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Saturday
Apr112015

1937 Talbot-Lago

Its a 1937 Talbot-Lago Type 150 CS, a beautiful, stunning car, accompanied by a fascinating conversation between Jay Leno and Peter Mullin. Wait for the shift mechanism act up...

 

 

 

 

Friday
Apr102015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

 

Another Garage
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable. We have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

 

The ongoing Cadillac, and Lincoln conversation...Cadillac has been trying to garner a foothold in the luxury segment for the past decade...think about it, at least 10 years. They are great world class cars, and still in the starting blocks...go figure.

Lincoln...they have the MKC and MKX that are selling reasonably well in Canada, while they seek the true essence of a luxury car.

Imagine for a moment if Cadillac instead of showing the CT6 would have shown the replacement for the SRX.

Several years ago we concluded that utility vehicles are lifestyle vehicles, family kickers, and make a fashion statement, and fall out of fashion. We are of the opinion that folks have a different "luxury" expectation from a utility vehicle, than a car.

More forgiving towards utility luxury shortcomings.

Looking at Canadian Sales for the first quarter, its emerging that "premium economy" is superceding "luxury" for the Germans. We did say that they were engaging in a fine line. You know the saying water flows dowhill.

Looking at the big picture these folks have the top end covered, although selling less, and now are inexorably moving downstream with their product offerings.

A brilliant photo gallery from the Sebring Historic Races.

 

 

Thursday
Apr092015

The Benniss

What is a "Benniss" its the Mercedes-Benz / Nissan pick up.

When you reflect on the possibility of this pick up being sold in North America it will make a ton of sense.

Think of this M-B is relocating its head office to Atlanta, and Nissan is in Franklin, TN both locations are auspicious to pick ups. 

Nissan has the Titan and has been an outlier in the pick up business for some time now.

Now think of the Mercedes-Benz senior executive commuting from Buckhead to head office in the "L350 Benniss"  it needs an L as a model designator....L=Lastwagen=truck in German.

For cost saving purposes it will be built on a modified Sprinter platform...not really. Perhaps a modified Nissan Titan platform with distinctive Mercedes styling cues.

To compete with the Ford Ecoboost it will have a twin turbo V6 from AMG specifically engineered for truck duty to generate massive torque from the get go. The transmission will not be double clutch, paddle shift, but a good ole torque converter, and a valve body tuned by AMG for optimum shifts.

The transfer case will be from Unimog with a simple F (forward) and R (reverse) to faciliate snow plowing applications. For the Benniss the transfer case will have an overdrive, direct, and low range an industry first to offer OD gears, as well as accommodating 2 PTO openings.

The brakes are from Brembo with ceramic discs and 2 yellow calipers per wheel on the front, to provide awesome braking power.

The trailer towing version will have a light duty Mercedes diesel engine sourced from Freightliner, coupled to an Allison automatic, a 10,000 lbs rear axle with dual rear wheels (a duelie). Ideal to move the polo ponies in a fifth wheel trailer from one field to another.

Needless to mention...the full AMG version is just around the corner.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr082015

Cameras and Technology

Yashica Minister DIf you have been a gearhead for a "while" (decades) you probably started out with a 35mm point and shoot camera where you could adjust the aperture and the shutter speed. You were probably taking photos with 100 DIN during the day, and 400 DIN for conditions that had less light.

Then progressing to an SLR with a telephoto lens especially useful when you went to races. Now the SLR with a couple of lenses became bulky, you needed a bag, rolls of film and so on.

Unless you were a professional photographer and developed your own film. Getting your photos developed was not an inexpensive undertaking.

The flash was usually an attachement for the camera, and lets not get into flash bulbs.

Back in the day if you wanted to send photos of a car to a prospect. The routine was to get a roll of 12 or better yet have several rolls of 12, do the photo shoot, go the the 1 hour photo developer, and courier the photos to the individual that was interested in the car. Think about the time involved in this process.

Today its a digital camera with a memory card, that permits you to take a gazillion photos, and Flickr is the ideal platform to share your photos. Obvious that sending/sharing photos is literally instantaneous.

What does The Colonel prefer ...after hauling around a camera, lenses, film, flash for a good number of years? If its small, it focuses by itself, has a telephoto lens, integrated flash...totally cool.

 

 

Monday
Apr062015

The Technology We Use 

A couple of days ago we were reading that Microsoft is celebrated its 40th anniversary on April 4. It caught our attention of how quickly time passes, the immense leaps in all sorts of technology.

Then it sort of comes back home, and the thought of how did we get started with all this stuff?

Transistors:

Using transistors to build a capacitive discharge ignition system for a car, mounting it inside the car under the dash to protect the circuitry from the elements. Testing ti on a distributor machine, with worn out ignition points.

Today's ignition system are a quantum leap from a capacitive discharge system.

Cellular Phones:

It all started about 30 years ago, when a portable cell phone was the size of an attache case, with a coiled cord to the handset. They were installed in the trunk of a car, and the dial pad was on the handset.

Limited number of "cells",and calling ability. Today cell towers are all over the place.

The Motorola shoe phone was revolutionary, the Motorola Star Tac was a revelation at the time.

What do we use? A variety of iPhones from 4 to 6.

Computers:

If you remember the early PC's from 30 years ago with a 5 1/2 inch floppies, and having start up floppies to boot up the PC on MS-DOS. Yes you are of a certain age. Limited software with Lotus 123 being the workhorse of the day.

Laptops were the size of an attache case.

Its come a long way...similar to the usage of computers in cars.

As an aside the concept of digital computers started with Alan Turing.

Internet:

Dial up modems were the order of the day 20 years ago, with 56K being the fast connection. You probably used Netscape, and downloading IE required several hours. You had an e-mail address with few folks to communicate through e-mail.

Video was out of the question.

Today we run connections that are thousands of times faster, with seamless WiFi compared to the old routers.

Back in the day, broadband was on the horizon somewhere.

We jump from PC, to laptop, to tablet, to phone with a multitude of variations.

We use, a PC with a huge screen, laptops, iPad, and iPhones.

Most folks expect the connectivity of the home transferred to the car.

 

 

Sunday
Apr052015

Ferrari Daytona

Go for a ride in a 1973 Ferrari Daytona with a carbureted V12...

 

Sunday
Apr052015

Happy Easter

From all of us....

 

 

Saturday
Apr042015

McLaren P1 vs Porsche 918

A  memorable Head 2 Head, watch Randy Pobst have a ton of fun, see who wins...

 

 

Friday
Apr032015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

 

The Vroom Room in a Garage Complex this morning.

Its Good Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino this morning, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Not to sound redundant, we have been telling you about the impact of low oil prices and the impact on the Canadian economy for some time now. Take a look at an opinion poll of Canadian executives.

From Ferrari a cool infographic of the Sepang F1 race.

In case you missed 2015 Canada Digital Future, which we believe is a must read, scroll down.

In case you never noticed, please go to our Welcome page to see the various publishing platforms we use for Strada on an ongoing basis. Not to honk our horn, perhaps we are unique in using several formats and platforms to publish our content.

Canadian Sales

Challenging climatic conditions, thousands of vehicles snowed under at Autoport (Halifax), pradigm shift in the oil patch made for an interesting March and 1st quarter.

At first blush its almost like VW with a 2,24 unit increase in March saved the day, since March sales increased by 3,046 units in Canada.

Considering the myriad of challenges it was a great month, and an impressive first quarter.

Cadillac CT6

You surely know that we are Cadillac fans, their latest offerings are world class. The CT6 is surely world class as a car, lets see what it does for the brand, and more important in sales pitted against formidable competitors. What do you think?

Why the garage this morning? from a few years back...the Strada Garage.

Our usual old race cars from the HMSA Spring Club Races 2015...enjoy.

 

 

Thursday
Apr022015

Why Do You Do It?

This morning we have The Colonel with us, he has not been around for some time, been a busy guy lately from what we hear.

Lets get him going with a few questions, and dispense with the niceties. Its a One on One with The Colonel.

Q: Colonel why do you do it?

A: Guys you mean Strada...simple PASSION, and after all these years there is even more passion.

Q: How much time do you spend/invest in Strada?

A: Depends on what is going on, a few hours...lets leave it at that.

Q: How come you are not a member of any club/association/guild?

A: Simple...STRADA is the publication, its the platform, agreed its a boutique publication. A free lancer needs to belong to "something" to provide a base, foundation. As you know we belong to Strada...

Q: You always mention that one needs to be their own editor, there are a myriad of pundits publishing on a myriad of platforms.

A: Absolutely, in some respects its a good thing (disseminating news), in others there is a ton of sh#t floating around. Fascinating when you apply pressure to "pedestrian" knowledge it quickly recedes.

Q: There's a ton of pundits disseminating pedestrian knowledge.

A: Its the nature of the Internet and Social Media there is a substantial layer of pedestrian knowledge being disseminated...that its probably disintermediating real knowledge. Think about that for a moment.

Q: Pedestrian disintermediating real...its thought provoking.

A: Yes ...it is..but for another time.

Q: You mention boutique publication...care to expand?

A: If an individual wants to read comments, editorials that will provoke their thinking they will find Strada interesting and informative, and incite them to be reflective. In essence Strada is not for everyone...its never been for folks that are seeking pedestrian knowledge.

Q: Perhaps at times you are too far ahead of the 8 Ball?

A: Yes...in some respects its not a good thing to attract more eyeballs. Its the editorial direction of Strada. We push the envelope, ask questions that raise a thought process.

Q: Your thought leadership might intimidate some folks?

A: Sure it does...not the best for eyeballs, but great to uphold the editorial position. We have not wavered in countless years now.

Q: Being ahead of the 8 Ball provides a competitive advantage in the auto business.

A: That's what its all about, its a competitive business, everyone is seeking an advantage. By the time its pedestrian knowledge its no longer ahead or an advantage...need I say more.

Q:Some folks might have a challenge grasping being ahead.

A: Sure they do...the reason we are a boutique publication.

Q:Do you have some examples of being ahead.

A: Wow that's a loaded question. 1- We mentioned a few months ago that low oil, low CDN dollar, presumed cheap gas, higher food prices were on the immediate horizon...most folks were talking about cheap gas presumably saving consumers a ton of money. 2- Long loan terms provide mobility not ownership...most folks relate long loan terms to longer lasting vehicles.

Q: Do you rattle cages?

A: If sharing prescient thinking, being on a thought leadership vector rattles cages, let the folks that feel rattled catch up and get ahead of the 8 Ball.

Q: Its still PASSION?

A: Absolutely...a ton of passion.