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Cars > canadianpontiacguy’s Garage > Blog


Our "Cool" Canadian Leader

By canadianpontiacguy

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper tickled the ivories to the tune of The Beatles Saturday night at the sold-out NAC Gala held at the National Arts Centre in support of Canada’s next generation of performing artists.

Harper got by with a little help from cellist Yo-Yo Ma taking to the stage just prior to the intermission to sing and play the piano. He performed a classic Beatles tune — With a Little Help from My Friends — accompanied by Ma, one of the greatest classical musicians of our time, and members of the Ottawa band, Herringbone.

Harper’s unexpected number earned him a standing ovation and loud cheers from the black-tie audience of 2,300 people.

At one point during the song, the crowd clapped along and, at times, chuckled aloud, as when Harper sang “What would you do if I sang out of tune,” which he did, and “I need somebody to love.”

Very few people in Southam Hall saw the Prime Minister’s performance coming, with the exception of his wife, who returned for her fourth year as chairwoman.

“I thought he was great,” she said at the VIP reception held during intermission. She admitted it had been a struggle for her to keep the secret to herself.

Others agreed. “I think it was a great move on his part,” commented provincial cabinet minister and Ottawa MPP Jim Watson, while pointing out that Harper was not wearing a black tie but an open-collar shirt. “Touche, Mr. Harper.”

Laureen Harper also made her own appearance on stage, just prior to the concert. She announced that this year’s gala had raised $575,000 for the National Youth and Education Trust, calling it “a shining example of how we can support the artistic development of young people across the country.”

Labour Day Week-end 2009

By canadianpontiacguy

This is Labour Day week-end in Canada, so Monday is a national holiday.
A great time to relax and enjoy!
We began Friday evening with supper on the balcony of our high-rise building, ending with a glass of Strawberry wine.
Another beautiful sunset as daylight turned into nighttime.

The weather this week has been fabulous, and the week-end should continue sunny with high temps of about 72 degrees-no humidity!

Saturday morning (7:30 AM) greeted us with hundreds of hot-air balloons floating above, as the prevailing winds took participants at Gatineau Balloon Festival overhead.
With luck, and favourable winds, we look forward to seeing them again before Festival's end on Monday.

Sunday (Sept. 6/09) we plan to tour and picnic with the Pontiac, so check out my album for photos of that event!


By canadianpontiacguy

We are on vacation in eastern Canada-New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Eating lots of lobster,scallops,seafood chowder etc. Fresh from the fishing boat at the dock!

Saw a nice red 1966 Corvair for sale in Digby NS.

Enjoy the photo of Peggy's Cove!

Ontario Wants Electric Vehicles

By canadianpontiacguy

Electric cars will become part of the Ontario government's fleet and consumers will get up to $10,000 in rebates to buy one of the experimental vehicles.

But with a hefty price tag, the new electric-hybrid cars will be a hard sell.

General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt is expected to hit the roads next year, but will cost as much as $40,000.

"Electric vehicles are the way to go in Ontario," Premier McGuinty said in a statement released Wednesday morning. "This plan helps get more people behind the wheel of a green vehicle to create jobs, reduce smog and equip Ontario for the 21st century."

Later, he told a news conference at a Toronto auto dealership that he wants electric cars to make up five per cent of all cars on the road by 2020.

In an effort to achieve that, he announced "rebates of between $4,000 and $10,000 for plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles purchased after July 1, 2010.

"They tell me that when they roll the first of these off the assembly line, they're going to be expensive, relative to the traditional car powered by the regular internal combustion engine," he said. "We want to help people buy those first cars."

The province will buy 500 of the new cars for government use.

When asked why the government is handing out taxpayer dollars to subsidize the new line of autos, he said the idea is to help build a market for the vehicles.

"At some point, the price comes down ... and you can take away the government initiative."

He said the subsidy, which doesn't begin for 12 months, will eventually be dropped. He just couldn't say when.

"It won't last forever."

Not all electric or hybrid cars will be covered by the announcement. The rebate is restricted to cars that can travel on highways.

That rules out the Zenn car, which was designed for urban use and has not been approved for Ontario's highways.

The government has cited safety concerns, even though two other provinces have approved the Zenn car for use on roads with speed limits below 50 km/h.

Analysts say the province is using the incentive as an attempt to boost its struggling auto sector and position itself at the forefront of the green technology.

The province also announced plans to expand recharging facilities and allow owners of the new cars to use carpool lanes.

Ottawa Firm Hopes Unique Gas Takes Off

By canadianpontiacguy


Ottawa Ontario drivers will be the first in the world to test a locally developed gasoline containing biofuel derived from wheat straw.

For the next month, the Shell gas station on Merivale Rd.will offer customers a unique gasoline containing 10% cellulosic ethanol.

Unlike conventional ethanol, which is fermented from corn or sugar cane and has been accused of driving up food prices, Iogen's unique fuel uses non-food portions of the crops. The price of the fuel during the demonstration will be tied to regular gas prices, said Luis Scoffone, Shell's biofuels vice-president.

After the Ottawa pilot project, the plan is to look at selling the fuel at stations across North America.

However, Scoffone couldn't say exactly when that would happen. The price of the fuel could be more or less than conventional gasoline depending on the world market, he said.

A self-described fan of cellulosic ethanol, federal Transport Minister John Baird listed the product's benefits: It's locally developed and produced, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal government committed $2 billion to support development of a Canadian renewable fuels industry in its 2007 budget.

There's an ample supply of resources to produce cellulosic ethanol, which could significantly reduce consumer dependence on petroleum, said Iogen CEO Brian Foody.

"In the U.S., they figure they can cut their petroleum use by 30%," he said

Sunday Cruise To Cardinal

By canadianpontiacguy

A beautiful Sunday, with plenty of sun and temperatures of about 71 degrees.
We took a trip in the Pontiac, lasting about 3 hours, including a stop for pie and coffee in Cardinal Ontario, a cute little town on the St. Lawrence River.
A short history follows.

Early natives camped beside the turbulent rapids here 400 to 500 years ago. French voyagers who rested by the rapids during expeditions gave them their original name, "Galloping Waters".
However, it was United Empire Loyalists who finally settled at the rapids' site, and that settlement became the village of Cardinal.

After the American Revolution, troops loyal to the King (United Empire Loyalists - U.E.L's), gathered in Lower Canada in an attempt to stage a counter revolution. Returning to Canada, it became apparent that something must be done to recompense the men who had given up so much for their loyalty to the King.

It was decided to survey the upper St. Lawrence Valley, with a view to settlement, while some of the Loyalists turned to the east and took up residence in Nova Scotia.

Hugh Munro, seeing the possibilities of water power inherent in the rapids, had by 1790, settled at Point Cardinal.

The "galloping rapids" at Cardinal were so treacherous that the boats had to be pushed upstream with poles. One of Cardinal's first settlers, Henry Lewis, established a very profitable business using yokes of oxen to pull boats through the swift waters. Some days he made as much as $20!

As river traffic increased plans were made to build a canal that would take boaters around the Galop Rapids. Construction, done without the benefit of machinery, began in 1844. Workers used carts, horses, picks, axes, wheel barrows and shovels, and were paid 50 cents a day. The canal cut through the outer edge of the village.

Soon a deeper waterway was needed and work began on a "new" canal in 1897.

Although this new canal was deeper, it was still not possible for ocean-going ships to pass through. The St. Lawrence Seaway was constructed and a causeway was built.

Victoria Day Cruise 2009

By canadianpontiacguy

As today is Victoria Day, a statutory holiday in Canada, we took advantage of the sun and 55 degree temperature to go for our first cruise of the season.
Hope you enjoy the photos.

Last truck rolls off line at Oshawa GM plant

By canadianpontiacguy

The final vehicle was due to roll off the assembly line Thursday morning at the GM truck plant in Oshawa, marking the end of 44 years of production and the elimination of 2,600 jobs.

The closure is part of company-wide cuts, with General Motors Canada planning to reduce its workforce by more than half by 2014.

The company and the Canadian Auto Workers are in negotiations on a labour deal that will include concessions that must match an earlier agreement between Chrysler and the union.

"The company's holding the gun to the CAW's head and they either match it or they're gone", 45 year veteran Bob Nesbitt said.

There is some positive news for the company and its workers, as GM plans to launch three of six new products at its Oshawa car plant.

Ford-Magna BEV

By canadianpontiacguy

Magna International, the world's most diverse auto parts supplier, announced a vehicle-development partnership with Ford Motor Company to introduce a zero-emission lithium-ion battery electric vehicle (BEV) to be delivered to market in 2011.

The electric vehicle, which Ford announced at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a key vehicle in their electrification strategy, will be a small car with an expected range of up to 100 miles without using a drop of gasoline and without compromising customer performance expectations. The Ford BEV is expected to offer consumers a familiar driving experience - it will operate similar to a conventional vehicle, but with smoother acceleration, less noise and zero emission.

"This vehicle adds an important piece to Ford's product lineup with a zero-emission vehicle that will be both affordable and meets customers' needs," said Don Walker, co-CEO of Magna International. "In addition, the joint partnership demonstrates valuable OEM/supplier collaboration by sharing in the expertise and investment that the auto industry now requires for new advancements in energy independence and reduced CO(2) emissions."

"Our collaboration with Magna on a Ford BEV is the result of a shared vision of the potential of electrification in transportation," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Product Development. "This partnership leverages the technical expertise of two global companies to achieve a common goal, delivering a no-compromise, zero- emission, battery powered car for the retail market."

Magna will be responsible for providing critical components that make-up the powertrain and battery modules in the vehicle. In addition, Magna will also play a key role in the engineering required to integrate the electric propulsion system and other new systems into the vehicle architecture.

Vehicle/Technology Specifications:

- Battery pack expected range of up to 100 miles;

- On-board battery charger capable of plugging into a 110- or 220-volt
standard outlet;

- Expected 12 hour charge time at 110 volts; 6 hours at 220 volts;

- High-voltage powered HVAC compressor; and

- High-voltage auxiliary heater.

The partnership with Ford and development of the Ford BEV demonstrates Magna's commitment to industry-leading innovation in materials, processes and products. From reducing mass to increasing comfort and forging new paths in customer collaboration, Magna's expertise in design, engineering and manufacturing continues to play a role in the development of next-generation cars and trucks.

About Magna International

Magna International Inc.
337 Magna Drive
Aurora, Ontario
L4G 7K1

Magna International is the most diversified automotive supplier in the world. We design, develop and manufacture automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineer and assemble complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers of cars and light trucks in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Our capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems; seating systems; closure systems; metal body and structural systems; vision systems; electronic systems; exterior systems; powertrain systems; roof systems; as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

Magna has approximately 77,500 employees in 241 manufacturing operations and 86 product development and engineering centers in 25 countries.

Pizzazz Came in the Form of Wood

By canadianpontiacguy

By Bill Vance, Canwest News Service

As automakers prepared their new models right after the Second World War, they tried to disguise the fact that what they had to offer was nothing more than warmed-over 1942 cars. One way was to inject a little pizzazz into them, hoping to provide a halo effect for the more prosaic offerings.

Ford's attempt at pizzazz was to combine the appeal of the convertible with the upscale cachet of the wood-panelled station wagon. The result was the Ford Sportsman, a convertible coupe with its body sides and trunk covered by mahogany veneer inserts surrounded by maple or birch framing. And it was real wood, not the plastic-simulated variety of later years. Ford's supply came from its own huge forest and sawmill at Iron Mountain in northern Michigan.

Ford wasn't alone in following this recipe. Chrysler had made a woody model in 1941-'42 called the Town and Country, and carried it and the name over to post-war woody cars. Chrysler went even further than Ford and applied wood to both sedans and two-door convertibles. Nash also had a wood-trimmed Ambassador Suburban sedan from 1946 to 1948.

And there was also the matter of maintenance. Like wooden boats, woody convertibles and wagons had to periodically have the wood tightened up and refinished.

But woody wagons and convertibles are now sought-after collectibles worth many times their original price.

Ads From 40's,50's and 60's on Video

By canadianpontiacguy

A great collection of classic American automobile ads from the 40's 50;s and 60's, put to music on a 4 minute video.
Would love to have any of them in my personal garage.

Fall Into Winter

By canadianpontiacguy

Gonna be a long time until May!

A taste of winter arrived today, with a skiff of snow, icy roads, and scenes of salt trucks scurrying around the neighbourhood.
The Pontiac has been in storage for about 1 month already, and now we concentrate on Christmas preparations.

Gonna be a long time until May!

Near Record High Temperature

By canadianpontiacguy

What an absolutely WONDERFUL day today!
Near high record temperature-(70 degrees)-almost wiping out the previous high of 70.5 degrees set in 1938.
And best of all, I had the day off!!!
Sure hated to see the sun go down!!!

Muscle Car 1000

By canadianpontiacguy

The most luxurious collector car adventure in America.
In yesterday's blog, I mentioned that a 1970 Buick GS had participated in the Muscle Car 1000.
Here is some info on that rally
Probably too late to enter for this year, but keep it in mind for 2009!

The Fourth Annual Muscle Car 1000 will be held October 5th to October 10th 2008. Forty teams will be invited to gather at the world famous Fisherman’s Warf in San Francisco, CA for the start of the event.

Day 1 – October 5, 2008
Concours d'Elegance and Reception on Pier 35, San Francisco
Private once-in-a-lifetime candlelit dinner cruising around Alcatraz.
Overnight at the Vitale

Day 2 - October 6, 2008
Beautiful drive from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley
Check in at the world-famous Ahwanee Lodge
Winemaker’s dinner under the stars
“After hours” with new and old friends

Day 3 - October 7, 2008
Stunning drive from Yosemite Valley to Lake Tahoe
Special lunch along the route
Arrive at Squaw Valley Food and Wine pairing dinner

Day 4 - October 8, 2008
Another fantastic drive: Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley
Curvy roads take us to lunch in California’s Capitol (Sacramento)
Reception and winemaker’s dinner at Stag's Leap Winery
Overnight stay in stunning Napa Valley

Day 5 - October 9, 2008
Casual drive from Napa Valley
Drag Racing! Who will be the fastest?
Trackside lunch
Beautiful drive to Half Moon Bay
Arrive at the stunning Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay
Private reception, dinner and awards gala

Day 6 - October 10, 2008
Depart Hotel with a suitcase full of memories.

GM 100th Anniversary Tour

By canadianpontiacguy

The wife and I both had yesterday off, so after the fog lifted late in the morning, we decided to spend the day on a road trip with the Pontiac.

First stop was Mike Fair Chevrolet, in Smith's Falls Ont., where we wished some of the staff a "Happy Anniversary".

We stopped at St. John's Church (1863) to take pictures, and continued on to my mother, grandmother, and grandfather's burial site just north of Sunbury Ont.

Then back south to the St. Lawrence Parkway, where we stopped at Gananoque Chevrolet to wish the staff there a "Happy Anniversary" also!

Arrived back at our high-rise in Ottawa just in time to get a couple of beautiful sunset photos.

We were gone for about 9 hours all together, the Pontiac performed flawlessly, and attracted much attention wherever we stopped. Actually got an unsolicited offer to buy her when we stopped for lunch, but turned it down.

The weather becomes highly unpredictable this time of year in Eastern Ontario, so this might well turn out to be the last long trip for this year.

But we both enjoyed it tremendously, and can't wait for Spring 2009!

Ferrari and Shell

By canadianpontiacguy

Certainly a contender for one of the greatest motoring adverts of all time, the new Shell ‘Circuit’ television advert perfectly demonstrates the shared passion for performance that Shell and Ferrari have experienced together over the past 60 years.

‘Circuit’ is a stunning display of Ferrari race cars over the decades. Watch five different Ferrari Formula One cars dating back to 1952, take to the streets of Rome, New York, Rio, Hong Kong and Monaco in a celebration of the ongoing Shell and Ferrari technical partnership.

Historic, funny, technologically first class!

Have a look!


A high quality version is available at:

Labour Day Cruise

By canadianpontiacguy

It's Labour Day in Canada, and the wife and I took advantage of some well deserved time off work to go for a drive.
We stopped for an Iced Cappuccino, and a doughnut, and met up with another fellow driving a Mach 1 Mustang! Couldn't resist a photo of the "family car" and the "performance car" together in the shade of a huge Maple tree.
The weather this weekend has been spectacular, with temperatures in the low 80's, and low humidity to match. Usual Labour Day weather here in Ottawa sees us wearing jackets, and putting a fire in the old fireplace to chase away the cold mornings.
Hope you enjoy the photos, 'cause it won't be long until we get "baby" put away in permanent storage for the winter.


Blastolene B702

By canadianpontiacguy

This might actually be old news, but it's new to me. It's about the Blastolene supercar: The "B702". The styling just blows me away! I'm daydream about driving this thing onto the show field at Pebble Beach!
Does anyone have any more info to add about it?

Randy Grubb and Michael Leeds' Blastolene Company of Grants Pass, Oregon is working on another car. Its a neo-classic boat-tail roadster, they're calling it the B702. It has a 702-cubic inch V12 engine with an Allison 4 speed transmission. The Blastolene guys were featured on the July 17th, 2006 episode of PBS's Oregon Artbeat, where their Blastolene Special was featured.

Blastolene unveiled this new car sometime late this summer, I think. It has a 155-inch wheelbase, but it doesn't look like it, at least in photos. Maybe the design of the car makes it appear shorter. Love the way the taillights are designed into the rear fenders.

Simcoe Day Cruise

By canadianpontiacguy

Today is John Graves Simcoe Day in Ontario, and is a holiday for the wife and I. Simcoe is most famous for abolishing slavery in what was then called Upper Canada, and for founding Toronto Ontario He was Lieutenent Governor from 1791-1796.

So we took the Pontiac out early this morning and headed south to one of our favorite restaurants for breakfast. It's only about 1/2 hour from town, but we love any excuse to get out of the city and smell the clean fresh country air.

From there we travelled another 1/2 hour west to visit historic Merrickville Ont, and then took an alternate route back to the Pontiac's storage barn.

We were out for about 2 hours altogether, with about 1 hour driving time, with all the windows down and the wind blowing through our hair. Well at least through my wife's hair. I haven't had much hair for 40 years!! HaHa!

Hope you enjoy the photos of the old Pontiac in action!


Spring Cruise 2008

By canadianpontiacguy

The wife and I took a vacation day today, to make the Victoria Day ( you remember Queen Victoria. Reigned from 1837-1901)long week-end really long!
Today was forecast to have the best weather, so we got the Pontiac out and found an excuse to take a trip.
We went to the Hathaway shirt factory outlet in Prescott Ont, to get me some new duds!
The round trip was about 3 1/2 hours, and, of course, included a stop on the way back for an ice cream cone.
Spring is blooming in the Ottawa Ont area, with lots of flowering crab trees and Lilacs to brighten up the landscape.
Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Rare 1969 Firebird Comanche

By canadianpontiacguy

An Internet friend has restored a rare Canadian market only 1969 Firebird Comanche.

This Firebird marks the second in this series of Firebirds that were modified by the dealer and then sold to the public as a special package or option etc.. The "Comanche" Firebird was only available at 3 dealerships in Canada.

The dealers ordered a loaded Firebird from the factory, each with a gold leather interior (the only color available in leather). They were then re-painted a non-Firebird gold color with white accents. The options below were added (some were already added at the factory) and a "Comanche" Firebird was born.

Below is the full list of options as shown on the brochure:
Vinyl roof with special emblems
Marchal fog lamps
High speed driving lights with quartz bulbs
Special chrome hood louvers
Turbo Hydramatic or 4-speed close ration (either included a console)
Variable ration power steering
Front power disc brakes
Remote trunk release
Door guards
Mirror group (vanity mirror and remote control mirror) Custom seat belts
Rally mag wheels
Special sport tilt steering wheel
Bucket seats (with the full leather interior)
Rally Gauges with clock or tach
Floor mats (front and rear)
Koni adjustable shocks
Special tire pump
Heavy duty air cleaner
Heavy duty radiator
Pirelli tires with special suspension
Power top (convertibles only)
Rear defogger

Estimates are that only about 30 of these were converted for sale to the public, and rumor has it Paul Newman may have bought one.

Hope you enjoy the attached album!

Winter in Canada's Capital

By canadianpontiacguy

As you can see from the photo album, it has been a snowy winter here in Canada's Capital.

But the snow adds a measure of magic to the winter season.

Hope you enjoy the photos in the Album!!

Spencerville Fair

By canadianpontiacguy

Went to look around at the Spencerville Fair today.
No Car Show, but some antique equipment on display.
Anybody know the history of the Maple Leaf truck?
Enjoy the photos!

Sept 17 2007
Got some info on the Maple Leaf.

From the Reynolds Alberta Museum "The Maple Leaf 2-ton truck went on sale in the 1930's but history does not record precisely when. Mention of the Maple Leaf may first be found in advertising in 1934. The Maple Leaf immediately established itself as a threat to its arch-rival, Ford. The Maple Leaf name continued to go on 2 and 2-1/2-ton trucks until after World War II.

"In 1935 there were 167 trucks registered in Alberta with Class A freight licenses. By far the most popular were the Chevrolet 2-ton trucks, with 44 licensed."

162nd Perth Fair

By canadianpontiacguy

Wife and I took the Pontiac to the 162nd Perth Fair yesterday.
Wonderful weather-clear blue skies, temp in the low '70's.
Met some old friends, watched the tractor pulling (new and antique) and lawn mower races. Had a wonderful lunch, and admired the work people put into raising cattle, sheep, horses, fowl, and the work they put into competing in the Craft and Baking Competition.
Hope you enjoy the photos in the Perth Fair Album!

Cruise Night

By canadianpontiacguy

Wife and I left the house about 5:15 Tuesday Aug. 21/07 to go to Cruise Night in Kanata Ontario.
Had A.& W Poppa Burgers and Root Beer for supper after arrival, and left Mall parking lot about 7:45.
Nice cars, great people, good food, wonderful evening!

Enjoy the album photos.

British Car Day

By canadianpontiacguy

Got a chance to drop over to Britannia Park to get some great shots of beautiful British automobiles.
It was somewhat overcast, but warm.
And what a beautiful location!
If you love British sports cars, you will love the photos in this Album!

Feature Challenge

By canadianpontiacguy

Enjoyed the Feature Challenge with "T-Bird"!

Was included in the January Newsletter too!

Thank you Motortopia!!

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