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Friday
Sep262014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Painting by Jay KokaIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation, leave a comment.

Even Blackberry who at one time was the undisputed leader (think Cadillac) in smart devices, recalibrated their price (lower than the competition) with their new offering. 

Today we talk about safety, flaws, and recalls. During the glory days of muscle cars the one constant was that you could not stop them. These cars had 400 HP under the hood, and 200 HP in braking capabilities, and it was perfectly normal. 

Imagine the digital comments that would flow today "Little Johnny just acquired XYZ with a high performance engine, bench seat, lap belts, manual steering, manual drum brakes". You can finish the story that on a Saturday night Little Johnny and his friends were exuberant......

In hindsight it was a good thing that most of those cars had 3.55 - 3.73 - 4.11 gears in the differential and would run out of revs keeping the terminal speed somewhat lower, although the acceleration was constantly overpowering the brakes. 

We are on the cusp of our 8th anniversary of publishing Strada, stay tuned.

We often hear from a real estate perspective the glut of condos being built in Toronto as an example. Interesting that no one mentions the lack of parking facilities for many of these condos. Let's look at a simple example, a 500 unit condo with only 50 underground parking spaces. Of the 50 spaces many will be occupied by a car sharing service.

Last week Thoughts on Cadillac generated interest. This week Cadillac announced their move to New York City. What do you think? 

Impressive photo gallery of the Goodwood Revival 2014 Behind the Scene

 

 

Thursday
Sep252014

Orange Julep

Lets go back a few decades during the halcyon days of muscle cars. In Montreal the Orange Julep's, the one on Decarie (still there today) and the one on Lajeunesse (replaced by a McDonald) were the gathering place for muscle cars on Wednesday nights.

There are gatherings of the same cars at the Julep on Decarie. Back in the day the same gathering, the same cars, with a different mind set.

Anecdote:

Harold Cummings (the Chevrolet dealer that catered to the muscle car set) was literally across the street from the Julep.

Even muscle cars had a 4 year/50,000 mile powertrain warranty, it was no secret that if an engine grenaded the service folks at Harold Cummings never saw the "non stock" intake manifold, carburetor, camshaft. 

What was under the hood:

The various conversations always gravitated to what was under the hood, and what was done to modify what was under the hood. What was under the hood was often cloaked in discretion. Its a this or a that omitting to mention the various modifications. 

The cars were often base 2 door coupes with a bench seat, and a shifter emerging from the floor, traction bars you could see, a pinion snubber on the differential was more challenging to detect.

The Julep was the gathering place, the conversation was "what is under the hood" and potentially which car might be faster in a 1/4 mile.

Where is the quarter mile:

The Julep on Decarie is relatively close to Dorval (at the time) today its Trudeau Airport, and from Decarie, and the Trans Canada, it was quick to access several roads in the vicinity of the landing strips. Obvious one of these roads had a 1/4 mile clearly marked, and was easy to block at either end.

You can imagine the rest...

Agreed, today it would be considered dangerous, reckless, back then when cars barely had seat belts, and minuscule drum brakes, the cars were inherently dangerous...the rest was considered fun.

At the Julep on Lajeunesse...

It was simpler, with the traffic light at Lajeunesse and Fleury, Lajeunesse is a single direction street (one way) it was ideal. After a couple of runs as you can imagine the police would appear. The cars were always parked adjacent to Lowney's which was closed at night.

 

 

Wednesday
Sep242014

Off Ramps

By now you should know that The Colonel has an affinity for on/off ramps but especially off ramps, he has his occasional moments when everything lines up. 

This morning The Colonel is having a coffee with us, lets get him to share his thoughts.

Q: What is it with on/off ramps.

A: The right car, the appropriate tires, strong brakes, the ramps are fun.

Q: We hear that every now and then you have your moments.

A: Absolutely, its more the occasional time when all the variables are in your favor.

Q: All the variables?

A: Yes, here is the ideal moment, occasionally one gets lucky, entering a favorite off ramp there are no other vehicles in the lanes, and not many vehicles waiting for the traffic light / stop which are usually at the end of the off ramp.

Q: If you get a clear ramp, you might get opportunistic.

A: Precisely.

Q: Now how do you generate a fun factor.

A: Simple 1- no other vehicles 2- calibrate your speed 3- brake in a straight line 4- hit the apex of the first turn 5- power out of the apex 6- precisely calibrate the next turn depending on the situation. 

Q: The off ramps usually have guard rails, perhaps even gravel shoulders.

A: Told you it was fun when it all fits to generate a moment. 

Q: The sticky tires augment the possible speed, and braking.

A: Yes...and the wear on the tires and brakes. 

Q: What happens when there are other vehicles?

A: Its not an opportunity for a moment, just take the off ramp, that's it.

Q: You need to be keenly aware to immediately spot the moments, and familiar with the off ramps.

A: The best moments come to you, getting aggressive to generate a moment is dangerous.

Q: During a good moment it all happens very fast, only lasts a few seconds.

A: Its done in a few seconds.

Q: What happens when you miss the first apex.

A: Quickly scrub off speed, and thats it...never try to recoup on the second apex.

Q: You need to finess the car into the off ramp, brake in a straight line, hit the apex, power out, and then quickly scrub off speed since there is not enough room after the second apex.

A: Precisely...you guys are fast learners.

Q: You need to be familiar with the car, and its has to have enough power too, besides the tires and brakes.

A: Don't forget that to finesse the car you need more than less road, the reason that you want no other vehicles.

Q: How do you know that you are in deep yogurt?

A: You will know, usually you upset the car, the scenery is coming at you very fast, and if you ABS the car on dry pavement to scrub off speed usually after the first apex. You created the moment, you need to fully control the moment.

Q: Care to identify some ramps?

A: What a silly question...

 

Saturday
Sep202014

Trans Am Racing

Nostalgia from back in the days of race on Sunday, sell on Monday.

 

Friday
Sep192014

Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, another Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

In case you missed our coverage of Cobble Beach 2014...click take a few minutes to view the photo galleries.

The deal with leasing:

In case you did not know leasing has been around for a couple of generations. One the the captivating aspects of leasing is that you make money twice with a vehicle. Its simple, its perhaps too simple for many folks to grasp the enormity of making money twice with a vehicle

After decades it still befuddles a majority of folks out there, that letting a manufacturer assume the residual risk is not a bad thing for CMS (Citizen Main Street). While letting manufacturers and dealers make money twice is not a bad thing either. 

The deal with simplicity:

At a time when thing and almost anything can get very complex, keeping ti simple, short, brief, to the point, is becoming a genuine luxury. If its too complex, the attention span decreases quickly, the message is lost.

The deal with free flowing money:

Until the money flows freely, and CMS is good for the credit decision, vehicle sales will continue on an upward trend in Canada. Obvious most manufacturers have to fire on all cylinders and stay in the competition.

Talking of old race cars, we have a photo gallery of the 1969 St.Jovite Trans Am race, yes...we think The Colonel was there that year,