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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,

 

 

Thursday
Sep182014

Thoughts on Cadillac

The Colonel just joined us for a coffee, and since the latest price revelation on Cadillac we are anxious to have The Colonel share his thoughts. Lets get going.

Q: Colonel, you look prepared and aggressive this morning.

A: Thanks guys, its my usual persona, perhaps a little too aggressive.

Q: Cadillacs were "The Standard of the World" at one time.

A: That was a few generations ago, when I was a kid a Cadillac was the standard of the world.

Q: What happened?

A: I had an epiphany in the mid 1980's when Mercedes-Benz launched the 300E and Cadillac launched the Cimarron. One car became a world class benchmark, the other became the subject of jokes.

Q: Anything else?

A: In the same time frame or a few years earlier, the old folks of that time coming out of the recession of the early 1980's were trading in their Cadillacs in droves for German cars.

Q: At that time not only were they losing existing customers, they did not have a product to attract new customers.

A: Precisely, here was Cadillac pounding itself into the ground.

Q: Today Cadillac has a good product.

A: In 2014 we can say that most Cadillacs are phenomenal cars, they are literally world class.

Q: That good?

A: Absolutely, you don't expect it, but they are that good, if not better.

Q: You are saying that anyone that did not get close to a Cadillac in a while if they would experience an ATS or a CTS would be totally impressed with the cars.

A: Yes, they would even wonder why it took them so long to catch on...that they are good cars. 

Q: Such good cars and their sales are sporadic.

A: Isn't that a challenge, good cars and not selling enough of them to secure a position in the segments.

Q: The SRX does reasonably well in Canada?

A: Yes...its getting old since the resouces were placed on the sedans.

Q: What is the problem? 

A: Simple, PRICE.

Q: Are you implying that they are too much money? 

A: At times its bewildering to watch GM deploy their pricing strategies, and the market conveying a blunt sledgehammer message to GM. Its the same with Cadillac, its a clear message from the market.

Q: How about the Cadillac leadership which has gone through a revolving door of late.

A: That did not help, and this latest leadership is not helping either reinforcing the surrent pricing strategy.

Q: You had misgivings about this latest leadership move.

A: Absolutely, huge doubts, and now its totally scary. Cadillac just told their competition that they are going to sit on the sidelines for the next decade until the market comes to them. 

Q: Its the story of superb cars with a flawed selling strategy, and now encouraging its competition.

A: Its scary in its simplicity.

 

 

Wednesday
Sep172014

The Memory Bank

In case you did not know The Colonel was at Cobble Beach a few days ago, we heard that his memory was awaken on a few occasion. He is sharing a coffee with us this morning, lets ask him a few questions.

Q: Your memory bank was opened on a few occasions last Sunday.

A: Guys, at times small things get one to connect forgotten dots, it was a fascinating experience.

Q: You connected a few dots, care to be specific?

A: Floors shifts coming out of the floor with a black rubber booth around the lever and no console. Reminded me of a Hurst shifter with a T handle froma few decades ago.

Q: We heard that the Pontiac "honeycomb" wheels attracted you.

A: Yes...had not seen honeycomb wheels in a long time, they were the hot set up at the time, the wheel is steel, the honeycomb is some sort of plastic. Those were the days when Pontiac was experiementing with various plastics.

A: Did you sell cars with honeycomb wheels?

Q: What do you think...yes.

Q: What is it with V16 Cadillacs?

A: Goes back to when luxury cars had bigger engines, had an opportunity to observe a V16 distributor cap with 16 wires coming out of it, and a Delco Remy plate on the side of the distibutor. Had never seen a distributor cap with 16 wires before. At a later date they would have doubled the distributors having only 8 wires per cap.

Q: What is it with the plane?

A: Its a De Havilland Beaver from 1955, and I flew in one to Algonquin Park some years back, totally cool with wind up windows, radial engine, and mechanical controls. This particular plane departed from Buttonville, to Lake Joseph, to Cobble Beach.

Q: What else caught your memory?

A: The extreme simplicity of cars from almost 100 years ago, evolved to what at the time was considered complex (although still mechanical and simple) to the extreme technology of today's cars.

Q: What is the message?

A: We expect a lot more from cars, than we ever did.