Happy Mother’s Day

Auto|One Group would like to gently remind you that this Sunday is mother’s day. We repeat; THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHERS DAY, DON’T FORGET!! SHE BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WORLD, SHE CAN DAMN WELL TAKE YOU OUT OF IT! Now that we have gently reminded you of your plans this weekend we can continue.

A little while ago I shared with you my experiences with my father and how it influenced/ fueled my passion for cars. I was gently reminded by my mother that she is also a gear head. She steered my upbringing but blames the results on my father. Allow me to present the necessary evidence.

Once upon a time in 1973 my parents needed a new car but dad was afraid to pull the trigger on something fun. He cited the oil crises, economy, resale value, shag rug values and everything else you could do to try and sway my mother into an economy car. My father wanted her to see a base model Ford Maverick 4 door sedan that he was interested in buying. It had an automatic transmission and something called the “thriftpower six”. It had green paint- not a very nice shade with cream coloured bumpers. This was the norm in the early 1970’s for a car trying to look good even though it was not. I think he told mom it had power windows as a selling feature.

Dad took mom to the dealership to see the car he had picked out. Mom saw what he was pointing at and said no way, end of story, back to the drawing board. On the way back home amidst an awkward silence they passed by a Datsun dealership. Mom saw a gorgeous sleek 2 door sports car sitting in the showroom and told my dad to pull in. She immediately fell in love with the 1973 Datsun 240Z in British racing green its long hood, sculpted roof line and short trunk. The price was about the same as the Ford Mavrick but the sporting heritage was undeniable. Automobile magazine called it one of the best cars of the 1970’s. They bought it on the spot.  Score one for mom!

Mom worked for the Victorian Order of Nurses during this period and was assigned to do house calls for people who could not leave the house. She happily drove this rear wheel drive manual transmission car year round while answering house call. Mom rarely got stuck (we will get into her winter driving skills later). This Datsun remained with the family lovingly until my parents moved to New York. The car was not allowed to travel to the big apple because during the late 1970’s cars had a shelf life of 7 seconds before they were stolen.

This car was replaced by a silver Datsun 280zx that mom instead have the turbo box ticked on the build sheet. This was mom’s car that she used to carpool with me. While everyone else was getting dropped off to school in wood panel station wagons (predating SUV’s and minivans) I would get dropped off in a Japanese turbocharged rear wheel drive manual transmission sports car with a T-top roof. Does this make my mom a cougar?… I hope not. Regardless she loved it and so did I.

For any mothers wondering how this worked out there, let me tell you that the pros far outweighed the cons. Let’s examine them:

Pros of carpooling in a sports car:

  • You can only take 3 children.
  • Children are limited in their ability to squirm around and cause trouble because there is no room to move.
  • Hockey practice for more than one child is out of the question. No room for more than one hockey bag
  • Whining children are met with downshifting and the spooling of a turbocharger.
  • No cup holders to put food and juice boxes in equals no eating or drinking in the car.

Cons of carpooling in a sports car:

  • Explaining to a child that if you come to a complete stop in snow you will never get the car moving again.
  • Having that child tell their mom that you don’t stop at stop signs and skid up and down hills.
  • Having that child’s mother call you and question your driving habits/ skills.

I should mention that my Mom has never had an accident. She reminds me of this a lot… I’m sure your mothers remind you of that or similar driving flaws that you have inherited as well. Your mother always has your best interests at heart. Happy Mother’s Day!

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.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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.

Auto|One Vancouver   |   Auto|One Palladini Toronto

Auto|One Palladini:   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Google+   |   foursquare

Auto|One:   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Google+   |   foursquare