My New “Treasure”

It all started with a slow day at work… these are rare (my bosses generally read these so I will actually go with very, very rare). I was ambling around the internet looking for some parts for my Mini when I saw an ad “ 1983 Lincoln vi, no rust, totally straight, needs a headliner and heater core, certified” . The price was less than an Italian hand bag I am sure my wife wanted so I figured I could sell it and at least break even if she decided she wanted the bag instead of this stunning example of 1980’s American personal luxury.


I called my partner in crime who happens to be a huge Ford/Lincoln guy. He assured me of what I already knew: I would be crazy not to buy it. I had a moral duty to buy this car. At this point I called the number in the ad and left a message to call. I then played the waiting game. It is unnerving because at this point I had convinced myself that if I didn’t get this car, the world would cease to exist… I didn’t want him responding to someone else first and selling it to them, I also didn’t want to call back and seem desperate or crazy. Of note: it was around this time that I realized this car was in Sarnia, a 3 hour drive from Toronto. Hey, love can travel right?

The seller called me back about an hour later, this is the meat and potatoes of the conversation:

Me: “hey man, thanks for calling me back, still got the Lincoln? Whats the deal with it?”

Seller: “ still got ‘er, she’s super straight, no rust anywhere, no dents, it needs a heater core, I have one to go with the car and the head liner sags, I’ve done some stuff to it so I can sell it certified, I just got the car”

Me: “ paint is good, interior is okay otherwise?”

Seller: “paint is amazing, the car was from Florida, a priest in florida owned it and kept it parked inside most of the-“

Me: “ woah, woah, woah, a priest owned it before you?”

Seller: “yeah man, he lived down south and moved to Sarnia, he is in his 90’s and couldn’t drive it anymore”

Me: “sold, I’ll take it”

Seller: *laughing* “because it was owned by a priest?

Me: “crap, you live in Sarnia? Does it run?”

Seller: “yeah, Sarnia, runs, needs a heater core so I would not drive it to Toronto, needs a headliner”

Me: “and a priest owned it?”

Seller “……yes……”

Me: “I’ll come on Sunday to get it”


My partner in crime (we will call him Kevin to protect his true identity, his wife may read this as well…) and I drove the 3 hours to Sarnia on a Sunday to see the Lincoln. Sweet mother of chrome she was in great shape. The landeau roof was not torn or overly sun faded. The paint looked like a 9 out of 10 (a couple of touch-ups) 1 door ding and the chrome was excellent other than a trim peace coming off the rear bumper. The fold-away headlights worked, all the buttons I pressed had a reaction, even the old-school analog temperature gauge attached to the driver side mirror seemed correct. The car was as we call it in automotive speak “a pin”.

I will write about this odyssey again and regale you, fine reader about venturing into the unknown of fine velour seats and faux wood. Just know this for the time being: I now own a prime example of 80’s American class an elegance, the only person more thrilled than me is my wife.

Praise For Tesla From A Gear Head

Auto One EDIT3

I’m a really nice guy. Like, really, really nice. All of the time my friends and family approach me with automotive queries because they know I will give them an honest answer. For example, when a family member calls me and says “hey my change oil light is on, what should I do?”  and “my tires are bald, should I get new ones?” I have the unique ability to give straight forward answers and not dance around asking questions like; Did you dress yourself today?”.


The other week my brother-in-law called me and asked if I could help get his car tinted and a stone chip on the windshield fixed. “sure I can, I can do that in a day”. He was super happy as he was going out of town and said he would just leave me the car for a couple of days (and I get to drive it). My brother-in-law drives a Tesla 85D. This is an electric car with the ability to go zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds. Understandably I was very excited by the opportunity to thrash, drive his car. Let me back up a bit. When my brother-in-law first ordered his Tesla he was super excited about it and understandably so. Technology from the future, crazy power and great fit and finish. I on the other hand was a little underwhelmed at first, I thought, what’s the big deal right? It’s like driving an electric razor with an i-pad for a console. I thought it would lack the passion of a combustion engine. When he got it I thought “okay, this is cool but I would still rather have ______ insert premium luxury sedan”. Essentially I thought that liking that car would make me less of a “car guy” because I was liking something without an engine.


However, after driving it for a couple of days I would liken it to a slot car with an in between stage. Step on the accelerator pedal (can’t really call it a gas pedal) and it drives like any other car. Mash it with your foot and watch the world melt away though the windshield. Don’t forget, this is with 2 car seats comfortably in the back too! Imagine all that torque and power available from 0 RPM because there is no engine to turn over. Instant terminal velocity…. My tear ducts have not fully recovered.


The technology is amazing in the car. The Auto Pilot mode will legitimately steer, accelerate and brake the car its self. You want to change lanes? just click the turn signal and watch the computer overlords sense when an appropriate opening becomes available and technology will then put you in the next lane. The on board navigation has built in internet browsing and the car will tell you the stock numbers too (if you are into that sort of thing) and a full internet browser. Imagine driving from Toronto to Kingston without using the steering wheel or the pedals. It is a novel concept that took some time for my weak human, non-Tesla brain to comprehend.


Usually when I have to drive family/friends cars for service I can’t wait to give them back. I don’t want to be responsible for any damage like “was this crease in the leather always there?” or, “I don’t remember the car sounding like this”… with this car I would gladly keep driving it because the reward is definitely worth the risk.

Now I will write my first draft of the apology letter to my brother-in-law….

Decisions, Decisions…

I recently got married to the woman of my dreams (she will read this post). She likes fancy shoes and superchargers so I am certain that I have made the right call in picking a mate. How has married life changed my automotive purchases though? We both smartly worked into our vows that I would not ask questions about shoes or bags and my better half would not ask questions about anything in the garage. How has this changed me? Well, I no longer lust for things like drag cars, race cars or otherwise completely unpractical cars. Let’s get real, I have a house to buy and eventually some rugrats to raise. Saving money at this point would be a wise thing. This does not, however, mean that I cannot still have fun when purchasing and driving automotive masterpieces?

We have decided that we will undoubtedly stay in the 416 area code and that we will purchase a house, not a condo. This means that given our meager budget we cannot have A) a garage and B) nothing fancy. I will have to settle for street parking and will definitely want to blend in with the neighbours when considering my automotive options. I don’t want to be “that guy” who parks his sports car on the street. The neighbors will talk and it will eventually become someone else’s pride and joy when it gets stolen. We will have two cars, if my math serves correct that means one for my wife and one for me… just to reiterate, I will have only one car. I am not sure if buying a house is worth going down to one car.
The family truckster. The queen-of-the-eventual-castle will not drive a minivan as she finds them too “bouncy”. I will need something that is baby proof. This means it is indestructible on the inside, can be easily cleaned and take the laundry list of things that need to be transported with said baby. It will also need to house an entire shift of hockey players, plus gear. Something a little lower to the ground would be best. For around $6k you can get a mint condition 1994 Buick Roadmaster wagon. They seat 9 in living room comfort, can swallow 4×8 sheets of plywood (I am going to have to erect a walk in closet for the Mrs. eventually). The best part: these cars came with the same LT1 5.7 Liter V8 as the corvette. This means horsepower is cheap to make and torque is abundant. The fact that it gets terrible fuel economy is cancelled out by the fact that the majority of them have wood paneling. Besides, the hockey rink and pre-school will be close to the house, so fuel economy is not important, right?

The commuter: The Buick is going to be the size of our house in terms of square footage; I do not want to upset my neighbours by hogging the prime street parking with 2 large cars, so the second one will be small. It will probably also have to be good on gas. Thank you cards from OPEC will definitely raise suspicion. I also can no longer afford the threat of getting pulled over by the fuzz for enjoying speed to much? I will campaign a Mini Cooper S as my daily driver. I can still get a car seat in it and put 2 small children in it if absolutely necessary. This compact size will be easy to park, fun to drive and cheap on gas. A good (high mileage) one will cost me around $15k. Sport suspension, a supercharger and a slick shifting manual will definitely keep a smile on my face. This will also ensure I have some “street cred” when I show up for a track day.

So the question remains: will the farer sex hate the wood paneling on the car more than the wood paneling in the living room of our dated house?…. and you thought a lifelong car nut would not take this type of thing seriously.

Long Weekend? Time For A Road Trip!

So it’s the long weekend, eh? First one of the summer to boot! If you are one of the “cool kids”,  we hope you are. The weekend is already planned: you have bought your fireworks and your 2-4’s are chilling in the fridge in advance of the good times that are sure to come(fireworks and alcohol are not a great combination). Your bags are packed and you are ready to go to your friends cottage/camping/road trip/hunting/fishing/something else wickedly Canadian. You probably even have some road tunes loaded up for the drive.

What do you take on this momentous weekend? This is THE long weekend. This is the long weekend that signifies summer has finally arrived, that warm weather is going to stay! Tans will be had and lakes/pools/ponds/watering holes will be jumped into. The long weekend to kick off long weekends deserves a chariot of epic proportions.

The classic:

Moms station wagon, preferably with wood paneling and the rear facing “backy-back” seats.

Pros: you can pretty much guarantee that it will not break down and will provide supreme comfort for you and your passengers. They can seat 9 and swallow all your luggage. Wood paneling.

Cons: Will drink approximately the same amount of fuel as an oil tanker at full speed that is going into a hurricane. Hope you like AM radio. Air conditioning? You mean rolling down the windows, right?

The modern take:

Minivans are great vehicles. They are ubiquitous on our byways and highways thanks to their relatively cheap price, modern conveniences and decent fuel economy.  Features like built in refrigerators, multiple T.V’s and 56 cup holders are not uncommon on these beasts.

Pros: I just mentioned them…. see above.

Cons: if you have 7 or 8 passengers you may not be able to take all of the gear inside the car, strapping stuff to the roof is nerve racking on the highway (We love that person who is holding down luggage strapped to the roof with there arm, while doing 120 in the fast lane, we just don’t to be behind them). Minivans are also sometimes seen as “uncool” or “mom why can’t we have a convertible?!”

The selfish person:

“Since we are all going to the same cottage this weekend why don’t we carpool?” Your response:  “sorry I will be getting out of the office late on Friday, I will meet you up there.” This is a brilliant ploy to ensure that you can drive your sports car…. You’re not getting out late on a Friday! It’s a long weekend!

Pros: You pick the music, you drive the speed you want and you get to choose when and where you stop. You want to take the back roads instead of the congested highways so you can carve corners? no problem.

Cons: you get to the cottage and feel alienated because you missed all the funny jokes and amusing stories on the way up. Nobody to split gas with but yourself. You were “that guy in the sports car” who was weaving in and out of traffic.

The hard-core:

So you and your friends decide to borrow your uncle’s 15 year old camper and hit the campgrounds. This is great because you don’t need to unpack your tent! This is going to be an epic weekend!!!!!

Pros: you are all traveling in the same vehicle and you can take everything with you, including the kitchen sink! You can cook while driving!

Cons: you get to the beer store and realize you can’t park. You are cruising comfortably at 90 because the cross wind is threatening to tip you over. It has not been cleaned in 15 years…. The toilet just broke.

These are tough choices. No matter what your long weekend brings you we would like to wish you a happy May 2-4 / happy birthday Queen Victoria. From all of us at Auto|One,

Summer is Coming!!!

While you have been busy at home getting ready for the summer. You know, painting, fixing, scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, fixing, tightening bolts, untightening bolts, seeding, planting, disinfecting, etc… we have been getting ready for summer as well. At Auto|One Group we get ready for summer a little differently. We don’t fight about chores with the better half, nor do we discuss the future placement of deck furniture. At Auto|One we get ready for summer by delivering and servicing summer toys!

We recently sent some fantastic vehicles to eager customers. Some old, some new, some exotic, some muscle, all will leave a smile on your face. If you combine the horse power on these highlighted deliveries it would equal the power of every rocket ship,ever built, in the world.

Tony Curalli delivered a current classic and a future classic. The future classic is a 2005 Ford GT. These are exceedingly rare cars that pay homage to the classic Ford GT 40 that surprised everyone at the Le Mans back in the time of leaded fuel. This car will compete with anything that comes from Italy, Germany or Japan and generally walk away from them in competition.

The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 is one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time. Introduced in 1969 it was only offered in the fastback style and came with a wide array of engine and transmission options. This one is Acapulco Blue (hippie talk for bright blue) and it has the most desirable 4 speed transmission and the big 429 cubic engine appropriately named “Cobra Jet” if you are not yet convinced that this car is the business, the shifter is over a foot long and it angles back towards the driver for maximum drama when shredding tires.


Jack Xiao is another sales consultant of ours.  He has had a very busy spring season! Jack delivered a stunning white Ferrari 430 coupe. White on Black, F1 transmission, Daytona seats, and fender shields… we all took a moment to fall in love with its timeless lines. The classic Ferrari colour is red, but I think it makes a much better statement when you show up to the party wearing white.


Jack also delivered not one but two Ferrari 458’s! these are impressive vehicles in pictures to say the least. Seeing them in person is hard to do because of the halos that are on top of the cars. Magical: they sing like angles but scream like demons when asked. Any-artist-you-have-ever-loved could not have done a better job in sculpturing the wild lines. The interiors should be on display in the Smithsonian.


Not to be outdone, Barry Cox delivered a white new Dodge Viper to a lucky driver. This car is the super-villain’s choice of super car. loud, mean and hard to handle. The Dodge Viper takes no prisoners, and it does not have to. When you have 640 horsepower lurking under the hood of your car…. you call the shots.


Congratulations to the owners of these beautiful machines! We hope they bring you years of envious looks and the occasional traffic violation!

The Reward For Surviving the Worst Winter In Memory

For those of you who’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s what you missed over the last 120 days of weather.

First, the ice storm left a good chunk of Toronto with no power, conveniently arriving just before Christmas and effectively ruining the holidays for a couple hundred thousand people by  Then, we had THE SAME EXTREME COLD ALERT for most of January and February. Then, some soulless person coined the phrase “Polar Vortex”. Then, we ran out of salt. Then, the whiteouts caused hundred-car pileups. Then, the airport shut down for days on end (more than one airport, more than once). This is all that will be written about last winter… It is all I can remember without getting hypothermia.

Seriously, at what point does this sick joke end? I am convinced that more snow came down in North America this winter than anywhere else in the world. Ever. Combined. Segue to blue skies and birds chirping…

Last weekend, I confirmed that winter might have won a couple of battles, but I (really, ALL of us) won the war on winter. I pulled my summer car out of storage, slapped on a set of summer tires and burned through a tank of gas in one night. Windows down…sunroof open…tears of joy streaming down my face ( actually happened) . There was no wind chill, no frost warning. Frankly, it was 14C and almost warm enough to be a in a t-shirt. It was a euphoric experience. No police were on the roads, surely they knew the hardships that car nuts had endured and decided to take it easy on us. Between 3rd and 4th gear, and somewhere near 8000 RPM, it came to me: winter is actually over.

I am officially calling on all people to stand up and unite! We have kicked winter’s butt! Put insurance on your summer car! Do an oil service, rotate your tires! We can even get our hands dirty if you don’t want to! RIP DOWN YOUR STREETS AT 6000 RPM! SUMMER CAR SEASON IS HERE! YESSS!!! I really hope you are as excited as I am for the snow to be gone. Stay tuned for a hot summer season of events, cars, bios and humorous stories from your favorite auto bloggers at Auto|One Group!


Hot hatches

Who doesn’t want to rip around empty streets in a high power sports car? Maybe the streets are slightly wet, but everything else is mysteriously dry…just like the movies. Maybe you have a beautiful woman in distress sitting shotgun. Perhaps you are being chased by Johnny Law or a group of thugs…the sounds, the power, the burnouts, the chase music…WAKE UP!

That was a great daydream. Unfortunately, it is Saturday afternoon and you are stuck in the city running errands. The beautiful woman in distress is your better half and she is late for a hair appointment. The people chasing you are your kids needing to be picked up from soccer. No empty roads in sight, just curb-to-curb traffic. Suddenly, a high power sports car doesn’t make sense. You need compact size to swing in and out of parking spots and good fuel economy so that you’re not burning a hole through your pocket while sitting in inevitable traffic.

You need a fun compact car. The high horsepower, high cost, high paint polish are not needed. The beautiful women in distress….. That is your call. What you really need is a solid everyday car. Something compact, economical, cheap on insurance and driveable year ‘round. Just because you need all of those things does not mean you can’t have something FUN TO DRIVE as well! You are in luck: allow me to introduce you to some great candidates.

The Mini is a classic nameplate that BMW bought and did a fantastic job of reproducing; Compact, spritely, well-appointed and maneuverable. This is the British gentleman’s answer to your required pocket rocket. Available in 2-door, wagon, 4-door and convertible formats, the Mini has you covered. Your best bet is the 2-door coupe with manual transmission in “S” guise with either a turbo or supercharger (depending what model year you purchase). The John Cooper Works (pictured) is the factory race car, it is ready for track days or commutes out of the box.

The Fiat 500 follows the same principle as the Mini: fun, small and cute. It tugs at your heart strings, bringing back thoughts of the original Fiat 500. Available as a 2-door, 4-door or convertible, it comes in many unique trims, the best is the ABARTH. This is the performance division of Fiat and the car is especially fun. Great steering and decent performance, but the exhaust note is what will attract your attention! If you haven’t one of these cars sing, you need to stop whatever you’re doing and treat your ears. Best part of the Fiat? The manual shifter comes out of the dash, just like classic British/Italian sports cars!

Here’s another: the Ford Fiesta ST. Ford has really stepped their game up as of late. The new Fiesta ST is a perfect example. This 5-door hatchback comes with a manual transmission, 197-hp turbo 4-banger, and Recaro sports seats. If 197 horsepower doesn’t sound like much to you, consider that this car tips the scales at 2,700 pounds…now you get the picture.

Again, in the great automotive debate between “want” and “need”, It is easy to have a little bit of both. Yes you can have your economy, ability to zip in and out of traffic and daily driveability. But you can also have your power, your turbo/supercharger, aggressive handling and great exhaust sound.

All of these cars are small enough to be used in congested cities with ease, offer great fuel economy, yet they will rip around corners and put a smile on your face when instructed to do so. Maybe the damsel in distress will understand that you need something fun AND practical, maybe not. But does it really matter when you’re behind the wheel of your hot hatch?

birthday presents have 4 wheels

At Auto|One Group, we recently had several co-workers celebrate milestone birthdays. We were all joking around about getting a mid-life crisis car (yes, some of the milestone birthdays are approaching that age demographic). It got me thinking about why and when you get such a prize.

Please note that at no time during this blog will I insinuate a midlife crisis, nor, will I discuss a midlife crisis car…okay, I will.

What makes a midlife crisis car…a midlife crisis car? It needs to be selfish: this is a “toy” for you and you only. It needs to scream, “Hey! I’m old enough to remember acid washed jeans, but I’m still hip!”

I could speak from personal experience about my parents’ midlife crises, but that is a dark place for me. And therapy ain’t cheap.

Women are much more sensible than men when it comes to cars. Chances are, that the lady in your life (or if you are The Lady, chances are that you) have had the short end of the automotive stick. You likely got the minivan/station wagon/SUV/crossover that wasn’t necessarily “you”. But, you stuck it out for the greater good – you made sure little Timmy and his friends got to hockey practice safely. You also made sure that Suzy and her friends got to their dance recitals. Yeah, the family hauler was probably somewhat bland, but it did its job and now the kids are grown up and have kinda moved out of your basement. You can finally let your hair down and get the fun little convertible you always wanted. It doesn’t matter if it’s a base Mazda Miata or a $170K Mercedes SL600 V12 – as long as you’re getting a car that has no real use other than to put a smile on your face and give you an excuse to get the right pair of sunglasses. You’re already winning the battle.

Men, on the other hand, are less sensible than our female counterparts. Science has proven that “9-out-of-10-women-don’t-think-their-male-counterparts-know-what-day-it-is.” This also explains why we forget birthdays and anniversaries, and don’t age as gracefully as women. We get larger in the wrong places, lose hair in the wrong places and gain hair in the wrong places… we get slower, sleepier and crankier. A good midlife crisis car for a man should – in theory – render any imperfections null and void. For years you drove a sedan, or SUV. It was good while it lasted but it never provided the speed, acceleration or engine note that you crave deep down inside.

There are a couple of ways for men to pick the right midlife crisis car for their needs. Options include: luxurious pickup truck, classic muscle car, exotic sports car or newer American muscle… the possibilities are endless. If you live in the city and work in a high-stress job where you have to wear a tie, you will probably be more inclined to get a nice Porsche or Ferrari. If you live in a more rural area, you might treat yourself to a Ford pickup with sumptuous leather or a classic Chevy Camaro. And men can never go wrong with a Corvette.

Sometimes, a midlife crisis car can be misrepresented as a bad thing, having a negative connotation about them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Simply put: you have probably worked hard, been patient with your kids and now have the opportunity to reward yourself. DO IT, YOU DESERVE IT!

The Winter (automotive) Olympic Games

The Olympics is doing it all wrong! It is a fraud, a scam and the jury is rigged!!! Okay it is not any of these things but they do reward physical strength, endurance and skill. But what if they rewarded engineering, horse power, lateral G forces, grip or fuel economy…?

Ladies and Gentleman, I present the results of the “Real” winter Olympics.

Cross Country Mass Start:

1)      Volvo V70 Turbo Wagon

2)      Audi A6

3)      Jeep Wrangler.

This year’s cross country mass start was truly a race between the Audi and the Volvo. The course was 50 kms through the rolling hills of Sochi. The Jeep could have been a contender but the tall SUV was just too unstable in the corners, constantly going off course. The Audi and Volvo were neck and neck throughout the event. Both cars have all wheel drive and advanced traction control. Volvo won in the end probably due to the fact that it started playing in the snow when it was only 500 kms old thanks to its Swedish upbringing.

Downhill Long Jumping:

1)      Audi Quattro gruppe B

2)      Subaru WRX STI

3)      Ford F150 Raptor

This was some stiff competition. The Subaru was rumored to win this event hands down as it has lots of experience in the air. Then 2 weeks before the competition rumors started circulating that the Raptor would win because its brawny 6.2L V8 was now wrapped in a lighter aluminum body. This proved false as the truck showed up on race day in stock, steel form. Nobody remembered how ruthlessly insane the Audi Gruppe B Quattro was. It had the longest jump by 8 feet. The driver also soiled his pants in terror of the machine. Subaru really earned the silver its jump was poised, straight and had a controlled landing. The big Ford was a distant third, it’s suspension is better suited to the moguls.

Speed Skating:

1)      Audi RS6

2)      Mercedes E63 AMG 4MATIC

3)      Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

4)      Nissan GTR (DNF)

This is the spectator favorite, not so much for the sights and competition but for the sounds. These cars make fantastic noise and because the competition is inside the sounds are amplified. Audi had outside track and many suspects that is why it edged out the Mercedes on the 10,000 meter oval track. The Lamborghini was just too dramatic to be a winner. It had inside track and kept drifting into the middle track through corners, this was a big problem for the Nissan. Nissan had the race in the bag until the Lamborghini pulled an untentional P.I.T. maneuver and slammed the Nissan into a wall breaking the front control arms. It was a shame because it sounded fantastic.


1)      Ford F-150 Raptor

2)      Mercedes G63 AMG

3)      Range Rover Supercharged

The Ford was literally made for this event so it is no surprise that it won. The Fox suspension soaked up all the bumps like a sponge. Rumor is the truck was in neutral the whole time and the driver didn’t even touch the brakes. IOC investigated and would only confirm that it was a fair competition. The Mercedes was surprisingly efficient at negotiating the bumps, as opposed to just driving over them. The big SUV was so composed that it actually accelerated through the course. The Range Rover seemed to be a mix of the Mercedes and Fords performance. It used its supercharged engine and sport tires coupled with its ability to “drive over anything” to get a solid third place finish. It would have earned a silver but the Queen was riding shotgun and did not want to spill her tea. Pity.

This concludes our comprehensive coverage of the Winter Automotive Olympics. Now go back to cheering for Team Canada!

North American International Auto Show 2014

I went to Detroit with a co-worker to see the auto show last week. I will report my findings after this short public service announcement to the fine people of Detroit:

I know the people of Detroit are having a tough time right now, unemployment, under employment, people abandoning in droves, etc.. Those who have stayed are trying to soldier on.  You people are GEM’S! Polite, welcoming and you laughed at our Canadian jokes.

Now on to the show:

I had departed to Detroit expecting to see a couple of cars that I would highlight and that would be it but I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. My co-worker and I attended the show and almost every manufacturer had something at that show that really made us stop and look, discuss and critically analyze.

This is fantastic news. The great product was not limited to one manufacturer, genre or country. All manufactures had something that was amazing. This shows that the auto industry is starting to pick up momentum and really start to drive the economy (no pun intended). Everyone is excited about Detroit and cars again. The proof is in the numbers: This year saw the highest attendance for the show since 2003. The numbers for the show are increasing, even as Detroit’s population fell. I suspect a large part of this is due to the surge in new/ revamped models available and less to do with the prices of Irish beer we enjoyed while at the show.

Some quick highlights from the show and things you need to know:

1-      The new Mercedes-Benz C class is STUNNING both inside in out. It grew a bit and wears the added length/width well, the interior is phenomenal

2-      The new Mustang is somewhat of a bust in my opinion. The front end looks too much like the Fusion. Is a great design but I thought the Mustang would be a bit different from the rest of the corporate styling. The back of the car looks a little saggy… this is a shame because it is the Mustangs 50th anniversary.

3-      Chrysler: you did great with the 200 interior; I will no longer make fun of these cars as being “disposable”. Good quality components, great fit and finish as well. Would it have been so hard to engineer some more interior space in the new Jeep Cherokee?! My cat would not fit in the trunk!

4-      Infiniti: kudos to you and the 25th anniversary Q50. Easily the best paint at the show.

5-      Porsche brought the 911 Targa to the show for the world primer. This was the first time anyone saw it. I peed my pants just a little bit when I first saw it. Seriously, my hangover was instantly gone the second I laid eyes on it. This car represents a stunning blend of machinery and style.

6-      Jaguar brought the F-type coupe but should call it “sex on wheels”. Best body in the business. The exhaust note also makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, raw, visceral, perfect.

7-      New GMC Yukon/ Chevy Tahoe/ Cadillac Escalade looks great and the interior fit and finish is much better. More ergonomic too!

So just to re-cap: Detroit has really friendly people, the beer is really cheap and the cars are amazing.