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Winter Driving

Last week for the first time this winter season we had an appreciable snowfall on Thursday. We all know the routine, school closures, school bus cancellations, and municipalities to save money perform selective plowing.

You can probably undrestand the selective plowing on the premise that more and more folks are driving around with SUV/CUV/AWD/Pick Ups that plowing should not be an issue.

In addition everyone is going around with an arsenal of technology to improve the winter performance of any vehicles.

While the winter constants remain the same year after year.

Lets look at a few of these:


Obvious that during a sustained snowfall, if municipalities plow once the snow stops they save money while making everyone's driving experience more challenging. Especially when its the snow that packs easily to increase the challenges.


Although most vehicles are full of technology to enable driving in winter conditions, most folks have a limited knowledge of how this technology actually works.


What works best in serious snow conditions is "tall and skinny", what is on most vehicles is "low and wide" you can arrive at your own conclusions. Even with winter tires "low and wide" loses an advantage when roads are not plowed.


We are increasingly reading about self driving vehicles. In the meantime we are not there, and in winter conditions the individual driving is the most important factor. We often seem to forget that the Brain on Board is the most important safety feature.


There are all kinds of snow, the light and fluffy is easy to deal with, the unrelenting fine version which lasts for hours and hampers momentum is more difficult to negotiate. In today's commute realities any snow is totally unproductive.




Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Last Friday and last day of the month, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Have you seen the ads from some of the German manufacturers expounding on the winter abilities of their all wheel drive vehicles. They make it look as if their vehicles can literally overcome winter, and that obviously without one of their vehicles one is at a complete loss.

When these ads came out a few years ago, it was interesting to see them occasionally. Now most Germans have the same ad with different vehicles overcoming winter. 

This is a more appropriate reality of winter driving.

It will be interesting to see the sales results for January...what do you think?

Winter...we are experiencing a truly Canadian winter...while quickly forgetting what a "real Canadian winter" is all about...we are getting a reminder this year. Yes the cold is disruptive, while creating opportunities for many folks.

Get used to hearing more of FCA = Fiat Chrysler Automobiles the new name for the company now that its all one...think about how often Chrysler has been disrupted in the past 15 years...fascinating.

On a miserably cold, snowy day, coming up to a pair of red C7 Corvettes (coupe and cab) in a cars but it does not truly resonate on a real Canadian winter day.

Hopefully you had an opportunity to watch segments of the Rolex 24 live, in case you did not, here is an extensive photo gallery of the Rolex 24. A pretty good showing by Corvette Racing after a lenghty abscense at Daytona.

Our usual old cars from the Cavallino Classic at the Breakers in Palm Beach.



Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the last Vroom Room of 2013, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

We hope that you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas...

In our case this year its been a White Christmas, with snow, freezing rain, snow, and more snow.

Looking back for a few nano seconds, 2013 was marked by change, and although change is constant, in some instances its demanding. If this past year you also effected change in your situation in one fashion or another, keep it up.

We could remind you of this or that from 2013, and perhaps come across as honking our horn. We have a search feature which will find content that is relevant to you, instead of us reviewing what we covered during the year.

Obvious...we had to close the year with a print from Gapingvoid, by now its become a tradition to have a Gapingvoid print on Fridays.

What did we learn in 2013?

  • We surely don't  have all the answers.
  • Increasingly, more than ever you have to be your own editor.
  • Its a brave New Reality with a ton of pundits sharing their views.
  • Inexpensive/cheap credit makes the world go round, and moves a ton of iron.
  • The "Big Picture" is more elusive now than ever before.
  • Simplicity is an epic challenge.
  • The auto business continues to grasp our attention.

A bit of understanding, respect, generosity, is helpful and goes a long way.

Being thankful, appreciative, is liberating.

Our usual old race cars from the Spa Six Hours 2013.




Winter + Ice

We always wish for a white Christmas, and in most instances we are not dissapointed, it usually snows a few days prior to Christmas to generate a "White Christmas". Canada we need snow at Christmas.

This year to make it interesting we already had snow, and received a good dose of freezing rain to truly make it interesting. As expected with modern technology and hyper media, we received ample notice, warning that we were going to get a substantial amount of freezing rain in southern Ontario.

Here is the deal:

  • The more the notice, the more the element of surprise.
  • Some folks think that vehicles infested with technology will dispose of the ice especially on the glass area by themselves.
  • Other folks think that the gas cover will automatically rid itself of ice once they reach the gas station.
  • Obvious that other folks throw common sense out the window.
  • The degree of selfish behavior increases exponentially.

Its fascinating to observe the "human management" of vehicles in inclement conditions.



Managing Winter Driving

A couple of days ago, at the first appreciable snowfall in the GTA, here we are thinking about driving in winter again. 

Lets qualify this, in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) a snowfall of 10 cm turns into a major news event, while the snow becomes apocalyptical...or close. In other parts of Canada, snow, cold, being ready for winter is perfectly normal. Yes...10 cm is not enough snow to even talk about it.

It usually starts the day before, with the habitual warnings of incoming snow, colder weather, wind chill, and it gains momentum as the snow gets closer. 

In the meantime the more motorists are advised and warned of incoming snow, the more AWD vehicles are sold every year, the more disconnected its getting. Its winter, its cold, its snow, its Canada, its normal. 

Earlier this year we shared our thoughts on Winter Tires, and Snow and Technology, so why are we again writing about snow?

Here is the deal:

Most folks seem to forget that its not the vehicle that has an understanding of the medium that its operating in, its the driver that increasingly must manage the capabilities of the vehicle. We reiterate, the driver must manage.

Vehicles are bristling with technology, they can literally control their speed, stop by themselves, however vehicles have no conception or understanding of the prevailing conditions, and what they are driving on. The challenge is that even with all the warnings, most folks remain oblivious to driving conditions, and managing their driving accordingly.

It gets even more interesting when municipalities wait for a specific snowfall prior to clearing the streets. Think about this, if more AWD vehicles are sold, or what looks like all wheel drive vehicles, perhaps it encourages municipalities to clear snow later.

It seems that most folks lose sight that an element of friction is required between the vehicle and the surface its operating on the enable all the technology to function correctly.

Perhaps many folks remain oblivious to understanding, to subsequently be in a position manage the vehicle and their driving in winter. The laws of physics have not changed, a vehicle requires a coefficient of friction between the tires and the surface to be able to steer, stop, and accelerate. 

The driver manages the interface between the vehicle and the prevailing conditions, and surface, not the vehicle, not the technology, the driver manages.