Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dodge's Latest Mess

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pics and info courtesy of Car & Driver

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Firebird Spotted

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bad Parking

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dave Wood Pre-owned Centre In Newmarket

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

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

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


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

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

Monday, July 25, 2016

Regular Car Reviews: Shelby GT500

It finally happened.  Mr. Regular reviewed a 2013 Shelby GT500.  I'm going to get this video sent to me for days.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Matt Farah

Okay I try to be open minded.  There are different types of people in the world and not everyone is going to mesh well with your kind of thinking.  Some people you just endure.  Matt Farah is one of these people for me.

So just ignore him you say.  Well he (or someone) came up with an interesting concept.  To have normal car people meet him and allow him to aggressively drive their cars (illegally on public roads) and give an opinion of their build.  His opinions are often valid so it's interesting to see what they have crafted.

The part that really rubs me the wrong way is when he bitches about the car not having air conditioned seats or some other luxury accessory.  Air conditioning robs power.  We've had many 90+days and I think I've run the air in my Cobra once since I got it.  Matt just appears to have this air of pompous superiority that bugs the hell me.  This feeling comes exclusively from watching his videos, I mean I don't know the guy.  In them he shares his opinions and to me he represents just the worst type of car guy, the type that never gets his hands dirty, he never turns a wrench, and pays for all work done on his cars.  He just drives and critiques.  Even on his simple fox body Mustang project he had a shop do it all and handed them the cash.  So I guy it boils down to I don't care much for critics that just critique and don't create.

What sparked this post?  Today I watched a new video of his and it started with him asking people to please turn off your ad blocker and whitelist his channel. You know, do him a solid?  Matt why do you think I have an ad blocker??  I don't want to see your damn ads, why do you think you're special?  You own an Aston Martin, a Corvette, a new Focus RS, and others.  Plus you're trying to get a GT350R Mustang.  Seems your channel is doing well.

People say well that is what makes his hard work possible.  People do you think he edits his own videos?  Do you think he sets up the cameras and sound?  Hell no, like i said he just drives.  That's all.  Also I don't know if you noticed but YouTube doesn't exactly have a shortage of car review channels.  If Matt goes away, another will spring up in his place.

I was talking to a coworker about him and he said, "I honestly don't know how he even got into the field."  Neither do I man.

Okay, venting over.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some Interesting Stats

Everyone is going nuts about the new GT350 and rightly so it's an amazing vehicle.  But is it as amazing as the Shelby from the last generation?  Here are some stats from Car & Driver Magazine.  The GT500 stats in red.

Car & Driver Magazine Issue: Aug. 2012/ Feb. 2016
Vehicle Tested: 2013 GT500/ 2016 GT350
Price as Tested: 63,080/ 56,970
HP: 662hp/ 526hp
Torque: 631 lbs/ 429 lbs
0-60: 3.5 sec/ 4.3 sec
0-100: 7.9 sec/ 8.9 sec
1/4 mi: 11.8 sec/ 12.5 sec
Top Speed: 189 mph/ 175 mph
Braking 70-0: 155 ft./ 171 ft.
300 ft skidpad: 1.0g/ 1.0g
Weight: 3882 lbs/ 3790 lbs
EPA City/Hwy: 15/24 mpg/ 14/21 mpg

Everyone says 2018 is the year of the GT500 but for now perhaps the old king shouldn't be counted out just yet.