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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Buy Your Own Austin Museum

SOURCE Campen Auktioner
A Danish museum devoted to Austin cars is currently at auction online (auction ends November 8). The museum contains 47 Austin vehicles plus memorabilia, and is to be sold as one lot. For a look at the collection and more information on the auction, check out the YouTube video below. I don’t know if it will still be up after the auction, but auction house Campen Auktioner’s YouTube channel has other videos of interest as well.

SOURCE Campen Auktioner

Decarie Motors Celebrates 70th Anniversary with New Showroom for Bentley and Aston Martin Vehicles

New state-of-the-art Bentley and Aston Martin Montreal
Showroom (CNW Group/Decarie Motors)

Good news for lovers of British luxury cars in Eastern Canada. Decarie Motors, at 8225 Decarie Boulevard, Montreal, will be opening their new showroom, a 46,000 square foot expansion, this week. The press reveal with VIP guests will be November 2 (tomorrow night), and will show off the Bentley Bentayga SUV and the new Aston Martin DB11.

New state-of-the-art Bentley and Aston Martin
 Montreal Showroom (CNW Group/Decarie Motors)
No, I won’t be there—writing this blog hardly qualifies me as press—but the press release did have photos which I’m happy to share.

SOURCE Decarie Motors

Monday, October 31, 2016

2016 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Next Sunday

That’s one automobile event I’d love to see. The web site calls it “The World’s Longest Running Motoring Event.” First run in 1896 (120 years ago) to celebrate the passing of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which upped the speed limit for “light locomotives” from 4 mph to 14, and dropped the requirement that they be preceded by a man carrying a red flag, it’s been run off and on ever since, though pretty much annually since 1927.

But it’s not just the age of the event that appeals to me, it’s the fact that only cars built before 1905 are allowed to participate. This year, they’re expecting 426 veteran cars for the 7 am Hyde Park start on the 60 mile run. Among them will be 14 steam powered vehicles and two electric ones.

There’s apparently a movie about the run, called Genevieve, and the 1904 Darracqu from that film will be one of this year’s participants. For more information on the movie, check out WIKIPEDIA. I think I need to track down a copy of that to watch.

This year, the Run is also celebrating 130 years of the automobile. In 1886 Karl Benz first revealed his Patent-Motorwagen. Fourteen German-made cars will be participating in the run. Two, an 1898 Benz Phaeton, and an 1989 Benz Victoria, have been entered by the Allgemeiner Schnauferl Club (a car club), founded in 1900. Two more, a 1902 Mercedes Simplex, and a 1901 Benz Spider, have been entered by the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

All photos are courtesy Bonhams Veteran Car Run

Friday, October 21, 2016

Here’s Where It All Started

1964 Mini Cooper
That’s me in the foreground. That’s my dad’s 1964 Mini Cooper behind. Beside that is another Mini owned by friends of my parents. I don’t consciously remember this car, but I suspect that’s where my love affair with cars, and particularly British cars, began.

1964 Mini Cooper
Here’s a couple more photos of the Mini. The first is on a ferry headed for northern Germany (we were living in Germany at the time). I’m assuming my parents went to England to pick the car up but it must have been the European model because the steering wheel is on the left.

1964 Mini Cooper
The second photo shows it freshly washed. Gotta admit, it is cute. So was the Mini wagon we had later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Behind the Wheel of an Austin-Healey 3000 Mk III Phase 2

Ever wondered what it would be like to take the wheel of a classic Austin-Healey? Check out this 360° test drive by Marc Vorgers—you have to pause the video to change the viewpoint. You can find other test drives of both classic and modern sports cars on his YouTube channel.

Friday, September 9, 2016

1928 Classic Bugatti Plus a Rant

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
As I said in my last post, when we were in Quebec City last fall, my sister and I spotted a classic Bugatti in the courtyard of the Chateau Frontenac. I’m assuming from the license plate that’s it a 1928. I’ve looked online to try and identify the model, but I’m no expert. It’s not like I’ve seen that many Bugattis. The closest match seems to be a 43 or 43A Grand Sport, unless it’s a Tecla 35A with the wheels changed. You can find photos and specs on many classic Bugattis on the Bugatti Trust website.

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
We discussed it with the Morgan owner on the tour bus with us. He said it was possible it was a tribute car, but he did know someone associated with the Morgan tour who had a Bugatti. I don’t think it was a clone, not only because of where it was parked (in the courtyard, in a space clearly marked “reserved parking”) but the fact that its parking spot had been roped off, as if it was something special.

A pretty clear indication of “hands off,” you might think. Apparently not, because in the short time we were there, several women hopped over the rope and posed beside the car so their friends could take photos. Some of them even touched it. Grrr. I’m seeing this more and more often at car shows, spectators roaming around and posing with their hand on the door handle or the mirror, etc. Do they not know any better (it’s easy to scratch paint with a button or belt buckle, and the oil on our hands ruins the polishing job) or do they just not care? Grrr.

1928 Bugatti
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Unfortunately, my best photo has three of these culprits in it, so I’ve cropped and fuzzed to protect the guilty.

Sweet car, though.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Morgans over America

Morgan at Chateau Frontenac, Quebec
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Last September, my sister and I were in Quebec City doing the tourist thing. While walking around, over the course of the day, I spotted several Morgans. Possibly the same car more than once, but given there was a green one, a red one, and a blue one, at least three. Obviously that was unusual, as I’ve only ever seen a Morgan outside of a car show once before and that was at a wedding. Something was definitely going on.

So when we were on the double-decker bus for a tour the next day and the man who sat in front of us was wearing a baseball cap with the logo “Morgans Over America,” we asked him what it was about. Turns out it was a road tour (Morgans Over America VI) by a group of Morgan owners, and we just happened to be there the two days they were in Quebec City.

Oddly enough, there’s not much information on this online, though I did find a BLOG by the organizers of the tour—lots of photos, though several days of the tour aren’t covered. According to the official announcement back in November 2011, the trip would take 38 days and pass through 14 states and 5 provinces. Twenty Morgans and their owners from the US, Canada, UK, Sweden, France, New Zealand and Australia ended up participating. The tour started in Savannah, Georgia, on September 10, 2015, and continued for 5000 miles through 16 other locations, including several in eastern Canada, before winding up in Norfolk, Virginia, on October 18. An average day’s travel was said to be 100-200 miles, so there was lots of time for sightseeing and meeting up with other car clubs. Sounds like my idea of a road trip!

You’d think someone who owns a Morgan would be pretty blasé about classic cars, but you should have seen the look on his face when we told him we’d spotted a classic Bugatti in the hotel parking lot where they were staying. If he hadn’t been waiting for someone else to join him on the bus, I think he would have jumped off and gone to take a look.

The Morgan Sports Car Club of Canada website looks like a good resource for British car events in Canada, not just Morgans.

September 2016 Montreal Area Classic Car Shows and Events

I was busy writing up a post on some cars I saw on an earlier vacation when I suddenly realized it was September and I needed to get this month's car shows posted. Yes, I'm in denial--where did the summer go? So the page is up for this year, but I haven't yet tidied it up and made the links live. Later today.

Lots of stuff on this weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Baie D’Urfe Car Show a British Treat

1932 Hubmobile
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I did manage to get to the Baie D’Urfe car show this past weekend, and I’m glad I did. While it’s not a huge show—I’d say there were just over 100 vehicles—there were quite a few I hadn’t seen before. If you like British cars, then it’s definitely a good show because probably 35-40% of the cars there, if not more, were British. Most of those were pre-1970.

1990 Caterham Seven
Photo by Kate Tompkins
There was plenty of parking for spectators, and food vendors and live entertainment on site. And the cars! Everything from a 1932 Hupmobile to a 1990 Caterham Seven, with lots of variety in between, including a 1967 Vanden Plas Princess 4 litre R, which I’ve never seen before. Hope to have more photos up sometime in the next couple of weeks, once the office cools down (we're having a heat wave).
1967 Vanden Plas Princess
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Friday, August 5, 2016

Car Shows This Weekend

I'll have the list of August car shows up later today (I'm still working on it, as there are several sites to check), but here's what I know is happening this weekend. Thinking about going to the Baie-D'Urfe show myself, as I haven't been out to that one before.

August 6-7 (retro music Friday evening, August 5)
7e Week-End des Anciennes de Rimouski (pre-1990)
10 am
$10 registration
Place des Vétérans, Rimouski, Quebec
Contact Johnny Thériault at 418-732-0139 or J-C Leclerc at 418-750-0414

August 6
Parker Auto Care Open House
10 am to 3 pm
891 Belleview Ave., Ottawa
Contact David Parker at 613-722-0896 or

August 7
6th Annual Baie-D’Urfe Vintage Car and Truck Show (25 years or older, non-modified)
9:30 am to 4 pm
$10 per vehicle (goes to charity)
Fritz Farm, Baie-D'Urfe
Contact 514-745-6278

August 7
Exposition de Voitures Anciennes à Rawdon VAML (pre-1990)
9 am
Admission free for VAML members
Collège Champagneur Rawdon, Rawdon, Quebec
Contact Jacques Chouinard at 450-759-6793 or 450-758-0869, or Jean-Yves Picard at 450-589-7517

August 7
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu - Nostalgie sur roues (25 years or older)
9 am
$5 for spectators, $10 for vehicles (VAQ members free)
Parc Gerry-Boulet, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
Contact 514-990-9111

August 7
Volksfest "The People's Car Show"
9 am to 4 pm
$5 registration
Blais Park and Arena, Embrun, Ontario
Contact Shawn Rutters at 613-868-7891 or

August 7
Hot Rod Rally
11 am to 3 pm
PartSource, 1508 Merivale Road, Nepean, Ontario
Contact Holly Maude at 613-572-0017 or

August 12-14

Auto-Show Gatineau

Friday, July 29, 2016

1920 Maxwell Movie

Bert Van Tuyle, the hero of Something New
Two posts ago, I mentioned a 1920 movie written to promote the Maxwell car. It’s a silent black and white film called Something New, written by and starring Nell Shipman. You can find it in several places online, including HERE. Don’t worry about the pixelation in the first couple of minutes, it doesn’t last.

Scepticism from L.M. Wells
I watched it last night and found it quite entertaining. Talk about off-roading! You would not believe the places they drove that car—splashing through creeks, plowing through sagebrush, rolling over boulders, through dry washes, and even over cactus.

I won’t give away the plot other than to say it involves a kidnapping by bandits, and no available horses to ride to the rescue. The heroine is no shrinking violet either, and yes, she does get to drive the car.

You can find out more about Canadian actress, writer, director and producer (yes, in the 1920s) Nell Shipman HERE and HERE. They don’t discuss Something New, however. For that, you can check out THIS review. The reviewer, J.B. Kaufman, confirms my impression that no camera trickery was involved. Apparently only a single car was used, though they did use parts from a back-up car. I can’t help wondering how many sets of tires they went through, however.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 12 – 1927 Cadillac Tow Truck

1927 Cadillac 314 tow truck conversion
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’d thought a Cadillac converted into a tow truck was unusual, but it turns out I was wrong. According to THIS article on Hemmings Daily, detailing the invention of the tow truck, the very first tow truck was a converted 1913 Cadillac. And if you google “Cadillac Tow Truck” you’ll find photos of other conversions, both old and modern.

1927 Cadillac 314 tow truck conversion
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The car at Bob’s is a 1927 Cadillac 314 A (named for its engine displacement), and was originally a four-door sedan. It’s hard to say what it might have looked like originally as, according to several web sites I looked at, Cadillac offered at the time “Fifty body styles and types – Five hundred color and upholstery combinations.”

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 11 – 1914 Maxwell Model 25

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
According to Wikipedia, the Maxwell Motor Company (originally Maxwell-Briscoe Company) owned the largest automobile plant in the world in 1907. The Model 25 seen here was a response to other low-priced cars on the market, such as the Ford Model N and the Oldsmobile Runabout, and had a base price of $695. By 1914 Maxwell had sold 60,000 cars, but ran into financial problems shortly thereafter. Walter P. Chrysler took a controlling interest and the company’s assets were eventually folded into Chrysler Corporation, with the 1925 Maxwell (a descendant of the Model 25) being retooled into a 1926 Chrysler and, in 1928, the first Plymouth.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The most famous Maxwell owner was comedian Jack Benny, who drove various Maxwells over the course of his career as part of his stingy persona. Naturally, the cars were portrayed as on the verge of collapse, with sound effects sometimes provided by Mel Blanc.

According to the plaque at Bob’s, this 1914 Maxwell, currently under restoration, is a 3-speed 4-cylinder, with acetylene headlights, kerosene running lamps, and a crank start. It does not have a battery. The price when new was $899. The plaque also claims this is one of only six 1914 Maxwells still in existence.

A more detailed history of the Maxwell company, including their racing history and various endurance trials, can be found HERE.

You can find a 1920 movie written to promote the Maxwell car HERE. I haven’t yet watched it (it’s an hour long), but I’ve downloaded it for later viewing—it apparently involves a trip to Mexico, bandits, and, I believe, a car chase.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Other posts in this series:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 10 – 1926 Harley-Davidson

1926 Harley-Davidson Model B
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Yet another piece of Bob’s collection. According to its plaque, this 1926 Harley-Davidson Model B has a 350cc single cylinder engine, and could do 60 mph, with 80 mpg (presumably not simultaneously). While not the very rare 1926 “peashooter” Model S, which was built specifically for racing, the plaque says this particular Model B was also used for racing.

Bonhams say that the 1926 model year was the first year Harley-Davidson produced racing bikes with the 350cc engine to take advantage of a new racing class. The exhaust on the Model S made a popping sound, giving it the “peashooter” nickname, which spread to the road models as well.

Information seems scarce on these motorcycles—as scarce as the bikes themselves. You can read here about a collector who managed to find both the chassis and engine of the 9th Model S.

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canada Day Car Shows

I'm working on the car show page for July, but in case I don't finish it today, here's a list of the car shows I know about for Canada Day.

July 1 (cancelled in the event of rain)
Canada Day Parade
Cars 20 years old or more, lightly modified okay, need to register ahead
10 am for placement in parade of cars at 11, followed by a car show at Manoir St-Bruno
Downtown, St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec
Contact 450-441-9427

July 1
Golden Gears Car Club Canada Day Car Show
9 am to 3 pm
Seaway Locks, Iroquois, Ontario
Contact Henry Swank at

July 1
Canadian Forces Support Unit Ottawa Canada Day Car Show
4 to 6 pm
(former) CFB Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario. Enter via Breadner Blvd.
Contact PSP Recreation at 613-998-8216 or

July 1
Almonte Canada Day Car Show
10 am to 3 pm
Almonte, Ontario

Contact Jeff Shoots at 613-222-3778

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 9: 1921 Ford

1921 Model T Ford Open Express
Photo by Kate Tompkins
While many of the Model T Ford Open Express vehicles had bodies built by the Field Body Corporation of Owosso, Michigan, (more info in Field HERE), this 1921 restored model doesn’t look like one of theirs. Field bodies were a baked enamel green, and had iron bindings where this one has wood. Of course, vehicles were considerably more customizeable back then (a Model T could be turned into a car, a truck, a tractor, even a snowmobile), and it wasn’t uncommon to buy the rolling chassis from the manufacturer and have someone else do the coachwork.
1921 Model T Ford Open Express
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Other posts in this series:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Car Shows This Weekend

I'm still working on the June page of car shows in the Montreal area, but here's what you need to know for this weekend.

June 2-5
BUSFUSION - a Volkswagen Camper Camping Event
Almonte Fairgrounds, Almonte, Ontario
Contact Frank Condelli at

June 3-4
Rendez-vous British Québec (all British made cars and motorcycles)
Friday evening at Rue St-Jean
Saturday at Domaine Maizerets, 2000 Montmorency Boulevard, Quebec City

June 3-5
13th Shelburne Museum Classic Auto Festival (1991 and earlier)
9 am
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont
Contact Ernie at 802-483-6871 or Andy at 802-862-4388

June 4 (rain date June 5)
Fusion Performance Open House
2499 boul. Labelle, Chomedey, Laval
Contact 450-978-3065 or

June 4
4th Annual Blair Rendell Memorial Car Show
10 am to 3 pm
Sparks Street Mall, Ottawa, Ontario
Contact Jeff Pelletier at 613-406-1442 or Jim Calombaris at 613-795-5109

June 4 (rain date June 11)
Auto Expo Cowansville Saturday Night Cruise-In
5:30 to 10:30 pm
Wal-Mart, 1770 South Street, Cowansville, Quebec
Contact 450-263-7002 or

June 5
Rassemblement de la Chaudière
10 am to 5 pm
$5 per car
Parc de L'île Ronde, Beauceville, Quebec
Contact Michel Poulin / Séphane Veilleux / Johanne Jacques at 418-774-2544 / 418-774-0843 / 4

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bob’s Antique and Classic Cars Part 8

1954 Kom-Pak Trailer
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’m betting you haven’t seen one of these before—I certainly hadn’t! It’s a 1954 Kom-Pak trailer, designed to look like a 1953 Ford from behind. Check out the roof—yes, it is a boat. But don’t worry, it originally had support bows to hold a canvas roof when the owner was off fishing.

According to the plaque beside it, fewer than 200 were made. Many of the websites I was on while researching claimed only 16 were made with only six still around. Then again, like most information online, I think they were all quoting from each other. Pretty sure I’ve seen at least six different ones online. I’ve got a few links below, mostly auction sites, that have better photos than I could get.

1954 Kom-Pak Trailer
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there on these trailers. The sites claiming there were only 16 made also say they were made in Medford, Oregon. No manufacturer is given, however. Even on the advertising material I found on a station wagon forum, they only list dealers. They do however give specs, and the original asking price, FOB Medford, of $1,595.

And here’s a link to a post on a vintage trailer site by someone who actually owned one, providing a few more details (scroll down, it's the second post). Among other things, they confirm the canvas roof, that both the boat and trailer are fiberglass, and the back has a fold-down table with a kitchenette and ice box behind it (you can see it in the Barrett-Jackson photos). They also discuss how the boat is removed.

Other posts in this series:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 7

1912 Hupmobile
Photo by Kate Tompkins
 Here’s a 1912 Hupmobile at Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars near Lincoln, NH. One of the many car companies that didn’t make it past the early years, according to THIS article on the Hemmings website, the company was founded by Robert C. Hupp, a former employee of Olds, Ford, and Regal, in 1908 in Detroit, and continued through to 1941.

1912 Hupmobile
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The first Hupmobile, the Model 20—a two-passenger runabout, was introduced at the 1909 Detroit Automobile Show. By 1912, the Model 20 came in several body types, and a second line of cars, the Model H (sometimes known as the Model 32), was introduced. Since the plaque beside the 1912 Hupmobile at Bob’s said it produced 32 HP, I’m guessing it’s a Model 32.

Notice the cylinder sitting on the running board. It contains acetylene gas to power the car’s headlamps.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cruise Nights

Finally got the cruise nights list updated for this year--you can find the link to the right. Lost a couple of cruises and picked up a couple so we've broken even. Some of them have already started, so get those toys out of the garage!

Missing one of your favourites? Let me know about it and I'll be happy to add it, as long as it's within two or so hours of Montreal.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Montreal Area Car Shows for May

The list is now up! You can find it in the link to the right. I'll be working on cruise nights next--if you're running one you want people to know about, tell me.

Friday, April 29, 2016

May Car Shows

I'm currently working on the page for the Montreal area car shows in May, as well as the page of local cruise nights, but may not get it finished until the weekend (paying clients keep getting in the way). So just thought I'd mention this one as it starts tomorrow. It is a bit of a drive, but I'm told it's worth it.

April 30-May 1
Stirling Swap Meet
9 am to 5 pm
Stirling, Ontario
Contact 613-395-1583 or

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Electric Corvette Sets Speed Record

Electric Vehicle Breaks Speed Record: A Closer Look from Digital Cut Productions on Vimeo.

I’m thinking this video of Genovation Cars all-electric high performance Corvette might change more than a few minds about electric cars. Seems they took a 2006 Z06 Corvette and converted it to electric. The result was a car capable of more than 700 hp and a speed of 186.8 mph—on its first try. Looks like a company worth watching.

The link to the video is HERE if you can’t see the embedded version.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Back to Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars

1926 Ford Model T half ton delivery van
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Having more or less got caught up with my backlog of press releases, time to get back to Bob’s fabulous collection. Don’t know why I only have one shot of this 1926 Model T half ton delivery van, but I’m guessing it was stuck in a corner (there are a LOT of vehicles in a small space) and that was the best I could do. According to the information sheet next to it, this particular truck was the one that the Danbury Mint used to base their diecast Model T trucks on. I can’t find anything to confirm that, but here’s a webpage reviewing one of their 1925 Model T trucks (don’t seem to be any from 1926). I did get a tad distracted while searching for the 1926 Model T by this review of their 1964 Aston Martin DB5 Saloon – James Bond, 007 version diecast. Alas, discontinued. They don’t seem to be doing diecast cars at all at the moment.

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ford and LEGO Release Speed Champions Sets

For the kid in all of us, Ford is working with LEGO
Speed Champions to bring the excitement of the
racetrack to your living room with first-ever F-150
Raptor, pictured, and Mustang LEGO sets. Sets will
be available for purchase March 1 in LEGO stores
and Toys 'R' Us stores nationwide. (Photo: Business Wire)
Two—well, actually three—new vehicles have been added to LEGO’s Speed Champions line. Little fans of the Ford Mustang and F-150 Raptor / Model A hot rod can now build their very own, complete with race day accessories. Actually, I know quite a few not so little fans who would love to get their hands on these. You can find them online at the LEGO store or check out your local Toys ‘R’ Us (yes, they are available in Canada).

The Mustang kit has 185 pieces, which include a race driver and a time board. When I looked online, it was priced at $17.99. The F-150 Raptor kit is bigger, at 664 pieces, and includes not only the F-150 but a Model A hot rod, crew, garage, trailer, and a Christmas tree for drag racing. I saw it priced at $49.99.

In fact, I would have had this posted already if I hadn’t been distracted by looking at the other kits available in the Speed Champions line. McLaren Mercedes Pit Stop, anyone? Of course, I’d have to borrow somebody’s kid to put it together.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hagerty’s 2016 List of Future Classics

It’s always fun to speculate about which of today’s cars will be showing up at cruise nights 25 years from now. As providers of insurance for classic cars, Hagerty should have some idea of what’s likely to be collectible. I’ve pasted in their “Hot List” below. Cars on the list “must be produced within the 2016 model year with an MSRP of less than $100,000.” That means some of them are actually affordable to the average Joe or Jane. The cars are listed in order of price.

Any of your favourites on there? Personally, I question the Mazda Miata. While I find them cute, any articles I do on them get comparatively few page views. The Alfa, on the other hand. That is sweet! As for the Caddy, it may go like stink, but it looks boring, so I’m not making any room in the virtual garage for it. 

The 2016 Hagerty Hot List (along with base price):

Mazda Miata MX-5
 Photo credit Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Miata ($24,915) – Since 1989, this car has consistently (and sometimes exclusively) flown the flag of the lightweight roadster. Where there used to be MGs, Triumphs and Austin-Healeys, which leaked everything from oil on the driveway to rain on the passengers, there is the bullet-proof, trouble-free Miata. And thank goodness Mazda persists. The newest generation is shorter and more nimble than the preceding model and is quickly gaining the respect of driving enthusiasts.

2016 Ford Focus RS
Photo credit Ford Motor Company
Ford Focus RS ($35,730) –The Focus from Hell, the RS will finally reach American dealers for the 2016 model year with 350 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed manual and an all-wheel drive system that promises everything but the moon and a World Rally Championship trophy in every garage. Rear-biased torque distribution? Check. Grin-worthy power? Check. Hatchback practicality? Check. Look for Ford to snap up the crowd that Mitsubishi deserted when it discontinued the Evo.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Photo credit General Motors
Chevrolet Camaro SS ($37,295) – Following last year's debut of the sixth-generation Mustang, Chevy has once again risen to the challenge with the newly designed sixth-generation Camaro. There's a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain along with the V-6, but traditionalists will be glad to know that the SS badge remains in all its 455-hp V-8 glory.

2016 BMW M2
Photo credit BMW Group
BMW M2 ($51,700) – If you need any proof of BMW's commitment to building performance coupes that people love to buy, try searching for a pre-owned M1 Coupe. In 2016 BMW will launch that car's successor under the M2 nameplate. It's slightly larger, significantly sexier and equipped to bookend the M Division's lineup in the best possible way. Fans of classics like the 2002tii and the Z3 M coupe will love it.

2016 Ford Mustang GT350 R
 Photo credit to Ford Motor Company
Ford Mustang GT350R ($62,195) – As if the GT350 wasn't enough, the "R" version of Ford's hottest Mustang does away with everything possible to save weight – including the rear seat – and even offers wheels made of carbon fiber. Ford bred this pony with one purpose: race track victory. As they say in the financial world, past performance isn't a guarantee of future returns, but given the collectability of the Shelby GT350R from the '60s and even the Mustang Cobra R from 1993, we'd say this one's a shoe-in. 

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Photo credit FCA
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider ($65,900) - We love the pureness and simplicity of the 4C. It's a refreshing reminder that great cars don't have to be complicated. This car is more alive on the race track than the open road, so we predict well-preserved examples to dominate the vintage races in the future. The little 4C offers performance similar to a Ferrari 360 Modena from not too long ago at a bargain price for an Italian exotic.

2016 Porshe Cayman GT4
Photo credit Porsche North America
Porsche Cayman GT4 ($84,600) – This just might be one of the most exciting driver's cars ever to come from Stuttgart. It borrows components from the current-generation 911 GT3 and puts them to work in a smaller, mid-engine package that makes many people wonder how much further the Cayman can go. We needn't remind you of how high-performance, low-production Porsches have done in the collector car market. 

2016 Dodge Viper SRT Coupe
Photo credit FCA
2016 Dodge Viper SRT Coupe ($89,090) – This isn't the first year of the current Viper, but in a time when most cars are trading engine displacement for forced induction there is just something to love about the brute force of the 8.4-liter V-10. If words like "bludgeon" "eviscerate" and "trounce" appeal to you, this is your car. Because who doesn't need a sledge hammer from time to time?

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
Photo credit General Motors
Cadillac ATS-V ($60,465) – This car is built in Lansing, Mich., to do battle with bad boys like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. Its twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 makes an eye-watering 464 hp that you can control through an eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual with no-lift shifting and a penchant for taking punishment. The ATS-V is proof that Cadillac ain't just whistling Dixie; there's serious firepower behind all the smack talk.

Lotus Evora 400
Photo credit Lotus 
2016 Lotus Evora 400 ($89,900) – This is the brand's quickest and most powerful series-produced car ever, but it doesn't sacrifice Lotus' trademark lightness. It's a good indication that things are looking up in Norwich. We were worried about you for a while, Lotus. It's good to have you back on the Hot List.