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Monday
May022016

Naturally Aspirated Engines Are Elegant

At a time when turbos are rampant especially in 4 or 6 cylinder engines. Naturally aspirated engines are becoming rare or is it rarer.

Yes...in 2016 its cool to have a turbocharger or two under the hood of a vehicle. 

Yes...the initial surge of torque on a turbo motor is captivating. Its a Wow moment "This 4 cylinder pulls strong".

There is an elegance about naturally aspirated engines that is enduring, no tricks, no torque surges. It remains the power curve of an engine breathing in air at atmospheric pressure.

As the automotive world marches on with turbocharged 4 and 6 cylinder engines with 1 or 2 turbos.

There is "something" endearing about a good old fashioned naturally aspirated V8.

You surely knew that we were going to take the V8 out of the bag sort of thing.

Yes...a twin trubo V6 will generate the same power, and possibly more torque than a naturally aspitated V8 with appreciably more displacement.

When you depress the accelerator, and send a signal, we don't really know what is going on with all the software. But with a naturally aspirated engine we seem to know more of what is going on. The connectivity of the accelerator and how the engine, and transmission behave is appreciable more intuitive.

Plus with a larger displacement engine, when you downshift again its more intuitive.

Here lies the enduring intuitive elegance of a naturally aspirated engine.

Agreed...you can achieve ridiculous levels of horsepower with forced induction be it a turbo or a blower. It seems that turbos are for increasing the displacement with forced induction, while blowers are for increasing the horsepower to ridiculous levels.

 

 

Saturday
Apr302016

Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16

If you ever wondered what a 190E 2.3-16 was/is all about the owner provides you with a brief description. If you remember Ayrton Senna made his mark in Europe, and was noticed driving one of these cars.

Yes its a Cosworth head from back in the day when Cosworth was the undisputed leader in designing cross flow heads with 4 valves per cylinder. Look at the shift pattern on the transmission set up to keep the engine revving especially on a track.

Were they good cars? A high revving 4 cylinder Benz back in the day had limited appeal to a customer base more attuned to V8's. You can quickly conclude that a high revving engine would have some oil consumption which was the case with the "16 valver".

 

 

Friday
Apr292016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

The last Friday of April, and almost month end. Don't know about you, we have had a busy start of the year, and especially April. Even with a myriad of technology we are still chasing after time, some things never change.

An Epiphany Moment

Way back in the day when flying was more elegant, and spacious. Scribbling notes on a pad about thoughts you were entertaining, what was the objective of the trip, and whatever else captured your attention at the time. It was a productive exercise on an especially longer plane ride.

The other day, The Colonel who has been flying across Canada for a few decades, out of nowhere ends out having more space, and while scribbling a bunch of notes has a Wow moment. "Its been right there for a good while, how come it did not come across that way".

Fascinating how the thought process is slightly different at 10 kilometers up from the planet. All the dots are there, you change a few connections, and Wow.

In case you missed it, we started First Car several years ago. Thinking about it a 1963 Chevy is now over 50 years old...let's stop right now!

If you have an opportunity to travel in various areas of Canada, you will quickly conclude that in some places cars are the exception, small "utility" vehicles are the exception too. Full size crew cab pick ups from the Detroit 3 rule the market. The locals have a saying "If you can't afford a pick up, you get a car".

We are bombarded daily with the "frothy" real estate markets in Vancouver, and Toronto. There are some "fly under the radar" markets in Canada that are just as expensive if not more expensive. Its almost mind boggling...yes try Saskatoon as a starter.

Fuel Economy

We all know that it takes horsepower to move air, we had an opportunity to cover the same distances in a sedan, and an SUV. Its takes appreciably more gas to cover the distances at even slightly reduced speeds with an SUV.

Our usual old race cars from HSR Mitty Speedfest 2016...enjoy the eclectic collection of race cars.

 

 

 

Thursday
Apr282016

Saddleback Leather - 5 Year

Time is the great equaliser for everyone, and seems to incrementally increase in velocity.

The Saddleback Leather briefcase is 5 years old, looks brand new with additional patina from the years of use. Yes...its a luxury tool, exclusive, continues to attract attention especially at airport security.

Luxury tool? Yes...with the current exchange from CDN to US money. You pay a premium to have a briefcase that is unique, versatile, useful, endures abuse, and looks new.

Where has it been this past year? Well...its been to Texas twice guess it tried to get close to its origins. Continues to travel in Canada, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatechewan.

How does it travel? By car, SUV, planes, it would be interesting to see how many kilometers it travels in a years.

After 5 years The Colonel does not travel anywhere without the Saddleback briefcase.

What does it carry? The usual staples of business travel, laptop, smart devices, camera, writing instruments, change, writing pad, memory sticks, keys, to name a few. Its the large version and well loaded every time.

Every inside pocket is used and has its own function, one is for change in a plastic bag when dealing with airports security, another is for spare business cards, another for the wallet  and writing instruments, another for earplugs, spare batteries. The inside laniard is great for memory sticks - VPN key - car keys.

Still gets shoved under airplane seats on a regular basis.

 

 

 

Monday
Apr252016

Our Thoughts On Interiors

If you have been in this business for a while perhaps like us, you develop a "thing" for interiors of vehicles, and some grasp your attention more than others.

The Colorado we reviewed a few weeks ago...had a proper pick up interior as an example, and it caught our attention.

There has been an ongoing evolution from cloth, to vinyl, to leather, and everything in between for decades now. Yes...prior to the advent of heated seats, a vinyl interior was brutally cold in winter in Canada. Cloth interiors were favored over vinyl or even leather.

At some point leather exploded as the preferred material to refinish seats, now everyone wants a leather interior, there is probably not enough leather to go around, and there are a myriad of grades of leather being offered. Agreed...you wonder from which animal some of this leather originates.

From bench seats to bucket seats with a console...do you remember when everything had a bench seat, or a 60-40 split front seat?

Dashboards...we have progressed from idiot lights, to gauges, back to idiot lights...go figure. Obvious that the center of the dash screen has superseded gauges as the main attraction in the dashboard.

Black vinyl is the universal money saver to cover up anything and everything in an interior, the harder the vinyl the more extreme the savings. Think about this for a moment...how often you see black "plastic" in interiors.

Center of the dash, you have to love the screens that pop up / out like a tablet, accompanied by the "mouse" on the console.

Cup holders...there was a movement at one time to influence all manufacturers to have cup holders in vehicles. Folks now egress their vehicles with liquid in a container to remain hydrated as they go about their activities.

Wood has been a mainstay of vehicle interiors for decades.

Agreed we all have our preferences and priorities as to what is a great interior. Yes...when you see one its immediately grasps your attention.

Does it have to be leather? Not really but an interesting pattern on the seats is essential.

Does it require a leather wrapped steering wheel? Almost a must.

Does it need wood on the dash and door panels? We prefer wood to metal or carbon fiber for most vehicles.

Does it need bucket seats? A must, and ideally 4 buckets if it has 4 doors.

Does it need a center console? Yes...full lenght a bonus.

Does it need a floor shift? Yes...the knobs, buttons, small lever on the steering column pale compared to a floor shift.

Automatic climate control? A must

The center screen? The simpler the better...lets leave it at that...we all have a smart device.

Sound system is a must...is it really part of the interior...yes!

Gauges, the more the better...and analog.

Carpet...ideally its a carpet and not a trunk liner.

Lighting...it has to be cool.

Color? Your choice...The Colonel prefers lighter than darker interiors.

We urge you to make a list of your preference and requirements.

 

 

Saturday
Apr232016

BMW M4 vs Camaro SS

A slightly different Head 2 Head see who wins...

 

 

Friday
Apr222016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. Take a moment tell your friends about the Vroom Room.

 

As you can imagine we are nearing the end of the month, the automotive action will intensify to move iron, and possibly break another sales record for April.

Have you noticed all the talk about the Tesla Model 3, with 400,000 deposits or close, with supporters and detractors, and a ton of opinions to attract eyeballs. When the car becomes a reality, it will bring Tesla closer to the mainstream. In the meantime think about it, its a great way for Tesla to raise 400M. Most companies need to do an IPO to raise such an amount.

Is Spring finally official? Are you thinking of real estate? What does real estate have to do with cars? If you are in "real estate mode" for your own reasons. Take a look at our thoughts from a few years ago...click. At the time we called it a "Buying a House Adventure". In hindsight its fascinating to see what started on a beach in the Caribbeans develops into an adventure.

Almost 2 year ago we shared our thoughts on Connecting Dots, and we urged you to connect your own dots. We again urge you to connect your own dots to achieve your goals, and for those around you.

The other day it struck us that we have been doing reviews for 7 years, tajke a look at our "Wall of Reviews". We agree, time is a precious commodity....wow 7 years.

Our usual old race cars from CSRG David Love Memorial.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr202016

Attention is a Currency

You surely know that we are huge fans of @gapingvoid, we usually feature an @gapingvoid "thought" every Friday in the Vroom Room.

Its a colloboration between @gapingvoid and LinkedIn, you will find it interesting, informative, and thought provoking.

Yes...you still need to be your own editor.

 

 

Monday
Apr182016

Canadian Sales - First Quarter 2016

Our thoughts on Canadian sales for the first quarter.

 

Saturday
Apr162016

Ducati XDiavel S

With summer on the horizon, experience the Diavel with Jay Leno...