Spring has finally sprung in Toronto

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.

hot rod

1957 Chevy

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:

Classic car events:

 European car club/cruise events:


 Japanese car/Tuner events:

 Cruise nights/Weekly Meets:

 Charity car events:

Please contact us if you want your event included – redlinenorth@gmail.com


Superbowl Car Commercials

This past Sunday’s Super Bowl was not the best of games that’s for sure as it looked like the Broncos may have thrown the game.  As for the Seahawks I congratulate you as your team deserved the win and winning your first Superbowl is a very big deal.
As a car guy, the best part of the big game is seeing the new car commercials of which there were 15 this year, the same number as last year. Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, VW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jaguar, Maserati, Jeep and Honda all splurged and spent the huge cash required for airtime during the big game. To check out all the ads see Autoblog Canada’s feature on the Top 10 Best Car Commercials from this year’s Super Bowl.  You can vote for your favourite one too.

Record Setting Burn Across the USA

On Sunday October 20th, Ed Bolian set a new record for driving across the United States of America, in, wait for it, 28 hours and 50 minutes!  Bolian, his co-driver and support passenger, piled into a 2004 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG in mid-town Manhattan and drove at an average speed of 98 mph and a moving average of 100 mph. They stopped for a total of 46 mins along the way and arrived in Redondo Beach, California a little over a day later.

Ed Bolian

Ed Bolian and co-driver Dave Black

Their vehicle, a CL55, had two extra gas tanks fitted that could hold a total of 67 gallons (400 lbs worth) of gas in the vehicle.  This allowed them to travel 800 miles between fill ups (they stopped only three times for gas during the whole journey). They also never took a bathroom break (although one would think the co-driver may have been tempted to sneak one in during the refueling break). Additional equipment in the vehicle included police scanners, CB radios, two GPS units, two iPhones running traffic (and speed trap-related) apps and two laser jammers.

On route

On route

The sub-30 hour mark beats the previous record set by Alex Roy in 31 hours and 17 minutes in 2006.

Read all about the preparation and the journey on Ed Bolain’s blog and over at Jalopnik.

Source: Ed Bolian.com, Jalopnik.com

Shanghai Auto Show – Part 1

Since 2009, China has been the world’s largest car market and what better place to experience China’s auto industry than to visit the Shanghai Auto show in all its glory. Last week, RedlineNorth had the incredible opportunity to attend China’s largest auto show and it did not disappoint.

2013 Shanghai Auto Show

2013 Shanghai Auto Show

Gone are the days when Chinese consumers mostly purchased fuel sipping compacts and subcompacts as their preferences have now shifted towards more luxurious and larger models including the ever popular SUV.

Shades of the Isuzu Trooper

Shades of the Isuzu Trooper

Many different lifted style off road SUV's were shown

Many different “lifted” style off-road SUV’s were on the show floor

Sure does looks similar to  a Jeep Rubicon?

Sure does look like a Jeep Rubicon?

Here in North America we still do not fully know what to expect with the Chinese built models so it was extra interesting to see them up close. We were impressed with the wide variety of Chinese made products and the overall quality of their fit and finish.

Lifan SUV

Lifan SUV

In recent years, there has been wide criticism from some non-Chinese manufacturers that several of the domestic Chinese models look very similar to their models.  At the show, we did see several examples that would likely fall into this category such as the above image of a Chinese made “Jeep” styled 4×4.

Typical Chinese grocery getter

Typical Chinese grocery getter

And yes, documenting the Shanghai Auto show would not be complete if we did not include some shots of the show’s models. It certainly takes a bit getting use to since the models are serious about their posing and do not leave the car’s side which for a car photographer is a bit of a pain nevertheless that’s the way it is.

One way to sell GMC conversion vans

One way to sell GMC conversion vans

Both camper style and conversion vans are becoming popular in the Chinese market since there is a serious desire to hit the roads and travel around their country like we do here in the West.  With so much new infrastructure of modern roads and highways built over the last decade, RV’ing is now a reality in China. I can only imagine what the roads  look like on their long weekends….

Chinese made Great Wall camper truck

Chinese made Great Wall camper truck

Mercedes-Benz Camper

Mercedes-Benz Camper

Ford Econoline Conversion Vans

Ford Econoline Conversion Vans

And let’s not forget the luxury brands of which China is now the world’s largest consumer. Here’s a glimpse of some purpose-built machines that would even get rap superstar “Drake’s” entourage excited.  Of course, these ones are never coming to North America as they are destined for China’s “nouveau riche” super elite class.

Bentley Limosine

Bentley Limosine

Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Coupe

Mercedes-Benz G Wagons

Mercedes-Benz G Wagons

Unfortunately, with all these new vehicles hitting the road, China’s oil import bill is ballooning to record levels along with its traffic congestion and air pollution. In fact, earlier this year in Beijing and Shanghai overall air quality hit record unsafe levels never seen historically.  Throughout China, there is still an ongoing debate on this topic since many experts say the air pollution stems from industry and power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal and not actually from its gasoline cars. Nevertheless having experienced Shanghai first hand, it makes you wonder if this torrid pace can be sustained and what the long-term impact is going to be on China’s environment.

Be sure to check out our second segment on the Shanghai Auto show in the coming days.

Germany Tour Part 2 – Mercedes-Benz Museum

Unfortunately, nobody from Team RedlineNorth is taking in the sights and sounds of the this week’s Geneva Auto Show so in lieu of real coverage we wanted to revisit Europe by doing a post on Mercedes-Benz. Recently, a RedlineNorth community member traveled to Germany to tour some of the holiest car sites in the world including Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz Museum. A lifelong car enthusiast, he was kind enough to share his trip photos of this ultimate once in a lifetime Benz experience.

Located in a sprawling complex in Stuttgart, Germany, the Mercedes-Benz museum is home to some of the rarest and most beautiful of all Mercedes-Benz models.  If you ever have the opportunity to check it out it for yourself it is worth every minute.  This is only a brief snapshot of the museum but hopefully does provide a glimpse into what is available to see. The images below are in chronological order as per the model dates.

The early years

The early years

The beginning

The beginning

When cars still looked still like stagecoaches

When cars still looked like stagecoaches

Open limo

Open limo

Saloon style

Saloon style

Sunday driver

Sunday driver

Iconic 300SL Gullwing

Iconic 300SL Gullwing

Another Gullwing

Another Gullwing

Racing history

Early racing history

Modern racing history

Modern racing history


It would not be a Mercedes-Benz museum without the Popemobile

A little history about Benz:

The origins of Mercedes-Benz go back over 125 years to 1886 when Karl Benz created the Benz Motorwagen, then the first ever gasoline powered car. However, Benz was not alone in his invention as a year later, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach’s added a gasoline engine to a stagecoach to produce a car of their own. Interestingly, in spite of these major developments, the first Mercedes-Benz branded vehicles were not produced until 1926, after the merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies into the now iconic Daimler-Benz company.

Superbowl Ad Previews

As auto companies are one of the top creators of television commercials it’s a good time now since many of the year’s best commercials will air during this Sunday’s Superbowl. For Canadians it has always been a challenge to view the US commercials so hopefully you can see them come Sunday.  To help out with this, we have put together a few previews of the coolest auto ads set to air Sunday.  We hope you like it.

Go Ravens!!!!

Mercedes-Benz 2013 Super Bowl Commercial (Extended Cut): “Soul”

Volkswagen Super Bowl 2013 Game Day Commercial | Get In. Get Happy.

Toyota RAV4 2013 Big Game Commercial “Wish Granted”

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Launch

This past Wednesday night, Mercedes-Benz Canada hosted a free concert at Toronto’s Sound Academy called the B-Scene to celebrate the launch of its new B-Class.

DJ Stage with B-Class on the wings

The concert featured DJ sets by Montreal based electronic music duo, Chromeo, and British house music group, Dirty Vegas.  Mercedes-Benz Canada is aiming to target a younger demographic with the new B-Class and this is an interesting attempt to market differently.

The most famous three-pointed star

The B-Scene event included a variety of interactive stations of sweets & candy, a photo booth, street graffiti art and canvas art. The event had a unique edge and is definitely an innovative way to capture a different market for Mercedes-Benz Canada.

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

RedlineNorth in Vienna, Austria

Team RedlineNorth recently traveled to Vienna, Austria to experience the sights and sounds of one of the most magnificent cities in the world. With Austria’s strong economy and a history of liking the “finer things” the local Viennese have some nice rides.  Here is a taste of what you will see on a typical day in Vienna.

With its close proximity to Germany, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW’s are the standard cars most Viennese drive. In our travels we tried to find some vehicles less popular in North America.  Here is an assortment of American, French, English and German models currently found on the streets of Vienna.

Vintage VW Beetle

Who knew Ford Focus came in a hardtop convertible?

Matte finishes are very popular.

2000 MG convertible

Sweet Carrera 4S

Vintage Triumph convertible

Tour bus

The French still make some beautiful sedans.

More matte finishes

Smart car convertible

Audi S3 – Fastest grocery getter around.

I know we have lots of these but could not resist – The ever amazing Audi S5.

A Ferrari dealership storefront on the Ringstrasse.

The Gumball 3000 rolls into Toronto….

I really can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful, warm, May evening than checking out the sights and sounds of the Gumball 3000 race.  Last night, as the caravan arrived in Toronto, the RedlineNorth team captured the glitz and glam of these amazing branded up supercars as they entered the closed off streets of Toronto’s Yorkville area.

Started in 1999, the Gumball 3000 is a modern day Cannonball Run which attracts international socialites and playboys from all over the globe to participate in a cross country road race. For 2012, the race has returned to its roots as racers drive the epic New York City to Los Angeles route.

With a wide range of ultra expensive models being used as street racers there is certainly something for everyone who’s into cars. Along with the cars is the equally impressive star- studded line-up of drivers who have competed in the race including Daryl Hannah, David Hasselhoff, Dennis Rodman and Tony Hawk.  The full list can be seen here. This annual event is like no other in North America. The opportunity to participate should be number one on any car enthusiasts ultimate dream wish list.