Saturday, February 6, 2010

Welcome to my blog

So I have decided to boldly leap in to the 90’s and start a blog.

What is it about? Well, I like cars. I have always liked cars. I have been known to bore friends, family and even complete strangers with minute car trivia and opinions. In an attempt to keep these people from shunning me I am going to try to use this as an outlet.

So what makes my opinion so important? In a word ....nothing. I like to think I know what I am talking about but I am open to other points of view.

A bit about me:

I am a huge Jeremy Clarkson fan. If you don’t know who that is have a look at Top Gear on You Tube. or visit their website . The thing that makes Clarkson and the Top Gear boys interesting is that they will actually tell you if they think the car is crap. This is very different from the North American shows that seem to faun over whatever piece of garbage they are given to drive. I think they live in fear of the manufacturers taking their toys and going home.

I am partial to European cars but I have been known to recognise interesting things from all over.

I used to work in car sales. It was an interesting opportunity to “stress test” a wide variety of vehicles. Hey everybody needs a hobby.

My car history:

1976 MGB
The three days out of the year it ran it was wonderful. The electrics were awful. I replaced the starter at least 3 times. There was always a little prayer whenever I reached for the starter button (a story for another time). The picture looks a lot like the one that I had but I found it at :

1991 Honda Civic DX
After the MG I wanted a car that I could be reasonably certain would start every time. It was as bullet proof as Hondas are supposed to be. Well, is was bullet proof until somebody took it on a long road trip and only checked the oil after the engine stopped, with a lurch, several thousand KM down the road. Here is a clue, it wasn’t me! Again, The picture looks a lot like the one that I had but I found it at :

1991 Toyota Corolla SR-5
This car was the best deal I ever got. It came in on trade at the dealership I was working at. It was 8 years old and had 100 000 km. I paid $ 1200 and put 100 000 km on it. Then I gave it to my sister who put another 50 000 km on it. It looked cool and had these great pop-up head lights. I discovered that if you hit the high beams while the lights were off they would flip up, flash and go back down. This was a great way of suggesting that the intelligence of the person in that car in front of you may be more than a little suspect. The one in the picture is a GT-S so it has a slightly nicer body kit. Mine started nice and red but by the time I got to it the paint had faded to a dull pink. This picture was found at:

2000 VW Golf 1.8T
This car is so much fun! The 1.8T is an Audi designed engine that can be tweaked up to produce 400 + HP. To the untrained eye it is just another little silver Golf. I love a sleeper car. VW also packed these little cars with all the fun toys. I will never have a car without heated seats again! Again, the picture looks a lot like the one that I had but I found it at :

My dream cars:

I love this manufacturer. You get the practicality of VW with the insane performance from Porsche and Lamborghini.

Audi R8
This is the money is no object and I can take the Autobahn to work every day choice.Its looks are just sex on wheels. At the same time it has an incredible Teutonicpracticality. It has all wheel drive to help keep it on the road. It is even reasonably priced ( for a 420 hp super-car). It just looks evil.

Audi RS4
Back to the land of the sleeper. Tiny car, relatively unassuming exterior ..... all the rage of hell under the hood. Again, all wheel drive to put the power to the road.

Things that make me scratch my head:

Cyclists who want to be treated as automobiles, right up to the point where they come up to that stop sign, or unless it is more convenient to ride on the sidewalk. Then when they are on the sidewalk they are incredibly aggressive.

They seem to be either driven by people who can’t quite muster up the money for a Volvo or some guy who has escaped from a Japanese comic book. Group #1 wears a lot of tweed, smokes a pipe and will ride the fast lane at 5 km/h under the speed limit (because somebody needs to slow those maniacs down!). Group #2 drive these pseudo rally cars. 5 hood scoops and more spoilers than you can shake a stick at. These WRX STI QPX pilots don’t seem to get the idea that the main attention they are drawing comes from the police.

Cars that have been in my family:

1960 Chrysler New Yorker 2 door
 Longer than a super- tanker, bigger fins than the Batmobile and room to seat 32 of your closest friends. It was my grandfathers and it is now my dad’s. It has been a restoration project for the last couple
of decades. Not my picture, but picture this as a two door and white. This picture can be found at:

AMC Gremlin
My mom bought it right after her divorce. It was bright yellow. It was written off within a year. I used to sit in the rear hatch looking out. This was before people worried about child seats or safety of any kind really. Mom’s was yellow but not the X package or with a sunroof like the one in the picture. Not my picture, original found at:

1973 Pontiac Le Mans
My maternal grandfather had this interesting piece of automotive art. It had huge heavy doors that you had to lean ½ way out of the car to close. He had it for 16 years and it never ever started on the first crank. Yet another borrowed image. Original :

1968 AMC AMX 
My dad got this car the week I was born. It was a two seater. Mom was a little pissed. According to dad, who has never been known to exaggerate (for the aid of the sarcastically challenged he has exaggerated from time to time) it would pass everything but a gas station. He also claimed it would do 30 mph just by putting it in gear. My uncle drove it once and he thought it was incredibly quick. Borrowed picture:

1978 Ford Thunderbird
My dad actually had two of these. One in 77 one in the 90s. It was 9 miles of hood with a stand up cross hair / hood ornament. I drove it in the 90s. Being used to driving little 4 cylinder cars I was not prepared for a giant V8. My experience had been that the engine would start to scream when the car hit 120 km/h. I was wondering why I was passing everything until I looked down and found out I was going 140 and the engine was barely ticking over. Both cars had the sports look package that included fake vinyl straps across the trunk and coloured rims. They were incredibly snazzy! Borrowed photo, original source:

1977 Ford F 150
This truck was the plow truck at the catering company I worked for when I was in high school. By the time I got to it the truck had been written off .... twice. It had white mags, rusted. It had a homemade roll bar in the back and a homemade tailgate. To get the radio to work you had to hit the dashboard ( a la Fonzie). It was a fantastic vehicle for being in traffic. It looked like it rolled off the set of Road Warrior so traffic would part like the Red Sea. It had a quirky start procedure that nobody else seemed able to master. After I left the company to go off to university they scrapped the truck. This picture is not the real one but it is damn close. Borrowed picture, original is at:

So that is a little about me. The plan is to keep putting these things out once a week as long as there is interest. Please feel free to post comments and opinions. Also if I have borrowed your picture and you want me to stop, let me know and I’ll take it off.


  1. I tried to leave a message, but it comes up as Andy ... aargh, now I have to start over ...

    Love your first post, can we ask questions/opinions? Andy and I will probably be looking for a new car sometime in the next year or so ...


  2. Thanks for the comment. I am always happy to answer questions. I have a few tips on getting a good deal too.

  3. cool! I guess I can't always count on someone screwing up on the price posted on the internet (and the dealership honouring it!)


  4. Hey, I happen to like the Subaru Outback for a family car. I would probably not have been so interested in owning one before, but have you ever tried to put a child seat in a sedan? It does not leave very much room for the adults in the front seats! But it is true that if I could muster up the money I would go for a Volvo instead. I do remember the MG working. And you would not have met such interesting people on your drive across country if it always worked!