, its almost 50 years.

A: Told you it was a few decades...(sly grin).

Q: It was literally in the early days of Ferrari in Montreal.

A: Yes...the early days, George Wooley, Luigi (Luigi Della Grotta) and Nicola the official mechanics in Montreal.

Q: There must have been something magical about the cars back then.

A: Totally magical, being up close and getting the occasional ride in Ferrari's were memorable experiences that endure a life time.

Q: At one point Ferrari's moved away from the "artisanal" realm into a more structured dealer network.

A: Obvious...they did, and for some reason an element of the magic was gone, although the occasional visit to Luigi's shop in Ville St.Laurent would still fire up the magic.

Q: Luigi had a shop downtown?

A: Originally it was on Ste.Catherine on the second floor, a small place with a sliding fire door, then he moved to Ville St.Laurent...Luigi was a mythical figure in Montreal.

Q: You are still a Ferrari fan.

A: Absolutely...I still vividly remember a ride in a Daytona Spyder on a beautiful sunny day.

Q: What was it with the musica?

A: It was the 12 cylinders, mechanical lifters, Weber carbureters, today its the flat crank on the V8's.

Q: You saw Gilles Villeneuve win the first Grand Prix in Montreal.

A: Yes...on a cold blustery October day, a magical moment, Montreal, Ferrari, first Grand Prix. 

Q: You had bumped into Villeneuve a few years earlier.

A: Yes...in the pits at Trois Rivieres in 1976 he was driving in Formula Atlantic, it stuck me that he was a physically small individual. But he was huge and fiery on the track, fearless.

Q: Perhaps a little too fearless.

A: Yes...you sort of knew how it was going to end, and surely Enzo Ferrari also knew.

Q: Lets fast forward to today and the dramatic changes at Ferrari.

A: Ferrari almost sold to Henry Ford, they had a gentlemen's agreement on the deal, which Enzo at the last minute reneged. Henry got pissed off, and beat Ferrai for a few years at LeMans, with the GT40's of the time. Then Gianni Agnelli bought Ferrari through Fiat. While Enzo remained the supreme ruler of Ferrari.

Q: The Agnelli sphere of influence and style is long gone at Fiat, and perhaps di Montezemolo was the last hold over at Ferrari.

A: Precisely...these folks were like Italian royalty, and automotive royalty.

Q: Today its the Elkann sphere of influence at Fiat, and Sergio Marchionne.

A: Yes...it is (lets not forget that Fiat was in trouble, Sergio got Wagoner of GM to pay 2 Billions to get out of the "put option" to acquire Fiat).

Q: The global luxury markets are shifting.

A: Absolutely, we all know where, or we should.

Q: Raising Ferrari production might not dilute the brand in established markets.

A: Ferrari is at the top of their game in established markets. Its the new markets that require additional production.

Q: You cannot be a global brand without a compelling presence in the emerging global luxury markets.

A: Precisely...you guys are good. There is an analogy between George Wooley, Luigi, Nicola from way back in the day, to Enzo, di Montezemolo, today, and 20 years from now.

 

 

Monday
Sep292014

Its 8 Years

What a way to start the week, its 8 years that we publish Strada.

Thank You...a huge Thank You to all the folks that read our publication, and have encouraged us through the years.

If anyone would have told us 8 years ago that we would still be publishing Strada at the time we would have drawn a blank stare, and said..."Let's see, who knows".

On our 4th anniversary we looked back...click.

We don't usually honk our horn, but on an anniversary its opportune to do a modicum of horn honking.

Thank You...

Again Thank You to all the folks that interact with us, the manufacturers that provide vehicles for our reviews, and visitors that arrive on Strada often by chance and on a mobile device.

Thought Leadership...

We exert a robust thought leadership in the auto sphere, and more important in the real world. A myriad of events/circumstances have unconditionally confirmed that our thought leadership makes a difference. Obvious no one will admit that they have been influenced, provoked in one fashion or another.

Passion...

Its the "energy" that powers Strada. 

Auto Business...

Our passion permeates most aspects of the auto business, from cars, trucks, dealers, manufacturers, motorcycles, electric vehicles...we are passionate. By now you know that we have a profound knowledge of the business.

The Colonel...

Who is this guy? It started years ago as a glancing comment from the Strada Crew, and its till going strong. 

Niche...

Strada is unique, we are in the auto business, in the thought leadership business, we are not in the news or eyeball business. Lets not omit that we are in the passion business.

Platforms...

Our content is proprietary to only Strada, as you know we have several platforms...Click.

Mission...

Its a constant "Passion in everything that we do. We don't follow we lead".

 

 

Saturday
Sep272014

Lancia Fulvia Zagato

The Lancia story with Jay Leno...