The 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Sport vs the 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport, great cars...see who wins.
The 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Sport vs the 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport, great cars...see who wins.
We have read, continue to read, and literally see on the streets the evolution of Detroit Luxury.
What do we mean by Detroit Luxury? It gravitates around the historical luxury nameplates from Detroit, Cadillac, Lincoln, Buick, Mercury, Chrysler and so on...back in the day a few generations ago those nameplates exuded luxury, the same as what very different name plates exude today.
Lets agree that the remaining nameplates are Cadillac, Lincoln, Buick...with Mercury, Monarch, Oldsmobile, Imperial, DeSoto all gone.
Its fascinating to see how did entrenched luxury nameplates in North America become extinct, and others trying to resuscitate themselves?
Lets go back a few decades (mid 1980's), a major auto show in Canada, here is GM featuring the Cimarron, here is a German manufacturer featuring their new sedan (E Class) which subsequently became the benchmark of the planet. At that time the price difference between the Cimarron and this new sedan was marginal.
The crush of people on this new German sedan was so much that door panels were dented.
From a mechanical perspective, its the mid 1980's nothing is very sophisticated, side door beams, energy absorbing bumpers are as good as it gets, and ABS brakes were a quantum leap in technology. Minimal horsepower, and so on. It was easy for most manufacturers to be on an equal technology footing.
The elaborate 5 link rear suspension on the German sedan was almost identical to the rear suspension of the Corvette of the time.
The rest is history as they say...but here is Cadillac in the mid 1980's totally outdone, its doors blown off, by a manufacturer that during Cadillac's hey days barely existed in North America.
We could keep on going here...at some point Detroit (Cadillac) finally emerges from its stupor and embarks on a mission to regain a foothold in the luxury segment.
Since the auto industry abhors a vacuum, by the time Detroit wakes up from its stupor, not only are the Germans better entrenched, the Japanese have gained a foothold in the segment. Its not just the product, its the entire brand experience, from the dealers, the ownership experience and so on...Detroit is behind the 8 ball by a wide margin.
Detroit boldly embarks on a long term mission to reinstate some of their luxury brands.
As you would expect certain vehicles are inspired, other less so, but Detroit endures, marches on and progresses.
Remains the undisputed "Detroit" leader in the segment with inspired cars, and others less so, suffice to say that when a Cadillac is good its really good...although the missed generation remains a challenge to overcome.
We all know that its a popular luxury brand in China, and perhaps why the LaCrosse endures in North America. The Regal is phenomenal...the question remains...who in the market for an entry level luxury car understands a Buick, unless they can go back a couple of generations. Interesting enough the Verano, Enclave, Encore do very well.
To think that Alan Mulally at one time drove a Lexus! They are walking a precarious fine line with the new MKZ.
As you would expect all three do well with their respective CUV/SUV be it the SRX, Enclave, MKX.
What do you think?
We heard about the Cobble Beach Coucours d'Elegance during the Dog Days of Summer, and sort of made a mental note that it would be a worthwhile event to attend.
Golf course, near water, scenic location, it was very interesting although the drive to Owen Sound seemed long. But..we had not gone for a longer drive for quite some time, it was all cool.
The trip to Owen Sound is interesting getting to drive through new areas, and country side of Ontario.
Once we reached the Concours at Cobble Beach its truly a "WOW moment", stunningly beautiful scenery, exceptional facilities, a world class event, with world class cars.
We need to repeat this, a world class event, meticulously well organised with attention to the smallest of details, world class cars from every era of auto history, professional judging, accompanied by a master of ceremonies that made the class presentations memorable moments.
In addition to being held for a good cause...a rooftop helicopter pad at Sunnybrook Hospital to shorten the transfer times from the current helipad to the hospital.
In his opening remarks Rob McLeese the Chairman and Founder provided a brief history of how the Concours came about, as well as all the folks that were involved to not only make this world class Concours a reality, but also to host such an event in such an elegant and meticulously professional manner.
Some moments and events are more memorable than others...this Concours is hugely memorable, we urge you to make it a point to attend this event next year.
This Concours encompassed cars from every era of auto history, from brass cars that now are over 100 years old to modern supercars.
Watching a 1903 curved dash Oldsmobile with a tiller run and be driven is a cool sight.
A unique experience is to see the 1930 Packard owned by Margaret Dunning who was present at the show. Margaret is 103 years old, has owned the Packard for 65 years.
If you have a fascination with V16 Cadillacs like we do, and occasionally get to see one. The 18th green at Cobble Beach was the V16 capital of the planet on Saturday with several entered in the Concours.
Actually seeing a V16 run augments the experience and appreciation of these cars.
We are observing the 1978 Ferrari 312 T3 F1 car, and commenting that if its the car Gilles Villeneuve drove in Montreal...you got it we saw the car race driven by Gilles and win...agreed it was 35 years ago.
Then we bumped into this black 33 Ford Roadster with Halibrand kidney wheels owned by Ty Tupper. The car is stunning in its simplicity.
The 1949 Cadillac Concept owned by Steve Plunkett which has undergone an extensive restoration from the condition it was in, is also a reminder of GM Autorama's of year gone by.
We can keep on going, as we always say a picture is worth...take a few minutes to review the photo gallery/slide show of the 2013 Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.
We are entering the "Dog Days of Summer" and perhaps wondering where is summer this year, and also wondering if it will arrive, in the meantime enjoy the warm(er) days.
Make it a point to take some time with your family!
Its great weather to ride a bike (motorcycle) especially if you subscribe to wearing the proper riding gear, its just cool enough to make it more comfortable. Compared to very warm days that making riding a V Twin bike a warm to hot experience.
The Colonel shared his thoughts about being in the people business through cars. If you missed it scroll down...perhaps dealers are overlooking what business they are in...its surely not technology.
The decision was still in the air if GM would build a 6 figure luxury car to become the halo for the Cadillac brand. Last week the decision landed, and GM will not build the halo Cadillac. It seems GM has realised that there is a difference between building competent vehicles, and having the resources, branding, to actually sell high line luxury vehicles.
In Canada most folks have a price point for GM vehicles, and one wonders if there would be a 6 figure price point for a Cadillac car...what do you think?
Canadian Sales...June one of the strongest in recent history, has been another erratic month with winners and losers, although the market is marginally up, it remains a very competitive sales arena, and whoever blinks for an instant loses one month, then tries to make up for it the following month. Although it seems that its always the same folks that are blinking, and trying to make up, and often blinking again.
If you are of a certain age, you perhaps remenber when the Unser family used to own Pikes Peak, and probably read the various stories a few months later in Hot Rod magazine. Times change, cars change, this year Sebatien Loeb shattered the previous record by a wide margin. Enjoy an impressive photo gallery of the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
Our usual old race cars the 2013 Spa Classic.
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.
Yes...Corvette won the GT Class at the 12 Hours of Sebring...huge!
Refreshing to see Mercedes-Benz finally get with the program and smooth out the creases and bumps on the new 2014 S Class, are they admitting that the squarish, creased look is/was not the best styling direction. Although the prominent grille will become a casualty of inattentive driving/parking.
We published a video of the new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6, while watching the video of the components coming together...it was "there is even a windage tray in the oil pan" wow...really cool. On a small block Chevy, if you remember the elongated main bearing cap studs to accomodate a windage tray...take a moment tell us about it, leave a comment.
If you were a hockey fan back in the day when players did not wear helmets, agreed a few decades ago, you surely remember Bobby Orr, well the guy is turning 65 next week.
The other day we were reflecting on a dark green 1963 Buick Wildcat 4 door hardtop, and suddenly it was a "Its a 50 year old car" moment...in a strange way technology seems to make time stand still for a fleeting nano second moment.
Want to see How Millenial you are...take the test.
Our online friend Ralf Becker of Chromjuwelen kindly published this link from Bumpsteer which has a fascinating photo gallery of Porsche BBS wheels. A classic case of the photos telling the entire story...of German engineering. The wheel design...in case you did not know...look at photos of early Chapparals.
Our usual old race cars from the SVRA at the 12 Hours of Sebring