How I came to eat, live and breathe cars. By Sam Comisarow

I’m not sure when my addiction to cars started. Rumor has it that my first word was “car”. I could also apparently name most cars from the back seat of my parents 1984 Audi 5000 before I was potty trained. By age 5 I had planned out my life, in cars. I was going to have a Lamborghini Countach before I graduated university…. Life is so sweet as a 5 year old. I was driving a 1986 Chevy pickup when I graduated college. I’m pretty sure I thought of it as a Lamborghini though, it was as much maintenance as one.

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Thats my truck, I chose to paint it that colour in high school. Deal with it!

As I said I do not know where my addiction started but I clearly remember who my dealer was. My Father; Growing up I always liked it when dad would tuck me into bed as opposed to mom. This is because dad would not read me bedtime stories with colourful drawings of rabbits or bears. He would not read me rhyming books or even tell me fairy tales. I was put to bed on a strict bedtime story diet of Road & Track, Car and Driver, Hot Rod and even the occasional boutique European car magazine. Once we had gone through all those magazines, discussed the merits of double overhead cam motors verses the traditional push rod V8 and looked at the pictures a million times we would look at cars for sale in the Classic Car Trader- I think this sheds light on my love for classic cars.

Sometimes when we had gone through all those publications and read any car brochures lying around dad would actually tell stories. Dad would tell me stories about him growing up in a small prairie town and the cars they used to own. Apparently my dad’s first car was $50. When you tell an 8 year old you can buy a car that runs and drives for $50 I think you build a false sense of reality….. What he bought for $50 didn’t even have doors, a roof or body panels for that matter. He told entertaining stories none the less.

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This is what happens when you leave me alone to read. The carpet confirms 1980’s

Unfortunately this did not stop with just bedtime stories about cars. The most exciting time of my life growing up was Valentine’s Day. Not because I got chocolate covered hearts but because it signified that the Canadian International Auto Show was about to begin. Dad would take my brother and I to the show where we would drool over all the new cars. Words cannot accurately describe how important the car show was and still is to me. That scene from the opening of little house on the prairie where the girl is running through the field all excited and care free? That is me times 50 and hopped up on pixie sticks and full sugar caffeine drinks. That is still not an accurate comparison but I liked the theme song to that show so it will work for this analogy…. It’s like getting to meet your favorite athlete or actor and getting to interview them. The first time I saw a Subaru WRX STI in person at the car show I think I cried.

We would get lots of our reading material from these car shows. I would arrive with an empty backpack at every show and by the time we were ready to leave it would be so jam-packed with brochures that it could barely be closed. Dad had a tactic he used at these shows to gain what he called insider information. He would tell a sales rep that he is a doctor (this is true) and that he is looking for a new car (not true) and does not know anything about them (also not true). This essentially made us into VIP’s at every car show-all the expensive cars on pedestals or behind velvet ropes? We sat in them. I remember one year when they actually started an Aston Martin up so we could hear the engine.

Our curriculum knew no bounds. We would visit the fire station and a train yard whenever possible. Dad would tell whoever was in charge that his kid really liked whatever transportation device was featured. We would get tours, get to sit in the vehicles and sometimes get models. After age 10 I knew that this was more for dad than me but I happily played along. For a kid who grew up in mid-town Toronto I know a lot about GM diesel locomotives, superior fire trucks and American-Lafrance pumper trucks. My brother even has memories of going to see 18-wheelers drag race. No joke highway tractors lining up and racing each other. I have also been to every new car dealer within a 75 km radius of Toronto, all before I could legally drive.

Everything I did with my dad had automotive undertones to it. Skiing? Let’s discuss all the different cars we see on the way up, and let the kid shift gears! Going to hockey? Let’s check out all the other cars in the parking lot and see who has a manual transmission.  It’s amazing how a parking lot can become a car show with the right level of enthusiasm and a lack of tinted windows.

When I was 12 years old I rode my bike into a brick wall. Don’t worry, my face broke the fall. There was some thought that my jaw was broken and I was definitely going to need stitches. My dad took me to North York General Hospital to get x-rayed and stitched up. We parked on the other side of the emergency room because dad had to see something… we diverted from the hospital emergency room and instead went to the doctors parking lot. Dad had spotted a 1995 Toyota Supra and we had to see it on the way in.. I don’t know what was more disturbing, that dad chose cars over his son’s health or the fact that the Toyota Supra was an automatic transmission. Probably the latter upset me more.  3 stitches later and some ice cream to celebrate me not having my jaw wired shut and we were debating what was better, the Toyota Supra, Mazda Rx7 or Nissan 300ZX.

According to the government and several other reputable sources I am a fully functioning adult now. My father’s influence is far reaching in my day to day life. I wake up in the morning and read all the current car news that transpired while I was sleeping. Then I go to work and deal with cars all day. I sell them, source them, advice regarding them, judge them, drive them and fantasize about owning them. I get home from work and my fiancée graciously tolerate my “what-if’s “scenarios. What if I brought this car home? Would you drive it? ect… before bed I read car magazines, blogs, look at photos and read comparisons. I then dream about cars or have nightmares about clowns until I wake up the next morning.

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The beach is cool, but my dump truck needs my immediate attention.

I’d like to thank my dad for introducing me the best career path for a person of my “substance”. At Auto|One Group we are all car people. This is merely an account of how it starts.

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Corvette, surprise! (not what you think)

At Auto|One Palladini we specialize in helping people get into the car that best meets their needs and the payments that work best. A by-product of this process is that often times we learn a great deal about the customer, their job and family.

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Recently we delivered a gorgeous 2005 Corvette to a great guy named Conrad. Conrad was purchasing this car as a toy for himself. He told me he would probably drive it only 6,000kms per year and in the summer months only. Mostly Sunday cruises with his wife or his car savvy 18 month old son who is by all accounts is an aspiring gearhead (he loves the sound of the engine). The deal was finalized on a Wednesday with the stipulation that the car was subject to a pre-purchase inspection on the following Wednesday. As usual we chatted via email prior to the pre-purchase inspection to make sure that everything was okay.  Winter is a sketchy time to drive a rear wheel drive sports car in the streets. Snow, salt, slush or in Toronto’s case rain can ruin plans for a cruise almost instantly. On Wednesday the weather looked great so we met at the predetermined shop to do the inspection.

 

While the car was having the inspection done Conrad told me about how this car was a gift to himself and he was so excited to enjoy it in the summer….his face lit up as he spoke about the long drives together………..then

 

His wife had taken their son shopping on the Sunday before the inspection and come home with a t-shirt for their 18 month old . She showed the shirt to Conrad and said “what do you think?” Conrad looked at the t- shirt and was immediately puzzled. The t-shirt said: “super big bro”. Conrad said; It’s nice but was it on sale? We only have one child”. This was Conrad’s wife’s way of saying that they were having another child. Conrad told me that one of his first thoughts was “oh no! I just put a deposit on a sports car and now I am going to be a dad again!” This left me with a pit in his stomach. Is this Conrad’s way of saying he now can’t commit to the car? For reference: if there is ever a valid excuse for going back on a deal for a high performance sports car, THIS IS IT!!!. Once the inspection was completed and the car got a clean bill of health it was time for the test drive.

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Leading up to this t Conrad had been a champ. He hadn’t backed out on the acquisition and was still committed to the deal but, sometimes a drive is needed to put things into perspective. We went for a drive on city streets and the highway. 436 horsepower to the rear wheels, manual transmission, Borla exhaust on an American classic…. All these are sublime distractions from the pressures of parenthood- especially at 5,400 rpm. Conrad brought the car back turned it off and immediately asked “when can I take delivery”. Conrad is clearly a gem and a car guy.

 

Several days later he came to Auto|One Palladini with his wife and son to see the car. His son loved the showroom and the sound of the Corvette. They say that behind good man is a better woman. Conrad’s wife is an amazing woman. I congratulation her on the new addition to the family (and the baby) and asked her how she felt about her husband getting a Corvette? She loved the car and was very excited about the new automotive addition to the family as well.

 

Happy endings are what it is all about. Auto|One Palladini once again demonstrated how it’s not about selling cars but building relationships.  Conrad got a his car fantasy and the. Conrad’s wife ( I would use her name here) got  the ultimate “remember-when-we-were-pregnant-and-you-got-a-corvette” card. Conrad’s son gets to ride shot-gun (he might be too young for that – we need to show we are aware of the rules!!!!)  in an American classic.

 

Adding new members to the family is always a good thing………… cars, children, pets or cars… we love them all.

 

 

UPDATE!!! Conrad’s wife played the “remember-when-we-were-pregnant-and-you-got-a-corvette card.” We have it on good authority that Conrad is in the midst of a walk-in closet renovation. For his wife…..and the Corvette!!!!!!

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