Yorkville Recap

This past Sunday Auto|One Group participated in the Yorkville Auto Show. For those of you that were in attendance you already know how good the show was. For those of you that were preoccupied with fathers day’s festivities, cleaning your house or something equally lame this is a recap of what you missed:

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The day started out as a disaster. Lots of rain and the possibility of thunder storms threatened to cancel the entire event. Mother Nature thankfully thought of father time (it was that or father Christmas) and decided to grant us sunshine and dry pavement. By 11:30 the streets had dried and the party started. Auto|One Group was situated in the center of the action with a tent set up for fun! We had a raffle to give away a TV, auto racing inspired lounge chairs, a keg and offered 25% off our car-bar detailing services to all in attendance.

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We displayed a gorgeous 2011 Porsche Panamera GT TECH-ART edition. The car has $80,000 in upgrades and looks breathtaking to say the least. Visitors to the booth really appreciated our laid back attitude towards our cars. No velvet rope or fences. We invited people to get up close and personal with the car. Throughout the day we would start the car and let the exhaust play the music instead of the sound system. Our Porsche has the ability to raise the hair on just about everyone’s neck when it hits 5000 RPM.

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The cars were fantastic. We were situated between a row of classic and modified BMW’s to the west and a row of classic Corvettes to the East of us. Across from us was a melange of high end European exotics Mercedes SLS, Mclaren, Tesla were some of the automotive art sitting across from us. The Yorkville Exotic car show is great because you see the cars that made your childhood and adolescence exciting. Lamborghini Diablo? It was there. Porsche 930 tubo? Yep BMW M6 with the gold BBS honeycomb rims? You bet! 1958 corvette, ohya… the list of high classics is both extensive and long. It was like seeing all those sweet 70’s, 80’s and 90’s posters come together but without the teased hair or the acid washed jeans…

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The new cars could not be ignored. SlS AMGs, Lotus, Bentleys, vipers, Aston Martins, 911gt3s, Ferraris ect… They were all amazing and I thought many of them looked better with the water beading off of their wonderfully sculpted bodies than in the sunshine. Fortunately I was able to see them both wet and dry. You always picture these cars as trailer queens that only come out on the sunniest of days, and even then they are under an umbrella or something ridiculous.

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Auto|One Group definitely had one of the best booths on display. We had all sorts of contests including a blackjack table, video game hooked up so that people could race their favorite cars and wicked music. Not to mention candy and drinks for attendees. We love to put on a party. When we can do it and get the community involved we are elated.

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Whats next for us? Markham Ribfest! Join us July 5th– 7th at Markham City Hall! Join us as we bring two important things together at last. Horsepower and Meat together at last.

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Grand Prix Montreal

 

Wow, formula one was a dusey this year. Grand Prix Montreal is usually known for its unpredictable weather and this year did not disappoint. Friday’s testing of the cars was mixed precipitation and somewhat slippery. Saturdays qualifying was off and on rain and left the track quite wet. Well trained eyes could see the rooster tails coming off of the massive tires. Sunday brought mixed sun/clouds and it was beautiful. Sunday was not too hot, no humidity and the sun would come in and out of the clouds- perfect for racing. It forced drivers to bring there A game and pay attention for the entire weekend.

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Vettel cleaned up shop and got 25 points in the process. The fun was not in watching who took pole position, Vettel had it on lock from the pole position where he started. The fun was in watching the likes of Alonso start from a 6th place pole position and claw his way up to second place, beating Lewis Hamilton in the process. Hamilton had a good race but the 3-time Canadian GP winner could not keep up as he had chosen tires poorly. Hamilton was somewhat favored to win, as he has done so well at this track in the past.

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Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing race. He was penalized 2 spots on the starting grid for exiting pit lane too quickly. He had to start from the 10th position and try to makeup the difference much like Alonso…. Unlike Alonso, Kimi could not get his cards shuffled properly and had to settle for a disappointing 9th place finish. The race seemed to be more about strategy and predicting weather patterns than it did about outright speed. If you made one bad decision in the pits or one ill-timed pit stop than that was it for you and your car.

 

There were no fiery crashes, no launches into lower orbit. The wall of champions chose not to kiss any drivers this year, if it did they were more of a peck than a kiss. This is not to say it made for a boring race. Massa, Gutierrez, Hulkenberg and Guarde all had accidents, resulting in the latter two being knocked out of the race.

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Montreal was amazing as always. Saturday night everyone was out in their own race cars. It was the pride of Ferrari at the impromptu car show but an orange Bugatti aced the show (it really stole our hearts). Everyone was out enjoying themselves in their favorite team colours and having a great time.

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We had a dozen members in our posse.  Auto|One Group made sure we had amazing seats for both qualifying and race day. Saturday’s wet qualifying saw us sitting in the 31st section, overlooking turns 8 and 9. This is the section that brakes up the two back straightaways. Drivers come to visit us with the bugs hitting their helmets at upwards of 300 kmph they down shift/brake/pray to about 120 kmph to hook a right hander and then keep their speed and blast back up to 160 kmph as they are waving good bye to the grandstands. Think this is easy? If you are a physics major than you know that it is not. These guys put down 2.5 plus G’s. IN THE RAIN! Our seats on Saturday made for some entertaining rear wheel slippage as the cars exited the final corner. It was amazing to watch the strategy of these drivers as they navigated these turns in the wet.

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Sunday had us sitting in the 22nd section. These seats were great because we could see and hear the racers braking/downshifting/praying as they go from 7th gear and 300 kmph down to 1st gear and 50 kmph to navigate the big 180 degree bend. Once they are on the other side of that bend they are at the beginning of the main straight away where they hit 320 kmph. It is at this time that the cars fly by us accelerating faster and louder than your mind can comprehend (they bump 3rd, 4th and 5th gears in front of us) and then it’s off down the straightaway. It is one thing to hear these vehicles accelerate but another thing all together to appreciate them down shifting. Anyone who tells me that a clutch pedal is better than a paddle shift has never been up close to a 18,000 rpm formula 1 car that is downshifting.

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We had a great time at the race and cannot wait for the next opportunity to see/smell/hear race cars!

 

Classic Nissan Love- sports car edition

Nissan’s roots in the auto industry can be traced back as far as 1914. The Nissan nameplate was first used during the early 1930’s. Over time this small Yokohama, Japan based company has blossomed into one of the largest automotive companies on the planet. They sell vehicles on every continent and can be found everywhere from the fastest racetracks to the deepest jungles. They can also be found at Woodbine Nissan, located across the street from Woodbine racetrack at hwy 27 and Vice Regent Blvd. Woodbine Nissan is part of the Auto|One Group.

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The history of this company is quite interesting (they built airplanes!). Nissan’s have had more name changes than The Artist Formerly Known As Prince: DAT, Datsun, kwaishinsha, Nippon Sango, the list goes on… They have had more business partners and trade allegiances than Justin Beiber has Twitter followers: Hitachi, Prince Motors, Ford, Austin, Yamaha, Mitsubishi, Renault and Daimler to name a few. Some of these trade alliances are still in effect to this day. This is not why you are reading this blog though. You are reading this blog because you love cars as much as we do. Let’s dive into Nissans rich and delicious sports car history. We will save Nissan’s bulletproof trucks for another blog as they deserve their own.

The Datsun Fairlady was Nissans answer to the MG’s and Triumphs. These adorable 2 seat convertibles were originally introduced in 1959 and a blast to drive. The first examples were  only 37 horsepower and the engine was less than 1 liter but the sporting abilities were undeniable. Incredibly light, spry, spunky and basic these cars grew into a 2 liter engine by 1967 pushing upwards of 150 horsepower in competition guise. This may not seem like much but consider this: curb weight of just over 2,000 pounds, 200 kilometer per hour ability, better fuel economy than your midsize sedan in the garage and a motor that revved to 7,000 RPM. This was in 1967. While most people were too busy getting there first muscle car at the time, those who did notice these beautiful imports were treated to one of the most organic driving experiences. These were the first sports cars that were imported from Nissan to North America, they are quite rare and should be worshiped by all for what they contributed to vehicle dynamics.

Nissan S30 is what replaced the Fairlady. You probably know them better as the “Z” cars. These were the first of the cult cars from Datsun/Nissan. The nameplate has been around for enthusiasts to lust over since 1969 with out losing there shirts. These cars were sports car bargains when sold new, part of Nissan’s strategy to gain a foothold in the North American market. Despite a brief hiatus from market these cars have still remained a viable option for many buyers. This is because of a simple formula that Nissan has followed. All cars are offered in manual transmission, rear wheel drive and offer a smooth high revving 6 cylinder engine in a 2+2 body. These cars have stood the test of time with their long sloping hood, sweeping cabin and flat short trunk. They look like and perform like what you would expect from a sports car.

The Datsun Z was the first Japanese car to truly capture the heart of North American buyers who were looking for a cheap, fun, reliable alternative to the gas guzzling, heavy American V8’s of the day that were not as “tossable” in corners.

From the original 240z, 260z and 280z/x-turbo the 300zx of the late 1980’s was born. Never as popular as it’s 1990’s replacement. Yes, they both had T-tops (so cool!) but only in the 1990’s did Nissan ditch the angular styling of the 80’s for something sleek and include wicked turbos! Nissan understands that turbos are like love birds, they blessed the 300zx with two turbos. This would lead to the 350Z of early 2000’s. these cars have always remained relevant and true to their core followers. No front wheel drive has been offered, no overbearing electronic nannies, just good clean fun form a reliable sports car. Today we have the 370z that still holds true to those original roots of the 240z from 1969

Up to now we have talked about sports cars but imagine creating a car that is so intense, powerful and intimidating that your home market jokingly calls it Godzilla. When Nissan unveiled the Skyline that is the nickname it earned through its reputation of destroying the completion and owning any racetrack it shows up to. All-wheel drive, manual transmission, and turbo’s the size of Jay Leno’s chin… these cars were a recipe for fun right from the factory. Technically the first skyline appeared in the mid 1950’s on the Prince nameplate which was eventually absorbed by Nissan. The ones that really changed the face of the Japanese sports car market however are the later R32, R33 and R34 bodied cars built from 1989-2002 era. This is when Nissan decided to put the power to all four corners of the car. Keep in mind that this recipe came out in the late 1980’s when most manufactures were still touting that disc brakes were standard. This is the template that other manufactures adopted for their sports cars.

They were never officially imported to the North American market, however they do show up on our shores as grey market imports and they are becoming increasingly popular to see at a show’n shine or import tuner car show. These cars are a favorite of aftermarket tuners because of their robust drivetrain and customizable suspension. It is not uncommon for GTR’s to make 800 reliable horsepower in the hands of someone skilled.

The Nissan Silvia was the little sibling with attitude to the Nissan Skyline. Originally marketed as an economy sports car, what set them apart from the Honda accord 2-door and Toyota Celica was that it was rear wheel drive. These cars have not been sold new in North America since 1998 however you can still see them all over the car scene. Coveted by drifters for their rear wheel dive setup, ease of use and cheap to modify. The 4 cylinder powertrains they came with can be swapped out for a 6 cylinder  or just ad massive turbos to the current 4 pot! They usually have bashed up corners, no bumpers and sometimes no hoods…. Not to worry though! It is a Nissan! Bulletproof in every other way that your crappy driving is not.

For more information on Nissan’s rich history, drop by Woodbine Nissan. They are always happy to assist in all manner of driving needs. Want to talk about classic Nissans  no problem- they are car people too, just like you!