Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Low Ball GT500 Offer

The Shelby is all put away for the winter but this summer I took it to Barrie Ford here in Ontario for service.  It was no big deal, just a oil change but since then I would periodically get a message from the dealer asking if I'd be interested in selling it.  I know this is just a tactic to spark an interest in trading in your car for something new but after three of these emails I was curious what they would offer.

So I replied to the last email they sent asking what the offer would be.  They said, "Well it depends on your VIN and miles but the number would start with a 5 or a 3."

A 5 or a 3??  So $50,000 or $30,000??  Are they nuts?  You can't find them here in Canada for anything near that price.  I searched and searched to find the one I have and that was listed at $68,000.

So my curiosity is now satisfied. Yikes!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Chic Flick for Your Stick Shift

A Few nights ago the girlfriend and I flipped on Netflix and I heard those dreaded words, "Can we watch a romantic comedy? Please?"  So with a sigh I agreed and she started flipping through them, each one seemly just as torturous as the next.  I went and grabbed some scotch assuming I was gonna need it.

Flip, flip, flip, WAIT! Go back.  I saw something that looked interesting.  At least there was a cool car in the thumbnail.  "Hit & Run, A Comedy That Never Takes it's Foot Off the Gas."  Honey maybe this I asked?  She read the description, "Determined to get his fiancee to L.A. to take advantage of an amazing opportunity, Charlie breaks out of the witness protection program to drive her." The genres was exciting romantic.  We were in.  The movie stars Dax Shepard and his real wife Kristen Bell.  For those that don't know Dax is a huge gear head and he wrote the damn thing so fingers crossed.

I have to admit it was pretty damn fun.  Without spoiling anything Dax drives a number of cars while running from his ex-con associates (Bradley Cooper) and a police agent (Tom Arnold). and thank god most of the movie is show on wheels.  The star vehicle is a heavily modified 1967 Lincoln which he claims is cranking out 700 hp.  I don't know but it sounds good.  There are lots of smoky doughnut and maybe the movie helps your partner understand you a tiny bit more.  She loved the movie and hell I'd even watch it again.

Overall terrible chic flick night was covertly diverted.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Cobra's Do Hibernate

This week Ontario already started spreading salt on the roads so that means it's time for the Cobra to go to sleep for the winter.  Today it was in the low 60s so it was possibly the last day to do outdoor activities without freezing your ass off.  As well as taking down the backyard gazebo and hammock I took the opportunity to put the Cobra into hibernation.

I wanted to get the tires off the ground so they don't get flat spots over the following months.  My garage is tiny as hell so jacking up the car high enough to get jack stands under it was some sketchy shit.  Eventually I got all four tires off the ground and the car is solid without crushing myself.

Next I hooked up a trickle charger.  Normally with my previous cars I would just disconnect the battery for the winter but then you have a whole procedure you need to go through to reset the idle in the summer and I'd rather not do that with the Cobra.  So instead I chose what I hope to be a reliable charger from Canadian tire.  Supposedly you connect it and sort of forget it.  It's supposed to be intelligent enough to know when to battery needs topped off and when it doesn't so it only does what it needed.  The idea of that makes me nervous though.  I don't really want to leave it unattended for weeks in the garage.  So I got it all ready but I'm not going to plug it in for a week or two.  Maybe I'll even just let it run for a bit instead of connecting the charger and only use it when I return to the States for the holidays.

Lastly I put the cover on.  I've never had one before but it came with the car so I might as well use it.  I'm not sure if it's weather proof or not but it's in the garage so I'm sure it will be fine.  Over all it kind of sucks to have to put it away but when everyone is sliding around and cars are caked with salt in the following months I'll be glad it's safe and covered in the garage.  Usually it'll stay there until late April depending on the weather.

Now my attention turns to the Hummer.  It's been acting really damn strange lately and I have some serious concerns regarding it getting me through the winter.  Unlike my Mustang GT I can't really get out the Cobra and drive it of the Hummer was to break down.  So I really need the Hummer to be there for me.  I was thinking of taking it into the shop Monday to see if they can diagnose the issue.  Fingers crossed it won't cost me yet another $2000.  I've already dumped $4000 into it this summer getting it ready for winter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The New 2018?? GT500

The word on the street is that the 2017 or 2018 or whatever year GT500 is going to rival the Dodge Challenger Hellcat's horsepower numbers. (Link Here) So that means 700+ horsepower.

Let me start by being totally honest.  Since I own a 2014 GT500 which was the last year for the GT500, I really don't want there to ever be a new one.  Nor do I wish any future Fords to exceed the 662 factory horsepower numbers my car makes.  It just bugs the hell out of me when you buy something special and then there is a new something special the next year.  If you don't believe me just ask the 2012 GT500 owners.  They bought a brand new monster just to have it quickly be overshadowed by an even bigger monster in 2013.  It infuriates me.

So that all being said I will say I understand why Ford is making it...sort of.  When Dodge finally decided to join the big boys and make a road beast they were the "talk of the town."  Everyone was going on and on about the Hellcats.  Hellcat was all you heard in auto media and even I got caught up in it. I was calling Dodge dealers trying to get one before I realized I didn't need it.  So or course Ford wants to bring back its brute GT500 to get some of that media hype and show they can make another blunt instrument to be feared.  I get it....

However as an owner of a GT500 I can honestly say the last thing it needs is more horsepower.  It needs better brakes, better tires, better suspension, better horsepower it doesn't need.  But people feel the new platform will bring these things that the old GT500 lacked.  Everyone wants to see what the new Mustang chassis with the limited slip diff will do with 700+ horsepower.  The dream would be a car that handles like a GT350 but with the boosted grunt of the GT500.  The rumors are that it will use the same engine block as the GT350 Voodoo but with boost, so there shouldn't be a huge weight gain.  This then begs the question, "Why not just boost a GT350?"  In other words keep it a GT350 but boost it.  I don't know.  Previous GT500s used different engine than the GTs but I guess because it's the "biggest" it gets the GT500 name, but then it's using the same engine only boosted....  Blah, blah, blah.

I personally don't see the need for a new GT500.  Talking from experience there are few times you can actually have fun with all that power.  In a big city like Toronto, traffic is constantly in the way.  But you say, "The power is for the track stupid, not the street." Okay smart guy then why does someone buy a GT350R? "Well because it's an awesome track car."  Then why would you buy a GT500?  You see, it's kind of an endless question and the answer is a new GT500 is not really needed other than because they want to do it.  Perhaps you can argue it's for the drag strip but in reality they exist to make cars and coffee crash videos.

So no I don't want to see a new GT500.  I'm sure it's just because I don't want another factory GT500 on the road boasting more horsepower.  My car was kind of legendary for being the last big horsepower car from Shelby before Carroll Shelby passed away and the last of the GT500s.  I would love to keep it that way.  Of course what will happen will happen and eventually I'm going to have to go back to my old problem of do I add more power to my car or get rid of it.  With electric cars moving into the spotlight of what's considered fast perhaps all these petrol brutes will soon be the joke at a stoplight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Dodge Power Wagon

Through the years Dodge has called some of its trucks Power Wagons.  Kind of a weird name if you think about it.  However for me personally I find these things gorgeous.  Every time I see a restored Power Wagon I drool and it seems the older they are they more I like them.  I've gathered a few shots of some of my favorites.

Dodge has attempted to create a few Power Wagon concepts over the years and slapped the Power Wagon name on a few Dodge Rams but it's never really taken off so far.

So what's sparked my sudden interest in offroad?  Well it's getting colder and my attention has turned to my Hummer.  Also Throttlextreme just posted a nice article on a Power Wagon resto.  You can check that out here... There was even a company that made a 6x6 restomod that they allowed Jay Leno to drive.  Pretty cool and worth a look.

My Drive To Work Has Become More Colorful Lately

Driving to work with the old Hummer.  This road is always pretty but it's gotten ridiculously beautiful.  The video really doesn't do it justice.

Monday, October 17, 2016

H3 LS Conversion Would Be Nice

The weather is getting colder so the GT500 has been spending more and more time in the garage.  Soon it will be put away for the winter and I'll be back to driving the Hummer full time.

So far this summer I have dropped about $4000 into the Hummer.  I had to get all new rotors and pads.  It has had a seal leak fixed.  It has had the thermostat replaced and numerous emissions issues fixed.  It also got it's GM recall taken care of so it won't go up in flames.

Things remaining are an exhaust leak that it has had since I got it.  Also there is an annoying tinny rattle that happens every time I let up on the gas.  It sounds like a loose heat shield but damn if I can find it.  It's also getting to be time for a new set up tires but I don't think any of this is happening this year.  I think $4000 is enough expense for this year.

I like my H3, I think it looks pretty badass but since I've been driving it more often I find that 3.7L 5-cylinder is a crap engine.  It claims to make 242 hp which doesn't sound bad but I can hardly keep up with traffic.  Also the 3.7 is pretty notorious for having head issues which the previous owner of my H3 already had replaced once.  The LS is a pretty bullet proof engine I hear.  I wonder if anyone has attempted an H3 LS conversion?  Then you get reliability and more power.

A quick Google search got me this video.  This guy went with an LS3 and a "hot" cam which is a bit more than what I was thinking.  I don't care about 0-60 times in a Hummer, I just want a bit more power so I can pull onto the highway without stressing.  No idea what this conversion costs but just the LS3 crate engine is about $8000 US.  So I'm not really sure there is a value there.  Once it's all in and all the modifications are made would it really be worth it??

Like I said I really like my H3, not just because I feel it looks tough but they don't make them anymore and I always love to own something that is no longer coming out with a bigger and better next generation.  I'm on the fence if this would really be worth doing in the future.  My 3.7L is super high miles so maybe this winter it will make the choice for me and die.  I sure hope not, I'd rather it be voluntary.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Small Spaces

Over this winter I'd certainly like to come up with a plan to make this small space useful for tinkering on vehicles.  I'm certain there must be some magic way to make the most of it.  Id you have any suggestions please let me know.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

2020 Ford Bronco Rumors

There has been a lot of hype over the Ford Bronco concepts that have been floating around.  I have to admit seeing them does make me consider trading in the old Hummer.  The word now is that it is officially coming back according to AutoBlog (Link).  There hasn't been any word on what the power plant will be or even what it for sure looks like.  Here are some of the recent renders floating around.  Obviously they are just color swaps of the same render but I like the dark one personally.  Something about a white Bronco just doesn't sit well with me.  Can't put my finger on the reason why.  LOL

The rumors of the Bronco's return isn't a new thing.  A few years ago there was another concept of what the Bronco could be.  Back in 2004 Ford was flashing this concept around and personally I'm pretty happy it never hit production.

So why all the fuss?  Really it's just a less practical SUV with just two doors and less seating.  Well the reason is because people remember the original and see immaculately restored examples like the one below and realize it's just cool.  For me I really like my H3, it's rugged. capable, and unique so I'll be holding on to it for quite some time.  But DAMN! Doesn't the restored one below just make all the concepts look like crap?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Check This Out

Of course I'm a little bias but today YouTube suggested a Hellcat VS GT500 video to me so I thought I would pass it along.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Toronto/Ontario Sucks...lately

Yesterday I got up to go to work and the traffic was insane because the police had completely blocked the 400 south to Toronto.  Why did they do this?  Bad accident? Construction? Nope apparently at 4AM a woman's body was found along the road.  Not to seem cold hearted but why the hell does this require the entire 4 lane highway to be closed??  There is no reason that a body they picked up at 4AM requires the road to be closed at 8AM when I was leaving for work.  This made all the side roads absolutely jammed with people trying to get south.  After an hour of trying I said, "fuck it", turned around, and took a vacation day.

In Ontario it is very common for the police and highway patrol to close an entire road for stupid little things.  So instead of directing traffic around the incident like they do in the States the police shut down the entire road and sit on their asses in their car.  How you get around the closure is your problem.

Speaking of shit that is my problem I got to work today and found the road that goes to my assigned parking spot was under construction.  My mood was not good so I moved their pylons out of my way and backed into my spot.  Some construction worker started yelling at me and I said, "This is my assigned parking spot. Sorry" and I locked the chain in front of it.  He said, "Well I sure hope you plan on parking here next week because you won't be able to." What a fucking asshole.

So yeah, I come into work and there is an email saying. "Starting October 3rd (not today) I won't be able to park in my spot for two weeks due to sewer work." So where am I supposed to park in this crap area of town?  I have no goddamn clue.

This could mean no more driving the Shelby to work for the rest of this year.  The weather gets cold here pretty quickly.  I'm certainly not parking the Shelby on the street so that means I'm driving the Hummer.  By the time this construction gets resolved to could easily be too cold to drive it.

Needless to say my frustration level is through the roof today.

Traffic News from that Thursday morning.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

900HP Twin Turbo Mercedes SLS AMG

I'm not a fan of Matt Farah and not a fan of Mercedes but this twin turbo SLS is one bad ass machine.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Incredible '68 Dodge Coronet

Today I discovered this cool modern conversion of a 1968 Dodge Coronet.  It was created by Steven Jarudd of Sweden.  Its got the interior, engine, and electronics from an '07 Charger SRT8 and I think he did a really great job.  More pics can be found on Steve's Facebook page.

I even found a video but excuse the crap choice of music.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

662 HP Can Be Tricky

Yesterday I was playing with my Shelby at a stoplight and did a hard pull.  I got grip, shifted to second, got grip and then at about 70mph I lost grip and the tails started to come around.  It didn't become a crazy disaster because I lifted and it straightened right out, but this seems to be the common reason why GT500s end up tangled in the trees.  You really aren't expecting to lose grip once the tires have traction after the shift.  Just like the guy in the video below.  I didn't get as squirrely as this guy because I lifted but I can certainly see how things could get out of hand quickly.

I have a pretty solid respect for this car so I'm usually ready for anything when I'm giving it the beans but still it was pretty unnerving.  The Drive Channel listed the 2013 and 14 Shelby GT500 among the top 10 cars out there that is trying to kill you.  Perhaps more serious tires are in order.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dodge's Latest Mess

Contrary to popular belief I am not a Mustang fan.  Of course I like them enough to buy them but they are not the car I’m always after.  In fact I absolutely hated them in high school.  The big reason I’ve owned so many is that they are fast out of the box and there are endless aftermarket possibilities.  A Mustang can be easily built to be whatever you want it to be.

Before I bought my first Mustang I was primarily a “Mopar of No Car” kind of guy.  I loved Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars.  To me they always seemed like the underdog that Ford and Chevy people wrongfully underestimated.  Once a guy pulled up next to me in my Duster 340 bragging that his Nova had a 350.  In his mind the bigger number mean he would stomp me and he was sadly mistaken.

So then why am I not driving around in a new Challenger or Charger instead of a Shelby?  Because Dodge treats its heritage like garbage.  To charge a few more bucks Dodge with slap R/T on everything from a minivan to a SUV.  It used to be an exclusive badge for performance vehicles meaning road and track, but now it means nothing.  Then Dodge created SRT as their exclusive performance car but of course we started seeing that show up on Ram pickups and even Jeeps.  Now we have Hellcat which has migrated over to Charger and the word is it will be on a Ram soon.  Dodge does not know how to keep something exclusive or special anymore.

So in the tradition of Dodge whoring out their heritage they announced the Challenger T/A package.  For those who don’t know way back in 1970 when things were good Dodge created a T/A variation of their Challenger to be raced in Trans Am races which is where the T/A comes from.  These were high winding small block 340s with what was called a 6-pack which was 3 two-barrel carbs. They were light and had upgraded suspension and brakes.  Today they are fairly rare and expensive cars.

Now with Ford creating the new track oriented GT350 Mustang and Chevy creating the track oriented Z/28 Camaro did Dodge follow suit and resurrect the Challenger T/A to be a track attack machine like in the old days??  Nope.  It’s a stupid sticker package along with intake and exhaust options that don’t change the horsepower numbers at all.  Oh, well surely keeping with tradition they have something special under the hood like a supercharged 5.7-liter or maybe even a turbo V6??  Nope, instead it’s got the standard 375hp 5.7 or the 485hp 6.4 same as all the other Challengers packages.  With the Challenger T/A they had the chance to stay relevant with Ford and Chevy and create their own track attack car to chase after the competition with.  Just like the special small block 340 6-pack engine of the '70s they could have used a turbo V6 or at the very least boosted the smaller 5.7 V8.  But that would take effort, research, engineering and testing to create.  Stickers and badges on the other hand are easy to apply and cost way less.

So this is why I no longer fly the Mopar flag, Dodge just doesn’t try anymore.  They aren’t the scrappy underdog anymore, they are just behind and not in a cool way.  Hell, they took the Charger which was an amazing iconic car and turned it into a 4-banger hatchback and then into a 4 door sedan.  I’m just glad that Plymouth is dead so we don’t see some modern Cuda abomination out there on the streets.

Pics and info courtesy of Car & Driver

Friday, August 19, 2016

Firebird Spotted

Yesterday there was a pretty nice looking 1967 Firebird 350 sitting out in front of my house.  The body looked solid but when he started it up it sounded like it could use some TLC.  Still grabbed a few shots to share.  Looks good in silver.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bad Parking

Bad parking makes me almost as crazy lack of parking.  Unfortunately my place of work has both problems. Downtown Toronto like most downtown areas does not value having ample parking but I fail to understand how a company can continue to hire hundreds of people and not have a thought regarding where they are going to put them all.

Certainly many take the subway, bike, or walk to work but with so many people not everyone can live within easy commuter distances.  I for instance live about 40 minutes away by car so walking is not an option.  It used to be that getting to work by 10 got you a spot, then it was you had to be there by 9:30, and now you really need to be at work by 9 if you expect to get a parking spot near the building.

So I understand that the later it gets the more desperate people get to find anywhere to put their car.  But some places just aren't parking spots.  As you see in the pic this area is meant to allow people to drive down the row and do a turn down the next row.   But with people parking in that space it's impossible and people are forced to backup all the way to the row's entrance.  One BMW asshat in particular parks there regardless, even if legitimate spots exist.

I used to have my own parking spot but I lost it when more senior people decided they'd rather drive than take the subway.  On days I drive my Cobra I refuse to park it on the street.  I arrive at 9, if there is parking then great.  If there isn't then I go home and call in sick.  So far I haven't had to do this.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dave Wood Pre-owned Centre In Newmarket

There is a used car dealership near me that certainly has an interesting stock of cars.  When I first moved to the area it seemed like any normal used car dealer but recently they appear to have started focusing on performance and specialty vehicles.  I walked past there today and took a few shots.

Just out in the lot today there was a 2010 and 2012 GT500 Shelby Cobras.  A 2015 Mustang GT, a Camaro convertible, a Charger R/T, and an old 1961 GMC truck with a 454 big block in it.

Then inside the showroom there was a Challenger Hellcat, a GT350, and a Camaro with it says a Limited edition Panther package that produces 600 hp from it's supercharger.  Never seen on of those before.  Unfortunately the dealership was closed for a civic holiday do I had to take shots through the showroom window.


I'm not sure why they are focusing on such a performance driven stock in a town like Newmarket but it's certainly fun to see these cars come and go.  I certainly didn't know about a Camaro Panther package before this.

As a side note I've heard this dealership isn't very good.  However my only experience with them was when my girlfriend's car broke down and she coasted into their lot a couple years ago.  She is an attractive blonde and was on the last straw with her troublesome car.  If there was ever a time to sell a person a car that was the time.  However the Dave Wood salesmen just stood in the showroom looking at her through the window.  She called CAA and they towed it away. They never came out or even attempted to approach her.