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I would absolutely turn redneck for the Raptor

Monday, August 24th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | Comments Off on I would absolutely turn redneck for the Raptor

SVT Raptor
Apologies for running silent for so long. The fleeting sun of Montreal summer forced this northgeek outdoors for the past few months. But now that my skin is a shade or two less pale – now merely pastey – I can happily resume trawling the internets and reporting on things that bear mention.

I don’t pay much attention to pick-up trucks, at least not since my days ski bumming in Whistler, where the Ford F250 super-duty + sled combo was the ultimate sign of ski town upward mobility – both literal and figurative. This rig, however, could turn me back:

I would become a lumber-haulin’ home builder, or maybe start sand dune surfing, or maybe hunt big game in the desert (I’m looking at you, giant worms from the movie “Tremors”!), just to justify owning and operating such a monster. What would you do??

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Awkward? Say cheese!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 Posted in Funny | Comments Off on Awkward? Say cheese!

Hola amigos, it’s been a slow week at the ‘Geek (with all due credence to the Google streetview camera – finally, the beautiful pictorial story of my hipster neighborhood will be told!), but I’ve got good news. My buddy Mike clued me into this very special site last night. I can confidently assure you that this is currently the raddest website in the universe (not named NorthGeek). Be sure to go to the older pages to see all the magic. My favourite photo is NSFW, so I’ll just link to it here. It combines my two favourite things: concealed infants and unconcealed weapons. That’s all I’m saying. Let the laughter – and awkwardness – flow.


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“He’s a lover, not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.”

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 Posted in Funny | Comments Off on “He’s a lover, not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.”

As I was inspired by Dan W.’s posting of the hilarious Bud Swear Jar commercial, I’ve gotta give a shout out to Dos Equis beer for their own, giggle-inducing entry.

Hot babes, exotic locales, and extreme sports are the required ingredients for any beer spot worth its foamy suds, but the writers behind the Dos Equis ad incorporate that holy trinity with a delicious, ironic twist. Their mysterious character – The Most Interesting Man In The World – is a heady concoction: equal parts J. Peterman and Chuck Norris. Also, kudos to the writers for making Jai Alai look so awesome (which it is). That hasn’t happened since the opening credits to Miami Vice. Stay thirsty, my friends…

More ads from the campaign here

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2009 Bentley Man. on Man.

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | Comments Off on 2009 Bentley Man. on Man.

Here’s a highly amusing review of the latest uber-Bentley, courtesy of Vanity Fair magazine’s resident gay auto scribe, with a little help from the editors at

Be sure to check out the photo of the “gay-friendly” climate control system. Immature? Perhaps. Hilarious? Definitely.

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BMW has done gone brought sexy back.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | Comments Off on BMW has done gone brought sexy back.

There has been enough ink spilled about the questionable direction that former BMW design chief, Chris “I have an ego bigger than the J-Lo-sized rump of the 7 series sedan I designed” Bangle, took BMW’s styling over the past decade such that I will spare you from further whining about it. Suffice it to say, in an effort to break the cycle of look-alike Bimmers that were coming out of Bavaria in the late 1990’s – pretty as those cars were – Bangle ended up penning some cars whose looks were polarizing at best, and ass-ugly at worst. Now, with Bangle’s departure, BMW has returned to fine form with a new, more fluid design language, the first example of which is the new 2009 Z4. With the new Z’s introduction, BMW has proven two things, as far as I can tell: 1) BMW still knows how to build a gorgeous car, and 2) It is possible to build a hardtop convertible whose proportions aren’t awkward. Bravo. 2009-bmw-z4-wallpaper-1

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Yes, but how will it handle a marble surface? And how effectively will it storm a beach??

Friday, May 8th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | Comments Off on Yes, but how will it handle a marble surface? And how effectively will it storm a beach??

As I continue to contribute to NorthGeek, I would like to state here and now that I will try my absolute best to limit my gushing over BBC’s Top Gear, with this one post being the exception.

Suffice it to say, Top Gear is the highest rated show in Britain for good reason: the production values are staggeringly high and the casting is superb, with 3 opinionated, smart, charismatic, and hilarious hosts, who never mince words, be it about the cars they’re testing, their own social views, or even what they think of the BBC. If any car is not up to snuff, they will happily roast it to hell, without giving a hoot about what their advertisers might say.

So with 12 superb seasons under their belt, one would think Clarkson and Co. would be fresh out of ideas for how to tart up an otherwise mundane test-drive of a mundane hatchback – albeit a very good one, but a hatchback just the same. And then they did this. What isn’t shown on the video is host Richard Hammond first reading a letter from a viewer who asks why they don’t test-drive their cars more thoroughly. Enjoy.


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Presenting the Aston Martin BALLS.

Thursday, May 7th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | 1 Comment »


Presenting the Aston Martin BALLS.

Not really. This is, of course, the Aston Martin Lagonda. The weirdest, rarest, most obscure, and first 4-door super-car.

I adore this car. It is beautiful in the same, contrarian way that Gina Gershon is beautiful – fish-lips and all. Whenever I see pictures of the Lagonda, I am reminded of the sheer audacity; the chutzpah; the absolute BALLS, really, Aston Martin was walking around with that would have prompted them to produce this car back in the 1970’s.

I’m talking about this car because last night’s episode of Top Gear on BBC Canada aired a quick segment on the Lagonda, but I felt they didn’t really hammer home what a unique-looking beast this thing really is.

With more right-angles than a Frank Lloyd Wright abode, this thing cackled at wind tunnels, and would make a T-square blush. I only wish Aston – or anyone – still had the cojones to build another one now. The closest anyone has come to contrarian excellence in automotive design has been the Pontiac Aztek – and there really is nothing excellent about that rolling (and I will steal from the hilarious Patton Oswalt here) failure pile.

Sure, every modern Aston built since 2005 has been consistently, stunningly, tear-jerkingly gorgeous, from the V8 Vantage to the race-ready DBS, to the upcoming Rapide and the economically illogical One-77 – but they all look exactly the same. Seriously, Aston effectively stopped designing cars in 2005.

Not so with the Lagonda. It simply looks like no other car. The first time I ever saw one was actually in the flesh – a friend of my father’s, who has since passed away, was a big car guy and owned a British racing green example, which sounded even better than it looked. When I first laid eyes on it, I remember thinking, “that’s not an Aston Martin, that just looks like a flattened, 1970’s Detroit gas guzzler.” Indeed, the car was stupendously long, wide, and angular, but when my dad’s friend revved the big V12 engine and peeled out, I was immediately sold on it as a supercar.

But I really can’t blame Aston for not building another curve-less flagship. The fact is, whether it was due to poor reliability or the jarring exterior design, Aston only sold 600 or so Lagondas, a tiny fraction of how many DB9’s they’ve sold.

And the Lagonda was far from perfect. It – like most high-end British cars, if we’re honest – was woefully unreliable. The all-digital, light-up dash was incredibly cool in it’s day – it was dubbed the “Star Wars dashboard” when it first came out – certainly worthy of NorthGeek mention, but if the electrics decided to take the night off, which was often, you had absolutely no instruments, and were flying blind. Try that at 150mph. Not cool, then.

Having said all that, if I had the means, I would still park one in my garage, even if I knew that oil leaks and electrical gremlins would never allow it to leave. All the better, really.

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“I’m-ah Mario, An-I’m-ah Gonna Ween!”

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | Comments Off on “I’m-ah Mario, An-I’m-ah Gonna Ween!”


My apologies, as I could not resist the Mario Kart-fuelled excitement. Fans of Italian metal (and who isn’t, really?), rejoice! For you and for subcompact car shoppers who consider the Toyota Yaris blander than day-old sashimi, the Smart car useless, and the Mini Cooper too cavernous (ok, that one’s unlikely), the new Fiat 500, already a huge hit overseas, may be coming to North America.

Even with the return of cheaper gas, “small” appears to have remained the new “big” with car shoppers, even in SUV-addicted North America. That’s one reason why Fiat execs are considering this car for our shores, but also because Chrysler, with whom Fiat is now partnered, needs a major product overhaul, and this thing may soon be sold through Chrysler’s showrooms – let’s just pray they don’t decide to rebadge the 500 as a Chrysler Neon.

I haven’t had the chance to drive the 500, but it looks gorgeous inside and out, and if the various reviews out of Europe are to be believed, it’s an equally impressive drive. Having said that, I would personally pass on the Cinquecento, only because I’d need more cargo space than it – or a Mini, for that matter – would afford. Still, there are plenty of design junkies and metrosexuals out there who will be seduced by the 500’s classic lines (retro-sexuals, then?) and proportions.

As for me, I’ll wait for the Fiat-exported, Chrylser-rebranded Alfa Romeo Brera to arrive – if that ever happens. Mind you, if they did bring the Brera over, they could rebrand it as a Dodge Grand Caravan for all I care, and I’d still buy two of them. Now, if Fiat would only agree to “export” and “rebrand” Monica Bellucci as my mistress…

[Thanks to Autofiends for the tip]

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JV opens racing school near Montreal

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 Posted in Automotive, Sports | 3 Comments »

Great news for all aspiring wheel jockeys (and owners of Puma Speedcat racing sneakers and bulk quantities of “wet look” hair product) in La Belle Province: Jacques Villeneuve is opening a new racing school near, of all places, Mirabel Airport – also known as the Jacques Villeneuve of international airports. It’s sadly poetic: for those who aren’t familiar with Mirabel, it was once a promising 1970’s government project, on which high hopes were placed for it to become a highly-regarded, state-of-the-art international hub (remember those ridiculous stilt buses? Who thought those were a good idea??), putting Montreal on the map. Now, 30 years later, Mirabel rests in the airport bush leagues, serving as an airport for charter and cargo flights and, now, JV’s early-retirement project. How the mighty have fallen.

I’m looking forward to dropping in on one of JV’s “how to make excuses in a post-race interview” seminars – those things always sell out. Also, does this mean he will delay the release of his double-live album? I hope not.

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Gumball organizers to world: “I will see your Global Economic Downturn and raise you one gold-plated Bugatti!”

Monday, May 4th, 2009 Posted in Automotive | 1 Comment »

Hola amigos, this is Dan R, friend of NorthGeek and unabashed car geek.

It’s that time of the year again, when dandy aristocrats, supermodels, motocross stars, and maybe even your orthodontist descend with their ultra-whips on a random city for the start of the annual Gumball 3000 Rally. After last year’s tragic accident in Macedonia, and with the economy wallowing in what leading economists have termed “a turd basket,” one would think there would be little public appetite for the Gumball’s notorious celebrations of spirited and sometimes reckless excess.

Or maybe displays of spirited excess are exactly what we need right now. I, for one, am tired of reading about layoffs, housing foreclosures, and Big 3 bankruptcies. Let us instead read about, say, a cop in Kansas pulling over a diamond-studded, Viagra-liveried McLaren SLR, caught doing 180mph, maybe driven by an aging Swedish heir to a candy fortune and maybe co-piloted by an enthusiastic Miss November 2004. Teamwork, after all, is important in all motorsports.

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