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.

exotics, delivered.

At Auto|One Group we don’t like to gush, brag, spill beans, or yarn a tale. This week I cannot help but share with you 2 of our deliveries that went out the door.

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2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super trofeo Stradale- mouthful of a name for a handful of a car. This car is amazing! For those that don’t know what this car is or represents it is essentially a street legal race car. it is 66 pounds lighter than the Superleggera (superlight) Gallardo and tips the scales at 2,954lbs (dry). This car uses only the highest quality materials and manufacturing processes. Lamborghini reportedly shares a wind tunnel with a large jet company (seriously!). The car is smothered carbon fiber and other ultra-high end materials such as aluminum, suede, unicorns, rainbows and cat eyelashes (maybe not the last couple.) regardless, this car is 1 of 150 for the world to gawk at, these are some pictures for you to do the same.

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McLaren MP4-12:

Wow. Just, wow. This car is a gentle reminder to the world that Britain still knows how to make a supercar. Another car made with rainbows, unicorns and such. This car boasts a carbon fiber frame twin turbo V8 with 616 hp and a 7 speed seamless shift gearbox. The car is topped off with a body that slips through the wind at speeds that would terrify even the most seasoned jet pilots. This car owes much of its roots to Formula 1 racing technologies. for instance: when you hook a corner, the inside rear wheel brakes automatically so you don’t end up in the dirt. It helps you post faster lap times. The McLaren sounds angrier than a hungry bear that has just been denied entry to an all you can eat buffet.

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Both cars have gone to caring homes where they will no doubt get the utmost attention and love from there new owners. Congratulations to our own Jack Xiao for flying to Las Vegas to make sure the Lamborghini is the real deal. Jack is also responsible for the Angry British beast of a McLaren that graced our showroom.  Both of these cars were sourced on request for a client. At Auto|One Group we help our customers realize their dreams. Check out our current inventory and see what excites you!

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OH CANADA! the land of epic drives.

This weekend is the Canada day long weekend. While many of you are going to be at a cottage relaxing or hanging out in the city on your favorite patio if you don’t have access to a cottage. Don’t worry I will see you on the patio! Let’s take a second to appreciate Canada’s rich and diverse topography, before we enjoy its rich and diverse alcohol. Auto|One Group presents Canada’s best drives and the best cars do them in.

The Maritimes: Newfoundland has some of the most breathtaking views in the country, sweeping panoramas of the ocean situated next to rich and pristine forests. Traffic is sparse; the budding moose population will present more of a hazard than other cars. The roads are very twisty with lots of opportunities to test suspension, tires and your hand eye coordination. Don’t believe us? The Targa of Newfoundland attracts drivers from all over the world every year to take part in the quasi rally race. You will want to do this with the top down so you can full appreciate the scenery plus, how awesome is it go get some salt water spray on your face while hooking corners?! You should visit Canada’s rocky playground in early June so you can see the icebergs at the northern and eastern tip of the continent. The Cabbot trail in Nova Scotia is similar to Newfoundland and just as rewarding, more cars and less moose though.

Best car for the job? Lotus Elise or Porsche boxer. You’re on a budget? Mazda Miata. You will not need too much power, just agility to carry you through the corners.

Quebec: Quebec is an odd-duck province. You can drink at 18, party until 3 am but can’t make a right on a red. Quebec is also known for is beautiful historic cities and quaint townships. The roads are also twisty through the northernmost regions of the Appalachian mountains but offer more straightaways than our friends on the Atlantic Ocean.  Auto|One Group recommends touring the culturally fantastic Eastern Townships, in the fall with the leaves changing, it will also change you as a person. No trip is complete without a visit to the world famous race track at Circuit Mt. Tremblant.

Some of the best cars you’ve never herd of can be found on the road in this province. 2 stroke Saab’s, Renault’s, Volvo wagons in manual transmission guise, ect…Best car for the job? Volvo S60R, Saab 9-5 Viggin, Subaru legacy 2.5GT turbo (those are the only odd-duck cars I can think of). You’re on a budget? Old Toyota MR2 turbo.  Mazdaspeed3 or Mazdaspeed6. Quebec marches to its own drummer, your car of choice should as well.

Ontario: A little known fact is that the roads in Ontario are awful in the northern reaches… okay it is known. This might deter some… for us enthusiasts, we embrace it. Northern Ontario is particularly sketchy around the Thunder Bay outskirts. We recommend an off-road adventure. North Bay to Cochrane Ontario is a good bet. The Canadian Shield will accompany you the entire way, the opportunities to go off-roading are limitless and the people are very friendly. Best time to go is September, avoid the black flies (you’re welcome) and the water in the thousands of lakes you will pass is warm enough to swim in.

Best car to take: Toyota FJ cruiser, Nissan Frontier, Chevy pickup 4X4. You’re on a budget? Old Nissan pathfinder or old Chevy pickup. Both are indestructible.

Manitoba/Saskatchewan:  The key words here are open, flat, straight, empty. I have spent much time on the Prairies and can tell you that if your dog runs away on Tuesday you can still see him running on Thursday. It is flat. This area is mostly farmland and while it may not have much in the way of turns and bends it more than makes up for it in straight aways that last forever. Time of the year to go? September or October during the wheat harvest. The shades of gold you will see are spectacular. You will be amazed at the natural beauty of the produce we consume before it gets to our plates. You can drive it one of two ways, slow and low and enjoy the views or opt for something insane and scare yourself with the amount of speed you can pick up. Don’t worry, the majority of police cars you see at the side of the road are actually cardboard cut-outs.

Car to take: on the fast side of things I recommend a Corvette ZR-1, Mustang GT500, Nissan GT-R, anything with lots of power really… on the slow and low side I would recommend a 1968 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. They float over just about everything and have motors that are laughably large.

Alberta is a very geographically diverse province. To the east it is the bread basket of the world and thus flat as anything you can imagine. To the West you get the best skiing in North America by way of the Rocky Mountains. This requires you to be a good all-around driver. Comfortable with massive amounts of speed that come from the east, and able to hook corners that drop off into a rocky abyss that catch you by surprise in the Rockies. Your best time to go is October. Avoid the summer tourists in the mountains. Best drives?  Take the Trans Canada through the mountains and then loop back down into the prairies. Enjoy the leaves changing colour but be wary of slipping out on wet patches.

Car to take: Nissan GT-R Porsche 911 turbo, Corvette ZR-1, Ferrari 458 Mercedes SL63 AMG. You’re on a budget? Old Corvette or Nissan Z car.

British Columbia. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the other side of the Rocky Mountains is the mecca for many different things. Hippies, winter sports, lumberjacks and hockey riots. They also have a crazy network of roads that snakes through the mountains. Constant turns, changes in altitude, inclement weather and narrow roads are just some of the things that will face a driver in the interior of BC. We will not get into vying for space with logging trucks, local wildlife and falling rocks, that will be a surprise for you to discover. Time to go? Not the winter, keep the wheels between the ditches!

Good power, even better handling is a must Porsche Cayman S, BMW M3, lotus Extige. On a budget? Subaru WRX, Honda S2000.

North West Territories.  From the land of black flies the size of houses and ice road truckers comes the great baron wasteland. Yellowknife is one of the few cities where roads exist, although they are shared with snowmobiles and ATV’s.  You need to go in the middle of January when the ice roads are opened up for the truckers to deliver equipment up to the diamond mines. It will be -40 outside so pack warm, there will be few rest stops so bring food and supplies in case you get trapped. This all seems a little intense for you… I know but the rewards are amazing. Long, flat, wide open roads with soft cushy barriers (snow that has been plowed) the only traffic is other truckers and the cops monitoring there speed. Special bonus: the northern lights are spectacular, you will probably see them. They will leave you speechless with there different colours dancing across the sky.

Car to take: Subaru WRX STi, Mitsubishi Evo, Audi RS4. You’re on a budget? Old school Subaru Impreza or anything with ice studs.

Canada is a rich and diverse country with lots to explore. We have some of the friendliest people and each town you visit has its own unique heritage and tradition. Isn’t it time you put on some driving gloves, bought a map and visited some of those people?

happy Canada day from all of us at Auto|One Group!

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.

BULLRUN 2013 IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!

Bullrun: What comes to mind when you hear these words? Testosterone? Speed? Power? Brute force? Little regard for “johnny law”? At Auto|One Group when we hear Bullrun it reminds us of one of the best rally races in existence. The prerequisites for this rally are the following: you must have a cool or funny car, you must have a sense of adventure, you must have little regard for your insurance broker, you must have a sense of humor and above all you must know how to drive, FAST! This is the 10th anniversary of the Bullrun so you know it is going to be a dusey.

The Bullrun is an endurance rally every year that runs between two cities in North America. The idea is that every day you wake up and drive a stage then show up to a hotel every night and party until it is time to drive again. This year the rally is going to be especially amazing because it starts and finishes in the best party towns this continent has to offer. The rally starts in Montreal and ends in New Orleans.

The Bullrun is a first class affair. Every day you eat like a king, hang out with celebrities and sample the best roads and views the area has to offer. It is a fantastic way to spend 7 days. The best part of the Bullrun (I know it gets better!) is the element of surprise. Each day the racers and navigators are oblivious to what the day will bring until they get to the parking lot in the morning. They get a dossier that contains check point or a land mark and it’s off to the races. Drivers and navigators have to fend for themselves finding the best routes, deciphering riddles, using their brains, and not being hungover. there will be cops to contend with, dead ends and false directions. Everyone has to bring there A game.

The car Auto|One Group is using are still highly classified and cannot be discussed until the car shows up in Montreal to start the rally. Our theory is that the car will be so intimating that it will force lesser vehicles into submission. This car was born in the bowels of hell and then modified by Satan himself to produce what is arguably the best exhaust note in existence. The first time we fired up the savage beast it was next to a flower bed. When we came to work the next day the pretty flowers had been replaced by a badger….with rabies. Coincidence? Or work of the car so aggressive that the devil himself is scared to drive it?

Canadians are a friendly group of people and Auto|One Group wanted to show their generosity by providing a vehicle for Team Texas to use. Team Texas will rendezvous with us in Toronto and pick up their ride. Team Texas is comprised of 3 sisters who always show up and have a car mysteriously appear for them to drive. This has worked so much that they are now a staple in the rally. The rally would not be the same without them. When it looked like the sisters did not have a ride Auto|One Group decided to chip in and get them in the driver’s seat.

Buckle up your seat belts ladies and gentleman. Start your engines. Hide your driver’s licenses. The race is about to begin!!!

Classic Nissan Love- sports car edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My automotive degeneracy…

My name is Sam. I have friends. They race in demolition derby’s. I get them cars.

Now that we have that cleared up I can tell you a story of how I came to own a 2003 Mazda Protégé5 with 320,000kms.

Auto|One Group took possession of the above mentioned car back in October. It was a trade in that was valuated based on scrap weight… I bought the car sight unseen to use in a demolition derby. It is a manual transmission, 4 cylinder and a wagon. This car would cleanup at a demolition derby.

The issue was the car ran pretty well. It had power windows, a sunroof, brakes and smoke didn’t pour out from under the engine when it was stopped at a light.. It appeared to be in better shape than my current car. On a whim I had my mechanic check the car out so I would know what it would take to put it on the road. Everything seemed to be okay- not great, but okay. I had my winter beater! For the record I consider gas to be maintenance on a winter beater. This is not an easy life for a car.

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I told my friend that the car was not available and I licensed it in my name. That was 8 months ago. The car is now in dire need of a mechanics tender touch. Rattles, creeks, shakes, burps, squeaks all of these sounds have grudendly been tuned out by turning up the radio. Last week the antenna fell off my car in a tragic garage door accident that will not be elaborated on.

It is time to part with the car I fondly call “Rusty”. Much like pets and livestock you cannot name an animal or else you will form a bond that prevents you from doing what is right. This relationship has formed between me and Rusty. I cannot bring myself to let it suffer the brutal, bitter end of “The Fall Brawl”. This is the demolition derby held in Lindsay Ontario.

What does one do with a useless car that they love for reasons unknown? I pondered this question for quite some time. If I was a car at the end of my life what would I want to do? Well, if I was a zippy manual transmission car that had been subjected to a life of traffic, poor roads and salty winters (this car has grown up in Toronto and has lots of rust, so all apply) than I would want a cool send off from my owner. Don’t trash me in a grotesque demolition derby! Let me have fun, let me stretch my legs, dance, run jump.. LET ME RACE!! That is what Rusty is telling me through her rattles and squeaks.

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Where do I race such a beast? After some careful research I stumbled upon the 24 hours of LeMons. The cheeky name had me curious. This is the jest of it. Your car has to cost $500 or less and you need 6 drivers, no experience is necessary. Style points are awarded. This is more of an endurance race than a speed race. The tactic is to see how well your jalopy holds up against the competition and how long your car can survive while maintaining forward motion. This is all done on a race course. The course is New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville New Jersey. August 9th-11th 2013. If you are interested in coming or racing with us email me at scomisarow@autoone-palladini.ca

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Lets send Rusty off  in style! The car will be fully prepped with a roll cage, fire extinguisher, fuel cell and race tires. More info can be found at http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/

Carroll Shelby the Legendary Car Designer

In May of this year the automotive industry lost one of its greats with the passing of Carroll Shelby. From humble beginnings, Shelby went on to become a world-champion racing driver. However, he is perhaps best remembered for designing and building innovative and iconic cars like the Cobra, high-performance versions of the Ford Mustang and injecting expertise and testosterone into the development of the Dodge Viper.

During the 1950’s Shelby drove for the Cad-Allard, Aston-Martin and Maserati teams and in 1959 he won the brutal endurance race 24 Hours of Le Mans, co-driving a British made Aston-Martin. A heart ailment forced him to quit driving and in 1962 he founded Shelby-American. It became one of the most successful independent sports-car builders of the era.

Shelby began building his Cobras using the chassis and body of a two-seater from AC Cars of England and packing powerful Ford V-8 Engines into the lightweight British roadsters. The Cobra won the United States Road Racing Championship in 1963 and the Grand Touring world championship in the large-engine category in 1965.

In 1964, Lee Iacocca asked Shelby to help create a high-performance version of the recently launched Mustang. In January 1965, the first Shelby Mustang, the GT350, made its début and a legend was born. Shelby also developed the Ford GT40, the Shelby GT500 and the GT500KR (KR stands for King of the Road). The Shelby-American team’s Ford GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1968 ending a six year winning streak by Ferrari.

Ford Racing put a video together of Carroll Shelby “In His Own Words”.  It is fascinating…

The famous Shelby Cobra and the many other high performance vehicles that Shelby designed and built enlivened, and in many cases, revolutionized the automotive industry for the past 50 years. He will be missed but his legacy lives on.

Click here to review our Pinterest retrospective of Shelby production cars.

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