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!

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