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Entries in Gilles Villeneuve (2)

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.

 

 

Friday
Nov302012

Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Its the last Friday of the month, its month end, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino, join the conversation.

It will be informative to see the Canadian November sales results in a few days. More of the same but still interesting.

Before we forget tomorrow is the sale of the John Staluppi Collection by RM Auctions featuring some truly iconic cars.

We came across an article that awakens a myriad of memories; an interview of Joanne Villeneuve by Norris McDonald. If you are of a certain age you have vivid memories of Gilles Villeneuve. In our case The Colonel criss crossed Gilles Villeneuve on several occasions in the pits at the famous 1976 race in Trois Rivieres.

Obvious that The Colonel was at the F1 race in Montreal in 1978 when Gilles won driving a Ferrari.

A quick rant, have you noticed how the mainstream media quickly jumps on the "news of the day" or the "flavor of the day" and subsequently tries to get more exposure, coverage, eyeballs, than what the event merits. It often becomes a case of spinning several stories around at best half a story. 

We required a laptop to replace a PC that expired a few months ago, for some reason some PC's have a longer, other a shorter, and some a mid term life expectancy. This one had a mid term life (6 years). Our decision was to replace the PC by a laptop, especially with improved routers of the past few years, a laptop is easily used around the house. As an aside The Colonel uses a PC, since he loves his music when working.

Back to the laptop, we have been Future Shop customers when it comes to PC's and laptops for over a decade, after all the online browsing, there is a tactile aspect in acquiring a laptop, more so than a PC. In the store it was informative to see folks that are comparing laptops, gathering more information on their smart device, and still not making a decision. 

Our parameters for this laptop, we have a price point, since that Office is never included, we have some performance parameters especially the memory, and absolutely require Windows 8 (the reason we postponed the purchase), not interested in a Windows 7 machine. 

The unknown was the screen size, do we get a 14, a 15, or 17 inch screen? The 14 is too small, the 17 is too big, the 15 is just right. Yes...you can get dizzy with all the 15 inch offerings, obvious that any ultrabook is beyond the price budget. 

After a process of elimination, laptops require a tactile appeal to finalise the decision, including the appearance of the screen. The technical specs are secondary to the tactile appeal in the decision process. The technical specs come into play in the value for money decision. Do we need to mention that all laptop manufacturers alter CPU's to change price points, 

New consumer laptops are aupremely slick compared to work laptops, and Windows 8 has a refreshing, intuitive interface compared to all the previous versions of Windows. If you require a Laptop or PC we highly recommend that you get Windows 8...

Yes we watched the F1 race in Brasil, one of the better races of the season, after all the speculation from a myriad of pundits, Sebastien Vettel won the champioship for 2012, Ferando Alonso although dissapointed proved that tenacity will generate postive results.

Spectucalar photography of the Grossglockner Historical Grand Prix