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.

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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”

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Ford Verses Chevy who wins?

Let’s talk about rivalries. Sports teams have them, siblings have them, gangs have them and companies have them. Aside from the Montreal Canadians being a terrible team  – go, Leafs, go – nothing is better than a good old rival between two car companies over competing products.

A rivalry pushes both manufactures to bring out a more fuel efficient, safer, faster, quieter, cheaper and pretty well everything else that ends in “er” in a bid to dominate the competition. What does this mean for you, Mr. and Mrs. Customer? Well, you can stuff all those “er’s” in your back pocket and smile. We are going to focus on two companies who are constantly at each other’s throats: Chevy and Ford.

I saw two cars parked next to each other today that epitomize this rivalry, and it inspired this article. I was going to write about the ultimate gifts for the car lover on your holiday list, but I refuse to accept the holiday season before December first. I also refuse to spend any amount of time in a place that plays Christmas jingles, serves eggnog or has ugly Christmas sweaters… I will save that rant for another time.

Camaro vs. Mustang:

The American dream in vehicle form, presented in the form of a vehicle.  Cheap V8-power, rear-wheel drive, 2-door coupe and convertible. These cars can lay down some serious rubber and belch a fantastic sound with some minor exhaust work.

The winner:  While the Camaro went on a hiatus in 2002 and came back with a vengeance several years ago, the Mustang wins because it invented the “personal sports car” market and has never gone out of production.

Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F-150:

We like our pickup trucks BIG, powerful and comfortable, with lots of towing and payload capacity. Nothing says I’m a manly-man quite like a shiny grille at eye level, big meaty tires and a side profile bigger than most barn doors.

The winner: Ford F-150 has been the best-selling pickup truck in America since TV’s were black and white….seriously.

Chevy Blazer vs. Ford Bronco:

Who makes the better full-size, 2-door convertible 4X4? This market segment is distinctly American. Yes, I would like a massive truck and, no I do not need a pickup box, but could you cut the roof off for me? After we finished with them as daily drivers, snow plowers would buy them for their bulletproof drivetrains and tight turning circles.

The winner: Ford Bronco because in 1992, O.J. Simpson drove on down the highway while we all watched, stunned.

Cadillac vs. Lincoln:

This is Classic American Luxury at its finest. From interiors that looked like they came out of a porno shoot (both Cadillac and Lincoln were guilty of this from 1969-1992)to trunks that could swallow a medium-sized sow (a guy in my dad’s hometown actually hauled a pig in the trunk of his Lincoln).

Winner: Cadillac by a Texas mile. Lincoln is a shadow of its former self. All of their products are merely Ford vehicles with ritzy interiors and updated exteriors. The Cadillac Escalade continues to dominate the luxury SUV market and the CTS-V is one of the best performing sedans on the market.

All said, two great American car companies both competing for the same thing: to be in your driveway. See, stop fighting your sibling for extra dessert or the t.v. remote. The rivalries between auto manufactures are way better, and nobody gets a time out!

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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worlds best selling amphibious street legal car! (It’s a real thing)

Over the years man has tried to simplify life by combining things. Sometimes this works well-like having a pen with a highlighter on the other end. Sometimes this works poorly-like popcorn-gum.

One example that falls into both categories is the Amphicar. As the name would suggest this is a convertible that is also water tight, has a hull and two propellers. The Amphicar is the car that floats on water, or the boat that drives on land (depending on whether you are a land lubber or sea captain).

The Amphicar was  built in Berlin, Germany starting in 1961. Production ended in 1968 after producing a little under 4,000 units. The sales numbers may not suggest it but the Amphicar is the bestselling street legal amphibious vehicle of all time. The car was called the “770”. This was a reference to the fact that it topped out at 7 MPH on water, calm water, with a tailwind. And it topped out at 70 MPH on the road, preferably headed slightly downhill, with a tailwind.

These cars were built a smorgasbord of parts from all over Europe. Engines from Triumph, electrical systems from the prince of darkness Lucas Electronics, Porsche 356 style transmission: the list goes on. It used its front wheels as a rudder, giving it poor maneuverability in the water. On land the car was known for its terrible reliability and poor performance.

These cars are unique and friendly looking things, much like the original Volkswagen Beetle. Perhaps that is what attracts such a large audience (lots of websites dedicated to their preservation and forums) to such a small amount of cars (less than 700 left in captivity). There is even a club in Canada. Canadian Amphicars, run by a gem named Gord. This all makes sense because 90% of production was headed for North American roads/docks. If you just looked at the pictures and did not smile you need to see a doctor. These are some of the cutest cars around. Also, how cool would it be to pick up your friends in a boat!

We cater to car people at Auto|One Group. We have an Amphicar on lease with a client. It rocks! It is Lagoon blue with a white convertible top and a pastel yellow interior. If we get it back into stock I am going to take it fishing! Then to a drive in movie, but not in that order.

automotive stereotypes/myths debunked!!!

I had someone tell me last weekend that a Porsche Boxster is a “poor man’s Porsche”, people who buy them secretly lust after a 911. I must say that I was rather upset. Not because I have one in the family and it offended me. I was upset because I thought how can anyone call themselves a gear head/ car enthusiast and make such a poor generalization.

Let’s examine 3 popular automotive stereotypes/myths. We can examine the issues, explore the root and put the issues to bed once and for all.

Porsche Boxster/Cayman

Porsche introduced the Boxster in 1996 as a 2 seat alternative to the 911. Where the 911 had a larger price tag and a rear mounted engine, the boxster was cheaper and had its flat-6 engine mounted directly behind the driver. This enabled the design of the Boxster to be more of a roadster than the 911 in fact the name Boxster is a combination of boxer (nickname for a flat motor) and roadster, hence the name BOXSTER.  Its coupe brother the Caymans shares this mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout.

The myth:

The myth behind these cars is that real men drive the 911 and the Boxster/Cayman is a car for your wife/girlfriend to drive. The other myth is the one that caused this blog to be written: the Boxster/Cayman is the Porsche you get when you cannot afford a 911.

The reality:

The 911 has been called “the worst sports car design executed brilliantly”. Yes its lines are iconic and it has been around for 50 years. Yes it is one of the few sports cars you can drive year round. But, if you have driven one at the limit you know how unforgiving a car the 911 is. The rear engine platform means that when the back end slides out it is very hard to correct. Where the 911 falls short in corners the Boxster/ Cayman shines. Its mid-engine platform is optimal for a sports car. The flat motor means it can be mounted lower in the car-thus giving the car a lower center of gravity. This is why the Boxster/ Cayman is the ultimate track machine. Brilliant handling, telepathic steering, ultimate control, with no fear of parking in the bushes at the end of a corner.

Mazda Miata

In production since 1989 the Mazda Miata is a minimalist vehicle that supplies maximum fun. Based on the premise of Italian and British cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s these cars are loads of fun (but unlike the cars they are based on the Miata is reliable). These cars are not about massive power and technical advancement. From the outset you could only get a small inline 4 cylinder. The only electrical nannies are the ones mandated by the government (air bags, ABS, ect..) the original cars had noting and a/c was rare (pretty cool in my opinion) The Miata is the ultimate connection between driver and road. The Miata is a hands on approach to driving. Small, light, basic, rag top, FUN!

The myth:

“the Miata is a chicks car”. Guys who drive them are sissies.

The Reality:

Nothing will ruin your credibility as legitimate car nut faster than subscribing to the above mentioned myth. The Miata is small and tossable, a blast to drive in corners. Race cars are just as much about handling as they are about speed. The Miata is no different, and the cost of smiles is cheap. These cars are cheap to purchase and easy to maintain. It is a track car made street legal and then they chopped the top off for good measure. Anyone who subscribes to the myth that a Miata is a chick’s car has never driven one.

Paddle shift transmissions

In the last decade or so automated transmissions have begun to pop up more and more in our sports cars and super cars… even in our performance sedans. They offer faster, more precise shifting. They are tied into all the other electrical systems in our cars. This means that they work in sync with everything else-suspension, throttle input, differentials, brakes, ect… By surrendering another driving task over to our vehicle overloads we have given cars the ability to make sure we are making the right gear change, at the right time.  .

The Myth:

“bro, you don’t have a clutch?!? It’s not a real sports car”. Automated manuals are slower and less responsive than a manual transmission.

The Reality:

You are not as fast as a machine. I don’t care who you are. Also, you will miss a shift once in a while-don’t act like you’ve never done it. Automated manual transmissions erase driver error and human’s sluggish reaction time. You are also probably grouping automated manuals in the same category as a traditional slush-box automatic transmission. This is incorrect as auto-mated manuals are more technologically advanced than the entire NASA program during the 1960’s, and they put a man on the moon. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and McLaren use them exclusively now and by all accounts Porsche is not far behind. In other words, get on board because this is the future. If you are looking for a purest sports car

Any other automotive stereotypes you want debunked?

We love car people!

Auto|One Group hosted a booth at the Markham Rib fest this weekend. We all had a great time and enjoyed far too much food. The weather was about as predictable as the electronics on a classic British sports car but the weather did not dampen spirits. 

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One of the things we like to do at any event we sponsor is set up a tent and display a couple of cool cars. In our tent is  a TV that is hooked up to a Sony PS3 and the game Gran Turismo is always loaded. We also have a Lamborghini wheel coffee table and a keg in our tent that looks like a man cave. We let people sit in our amazing racing seats and play the game for as long as they like. One day we decided to start giving them away as prizes to people who could score the fastest lap time on a racetrack. We were displaying a gorgeous 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG so we decided it should be the car that people have to race on the track.

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our setup at Rib-fest

On Saturday Vladimir was in line to win the chairs, he had claimed top time by just over one second. The second place prize was going to be claimed by JB. These two had been battling it out for a couple of hours for fastest lap. Second prize was a keg (this is a keg for drinks or motor oil and definitely not alcohol). Sunday came around and a guy came up to our booth named Rory. Rory’s friend- JB had alerted him to the contest we were running. Rory casually approached us and asked if it was okay for him to take a crack at posting the best lap-time. What ensued was quite funny and remarkable.

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Vladimir Watching Rory work his magic on the track

Rory wanted to change all the settings of the controller and all the settings of the car as well (ringer!). Rory had been practicing at home before he came to race. He was hell bent on winning the chairs and claiming best lap time because he did not get up for a solid half hour. When he did it was to recharge the controller and stretch the carpel tunnel from his fingers. News travels fast because shortly there after Vladimir came back to reclaim the title of fastest lap ( the difference in times was less than a second… these guys are good).  Rory and Vladimir went back and forth for an hour or so trading secrets and discussing strategy all while Rory was talking with us. We really got to know him and liked his approach to cars: expensive is not necessary, speed and cornering is.

 

Rory lost the title of fastest lap and could not stay to re-claim his title because of soccer obligations. We thought both of them showed so much enthusiasm that we should give them both a set of racing chairs. Vladimir took his directly from the show. Rory had to come to our office to pick his chairs up.

Rory is the essence of a car guy. He sees cars for there true beauty, not just there looks. Case in point: We may think nothing of a Toyota MR2 this was an under powered Japanese attempt at a sports car in the 1980’s-1990’s. Rory knows better. He saw a small compact car that is light and has perfect balance from its mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout. He has owned 2 of them. Same year, same colour, total fluke. The first one was a self described butcher hack-job turbo that was what we call a 10 footer. The car looks great from 10 feet back but the closer you get the more things don’t ad up. Misaligned hack-job is how it was described to me. 

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The MR2 that survived one hour

I asked  Rory what his most memorable car story was and related this to me: When he was a kid he really wanted a nice handling car that was very tuneable. Honda S2000’s were out of the budget as were all the other expected tuner cars. He opted for the above mentioned Toyota MR2. It was located north of Collingwood. He went to pick up the car with a dealer plate (Rory worked for a car dealership as a gopher at the time) and drove his new pride and joy home. This was to be a short-lived joyous occasion. Not one hour into the ownership of his first car Rory got pulled over by the fuzz.

$5,000.00 for no insurance

$1,000.00 for improper license plate

$500.00 for bald tires

$300.00 tow truck bill.

Car was off the road for 2 years the following day as a result. The car was sold shortly thereafter because insurance was unbelievably expensive. Rory got a second one when insurance premiums came back into the stratosphere. He felt like he was robbed of the first one.

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MR2 #2. note the mid engine t-tops and mid 90’s green. I dare you to tell me this car is not clean/awesome.

Rory’s daily driver is a 1993 Ford Escort. It is called the Black Mamba. Yes, you read that correctly.  It has manual windows, no power brakes, no air conditioning, no tape or c.d. player (it might be AM radio only). The steering wheel does not tilt or telescope. Rory’s girlfriend Amanda hates it. I can not blame her for hating the car but a car guy can not be blamed for falling in love with that Escort. The body is in good shape, the lack of options means it is light and the manual transmission gives the driver ultimate control of the road. It even has Perelli tires on it… most people reserve the good tires and lack of creature comforts for there weekend racer but Rory would rather have fun all the time. Rory is a car guy.

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the Black Mamba lives!!!

His girlfriend Amanda is a pretty wicked car girl as well. She drives an Acura RSX type S and loves to row her own gears. From talking Amanda it is evident that she likes to kick in her own V-TEC and does not like anyone else sitting in her drivers seat. I have been given strict instructions to let her know when we get a Lamborghini in stock so she can take it for a spin. She loved getting a tour of our facility and our delicious cars as much as Rory did.

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Amanda DEMANDS the best parking spot available. don’t touch her car!

When Rory is not working for the devil that prevents me from owning really fast cars (Rory works for an insurance company) he is playing soccer, watching formula 1 with his entire family (even his mother in fanatical about F1!) or dreaming about owning a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Rory is the essence of a car guy. He sees cars for what they really are and has fun with them. He modifies when necessary and leaves them stock when not necessary. He likes to get his hands dirty and do his own work.  We would never have met Rory and Amanda if they had not been alerted to the contest we were running at the Markham Ribfest. We love connecting with other car people and sharing the passion.

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We hope you enjoy your chairs Rory!

YOUR ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD: MAN CAVES!

Man caves.

As far back as the Flintstones (my version of history) man has wanted a family, and a car. Cars are quite accommodating, they let us sit in them, jump in the back seats, eat in them and sleep in them. They are in a sense a traveling living room/kitchen/bedroom/storage room. Our cars are very nice to us in that respect and never tell us to wipe off our feet or not spill ketchup on the seats. Unfortunately, we are not as willing to let our cars into our living rooms. When was the last time you invited your car into the kitchen for a cold one? When was the last time you had you car over for a scotch and chat about world politics and horsepower? The answer is never because cars are not allowed to infiltrate our homes… only our souls, hearts and minds.

Lets talk about your man cave.

The man cave is the happy medium between bringing your car in the house and you spending all your time in your garage. After all, there is no place you would rather be than with your pride and joy- the automotive kind, not the offspring kind. In the past several years I have noticed an increase in Man Caves being created. People-both male and female alike are starting to invest some creative energy and money into there garage/shed/workshop/basement/wherever-your-car-sleeps-at-night.

What defines a man cave? In my opinion it needs some type of vehicle, some car parts littered around the area, a stool or two so you can be comfortable while you talk to your car and a fridge for cold ones. That was the norm for decades. Before man caves were called man caves. Now people are spending more time with their automotive brethren and are sprucing the places up a bit. It is not uncommon to see automotive inspired art hanging on walls, beer fridges shaped like tool chests and old kegs that have been converted into coolers. There are many cool ideas floating around for making a man cave yours. We will explore some of them. These themes are not just limited to a garage space either either.

Bathrooms:

Bar/kitchen:

Workshop:

As you can see the man cave movement has livened up our automotive haciendas and made them more fun to be in. They also act as a conversation piece.

The man cave is just as much about function as it is form though. You need to be able to get around and under your vehicles to do routine maintenance, a 1.5-2 car garage minimum is needed so you are not rubbing the paint off your car. You will need good lighting for when you drop small parts into the abyss that is your engine bay.  ready access to tools and any parts necessary, I recommend good ratchets, screwdrivers, and torque wrenches. If you have a newer car that runs off a similar system to the Hal 9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey than you should probably invest in a digital computer scanner as well. Having internet access is important for times when you genuinely don’t know what you are doing. At this time it is important to convince those around you and yourself that you do in fact know what you are doing. You are simply going online to make sure you have the “right tools” to do the job. Jack stands are nice, an actual car lift will make you the envy of all the other cave men on the block though.

Whats that you say? You have trouble changing a light bulb and just need a place to escape to? Not a problem, the man cave is your oasis from the rigors of life. The Man cave is YOUR SPACE! Only you can go in there and play classic arcade Pac-Man by the light of your neon beer signs. Only you can go play Free Bird on Guitar Hero without need for headphones. Also you have an excellent singing voice…. When your by yourself. The man cave is your space to do as you please. It is your escape from reality and does not solely need to be about cars, we just recommend that is is. And that it has a certain automotive theme.

I have just given you a good rundown of how to setup your man cave for actual wrenching. The decor is up to you. I have merely provided some suggestions. Keep this in mind when setting up your man cave: The cooler the space, the more your friends will want to hang out and help you work on your automotive legend.

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!

 

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!