Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction

Always the last weekend in October, the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction signifies the unofficial end of the summer car season.  And once again, the auction did not disappoint; as there was a solid crowd bidding on an amazing field of machines hitting the auction block.  From big dollar trailer queens, to quality resto-mods, to that unmolested all original model, the auction truly has it all and is a must attend event for the auto enthusiast.  Nothing beats hearing and seeing these vintage vehicles in action as they change hands to deliver more magic to their new owners.  Oh, how the automobile gods must watch these events with big smiles on their faces.

Here is a quick slide show of what was available at this year’s event.

1950s Jaguar

1929 Ford Roadster

1947 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible – sold for $90,200 

1950s GMC Pick-up

1970s Mercedes-Benz

1970s Porsche 911

Mopar Muscle Special Model – 600 HP

Vintage Station Wagon

1980s Rolls Royce

1980s Porsche 930 conversion to 911

1956 Ford Thunderbird

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Now Where Did I Park That Car?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a new study that looked at the differences between men and women finding their parked car in a parking lot. The study focused on a 115 shoppers (age 19-85) at a mall in the Netherlands.

According to the WSJ and the research article Losing Your Car in the Parking Lot: Spatial Memory in the Real World, men more often took the most direct route back to their vehicle and outperformed women in estimating the distance to the parked car.  Women, on the other hand, used more landmarks. Overall, the study participants were fairly good in finding their car with only 14% making a substantial detour, most of them women.

Perhaps those that are spatially challenged should download this iOS app or purchase this device, especially if you have parked at the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta which holds the Guinness World Record for having the largest parking lot in the world with 20,000 spaces (with an additional 10,000 spaces in an adjoining overflow lot).

 

 

Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2013 Winners

Each year the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) recognizes the best new models introduced in Canada in category specific awards. This year 80 journalists, conducting over 2,000 individual roads test, determined the 2013 category award winners. While some of the winning vehicles are specific to the North American market, others are available globally.

And the winners are…

CITY CAR: Ford Focus EV

AJAC Winner – City Car

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $21k): Mazda3 Skyactiv Sedan

AJAC Winner – Best New Small Car (Under $21K)

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $21k): Hyundai Elantra GT

AJAC Winner – Best New Small Car (Over $21k)

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (under $30k): Honda Accord Sedan

AJAC Winner – Best New Family Car (Under $30k)

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30k): Ford Fusion Hybrid

AJAC Winner – Best New Family Car (Over $35k)

BEST NEW LUXURY CAR: Cadillac ATS

AJAC Winner – Best New Luxury Car

BEST NEW PRESTIGE AND PERFORMANCE CAR: Porsche 911 Carrera S

AJAC Winner – Best New Prestige and Performance Car (Over $75k)

BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (under $50k): Ford Focus ST

AJAC Winner – Best New Sports/Performance (Under $50k)

BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (over $50k): Porsche Boxster

AJAC Winner – Best New Sports/Performance (Over $50k)

BEST NEW SUV/CUV (under $35k): Ford Escape 1.6 L EcoBoost

BEST NEW SUV/CUV ($35k-$60k): Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T

AJAC Winner – Best New SUV/CUV

The category winners now compete for the 2013 Canadian Car of the Year award that will be announced on February 14th, 2013, at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, ON. An event that the RedlineNorth Team will be attending. So check back in February for the announcement of the Canadian Car of the Year Award Winner.

RedlineNorth in Buenos Aires

In mid-October, Team RedlineNorth had the opportunity to spend some time in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina.  It truly is an amazing city and worthy of the name “Paris of Latin America” with its many wonderful restaurants, dancing, museums, shopping, architecture and culture. Oh yes, and don’t forget the men and women – they don’t look half bad either.

The billboards were far more beautiful than most of the cars

Consequently, it was a bit disappointing from an auto perspective as there were not exactly many nice autos to be seen.  Here is a a brief slideshow of what we saw on the streets of the Argentinian capital.

Can you say VIP parking?

Ford Falcon

A little rust

Argentinean “Campo” ranch truck

Parking between lanes

The always elegant Audi S5

Commuter traffic

Canadian Bruno Spengler wins 2012 DTM Drivers Championship

At the wheel of his BMW M3, Bruno Spengler edged out UK’s Gary Paffett at Sunday’s season finale at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg track. With the victory, Bruno clinched the 2012 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Championship). The DTM series is a bit like Germany’s version of NASCAR since the cars are built to go hard and fast while being still rather inexpensive to construct. All DTM race cars have RWD and are powered by 4.0L V8 engines which are air-restricted to 470 hp.

The winning ride

Bruno’s Spengler’s title success capped an incredible season for BMW and Schnitzer, both of whom returned to the championship this year after a 20 year absence. Spengler is the first Canadian to earn the DTM championship, and is only the fourth BMW driver to take the German title.

Source: http://www.autosport.com

Here is a slick video of a day in the life for Bruno along with some recent track highlights.

Tesla Model S vs. BMW M5

While electric vehicles are getting a lot of mixed attention recently, especially around their range, price and business model, one thing that doesn’t seem to get a lot of focus is their performance, especially speed.   Yes, in the Model S you can only go about 300 miles before you need to recharge, but how does it do off the line?

Take a look at the following video of a Tesla Model S ( $97K for Signature Performance Edition) racing against a BMW M5 (starts at $91K).  You’ll notice off the line the M5 wavers a little bit, while the Model S really grips the road.

At the end of the day the instant torque provided by the electric motor seems to give Tesla the edge in this match up.

If you want to learn more about the mechanics behind the Model S check out this video from Car and Driver:


While this video gives a good overview of the M5:

Group C Porsche 962 on the streets of Japan

Take a look at this very well produced short movie of a Porsche 962 driving around the streets of Japan. Although a little bit dated it’s obvious that more than a few heads are turned as the 962 is driven around the urban environment.

The following is a description from the film maker:

“The Group C Porsche 962 is an iconic race car to say the least. In the 80’s it won countless Le Mans races and to this day holds a very special place in car enthusiasts hearts. One particular Japanese car enthusiast loves this car so much that he can’t keep this race car restricted to circuit duties only. He feels the overwhelming need to spend much more time with it, on the streets!”

Classic American Cars in Cuba

From a historical perspective you’ve got to love the old 1950s American cars that are still being driven all over Cuba. The Cadillacs, Packards and De Sotos running around are like a moving museum.

The following are a few links to various collections of pictures and videos of the cars that Cuba is famous for.

Flickr group dedicated to pictures of Cuban cars (about 6,500 photos)

Cuba’s Classic Cars Photo Gallery

Youtube video of the Classic Cars of Cuba

The following article points to a reason why some of these classic vehicles may start disappearing in Cuba. As of last year Cubans are now able to buy and sell vehicles of all ages (not just pre-1959 models). While the car buying process in Cuban won’t be the same as Europe or North America, it’s a step that’s probably very welcomed in the country. Let’s hope, however, those American classics keep on rolling for many years to come.

MINI Pulls Out of World Rally Championship (WRC)

MINI John Cooper Works                         (Source: http://www.minimotorsport.com)

News yesterday that MINI has pulled out of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Dr. Kay Segler, Senior Vice President MINI Business Coordination and Brand Management indicated:

“MINI will abandon its works involvement in the WRC at the end of the 2012 season. By the end of the season WRC Team MINI Portugal will have competed in every rally in 2012. As such, in accordance with FIA regulations, we will have achieved the WRC homologation for the MINI John Cooper Works. In doing so, we would have achieved the prerequisites to allow those interested to continue to run the car in the WRC on a customer rallying basis.”

While MINI is pulling out, that latter part of the statement indicates privateer racers, those that are not backed by an automaker, will be able to race in the MINI John Cooper Works.  However, notable rally driver Ken Block has previously stated the World Rally Championship format hurts privateer drivers.

The absence of MINI in the 2013 season may not be a complete surprise. During the 2012 season the team garnered only 26 manufacturer points against 388 from the overall winner Citroen Total World Rally Team. With the absence of MINI, the 2013 WRC season will be left with four main manufacturer teams, Ford, Citroën, Hyundai and Volkswagen.

MINI WRC Team

MINI John Cooper Works

RedlineNorth in New York City

At the end of September, Team RedlineNorth headed to New York City for some eating, drinking and sightseeing. Of course, no trip would be complete without us trying to capture a glimpse of the Big Apple’s auto landscape. We saw a wide range of different cars in Manahattan along with the ubiquitous taxi cabs which are now mostly Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota Prius models. Here is a very brief view into some of the more interesting autos in Manhattan.

Chrysler 300 Limo NYC style

Jeep Wrangler with brush bar and big tires

Parking Garage NYC Style

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia with Montana plates

Manhattan Maserati

Window shopping

More NYC Style Parking