When Autofest attacks

This past weekend Auto|One Group was at Autofest in Oshawa. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I feel bad for you. It is one of the largest classic car shows in Canada. Oshawa is a large GM town, they have been building cars in Oshawa for as long as Canada has had trees… maybe not quite that long but close. Oshawa has always built GM vehicles and is home to some of the busiest and largest plants in North America.

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As you would expect there were lots of classic General Motors products at the show, both stock and otherwise. Auto|One Group brought two vehicles. One was a 1959 Oldsmobile that rolled off the Oshawa assembly line at the number two plant in march of 1959. The other car we brought was a 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 sports car. We like to shake it up a bit and thought it would be nice to bring a rare import, guessing that nobody else would- we were right.

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Mother Nature loves classic cars, it’s a fact that has been proven by science. She gave us sunny skies and nice warm weather for the all the cars to bask in. Speaking of which there were close to 1,500 cars in attendance. We are not talking about low end clunkers that came from someone’s barn, yes there were some there. We are talking about high dollar restored vehicles; hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods, lead sleds and original classics. Everything from an original 1904 ford up to a 1,000 horsepower Chevy was in attendance.

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The show essentially takes over the city for the weekend. Make no mistake about it, Oshawa loves it’s motors. These guys work there hands to the bone during the day so they can work on there pride and joy at night. They want them just right, whether that is the right stance, paint, motor, interior or look they don’t care. Oshawa breeds a type of car guy that does not stop customizing/modifying there car until it is perfect. want proof? look at the picture below LOOK HOW BIG THAT MOTOR IS!

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This also needs a special tribute. What started as a Pontiac is now chopped, channeled, shaved, painted and amazing!

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Friday night is a cruise in downtown Oshawa, this shuts down the core of the city. Saturday and Sunday approximately 30,000 people flood to the park at the foot of Lake Ontario to see the cars. There are two entrances to the show and people are lined up for kilometers at either entrance watching cars enter and exit the show. It is a spectacle to be seen.  Our booth was located along the main corridor of the show. We would sit in lawn chairs at night and watch the cars leave the show. What an amazing experience!

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Lots of awards were given out and Cruise nationals was on hand to present the awards for best truck, station wagon, hot rod, paint, etc…. This was also the final stop on the Cruise nationals tour. All winners from this event are considered to be champions and invited to the Canadian International Auto Show in February so the competition was stiff.

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the awards being handed out. Note man and machine, together in harmony.

At Auto|One Group we love classic cars. They are as individual as we are. We love seeing the rare gems come out, the oddball customs and the wild cruisers. We believe that each car is a direct representation of there owner’s taste and style. How can you look at these cars and not want to meet the characters who drive them? We can’t wait for the next classic car show to see more of these fantastic individuals (and there drivers). One more picture of a car to hold you until then….

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Fathers day- because your dads a car nut!

Auto|One Group would like to wish all the dads out there a happy father’s day! We will be partaking in the Yorkville exotic car show this weekend at Bloor st and University ave. if you don’t want to take dad to the same old brunch why not bring him to Yorkville? There will be lots of high end exotic cars for you and dad to salivate over. There will also be lots of classic cars in attendance, you will owe it to your dad to listen to him when he looks at a classic car and says I remember when I was a kid and, bla, bla, bla…. Its father’s day! Entertain him! The Yorkville Father’s day Car show is also about helping dads. The event raises awareness about prostate cancer.

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The best father’s day we ever gave my dad was in 2009. My dad loves classic cars. Being raised in rural Alberta there was not much to do other than chase women, play hockey and race hot rods. My dad is a fan of the fin cars- the ones from the mid 1950’s to the early 1960’s that were made during the height of American’s obsession with aerospace. These were grandiose times when America was king, the cars were kings of the road and everyone was clamoring to get on a jet plane or watch some seemingly hair-brained scientists at NASA try and thrust someone into outer space. The Jetsons were making living in space both realistic and fun! Chrome was a good thing. Fins were better. Seatbelts did not exist.

Dad always wanted a classic car from that era but would never pull the trigger on getting one. He would cite things like paying for kids school, saving money for the possibility that one of his kids would need bail, paying for a vacation or paying for a home renovation. Stand-up guy all around my dad would always do for others before he would do for himself. We figured that we would take the excuses out of the equation buy one for him. It was early June and we hashed out a plan to get it and surprise him in time for father’s day.

We needed to get a car first. As I have blogged in the past my father, brother and I all share the same taste in cars. I knew that he would want something 2 door and hard top (no pillar between the front and rear window. I also knew he would want tail fins that take up more space than the Skydome (Rogers center? Never heard of it).

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After much deliberation and some serious soul searching we settled on a 1959 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 that was located in an Amish community. No joke, the seller of the car had a collection of classic American cars in an Amish community. The seller did not know what to make of a couple of kids not much older than teenagers showing up and telling him there plans. I’m not sure what was more out of place. Classic cars in an Amish community or us discussing te merits of these cars with a seller who could have been my grandfather. Regardless, a deal was struck and the following week the car was delivered to our leasing company in Toronto.

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this is where we got the car. it was like stepping back in time. note the vintage gas pumps.

We had the car waiting down the road that father’s day Sunday and had the whole family over for a barbecue. After dinner we told my dad to go out front and see if he left the lights on in his car. When he opened the door he was greeted to this sitting in the driveway.

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We timed it so that I drove the car up to the house as dad was walking down the front step. There was some confusion, laughing, crying and jumping up and down but at the end of it all dad was really happy. He loves his 1959 Oldsmobile. We loved surprising him with it because we could think of no better gift for the dad who is a car nut.

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Our patriarchal car nut loves telling even perfect strangers all about his car. How it is bone stock accept for the fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror. He gets a kick showing people how big the trunk is or how quite it is on the highway. Above all his favorite thing to tell people is the story of how he was surprised with it on fathers day.

FORMULA 1 VISITS MONTREAL AND WE ARE GOING!!!

This is a busy motorsports week at Auto|One Group. We have 2 teams that are in the midst of the Bullrun Rally. Through regular contact we have found out that they are kicking butt and taking names. Our Porsche 928 from the era of Duran-Duran and acid washed jeans is a force to be reckoned with and team Texas has been full utilizing the V-10 power of the Audi S8 that has been provided…

We will go into the logistics of how a car from the Reagan era has been kept on the road and how it has managed to do as well as it has. Our strategy will not be exposed until after the race has been completed! Clue: it involves sorcery, voodoo and synthetic motor oil.Image

Back in Toronto though we are gearing up for a big weekend in Montreal, Auto|One thought it fitting to send a hockey teams worth of people to see the formula one race this weekend. There are 12 members of our Montreal party/ Formula one club. We are primed and ready for action! Seriously. We have been counting down the departure day to Montreal since the end of May. We may or may not already have a cooler with ice and beer in it.

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This weekend promises to be a good one. Whether you are cheering for a team/ manufacturer or a country the stakes are high. The circuit Gilles-villeneuve (yes named after THAT Villeneuve). The race has been conducted since 1970 and has lots of heritage. It was the only stop on the formula circuit for many years. These racers hit 315kmph… if they are slow. They are subjected to over 2 g’s in the corners. Think about that for a second. It’s a 305km race. The stakes are high with no margin for error. Single degrees on the steering wheel can mean the difference between hitting the wall and blasting a straight away. Milliseconds of hesitation can be the difference between hooking a perfect corner and slamming into a wall…. Yeah these guys are pretty slick. This race has a famous corner with a wall dubbed the wall of champions. Famous for ending races/seasons of championship drivers.

We will celebrate 3 major events Friday:

1)      This is the last night of the Bullrun. We will celebrate our mechanic’s and tech supports hard work in prepping the cars. We will also celebrate the drivers for skillfully keeping them out of the ditch and on the straight and narrow.

2)      We will celebrate Formula 1 in Montreal, one of the best events in one of the best cities for parting.

3)      We will celebrate the fact that it is Friday (oh… you don’t?… you should start, it’s good for you)

For those of you that are going to F1 in Montréal I would like to provide some helpful tips. If you have not made dinner reservations as of yet, don’t bother the restaurants will be very busy, same goes for clubs and bars. If you wear your team/ manufacture/ drivers merchandise, be prepared to defend your choice. Nobody wants to ask you about you team Red Bull shirt/hat/lanyard/face paint/pants/officially licensed shoes, and get I love that drink!  As a response to why you are wearing it. Plan a “hair of the dog” scenario… you will need it. Bring both your rain gear and sun screen. Qualifying is Saturday and it is going to be a wet one! This will make for some great driving. Race day however it will be sunny with cloudy periods.

RACERS TAKE YOUR PLACES!