Bellwether Events

The year 1973 was tumultuous for the world, and calamitous for the United States.

In October 1973, Richard Nixon, the beleaguered President of the United States, ordered his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to fire Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate affair.  Richardson refused and resigned his post rather than fire Cox. Cox was ultimately fired for wanting to subpoena the Watergate Tapes. Eventually the tapes were made public, and Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment for lying to the American public. Continue reading

I love Jim Kenzie, but…

I’ve read Jim Kenzie’s columns in the Wheels section of the Toronto Star for more years than I can remember.  He’s a great read: informed, enthusiastic, and not afraid to have a politically incorrect opinion about the vehicles he reviews.

I have to take exception to his column in the Saturday, March 12th edition of the Toronto Star.  In it, Mr. Kenzie goes to considerable lengths to declare electric cars a waste of time and taxpayer money.  Let’s take a look at each his arguments. Continue reading

2013 Nissan LEAF versus 2013 Chevrolet Volt

I remember attending a show ‘n shine, where a 50’s something Chevrolet had had its roof chopped and channeled, the springs cut to lower the body over the wheels, enormous header side pipes on the outside of the vehicle indicating exceptional horsepower, and a sign posted on the dashboard, which read:

Get in.

Sit down.

Shut up.

Hang on.

I can’t help but think of that sign in another context, 180 degrees from that 50’s performance Chevy.  The Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt promise pollution-free driving, no exhaust fumes, no greenhouse gases, and the ability to charge or fuel your vehicle at home.  Kilometres per charge, cost per charge and kilowatt-hours are the buzz words rather than cam timing, rear axle ratios and Hurst shifters. Continue reading

Having been a part of it…

The Big Apple is in full spring mode.  Construction crews abound, traffic is a mess, road crews are fixing pot holes, the Yankees will win the World Series (just ask, go ahead and ask anyone) and the tulips and daffodils are in imminent bloom.

As a matter of fact, there has been much consternation about the Yankees’ chances this year. With the Blue Jays so active in the off season, Alex Rodriguez injured and this season being the swan song of Mariano Rivera, the Yankees are by no means the favourite to win the American League East.  That’d be the Blue Jays.

The New York Auto Show opened to a phalanx of tire kickers and enthusiasts on March 29; by 11am it was difficult to get near the vehicles.  The frenzy of activity so early in the show must give manufacturers, their suppliers and employees some confidence, given the turmoil in the industry resulting from the recession. Continue reading

I want to be a part of it…

As Frank sang, there is only one New York.  In a city with 14,000 cabs, innumerable black cars, SUV’s the size of small apartment buildings, and one of the finest transit systems in the world, it’s amazing that there are so many new car/truck/SUV/CUV/SAV introductions in Gotham.  The New York Auto Show runs from March 29 to April 7, 2013. Continue reading