Monday, November 27, 2017

Okay Winter, Now I'm Ready

Things are certainly cooling off here in Canada.  So with that I reluctantly put away the Shelby this weekend which consists of jacking up the the car and putting jackstands under all four corners.  Every year I dread doing this because of my small one stall garage doesn’t allow much wiggle room, so I don’t feel very safe.  I can’t get to the right side of the car which makes the front passenger side a sketch procedure.  I have to get under the car to do it.  Scares the crap outa me.  But now it’s up and safe from the winter salt and bad drivers.

To also combat the winter issues my wonderful girlfriend bought me an early Xmas gift.  She ordered me some WeatherTech floor mats for the Focus RS.  They have a perfect fit and she even picked up the cargo mat for the back.  So now I have the electronic rust protection, the clear film on the nose, and some WeatherTech mats to keep the winter woes at bay.  So even though I’m driving the RS daily I think I’ve done as much as I can do to protect it.  Now if I can just keep the bad drivers away.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall / Winter Update

old pic without newly painted garage
I guess car season is sort of over.  Well at least for the Shelby.  I kinda put the GT500 away for the winter.  I still need to get it up on jack stands and put the trickle charger on.  Secretly I hoped we’d get another warm day but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. So it's pretty much in hibernation.  I switched the RS over to snow tires because in Ontario you never know when the snow is gonna start flying.

The Daily Drive video creation has slowed accordingly.  I might get in a autumn leaves drive in the RS and I’m definitely going to record any heavy snow days to see how well the RS performs in the snow.  There really hasn’t been much automotive news that has any interest for me so not much to talk about lately. 

My job has also been in “crunch mode” so a lot of late nights which doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else.  Only really fun thing has been that now that it’s been getting dark earlier I’ve been able to use my radar detector on my way home.  They are illegal in Ontario so you’ve got to be a little sneaky.  It's fun because in general the police don't expect people to have them so it's a HUGE advantage.

So things are slowing down here at American Motoring but will not stop.  The frost has started so look forward to the RS snow videos. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

I Left Wheelwell

Just wanted to explain why I left Wheelwell.  First off I'm not going to lie, I wanted it as a way to feed interest in my American Motoring blog, YouTube, etc and but when I post a new YouTube video or article and really didn't receive any traffic from there.  But I'm willing to accept that maybe there is no interest in my content from Wheelwell members.

The big reason I'm leaving is that I was once a member of the automotive site  They were trying to be a kind of YouTube for the automotive community and it worked pretty good for a time but it started to suffer from the same advertising plague that is creeping into Wheelwell.  At first there was a "shop" page, then ads start to show up on the borders of the site.  Next they started to allow advertising video which soon turned to non automotive ads.  Then the site eventually was overrun and it was difficult to find anything automotive on the site.

Wheelwell is going the same direction.  When it first started it was all about the members and their cars, then ads and shop page, then ads showing up in your "garage page" around your car which I'm sorry is total BS.  You make a cool car, post pics on their site, which draws views that makes them money.  But I was fine with all this until today.

Today I got a direct message from a Wheelwell "Creative Director" reminding me that there is a shop.  Then she asked what's on my "to buy" list of parts I have planned for my car.  That was enough.  Ads I can choose to click on or not.  Stores I can choose to buy from or not but don't send me direct messages.  That's like telemarketer calls. I can create my own garage page here on the blog and it will be ad free.

I understand Wheelwell needs to keep the lights on but when it's in your face all the time you just don't want to go there.

So I wish Wheelwell luck and I hope they don't end up going down the same path as Streetfire.  I'll do my own thing here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Here is a kind of silly video showing the interior lighting of the 2017 Focus RS at night.  Super short, but SUPER sexy.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Daily Drive Scraps Video

It was such a beautiful day I couldn't just throw away the footage so I tried to make it a little fun.  It's got some cops, some exotics, and some music. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Daily Drive Episode 4: Late for Work in the Focus RS

Finally posted a new episode of the Daily Drive.  In this one I'm late for work, dealing with crap cameras, talking about Drake road rage, game industry crunch mode, and the Dodge Demon.  All while I try to make up for lost time.  I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shelby Walk Around

Hey guys.  I realized that since I've been doing the Daily Drive videos I have never really showcased the cars I'm driving.  Mainly I've just been shooting inside the cars.  Since we had a sunny day here in Ontario I thought it would be a good time to start.

I decided to start with the Shelby since it's only got a few more months of road time before it goes to sleep for the winter.  So my girlfriend and I found a nice spot and did a short video.  I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Charlottesville Attack

American Motoring would like to extend our deepest sympathy towards the victims of the Charlottesville attack.  There is no place for this degree of hate, especially in America where we fought against a force waving the same flag in World War II.

Unless you're native American we are all immigrants to this country and regardless of who conquered who we here would truly wish that as Americans we could all be above such petty issues as race, gender, and religion.  Regardless of those differences the use of violence does not resolve them and only further closes the doors to understanding and debate.

Here at American Motoring we celebrate being an American and enjoying automotive creations from men and women of all races all over the world.  It deeply saddens us to see a vehicle used as a weapon for a Nazi white supremacist agenda.

To protest is an American right, to resort to violence over your views is an act of terrorism.

Thank you,

Chad Bordwell
American Motoring

Sunday, August 6, 2017

2002 Plymouth Prowler

You don't come across Prowlers much these days but a local used car dealership has one for sale.  It's super bright yellow and grabbed my attention enough that I pulled in to take some shots.

It looked pretty nice but the sticker seemed a bit high to me.  $39,995 CAD is about $31,650 US.  I guess the miles aren't too bad, or I mean kilometers. 37,456 km is about 23,274 miles.  Anyway enjoy these shots.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Shelby GT500: Do I REALLY need it?

Two years ago I bought the GT500 because I wanted to replace my 2007 Mustang GT.  At the time I had the Mustang for a fun car and a Hummer H3 as a daily.  But the Mustang with just a 300 hp 4.5L wasn't all that much fun anymore.  If you read my old posts you'd see I went through quite a struggle figuring out what I wanted and finding it in my price range before I settled on the GT500.  It's now been two years and since then I've replaced the H3 with a 2017 Focus RS as my daily.  So I now have a fun car and a fun car which has left me feeling a bit weird about owning the Shelby.  Do I really need it?  No, of course not.  I guess the real question would be do I really want it?

Just the fact that I'm questioning it really means I'm not having the fun I expected to have with the Shelby.  The car is a beast.  With 662hp under your foot whenever you want it there is no lack of power.  The issue I've been encountering is when do I want that much power?  Really not that often.  Driving around on public roads on days it doesn't rain I find myself putting slowly behind traffic.  The pedal is dying to be mashed to the floor to let that supercharger whine but there is just no place to do it.  Most of the time the Shelby sits in the garage and of course it spends all winter in there under a car cover.  Meanwhile I pay insurance and the nearly $1000 a month loan.

The Focus RS on the other hand is always ready for some spirited driving in any weather.  You can really push the car to it's limits without fear that the big horsepower is going to toss you in a ditch.  The insurance is cheaper and so are the payments.  I'm starting to feel maybe the Shelby needs to find a new home.  Maybe if the Shelby is gone I could modify the RS or look to fixing up my '70 Plymouth back home.

If I was to sell the Shelby I couldn't be too flexible on the amount because the sale price needs to pay off the loan against it but looking at the local Canadian Auto Trader I believe these are in the correct range.

So what do you think?  Should I sell it?  Interested?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Camera Mods and GT500 Sound Test

Modified my camera mics then took the 2014 GT500 out for a little thrashing & sound test to see if I made them any better.  Did cold start, revs, external cam mounts & internal. Then a short walk around at the end. I don't think I made the sound quality any better but it was still fun making the video anyway.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Episode 3 of the Daily Drive is Posted

Episode 3 of the Daily Drive is now live on YouTube. In this Episode I drive the Shelby GT500 home from work though the streets of Toronto Ontario.  I talk about Casey Nisestat's future plans with Beam, video games I've been playing with some sort footage, little talk about my car situation, and more. Plus I made a cool little intro showing some of Toronto.

Please check it out and give it a like if you'd like.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Weird Webcam Experience

While recording a new episode of The Daily Drive I had a strange experience with my SJCAM camera SJ5000.  I made a video explaining the situation but I can't figure it out.  Maybe you know?  Two independent cameras do the same thing together without being linked in any way.

Unfortunately there wasn't enough footage for a Daily Drive episode so I'll need to try again.  We'll see if the issue repeats.  I think we all know what caused it though....

Sunday, June 25, 2017

2016 Ford Stampede Photos Found!

Last year my girlfriend and I spend a day at the Ford Stampede car show shooting over 300 photos.  But we lost them or we thought.  The micro SD card was reading corrupted so we figured they were gone.  Oddly she bought a Macbook to edit photos on and it read the card!

It was a cloudy day which sucked a bit but the rain held off and we got some great shots.  We post the majority of car show photos over on American Motoring's Instagram page at but here's a few shots to maybe tempt you to follow us.

There was a huge turn out as you can see.

Of course I couldn't leave out a shot of my Shelby.  Didn't win anything but that really wasn't why I went and some people really liked the car.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

She Thinks I Ordered More Car Parts

A few days ago while I was at work I got a message from my girlfriend Julia telling me that I had received a box from Ford Performance.  I hadn't ordered anything so I was a little confused.  But Julia was more confused.  You see just a few day prior I have paid about $600 on window tinting and protective film for the nose of the RS.  So he was a little upset that I had obviously spent more money.  But I hadn't.

To prove to her I told her I wanted to do an unboxing video to see what's in the box.  I had a pretty good idea what it was but why not make it into a production.  Check out the video below.

So as I expected it turned out to be the RS Owner's kit from Ford.  Frankly I didn't expect to get this because I was under the assumption that the owners kit only went to first year model owners but I guess not.  As I explain in the video I find this all a little confusing.  I bought the RS as a daily driver.  The special car is my Shelby GT500 that lives in the garage but it never came with any Owner's Kit. Also the Ford is cancelling production of the Focus RS in 2018 so there will be only 3 years of RS in North America.  I'm starting to wonder if I'm pampering the wrong car.
Anyway the kit was pretty cool.  Came with a bunch of nice documentation including a glossy with my car's VIN.  It came with a Blu ray about what makes the RS special, and also a weird gearshift knob trophy plaque thing. I was a little disappointed with that.  I mean what the hell do you do with that?  I was hoping it was instead a die cast Focus RS.  Overall it was really nice to get it and also nice to show Julia that I didn't order more parts.  One argument won at least.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Thrustmaster Wheel for Only $800?!?!

One of the first articles I wrote on this blog back when it was called, "Unhealthy Obsession" was one about video game wheels.  I've got a very old Thrustmaster wheel at home but I'd love to get an updated one for more modern racers like the new Dirt 4.  So it was cool to see Thrustmaster's new offering. However $800?!?  Do you know what $800 could buy for my actual car??

 I'm not going to rewrite the article.  Instead you can read it.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The RS is Now Tinted and Protected

Today I dropped the Focus off at D-Works Tinting and Auto Detailing to have the clear protective film added to the front.  While I was there Mike fairly easily talked me into getting the windows tinted too.  I've been thinking of getting that done so I took the plunge with a fairly dark tint.  I said, "I want it dark but I don't want the cops harassing me about it."  The one he suggested was what he described as the most popular.  I think it looks pretty bad ass.

I really should have taken it to get the protective film added much sooner because there are already several spots that had chips.  Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done about it and the film kind of accentuates them.  But hopefully future ones will be harmlessly deflected away.

The Focus looks so tough with that dark tint I'd really like to get it done to the Shelby as well but I think this concludes my car additions for the summer.

Thanks to D-Works for the great job. Check out the link to see some other examples of their work.
 D-Works Auto Tint and Detailing

Blue Bubble RS Lettering

Bought some blue RS lettering from DMB Graphics in UK.  They are just a little dress up  for areas of the Focus that have the RS logo but it isn't colored.  I got the ones for the rear spoiler which was just gray embossed.  I think the dash of color looks pretty good and matches the blue of the brake calipers. The two in the engine compartment just tie it all together really well.  For about $32 including shipping I don't think that's too bad.

I created a quick little install video just for kicks.  Please check it out.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Episode 2 of the Daily Drive is Live

Just posted episode 2 of the Daily Drive.  This time I'm in Iowa driving the Ford Focus RS.  I talk briefly about Farcry 5, the Focus RS, and show you around my hometown.  I buzz the RS around a few local turns but nothing too crazy.

I feel the vlog is getting better but still has a long way to go.  Added a little music this time and made it shorter.  Still struggling with audio quality using the SJCAM 5000 cameras.  Apparently they have no external microphone port.  UGH!  So I've been bumping the sound in Premier but I need to get this problem sorted out.

Still I feel it's a nice, casual drive around the tiny town of Belle Plaine, IA. where I grew up.  Next episode of Daily Drive I'll be back in Canada on my actual drive to work in Toronto.

I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Posted The First Episode of The Daily Drive!

Hey everyone PLEASE check out my first episode of the Daily Drive.  It's a little rough around the edges but I really hope it's something you can find interesting.

In this episode I drive the Shelby, give an overview of my plans for the series, we talk about being an American living in Canada, and how I came to the decision to buy a Shelby GT500.  I do a few small pulls to hear the engine whine as well.

I'd really appreciate if you would check it out.  Feel free to give some feedback.  Give a like if you feel it's worthy.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Little Rant

I just wanted to rant a little about the internet’s perception or hypocrisy towards automotive videos.  I’m not going to talk about if it’s right or wrong because that is something you have already decided in your mind.  What I do want to talk about is simply how the internet responds differently to videos that are basically doing the same thing.

If you see a private person making a video of themselves doing a burnout, doing a hard pull through the gears, or challenging someone on the highway at night, the comments are always overflowing with people flaming.  They say, “Take it to a track”, “What a dumbass” “Don’t do that shit on the street”, etc etc.

However when you see Matt Farah, That Dude in Blue, or countless others blasting through public roads past people on bicycles, normal traffic, pedestrians, etc.  Watch any of the One Take videos, they are all  the same.  But nobody bats an eye, we’re all somehow fine with it because they have a YouTube channel.  I guess we consider them a professionals or something?  They aren’t, they are just like you and me.

What made me want to talk about this is watching Matt Farah’s One Take video posted today.  He is driving a car that he describes as too crazy for anyone that isn’t a professional driver.  He is rocketing past people on bicycles and at speeds that would easily land you in jail, at one point even running over a squirrel.  Not a closed course, these are public roads currently open to normal traffic, and everyone is just fine with this.

I’m not giving an opinion either way.  Speeding is a crime in the eyes of the law.  Street racing/reckless driving is a crime charged with the same amount of ferocity as drunk driving in many States.  When you purposely drive your car in this manner you know very well what you are doing just as a person stealing knows very well what they are doing.  You know you are doing something illegal.  So there is no need for commenters to spew their holier than thou BS under such videos.  Everyone involved knows what’s up.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Focus RS After 1500 Miles

The Ford Focus RS.  It’s the car on many people’s lips recently.  All over the internet there are reviews after reviews telling you it's the top “hyper hatch.”  Videos on YouTube show people astonished when they drive it, blown away by its power and amazing grip.  On the dark side it’s also a car that has been haunted by engine issues of leaking head gaskets and cracked blocks requiring complete engine replacements.  Word is this is a 2016 only problem and Ford has fixed it in 2017?  Is the Focus RS all that they say it is?  Well I bought one so here are my thoughts after owning it almost a month with about 1500 miles on the odometer.

I think to properly understand my views you first have to know where I’m coming from, automotively speaking.  I bought the Focus RS to replace my 2007 Hummer H3 daily driver which was awesome but was also costing me $520 a month in gas.  I could accept the gas cost as part of Hummer ownership but it started going down the road of having mechanical issues and after investing over $6000 in repairs and more on the way I decided that was enough.  I also own a 2014 Shelby GT500 which is a 662hp supercharged monster.  It’s my sunny day fun car. A few hard pulls in that will leave you shaking with excitement.

To replace the Hummer I wanted something sporty but AWD for winter.  Better mileage would be nice but not essential and realistically everything gets better mileage than a Hummer.  After lots of deliberation I decided to go with the 2017 Focus RS.  I decided the Golf R was too plain, the STI was too dated, and the Audi RS3 was out of my price range.  Here in Canada the most dealerships had a strict “no test drives” rule with Focus RS.  I would assume to prevent people stopping in for a joy ride.  So if you're interested in a purchase you just had to go for it and put the money down.  Kind of a smart move on Ford's part, it not only keeps people from beating their cars but a test drive could expose things you might not like.  This would have certainly been the case with me.  If I would have drove it I doubt I would have bought it.  Instead I totally trusted the YouTube vids and made my purchase.

I wanted the Stealth Gray color which took the dealer some time to locate but after about a week I went to pick it up.  They handed me the keys and I started it up expecting to be amazed.  Slowly I left the dealership lot and pulled onto the road and gave it some juice but nothing crazy.  As my girlfriend chattered away I felt a bit “meh.”  I would call it a peppy car but mind blowing it wasn’t.  In fact it was extremely civilized.  If there wasn’t a boost gauge I wouldn’t even know the turbo existed, no spooling sounds or blow off valves could be heard.  Driving home on the highway steering was very responsive and sharp.  The seats were uncomfortably tight for me but my petite girlfriend described them as comfy.  Since my she was in the car I didn’t try to do anything fun but I was a little disappointed.  I was thinking, “If I had test drove this, I wouldn’t have bought it.”

Later that weekend I was able to sneak away and go for a little drive alone.  I decided to blast down the curviest road in my area so I switched to sport mode and the car woke up a bit.  A 30 km corner I took at 80 km with no issues.  Every bend in the road the grip was there, even in the sandy roads of early April and still wearing winter tires.  This is what the car was made for, not acceleration but grip.  Seemingly endless grip.  I was beginning to lose my regret.

Later the next week as often happens in Canada we had a late snow storm dumping several inches of snow while I was at work.  The snow kept falling and I was pretty nervous at the thought of driving home.  This was the car I replaced my winter driver with.  Would it really be able to do the same job as the Hummer?  I was super cautious all the way home.  The roads were extremely slick and with the traffic of the commute I didn’t want to screw around.  But once I got away from the main roads I decided to see how it dealt with the road conditions so I took it down that curvy road.  The first thing I did was slammed on the brakes.  It stopped immediately.  The Hummer would slide forever due to its massive weight. That felt good.  Then in the corners I could feel the AWD system dealing with the snowy conditions encouraging me to go faster.  By the time I got home I was super happy with the car.  On snowy roads it was a superstar and gave excellent confidence.

Now after 1500 miles of daily driving back and forth to and from Toronto how does it hold up?  First of all the good things.  As expected the gas mileage is better than the H3.  I ended up getting an average of 21 or 22 mpg and that's a 50/50 mix of highway and city driving.  So that is good.  It’s peppy on the road which is great for a crowded city like Toronto when you need to rush to a hole in traffic.  The uncomfortable Recaro seats have broken in like a new pair of shoes which I can now describe as comfortable most of the time.  Many reviewers complain about the ride quality but I never found that to be an issue.  The Stealth Gray paint is doing exactly what I hoped it would do which is keeping the RS under the radar of the police and “boy racers” looking for a challenge.

What don’t I like?  Well the Sony stereo sucks.  I’m not a huge audio guy so I don’t require much, I mainly listen to metal so I just ask that it’s loud.  But the way this stereo is set up feels strange.  When I picked it up it felt like the audio balance was all towards the front of the car.  So I moved it back to center which dramatically lowered the volume.  I turned off that annoying auto volume system that raises and lowers the volume with the car speed and that seemed to lower the volume even more.  Fiddling with the settings in the driveway for quite some time I just can’t seem to get the stereo to be more of a rear speaker balance and also loud.  I also really don’t like the piped in engine noise through the speakers.  If you’re sitting in the car with the engine off there is a faint white noise hiss coming through them.  I’m planning on disabling the fake noise at some point.

Another thing I don’t like is the RPM ratio.  This could be because I’m use to my big 5.8L V8 in the Shelby but I expected that when I shifted into 6th gear the RPMs would drop down to like 1500.  But when I’m keeping with traffic on the highway at about 120 km (70ish mph) the RPMs are at like 2500 to 3000.  That feels way too high for me.  I keep feeling I need to shift again.  Same goes when turning right or left onto a new road.  Normally you’d shift into 2nd gear but with the RS it feels more like I need to be in 3rd.  Shifting into second brings the revs way too high.

Overall I expected the RS to be more visceral.  I want to hear the turbo spool, I want to hear the blow off valve.  The pops and cracks from the exhaust are nice but since I know they are faked they don’t mean much to me.  My Shelby does pops too but it’s because it’s a bad ass car not faked.  Watching the people testing them online I was expecting to be amazed by the experience of driving it.  The grip is amazing without question, but I still find the acceleration to be kind of boring.  That being said it is great for the exact thing I bought it for, which is a daily commuter car.  Perhaps if I didn’t own the Shelby I would be more thrilled with the experience, however I am still thrilled to have the Focus RS as my daily.

Everything said and done it’s a fun all season commuter car.  I’m not blown away by it but also not upset I bought it.  The Focus RS is perfect for the position I wanted it to fill.  Combined with the Shelby I'd say I'm pretty spoiled.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The SRT Demon Will Send You To Hell

Well Dodge finally did it.  As if the Hellcat wasn’t crazy enough they revealed the Dodge SRT Demon.  A Dodge Challenger with an 840hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi putting out 770 pounds-feet of torque.   They are desperately trying to market this as a big time first, like it’s never been done ever.  Well technically that’s not true.  Ford makes the Cobra Jet Mustang and Chevrolet makes the COPO Camaro.  Both are serious drag strip ready cars you can buy from the dealer and  they will smoke the SRT Demon.  The biggest difference here is that Ford and Chevy aren’t stupid enough to release those cars as street legal vehicles.  Dodge is bragging how the NHRA banned the SRT Demon from competition but frankly I’m shocked that the NHRA has shown more concern than Dodge in the safety of drivers.

The Cobra Jet & COPO are strictly for track use only and that’s a wise decision.  A car that does the quarter mile in 9 seconds (Dodge claims 9.65 sec with the Demon) is not something the average Joe has any idea how to drive.  Generally 9 second cars are built by people that obsess over cars and are experienced behind the wheel.  Frankly I find it really negligent that Dodge is willing to put these in the hands of anyone that can write the check.  Also how will these ever get insured?  There is a rumor that Hagerty Insurance has partnered with Dodge to offer insurance for customers because they expect other companies to decline coverage.

I drive a 2014 Shelby Cobra with 662hp and it is a handful on the street.  Car mechanics that have driven it have said, “My god that thing is insane. How do you drive that?” It is nothing compared to the SRT Demon.  Dodge is flashing the Demon around like a monkey with a gun.

Below is the Demon video but also videos of the Cobra Jet and Copo from last year.  Which seems meaner to you?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 Ford Focus RS 24hr Feedback

Yesterday I picked up my Stealth Gray Focus RS from Barrie Ford in Barrie Ontario.  Like most dealerships they don't allow test drives so I bought the car from what I saw in reviews.  Therefore the first drive I had was taking the car home after I bought it.  This was not really a situation I was comfortable with.  I bought the car to be an all season daily driver, my commuter car.  But also I wanted it to be fun.

Driving the car out of the dealership and onto the road I was just getting to know the clutch which sort of engaged at a weird position but that wasn't a big deal.  Very quickly we turned onto the highway and I gave it some gas.  I must say I was pretty disappointed in the power.  I expected a huge kick in the pants and it really wasn't there.  Certainly it had some power but I wanted to hear and feel the turbo and if there wasn't a boost gauge I don't think I would even know it had a turbo.  Playing with it on the highway I really didn't get the big grin from the car I was hoping for.

To be fair I don't know that I can properly report on the power.  My other car is the 662 hp Shelby GT500.  I recently took that car out of winter storage to gas it up and put air in the tires and the power is still shocking to me.  After you get out you are shaking for several minutes and have to calm down. It's not fair to compare the RS to the GT500 but it's hard for me not to.  So I drove home and didn't really play with the car much other than setting up the stereo and nav settings.  I was a little bummed out.

The next day my girlfriend had to go to a party leaving me home for most of the day.  It was cold, cloudy, and wet but I decided to take the RS out and get to know it more.  So I found a few curvy roads and gave it some real juice.  This is where the car really shined.  Even with damp, sandy, wet roads the RS would take the corners as fast as you had the balls to take them.  Definitely at speeds I wouldn't dream of taking the GT500 into a corner.  I was having a blast!  And that was on winter tires.

It could be a coincidence but after switching to sport mode and driving around my area enjoying the pops from the exhaust I saw a cop.  Then after about a half hour I saw two cops together cruising the area.  I started wondering if the noise was generating police calls so I switched back to normal.

Monday I will start my commuting with the car which is sure to add to my opinions of the car.  As of right now I don't have any regrets and look forward to getting more acquainted with the RS.  The power may have been a disappointment but that's not really what this car is truly about.  At it's heart I think it wants to be a rally/track car which for me is an excitingly new kind of fun that I want to play with.

But you know that since I went ahead and purchased my RS that means next generation is going to be the more powerful RS500.  It just always happens like this.  Perhaps next weekend I'll write another review after my week of commuting.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I Purchased a 2017 Focus RS......I think.

Last week I decided to trade in my '07 Hummer H3 for something a little better as a daily driver.  The less practical genes in me made the decision to get a Focus RS.  So I went down to a local dealer to see what they'd give me for the H3.

I wanted to get $8000 for the Hummer but due to an exhaust leak it had at the manifold they said they could only give me $5000.  I agreed however and said I wanted wanted the RS in Stealth Gray, they only had access to the blue.  I'm a little past the "boy racer" age so I passed and decided to look at other dealerships.

Calling a dealership in Barrie they said they could definitely get me gray.  I went to see them and they also determined the same trade price for the Hummer, oh well.  They also didn't have a Stealth Gray on the lot however they said they can get it and we signed the papers.

Now trying to be a clever person I had kept my insurance policy in the States when I moved to Canada.  At the time not only was this a cheaper rate but Allstate US and Allstate Canada don't talk to each other so when I would get speeding tickets in Canada my US insurance would never hear about it.  It was perfect.  They even allowed me to put my Shelby on the policy which was a Canadian car registered in Ontario.  I'm not exactly sure how they did that but I was cool with it.  But all good things must come to an end and when I asked to add the Focus to the policy as well it seems I "shook the monkey tree." They started asking why I was getting the car, how long was I going to be staying in Canada, where was my US residence in the States?  The jig was up and they dumped me.  So I needed to find insurance in Canada.  Fortunately my girlfriend's insurance had added me as a secondary driver so it wasn't hard to get my own policy but poking into my record of tickets getting a good rate could be a challenge.  Currently they are still investigating and haven't come to a decision.  If I can't get proof of insurance I can't pickup the RS.

In the meantime the dealer kind of sold me a car that didn't exist.  I don't think they did it in purpose but while they were selling the me Stealth Gray RS the dealer that actually had it was also selling it.  So the bill of sale was written up on a car that was sold to someone else.  Not they need to find me another gray RS if they can.

So right now I'm waiting to hear if I have insurance and also if I even have a car.  Maybe I should have gone with the VW Golf R like I had originally thought.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The H3 Might Be Going Bye Bye

Back in 2013 I bought my '07 Hummer H3 after my girlfriend suggested that I move in with her.  She live further north and at that time my only car was an '07 Mustang GT.  Moving meant a longer commute in heavier snow.  There was no way I was doing that in a Mustang.  I saw the H3 for sale while I was getting some service done, it looked big and bad ass.  I thought, "There's the solution. A big Hummer would get me through any snow Ontario has to dish out, and I can park my Mustang in the winter. So I bought it.  I had big dreams with the H3.  I was gonna start off-roading, we were gonna camp more, go biking.  It was all justified.

Now it's 2017 and I did none of those things.  All I did do was drive it to work and twice a year to the States.  It certainly lived up the my first assumption that it would do well in the snow.  It hardly acknowledges any weather exists at all.  It effortlessly climbs through any snowstorm or flooding I encountered.  But I never did the cool off-roading or backwoods camping or anything.  I just ground away on those expensive tires commuting.

As it aged it of course started having issues, mainly electronic.  One day you start it up and there would be an message about some failure, then the next time you start it up it was gone.  I dumped an additional $4000 on maintenance and various emission sensor replacements.  Then last week I was driving to work and I got a message saying, "STABILITY SYSTEM FAILURE." What the heck is that?  I looked online and it said it's a blanket warning that covers many different things.  Okay that's enough.  With an exhaust leak that I was told could cost anywhere from $300 to $3000, new electronic problems, and big $2000 tires that need replaced I think it might be time to take a serious look at how much this vehicle was costing me.

I grabbed a pen, paper and calculator and was pretty shocked to discover that just in gas the Hummer was costing me $520 CAD a month!  Just in gas!  That's approximately $67 each time I fill and I was filling twice a week.  Pile on insurance and other expenses I was just $200 short of a Ford Focus RS payment.

Imagine a Ford Focus RS as a daily driver rather than an H3.  I figure it would at least cut the gas in half.  Most of my commute is highway and while the Focus isn't spectacular at fuel economy the H3 is awful.  Okay maybe I'm just trying to justify buying a Focus RS but it is better gas mileage than my Hummer H3.  It is AWD for snow, and it does come with a set if winter rims and tires along with summer rims and tires.

I've already talked to one Ford dealer that could get me the deal I wanted but only had a Nitro Blue care available and I'd rather have the Stealth Gray.  Today I spoke with a different dealer that says he can get me a Stealth Gray Focus RS.  If he can give me what I want for my Hummer I could be driving a Focus RS around as a daily driver.

The Hummer was awesome for what it was and I'm probably going to miss it but the expense and the fact that I never used it how it was meant to be used make me feel this is for the best.  I'm a speed guy, my brother is the offroad guy.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Another Shelby Summer

Spring is coming and so my Shelby can be released from its winter cocoon.  This leads my thoughts to the question of how much to I plan on driving it this summer.  This is something many people don’t care about, they drive and drive without any concern for miles.  I am not one of these people.  I didn’t really buy the car as a money investment but I also don’t want to quickly devalue a low miles car. 

This dilemma starts with asking will the car hold its value?  I bought the car from a company that specializes in “special” cars.  They of course think every car is amazing and full of value at least until they sell it.  But I had the unique opportunity to have gotten along really well with the guy that put together my loan and he happened to have changed jobs and gone to a different dealership.  So when he messaged me that he had moved I said, “Hey, now that you’re not at the place I bought my Shelby you can be honest.  Was it a stupid investment?”  He replied, “No, the Shelby’s are a pretty safe bet.  Out of anything that you could purchase they hold their value best.”

This was great to hear but I believe it also matters how it compares to the other hot Shelby’s out there.  My 2014 was the last year of the big 5.8L Trinity engine with a supercharged 662 hp.  This is great but everyone is waiting with baited breath for the next GT500 which has been guess to have 755 hp.  This would certainly have an impact on the value of my car just like the ’13 and ’14 had an impact on the previous year GT500s.

If I ask for the opinion of people on most of the Mustang forums they all say, “Dude, just drive it.”  But I don’t know.  I feel more like a caretaker of the car rather than an owner and don't really want to drive it into the ground.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Welcome to YouTube

American Motoring just started a YouTube channel.  So please feel free to follow us.  We'd appreciate it.  To start off the channel we posted a quick video or our 2014 GT500 Shelby Cobra starting up and backing out of a garage.  It's short but we hope you enjoy the sound of 662 hp.  American Motoring YouTube

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hell's Bells: Dodge Has Been Trying to Conjure It's Demon for Awhile

With all this talk lately about the Dodge Demon / Challenger thing does anyone remember this concept from not so long ago?  Seems Dodge really wants something to get named Demon at some point.  This 2007 concept is miles away from what they are currently boasting.

From Wikipedia

The Dodge Demon was a concept made by DaimlerChrysler, designed to slot in under the Viper as a more affordable sports car from Dodge. The Demon was first shown at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show, and is was considered for production. It was conceived to compete with cars like the Pontiac SolsticeSaturn Sky, and Mazda Miata. Unlike many other concept cars, the materials and construction design of the Demon were such that production would be feasible.

Technical specifications
  • Power: 172 hp (128 kW) SAE @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 165 lb·ft (224 N·m) @ 4400 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Overall Length: 156.5 (3974)
  • Overall Width (max. @ body): 68.3 (1736)
  • Overall Height: 51.8 (1315)
  • Wheelbase: 95.6 (2429)
  • Overhang, Front: 30.6 (777)
  • Overhang, Rear: 30.3 (769)
  • Curb Weight (estimated): 2600 lb (1179 kg)
  • Tire Size, Front/Rear: 58.7 (1491)
  • Wheel Size: 19 x 8 in
  • Outer Diameter: 25.2 (640)

Friday, February 10, 2017

My Patient Plymouth

Many of you may not know I have a project car.  Well it’s a car that needs work which I don’t have time or space to start.  It’s my first car that I bought when I was 18.  It got me through many street races in high school, I lived in it for two weeks until a girl took pity on me, and it carried me into adulthood.  It’s my 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 4-barrel with a 3-speed on the floor.  Bright yellow with black racing stripes, everyone of course called it the bumble bee.

In about 1991 I parked the car in a nice cement floored building on my mother’s farm with the intention to restore it.  It had started burning some oil and needed an engine overhaul at the very least.  I got as far as pulling the engine and disassembling it.  During the process I found the issue which was a broken piston ring.  I had the engine bored and cleaned up but then I stopped.

One day I thought, “This car is going to cost a lot to restore.  Maybe instead of spending money on that I really should get out of my stupid factory job and go to college.”  So that’s what I did.  I started saving up for college, quit the factory and graduated with honors.  After college I moved to Los Angeles,  8 years later to Wisconsin, then 8 years after that I moved to Toronto Canada.  All the while my Duster waited.

Most places in the Toronto area seem to have one stall garages and Canadians don’t even seem to use their garages for cars very much.  My landlord here curiously asked me once why I put my car in the garage like it was a bizarre thing.  Certainly there are houses with two stall garages in Toronto but not at all as common as they are in the States.  So having space for a project car is not something I have the luxury of. But I really should get some momentum happening with the Duster.

For a time I felt I had a clever solution.  This was to rent a space like a garage or a barn or an old gas station as a workspace for my project.  Just some space nobody was using. It would give me a space to work and also get me away from the house for a little escape, perfect right?  However I quickly found that places renting these kind of spaces assume you’re going to start a business of some sort and charge rent accordingly.  In most cases the cost was higher than my living space.  So my next brilliant idea was that I would find a bunch of likeminded people and together we would rent one of these spaces for our projects.  But finding like minded people really became looking for like minded strangers, and strangers that would have access to my tools and parts.  Suddenly that didn’t sound like such a good idea.  So my beloved Duster remains in storage patiently waiting for me to get my act together.

During its wait I’ve dreamed of going many different directions with the build.  Of course there is the stock restore option but frankly a Duster isn’t the premier muscle car and mine wasn’t an original 340 car, it was a 318 from the factory so there really wasn’t much value in that.  For a long time I wanted to make it a vintage autocross car to join in those retro Trans Am races which is still in my head.  It would certainly be a challenging build to get a Duster to handle corners.  I’ve always loved the ’67 through ’69 Barracuda and my 340 would live happily in one of those.  I’ve also even thought a couple times of just selling it but I don’t know, the idea kind of hurts my soul.  One thing has always bugged me about the car though and it’s the lines.  I always felt to me it should be a fastback.  So I started playing with Photoshop and I think it works!  I’m not certain how I would handle the rear window but I think it could be good.  What do you think?

Anyway none of this is going to happen if I never find a workspace for it.  Do any of you have similar dilemmas?  Did you find a solution to space issues?  They say a real car guy can work in the driveway in any weather but “I’m getting’ too old for that”