I first learned about America’s fascination with the automobile from the pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Set in the Roaring 20’s, the great American novel explores the decadence, idealism and social upheaval of the decade and has been described as the cautionary tale of the American Dream. Cars play a key role in the novel’s plot and are intrinsic as symbols of the wealthy elite of the day. You only have to watch this clip from the 2013 film to get an idea of what types of cars the stars of the day drove.
As a Canadian, I know a bit about the band Rush – that they sold over 40 million records, and that they continue to sell out shows across the world 30 plus years after their peak fame. But to be honest, I wasn’t familiar with their song catalogue – I really only knew their smash hits Tom Sawyer and Closer to the Heart. Recently however, I stumbled upon Red Barchetta, a cool song from their massive album, Moving Pictures.
The song’s lyrics tell a futuristic story where traditional combustion vehicles have been banned by “the Motor Law”. The singer’s uncle has one of these illegal vehicles, a “Red Barchetta” sports car which has been secretly kept in pristine condition for 50+ years. The uncle keeps it hidden at his secret country home which was a former farm. Every Sunday, the nephew sneaks out to this location and goes for a drive in the countryside.
“Before the Motor Law…My uncle preserved for me an old machine..For 50-odd years…To keep it as new has been his dearest dream…A brilliant red Barchetta…And on Sundays I elude the eyes…Tires spitting gravel. I commit my weekly crime.”
For anyone who lives in Ontario you are likely familiar with Toronto based Steam Whistle Brewery. Founded back in 2000 by three former employees of the Upper Canada Brewing Company, Steam Whistle is famous for its premium pilsner lager packaged in distinctive green glass bottles with a non-twist cap.
Along with making great beer, Steam Whistle maintains a fleet of classic vehicles for promotions and delivery of their products. Over the years, they have continued to add to the fleet and each new model has its own unique story. Most recently, they added a 1970 International Scout to the group. Check out the entire fleet.
With all this seriously negative Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump election coverage we thought it was time to post something on the lighter side. Heck, I live in Canada and have started to avoid the news channels all together and there are still 5 weeks to go to election day.
We want to share this insane video we found on the Internet today. It comes from the 2012 Corvettes in Carlisle burnout competition. And if you call yourself a gear head this insane video has got to bring a smile to your face.
Yes I know, some people may say this type of thing personifies what is wrong with America but you know what I’d say to those folks? The people in the grandstands are enjoying themselves and the Corvette owner looks to be one heck of a nice guy.
Personally, I can’t imagine doing this to a classic car and I would not want to buy new shoes for my roadster but yeah, the guy is not me. To each his own, and that is what makes America so great!
Seriously, who says we need to make America great again?
Spring is finally here in Toronto and the last two weekends were our first taste of the good weather after another brutal winter. Hopefully you have been able to get the summer rides out of storage and were out cruising at some point.
With the great weather comes the opportunity to show your ride off while also checking out other enthusiast events. To help mark your calendars this year we have put together a short list (apologies if we have missed things) of some of the key auto events happening in Toronto and surrounding area:
Petrolicious has published a cool story about Nissan’s creative advertising style in the early days around its flagship sport coupe the Nissan Skyline. It all began in the 1970s with a young and “in love” caucasian couple exploring Japan in their new coupe. Honestly, you watch this ad now and it’s hard to believe this was ever popular anywhere but having lived in Japan at one time I understand their affinity to anything Western.
Nissan built on this 70s love theme and in the 80s embraced Paul Newman as he became the new face of the Skyline brand as a result of his racing exploits with Nissan US.
I had no idea Paul Newman hustled Skylines and I bet not many people in North America know either. I always thought Paul Walker was the first Hollywood actor to love the Skyline. Well, you really do learn something new everyday.
To keep with our recent racing theme we stumbled upon some amazing old video from the 1960’s narrated by Carroll Shelby. The video covers a brief history of Carroll’s racing career along with footage of legendary drivers Pete Brock, Ken Miles and Dan Gurney testing the Mustang GT 350, AC Cobra and Ford GT at Willow Springs International Raceway. Yes, the footage is 1000 times worse than what a 10-year-old can shoot with their smartphone, but that is not the point – this is an homage to the glory years of America’s racing prowess.
We have to thank the gang over at Jalopnik for finding this one. Not sure whether to love or hate the guy so I will let you decide but it’s unique nonetheless. I never would have thought skeet shooting and Porsche 911 Targa would be in the same sentence but alas it is here.
Growing up as a kid in the 1980s the Back to the Future film franchise is part of your DNA. So it should be no surprise that we were interested in seeing what Toyota would do to capitalize on the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster film. Well, good on them for letting our imaginations go wild and for a brief moment let us dream of going to a dealer to order a 2016 Toyota Tacoma with the “1985” Marty McFly 4×4 look.
“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma
Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely this beauty will ever see production, as it will likely end up in some auto museum along with all those other concepts that never come to life. Nevertheless, how cool would it be if they made a “Back to the Future” anniversary model with the 2016 Tacoma? I would totally park it beside my “Fall Guy” GMC 2500 series…..
The Goodwood Festival of Speed, if it’s not on your bucket list, it should be since it is one of the top events an auto enthusiast can experience. Wrapping up today on the grounds of the immaculate Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, this three-day festival is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles of epic proportions. This year’s line-up includes a variety of famous racing cars from eras past driven hard and fast around the famous estate’s private track. As an homage to the racing stars of the past, the event brings together both auto and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world attracting on average 150,000 annual spectators. To check out this incredible event you can watch live streaming on YouTube. Happy viewing!