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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dodge SRT Raising the Demon

Yes, I’m still writing the blog. I apologize for the much longer than intended Christmas hiatus. First there was the Christmas holiday, then there was catching up on work after Christmas (as a freelancer, I don’t get days off), followed by the cold from hell which downed me for a week. It’s still hanging on, but the last few days I’ve been feeling at least semi-human so I’ve made a start on my backlog of press releases. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Seems Dodge SRT is planning on unveiling a new member of its line-up at the New York International Auto Show (April 14-23, 2017). While of course they’re not sharing any advance details on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, they are tempting fans with a series of pre-reveal videos. You can check them out at where a new video is being released daily.

"Most cars attempt to be everything to everybody. Then there are the rare few that revel in a single objective, rendering them totally irresistible to a subculture," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is conceived, designed and engineered for a subculture of enthusiasts who know that a tenth is a car and a half second is your reputation."

So it’s to be drag racing, then?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Joy Ride

Merry Christmas to all my readers! Probably won't get another post up before the New Year, so here's wishing you many happy miles of driving.

Don’t think I’ve knowingly posted any fiction on here before, though some of the press releases I receive are rather dubious. So here’s a short story dealing with a couple of intrepid seniors and a classic car.

Eleven forty-five on a sunny autumn day. Nothing stirs in the parking lot of the Golden Oaks Seniors Residence. The halls of the residence are quiet too as most of the seniors are already in the dining room waiting for lunch to be served.

Everyone but Emily Woo and Walt Winterburn, standing behind one of the lounge windows, the curtains pulled shut, taking turns peering out. A powder blue ’51 MG TD Midget convertible turns into the driveway. Emily nods her head, white curls bouncing. “Here comes dutiful daughter Dorinda now.” She tugs a soft-brimmed hat over her curls, and pulls a pair of leather gloves from her purse.

The car sweeps past the clearly marked visitor parking and pulls up in front of the door of the Golden Oaks Seniors Residence. The middle-aged Asian woman behind the wheel turns off the ignition and exits the car.

“She left the keys in the ignition,” Walt reports.

“Told you,” says Emily. “Wants to get back to the office so she can work through her lunch hour. Like her father, that one, impatient and ambitious. You’d better go.”

Walt pulls a bomber jacket on over his checked shirt, and flips the end of his grey flannel scarf over his shoulder. He tucks a small bottle of champagne into the picnic basket sitting on the table behind them, hoists the basket and walks out as Emily continues to monitor Dorinda’s progress.

Reaching the door, Dorinda checks the time on her cell phone, shakes her head, purses her lips and pushes through into the hallway, stiletto heels clacking as she heads for the nursing station at the far end. She stalks past Walt without seeing him.

Walt pushes the door open and glances outside. There’s no one in the parking lot so he sprints straight for the car, placing the basket on the floor of the passenger side. He looks around again, whips a pair of aviator glasses out and puts them on, then eases carefully into the driver’s seat of the MG. He starts the car, then gets back out and goes around to get into the passenger seat.

Emily listens as the clacking heels go past the lounge and down the hall. There’s a shrill buzz as Dorinda slams the bell at the nursing station. As Emily exits the lounge and heads for the front door she hears one of the nurses ask Dorinda if they can help her.

“I certainly hope so. I had a call from a Doctor Winterburn saying my mother was causing some sort of commotion here.”

Emily smiles. You’d better believe it, she thinks as she opens the door. Walt waves to her from the car. She scurries towards it, her leather driving shoes making no noise on the pavement. She climbs over the door into the car, causing Walt to raise an eyebrow. Emily laughs and they high-five each other. Then she eases the car into gear.

The door of the Golden Oaks burst open, and Dorinda stands in the doorway, panting and shaking her fist. Emily toots the car horn, guns the engine, and she and Walter scorch their way across the parking lot to the main road and the open highway beyond.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Montreal’s Worst Roads

Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’m not sure whether our roads are worst in the spring, when the freeze and thaw cycle has made old potholes bigger and created new ones, or right now when the potholes are hidden by the snow and slush filling them. Either way, they’re bad. The Canadian Automobile Association does an annual survey of the worst roads in Canada, with the hope of giving those in charge a push to do something about them.

You can find a list of the worst roads in Quebec, listed by region, HERE. I’m pasting their list of the worst roads in Montreal below. Judging by the names, they’re ignoring those of us in the ‘burbs, but some of ours are pretty bad, too.

1              Boulevard Gouin Est
2              Rue Notre-Dame Est
3              Rue Sherbrooke Est
4              Avenue Papineau
5              Rue Saint-Zotique Est

How about it, guys? Do you agree, or do you regularly drive one that’s even worse?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

First World Car Problems

Photo -
Ever had one of those days when you’re already running late when you get behind the wheel, only to find out you’re nearly out of fuel, and will need to make a pit-stop on the way to work? What if your car could order gas for you, so you never ran out of fuel again?

That’s not something in the distant future, it’s happening right now in San Francisco. But there’s a catch. You have to own a Bentley. Bentley Motors has partnered with Filld, a gas delivery service, to make it possible. Participating Bentleys notify the service when they have less than a quarter tank, and the service then tracks down the car (it doesn’t have to be in its garage) and fills it.

Filld hopes to expand the automated fuel order to other manufacturers. In the meantime, drivers of lesser cars in California can use the Filld ap (Android and iOS) to have gas delivered to their car.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Goodwood Revival in Style

I woke up to our first snow of the year yesterday, so naturally I spent some time online looking at cruises and exotic vacations. And did I find a winner! Check out this offering from Road Scholar: London to NewYork: Classic Cars & the Goodwood Revival.

This 20 day vacation (September 3 to 22, 2017) starts in England, where you get to tour the Morgan Car Factory, Castle Donington at Silverstone, and the Jaguar Car Factory, followed by three days at the Goodwood Revival, a tour of the Brooklands Motor Museum, and more. Finally you sail to New York aboard the Queen Mary II, which should make the trip more appealing for those with non-car fan spouses.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Steven Tyler to Sell His Hennessey Venom GT Spyder for Charity

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Grammy
winner Steven Tyler to sell an extremely rare Hennessey
Venom GT Spyder to benefit Janie’s Fund at Barrett-Jackson’s
46th Annual Scottsdale Auction in January 2017
(Photo: Business Wire)
You can always count on Barrett-Jackson to have a seriously collectible vehicle at their auctions, and the 46th Annual Scottsdale Auction next January is no exception. Up for grabs, at no reserve, is rock star Steven Tyler’s Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, one of only 12 Venom GTs built to date and the first convertible Venom. The entire hammer price is going to Janie’s Fund, Tyler’s charity for abused girls.

Have to admit, my first reaction was “a Hennessey what?” and “is that related to the Dodge Viper?” which shows I’m not up on my supercars. The press release describes it as:

“the convertible version of the record-setting Venom GT that recorded a top speed of 270.49 mph at Kennedy Space Center in 2014. This specific vehicle belonging to Tyler is the first of the six Spyder convertibles produced. The 7.0-liter V8 engine produces 1,244 horsepower that muscles the 2,743-pound convertible from 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and 0-200 mph in 14.5 seconds. This car also has a custom JL Audio stereo system befitting a rock and roll superstar.”

So I checked out Hennessey’s page and found that it’s based on a heavily modified Lotus Exige chassis, and yes, it is street legal. They also have far better photos than the one that came with the press release.

If you’d like to bid on the car, or anything else on the auction, you can start the process at If you’d like to order your own Venom, or just want more details on it, check out the Hennessey Performance Engineering web page.

If you want to know more about Janie’s Fund, the charity named after the 1989 Aerosmith song “Janie’s Got a Gun,” check out the web page.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Another Formula Race for Montreal

Got a recent press release from the City of Montreal that they’ll be hosting a formula electric race next summer, and not just any race but the FIA Formula E Championship. The eprix Montréal Race is slated for July 29 and 30, 2017.

No real details yet, other than the course location, which I’m quoting directly from the press release:

“The urban race course will be set up around the installations at Société Radio-Canada, one of the event's collaborators. The race will start in an eastbound direction along boulevard René-Lévesque, between rue Panet and rue Plessis, will include 14 curves over 2.75 km, and at specific points along the course, drivers will reach top speeds of 265 km/h.”

Could be interesting and certainly a chance to get a look at some serious electric cars.

SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif