Every year, we look forward to the Stanley Park European Classic Car Meet and Das Volks show, which showcases the best of the local European vintage cars as well as the biggest VW gathering in Alberta. This year, the event was threatened by the week long rain that preceded it, but with the weather gods cooperating, the show went on as scheduled without a hitch. Check out some of our favorites from the show this year.
First on the list is Herbie the Love Bug. Herbie was a generational icon for many of us old timers. It sucks that Lindsay Lohan ruined it for the current generation.
Driven 2015 will be rolling into Calgary next month and we’re excited to announce that Dannie Riel will be at our booth if you want to meet her, grab some posters and get your picture taken with her! Driven 2015 is one of the most anticipated aftermarket car shows to hit Calgary and this year it will be bigger and better than ever promising a huge showcase of exotics as part of the Pursuit 2015 car show. Your Driven 2015 ticket will get you access to both shows.
At a customer appreciation event on Friday on the future site of Calgary’s first Luxury Auto Mall, it was announced that the Development Permit for Meadows Mile has received approval from the City of Calgary Planning Department. The arrival of Lamborghini to the Calgary market was first announced back in March, and Asgar Virji of Lamborghini Vancouver confirmed they are the first to break ground at Meadows Mile on the new Lamborghini Calgary dealership. Porsche Centre Calgary, Ferrari Maserati of Alberta, Rolls Royce Motorcars and MINI Crowfoot will be moving to the new Meadows Mile site which is expected to be completed in Spring of 2016. The Meadows Mile concept was developed two years ago and when completed will see not only luxury car dealerships, but gas stations, auto detailing services, hotels along with retail and office space.
The Southwest Calgary Ring Road project has not started yet, and it’ll be a many years before it is completed but that doesn’t mean we can’t go on a virtual drive of it before then. Watching the video explains why the Southwest Ring Road has a mega budget of $5 Billion with 37 bridges along the route, crossing both the Elbow River and Fish Creek.
The virtual drive starts at the current terminus of the NW Ring Road at the Trans Canada Highway and snakes its weigh on the western edge of Calgary to connect with 69th street (West Calgary Ring Road) then continues on in the second video all the way to Macleod Trail in the south.
With frequent business trips to the Bay Area, I’ve experienced first hand the convenience of Uber. After a night out with co-workers at Lucky Strike where many adult beverages were consumed (open bar seems to be the theme at company events), half our group wanted to head back to the hotel while the other half decided to head out to a random karaoke bar. I start looking around for cabs so we could flag one down while a couple of the executives just whipped their smartphones out.
In less than a minute they had already summoned a couple Uber cars to pick us up and about 7-8 minutes a driver came up and picked us up. I presume the second Uber car picked up the other group right after we left. The best part was that at the end of the trip, we didn’t have to pay. It’s all done automatically. That’s right, no arguing with the driver about how he can’t take a credit card because his machine is broken, or figuring out how much to tip the driver (trust me, it can get expensive after a night out of drinking if your math is bad lol).
After returning home to Calgary, Uber is one thing I always miss after a night out. In Calgary, you’re lucky if you can even get a taxi after midnight. Most people arrange rides with friends to get home, and unfortunately many choose to drive themselves home while intoxicated. It’s a big problem, but protecting an antiquated taxi system is higher on priority list than providing consumers with better transportation options in Calgary.
I’m not entirely sure when Uber setup this online petition for Uber Calgary, but it was probably some time last year after they ran a promotional trial. They have already collected 3,887 signatures as I am writing this. If you think Calgary City Council should fix the taxi situation by allowing companies like Uber to operate here, go check out the site and sign the petition.
This is your chance to stand with us and send a message to your elected officials that Calgary deserves a new set of transportation choices. Consumers love Uber because the taxi industry doesn’t come close to offering the same convenience and reliability. Drivers love Uber because it provides higher earnings and greater flexibility. Cities love Uber because it gives residents and visitors a ride when they need one, serves neighborhoods that taxi companies neglect and reduces taxi crimes and DUI arrests.
Uber may not completely solve the taxi issues in Calgary, but if the City of Calgary eliminates the $80 minimum that limo and town car service companies have to charge for trips, Uber would be able to operate to relieve the demand on taxi services as it will provide a choice, albeit a more expensive one, to those that are willing to pay for it.
Well, technically, it’s outside of Strathmore, but who cares. As we mentioned in our Kart School review, the Calgary Kart Racing Club has been working hard at securing a new site for their new kart track that serves Calgary and surrounding areas. They’ve finalized on the location and will be starting construction immediately. The new track is 1.3km long with 14 turns, making it the longest kart sprint track in Canada. It is scheduled to open late summer/early fall.
What I am most excited about are the rumors of a Junior Karting program coming to the new track. Many F1 drivers start their careers as young as 4 years old in junior karts, and the lack of such a program in Canada is a big reason why we do not have many Canadian F1 drivers. It’s a great way to build talent and skillset at an early age to challenge drivers out of Europe.
The CKRC is hosting a fencing party, where volunteers are invited to join in building the new fence for the track. For more information on volunteering, as well as track design, check out the link here.
Toma, our resident tuning expert, hosted a dyno day/BBQ to start off the spring driving season for local car owners. Lots of cool cars showed up at the event to see what kind of power they can put down, with the biggest numbers being a GT500 Mustang with blower upgrades putting down 636whp. Thanks Toma for hosting, it was great to see a lot of old faces again!
Yesterday, the Calgary Airport Trail Tunnel was officially opened to the public with a grand opening event including a show and shine featuring several local car clubs, food trucks and live entertainment. Thousands of people made their way to the tunnel via a series of shuttle buses to walk through the tunnel for the first and only time as there are no sidewalks along the tunnel. This morning marks the official opening of the tunnel to traffic with three lanes in each direction connecting 36 street NE to Barlow Trail and the airport terminals.
Unfortunately, until Airport Trail is extended to Metis Trail and Stoney Trail (Provincial Ring Road) the tunnel is not really that useful. It literally is a tunnel to nowhere at the moment. The tunnel was built with an official budget of just under $295 Million, but if you factor in all the required interchanges for the full complete link to Metis Trail and Stoney Trail the price tag jumps significantly. Still, the project is required and while the optics are terrible, building it later when it is actually needed will cost much more. The annual bill for operating the airport tunnel will be approximately $1M with half of that paying for the premiums on the $1B insurance policy the City of Calgary was forced to take out.
The City of Calgary unveiled the Airport Tunnel, the first true tunnel in the city, to the public today by hosting a show and shine with car clubs around the city. Thousands made their way to the festivities, with huge lineups at the Westwinds C-Train station where anxious citizens waited to be packed into busses to shuttle them to the tunnel’s east entrance. Many of the local clubs were present, including ZR Auto and the Ferrari Club of Alberta. The cars lined the westbound lanes, giving a chance for Calgarians to get up close and personal with some amazing machinery.
Several of our very own members had their cars out at the show today, including the awesome Ferrari F50, powered by an engine derived from a 90′s era Formula One motor. With only 349 examples manufactured, it’s a rare sight to see on Calgary roads.
A YouTube video uploaded last week has caught the attention of the Calgary Police. The video, timestamped April 8, 2014 is filmed from a dash camera mounted to a Porsche Cayenne according to the video description. It shows a Ford Mustang Shelby driving well over the speed limit on Crowchild Trail with the Cayenne in pursuit. All of this occurs in heavy traffic at the start of the evening rush hour according to the dash camera timestamp. In a bid to catch up to the Mustang, the Cayenne driver dives into the restricted bus only lane and eventually pulls back in behind the Mustang before the video ends.
With the closure of Race City there are no venues for car enthusiasts to get their need for speed out of their systems and incidents like this are probably occurring daily. With the proliferation of dashcams, videos like this will likely continue popping up despite how silly it is to provide police with evidence of your wrongdoings. Check out the video below.
I’m not going to preach about how stupid this is because I was young once. All I can say is, there are better times to be driving like this. If you’re lucky enough to still be kicking around in a few years there hopefully will be some new race tracks in the Calgary area for you to get your speed fix.