Thursday, December 17, 2015

Something New In The Parking Lot Tonight

I'm not the greatest at defining hot rods but I think it's a Ford?  The guy that owns this seems to flat black spray can everything he drives.  Not sure it's working here.  Sorry about the photo quality, my phone isn't the best.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Better Late Than Never

With over 5000 views my '07 Mustang GT's for sale ad is starting to generate interested.  I've gotten quite a few messages about it.  Unfortunately I don't think people realize that the car would need imported into Canada.  It is a US car, registered in the US.  So people are interested but then seem to lose interest when they realize the import thing.

Still it's good that something is happening even if it's not a sale.

If you're interested the ad will still be up for another 45 days.  And don't forget the US/Canadian money conversion.  The ad is in Canadian dollars, the price in US dollars would be cheaper.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Opinions Please!!

I am quite literally in the cusp of buying a 2014 Mustang GT500.  I have had several loan approvals for the $65,000 price tag being asked by this private seller.  Yesterday I went and test drove it.  The car was amazing and with only 6500 km (about 4000 miles) it is basically a new car.

So what's stopping me?  Well there are several things.  One is of course the fact that's it's a lot of money for a 2014 vehicle, even one with 662 horsepower.  I can make the payments well enough but right now I have no car payments and really like that.  Plus the loan officers look at me like I'm crazy.

The big question in my head is whether this Shelby will follow the trend of other Shelbys and
appreciate in value or am I buying a $65,000 car that will be $30,000 in a few years.  This model is the end of an era in the Mustang styling and the most powerful Mustang to be produced.  It's a factory car that can do 200 mph.  Certainly that is something that will hold value in years to come but if the 2017 GT500 has 700+hp will it cause my car's value to plummet?

Another thing is my 2007 Mustang GT sitting in the garage.  We don't have lots of space and you aren't allowed to park anything on the street longer than 3 hours even in front of your own house.  So what the hell am I going to do with two Mustangs?  Of course I need to sell the 07 but how long will that take?  Especially going into the winter months.

So what should I do?  Should I drop the hammer and purchase it or hold on?  The car is stunning in person and sounds amazing with the Borla exhaust added by the seller.  The interior is crap but that's not why you buy this car.  If you had $65,000 approved loan would you do it or go for something else?  Or do nothing at all?  The pictures here are of the car I intend to buy.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Problem With Mustangs

The problem with Mustangs is that they are so damn hard to find.  Sound ridiculous?  Sure it does.  Just going to work each day I must see at least 5 and that is minimum.  During the summer months that number can be well into the 20s in the Toronto area.  So what am I talking about?

I'm talking about the "special" Mustangs.  I'm talking about the Mustangs that people buy and keep a hold of.  I'm talking about the Mustangs that Ford produces limited amounts of and you can't get your hands on even of you have a pile of cash.  Mustangs like the 2016 GT350 and GT350R.  Here in Canada the GT350 costs $71,000 while the GT350R goes for $91,000.  That is if you can find a dealer that can order you one and you're willing to pay the 10k to 15k price gouge the dealers are handing out.

So I got the bright idea, why don't I go for a different "special Mustang" like a 2014 Mustang GT500?  They have 662 horsepower and there aren't lines of people trying to buy one.  However it turns out they are equally hard to find.  I found only one in Ontario for sale and they guy was asking $65,000.  The car sold new for $61,000.  Not to mention Royal Bank of Canada values the car at $55,000 which means you're not getting a loan for the full amount of the car.  Yes I went and talked to a bank about getting a loan.  What can I say, I'm weak.

I'd also have to sell my currently Mustang privately which could be an issue just to make the remaining money to pay for the car.  Although the loan officer talking to me said he might want to buy it. :P

In general it seems my previous post is correct.  I'm done with cars for this year.  Sigh...

Really seriously though.  I'm looking to buy a 2014 Mustang GT500.  I'm not just talking here so if you know of one in Ontario let me know.

Monday, October 19, 2015

2015: My Damn Disappointing Year in Auto Enthusiasm

The 2015 “car season” in Canada is just about over.  Unless there are a few miracle warm October days in the works I’d say the my summer car is staying in the garage.  Overall this has been a pretty fucked up year for my car enthusiasm on so many levels.  From car accidents, car damage and dissatisfaction or maybe we could call it  restlessness to keep what is currently in my stable.

It all started with the damn Dodge Hellcat.  I really wanted this car and was so high on getting one.  The Challenger is beautiful but let’s face it, the car is a heavy pig.  However with 707 hp it really doesn’t matter.  I ran into some problems with getting one however.  One was that I’m a “nowhere man."  I am not a resident of Canada and I don’t live in the States so as far as banks are concerned it’s a reject on either side of the border.  You need to reside in the place you get a loan from. The other is that the cars were limited production and you just couldn’t find a dealer that could order one.  And the final nail in the Hellcat coffin was that my girlfriend was against it.  She is not a car enthusiast and does not understand my horsepower addictions.  Which is the same issue most men encounter I assume.

If you look back on my past posts or you actually read this blog then you know I was also after a damn Pantera.  I found that to my girlfriend it makes more sense to “invest” in a car that will appreciate in price rather than depreciate.  Also to me it made sense to buy a car that I could continue to improve upon and keep forever rather than chasing after the newest hot car that hits the market.  I picked the Pantera because it is unique, isn’t coming out with any new cooler models, and it can be made to be super-fast.  When I started looking I found that the cars for sale seem to be in one of two categories which are restored, in great shape and very expensive or if you find an affordable one it is a complete and total piece of crap basket case.  Then there was also the question whether or not I could actually fit my 6’2” tall self in the car.  So the Pantera was out.  The good ones all seemed too good for my budget.

In May while driving my Hummer back from the States some damn trucker lost a rubber wheel block off his trailer.  It bounced up and smashed my windshield.  Even though the driver stopped and gave me his insurance info he later denied everything and his insurance (Lancer Insurance) refused to pay for any damages.  My insurance agreed to pursue the case however they said it could raise my rates and we’d have to pay our $500 deductible.  A quote to repair all the damage was over $2000 but we found a place that would replace just the windshield for $300 so we went with that and left the insurance out of the picture.

Of course the biggest event of the summer was getting into an accident with my damn Mustang which took it out of commission for months.  The final verdict was that the other guy was to blame so I didn’t have to pay any of the $8000+ bill.  Most of the damage was to the suspension as he struck the front passenger wheel and bent it. It of course also then dragged the front of his car down the side all the way to the bumper.  So a lot of panels and paint was needed to repair it.  I really thought the car would be called a loss by insurance because it’s only worth about $9000 but no, they fixed it.  When I got it back it tracked fine down the road and you really can’t tell anything happened at all.  They did a great job. But it really deflated my love for the car which wasn’t very high to begin with.  That 4.6L is just a crap engine compared to what is out there currently and 300hp is a joke.  I spoke to a local Mustang performance shop about my car.  Would it be worth adding power adds to or would it just blow up?  They suggested coming in and getting the cylinders tested to see if it could handle more power.  But even if it could the 4.6 is not recommended to be pushed over 450hp which is still a low number.  Imagine dumping a huge pile of money into an engine with tunes, supercharger, etc. and just getting a horsepower number barely above a stock current generation Mustang GT 5.0.  What a huge waste of money.

I saw the new 2016 Mustang GT350 as a beacon of possibilities.  It could solve so many issues.  I could get rid of my current car, it has 520+hp, and it’s going to be a classic so it’s in theory a car that would increase in value and be something I could keep for a long time.  However I am faced with the same issues I faced with the Hellcat which was getting a loan and finding a dealer.  However things seemed to be coming together though.  I found a SVT dealer about 45 minutes from me that has a few tickets left to order a Mustang GT350.  It wasn’t the GT350R but I think I could live with that.  Then suddenly I got my Canadian residency approved so I could get a loan.  Everything was looking good!  But then my girlfriend put the brakes on it all.  She does not understand why I need a new Mustang when mine runs fine.  I say, “Because I want a better track car.” She does not understand why I would want to go to the track and risk crashing my car and getting hurt.  Unfortunately saying, “Because it’s fun and exciting" is not a valid reason in her eyes.  So now I see I have a serious problem here for any automotive joy in my future.

And now just to rub it all in my face Ford is coming out with a Focus RS that has more horsepower than my Mustang GT. *sigh*

For me the clock is ticking.  My Mustang is worth at best $8000 trade in, it's worth less than my Hummer, and is worth even less every year I wait.  The clock is ticking on availability of the cars I want, they aren't just sitting out there waiting for me to be ready.  I found a dealer with GT350 orders available and all I can do is watch.  The clock is also ticking on me.  I'm not spring chicken at 46 and I've already been dead once.  How many years of fast driving do I really have left?

I’m overwhelmed with frustration over this entire year.  So I’m putting the damn Mustang away for the damn Canadian winter and going to try and forget the whole damn thing.  Dammit.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mustang Repairs

Had time this weekend to take a look at the work done on my Mustang since I got it back last week.  I found one sensor dangling that they forgot to connect.  Other than that it looks pretty good from what I can tell.  The engine bay was a dirty disaster but that is because it sat in a body shop for months.  Here are some pictures comparing the damage and the repaired pictures.

Overall I’m satisfied with the work done.  The issue I’m currently having is that the car is now damaged goods.  On the one hand the original car is altered but on the other hand I now have new parts and paint.  So I’m struggling with the question should I trade it in or not.  I spoke with a speed shop and they felt that due to the high miles I should have an engine compression test done to see if the car is worth investing in power additions.  Not sure if I’ll do that this year or wait till spring.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Few Pretty Interesting Cars For Sale

It's a really bad habit of mine.  Some people say I'm a masochist because I am constantly looking at cars for sale that I can't afford to buy.  Certainly I see many cars I'd like to have in my home garage but since my home garage consists of one stall my stable of cars is very limited.  Often this leads me to grinding my thoughts with should I replace the one in the garage with some other one?  Usually the answer ends up being no for one reason or another.  But sometimes I find things I'd like to share.  Such as the following cars.

1971 Plymouth Road Runner for $24,000

This is a real Road Runner but the 440 6-pack its sporting isn't original.  After a message to the owner asking what the original engine in the car was he replied, "383 4 barrel" just like that.  Not even a complete sentence or hi and anything.  Way to sell your car dude.  Owner aside the car appears pretty clean.  The color is a bit meh but with black interior you could paint it any color you'd like.  Plus a pistol grip 4 speed attached to a 440 6-pack!?  Damn!  Try to get a 440 6-pack for $24,000 anywhere.

1969 Dodge Super Bee Clone for $29,995

This one isn't a real Super Bee.  It started life as a Cornet.  There is nothing wrong with a Cornet so I don't know why the guy changed it to be a Super Bee clone.  Imagine people would say, "Awesome Super Bee man!" but it isn't.  Even if you don't admit it the car isn't a Super Bee.  It can't be registered as a Super Bee, it would say Dodge Cornet.  So weird to me.  That fact aside it's pretty awesome!  Again a 440 car.  This is a 4-barrel but still damn nice.  Functional Ram Air hood, pistol grip Tremec 5 speed!  So cool and Plum Crazy Purple too! Definitely a car I'd consider.

1967 Dodge Hemi Cornet for $45,000

All I can say about this car is DAMN! For the average guy $45,000 is a lot of money to spend on something built in the 60s but you are not going to find a Hemi car like this one for that money.  The guy says he's being more than fair with the price and I totally agree with him.  Nasty black on black car and that highly modified Hemi make this one of the coolest rides I've stumbled across in a long time.  I'm not going to list everything he's done to this thing because he's already done it in the ad.  He also has many video of it up on YouTube.  This is one mean machine.  The only bummer about it is once you own it there isn't much to do but polish it and pay speeding tickets.  I mean everything is already done.  

Scoop these deals up before I do!  :P

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Duster Duplicates

Every now and then I get the itch to get working on the resto of my 1970 Duster 340.  I of course can't because it's in the States and I'm in Canada.  Also I have no space at all to do a restoration.  But like most "car guys" I like to dream.

I was perusing Google images and I came across a pro street Duster that is pretty similar.  The main thing is the hood stripe.  I've never seen any other Duster  owner go with the same hood stripe as I had.  But it made me look twice.

Personally if and when I do my restore of the Duster I don't think I'll go for the weird stripe.  It was that way when I bought it and I never really liked it.  Looks unfinished how it just ends on the lip of the hood.

Mainly I'm just posting this to save the picture somewhere I can find it again but it's nice to share.  Below is my Duster for comparison and to see how it could be setup.  It's an old photo but the shade of yellow is the same.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Never Noticed This Before

Browsing through an online classic car sales site they had these two sitting together.  I never noticed how much a the 1969 Ford Torino and the 1969 Dodge Charger 500 looked alike.  I'm not going to link the videos but it's a company called Vanguard Motor Sales.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A REALLY cool Mazda RX3

This thing is just oozing style.  I don't even like Mazda or rotary engines but this one would make anyone jealous.

Monday, August 17, 2015

UPDATE: Hummer Windshield Fixed. INSANE!

So the Hummer's windshield is repaired.  No, not by Lancer Insurance representing the trucking company that smashed it. They refused to pay claiming the rubber wheel block that fell from their truck could have fallen from any truck.  Yeah and then their driver pulls over for no reason and gives me his insurance paperwork for no reason.  WTF??  How do they get away with this shit??!?  So anyway we had a choice to either go through my insurance or just pay for the damn thing.

The estimate from the local auto body was a wallet shattering $2292.62.... for a windshield!  Here is how they itemized it...

My deductible was $500 so there was no way I was going to pay $2000+ out of pocket and we certainly didn't want to risk an insurance hike.  My girlfriend however suggested going to small time mechanic that she used back when she had problems.  I agreed to give them a shot.  They claimed they could do it for $300.  What??  $2000+ VS $300???  How is that possible?  But I thought I'd give it a try.  Sure enough I got the Hummer back with a repaired windshield but it ended up costing $320 rather than the $300 they quoted. LOL  I gave them $340 with a small tip.

Driving back I was fairly shocked.  How could there be a difference of $1972??  What an insane price gouge!  I really don't know what to make of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Mustang is Out of Commission CRASH!!

UPDATE: It was ruled that the accident was the other guy's fault so I don't even have to pay my deductible!  At least something positive came from it.

So last Thursday August 6th at about 8PM I made a bad decision.  I was driving east on Davis Drive on my way to Best Buy.  So I was going to turn left on Yonge Street.  Before at the previous street light a white Kia Forte pulled ahead of me.  He was driving rather erratic like he was lost and braked hard when the light changed to yellow at Eagle St. making the tires squeal.  When the light was green I proceeded behind him as we approached the Yonge and Davis intersection.  We both entered the left turn lane and the light turned yellow.  I thought we could have totally gotten through the light but he again braked hard and stopped.  I told my girlfriend this guy seems lost.

The light eventually turned green for left only and he very slowly creeped out into the intersection.  He pulled further and further out without even turning.  I thought what is this guy doing?  He drove way out into the far lane and slightly turned right which I thought meant he decided to go straight so I proceeded to make my left turn.  What he did however was to make a big loop back towards the left lane on Yonge where he should have originally turned into.  Unfortunately my Mustang was there and he smashed into my right wheel and the front of his car dragged down the entirety of right side.  I pulled over made sure my girlfriend was okay and looked at the damage.

Here is the actual location with description
Then I walked over to his car.  Turns out it was a young kid about 19 with a carload of his friends in his parent's car.  I asked if everyone was alright and they said yes.  The entire front fascia was gone from his car and it was leaking fluids.  I asked him, “What was going on man?” He said, “I didn't know where to go.”  I said, “You moved like you were going straight so I went ahead and turned.” To which he replied, “Well my turning signal was on.”  I said, “You weren't turning,”  Again he said, “I didn't know where to go.”  Sigh…

Here is his damage

While we were sitting there waiting for the cops to come a real vulture tow guy came over.  He was trying hard to get me to agree to tow my car to his shop.  Damn, if someone had died the body wouldn't even been cold yet.  He was saying, "I'll tow you for free.  I know all the good part deals."  Blah blah blah.  Sure you'll tow me for free and then charge me for everyday it sits in your tow yard.  Buzz off.

Any way the cops were called and they looked over the situation.  They decided to issue no tickets saying we were both at fault.  He should have turned and I should have sat there and waited for him to figure himself out.  I guess seeing the results you can't argue with that logic.  After it was all sorted I super slowly hobbled my car home and parked it in the garage awaiting judgement.  The wheel was rubbing but it would move and we didn't live but a few blocks away.

As if this experience wasn't bad enough when I made the claim with my insurance company I got another surprise.  Apparently my agent didn't switch my policy over to full coverage May 1st like I asked her to.  So I was driving around under comprehensive insurance only.  What the hell??  At first they were not willing to cover the damage to my car but I sent them proof of my request to have it switched so now they agreed.  So Friday I go get an estimate and see if they will cover it or call the car a total loss.  Wish me luck.

As I mentioned the entire side was raked by his car and the impact bent my front right wheel to the degree it rubs the shock.  Here are some depressing pics of the damage.  I hope they don't total it out.  That was suck!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ford Releases the GT350 Configurators

As I've said in the past I'm not sold on the look of the new Mustang.  However there is something about the GT350 that works despite the design.  It looks more aggressive than the base GT and in fact is.  So if you want to go tweak your dreams Ford added the GT350 the the Mustang config tool.  I've added my favorite below.  What is yours?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Still Not Sold on the '15 Mustang Design

My girlfriend is Ukrainian and thinks it's so cool that Mustang people wave at each other.  When we see another Mustang she always points it out.  I cruised past a new 2015 Mustang GT on the freeway this week and she didn't even notice it.  I said, "That's a Mustang" and she she said really??  The design is so boring.  I tried to put my finger on why and I noticed it's because we've seen it before like in the Audi TT.  It is pretty strange when you see them sitting together.  The sloping roofline, the sinister headlights, the similar front air dam.

2015 Audi TT compared to the 2015 Mustang GT
If you stripped off all the emblems would a casual car person know the difference?  From some angles even a 2015 BMW and Mercedes sedan can look slightly similar in the fascia and body shape.

Certainly you can argue the differences between them all but the point I'm trying to make is the similarities are noticeable and on the road cause them to blend in with the rest of the traffic which is something I really hate to do.  At least the 2016 Mustang GT350 is a little more radical looking than the base GT which helps hide its "plainness" but I have to admit part of me was really happy to see my Mustang looks so.... distinctly Mustang.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shelby Is Making Daytonas Again....Kind Of

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its creation Shelby will be making some new Daytona cars. According to Road and Track,

"Shelby American will offer up brand-new Daytona Coupes in two varieties: Fiberglass-bodied models starting at $180,000, or aluminum examples starting at $350,000—all prices without drivetrain. "

What the hell?? Without drivetrains for that price??  Or instead go over to Superformance and buy one that actually drives down the road for less.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2017 Shelby GT350R Pricing says:

The recently-debuted 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R will having a starting MSRP of $69,995, per sources at Ford. That is nearly a $20,000 upgrade over the ‘base’ Shelby GT350, which will be priced “around the $50,000 mark” (our source tells us $52,995), and our bet is that the extra cost for the ‘R’ model will be well worth it.
The $70,000 mark is an important one, because it undercuts the track-bred Camaro Z/28, which has a starting MSRP of $75,000. The GT350 and GT350R were both developed with the Z/28 as thevictim target, and we think Ford has developed a worth adversary.
The ‘R’ package adds significant track-focused technology to the base GT350, including MagneRide Suspension and better tires, all while reducing weight. Thanks to Carbon Fiber Wheels and a Rear Seat Delete, the GT350R will tip the scales some 150 lbs lighter than the base GT350. We can’t wait to see some real world numbers, stay tuned.

So the R may be a bit out of my price range when its all said and done.  :(

Monday, July 6, 2015

Phantom EVO Revealed

For years a co-worker of mine has been saying he owned a kick ass EVO but it never made it's way to work.  After a year or so I started to give him static about it saying, "Oh yeah, and I own a Lambo.  It's just at home." But low and behold today the Evo emerged.

Turns out it is a pretty sweet 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.  Over the years he's told me about various mods such as turbo, cams, pistons, exhaust, intake, intercooler, but I don't recall the details.  Apparently the 2.0 is now a 2.3 which he claims last dyno'd at 450 - 470 hp and sounds like a V8.  He was in a meeting when I ran out to the parking lot and snapped these pics.  Maybe if there is some interest I'll get him to show me the details.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Depreciation Angle

If you've been following this blog at all then you know I've been seriously looking to replace my '07 Mustang.  I've been a bit "on the fence" whether to do it with a new Mustang GT350 or get something older.  Lately I've been very interested in getting a DeTomaso Pantera, particularly a 1971 or 72.

Older cars are usually a hard sell to a girlfriend or wife.  They see it as a money hole and something that will constantly be breaking down because it's old.  They are right to think that since that is in fact what usually happens.  What is hard to understand is that some of us find all that fun.  So this often makes it hard to get them on board with the idea of purchasing something older.  However I found an interesting angle.

New cars depreciate!  My $32,000 2007 Mustang GT is today worth about $10,000.  This SUCKS but it's a hard fact of owning cars.  That is unless you get something different.  Something like an older classic collectible car.  Hemmings Motor News often shows these numbers.  See where I'm going with this?  That's right, my girlfriend is completely willing to let a Pantera into our life because I showed her the numbers Panteras have appreciated over the years.  Money talks as they say so I let money do the talking for me.  Later in the day she even brought it up again saying, "It really makes sense to get a car that is going up in value." 

So now the trick is finding a Pantera that meets all my needs.  Maybe there isn't one and maybe I'm too big to even fit in a Pantera (I heard they are very small inside) but that just means I need to find a different classic that is increasing in value.  Or I may say screw it and just get the new Mustang GT350 but at least I now know an angle that makes sense to her and gives me more options into finding my perfect car. 

Pantera Appreciation According to Hemmings Motor News 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Car Obsession Reaching Critical Levels

My car obsession has started to reach a critical point again.  Back in 2005 it happened.  I had been without a performance car for years and following my near death health emergency I decided I needed a fun car now.  So I bought the newly restyled 2005 Mustang GT, then a couple years later I upgraded to a higher trim level 2007.  Since then my obsession has been relatively dormant.  I did some minor modifications to my Mustang but mostly have just been sitting back, enjoying it, doing a little autocross, and racking up the miles.  Newer Mustangs were relatively the same as mine and even with the addition of the 5.0 I felt slapping a supercharger on mine someday would keep me up to speed.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Then everything went to hell or to Hellcat I should say.  That damn Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat seemed to rekindled the auto world and my obsession.  It has 707 horsepower for Christ sake and under $60,000!  Suddenly it felt like general horsepower ratings in cars took a huge jump.  My 300 hp Mustang is now getting eclipsed by Camaros, next generation Mustangs, and even new model Honda Civics.  I am definitely feeling the crunch on the street too.  Casual stoplight challenges are getting tough and recently a Subaru Impreza STI not only beat me but toyed with me.  So embarrassing.  My obsession is starting to change into a panic of confusion over what to do.  What am I going to do to literally keep ahead of the competition??

At first I went with the obvious “knee jerk” reaction which was, “I’m going to buy a Hellcat.”  I called a dealer, I lined up spot for when they got the okay to order one and was ready to take the plunge. Then my girlfriend kind of slapped some sense into me and made me answer some real questions.  Could I really afford it?  Yes but I'd be back to a tight budget which kind of sucks the fun out of life.  Is a Challenger Hellcat really the car I'm looking for?  No it isn’t .  I want something that has power but controllable power.  The Hellcat has monster power that is all over the place and I don't think they have a way to control it.  It's a tire smoking machine.  Taking it to any track other than a drag strip would be a joke.  Driving it would all boil down to the driver’s ability to control his foot more than the car.  So I let it go and my obsession smoldered in the afterglow of almost having new horsepower.

Ford Mustang GT350R
Then Ford announced the Mustang GT350 and the GT350R.  I wasn't terribly crazy about the new styling but here was a Mustang build for the track so it has much better handling than my Mustang and a Hellcat.  I thought very nice but judging from the pricing direction Chevy took with the Camaro Z/28 the track focused GT350 should sell for around $75,000 which is way out of my price range.  But then they announced the price and it was $45,000-ish??!?!?  WOW! So amazing to get a track oriented car with 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque for that price.  My obsession rose and rose and I started getting a little crazy about getting one.  I called a dealer attempting to pin down a spot to order a GT350R before they sold out.  But then I remembered the words of my girlfriend and did a reality check.  Do I really want a car payment?  Well the payment wouldn't be as bad as the Hellcat and with my paid off Mustang for trade-in and $6000 down it should be around the payment I was making on my previous Mustang.  Next question.  Is this really the car I'm looking for?  What the hell am I looking for anyway?  So I started to think long and hard about it.

What I want in a car is really to be done looking for a car.  I want something that I can own forever and feel this is it, this is my car.  I want something I can endlessly tinker with and improve but is already a strong enough contender that I'm not going to be struggling at stoplights against the newest thing out of the showroom.  Something iconic and somewhat timeless that will always be looked upon with respect even by people with something faster.  Is the new 2016 Mustang GT350 that?  Yes I think it will be one of those cars, and with 520 hp naturally aspirated it has room of much more if I wish so yeah.  Is my current Mustang GT at that level?  No, not even remotely but could it be?  Could the real answer be to modify my existing car to the level of modern counterparts?  I really don't know because of the car’s age as well as money and workspace I have to do it in.  Or I should say lack of workspace.
My 2007 Mustang GT

So what would be the advantages of upgrading my Mustang?  Well for one it would be cheaper.  Certainly parts cost money but you aren't strapped into a loan to get one.  At worst case you pay a little interest on a credit card as you pay it off.  Also I really love the color and look of my Mustang.  Sure I see a zillion Mustangs daily but not too many are Grabber Orange.  The new 2016 has a weird metallic Triple Yellow and a Competition Orange but they just don’t have the same pop as my Mustang's orange color.  On the down side my 2007 Mustang GT is coming up to being 10 years old and it has about 102,000+ miles on it.  Some performance modifications don’t recommend adding them after 50,000 miles because of the chance it could damage an older tired engine.  But then some people say to hell with it, just add the parts and if it pops then it pops and you go buy a new engine.  Buy a new engine?? Suddenly the “cheaper route” isn't sounding so cheap.  They don't make my 4.6 L engine in a crate engine so that would mean converting it to the new 5.0 which American Muscle says requires a lot of hidden expenses. Also while praying the engine doesn't pop I would estimate to gradually get my Mustang close to the performance level I’m looking for is probably around $20,000.  So to dump all that money into a car and then the engine blows would be a huge loss.  Not to even mention the problem of having only a tiny one stall garage to work with.  I really don't have the space for a project so I'd have to possibly rent some space somewhere which would also cost monthly.

1972 DeTomaso Pantera GT5
A last and possibly more crazy option is to buy something older, iconic, and basically finished.  Buy a project that another guy is done with.  Stop chasing the newest thing and just stay with something that is incredible no matter how fast it is going.  My most recent obsessed example of this is to buy something like a DeTomaso Pantera.  They are an utterly gorgeous borderline supercar with a completely repairable Ford engine.  It's beautiful, it's fast, it's iconic, and it won't cost millions of dollars to keep running.  Best of all it's all I could ever want. It looks like a goddam Lamborghini which is more than I could ever dream of owning.  It can go to track days, car shows, cruises, and even if it gets beat in a race it will certainly be better looking than whatever it's racing against so even if you lose you win.  Even though it looks exotic it's really just an italian Ford so prices for these are still reasonable, costing about what I would pay for a Mustang GT350.  They are starting to get noticed by collectors however and won't stay low for very long.

So basically my goal is to lose the car obsession.  Well not lose it but more to focus it on a single car and stop looking for something better.  I want to lose that panicked feeling I have right now because I feel the auto world is advancing without me.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Concepts Are Sometimes Just Concepts

There has been some recent buzz regarding some 2016 muscle car additions.  Specifically the 2016 Ford Torino and the 2016 Chevy Chevelle.  Will these cars actually happen?

Frankly I don’t think there is a market out there that would allow these to be made.  Each of the Big 3 already has their player in the game.  Chevrolet has the Camaro, Ford has the Mustang, and Dodge has the Challenger.  Each has several models and options for whatever you want to spend.  So is the public really screaming for more muscle car options?  I don't feel they are.  With everything going “Eco” I don’t see the need for more V8 gas guzzlers.  But let’s say they aren't going V8, let’s assume they like the Mustang are going to have an Ecoboost option.  Do you think muscle car enthusiasts would want their new Chevelle to have a boosted 4 cylinder under the hood?  A turbo charged 4 cylinder really isn't what owning a muscle car is about.  I know I wouldn't want one.  If I wanted fuel economy I would not be looking at a muscle car.

In regards to the Torino I don't even remember the Torino have much of a muscle car presence back in the day.  I don't think most people even know the Torino existed.  I raced against a few back in my day but they really weren't much unless the owner put some work into that 351 Cleveland V8.  Realistically I just see these as some cool concepts that will never see the streets.  Kind of hope I'm wrong though.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 Shelby Mustang GT500 Super Snake

UPDATE: I've noticed this post gets a lot of views.  Obviously since this was posted we now know this didn't happen in 2015 and there is speculation that 2017 is the year the GT500 will return.  Possibly with an ecoboost engine.

I don't know how I feel about this.  Sure it's said to have 750+ horsepower but the looks are kind of blah.  Granted I don't really like the looks of this generation Mustang but it seems to be exactly the same with the exception of the hood.  Just looks like they could have done more to make it look mean.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hummer Windshield Smashed by Careless Trucker

UPDATE: RBS Trucking's insurance company Lancer Insurance sent me a letter saying the item that broke my windshield could have fallen off of any vehicle and there was no proof that it was theirs.  Ummm other than the driver pulling over and offering me cash to pay for the damages.  WTF?!?!  So in short they are refusing to pay.  

Return to Canada from Iowa I was driving through Illinois on interstate 80 east.  I was in the left lane in my Hummer H3 about to overtake a semi pulling a flatbed trailer.  Suddenly I see something that looks like a rubber wheel block slide off the trailer and hit the road.  It bounces up and smashes into my windshield just on the edge of the frame.  I immediately pulled over and the truck kept going.  I got out and looked at the damage.

The upper frame of the windshield is dented and the glass is pulverized into a powder with cracks running all over the glass from the impact location.  Two of my roof running lights no longer work and one is shattered.  The plastic light mounting support is also smashed and cracked.  I realized that if it would have been a few inches lower it would have gone through the windshield and into my face, probably killing me.

I got back in the car and headed down the road to see if I can at least get a license plate number.  About a mile down the road I see the truck pulled off on the side of the road.  I pulled in front of him and got out to talk to him.  I told him something fell off his truck and smashed my windshield and he said, “Oh, really?”  I said yeah come and look.  He went over and looked at it and said, “I don’t know, I just pulled onto the highway a few miles back.”  I said yeah and something wasn't secured.  Then he asked, “So how much do you think it would cost to replace your windshield?” I said I don’t have any idea.  He replied, “So what do you want to do?”  I said do you have insurance?  “Oh yeah” and he got the paperwork and I took a photo of it.  He denied anything happened but if not then why did he pull off the road and why did he offer me cash to pay for it?  He wouldn't give me his name or his driver’s license but as he drove off I took a picture of his plate. 

I had no choice but to return to Canada since I knew nobody in Illinois and had no phone service in the States.  So calling my or his insurance would have to wait.

According to the insurance paperwork for RBS Express Inc. trucking company their agent was a Robert W. Smith from First Midwest Insurance Consultants.  I called him multiple times the next day and he never answered the phone or returned my messages.  Sometimes people take the day off so I waited.  All the next day also nothing.  So we contacted our insurance, Allstate.

According to the guy we spoke to from Allstate this type of accident is considered comprehensive.  Sort of along the lines of an "act of God" or not relating as a result of an accident.  Like a stone getting thrown from a tire or an item in the road damaging your car.  To this I call bullshit.  It is totally the result of carelessness.  The truck driver drove off without securing his load and it resulted in damage of another person's property and he's lucky it wasn't injury or death.  They said they would have someone look at the claim. and they would get back to us.

Today we received word that our insurance would be willing to fight it but we would need to pay our $500 deductible on repairs. This really pisses me off that I have to pay for the bullshit some other guy created.  My guess it they contacted this First Midwest Insurance because all the sudden I get a call from them.  I'm not sure if I should return the call or not.  Regardless of who has to pay for it I need to get an estimate so I know what I'm dealing with.

On an interesting side note notice how the insurance paper the driver handed me has no policy number.  Wonder what that is all about.  Maybe the guy doesn't really have insurance.