Monthly Archives: October 2009

Why Does Manitoba Public Insurance Want to use after market parts Instead of new ones to Repair my Vehicle?

When recycled parts aren’t available, we may substitute after-market parts, These are new factory OEM or rebuilt parts not usually sold by the vehicle manufacturer.

The suppliers ensure that the quality of these parts meets that of original parts. The warranty they provide is as good as, or better than, warranties for factory new parts.

After-market parts include radiators, hoses, belts, steering parts, brake parts, engine parts; and so on. They also include sheet metal parts, like fenders and doors, for vehicles older than seven model years. Current model year vehicles and vehicles with less than 20,000 km are excluded from after-market parts.

In short, you’ll get parts equal to new original parts. What’s more, after-market parts generally cost one-third less than new factory parts. That helps us control the cost of repairs and, in turn, the cost of your Autopac Insurance.

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Can I be sure the recycled parts will be good quality?

Yes. Your body shop checks the parts over to make sure they’re in good shape. The parts supplier gives a 90-day parts and labour warranty. When the manufacturer’s warranty on the same new part is more than 90 days, we match this warranty on the recycled part.

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West World Barrett-Jackson: The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction

The highest price in history paid for a car at an auction was a restored 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that sold in 2008 for $12 million.

Some of the other top sellers at Gooding’s included a 1937 Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coup for $3.52 million, a 1932 Daimler Double Six Sport Saloon for $2.97 million US, a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton for $1.37 million, a 1937 Bentley Fixed Head Sport Coupe for $1.32 million, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo for $1.26 million and a 1933 Isotta Fraschini for $1.08 million.

Russo & Steele held its ninth auction in a corner of the Sonoran desert, at Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101 Freeway. This year, the 22,300 square meter of tents protected the cars and bidders from the sun instead of the rain as in years past. This was the first year Drew Alcazar offered vehicles for sale exclusively with a reserve.

Just 262 of the 597 vehicles consigned sold, for a total of $17,527,120. Last year, 298 out of 490 vehicles consigned sold for $19,144,455. Nevertheless, Russo & Steele did not experience as large a drop in sales as RM and Barrett-Jackson.

The highest price paid was for a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing Coupe, at $660,000. Runner-up was a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda owned by actor Nicholas Cage. Previous examples of the latter have sold for almost $300,000, but Cage’s ownership added a considerable cachet, with the gavel falling at $440,000.

A 1962 Pontiac Catalina Super Duty, one of the most documented cars raced in the US, sold for a stagerring $412,500. Another record sale was the $401,500 paid for a 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Phaeton; the 2008 average for this model was $290,125.

Silver’s Auction only managed to sell 45 percent of the vehicles consigned. Their auction is a combination of reserve and no-reserve consignments. This year the total sales amounted to $3.3 million, half of last year’s $6,694,647.

It looks like 2009 will be one of the most interesting years since the collector-car hobby gathered momentum some 20 years ago.

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Want to Import a Porsche into Canada – New Charge “Clearing Letter”

As of June 24, 2009, Porsche is insisting that it can no longer issue Recall Clearance Letters and that any such confirmation may only be obtained from a Canadian Porsche dealership once the vehicle has been imported into Canada.

The cost of the importation inspection is $1,250 and results in the issue of a Letter of Compliance from Porsche.

Here’s what importers ought to know before completing their Porsche purchase:

1. RIV does NOT require a Letter of Compliance to issue Form 2; RIV only needs recall clearance confirmation, copy of Form 1 and payment of the RIV fee.

2. If purchasing your Porsche vehicle from a US dealership, ask them to print off the Porsche warranty inquiry report off their internal systems. This is a screen capture that dealerships have access to and it will be accepted by RIV. Try and complete this step while negotiating your purchase as the dealer will have the incentive to work with you.

3. If purchasing from a private seller in the US, have them go to the dealership that performs their service work for them and obtain this printout. You could make this printout a condition of the sale so that the seller understands the importance of the document.

4.  If you are unsuccessful at obtaining the warranty inquiry printout in the US, ask the seller/dealership for a price discount equivalent to the Porsche fee of $1,250.

Please note that if the vehicle you desire to import into Canada is shown as admissible on the RIV website then Porsche has confirmed to Transport Canada that the vehicle may be imported into Canada and can be modified to meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.  The importation inspection was not required prior to June 24, 2009 and appears to be a way to penalize importers of Porsche vehicles.

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$12 Million Sale Did Not Happen Just as He Predicted!

Last month Nigel Matthews wrote about the 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante “SC” that was discovered in a lock-up garage in the north of England, having been parked by it owner eccentric owner some 47 years ago. Most old cars sitting on a concrete floor surrounded by a wood frame garage and damp air and moisture suffer from aging and decaying tires, corrosion, or in this case electrolysis, and dried out engine seals, not to mention a plummeting market value. The Bugatti that Bonham’s sold on behalf of Dr Carr’s nephews and nieces, the beneficiaries of his estate, on Feb 7th in Paris sold for an astounding 3,417,500 ($4.4 million US dollars, including the buyer’s premium)

Considering RM auctions of Blenheim, Ontario only managed to attract a high bid of $4.5 million for an almost identical, fully restored car, makes the sale of the ex-Earl Howe car even more astounding. The car’s discovery has been brought to the attention of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance selection committee, and they have openly granted the car a fully transferable entry into the pre-war preservation class of their 2009 event. The Bugatti engine has not been fired up for since it was parked 47 years ago. It will require a delicate stripping and rebuilding, before the new owner will have the pleasure of firing it up and hearing the sound of the turbine that excited the first owner Earl Howe, when he collected this car from Sorel in 1937. Hopefully the new owner will accept the invitation and present the car on the world’s most famous stage, the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach links during the third weekend of August this year. If they do, Nigel will be there to document and photograph the event.

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A Stretched Miata Becomes a Himiko

The Mitsuoka Motor Company Ltd. is a Japanese coachbuilder that dates back to 1982.

The company is best known for transforming existing cars into classic British-style sedans. Some of their earlier work involved converting a four-door Nissan Micra by grafting a one-piece fiberglass front and rear end onto a Nissan Micra shell, transforming it into a copy of ’60s Jaguar MKII.

The finished product looks like it has been left in a tumble dryer for too long and has shrunk. I don’t think Inspector Morse (played in the TV series by John Thaw), a huge Jaguar fan, would be at all amused! Mitsuoka calls this model the Viewt.

The company’s latest creation is named the Himiko and has the look of an instant classic. For the moment it will only be available in Japan, at a cost of $50,000. Eventually, one or two will slip out of the country, but don’t expect to see one in Canada for at least another 15 years.

The Himiko begins its life as a Mazda Miata; it is put on a jig and stretched into a long-wheelbase sports car. The finished product is something that looks like a modern rendition of a Morgan. The Himiko is nothing like a Morgan, other than its slightly similar look. It has a closer resemblance to the Panther Lima, in my opinion.

The traditional Morgan lineup has always been considered a driver’s car and not exactly brimming with high-tech gadgets and creature comforts.

The hand-built Himiko is available in three different levels of trim; the engine is a standard 170-hp, two-litre Mazda four-cylinder available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic capable of moving its 2,800 lb weight at a reasonable pace.

If you Google Mitsuoka Motor Company, the first entry is the company’s Japanese website. If you select translate, that function will take you to a site where you can spend some time navigating and looking at some of the interesting cars that they have created over the years. If your Japanese language skills are strong, then go directly to

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