California Part 2- LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum

After driving around town for the first few days, we headed over to check out LA’s amazing and historic Petersen Automotive Museum.  The pictures do not do it justice but the gist is, this is a must see for any car enthusiast.  The Museum entails the typical historical details and stories about cars and the people who built them but the really interesting part is the guided tour of The Vault. The Vault consists of all the vehicles that are not on display as well as many of the vehicles on loan from benefactors. Unfortunately, there is no photography allowed in this section so we were not able to take any pics which just means you must come here yourself. Nonetheless, here is our coverage from the museum section which included a range of vintage and new vehicles.

Supercar

1989 Bugatti

1989 Bugatti

Racing vehicles

Baja 1000 Bronco

Vintage Baja 1000 Bronco – rebuilt with modern technology

Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Toyota Baja truck

Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Toyota Baja truck

Classic cars

Chavez Ravine

Chavez Ravine – Former ice cream truck is tribute to LA community bulldozed to make room for Dodger stadium

1950s Ford Hot Rod

1950s Ford Hot Rod

Meyers Manx dune buggy

Meyers Manx dune buggy

1934 Packard

1934 Packard

1954 Kaiser Darrin

1954 Kaiser Darrin

Ford Country Squire

Ford Country Squire

1937 Delage

1937 Delage

A real "woodie"

A real “woody” wagon

Homage to fins

1950s boat with Mercury outboard

1950s boat with Mercury outboard

Hollywood rides

 Mercedes-Benz from Hangover

Mercedes-Benz from Hangover

Batmobile

Batmobile

Suki's Custom Honda S2000 - 2 Fast and Furious

Suki’s Custom Honda S2000 – 2 Fast 2 Furious

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.

Legendary Motorcar Company

As I drove to Guelph to visit the folks over Mother’s Day weekend in GM Canada’s 2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ demo vehicle, I thought what better way to break up the drive then to visit Legendary Motorcar Company Ltd located in Halton Hills. If you ever have the chance to be in the Georgetown/Halton Hills area it is must see for the car enthusiast.

Legendary Motorcar first opened its doors in 1985 with a dream of restoring and trading in the finest and rarest of classic and performance cars. Soon after they began producing national show winning restorations and record sales. By 1990 they had expanded to a 12,000 sq ft, facility and began selling European marques, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche while continuing to sell some of the rarest domestic models. In 2002 they moved all operations into its brand new 55,000 sq. ft. facility located in Halton Hills, Ontario. This current location includes: 100 car showroom, fully equipped mechanical and assembly bays, downdraft spray booth and body shop, a conference center and is the set of the Dream Car Garage television show.  The facility is also the current head office of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

With over 90 vehicles currently, it really is a dream car garage, as every vehicle in the showroom would make your garage the envy of the neighbourhood.  From impeccably restored American and British classics, to European exotics to purpose built race cars, Legendary Motorcar Company has it all. Here is an assortment of some of their current inventory which is either for sale, recently restored or being stored for customers. Keeping with the overall dream theme, someday I hope to drive home from this place behind the wheel of one of my dream cars. But for now, I guess I better just keep dreaming…

Toronto Spring Classic Car Auction

I recently had the opportunity to check out the Toronto Spring Classic Car Auction held at the International Centre. Over the years, I have come to this show to experience the sights and sounds of the classic car scene in action and to keep informed on local prices. Attending in person, is quite the visceral experience as being up close with these vintage machines as they fire up their V8 engines to go up on the block is as close to Barrett- Jackson’s as you can get in Toronto.

I vividly remember the auction in the early 2000s and seeing top quality cars including; matching number Chevelles, 60s Corvettes and Mopar’s such as Chargers, Challengers and Javelins all rolling off the block in the range of 75K-80K and for the trailer queens you would see upwards of 100K bids. Well, those days are definitely over, and the new era is far more realistic and more interesting as there are now bargains to be had for anyone with cash.  Overall, prices of classic cars and trucks are down significantly since the peak in the Fall of 2007 before the global recession really took hold. For the full details of what things sold for check out final sales data. And with the added meltdown of the US economy and housing market over the past few years, far less US buyers are attending these types of Canadian events which has dramatically lowered overall values.

One local dealer who sells a tonne of cars at the auction is Segal Motorcar Company. They always bring some of the cleanest and most pristine high end exotics to the auction block including Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Maseratis and the odd Bentley.

Here are some of the highlights from the auction.

The next one is scheduled for October and is a must attend event if you are into classic cars.  And if you are lucky enough to be in a position to purchase one, just remember to bring your chequebook because for sure, there’s something for sale that would look great in your driveway.

Old American muscle becomes new again

Here is a really good read about making the old, new again.  The Globe and Mail’s Peter Cheney captures the feeling of the wind and exhaust roar from the lost majesty of golden-age Detroit. He describes his recent adventures while driving on the back roads in Georgia, USA in a 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible which has been updated with the ultimate in modern aftermarket upgrades.  In keeping with the American muscle theme, wanted to share an amazing 1970 Pontiac Firebird worth talking about.  As a daily driver, I’m not where you would be able to showcase all 1200 horsepower from the twin turbos but it sure would be fun trying.

For those of you into American muscle with all the tricked out technology of today’s cars you need to check out YearOne.  They also have an amazing fleet of car builds which would compliment any classic car enthusiast’s garage.