Category Archives: Car Insurance

Holiday gift ideas to keep you and your little auto enthusiast happy

12 Dec 17
Alibhai
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There are two things about kids and cars. One, the kids need to be entertained on a long drive and, two, as car fanatics, we hope they like what we like. So, we’ve come up with a combo list of Christmas gifts to keep everyone happy.

In the stocking

Crayola Color Wonder

Toys “R” Us, $5.99

This tidy little pack comes with three markers and 15 pages to colour. The beauty of this product is that it’s the paper that holds the magic – not the markers. The paper reacts to the colourless and odourless ink, which will not stain clothes or car seats if the marker is dropped. The pages have hidden scenes only to be discovered as the artist paints.

PlayTape by InRoadToys.com

Wal-Mart, $4.97

Going to grandma’s house but can’t pack the entire box of Hot Wheels track? Take the cars and a pocket-sized roll of road and create your own. PlayTape is simply a roll of lightly adhesive tape with a selection of road motifs, but give the kids some jars for jumps and books for buildings and they’ll be building roadways all day long. Although the nine-metre-long tape is only good for one use, at this low price you can buy two.


Under the Tree

Music & Lights Comfy Car

, $108.99 (but shop around for more online prices)

The average five-month-old child might be too young to fully appreciate this toy, but all the noises, the mirror and spinning gauges will immediately have him or her captive. The seat is comfy and as the child grows, their feet will fit through the grill. Spare toys can be stowed in a netted trunk. The dash is easily detached and can be used on the stroller to make you go faster. BEEP! BEEP!

Hot Wheels Track Builder

Toys “R” Us, $24.47

You didn’t think we would forget Hot Wheels? There is always room for more Hot Wheels, and the latest incarnation is the Track Builder series. This kit puts the driver in the builder’s seat, or possibly the other way around, and comes with a starter car, bricks (like Lego), track, launcher, loops and building suggestions to rev up imagination. Within minutes, our builder was off to the races.

Volkswagen T1 Camper Van by Lego

Lego Store, $129.99

This beauty will keep the teens engaged for hours. It’s an authentic replica of the 1962 VW camper van that has to be built from the ground up. Everything from the wheels to the foldout bench has to be assembled. You may want to help build the air-cooled flat-four-cylinder boxer engine, but you’ll probably get your hands slapped by the budding mechanic. With more than 1300 pieces, this project will take a bit of effort (best for ages 16 and up).


Road Trips

Myla the Monkey Portable Soother by Vtech

Toys “R” Us, $39.99

Our tester and her mom instantly fell in love with Myla the Monkey. The music is soft and non-irritating, the light-up cheeks are mesmerizing and the soothing sounds, including rushing water and white noise, are perfect for long drives. As a bonus, it’s also rechargeable. The tail hooks on the car-seat handle or hangs from the headrest on the back seat of the car.

Imaginarium Magnetic Drawing Board

Toys “R” Us, $19.99

Except for the soft tap, tap, tap of magnets touching the “canvas,” there was silence in the back seat when the young ones took out this magnetic drawing board. The preschooler in particular loved drawing and erasing his creations. Kids can make their own art, play tic-tac-toe with a sibling or learn to spell. There’s plenty of options for this toy.

Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere magnetic games

Walmart, $6.93 each

With no batteries required and minimal noise, these games are perfect for long car rides. The magnetic pieces stick to the box while the kids play a wide assortment of games. The hangman set was the biggest hit with our testers, who were just learning to spell. And if you fold the lid, the game is instantly self-contained.

Kwizniac 2 Card Game

puzzlescanada.ca, $29.70

Recommended by teachers, this trivia game can engage the entire family. In each round, the 10 time-limited clues get easier as you go through the list – but the points you score decrease, too. Example: “He has a keen intellect and super fighting skills.” Know who it is? Next clue: “He has no superhuman powers.” Need more? “He lives in Gotham City.” Of course, it’s Batman. The questions range from naming comic-book heroes to knowing facts in science and the world today. Best for ages 12 and up.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. to get your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Raise a glass figuratively — to Germany’s Mercedes Mill

05 Dec 17
Alibhai
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Some of my thoughts from being an exchange student and working for Daimler-Benz in West Germany are a little hazy — after all, it was 37 years back. The business beer trolley lady may have had something to with it also. On my long-awaited return to the Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen near Stuttgart in mid-November, I ask if employees online are still served beer, and my young tour guide, Claudius, thinks I am joking. But his elderly colleague Gaby laughs knowingly. “Ach so! Yah, in former times employees would drink beer, but that ceased in the early 1990s.”

Back in the 1980s — when I was a 120-pound 19-year-old — my workmates who were departing for their generous summer vacations would purchase a beer for each person on our section of the assembly line. While sparks flew around and Werkmeisters (line foremen) whizzed by on bikes, I saw my world gradually move along on conveyors with a native Dinkelacker brew in my hands. There was always a glass of subsidized suds out there from the canteen at lunch or dinner. Price: about 12 cents.

Times have changed. On my latest factory tour, with the odor of freshly ground steel bringing on fresh waves of nostalgia, I am amazed to discover that my entire preliminary chassis assembly line is currently 100-per-cent operated by exact, laser-welding robots.

Daimler offers guided tours of the mill floor of the Sindelfingen plant, in English, free to the public Monday to Friday. (They are also very popular and thus don’t appear without emailing ahead at visit50@daimler.com to book.) Antje, a group tour guide, discovering my fascination, reads my thoughts. “Guide welding is very rarely — it is not like in former times,” she says, then adds, “Mercedes developed laser welding, but the future belongs to adhesive.”

Farther along the line, I see more robots expel exact traces of glue and envision what a mess I’d have made with a enormous glue gun. Automobile bodies travel several kilometres only within the body shop, while the motors come from Stuttgart or elsewhere. Nevertheless, the ultimate second remains “the union.” With laser precision, the body is gradually lowered from above while the chassis rises from below — until they meet to be a meticulously fitting clam shell, with openings measured in micrometres.

Mercedes’s biggest plant employs roughly the same amount of people that it did throughout my Cold War stint: 35,000. Just in the media, paint and body shops, more then 20,000 operate in three shifts around the clock. (Daimler AG employees amount 280,000 worldwide.) A 35-hour workweek in Germany is further improved by six weeks vacation in a worker’s first year, plus seven to ten holiday vacations. Jobs are rotated every 2 hours and the huge majority of employees are trained likewise so a worker from Bremen can swap tasks with one in Sindelfingen or even South Africa. In 2015, the Sindelfingen plant celebrated its 100th anniversary making its 20 millionth vehicle.

Over 300,000 vehicles roll out the doors in Sindelfingen annually such as the Mercedes E-, S– and CLS Class, the CLS Shooting Brake, Maybach and the AMG GT. “We are as large as Monaco — but we’ve got more luxury cars,” manual Gaby says of this sprawling three-square-kilometre plant.

I can’t recall what versions I worked on, or indeed which were constructed in Sindelfingen in 1980 and not surprisingly, the question stumped my guides. I do recall that the job offer fell in my lap in late April and by early May, I had been flying Wardair into the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD or West Germany) along with 10 other Canadian university students who were soon widely dispersed throughout the mill.

As widely as English is spoken now, the language (in addition to French) was virtually non-existent at Daimler-Benz at the moment. Hand signs and repeated loud instructions were deemed sufficient instruction to learn assembly line regular. And learning how to speak German proved an illusive goal with not just one German federal working in my line. (Really, when I finally returned to Canada, I talked more Turkish, Italian, Spanish and Greek.)

As an alumni in my November trip, I was able to finagle my way to a lunch-time schnitzel (no beer) at one of the mill’s massive cafeterias which was another trip down memory lane. As I look around at the faces of many employees, I am told that about 20 percent of today’s workforce comes from 60 different countries, in addition to many second and third generation children of Germany’s guest worker program, once dominated by Turks.

As I afterwards learned, lots of the German phrases I did pick up were in Schwabisch, the dialect spoken in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, where Stuttgart is the capital and where a large Mercedes celebrity sits atop the key train-station tower.

The place itself is easy to get to. On my trip, I came in neighbouring Boblingen in the Frankfurt Airport in just under two hours with a Rail Europe pass, valid on trains and local transit. A five-minute walk in the Boblingen train station and a 10-minute walk into Mercedes’ Welcome Centre is your nostalgic and beautifully appointed V8 Resort, complete with vehicle-themed rooms. Section of Motorworld, the website is at a reclaimed airport full of hundreds of models, makes of museum quality and revived “old timers” — many for sale.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart, that is a 20-minute train ride away, provides enough distraction for days, from wineries, to castles, to museums, to more automobile production. (Porsche’s roots are also in the region.)

Definitely, the most impressive of those institutions is the colossal and architecturally significant Mercedes-Benz museum in the Neckarpark. The building holds an overwhelming historic collection that starts with a replica of the world’s first car — Karl Benz’s three-wheeled, single-cylinder, four-stroke car built nearby. Leave yourself plenty of time to walk through the 16,500-square-metre area, full of about 1,500 displays.

On tour of this museum, I fill my laptop with direct Vivien’s remarks, but her paraphrasing of Daimler AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management Dieter Zetsche keeps resonating as I wander about on my own afterward: “We will see more changes in cars in the next 10 years than we have seen in the previous 100.”

Should you go

The walk into the Mercedes plant from Motorworld and the V8 Hotel is about 10 minutes. There is also a free bus that runs frequently from the train station. Even better, purchase a Benz in Canada on the “Tourist Delivery Programme,” collect it in Sindelfingen and spend a week or three buzzing around Europe, then return it for shipping to Canada. After the plant tour, plan another day for the Mercedes-Benz museum that’s on the opposite side of Greater Stuttgart. Adult admission is $10 ($15 Canadian), with an English tour, $15. Evening admission is $4.50. Curiously, Mercedes-Benz Museum ticket holders get a 25-per-cent discount in the Porsche Museum.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Look out for flood-damaged vehicles when buying a used car

20 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

They say public speaking is most people’s biggest fear. Right then must be purchasing a used car. It can be a harrowing trip. The old stereotypes are ever-present. Predatory curbside salespeople peddling poor item. Unsuspecting buyers whose fantasy cars become lemons seconds when they leave the lot. Unusual mark-ups, undetected damage, trouble with the name — all of these are pitfalls that unwary drivers can fall into.

Now there’s another factor to consider: flood damage.

Hurricane Harvey has done its worst, causing carnage and suffering. The automotive side into the catastrophe is an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 flood-damaged vehicles will be write-offs, according Solera Holdings Inc., a data firm based in Westlake, Texas. There have already been 100,000 claims for automobile flood damage. It is a heavy hit to get a town in which 94 percent of the adult population drives.

Most flood-damaged vehicles are deemed total losses by insurers. Sustained water damage causes rust and destroys electrical and computer systems. It may warp brakes and rotors and result in airbag malfunction. Flood damage can corrode the exhaust system and can lead to transmission failure. The “car plus flood equals bad news” list is endless.

Once a vehicle is deemed ruined, it’s delivered to a salvage yard so any undamaged parts can be re-purposed.

Needless to say, where there is calamity, there is criminal opportunity. Flood fraudsters do not waste time. The moment soggy vehicles could be dried out, they are sent off to other areas of the country and sold — with nary a mention of the nautical past — what was called “suckers.” According to the automobile history database firm Carfax, 271,404 flood-damaged automobiles were on American streets in 2016. Guess which state had the most? Texas, with 43,000. Car grifters conceal any information connected to a vehicle’s watery past. They participate in “title washing” by erasing an automobile’s history or by leaving any lingering details off the sheet.

Between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the sector is likely to have “flooded” with much more watery automobiles. It is possible that some of the lemons will end up in Canada. After all, flood-damaged cars made their way here after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

So, what can a consumer do?

Proceed to a reputable used car dealer. Established traders play the long game. They want happy customers who return, not fleeced marks that hold a grudge. Someone who’s passing off flood-damaged automobiles is going for the quick kill. They are going to pressure you to get fast. There’ll be a few hyped-up narrative describing why the car is really affordable. If you do not act now you will lose it. There might be the inference of the trade being somewhat less than legit (no taxation, cash only). The best way to guarantee a mark will not go to the police is to have them participate in criminal behaviour.

Inspect the vehicle. Start looking for mold and mildew. Despite the best attempts of fraudsters, flood-damaged cars frequently smell like the bottom of a pond that is rancid. Check under the mats, under the vehicle, start looking for moisture from the headlights and from the tool panel. Feel for damp spots and look for water stains. Definitely, the most reliable way is to look at its history. Use a vehicle history company to discover if the car was in any heavy water. You will find detailed advice on the best way best to prevent flood-damaged vehicles online.

When in doubt, bear in mind the adage, “If a deal on a used car is too good to be true, it probably spent a week submerged in water{}”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Look out for flood-damaged vehicles when buying a used car

18 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

They say public speaking is most people’s biggest fear. Right then must be purchasing a used car. It can be a harrowing trip. The old stereotypes are ever-present. Predatory curbside salespeople peddling poor item. Unsuspecting buyers whose fantasy cars become lemons seconds when they leave the lot. Unusual mark-ups, undetected damage, trouble with the name — all of these are pitfalls that unwary drivers can fall into.

Now there’s another factor to consider: flood damage.

Hurricane Harvey has done its worst, causing carnage and suffering. The automotive side into the catastrophe is an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 flood-damaged vehicles will be write-offs, according Solera Holdings Inc., a data firm based in Westlake, Texas. There have already been 100,000 claims for automobile flood damage. It is a heavy hit to get a town in which 94 percent of the adult population drives.

Most flood-damaged vehicles are deemed total losses by insurers. Sustained water damage causes rust and destroys electrical and computer systems. It may warp brakes and rotors and result in airbag malfunction. Flood damage can corrode the exhaust system and can lead to transmission failure. The “car plus flood equals bad news” list is endless.

Once a vehicle is deemed ruined, it’s delivered to a salvage yard so any undamaged parts can be re-purposed.

Needless to say, where there is calamity, there is criminal opportunity. Flood fraudsters do not waste time. The moment soggy vehicles could be dried out, they are sent off to other areas of the country and sold — with nary a mention of the nautical past — what was called “suckers.” According to the automobile history database firm Carfax, 271,404 flood-damaged automobiles were on American streets in 2016. Guess which state had the most? Texas, with 43,000. Car grifters conceal any information connected to a vehicle’s watery past. They participate in “title washing” by erasing an automobile’s history or by leaving some lingering details off the sheet.

Between Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the sector is likely to have “flooded” with much more watery automobiles. It is possible that some of the lemons will end up in Canada. After all, flood-damaged cars made their way here after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

So, what can a consumer do?

Proceed to a reputable used car dealer. Established traders play the long game. They want happy customers who return, not fleeced marks that hold a grudge. Someone who’s passing off flood-damaged automobiles is going for the quick kill. They are going to pressure you to get fast. There’ll be a few hyped-up narrative describing why the car is really affordable. If you do not act now you will lose it. There might be the inference of the trade being somewhat less than legit (no taxation, cash only). The best way to guarantee a mark will not go to the police is to have them participate in criminal behaviour.

Inspect the vehicle. Start looking for mold and mildew. Despite the best attempts of fraudsters, flood-damaged cars frequently smell like the bottom of a pond that is rancid. Check under the mats, under the vehicle, start looking for moisture from the headlights and from the tool panel. Feel for damp spots and look for water stains. Definitely, the most reliable way is to look at its history. Use a vehicle history company to discover if the car was in any heavy water. You will find detailed advice on the best way best to prevent flood-damaged vehicles online.

When in doubt, bear in mind the adage, “If a deal on a used car is too good to be true, it probably spent weekly submerged in water{}”

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Revisiting fanciful failures in the past at Pebble Beach Concours

17 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In the realm of concept cars, the dustbin of broken dreams is littered with mechanical detritus. There are a couple of memorable gems, however, one of those failed projects. One — featured in the current Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — may even claim to have made guest appearances at three 1960s television series.

The Reactor, a fancifully futuristic 1964 custom coupe, appeared at the first Star Trek collection, on Batman and at the humor Bewitched, in an episode especially composed for thenbsp;car.

1 look at its retro-revolutionary layout lets you know why. This George Jetson-meets-Popular Mechanics mashup looks like it was created by someone motivated by psychedelic drugs. Its pointed platypus snout and wraparound glass, topped off with tail fins, makes it seem a little like a folded paper plane wrought in aluminum. It’s tough to tell whether designer Gene Winfield was seriously trying to project in the future, or if he meant the automobile as anbsp;joke.

It was powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder power plant from Chevrolet’s ill-fated rear-engine Corvair compact, turned around and mounted at the front. The hood, doors, concealed headlights and roof could be managed by remotenbsp;controller.

Equally adventuresome, but perhaps more serious, was the 1967 Gyro-X prototype constructed for a California firm that pictured a production vehicle. Although it had two wheels, this totally enclosed one-passenger apparatus was no motorcycle. It utilized a hydraulically-driven gyroscope to keep it vertical. With the gyro idle in the rest, two training wheels extended to keep it from falling over.

Science amp Mechanics magazine road-tested the model and reported it could reach a top speed of 200 km/h and not tip in turns. However, it never got beyond the prototype phase. Its appearance at the Concours was its first running performance because its recentnbsp;recovery.

Maybe the biggest eye-popper of this dream-car category, however, was the . The famous 1950s singer bought the car to get a shocking (at the time) $150,000 (U.S.) so that he and wife Sandra Dee could roll up to the 1961 Academy Awards in it. Constructed over seven years by Andrew DiDia, it had an aluminum frame, double wraparound windshield and has been painted with 30 coats of Swedish Pearl Essence, supplemented with crushnbsp;diamonds.

Studebaker, a casualty of the 1960s, made the 1962 Sceptre coupe with a plan to put it into production in 1966. Its full-width headlight assembly, designed to minimize glare to oncoming cars, looked like a monobrow in chrome. As the provider’s fiscal fortunes faltered, however, development of the Sceptre wasnbsp;suspended.

The American Dream Cars category is a first in the Concours‘ 67-year history.

Shopping for a new car? Take a look at the new to find the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Revisiting fanciful failures in the past at Pebble Beach Concours

11 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In the realm of concept cars, the dustbin of broken dreams is littered with mechanical detritus. There are a couple of memorable gems, however, one of those failed projects. One — featured in the current Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance — may even claim to have made guest appearances in three 1960s television show.

The Reactor, a fancifully futuristic 1964 custom coupe, appeared at the first Star Trek collection, on Batman and at the humor Bewitched, in an episode specifically written for thenbsp;automobile.

1 look at its retro-revolutionary layout lets you know why. This George Jetson-meets-Popular Mechanics mashup looks like it was created by someone motivated by psychedelic drugs. Its pointed platypus snout and wraparound glass, topped off with tail fins, makes it seem somewhat like a folded paper plane wrought in aluminum. It’s tough to tell whether designer Gene Winfield was seriously trying to project in the future, or if he meant the automobile as anbsp;joke.

It was powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder power plant from Chevrolet’s ill-fated rear-engine Corvair compact, turned around and mounted at front. The hood, doors, concealed headlights and roof could be managed by remotenbsp;controller.

Equally adventuresome, but perhaps more serious, was the 1967 Gyro-X prototype constructed for a California firm that pictured a production vehicle. Although it had two wheels, this totally enclosed one-passenger apparatus was no motorcycle. It utilized a hydraulically-driven gyroscope to keep it vertical. With the gyro idle in the rest, two training wheels extended to keep it from falling over.

Science amp Mechanics magazine road-tested the model and reported it could reach a top speed of 200 km/h and not tip in turns. However, it never got beyond the prototype phase. Its appearance at the Concours was its first running performance because its recentnbsp;recovery.

Maybe the biggest eye-popper of this dream-car category, however, was the . The famous 1950s singer bought the car for a shocking (at the time) $150,000 (U.S.) so that he and wife Sandra Dee could roll up to the 1961 Academy Awards inside. Constructed over seven years by Andrew DiDia, it had an aluminum frame, double wraparound windshield and has been painted with 30 coats of Swedish Pearl Essence, supplemented with crushnbsp;diamonds.

Studebaker, a casualty of the 1960s, made the 1962 Sceptre coupe with a plan to put it into production in 1966. Its full-width headlight assembly, designed to minimize glare to oncoming cars, looked like a monobrow in chrome. As the provider’s fiscal fortunes faltered, however, development of the Sceptre wasnbsp;suspended.

The American Dream Cars category is a first in the Concours‘ 67-year history.

Shopping for a new car? Take a look at the new to find the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Hachi-roku: Honouring the Soul of Toyota’s celebrated 86??

08 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments

In Japan, the honouring of long-dead ancestors is an early and well-established tradition. Lanterns are lit, gravestones are cleansed ritually, and dancing and music welcome the spirits. People who have gone before are still a part of dailynbsp;life.

Which brings us tonbsp;badges.

On the steering wheel, on the front fenders, and etched into the headlights of the bright orange Toyota (that is truly a Subaru, more on that in a bit) is the identical mysterious number: 86. In Japanese, the word for this number is hachi-roku, and it is almost a code word. If you came in a midnight gathering of Japanese car enthusiasts at one of the parking lots that dots the street circling Tokyo, you can immediately join the club by saying nothing else. Hachi-roku. Smiles. Nods ofnbsp;comprehension.

When Scion was about and this little coupe was known as the FR-S, it had 86 composed on its fenders, as a tiny secret handshake to those in the know. To explain the relationship, we’ve summoned an ancestral soul by means of a 1985 Corolla. I understand “Corolla” does not seem very exciting, but hang on to yournbsp;hat.

This is Marvin Ng’s 1985 Corolla GT-S, which he bought for $1,800 in 2000, as a commuter for his first job in L.A.. It’s 305,000 miles on the odometer, and has been sitting in storage for the last couple of decades. As it is a Toyota, it startsnbsp;immediately.

Pop the hood latches open and have a look at the firewall, and you will immediately find the reason behind all this 86 company. There, stamped to steel, is the version code: AE86. In precisely the exact same manner that BMW fans throw around chassis codes such as E30 and E39 as shorthand, Toyota fans know this squared-off hatchback by its numericalnbsp;designation.

In fact, it’s more than simply the Toyota nuts that will have the ability to give you chapter and verse about the hachi-roku. The AE86 is carried high on the shoulders of Japanese automobile culture as a result of its appearance among the central characters in First D, a comedian that broke from Japan in 1995. In a time when monsters such as the third-generation Mazda RX-7 twin-turbo and the Mk IV Toyota Supra Turbo were flexing the might of pan-Pacific muscle, a tiny hatchback was slipping sideways to the imaginations ofnbsp;countless.

The story is pretty straightforward. Takumi Fujiwara is a disaffected teenager who delivers tofu daily in his black-and-white Sprinter Trueno (the Japanese version of the Corolla GT-S). Tricked into creating an almost supernatural driving ability on the winding passes of the fictional Mount Akina, he finally falls in with a bunch of road racers and beats the pants off all kinds of much more powerfulnbsp;machines.

As an underdog story, it has a charm that does not require that you understand anything about ball-bearing turbos or ceramic valve-springs. First D was first a manga (comic), then an anime collection, and finally spawned drivingnbsp;matches.

Ng’s carefully maintained and altered AE86 manages to catch the spirit of the iconic Initial-D vehicle, and is a fairly wonderful machine in its own right. The chassis was fortified with cross-bracing and continues to be stitch-welded in areas for extra stiffness. A newer, 20-valve form of the first 4AGE 1.6L lookup engine was swapped in; it makes around 165 hp and revs to 8200nbsp;rpm.

With four throttle bodies and a 5.5 kg flywheel, the 86’s engine responds instantly to throttle inputs, and has insanely loud as the revs climb above 5,000 rpm or so. It is a little hooligan of a machine, with weighty unassisted steering and a close-ratio gearbox that feels fresh. Everything is a mechanical symphony of clicks and snicks and revs and g-forces. You can just imagine it hurtling down some narrow Japanese sea road in the dead ofnbsp;night.

There is nothing cartoonish about how this car feels. That is fitting, since the legend of the Corolla GT-S goes back farther than Japanese manga, and in the memories of older racing and rallynbsp;motorists.

In 1986, Bob Trinder and his co-driver John Moody handled the completely ridiculous Can-A-Mex rally at a softly prepared Corolla GT-S. The rally started in Vancouver, then hurried to Acapulco, Mexico, up to Anchorage, Alaska, then back to Vancouver, finishing in the Expo ’86 fairgrounds. It contained almost four weeks of racing over 25,000 kilometers of gravel and paved roads, pitting the little Toyota contrary to factory-backed teams such as a former ex-Safari Rallynbsp;winner.

“It was much like the Datsun 510,” states Trinder, speaking from his home in Vancouver. “Some cars come out of the box and they are just perfect. About two-thirds of the way along we were able to pull off the exhaust, but the engine never missed anbsp;conquer.”

They won.

With both racing pedigree and a pop culture after, it’s easy to see why the 86 is something Toyota chooses to observe. But times have changed, and turning a simple shoebox to a winner is not as simple as it once was. The recent Toyota 86 is a collaboration with Subaru, who builds the cars; the Subaru variant is only subtly different, badged as thenbsp;BRZ.

The Toyobaru twins, as some wag dubbed them came in 2011 surrounded with a lot of hype. A shame, as both cars served up only small performance figures. When run head-to-head against something such as a modern Civic Si, the front-wheel-drive car was really faster. Matters were even worse in Subaru showrooms, with the 270 hp WRX parked nearby, for not much morenbsp;cash.

Yet as I pull away and rev the 86’s flat-four engine up to extract the comparatively meagre torque on tap, I can not help feeling that the modern automobile honours the older one in the appropriate ways. It’s affordable. It’s somewhat tail-happy. The existence of back seats and a good trunk make it a more sensible choice than an MX-5. You may run it yearlong — I have driven one of those on snow tires and it was more entertaining than a one-horse open sleigh. There’s a enormous aftermarket to bulge grip levels, and it is a fantastic car for entrance to the track daynbsp;spectacle.

There are hardly any authentic hachi-roku around nowadays, with most having rusted away or been mistreated into bits. However, the 86’s soul still comes to visit from time to time. Light the lanterns. Time to gonbsp;dance.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the new To see the hottest discounts, rebates and prices on new cars, trucks and SUVs. To receive your price.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Hachi-roku: Honouring the Soul of Toyota’s celebrated 86??

01 Sep 17
Alibhai
No Comments


In Japan, the honouring of long-dead ancestors is an early and well-established tradition. Lanterns are lit, gravestones are cleansed ritually, and dancing and music welcome the spirits. People who have gone before are still a part of dailynbsp;life.

Which brings us tonbsp;badges.

On the steering wheel on the front fenders, and etched into the headlights of the bright orange Toyota (that is truly a Subaru, more on that in a bit) is the identical mysterious number: 86. In Japanese, the word for this number is hachi-roku, and it is almost a code word. If you came in a midnight gathering of Japanese car enthusiasts at one of the parking lots that dots the street circling Tokyo, you can immediately join the club by saying nothing else. Hachi-roku. Smiles. Nods ofnbsp;comprehension.

Even when Scion was about and this little coupe was known as the FR-S, it nonetheless had 86 composed on its fenders, as a tiny secret handshake to those in the know. To explain the relationship, we’ve summoned an ancestral soul by means of a 1985 Corolla. I understand “Corolla” does not seem very exciting, but hang on to yournbsp;hat.

This is Marvin Ng’s 1985 Corolla GT-S, which he bought for $1,800 in 2000, as a commuter for his first job in L.A.. It’s 305,000 miles on the odometer, and has been sitting in storage for the last couple of decades. As it is a Toyota, it startsnbsp;immediately.

Pop the hood latches open and have a look at the firewall, and you will immediately find the reason behind all this 86 company. There, stamped to steel, is the version code: AE86. In precisely the exact same manner that BMW fans throw around chassis codes such as E30 and E39 as shorthand, Toyota fans know this squared-off hatchback by its numericalnbsp;designation.

In fact, it’s more than simply the Toyota nuts that will have the ability to give you chapter and verse about the hachi-roku. The AE86 is carried high on the shoulders of Japanese automobile culture as a result of its appearance among the central characters in First D, a comedian that broke from Japan in 1995. In a time when monsters such as the third-generation Mazda RX-7 twin-turbo and the Mk IV Toyota Supra Turbo were flexing the might of pan-Pacific muscle, a tiny hatchback was slipping sideways to the imaginations ofnbsp;countless.

The story is pretty straightforward. Takumi Fujiwara is a disaffected teenager who delivers tofu daily in his black-and-white Sprinter Trueno (the Japanese version of the Corolla GT-S). Tricked into creating an almost supernatural driving ability on the winding passes of the fictional Mount Akina, he finally falls in with a bunch of road racers and beats the pants off all kinds of much more powerfulnbsp;machines.

As an underdog story, it has a charm that does not require that you understand anything about ball-bearing turbos or ceramic valve-springs. First D was first a manga (comic), then an anime collection, and finally spawned drivingnbsp;matches.

Ng’s carefully maintained and altered AE86 manages to catch the spirit of the iconic Initial-D vehicle, and is a fairly wonderful device in its own right. The chassis was fortified with cross-bracing and continues to be stitch-welded in areas for extra stiffness. A newer, 20-valve form of the first 4AGE 1.6L lookup engine was swapped in; it makes around 165 hp and revs to 8200nbsp;rpm.

With four throttle bodies and a 5.5 kg flywheel, the 86’s engine responds instantly to throttle inputs, and has insanely loud as the revs climb above 5,000 rpm or so. It is a little hooligan of a machine, with weighty unassisted steering and a close-ratio gearbox that feels fresh. Everything is a mechanical symphony of clicks and snicks and revs and g-forces. You can just imagine it hurtling down some narrow Japanese sea road in the dead ofnbsp;night.

There is nothing cartoonish about how this car feels. That is fitting, since the legend of the Corolla GT-S goes back farther than Japanese manga, and in the memories of older racing and rallynbsp;motorists.

In 1986, Bob Trinder and his co-driver John Moody handled the completely ridiculous Can-A-Mex rally at a softly prepared Corolla GT-S. The rally started in Vancouver, then hurried to Acapulco, Mexico, up to Anchorage, Alaska, then back to Vancouver, finishing in the Expo ’86 fairgrounds. It contained almost four weeks of racing over 25,000 kilometers of gravel and paved roads, pitting the little Toyota contrary to factory-backed teams such as a former ex-Safari Rallynbsp;winner.

“It was much like the Datsun 510,” states Trinder, speaking from his home in Vancouver. “Some cars come out of the box and they are just perfect. About two-thirds of the way along we were able to pull off the exhaust, but the engine never missed anbsp;conquer.”

They won.

With both racing pedigree and a pop culture after, it’s easy to see why the 86 is something Toyota chooses to observe. But times have changed, and turning a simple shoebox to a winner is not as simple as it once was. The recent Toyota 86 is a collaboration with Subaru, who builds the cars; the Subaru variant is only subtly different, badged as thenbsp;BRZ.

The Toyobaru twins, as some wag dubbed them came in 2011 surrounded with a whole lot of hype. A shame, as both cars served up only small performance figures. When run head-to-head against something such as a modern Civic Si, the front-wheel-drive car was really faster. Matters were even worse in Subaru showrooms, with the 270 hp WRX parked nearby, for not much morenbsp;cash.

Yet as I pull away and rev the 86’s flat-four engine up to extract the comparatively meagre torque on tap, I can not help feeling that the modern automobile honours the older one in the appropriate ways. It’s affordable. It’s somewhat tail-happy. The existence of back seats and a good trunk make it a more sensible choice than an MX-5. You may run it yearlong — I have driven one of them on snow tires and it was more entertaining than a one-horse open sleigh. There’s a enormous aftermarket to bulge grip levels, and it is a fantastic car for entrance to the track daynbsp;spectacle.

There are hardly any authentic hachi-roku around nowadays, with most having rusted away or been mistreated into bits. However, the 86’s soul still comes to visit from time to time. Light the lanterns. Time to gonbsp;dance.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Centennial memories are evoked by tour during Canada 150

27 Jun 17
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Jean Brown remembers her father’s fondness for saying with wanting to stay home to milk the cows, since he was done, he sold the family farm.

To which her mother would interject: when the hand and she did most of the milking Why would George say anything?

In any case, the result was Jean Brown grew up being with motion at ease: her parents took later moving into Gorrie to driving, in southwestern Ontario, where a welding shop was opened by George.

As the June 29 beginning of the Coasters Cross Canada Tour approached, and she felt zero apprehension at the prospect of Canada with husband Norm in their DeSoto Airflow. Why would she, after marking the centennial in 1967 of Canada when the Browns’ 1929 Chrysler maintained.

Holiday trips into Northern Ontario and Muskoka dubbed Normoskas, organized by the Automobile Club of Canada and were predecessors to the drive. The 60th edition runs on Manitoulin Island that Aug. 19-26. Jean was a passenger on the 13 Normoskas.

She turned 15 at Russell, Man., as the family made their way to the beginning at Vancouver Island, visiting friends who had moved west, some of these as travelling threshing crews.

That was as bad as it got, although she remembers the ancient Chrysler’s mohair upholstery being scratchy for shorts. Although only nine of 125 entries made it all the way to St. John’s (the Browns dropped out at Expo 67 since Jean’s brother was getting married), she’s just a faint memory of making one stop in a dealership for a certain part or other.

Trains with over a hundred cars stretching across the prairies were a revelation — “our city got two-to-four-car freights a couple of times a week.” The beauty of endless undulating fields was another present, “not only seeing to the border of a 100-acre farm, but for miles.

“I learned to be really proud of being Canadian — it was a fabulous time to be a teen, fabulous seeing the country and Expo 67. The world was coming to Canada!”

As the Chrysler held a 45 mph, her parents sang along. “My mom said it had been a passenger’s duty to keep the driver alert. Hymns, songs that are popular. One my father loved to sing was Betsy Brown, ‘There was a small girl/She lived in city … ”’

The family joined the parades and paused for community centennial celebrations. Riding the bicycle-propelled outhouse offered by the fire department in Marathon, Ont., was a screamer for Joan; the door would pop open and a fireman would appear with a hose to spray onlookers.

Cars were the continuum in her father’s life cars sold, bought and made fit as a fiddle — bridging into Norm’s and Jean lives. George and Ethel towed the Airflow that is to take them from Saanich to St. John’s, home from Placerville, Calif., in the late 1970s. Placerville had been the center of rush country locating an Airflow was a moment for George Brown.

“He had possessed an Airflow from the forties, and decided he had to have another,” Jean says. “He just liked how it looked, how it ran.”

Mind, how her father would recall is neither run by the Airflow, nor looks the same. The eight-year of Norm build awarded it a Dodge Ram V-8, a suspension at every corner with four buttons that are dash-mounted and, for Jean, power steering.

Looks? After the Airflow made its debut at the 1934 New York auto show, the Market Research Corp. of America requested visitors that new car they thought best and worst: The Airflow topped both classes. Sales resulted closing down production.

The Acqua Minerale Blue finish Norm and Jean decided the curves makes it near impossible to avert your eyes. “It is awful, it’s beautiful,” Jean says. “If you think of it coming out so soon after Ford’s Model A, a very boxy car, it was, ‘Holy cow, what’s this thing?’ The common man was not quite there yet.”

All across Canada, the stretch is going to be heard yet again this summer: “Holy cow, what’s this thing?

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Car windows were parked by tech firm turns to displays (Reuters)

With additional computerization comes expanding concern with hacking into automobiles

17 Mar 17
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Auto-makers was jarred by ideas the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency reviewed coughing in to a critical method applied to countless cars.

It had been a moving research in a deluge of alleged CIA papers left lately by WikiLeaks – 2014 notices from the conference of the agency’s Stuck Devices Part viewed “potential quest locations,” including fantastic rim QNX application, which controls car infotainment devices.

The OS is really a sort of traffic policeman that harmonizes disparate features, including cellphones, Net connection and navigation. It’s entirely on over 60 thousand cars across lots of common marques.

It’s not yet determined exactly what the CIA’s aim could have been; maybe increasing entry will allow it to eavesdrop on calls from your car and also observe interactions inside the cottage.

Rim swiftly granted a record affirming the safety of its application and connected electronics, and its particular caution in tracking for possible weaknesses. Its techniques, you start with rim devices, have safety developed in from your ground-up.

“We will be the goldstandard on the market to get a well-established purpose,” corporate communications manager Sarah McKinney mentioned in a emailed statement.

A article by key operating specialist Marty Beard internally rim website reiterated that confidence, introducing the business was unacquainted with any hackers or uses of its QNX process.

“Still, the headlines is really a bit horrifying, given that we’re inside the semi-independent driving-age and growing toward totally self-operating automobiles,” Beard published. “The concept that someday doesn’t look all that significantly-fetched.”

Any external attack is really a painful area. An individual backlash pushed General Motors Co. to rescind a fully planned change inside the conditions of assistance for the OnStar program that could have authorized the number of info even with consumers ended it.

Nevertheless the notion of evildoers hijacking the complete car offers perhaps professionals the willies even as we proceed toward independent cars (AVs). The precursor engineering is aboard. Consider Tesla’s autopilot technique. Cadillac merely declared it had been creating car-to-vehicle information-sharing standard on all-new designs.

Experts prevailed in using remote-control of the Vehicle in 2015, including steering, wheels and sign.

Questioned regarding the WikiLeaks record, Fiat-Chrysler Cars (FCA) mentioned via e mail the rural weakness turned-up from the experts “was successfully removed in every damaged cars.

“FCA U.S. remains focused on working together with a and its own vendors to keep developing recommendations to decrease car cybersecurity challenges,” the business said.

The automotive section of Harman, a U.S. technology business, is taking care of a hacker intrusion detection method within its total security selection.

All AVs will demand some kind of system connection to function.

Google has developed its Waymo prototypes to work mostly which consists of onboard receptors, but nevertheless with unexpected experience of the cloud to have information-such as traffic accounts.

“Our automobiles speak with the surface world only once they should, thus there isn’t a steady range that’s in a position to be compromised, entering the automobile,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik advised the Economic Times in January. “When we are saying which our automobiles are independent, it’s not merely that there’s not just a individual driver, but in addition that there’s not just a steady cloud link with the car.”

Different AVs count on a variety of onboard receptors, car-to-vehicle connection and community structure.

A 2016 record on AV engineering directed at government policymakers moved on data-security.

“Global engineering business stakeholders and international auto-industry organization stakeholders advised us that building powerful safety practices across numerous automobile makers’ cars and differing communications programs probably will be extremely tough theoretically,” mentioned the record by RAND Corp., a U.S. thinktank.

One expert admitted AVs will be at risk of strike just-as different Net-based systems are.

“The safety needs for AV communications might be a prospective chemical to large arrangement,” the document stated.

The matter scored just a quick note inside the 185-site record as it was less of the dilemma when all the investigation was accomplished in 2013, cause writer James Anderson mentioned in a appointment.

“People weren’t as dedicated to it since they are nowadays,” explained Anderson, manager of Pittsburgh-centered RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

A fresh record on responsibility effects of cybersecurity challenges in computerized and related cars, predicted out this summer, can dig further.

“The most ideas of robot count on some sort of additional connection,” Anderson stated. “Along with that additional connection comes the danger of hacking.”

One prospective guard is separating infotainment devices from your computers that support push the car, he explained. That could shut one or more walkway to remote control. Another is always to construct in crash-safes so AVs can immediately pullover preventing in the case of the troublesome compromise.

Ignored weaknesses start the entranceway to hackers overpowering not merely one-car but maybe thousands, Anderson suspected.

“It’s easy to assume extremely negative things occurring,” he explained. “The genuine danger of these extremely negative things occurring, it’s difficult to gauge.”