Thursday, February 21, 2019

The new project...

The new project car... I mean the new project... is a house, not a car. We bought this 100-year old country house and it needs a lot of work, but it was inexpensive and we love both the house and its location. I hope it can be cleaned up and ready to use in the next few weeks. The house came fully furnished and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the house's nooks and crannies to find (not very valuable) little antique items.

Our new project house
My co-driver Josée and I participated in another TSD rally up north near Tremblant last weekend. The rally was long (over 300 km) but I was more prepared to deal with that than I had been last year. The roads were challenging and Josée and I were too busy with our respective roles to chat much, unlike the event we did a few weeks ago. The car performed extremely well on the challenging roads. We rubbed one snowbank (it was a soft fluffy one) on one occasion, but there were no incidents. Some of the roads chosen by the organizer, performance rally driver Jean-Sébastien Besner, were the same roads used during performance rally stages. Driving on these narrow, twisty, snow-covered roads is actually quite invigorating, and so refreshingly different from driving on our terrible roads in the city. I somehow lost the driver side rocker panel cover, and I assumed until today that that happened during the rally, but I now see from the photo below that the side skirt was still there at the end of the event... it's a mystery.

The Saabaru after it's 4th TSD rally
Josée and I were tired, but in a great mood after the event.
Our performance, as far as results go, was disappointing. We took 9.7 minutes of penalties, but 5 of those came at the midway point when we miscaculated our arrival time and took a massive early arrival penalty. This placed us mid-pack over all. However, even without that penalty, a score of 4.7 would not have put us in the top five.

Other than that, here are a few photos of some cool cars you can still see on the road, even though we're in the middle of winter.

Oscar loves the shopping carts at Home Depot
Respect to whoever is driving this rear-wheel-drive Maserati in winter
I can't believe there are still any of these "beware or Renault 5's" signs out there
First time I have seen a Lamborghini Urus in the wild in Canada
I approve of this winter car choice!
This one too!
One of the two other Saab 9-2X's in the neighbourhood

Monday, January 28, 2019

Mid-winter update

It's the middle of winter. I enjoyed a lovely holiday season in Montreal followed by a fun 7-day trip to Cuba with the family. I participated in another TSD rally with the Saabaru a couple of weeks ago with my co-driver Josée. We signed up in the "expert" class, for those with more than three events under their belt, and we finished last out of 5 experts, and 7th out of 30-something participants over all. Even though we came last, this was our best score ever (I think) with 6.9 minutes of penalties in 240 km. We accumulated most of these penalties by arriving too early, so I'll have to slow down a little at the next event. The car behaved absolutely flawlessly in the rally and has been reliable on the road thus far this winter.

I went to the car show last week, and it was quite disappointing. There are few interesting cars on offer for enthusiasts and I will never consider a brand new car anyway. A few comments: the most boring lineup is probably from Mistubishi, which basically has only SUV's and the 3-cylinder Mirage. Another stand that was surprisingly lame was Porsche's: no GT-2 or 3 or 4... no racing cars... quite boring. BMW had a couple of M-cars, but, as was the case in general at this year's event, no racing cars.

Here are a few photos:

There were some cool tuner cars
Nice Datsun 510
Super-clean Porsche 914-6
Stripped-down Toyota GT86
Expensive track day special
The new G-Wagen
Still one of my favourited, although the orange makes me think McLaren more than Honda...
One of the only race cars, a TCR Audi
Another track version of an already fast car
Not a great colour for Lamborghini's SUV
This was a great colour and wheel combo
After all the waiting, the new Toyota Supra is a bit disappointing in the flesh

It looks like a bunch of other cars out there,
A lovely first-gen Civic
Toyota is offering this cool retro blue on at least three models.
Still cool after all these years
Race and street versions
At least Nissan brought a race car
One of my favourite cars this year, a semi-affordable track car.
Nice styling, nice wheels, cool paint
The new Competition version of th eM2
... clearly indicated on the trunk
One of the McLaren's, I can barely keep track of their names
Koenigsegg, not my thing, but nice
Even less my thing, but still impressive
Nice details on the rear
Continental had this nice Cayman GT4 on Rotiform wheels
The new Mustang Bullitt was nice.

I was susprised to see the Jaguar Project 8
Nice new colour for the Toyota FRS
M-Town!
Nice Jeep pickup
The Challenger Hellcar still looks good
I haven't done anything with the BMW and Civic, both of which are in storage. There are quite a few small jobs I would like done on the Civic, and I hope to get organized to have Pat do them before the season starts.

Nice winter car
Saabaru after the daycare drop-off
Saab in the supermarket parking lot
An unexpected shopping car on a stormy winter evening
I don't love the Audi S3, but it looks decent in yellow with these wheels
Did I mention that it was snowing during the TSD rally?
It was still snowing after the event
I spotted this newer Chinese MG in Cuba
It looks OK, could use some nicer wheels
I love that this R8 driver not only drives his V10 Spider in winter, but that he or she also clearly parks it outdoors...