Sunday, February 28, 2010


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that beyond a single event in Montreal in 2008, NASCAR stock cars haven't had windshield wipers since a few years after they stopped running on the sand at Daytona. I highly doubt that the cars running in Montreal had windshield washers to go with their wipers.

So how is it that NASCAR branded windshield washer fluid, seen here at retailer Canadian Tire, makes any sense?

What's next? NASCAR branded headlight bulbs? (Our high-performance NASCAR headlights now feature 30% stickier adhesive!)

Good thing that the fluid is rated for -49ÂșC - you never know when you'll need that level of protection when you're racing in Fontana, California...

Shameless Self-promotion

You can read my review of Lexus' 2010 GX 460 in Wheels here, and my review of the same vehicle for here.

Shamless Self-promotion

You can read my Wheels article about my visit to Porsche's northern Finland driver training facility here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Jackass Award - Lamborghini at the Toronto Auto Show


I can't decide if Lamborghini's display at this year's Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto is the result of ignorance or arrogance, but I'm leaning towards arrogance.

Segregating the unwashed masses from your cars is completely understandable; I don't begrudge you that. Prevents greasy fingerprints and zipper scratches while adding to the mystique and all that. Got it.

Even having black walls and black carpet is fine. It can look very classy.

Not having any sort of light, other than the few pot lights in the Convention Centre's ceiling isn't particularly clever though. Doesn't show off your cars or their exquisite styling details too well, nor does parking them as far from the crowd as possible at the rear of your stand, perpendicular to the public's viewpoint.

However what cements your booth as a Jackass Award winner is the choice of colour of the two cars present, particularly given the lighting and the display's colour choice. Why would you show black cars with black wheels on a black carpet against a black backdrop?

Do you boneheads realize how difficult it is to photograph a black car under ideal lighting against a contrasting background? It's hard enough to see them well.

Had it occurred to you that some small percentage of the crowd gawking at your cars over the barrier and desperately trying to get a good camera-phone image might one day be potential buyers? Or that the desirability of your product - that your customers can purchase what the majority want but can't have - is a large part of what sells them, not just their performance?

Desktops on computers and profile pictures on Facebook - these are the modern bedroom wall posters, and you should be encouraging your future fan base, not spurning them.

Reinforcing the notion that Lamborghinis are the sole domain of aloof, pretentious jerks isn't what I'd call a positive marketing effort.

For that, Lamborghini, whether intentional or not, you win a Jackass Award.

(Inaugural) Jackass Award - GTAA/Lester B. Pearson International Airport

On a recent trip via Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, I encountered a set of sliding entrance doors that weren't working. On each door in the pair there was a little yellow sign which read, "Temporarily out of service" in both English and French.

OK, fair enough, stuff like this breaks. No big deal. After entering the functional set to their immediate left - which lead into the same small foyer - I came to the next set of doors.

Lo and behold, they weren't working either, but had the same signs on them.

I believe in coincidence, but this was a bit annoying, as I had to diagonally cross the foyer to use the righthand doors, which did work.

It wasn't until I was walking down the Terminal to my check-in point that I realized that all of the entrance/exit doors in the building were the same, and all were forcing people to use diagonal sets of doors. Upon my return, I discovered that it was the same on all three floors.

What the hell is that about?!? Is this some kind of bizarre attempt at improving security? Like preventing terrorists or suicide bombers or girl guides selling cookies from walking conveniently straight in would somehow make any difference at all?

I'm going to be generous and suggest that it was done to reduce the intrusion of cold gusts of air from outside. Even if that's the case, it's still stupid; a band-aid solution to a lousy design. At least indicate that this is the intention, because to those that somehow don't notice the other sets of doors, it makes it look like the place is falling apart and poorly maintained - not the message that air travellers really want from their airport. Spend a bit of your world-beating gate fees and install big revolving doors if this is the reason.

To whatever person or group - GTAA, this means one or more of your employees - that thought that this was a good idea, you need to give your head(s) a massive shake and realize that what you're actually accomplishing is to inconvenience and annoy nearly every single traveller - these would be your customers, dummies - that passes in or out of your facility.

For that, unknown GTAA personnel, you win my first Jackass Award. Congratulations!

Shameless Self-promotion

You can find my Wheels review of Buick's 2010 LaCrosse here.