Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love automobiles. The skill and art of “driving” are passions of mine, and I am sure that in another life I would have been involved in competitive car racing. My Achilles heel is that I am over six feet tall and as such, fitting into most racing cars becomes a problem for me.

Toronto is blessed with having an annual International AutoShow. Despite my love of automobiles, I do not attend this show every year, and I only attend the show in the year for which I am in the market for a new vehicle. 2014 is such a year.

Over the past many years, we have found that leasing a vehicle as opposed to an outright purchase is a far better option based on our circumstances. Any financial manager will tell you to never purchase something that depreciates to the degree that a new vehicle will. I look after our cars, put on low mileage, and like having a new car every three years without having to do any major repairs or maintenance. Therefore, leasing works for us.

Our current lease for a 2011 Subaru Impreza comes due this summer. And we are now in the market for a new vehicle. I cannot begin to say how much I have loved the Subaru. It is absolutely unstoppable in the snow and is such a joy to drive, especially with its 5-speed stick shift.

And this year brings me to the AutoShow. I find attending the AutoShow to be a love/hate relationship. Before I retired, I was forced to attend the show on weekends. This would be the time that the show was jam-packed, and you had to deal with families with kids and strollers in tow. I do not understand how the car show fits into being a family outing. The children get bored, then they get cranky, then the parents get cranky and it ends up being not a fun day for them or anyone around them who gets a stroller jammed into your ankles.

The AutoShow is not meant to be a playground for children. Young kids sitting behind the wheel of expensive cars pushing and prying all of the buttons is not what this show is designed for. Yet many families use the car show as a substitute for the Toronto Zoo or the Ontario Science Centre. I certainly pity the poor car dealers and their staff who have to work this show and deal with all the “tire kickers” and their children.

You are certainly entitled to disagree with my comments, but I am a consumer ready to spend money and do not to want to wait my turn for some kid to get out from behind the wheel to see if I can even fit in the vehicle. My two easy tests for any vehicle are headroom and legroom. If these are a no-go, then I move on. But if I have to wait for your kids to finish playing in the car, I might just have to say something!

I visited the show on the day after Family Day which I can only imagine was hellish for all the poor people who had to work the show that day.

What follows are my photographs of automobiles, shapes, designs and thoughts on this year’s show. In no particular order, here are some of the images that struck me. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

And my pick for the show—the Subaru Crosstrek. This will be our next vehicle.

Bentley

Bentley

McLaren

McLaren MP4-12C, $245,000

McLaren carbon fibre mirror

McLaren carbon fibre mirror

Nissan GT-R Premium, $89,900

Nissan GT-R Premium, $89,900

Subaru Canada

Subaru Canada

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI in World Rally Championship Blue

Subaru WRX STI in World Rally Championship Blue

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru BRZ D-45 Engine. Notice the cross-bracing on the suspension towers.

Subaru BRZ D-45 Engine. Notice the cross-bracing on the suspension towers.

An impressive booth for Subaru.

An impressive booth for Subaru.

Travelling from the North Building to the South Building at the Metro Convention Centre brought me to Muscle Car Alley.

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible, 383 cu.in. Magnum V8

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible, 383 cu.in. Magnum V8

Feb_18_AutoShow_54_2014-02-18_12-02-04_DSC_1033Feb_18_AutoShow_70_2014-02-18_12-08-40_DSC_1049Feb_18_AutoShow_80_2014-02-18_12-10-20_DSC_1059

1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe V12

1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe V12

Feb_18_AutoShow_50_2014-02-18_12-01-14_DSC_1029Feb_18_AutoShow_75_2014-02-18_12-09-41_DSC_1054

1956 Ford Thunderbird

1956 Ford Thunderbird

Feb_18_AutoShow_69_2014-02-18_12-07-33_DSC_1048

1932 Ford

1932 Ford

Feb_18_AutoShow_65_2014-02-18_12-06-33_DSC_1044

Feb_18_AutoShow_83_2014-02-18_12-11-22_DSC_1062

The 800 level of the South Building brought me to a massive floor with cars from a huge number of auto manufacturers.

BMW i8

BMW i8

BMW M6

BMW M6, $155,000

Feb_18_AutoShow_97_2014-02-18_12-19-27_DSC_1076Feb_18_AutoShow_101_2014-02-18_12-20-33_DSC_1080

BMW M4, $100, 145

BMW M4, $100,145

Jaguar

Jaguar had some truly pheonomenal looking vehicles.

Feb_18_AutoShow_113_2014-02-18_12-23-52_DSC_1092Feb_18_AutoShow_116_2014-02-18_12-24-12_DSC_1095Feb_18_AutoShow_119_2014-02-18_12-24-34_DSC_1098

Audi RS7 Quattro

Audi RS7 Quattro

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder—a spectacular vehicle!

Feb_18_AutoShow_137_2014-02-18_12-37-57_DSC_1116Feb_18_AutoShow_141_2014-02-18_12-38-55_DSC_1120

This is something from Ford that every Toronto Maple Leafs fan would buy.

This is something from Ford that every Toronto Maple Leafs fan would buy.

Feb_18_AutoShow_154_2014-02-18_12-58-37_DSC_1133

Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman

Hidden way down on the 100 level of the North Building was the Auto Exotica exhibit. This is where the truly expensive stuff was to be found.

Feb_18_AutoShow_178_2014-02-18_13-09-59_DSC_1157Feb_18_AutoShow_185_2014-02-18_13-11-12_DSC_1164

Ferarri F12 Berlinetta, 740 HP.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 740 HP.

Ferarri FF. Four seats, four wheel drive.

Ferrari FF. Four seats, four wheel drive.

All of the Maserati cars were simply breathtaking.

All of the Maserati cars were simply breathtaking.

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, $87,200.

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, $87,200.

Modena: "the capital of engines", since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati and of course balsamic vinegar!

Modena: “the capital of engines”, since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati and of course balsamic vinegar!

Feb_18_AutoShow_222_2014-02-18_13-17-30_DSC_1201

Astin Martin Vanquish Volante, $358,164.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, $358,164.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, $584,684.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, $584,684—too glitzy and left me feeling just “meh.”

Advertisements