The Victoria Day long weekend marks the start of warmer weather and road trip season. Whether you're a parent, a student, or a young professional, you've probably started planning your summer trips, both within and out of Canada. Sure, visiting a new country is fun, and it would be nice if we all had unlimited funds and could take weeks or months at a time off of work to travel, but unfortunately we're weighed down by mortgages and car insurance and ridiculously high phone bills. Still, weekends (and especially long weekends) are for road trips! If you're getting bored of hearing the same Top 40 songs on the radio, we've put together the perfect 4-hour playlist with a mix of classics and more modern songs to make your next road trip feel as close to a real vacation as possible. With the windows down and the wind in your hair, you can at least pretend you're driving through the Amalfi Coast.
We've all heard that if you spend enough time with your pet or significant other, you start to look like them. But we never hear about people who look like their cars. The average person spends over four years of their life driving and 38 hours a year stuck in traffic, so perhaps it's possible for a person to end up looking like their car. Or maybe there's a weird science where we subconsciously pick cars that reflect who we are. Either way, these next 5 celebrities and their cars could almost pass for twins (if it wasn't for the whole animate-inanimate thing.) Paris Hilton & her Bentley Continental
Car enthusiasts might cringe at the fact that Paris Hilton had her Bentley Continental painted bubblegum pink with matching rims, seats, and a steering wheel, but can you deny the pair's similarities? While cars like BMW, Lamborghini, and Ferrari are seen as cars for people who want to flaunt their "new money", Bentley is an "old money" car for people who have so much money they don't need to flaunt how much they have.
David Beckham & his Porsche Turbo
Since he was signed to Manchester United at 17, David Beckham has become one of the most valued and well-known soccer players in the world. Yes, we're using David and his Turbo as an example partly because of its name (the car is fast... David Beckham runs fast... get it?), but also because after a 20-year career, he's still considered one of the best. Since the Porsche 911's creation in 1963, it's been upgraded and reimagined infinite times, and its Turbo counterpart remains one of the best sports cars out there. Okay, this example isn't so much about Beckham looking like his car as it is the overall resemblances between the two.
James Bond & his Aston Martin(s)
Understated, timeless, and incomparable. The Aston Martin is significantly lesser known than other high-end cars (like the Lamborghini, Ferrari...), making it the perfect match for an elusive, badass CIA agent like James Bond. We say Aston Martins plural because no one Aston Martin in the James Bond series is less perfect than the others. Pictured above, Daniel Craig looks identical to his DB5 in (suit) colour and in suaveness. This is our idea of a dynamic duo.
Nicki Minaj & her Lamborghini Aventador
We know. Another pink car. It's an abomination. But again, Nicki Minaj's matte bright pink $400,000 Lamborghini Aventador is the perfect complement to her over-the-top, caricature-like personality. Unlike Paris' Bentley, the Aventador is a lot more flamboyant, with its dramatic angles and scissor-doors, much like Minaj's personality.
Jay-Z and his Maybach Exelero
Jay-Z is one of the most successful rappers (the 3rd richest, and with a net worth of $550million), and he's very open about his expensive taste in jewellery and cars. His Maybach Exelero is proof of that at $8million and one of the most expensive celebrity cars. The sleek black finish with chrome detailing matches Jay's sleek black suit and extravagant bling to a tee.
We're all a little intrigued by the future. It's fun to speculate where technology will be in ten or twenty years, because really, anything is possible. The new year especially, is a time to reflect on the last year's personal and worldly changes, as well as to surmise the coming year's. The automotive industry is no different. Every year, manufacturers present their newest concept cars. Some are totally feasible and end up being selected as the next year's newest models. Others are completely outrageous and unpractical, and never end up being produced. These ones are our favourites; they're over-the-top, innovative, and creative.
In anticipation for what we hope to be a great new year, we're looking back on a few of the most futuristic concept cars that were (and still are) way ahead of their time.
Mazda Furai Concept
The Mazda Furai concept from 2008 looks like a souped up Batmobile. The Furai was designed to look like a race car meant for the road, and haven't we all, at some point, pretended we were driving a race car down an empty highway? (*Disclaimer: We do not encourage speeding.*) The TopGear website even refers to the Furai as, "the defining concept car of its era". Unfortunately, it never made it to mass production, but the design was so ahead of its time that perhaps once all the kinks are ironed out, the Furai can make a brand new entrance that doesn't end up in flames.
2005 Ford-Shelby GR-1 Concept
Maybe it's just the chrome finish, but the 2005 Ford-Shelby GR-1 looks like the Terminator-cum-spaceship, to us. If only the exhausts threw flamethrowers. The GR-1 was almost feasible to manufacture, aside from a few tweaks to meet safety regulations and an unappealingly low sales projection. But like the Furai, this car was enough ahead of its time that it could still make a comeback in the future.
eXtremes by Marianna Merenmies
The three-seater crossover designed for the "eXtreme" Russian climate would fit right in with James Bond's snow-chase scene in Spectre. Lightweight and aerodynamic, its upward-opening doors make it the perfect getaway car for a Secret Service Agent. Made with a carbon fibre frame, the eXtreme protects against heat, cold, and noise. Just throw in some bullet-proof windows and it's almost as if it were developed for Russian spies.
The Lamborghini Ferruccio by Mark Hostler.
The Lamborghini Ferruccio concept looks like it's about to transform into Optimus Prime's worst enemy. The aggressive design and narrowed headlights that resemble glaring eyes look like it's ready to attack anyone who gets in its way. Every part of the Ferruccio was inspired by the brand's lineage: it's named after Ferruccio Lamborghini, the company's founder, and inspired by the Countach and Miura designs.
McLaren JetSet by Marianna Merenmies
The JetSet concept is a sleek and undoubtedly attractive to its intended premium clientele. The car's thin rear reduces its weight and increases its travel efficiency, making it easier to navigate through the high-traffic city streets. Generally, a sharp design evokes a more futuristic feel, but the JetSet is curvy in all the right places, and the unexpected fins are what elevate a generic sports car to an innovative one.
Taihoo Car Concept 2046 By Hao Huang.
The Taihoo looks like a hover board. Is there anything more futuristic than a hover board? We don't think so.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular with commuters. Many of us will listen to a podcast instead of a playlist during a workout or on the way to work because podcasts offer a little more than a good tune to mindlessly drift off to - they offer information and stories that engage you, sort of like a radio talk show but with less celebrity gossip and more substantial content. A podcast is kind of like reading an article or watching a tv show, but you don't have to look at something to keep up with it. Seeing as we are a body shop, it's important to us that quality information is circulated about cars. If you're a car lover, we've put together a short list of some of our favourite and most useful auto podcasts:
The Smoking Tire pretty much offers anything you might want to hear relating to cars. Their podcasts centre around anything from interviews with leaders in the automotive industry to tips for restoring your car. Their website is complete with videos, merchandise, reviews, podcasts, and even written pieces, like interviews with leaders in the automotive industry.
You don't have to know much about cars to enjoy Car Talk- probably one of the most entertaining car podcasts. Car Talk is almost like a radio comedy show centred around cars, so it's less information-based but more about other listeners' car-related dilemmas (although you'll still learn a few things along the way).
Hosts, Paul and Todd, review cars and help their listeners figure out what car would be best for them. While they occasionally discuss high-end, exotic cars, they most often talk about issues pertinent to the "everyday driver", like affordable cars and relatable situations, like one of their most recent topics: Enthusiast Dad on a Budget. They also have a YouTube channel so listeners can watch the video component of their car reviews.
Detailer and host of AMMO NYC, Larry Kosilla uploads weekly podcasts to provide his listeners with his best tips and tricks for cleaning, restoring, and maintaining their vehicles.This is a great podcast to check out if you restore cars as a hobby or if your car is your most prized possession.
What kinds of podcasts do you guys like listening to? Are there any really great ones about cars that we missed?
March break is the awkward in-between season when it's too warm to do winter things like skiing and ice skating, but too cool to do spring things like go camping and outdoor swimming. It can be hard to keep your kids entertained during March Break: you don't want them to spend the whole week sleeping in and watching TV all day, but you also don't want to spend the week acting as their chauffeur, which only interferes with your work schedule. Instead, why not use March Break as an excuse to take some time off and plan some forced family fun. We've put together a few family-friendly March Break trips within driving distance of Toronto that will not only entertain your kids, but will get you out of work for a few days.
Tap Into Maple (pictured above)runs from March 1st through May 31st in Ontario's Lake Country and Springwater and as the name suggests, celebrates "all things maple". Check out local maple syrup producers, or attend some of their events (syrup-related or not). Over March Break, you can even learn about maple syrup production with a horse and wagon tour through the sugar bush.
Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush is a 400-acre farm a little closer to Ottawa, so it's a bit far for a day-trip, but a great family vacation if you're looking to get away for a few days. Every day of March Break has a different theme that your kids can even dress up to, and if there's still snow you can even bring your skis and toboggans. They offer family packages which include pancake meals, face painting, and horse-drawn sleigh/wagon rides.
What kid doesn't thrive off of doing crazy things that impress their peers? BugFeast! begins March 12 at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory and gives kids the chance to taste foods made with bugs! The event only runs through March Break and will even have food truck-style foods using insects!
If you can't take time off but want to get your kids out of the house for the week, send them to Petit Chefs Academy's March Break cooking camp. At Petit Chefs Academy, your kids will learn how to cook healthy and delicious meals that will hopefully appeal to even the most picky of eaters. Maybe you and your kids can even start taking turns cooking dinner for the family (or at the very least, they'll have a new appreciation for the effort you put into it).
We know that texting and driving is illegal now, which one could hope has lead to a decrease in distracted driving accidents, but that hasn't seemed to stop people from doing other dumb (and downright weird) things on the road. In 80% of collisions, drivers had only taken his or her eyes off the road for 3 seconds prior to the accident, and while banning cell phone usage when driving is a great start, some drivers seem to think some of these driving habits are acceptable by comparison.
Eating - We don't just mean eating a piece of toast in the car when you're in a hurry to get to work. We've heard of people eating full bowls of cereal or entire pies (just two of many weird examples) while driving. With a bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other, what's steering the car? Well, naturally, your foot.
Reading - Was it Oscar Wilde who said you can never be overdressed or overeducated? We're all for catching up on school readings or expanding your literary repertoire, but maybe you should leave it to a time when you're not depending on 4,000lbs of metal to protect you from the oncoming traffic, should you lose control of your vehicle. If you really need to read and the only time to do it is during your morning commute, why not take public transportation instead?
Beauty routines - Hollywood often portrays women as the distracted drivers - painting their nails, putting on lipstick.. shaving their legs? Apparently shaving is a common driving habit for both men and women in a hurry to get somewhere. We just have two questions for people who shave while driving: how exactly do you clean the razor, and more importantly, do you really want to take the chance of getting in an accident while you're running a sharp blade across your skin?
As funny as it may be to see the person in the car next to you eating an entire pie, we (the 3 out of 4 motorists who multitask while driving, specifically) forget just how dangerous distracted driving is. Whether it's texting or eating a pie or shaving your legs, we need to remember to give 100% of our attention to the road.