2016 Calgary International Auto & Truck Show

How do you sum up the numbers and come up with the the correct answer, when it comes to mans favorite pastime. Well, for some of us it does include ball bearings.  Not the kind you press into a shotgun casing, but ones used in a wheel hub assembly or a universal joint.  Our love of cars continues, with an all out ensemble of fenders from Ford's to Ferrari's.

OK! so the vast majority now all seem to look the same, from plastic dashboards to headlights, car companies now seem to swap parts with each other and make it seem new and improved. Gone are the days, when you had to push a button to make it work.  It's all storks and sticks. Men love to push and turn buttons. Have you ever seen anything more sexier than a dashboard on a series one E type. Exactly! ...  So we have a few differences from last year, but on the whole nothing has changed.  We see the same cute girls splashing out quip's about perfect weight distribution and turbo lag reduction.  The reality is, they couldn't explain what torque is anymore than I could, or you could for that matter. Maybe It just sounds better coming from a size two "super" model.  I was somewhat impressed with the Ford driving simulator. It was a bit over the top and unnecessary, but the kids enjoyed being Tom Petty for 5 minutes.

Everything here seems to trundle along like we're all stuck in a playground zone.  Every Acura looks the same as every other Acura. Except maybe some have a fatter ass than others.  Things were becoming as interesting as a rented apartment, that was until we got to the Aston Martin - Bentley arena.  There is something about sitting in one of these that makes you feel uberly important.  Yes I have leather seats in my car, but the seats in a Bentley!!! You have just entered a world where few will have the pleasure of the real ultimate driving machine.

It's like sitting in a channel handbag!  The interior is a place that transforms you and instantly turns you into a one percenter.  It's like putting on a Tom Ford.  You feel smarter, you look smarter, suddenly everyone is looking at you.  It's the same with the Aston.  Once inside, clutching that thick carbon laced steering wheel, your whispered off to a place of grandeur.  After many thank you's and hand shaking, we took ourselves to, well. What else, of course.  The house of Mr Balboni's home turf.  Lamborghini.  Yes they were big and brash, but I have to be honest, the Lamborghini's that I grew up with had no windows, just cat flaps with a stick shift.  These were my pin up's.  I somehow can't see myself putting up an Aventador on my wall.  Maybe I'm well past the sell by date on wall posters, but the lambo's of today seem to have lost that bedroom image.  I know they cost more than most second homes and yes they still have those silly doors, but I look back at the Aston and I'm sold every time.  When the brand manager of Rolls Royce invited us in.  We clocked eyes on the Phantom and thought, no;  there is no way we will ever get this close.  Well, as it happens, we did.  Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, as they say, this 20 foot monster steps in. 

Lord in heaven, as a motor car this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  Mercedes and Audi.  You may as well pack up your suitcase right now and head back to fatherland.  OK, so BMW took hold of Britain's most prized possession and welded together the strongest aluminum body in the automotive world, thanks for that at the very least.  After that the Brits took over and did what they do best.  Apart from drinking lots of tea and having to find new Careers since Maggy closed down all the pits.  The Brits still have the talent to put together, what is simply the finest car money can buy.  Options are endless.  So, If you have deep pockets,  this is where you stop looking and place your order.  So to are the Ferrari's. I have to be honest here too,  the Ferrari's of today do look amazing, but they seem to have lost that 60's sex appeal.  Think about it.  There is nothing sexier than a testarossa or a P4/5. I'm not talking about the square place mat you find in Miami vice, I'm dating back to the world when designers used Marilyn Monroe as inspiration, not a Mach 2 jet fighter.   The worlds designers now have moved on to aerospace technology and materials from Mars.  It's seems that that molds used to make the DB5 are now extinct. While I am happy to see companies like Eagle have a bash.  It saddens me that the rest of the world doesn't share the same opinion.  The mood now is cup holders and hockey bags. You just know when your best friend gets married and his wife punches out a couple of kids, the minivan is where your heading.  What a shame that is!  We still have lots of somewhat attractive looking cars out there, but Dodge thought, I know, let's take away his manhood and offer up something so sad, it makes you feel you had a level 10 lobotomy.  Let me put it this way, when I was 9. We had 6 in our family, we got by with a rover P5. "And we had a dog".  We went all over Europe.  Yes we also had cup holders.  

I guess we have one saving grace. I once saw a 12 year old putting her soccer shoes into the back of a drop dead sexy black continental GT.  I agree not everyone can afford one which is a shame but we should have more options available to us.

So, moving on.  There we were, looking at what I call Gods creation.  The absolute best in engineering to date. If allowed we should have been on hands and knees, as we are certainly not worthy of the P1. Some of the worlds best brains got together and produced the finest wine and carbon fiber soufflé man has ever made.  So why did this 12 year old beside me waffle on about the prancing horse and how much better they are.  Why, well cause he is 12 and knows only two things, how to play call of duty at home and how to tell people at school how good he is at call of duty. Oh the joys of having teenagers! They know everything.  So. People of Fiat, Acura and Honda.  When you next decide to design a car, think of Dita Von Tess, not a dinner plate.  I know which one can go through the air faster, but I know what I would rather look at.

Heath Cox.  Editor  intouch.NEWS


Monster Truck

If they put out a ballot at the entrance with 2 boxes, one marked "too loud!", the other, "louder please!". I would be in the minority. It was a heavy rock concert after all, so what was I doing there?  A middle aged wrinkled face who preferred a chilled glass and Tony Bennett in the backdrop.  Well we invited ourselves so it would be impolite not to go.  I have to be honest it was a pretty good event.  When I was 19 I got a little beer paying job working at the saddledome. I worked for some obscure little unknown security firm.  That itself wasn't interesting, but the job of working in the pit and backstage has it's own merits.  Well free concerts really.   Rod Stewart, glass tiger, ACDC. Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Def Leopard and well, yes. Kenny Rogers. These were just a few.  Oddly enough, no one rushed the stage when Kenny walked on.  

My good friend at the time was working back stage, checking to make sure everyone had the proper accreditation. If your the lead singer however, you are exempt from wearing the coveted pass.  Least, those of platinum Blonde thought so.  My trusted friend did what he was told to do and the lead was promptly thrown out on his ear and that was the end of that.  Of course 20 minutes roll by and he notices people running around like headless chickens.  It wasn't until someone asked him, "have you seen Mark?".  "Who????"  Well the lead singer was pounding on the exit door to no avail.  That was until he said " what? this guy!". Opening the door.   He was bemused and my friend received many shoutings.  He was after all, doing what $7 an hour got you back then. The whole show was about to come crashing down.  All because he thought he was better than everyone else.  So. Lead singers of the world.   Wear your badges! 

If you want peace and quiet, go find some little home grown Italian diner and enjoy the ambience. If you want to ruin your kidneys. Go to the ballroom at Macewan Hall on the university grounds. Stand by the huge speakers and wait for the lyrics.  

Big hair was back.  Guitars wailed out tunes, the leads of both bands were howling at the moon, probably loud enough to wake up Scott Kelly.  The fans were getting more and more jumpy upy. Then as the intermission ran its course, those lucky enough to sneak a bit of Ganga through security were enjoying their "puff puff pass" on the patio.  After all. It's a rock concert.  The mind altering effects were taking full effect as more and more were leaning more than they normally do.  It's always funny to see fans air guitar.  I thought that died off in the 80's. Well it's still here; alive and kicking.  I didn't understand the song words, but people were singing along.  I thought you only did that at when Michael Bublé showed up.  

The "pit" was their in full security mode. The part I love, is knowing I can stand between the crowd and the stage and get up close to the action. I saw a sign that read. "NEXT TIME YOUR OUT!" I gather this is for the yellow jackets who don't have to open their limited word vocabulary.  It's all there, In black and white.  So presumably, if you lark about, you get these 4 pre written words yelled at you.   Not sure what happens next?

Panties were being thrown too, I guess that's better than beer cans.  I'm not sure why someone would throw away a good pair of underwear.  It's not like they know where they came from.  But then again, this isn't a place to bring your granny out.  This is for demons.  This is fuelled by hairy chested Jean cut offs.  So if you do see a ballot box and you drop your slip in the "too loud" box.  Go home, you're not welcome.  To the rest; Play on and play it loud!

Heath Cox. Editor. Intouch.news