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Service Centers 

If you are of a certain age you probably remember the old school service centers on the 401 between Montreal and Toronto. In our case The Colonel is of an age that we think he remembers, he is with us this morning. Lets see what he has to say.

Q: Colonel Good Morning you are looking well, and we know you are a busy guy.

A: Guys Thank You, and yes very busy with all sorts of stuff.

Q: You surely remember the old service centers on the 401.

A: Yes...been travelling on the 401 for a few decades.

Q: What is the difference between the old and the new...not the architecture.

A: Guys...several decades ago it was a bit of an expedition travelling by car between Montreal and Toronto.

Q: Cars were not as reliable and service centers were primarily car oriented offering service for cars.

A: Precisely the service centers catered to people with washrooms but primarily to cars. They were big gas stations with service stalls.

Q: It was a car oriented stop, and probably Kingston (the mid point) was the busiest as a rest / car stop.

A: Go back enough decades, many cars needed gas to travel the distance, did not have air conditioning, were not as comfortable. Usually at the half way point the folks in the car needed a break, the car needed gas.

Q: Perhaps the car developed ailments and or strange sounds while travelling on the 401.

A: Yes...the reason the service centers had garage doors, service stalls, tow truck.

Q: Back then folks also brought their own food.

A: Absolutely...

Q: How about trucks

A: They were also a truck stop, with a good number of trucks idling away back in the day

Q: With time as cars became more reliable/comfortable the centers became more people oriented.

A: Precisely, now they service people, and sell gas.

Q: With better cars are folks travelling faster on the 401.

A: Imagine way back in the day with a 6 cylinder, windows opened (no air conditioning), wind noise, bias belted tires, going down the 401 at 60 was a tiring, noisy, windy experience.

Q: So with better cars...

A: With better more comfortable cars the speeds ramped up, and the police activity also ramped up.

Q: Now there are bright people oriented service centers, reliable, comfortable cars/SUV's, and the speeds are not much higher than decades ago.

A: Precisely, folks are trading speed for comfort, and keep in mind that trucks are also going slower today than decades back.



Jaguar C-Type

Go for a Saturday morning drive...



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

HorsesIts Friday, its the Dog Days of Summer, its the Vroom Room. Enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation, leave a comment.

You have to wonder if the Canadian economy is really "tanking" as the mainstream media would like us to believe. In the meantime our dollar persists on a downward spiral.

Did we forget all the media noise about China and the debt in Greece?

You know the saying...we always learn something new. It was informative last week to drive on the 401 with a conventional cruise control, and compare it to our drive with an adaptive cruise control. If you missed it just scroll down.

Don't you love it, reading that there is a pondering here, a mulling there, a possible somewhere else, and so on and on. have to be your own editor.

Canadian Sales:

A record breaking first half of the year...what else can you say...spectacular, impressive. Are we destined to drive around in a "square" utility vehicle of one make or another? What do you think?

Behind the scenes at the Goodwood Festival of Speed...impressive photo gallery.





Dodge Predators

Totally cool commercial with a strong tinge of horsepower "nostalgia" from back in the day...




Driverless Vehicles - 1

We are not fixated on driverless cars, but having the opportunity to travel on the same road with an old school cruise control is a unique way to make intellectual comparisons.

Two weeks and a few days after going down the 401 with an adaptive cruise control, we have done the same road trip with an old school cruise control. One experience being fresh in the memory bank, its almost instinctive to make comparisons.

Here is the deal

  • From our perspective with an adaptive or old school cruise control obvious that you need to be more aware with the old school cruise control.
  • At one point a straight truck as we were starting to pass started moving into our lane, brake to scrub off speed, honk the horn, and finally the truck gets back in its lane. Good chance the driver of the truck dozed off momentarily. You have to wonder if an adaptive cruise control would have caught the truck moving over?
  • At another point a small car without checking its rear view mirrors abruptly pulls into our lane to pass a truck. We scrub off speed which an adaptive cruise control would have done. What do you do after a vehicle almost jumps in front of you to pass a semi. The "monitored" adaptive cruise control is now being controlled by the vehicle that jumped in its lane. The old school "driven" cruise control would probably make sure that the car that jumped in front got a clear message.

With a monitored car (adaptive cruise control)

  • Easier to let the vehicle deal with the traffic bubble around it.
  • Some sort of reassurance that you will not rear end anyone.
  • Not as easy to create passing opportunities when there is lane congestion.

With a driven car (old school cruise control)

  • Much easier to pass since the driver controls the distance not the technology.
  • A higher sense of control than being controlled by the envelope around the vehicle.
  • Easier to create passing opportunities when the lanes are congested. 

These drives are usually uneventful which is the ideal monitored car mode, when events out of your control do happen, its almost instant. Still wondering if the technology in a monitored car would have caught the truck changing lanes with the car in the next lane?

We could entertain an interesting discussion, and perhaps even lenghty. It struck us doing the same travel on the same road we should share our thoughts and observations.



Bentley Bentayga

A bit of snow in July...



Excalibur RS

Go for a walk around and a ride with Jay Leno...






Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

We are officially in the Strada Dog Days of Summer, and encourage you to do the same.

Especially if you turned Canada Day into a long week end.

Did you know that Riviere Du Loup was a Dog Days of Summer hub several generations ago?

Is gridlock the appropriate name for traffic and congestion that is not moving fast, or going anywhere in a hurry. These past few days in the GTA its been a case of not going anywhere fast especially with folks taking a few days off to enjoy a long Canada Day week end.

There are moments when everything moves and flows, and other moments when its just snarled up.

The other day we had an opportunity to look at a Camaro Z28 up close in a showroom. It was black on black which for some reason does not work on the car. The thought flashes "Who would buy such a car?"...its barely streetable with those tires. Did we forget to mention 80K for a Camaro.

On a track it must be a ton of fun...and 80K might start looking like good value and a deal. But static in a showroom black on black...not so much.

Reminds you of the convertible on the used car lot in July..."its summer it will sell".

The other day we needed to convert a VGA outlet to HDMI which is the new VGA sort of thing. Here is the deal, you can get a VGA to HDMI converter which will not plug into your VGA outlet, you can get an HDMI coupler just in case, as well as an HDMI cable. 

You sort of make all of this work, or think its going to work.

From a mechanical perspective its like having a 1/4 inch drive connected to a 1/2 drive ratchet, connected to a 10 cm extension then an adapter to 1/4 inch 20 cm extension. If it sounds like its all going to fly apart the moment you apply some force...we would agree.

With the VGA to HDMI it becomes a case of "no signal" at a most innoprtune time. Which reinforces that "if it looks a little flimsy connecting all sorts of stuff together...don't think you have the final might just turn into a "no signal".



Alfa Romeo Giulia

Whenever it becomes a reality in North America, its a car that oozes character and emotion.

Alfa Romeo decades ago had a "trap door" pick up in the oil pan of its 4 cylinder engine which oozed high performance back in the day.





Canada Day

Have a great day with your family and friends...