Agreed its been chilly this past week.
Which car from the Detroit Auto Show really caught our attention? The Ford GT...from our perspective its the car that make the most compelling statement, and that you can buy.
Closer to home the Montreal Auto Show is also opening this week.
A few days ago we had a conversation with an individual that resides in Calgary. As expected the lower oil prices are already having an impact on the Calgary and Alberta economy. We are are not surprised...
Target closing in Canada...it will make a fascinating business case on Canadian retailing?
A collection of exceptional old race car photos...Best Vintage Racing Photos.
Lately we have all heard the comments of the various "old cars" that are in Cuba. A cool video that provides a glimpse. The song is Chan Chan by the Buena Vista Social Club.
The other day we were reading an article stipulating that luxury cars are in many cases worse, than mid market cars, especially in reliability.
As you probably know The Colonel has been involved and dricing what is known as luxury cars for a few decades, lets see what he has to say this morning.
Q: Colonel how did luxury cars, especially the German versions evolve through the decades.
A: Guys good morning, you are looking dapper this morning. By the early 70's North American luxury cars were known as land barges, similar to pick ups today. With a ton of conveneince features, and a ton of driving shortcomings.
Q: What got the ball rolling.
A: Car and Driver, David E. Davis, Mercedes-Benz 450SEL (W116) at the time.
Q: What was special about that car.
A: It was the opposite of the land barges, limited conveneince features, at best acceptable air conditioning, no power seats, extremely slow power windows. It had a V8, good power, incredible suspension compared to the land barges, solid body, robust brakes. Extremely poor fuel economy.
Q: You could drive it all day long at elevated speeds.
A: Precisely...they were engineered to perform on the autobahn.
Q: How about maintenance.
A: German car...what do you think...they required ongoing maintenance on a regular basis. Today it would be considered obscene.
Q: The better part was how they drove and performed as a car, and how they held together.
A: Exactly, the convenience features were archaic compared to the land barges, the automatic transmissions were fragile, differential were diminuitive. The radios were archaic, but the clunk of the doors, the interiors were solid, and the way they drove.
Q: We heard that back in the day 6.9 were incredible cars, and nobody wanted them as a used car.
A: Interesting that you mention 6.9, incredible car, and in many ways similar to today's cars that are full of technology. They require attention, when new everyone raves about them, when they are used you need obscenely deep pockets to keep them running. Some things never change.
Q: Today everyone raves about an S65 Coupe, which is similar to a 6.9 from a few decades back.
A: imagine for a moment an individual that pulls into an M-B dealer with an older S65 Coupe out of warranty with a few lights blinking in the dash, and requiring a brake job with worn out ceramic discs. Similar to a 6.9 from back in the day...some things never change.
Q: The repair invoice for the S65 would be obscene.
A: You can buy a new something else with the amount on the repair order. Again its does not change. In 2015 no one is inerested in those experience. The reason for extended warranties, CPO, and so on the provide peace of mind.
Q: A CTS today drives very well.
A: Absolutely, the feel and drive of a CTS is impressive and world class. We were all impressed by the V Sport a few months ago.
Q: That car had a V6 with twin turbos, magnetic ride suspension, Brembo brakes, and so on.
A: There you go...its in the 6.9, S65 territory when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Does it ever drive nice...
Q: Most folks today lease, and pay more attention to the brand, than the reliability, maintenence costs of the cars.
Over the past few years we have reviewed over 100 different vehicles, be it cars, SUV, CUV, pick ups.
They are all good vehicles, although we might find something that is not to our taste, other folks will find it to their liking, we are all different. They are all good...each vehicle in its own way is a good vehicle.
As individuals we all have our personal preferences on how a vehicle should drive, and we have our own preferences on what we appreciate in the way a vehicle drives.
This morning The Colonel is with us lets see if he will share his own personal preferences on how a vehicle should drive.
Q: Colonel, what do you expect from a vehicle, what do you like.
A: I like them all, and they all drive well. Incredible how vehicles are engineered today. Yes...you know that ABC will drive this way, and that XYZ will drive that way.
Q: We know...but what inspires you?
A: Guys you know that already, a sense of power, a V8 will inspire me the most, a V12 will fire up my imagination. Lately a V6 with a couple of turbos that feels like a V8 is very interesting.
Q: We know that you have a a preference for sedans.
A: Yes I do, they are practical. Although a sportier car is also fun.
Q: So it would be a V8, sedan, with an automatic, with a good feel...can you define good feel?
A: What do I understand as a good feel. They all drive well, the car with the V8 is usually a little heavier, its rear drive which makes it balanced, and it has a level of "waftability" not how fast it is in acceleration, but how much power it has when you need it for whatever reason.
Q: Its starting to sound like a luxury sedan or darn close to a luxury sedan.
Q: You want to leasurely cruise down the highway with power to spare.
A: It must be totally effortless...I really mean effortless, comfortable, reassuring.
Q: What do you expect when you get in "apex" mode.
A: Being pragmatic "apex" mode last less than 60 seconds, the entire car must come together instantly and perform flawlessy.
Q: Its sounds like a tall order...
A: It is...but most cars will come together, and perform...agreed some better than other.
Q: You have a thing about brakes.
A: Simple...if there is X under the hood, the brakes have to be at least 2X, and must remain at 2X for a consistent period of time.
Q: As a personal preference you want a sedan with a V8, that is an effortless highway cruiser and becomes a good performer in apex mode.
A: Its that simple, and that complex.
Q: Are you impatient when a car does not perform.
A: What do you think, impatient, unforgiving too. While realising that they are my expectations, my preferences, what inspires me.
A: A while back we had a 4 cylinder, turbo, performance sedan, with a manual transmission. The car that most enthusiasts rave about...it was a cool car. I had this feeling that the brakes were not 2X, the moment I confirmed that they were not 2X...you know the answer.
Q: You persist in saying that cars drive well.
A: Absolutely, a FWD 4 cylinder econobox drives well for what it is...would it make me happy...we know the answer. Surprisingly most cars also keep their composure on rough pavement.
Q: Is it the reason you endure Walter.
A: Put it this way...Walter has a V8, its real wheel drive, it has vented discs in the back, would love to cruise all day long at 2,600 RPM, has a great sound system too. Yes...it instantly gets in apex mode.